Our House…Part Five…Cat House, Dog House

16 07 2013

When last we heard from our fearless couple, Judy and Hue, they had just debuted their new kitchen in Our House…Part Four.  Yes, after many months, they finally moved forward with addressing their Pattern of Living.

Of course, a major part of our Pattern of Living also involves the lives of our four-legged children and the work we do with animal rescues. How could we create new living spaces without thoughts on how to make the spaces more conducive to everyone’s needs; surely we needed to consider all beings Pattern of Living. At any given time, we may have multiple Spaniels and Cats, as a part of our immediate family, and may also be fostering one or two Spaniels from one of the three rescues that we work closely with. As a matter of fact we currently have a foster mommy who is raising her two pups under our care. Of course, these fosters will all be adopted, into their forever homes, once the pups reach the proper age and mommy gets that desperately needed spay and dental; but, for now, they are also a major part of our family.

While we didn’t have a specific idea in mind, once we started planning the demolition, we knew that there had to be a use for the old cabinets and countertops; re-use always made sense and we discussed just sticking them down into the basement and using them for storage. However, during one of our arm-waving strategy sessions, regarding the old cabinets, Judy said, I sort of imaging a wall across a portion of the basement and creating a kind of work room…and, maybe this would be the perfect space to keep all of the animals ‘stuff’, feeding supplies, medications…

Well, that started the wheels in motion and created the first of several changes in our project (more about that in Part Six). Before you could say oopsy we had the contractor down in the basement marking off wall and door locations. Now we did restrain ourselves, to a degree; of the almost 1,000 sq. ft. unfinished basement, we only carved out a room measuring approximately 13′ x 14′ at the bottom of the existing basement stairway and installed doors, on each side, to access the balance of the basement. This space, though, allowed us to re-install almost all of the old kitchen cabinets and countertops and, not only created additional, much needed storage but also kept a significant amount of material out of our landfills. We kept the finishes simple; we painted the new walls and ceilings with a good, washable surface and put down an economical, interlocking rubber floor that can be removed and cleaned in the event of flooding (which only happens during hurricanes).

And that was the birth of the Cat House, Dog House. Of course we didn’t just fill the cabinets with pet paraphernalia (though we probably could have), we also now have storage for those seldom used kitchen tools which are now just a few step away from our shiny new kitchen. This also freed up space in the balance of the basement and is allowing us the opportunity to create more order in our storage system. The big thing, though??? It’s the fact that we now keep our upstairs cleared of all of the feeding bowls and cat boxes; we  have a small refrigerator for food, a microwave for warming, and dry storage for canned foods. Now, when feeding time occurs (the feeding frenzy as we call it), it’s all accomplished downstairs and the systems works nicely with clean-up being a breeze.

As I’ve said before, pictures are priceless and, though it’s a small space, I wanted to share our new Cat House, Dog House:

SONY DSC

What a great space!
The existing cabinets provide excellent, additional storage; the old Corian tops are a perfect, cleanable surface; the walls are scrub-able; and the rubber flooring wet-mops nicely. And, notice the little cat passageway adjacent to the cat tree, the cat’s are able to get to their litter boxes without the Spaniels grazing for snacks.

Perhaps these last blogs have reignited your thoughts regarding your Pattern of Living, perhaps you need a little tweak to your home, or perhaps a more major twist is needed. Whatever your needs, consult a design professional (this design professional); the process is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine (though we’ll talk about that, a bit, in Part Six) and you, too, can establish your personal Pattern of Living.

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