Upcycle Design Report – 70’s Theme Cat House

For my upcycling project, I designed a cat house with a 70’s theme. I am also gifting my project to my coworker, who was looking to purchase a cat house! The 70’s era was very funky and groovy, filled with warm colors and overall happiness. This was an aesthetic that really stood out to me, so I chose it for my project. The 70’s era was described as “bell bottoms, shag rugs, mustaches, and late-night disco. Graphic spirals and flowers, neatly stacked onto wallpaper in a smoky lounge. A whole new world of warm-hued, full-color photographs in magazines, swaying and sparkling to soulful tunes. A little of the psychedelic, art-nouveau influence of the 60s, with a distinct move towards a more cohesive, contemporary form. Not quite geometric, but not entirely free form either. You’re picturing the aesthetic of the 70’s – namely one adopted by the youth of the time – in all its groovy glory”


 I envisioned a funky house that was filled with spirals and lots of warm colors. I also wanted it to resemble a house, and function well for the cat. I got a lot of my inspiration from the pictures shown below. 

 I started by taking a big box from my closet and cutting it up. 

I then used a glue gun to begin assembling the house.The roof of the house was a lot harder than I expected, and it took two hands to get it together. I also made sure all logos were facing inwards, making the painting process easier.

After assembling the base of the house, I began decorating the inside. I was originally going to use an old rug to make a soft surface, but I found an old pillow that suited the 70’s aesthetic more. Someone was throwing out the pillow so I took it off their hands. I cut the fabric off the pillow to place inside the house.

I also took some strings and attached them to smaller pieces of leftover cardboard which are placed in the front of the house.

The colors of the string and the way they hang down match the funky aesthetics of the 70’s. In addition, the cat will likely play with the strings and be more excited to enter the house. I also participated in a CU Boulder painting event, which resulted in leftover paint and paintbrushes. I have very little artistic abilities, and I was planning on throwing this away too. However, this seems like a perfect opportunity to decorate the outside of the cardboard and give it the cool 70’s look. I took all my leftover paint and began decorating. I used stripes on the roof that replicated the old Burger King design I found from the 70’s. On the side I did a circular pattern that was also popular in the 70’s.


Above is my final artifact. It is a functional cat house that resembles a home itself, and is big enough for my coworker’s cat. I matched the funky aesthetic of the 70’s by including the string for the cat to play with. I used inspiration from Burger King, to decorate the roof of the house and match the aesthetic. Although my artistic skills aren’t perfect, I thought it came out looking really cool. I also matched the aesthetic by incorporating the circular pattern on the side, filled with warm colors. Finally, the pillow pattern matches that of the 70’s and it lines the inside of the house, along with the edges that hold the string. I think I also nailed the aesthetic since the actual house isn’t geometrically perfect, which is okay! I look forward to giving this artifact to my co-worker.

Below is a link to my presentation



Retro Branding: A 70s Aesthetic

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Peter Jakubczak
    March 4, 2023 11:26 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed my artifact! Luckily I used a ton of hot glue and the structure is actually super sturdy. I was also worried about this originally.

  • Brewster Beck von Peccoz
    February 26, 2023 10:33 pm

    I like that your final product is truly a functional piece, and you totally nailed the aesthetic. Whatever cat gets to call this home is lucky. The addition of the strings is a nice touch but an excited cat might tear them down. How sturdy do you think the home is to a curious cat?


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