House Tour: Bill and Maria's Cat Playground

New York

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Name: Bill and Maria
Location: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Size: 850 sqft.
Lived in: 3 years

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Bill and Maria, founders of Uhuru Design shared their home with the design crowd at last week's meetup. Not only do Maria and Bill love their two cats, but they happen to be talented designers who have their own company and who make great stuff out of simple materials. So, almost all of their furniture and of course, the cat obstacle course, was made by their own hands.

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During the meetup, they explained their development process for their 'Kittyloft'. They realized that cats enjoy viewing the scene from above and love having things to climb. They decided to wrap the cat track around half the living room and kitchen. Maria and Bill designed the stairs to be narrow so as to not intrude into the room too much; padded them with non-skid carpeting; and painted them yellow to incorporate the piece as a design element. Voila! The greatest cat entertainment/room accessory around!

At the end of the track, the cats have pillows atop the kitchen cabinets on which to rest. Then they jump down via the refrigerator and countertop to start the loop all over again. Maria and Bill said the cats loop the room at high speed with great repetition, without tiring of the course.

Maria, believe it or not, is allergic to cats. As a compromise, she and Bill's bedroom is off limits to the cats. Also, they have tried to create a home with surfaces that are easy to clean. It seems to work, and be incredibly visually striking at the same time.

AT Survey:

Style: Modern eclectic

Inspiration: Things we find on the street

Favorite Element: Keeping things modern and minimal but not cold and colorless.

Biggest Challenge: Controlling the kitty hair

What Friends Say:
Non-designer friends: "Can you help us design our space?"
Designer friends: "What a beautifully curated collection!"

Biggest Embarrassment: Being a furniture designer/builder and still having two particleboard Ikea dressers. But it’s a love hate relationship, Ikea has great kitchen stuff.

Proudest DIY: The Kittyloft

Biggest Indulgence: Eames chairs

Best Advice: Don’t put off making your home your favorite place to be and, PLANTS PLANTS PLANTS, gardening can be very theraputic, and it helps to blur the line between indoors and outdoors, especially during the long winter months.

Dream Source: Brimfield antique show

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Do you have an idea for a house tour? Let me know! jill@apartmenttherapy.com
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