A dated Brooklyn townhouse is transformed into a cat-friendly sanctuary

Bookshelves double as cat furniture in this revamped Windsor Terrace home

Design-conscious cat owners now have their pick when it comes to incorporating decorative touches that are both nice to look at and pet-friendly, from stylish cat trees to modular furniture. But one couple in Brooklyn took that idea a bit further, as New York magazine discovered, when they hired BFDO Architects to revamp their Windsor Terrace home into a cat-friendly paradise.

There was another challenge, though: the couple also wanted lots of space for their extensive library. So BFDO found a way to make the two work together, creating long bookshelves throughout the common areas on the house’s ground floor. Those shelves are stepped in many places, giving the couple’s cats plenty of places to climnb and play.

“The shelves project to create steps for the cats to climb up to a continuous open ledge, where they can observe activities from a high vantage point,” Alexandra Barker, BFDO’s founder and principal, told New York’s Wendy Goodman. BFDO also created trap doors that “allow the cats to access rooms above at either end of the house.”

 Francis Dzikowski/OTTO

Elsewhere in the townhouse, original details—such as a built-in cabinet in the dining room—were preserved, while other less pleasant holdovers from its past life (like the dated kitchen) were transformed into bright, airy spaces. And yes, there is one dedicated cat-free zone: the basement, where the owners now have a gym and a guest bedroom.

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