Our family includes a couple house cats. We also foster kittens for a local shelter to get them socialized prior to adoption. So it's not uncommon for there to be 4 cats in the house at any given time. While the kittens are getting acclimated to their surroundings, they're usually confined to our family room/kitchen. I've been wanting to build some kind of climbing structure for them for a while, but haven't started until now for a couple reasons:
I wasn't sure where I could put one, and
Most cat climbing structures are not particularly attractive (IMO), being completely covered in carpet like the inside of a 70's van.
As I started thinking about this project again recently, I identified 2 places in the room where I could put something, but the structure would need to be fairly shallow so as not to overwhelm the space.
I started thinking about those tension pole caddies that everyone's grandma used to have in the bathroom - something like this:
Now I could probably pick one of these up on trash day somewhere within a 5 mile radius and just call it a day. However, it's butt-ugly (pun intended) even though it's probably considered mid-century modern. But I liked the idea of the tension poles to stabilize a shallow structure. I started googling for other inspiration images that were mid-century modern and made of wood. Where I landed was on a modular bookcase/room divider by an Italian designer named Franco Albini back in the mid-50's. Here's an example of the design from 1stdibs.com:
I've started this project without a clear picture of the actual climbing components, but I know I'll begin by building two uprights based on this design. If it doesn't work out as a cat tree, I can always repurpose it. As a bookcase, for example.