Alice Williams, creative director at Hecate Verona, based in London, creates dog houses fit for canine kings. These abodes range in price from the $40,000 Colonial Villa to the outrageously extravagant $200,000 Colonial Villa Grand. “These masterpieces are designed for those customers who appreciate quality and beauty, similar to other handmade products such as furniture, cars and yachts,” says Williams.
It took three years of development for Hecate Verona to complete its first dog house, because so much planning went into it. “Architects are accustomed to working with residential house proportions and choosing materials from already established solutions,” says Williams. “Creating and building a dog house with all its miniature components and materials that align together proportionately and accurately is complicated, time consuming and hard work.”
The dog houses are divided into two rooms: a bedroom and living room, with the latter giving panoramic views of the outside. “Windows have been lowered accordingly to the dog’s height which gives the dog a clear view of the surroundings and its territory,” says Williams. It takes about four months to make each custom-designed house (nothing is off-the-rack). There is a range of amenities customers can add, including heating, air conditioning, indoor and outdoor lighting, cameras, food and water feeding systems, treat dispensers, sound systems, TV sets and a conference calling system where the dog and its owner can communicate with each other.
The designers follow architectural themes depending on the market. “In California, for example, we created a Spanish style dog mansion. In the UK, the colonial style is quite popular,” says Williams. For flooring, customers may request hardwoods (beech, oak, larch), as well as natural stone, such as marble and dolomite. Interior walls are water and moisture resistant. “The terrace and shelter have been coated with weather resistant and scratch resistant Line-x alloy mixture, that is easy to clean and durable against dog scratches,” explains Williams.
The target audience for the dogs are upscale dog lovers who want only the finest for their furry friends, says Williams: “We have built a beautiful and elegant product that is also practical. This house will become his personal palace, his safe, quiet spot for when he needs a break from visitors at your house.”