Front Room: The Kings Valley Lifestyle

  • Economy – Use of seconds, used materials, quantity prices, limited hired labor.
  • Flexibility – Adapt to changing needs.
  • Multi-functionality/Versatility – Heat/cool pump, seating converting to beds, strategic faucet placement, etc.
  • Accessibility/Visibility – Reach-throughs, get-throughs, see-throughs.
  • Sociability – Favorable pen arrangements and sizes.
  • Safety – Materials use, groundcover.

A friendly yellow door invites you into the big, warm/ cool social space. Its forty-foot length can comfortably accommodate both personal and public needs grooming, training, Open House crowds and the puppies they come to meet, CCA meetings and parties, dining, TV, CD, DVD, PC, R&D, and the like.

Before we engage new acquaintances in conversation, we give them a little time to take in the view of the entire room and all that it appears to offer. On their left they’ll scan the multi-tasking wall, starting with a sliding door coat closet, then firewood cubbies with pull-out kindling bins below, and then the audio-video center. Beyond that cozy woodstove is a full-height tape storage cabinet, squeezed into the available wall depth. From there they’ll see into the kitchen.

Looking to the right, they may feel a little wowed by the colorful 16-foot trophy cabinet, lit with florescent lamps hidden by a plastic diffuser. Equally colorful are the books on the storage cabinets, whose slanted front serves as a backrest for the couch sitters. There is enough space here for all our historic material (dog magazines, articles, photographs, etc.). The couches are an example of multi-functionality: they pull out to twin bed size, sliding on tracks of aluminum angle molding. That’s also a good example of sociability.

The area adjoining the seating is lit by a 10-foot thermal window with a view of the dogs in seven runs and fields. We can control the western sun by pulling the pleated cloth shades. Note: Visibility. There is dining, expandable to seat eight or more, with a skylight above that also lights the built-in 10-foot workstation. The gallery on the wall above it is filled with show pictures, mostly of recent show winners.

Up ahead, dominating the work area, is the minor surgery counter with drawers and base cabinets. We can plug tools into the quadruple plug mounted within reach. The switch on it works the 350-watt old-school lamp overhead. On social occasions it holds a 30-cup urn and doubles as a buffet. Note: Versatility.

On the left is the door to the whelping room; to the right are full-height cabinets also accessible from the bathroom. They hold essential supplies within reach of the “surgeon’s” arm. Note: Accessability. The door to the bathroom, not visible on the photo, is a Dutch door because we want to supervise any dog drying in the bathroom.

At the very end of the room is the medical stainless steel sink with lever valves, a goose-neck faucet, and a ceramic tile counter and splash; a full-height sliding door medicine cabinet is above. The 8-foot hospital doors lead into the heated/cooled middle room. The right half stays closed with a dead bolt in the concrete floor and is opened only for hosing or other special purposes. The row of florescent lights behind the 15-inch valence spans the entire width of the room. (The valences themselves are two 2×8” cedar planks mounted to the wall with an angle bracket.)

See more: Introduction | History | Philosophy | Whelping Room | The Farm