A Brooklyn Row House Designed for Cats and Booklovers

When two booklovers with two cats were looking to renovate their newly purchased row house in Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace neighborhood, they hired BFDO Architects to bring their vision to life. They desired a home that incorporated cool ways of bringing color and light into the space, while also giving each one a place to work. Their other two main requirements? Find a way to showcase their massive book collection and to give their shy cats places to roam and hide.

The main living area is open and spans 20 x 50 feet with 10 foot tall ceilings. The built-in bookcase goes from the front to the back of the house with an uneven ledge on top for the cats to walk and get away.

Some of the shelves project out giving the cats places to climb. At either end of the room, they installed trap doors that allow the cats access to the floor above.

Inset into the bookcase is a built-in piece of art by the owner that’s a mini scene of a living room hidden behind a door.

In the center of the bookcase, light cascades down from the roof from a skylight.

The opposite end of the living space houses the living room, dining room, and kitchen, with the media room in the middle.

Upstairs there’s a work studio with a “nest” in one corner that’s lit from a skylight above and offers a quiet place to write.

Photos by Francis Dzikowski/OTTO, courtesy of v2com.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.