Since everyone is staying home, a lot of our attention has been captured by the furniture around us which has got thinking about how it can be more multifunctional, space-saving, and aesthetic. Furniture design is moving towards a more flexible direction and CatYou in a Circle is a wonderful display of modular pieces that work for both humans and pets.
The set includes a floor sofa and a coffee table that aims to create a relaxing space for cats and their owners to have some downtime. Urban homes are only getting smaller and cat owners are faced with challenges to keep their pets entertained without taking up too much space. During quarantine, it has become more of a lesson as we share our space with them 24/7. The designer administered a questionnaire and after 233 responses it was found one-third of the cat owners living under 50 square meters. The four main problems that the design needed to solve based on their feedback were – not enough hiding space, cat furniture occupies too much living space, renovation is often not an option, and people want to have enough room to bond with their cats during playtime. The goal was to incorporate the behavior of people and cats in one design that worked to create a functional and playful space for both.
People in small living spaces use low furniture (such as rugs, floor chairs) to build intimate relaxing areas while cats prefer covert spaces, but due to the limited space, there are not many places to hide or play. CatYou in a Circle didn’t want to separate the pets from their owners so it is designed to cleverly bring them together while also maintaining boundaries. The hollow armrests and backrest offer cats a playground and hiding territory while the coffee table provides a place to sleep. The woven bamboo texture makes it possible for owners to see their cats even when they are hiding and play with through its holes. The size of holes is different in different parts of the furniture to adapt to the needs of the pet as well as humans. The backrest holes are smaller to make the cats feel more secure. But holes above are bigger so that when people lean on the sofa, they can see through the backrest and find their cats underneath. The armrest holes are bigger to offer more opportunities to interact. But holes above it are smaller to make resting your arms more comfortable. There are also two large holes on each side of armrests that allow the curious cats to pop their heads or hands out.
To make it more comfortable and cozy, fabric cushions are placed at the bottom of the armrests and the coffee table. They are skin-friendly and also absorb smell so it works especially well for smaller homes. The cushions are laundry-friendly and the armrests can be stretched out or pushed back in depending on the space and needs. The bamboo adds a touch of warmth and keeps it airy and visually light. Most cat furniture on the market is focused on either just the pet or just the interior aesthetic for the owners, it is rare to find pet furniture that works for the behavioral and spatial needs of both while still upholding the standards of style. CatYou in a Circle emphasizes the concept of “passive companion”, which leaves an autonomous space for cats. Flexible furniture should be extended to pets as well, after all, our house belongs more to them than it does to us!
Designer: Jack Dogson