Published at Friday, April 05th, 2019 - 10:59:58 AM. Home Decoration. By Amett Krause.
Model homes and condos are a different breed. Custom homebuilders and developers are showing how much more important this niche has become by creating the illusion that a pet lives on the premises of their show homes. Toll Brothers, a custom builder of both single- and multifamily housing based in Horsham, Penn., stages swank models with plush pet beds and fancy dog showers that feature designer tiles. ICI Homes designed a “pet condo” under a stairway, a place that typically represents dead space, in one of their model houses. The area measures 4 by 4 feet, has a large opening with a gate, and room for a bed, bowls, light, and electric outlet. “The outlet can be used to plug in one of the newer self-cleaning litter boxes,” suggests sales assistant Sabrina Bosarge. Staging expert Kristie Barnett, founder of Expert Psychological Training in Nashville, Tenn., says builders arent risking much with these add-ons because they can easily be reimagined when needed—a shower can be used to rinse off small childrens feet or water plants, and a space under the stairs can become a play area or storage space.
The increase in pet perks in the multifamily segment led to widespread social media buzz and news coverage, which in turn, spurred many homebuilders to jump on the bandwagon, according to Chad Collins, founder of Collins Design-Build, a custom builder in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. “Clients started bringing me images of what they were seeing on Pinterest and Houzz, so we began to include pet features in our single-family houses.” He began asking new clients about their family pets when meeting them for the first time. “We ask about the number and size, and future pets they hope to get,” he says, noting that around 95 percent of his clients own a pet. “Pets represent a member of the family, especially once children are grown and move away.”
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