Home Tour: A Purr-fect House for Cat LoversInterior Design & Decor
5 minutes read
A four-room BTO flat in Pasir Ris
|WHO STAYS HERE
A couple and their six cats
“The house belongs to them. We’re just their servants!” Danny Li, who goes by the moniker of ‘Danmify’ on our Reno t-Blog Chat, jokes.
He’s referring to the six cats (they even have their own Instagram account, @threescaredycats!) that roam freely around the four-room BTO flat he co-owns with his wife, Joyce Lye.
But one room is already gone – its walls have been knocked down to merge it with the living room.
The resulting space is a sprawling playground for the couple’s clowder, complete with a ledge that serves not just as a study table but also a jumping-off point for the cats onto the perches that hug the wall above the TV console.
Danny built the cantilevered perches from solid wood planks that he salvaged from his old bed in his parents' home. The platforms are an essential feature for the cats.
“Cats like to see us (people) from a height, so we need to have a high ground for them to run up to and explore,” Danny laughs.
The couple had learnt this from a cat behaviourist they met at a pet shop.
They had also visited cat cafés around the island for inspiration before handing over the reins to a contractor.
In total, renovation, which took two months to complete, cost $48,000, while furniture and accessories added up to $20,000.
Danny grew a little garden around the kennels to create an enclosed area for the cats. A compact space is another essential feature for the cats.
Part of it was spent on a pair of kennels, which the couple imported from China. An avid urban farmer, Danny surrounds it with pots of microgreens to transform the area into a cosy nook for the cats.
Despite having the whole house to themselves, the cats tend to come back to confined spaces because it makes them feel more secure, he shares.
However, Danny realised that the cats were digging up the soil and chewing on the leaves, forcing him to prop up his planters on stilts and suspend them from the window grilles.
PLAYING WITH TEXTURES
Most of the furnishings in the house, including the study table, are wrapped in laminate, which guards the wood against scratches from the cats. The woodgrain effects give the home a warm and inviting vibe.
While the couple wanted to create a home that their cats could luxuriate in, they didn’t neglect their own comfort and penchant for a little drama in their textures.
They settled on a fuss-free Scandinavian look with warm wooden tones after Joyce ruled out her husband’s request for raw, exposed elements. She felt that they were too ‘gloomy’.
Not that naked surfaces would bode well for the home. The cabinets in the kitchen and Joyce’s vanity dresser in the common room – along with most of the other furnishings – are wrapped in laminate to prevent the wood from being scratched by the cats.
Likewise, the couple chose to go with vinyl flooring, which is scratch-resistant and more resilient than other types of flooring such as tiles and hardwood.
The woodgrain effects help lend a slight contrast, ensuring that style wasn’t abandoned in the pursuit of functionality.
A wire mesh memo board sporting adorable portraits of the couple's cats, located in the foyer, is one of the first features to greet visitors. It's done up by a neighbour, who is a web designer. (Photo: Loh Yong Jian)
One element that Danny insisted on having is the feature wall, which stretches from the windows to the foyer. It’s made from clay bricks that the couple sourced from CraftStone.
The wall’s earthly tones tease the home with just a modicum of grittiness, making it strike a chord with Danny’s original plan for an edgy vibe and Joyce’s preference for a more conservative approach.
But Danny admits the cats often leave telling stains on the wall, which he’s quick to wipe. It’s an inevitable consequence of having an uncovered surface.
The common bathroom was remodelled into a dedicated space for the cats. The couple have trained their six cats to visit the room whenever they need to 'relieve' themselves. They also clean their cats here.
Luckily, the common bathroom is easier to maintain.
It’s embellished with waist-high skirting made from timber-esque tiles, which are less vulnerable to marks left by the cats.
The couple designed the bathroom to be used exclusively by their feline pals – it’s outfitted with three litter boxes and a low-hanging tap that they use for cleaning the cats.
It’s also the only space that represents a departure from the theme of the house.
With old-school monochrome tiles and fixtures clad in slick metallic paint, the bathroom looks like an atas sanctuary for the cats.
For a couple who had set out to make their cats feel like royalties, there’s no doubt that they’ve succeeded with flying colours.
DANNY & JOYCE'S 3 MUST-HAVES FOR A CAT HOME
1 SOMEWHERE HIGH FOR THE CATS TO RUN ONTO AND EXPLORE
Cats perceive height as a sign of dominance. Although they’re largely domesticated today, this primordial instinct is still present in them. Cats are also by nature kaypoh, with a vantage point allowing them to more easily observe people.
2 A PLACE THAT FEELS ENCLOSED
Ever wondered why cats like to huddle in cardboard boxes? It makes them feel comfortable and secure. A recent study in Netherlands found lower stress levels in sheltered cats. This is an ancestral trait: cats feel more protected from predators under shelter.
3 DEDICATED SURFACES FOR THE CATS TO SCRATCH
If you find your cats tearing up your precious upholstery, it’s time to look into investing in scratch posts. Like our fingernails, the claws of cats grow every day. Besides maintaining their claws, scratching provides cats with a pleasing sensation.
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