Renovation Journey: A Cat-Proof Abode
At a Glance
- Yvonne, 44, doctor, and her housemate
- Size: 343 sqm / 3700 sqft
- Location: Springside View
- Cost of Renovation: $110,000
- Interior Design Firm: Third Avenue Studio
- Interior Designer: Kylie
With not just one, or two, but eight pet cats, Yvonne needed a feline-friendly home where her cats could roam about freely. After connecting with interior designer and fellow cat owner, Kylie, from Third Avenue, Yvonne found the perfect person to help her with her home renovation.
Taking some time out from her hectic schedule as a doctor, Yvonne sits down for a chat with us about how Kylie designed her home to be both cat-friendly and cat-proof.
Qanvast: What were your requirements for your home?
Y: I have eight cats and I wanted built-in features for their needs. At the same time, my home needs to be cat-proof because some of my cats can be quite destructive. In fact, the entertainment system in my previous home was clawed through by one of my cats so I knew that I definitely needed closed cabinets and concealed wiring in this home [laughs].
Besides these requirements for the cats, I wanted a music room and an exercise room. Overall, I would say I wanted a modern design that is pleasing to the eye, yet cat-proof.
Qanvast: Why did you decide to engage Kylie as your interior designer?
Y: I met four out of the five interior designers that Qanvast recommended and found Kylie to be the best of the lot. During the first meeting, she patiently listened while I shared my requirements and by the second meeting, she had already done up the 3D design.
I was really surprised by the initiative that she took as from what I understand, most designers would require you to pay them first because they come up with the 3D design.
Qanvast: What particular quality does Kylie possess that makes her stand out from her competitors?
Y: She pays a lot of attention to detail. I had mentioned a few things – such as having cubbyholes for the cats – in passing during the first meeting and she incorporated these ideas into her 3D design.
I also liked that she tried her best to seamlessly blend the built-in features for the cats into the overall design of the home so that it looks aesthetically pleasing. I liked Kylie’s designs so much that her designs became the benchmark upon which I assessed the other interior designers’ designs.
Qanvast: What were some designs which Kylie came up with for the cats?
Y: She designed cubbyholes around the home for them to hide in. She also fixed platforms at different heights so that the cats can play and climb around.
Qanvast: What were some ways that you made your home cat-proof?
Y: Besides the closed cabinets and concealed wiring, I picked materials that cannot be easily scratched and which can be washed easily in case any of the cats puke. For instance, I chose a leather sofa instead of a fabric one as cats tend to scratch fabric more than they do leather.
My cats were able to open some of the doors so there was a lot of problem-solving along the way as well, and Kylie was extremely helpful in coming up with solutions.
Qanvast: Was there any occasion when Kylie went the extra mile for you?
Y: Yes. Although my kitchen was done by the developer and not Kylie and her contractors, she got her contractors to help to repair some damage on the cupboards. Once I moved in, I also noticed that some of the cupboards could be opened by the cats. I let Kylie know about this and she arranged for her contractors to install magnets on the cupboards so that they cannot be opened easily.
I appreciate that her contractors came down quite a few times to perform the rectification works. They also did it at no extra cost so I’m extremely thankful.
Qanvast: Did you have a pleasant experience working with Kylie during the renovation?
Y: Yes, I did. Whenever I sent her a WhatsApp message, she would respond very quickly. She also gave me a projected timeline of the renovation works so I did not have to worry about anything. I hardly came down to my place during the duration of the renovation because I completely trusted her to oversee the project.
Qanvast: Were there any rectifications to be made and how did Kylie handle these?
Y: While the renovation was still ongoing, Kylie told me that if there were any imperfections, they might only show up about three to four weeks after moving in and that I could contact her if I noticed any flaws.
Other than that, there were minor hiccups like scratches on the parquet floor and paint stains which were rectified as soon as they were noticed.