Published at Thursday, March 21st, 2019 - 18:49:00 PM. Outdoor. By Alberta Krämer.
Home layouts can also be optimized so animals can comfortably hang out with their human owners. Spring Creek Designs Smutko found that she and her husband were constantly needing to walk around their 60-pound German shepherd, Tess, in the kitchen. When the firm redesigned the room, she requested a larger aisle between the work island and sink. “We wanted Tess to be with us, but without being stepped on,” she says. She selected a hard quarter-sawn floor that would withstand Tesss claws. Technology and internet-enabled products can also help. Smart cameras and lights allow homeowners to keep tabs on pets and ensure theyre comfortable when alone in the house. New electronic collars can activate pet doors so that homes remain secure. Winter Park, Fla., architect, builder, and licensed interior designer Phil Kean incorporated that technology when he designed the New American Home in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders. He also used an artificial turf called K9Grass that is designed specifically for dogs and eliminates the challenge of muddy paws and dead spots on the lawn.
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.
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