Not your average dog house
People love their pets. As freshly baked pet foods and high-tech squeaky toys gain notoriety, designers and experts say that in the era of COVID-19 and with more time at home, a growing segment of animal lover of the country built for the love of a pet.
Lower johnathan, a real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, real estate agents in South Carolina, is one example. Lower went from being a standard TikTok user to an internet sensation after creating a special room for Teddy, his 2-year-old Golden Retriever.
Lower created a facade near one of the closets in her South Carolina home with an opening for Teddy and posted the story and videos on TikTok. Within weeks, Lower had 100,000 subscribers with many questions.
After selling their old home and moving to a contemporary five-bedroom Piedmont, South Carolina in October 2020, Lower decided to turn a storage space under the stairs into a unique space for Teddy and share the new project. and its progress with the world.
Today, Lower, also known as @thehomeprojectguy on TikTok, has nearly 3 million followers.
The idea of Teddy’s house was not new to Lower. “I was showing a house in a very beautiful luxury lake area. And the vendors had created a playhouse for their daughters in the closet under the stairs. But I don’t have any children. So, I thought. it would be neat to do something like that for Teddy, ”says Lower.
Lower began work on Teddy’s House in February 2021. The result is something even Snoop Dogg could enjoy with a built-in raised dog bed with sliding drawers for Teddy’s toys, a flat-screen TV, and a digital fireplace. Teddy’s portrait hangs over the fireplace. And the exterior facade is slabs.
“I soundproofed the walls so that if there were fireworks or a big thunderstorm or if he just needed to get away, Teddy could go home. That turned out to be a great idea. On July 4, when everyone was setting off the fireworks, Teddy was inside his house and safe, ”Lower said.
He spent about $ 4,500 and two weeks to complete the project.
So, does Teddy watch TV? “He doesn’t watch TV, but when I’m working or I’m gone I turn it on. I think the sound calms him down,” says Lower.
Teddy is cool, but the media buzz around Lower’s wildlife project has been hot.
“The niche has been very popular. There is one video on TikTok that has almost four million views,” he says.
Lower isn’t the only one who wants to create space for a member of the pet family.
According to the American Pet Products Assn. National Pet Owners Survey, 70 percent of US households (over 90 million) own some type of pet. In addition, 14% of those surveyed had a new pet during the pandemic. Purchases by pet owners in the United States reached $ 103 billion for the first time in 2020 and are expected to exceed $ 109 billion in 2021.
Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., co-author with Jessica Pierce of “Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible” (2019) and “A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without humans” (2021), says, “Pets want comfort and safety. Dogs love the pillows in the corner because they love the feel of their backs against a wall. “
Changing rooms or even a simple dog wash with hot and cold water inside or outside can ease the transition for families struggling with muddy paws after a bike ride, walk or walk. the consequences of a skunk spray at 2 a.m.
Berkoff says to consider pets when renovating, especially if they have lived in the house for a long time. “The animals don’t get a vote, but the animal will have specific models; so watch how your dog lives and loves to live when you are working on design changes. Plus, think twice before swapping out that old dog pillow, blanket, or mat for something new. Your dog doesn’t care if something is too purple or stylish or if it smells bad, and you might throw out one of your dog’s favorite things, ”he says.
Los Angeles interior designer Shannon Ggem learned this lesson the hard way while renovating her home in Malibou Lake.
“I bought a very cute and colorful outdoor rug that I couldn’t wait to put on my patio. I unrolled it and the dogs [Onion and Foots] weren’t near me, which is weird because they’re usually right next to me. I found them on the garbage heap, still trying to fit on that old piece of green artificial turf that we used as a mat on the deck. I gave in, rolled up the new carpet and brought the grass carpet back, ”she says.
Ggem has also made some pet friendly modifications to its 10ft by 10ft kitchen. Fed up with tripping over bowls of water and lugging around 15-pound food bags, she created a built-in food drawer to accommodate dry foods and added a countertop faucet and plumb water station to the over feeding bowls. She recommends floor tiles or slabs for anyone working with a pet water station.
“Adding a pet food drawer doesn’t change the architecture of the cabinets, and it’s functional for everyone,” she explains.
Ggem brought a bag of dog food to the cabinet maker to size the cabinet drawer. In total, she says, kitchen cabinets and accessories cost around $ 1,500.
Gems cat Mayonnaise eats on the table in one of the rooms explicitly purchased for the feline. Ggem says cats should generally be fed something tall with a dog and cat household, factor that into any planning.
With furnishings, Ggem says to look to performance fabrics like Crypton and Sunbrella. “They make sense now in a residential setting,” she adds.
Also, waterproof anything that will get wet. Ggem, who has tested various materials and fabrics over the years, says, “It really matters. ”
Ggem got Sunbrella cushions for their patio so dogs can lounge on easy-to-clean outdoor furniture. She also set up a hanging bed for snuggling up and reading.
Its living room has a built-in bench under a window for pets, family and guests.
No matter how you renovate for the family of pets, Ggem says you enjoy the process, have fun, and minimize conflict by arranging spaces that will work for the entire household. Also, she says, design for the life of your pets – from the youngest to the oldest – and the long-term value of your home.
Catherine holliss, interior design director at Sander Architects in Los Angeles, says pets are customers too.
“We have a society where we value our pets and make them part of the family. They bring so much into our lives, so it makes sense to recognize their needs when designing an animal-friendly space. Every client has a different story. The design becomes a manifestation of that story. And when they have a beloved dog, it makes sense to include them in the story. I love it. It’s personal. Animals influence the story. ‘architecture and is now part of our practice. We now ask questions about animals with every client. After COVID, almost everyone has a dog or a cat, “Holliss says.
Questions include: Does the animal molt? Are they old? What is the routine for feeding and washing them? And where do they sleep?
When designing, consider reclaiming unused space; place a dutch door at the bottom of a closet for a pet bed and use the top for linens. Plus, look for ways to reuse wasted space. New York apartment dwellers, who often put litter boxes in bathrooms, and anyone fed up with the feeling of kitty litter stuck under their feet can turn to Ikea, Wayfair and others. for simple, affordable design tips designed to hide litter boxes and minimize litter trails.
“Almost all of these animal design choices require good planning,” says Holliss.
So what about the costs? “The cost can’t be nothing. The same way you put in a cabinet, where you go to put your garbage, you add a cabinet where you store your dog’s food, right? Add an outdoor shower or a shower hose. in your bathroom or outside, it’s just the cost of that particular item. When you go to do a furniture hack, it’s the cost of the furniture. I talk about this all the time because we have a very eco-friendly practice, and people still think design is so expensive, but 90% of it is using your brain and planning ahead. If you do this, pet designs don’t have to be. be very expensive, ”she adds.
Ggem says don’t let perfection stop you from taking on this litter box hack project.
“If people are taking on a project that they could do now to make life better for their pets and their pets, go ahead and get moving. Rather than waiting for the version or the perfect moment to show up, just start, “she adds,” because our pets’ lives are not forever; their life is shorter than ours. And they are so wonderful to enjoy. “