Fur and furniture come together in a design approach that makes space for the needs of dogs and cats with innovative touches and products
Hong Kong famously has some of the world’s most pampered pets, but how many of us would consult them about the design of the home we share?
Well, we should – and it’s not unusual, according to Rosina Maria Arquati, who works as an animal communicator. Dogs and cats are individuals, too, and, just like humans, have their preferences, asserts the British expatriate, a long-time Hong Kong resident. “If a client comes to me and is revamping their home, I always ask the resident cats, or dogs, what they want,” Arquati said.
So, what do they want? Because animals are individuals, Arquati says, there are no common themes. In general, though, a climbing wall is a considerate addition for an indoor cat, while some dogs like to sleep with their human – if not actually on the bed, at least in the same room.
Virginia Jackson, an Australian town planner, has spent a decade researching apartment living for pets, and her advice is to consider the 3D environment. “Cats like to get up high and look at the outside world,” said Jackson, founding partner of Melbourne-based firm Harlock Jackson. “Climbing opportunities can be incorporated into the design of built-in furniture, around doorways, or by making a windowsill wide enough for them to sit on.” Also give them spots that are quiet and warm – cats look for opportunities to be isolated, said Jackson.
The priority for dogs is to maximise space, and minimise visual stimuli – such as a view of people passing by – which makes them bark.
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