By SUE MANNING, Associated Press
(Published in the Valley News: Sunday, July 20, 2014)
Los Angeles — These homes are set apart by their amenities — for dogs. Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling these homes in 27 of its 190 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one. The most lavish suite is a 170-square-foot pet paradise with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead; tile walls and floors; a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer; a water station; automated feeders; a large bunk-style bed; cabinets for toys, treats and food; a stackable washer and dryer; a French door that opens to a puppy run; and a flat-screen television set.
Standard Pacific, based in Irvine, decided to offer pet suites after conducting livability studies with homeowners. Pets were a constant theme, said Jeffrey Lake, vice president and national director of architecture for Standard Pacific. “Devotion to pets is second-to-none,” he added. “They are family.” The American Pet Products Association reports that 68 percent of Americans own pets and contribute to an industry worth more than $55 billion annually. Real estate officials say building homes designed to cater to pets is a new concept, but that remodels for pet owners have been available for some time.
Adam Cowherd Construction in Ozark, Missouri, installs pet-friendly additions to homes. Cowherd said he recently finished a job where there was an open shelf on the end of a kitchen island to hold pet bowls. “Owners want it uniquely functional, very contemporary and something that catches the eye,” Cowherd said. However, only once in the last 10 years has he been asked to build a whole room for a pet, he added.
Melanie Dean lives with her family near Dallas in a Standard Pacific home with a pet package for their dog, Lola. Lola’s room “makes life much easier,” Dean said. “We don’t have to use the kitchen sink to wash yucky stuff anymore.”
Standard Pacific Homes’ newest community, called Avignon at Blackstone in Brea, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, features homes that start at $1.3 million. The pet spa option adds $35,000 to the price, Lake said. Only the largest suite is available in Brea, but in some of the other communities, there are smaller sizes and prices, starting at 60 square feet for $8,000, he said.
During some of the model grand openings at different communities, several potential buyers brought their dogs to look at the homes, said Danielle Tocco, the company’s director of communications. Around 70 percent of those looking for a home have pets, said Mollie Carmichael, principal at the John Burns Real Estate Consulting firm in Irvine. Pet adoptions were also held at some model grand openings, Tocco said, just in case somebody didn’t have a dog but wanted one. For cat owners, things can be rearranged and swapped out, like a scratching post for the dryer. And if no one is using the bath, it can be used for sporting equipment, like golf clubs.
Those looking to sell their homes may find their pet additions to be a benefit. Laundry rooms and mud rooms toward the back of homes are popular, said Amy Bohutinsky, chief marketing officer at Seattle-based Zillow. Pet washrooms can also be used as multipurpose mud rooms, which may attract buyers.
May 13, 2014 photo provided by A.G. Photography shows a Standard Pacific Home’s interior view of a dog-friendly home. Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling 27 new home communities from Florida to California and billing them as the first to offer pet paradise as an option in every one. Fully loaded, paradise is a 170 square-foot pet suite and spa with a step-in wash station, handheld sprayer and leash lead, tile walls and floors, a designated drying area with a commercial sized pet dryer, a water station, automated feeders, cabinets for toys, treats and food, a stackable washer and dryer, a French door that opens to a puppy run, and a flat-screen television set. (AP Photo/ Standard Pacific Homes, A.G. Photography, Anthony Gomez)
To get Everett out of the “Pen” and to support the Upper Valley Humane Society, just click on this link:
HELP! UVHS has me locked up in a kennel and they are refusing to let me out until I raise my adoption fee(luckily I have Tony to keep me company while I am locked up). Your donation will free me from this kennel and, more importantly, support the more than 250 animals here at the shelter. Please donate so that I may go home, and the people at UVHS may continue to work on behalf of pets and people.
Just click on this link to make a donation:
Thank you for your support! Everett Pollard
Robin created this incredible vegetable “salad” last night and I liked it so much that I asked her to write down what she did. I thought that I’d share it with you!
8 1” thick slices rustic French bread or sour dough bread
1 carton cherry tomatoes
Green beans – about a pound or so – trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
3 or 4 yellow summer squash, cut into 1” chunks
2 to 3 red peppers, cut into 1” chunks
5 to 6 cloves (or an entire head!) garlic chopped coarsely
2 packages pre-cut fancy greens (any combination that includes radicchio for color)
Par-boil the green beans just a bit to take raw crunch off, drain and rinse in cold water. They take longer to cook when grilling, so need a bit of a head start.
Toss together all vegetables and garlic with a generous drizzle of olive oil, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a generous teaspoon of dried herbs (any combo basil, oregano, thyme, etc., etc.) or fresh herbs would be great too. This can be done several hours ahead and kept in the fridge.
Slice bread and grill 3 to 4 minutes per side till crisp and lightly charred. Cut into bite sized cubes and put in a large bowl along with the greens.
Grill the vegetables on a grilling rack, pan or basket. Grill about 8 to 10 minutes till beans and squash are charred. It’s okay if the tomatoes split open.
Toss the grilled veggies into the bowl with the bread and greens. Drizzle with a small amount of a good balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I used Kraft Balsamic Tomato Basil flavor and it was wonderful!
Serve on plates and sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles.
There’s lots of flexibility here – you could substitute or add almost any kind of vegetable. Just be sure the grilling times are similar or you’ll need to par-boil them a bit before. Another recipe called for chopped, hard boiled eggs on top and also used only radicchio. The mixed greens I used included shredded carrots and they added color and crunch.
I’ve been intrigued with Panzanella salads for a long time, but it always sounded weird to me to toss the bread in with all the veggies! Well, guess what? It’s fantastic! This is a rustic and hearty vegetarian feast – enjoy!!
Here’s a photo update on the construction of our Lake Sunapee custom home. Lots of curves and challenging exterior trim work! The Loewen windows and doors are looking very nice and some of the siding is installed. That is one of the most complicated standing seam roofs that we have completed and our Trade Partner did a fantastic job!!
On Friday, June 14th, Northcape Design/Build held it’s first Client Appreciation wine tasting event at our office in Sunapee. About 20 of our wonderful past, current and future clients attended and sampled some great wine that is not readily available in our NH Liquor Stores.
Abby Anderson from the Perfecta Wine Company selected the following French wine for us:
- Hospice Corton Grand Cru Burgundy
- Hospice Pouilly Fuisse Burgundy
- Hiedsieck Gold Top Champagne 2005
- Malartic-Lagraviere White Bordeaux 2007
- Giscours Red Bordeaux 2007
From the comments that I overheard, I believe that the two favorites were the Giscours Red Bordeaux and the Malartic-Lagraviere White Bordeaux, but not all agreed with this!
Everyone did agree that Robin’s hors oeuvres were scrumptious!
Wine, soft jazz, great food and wonderful friends! It doesn’t get any better!! We had such a great time that we are going to have another client appreciation wine tasting on the 2nd of August. We’ve already picked a “theme” and Abby has selected and ordered the wine for us. Stay tuned!