Paul Barbera’s House Cats

Article | Issue: Nov 2023

Love stylish interior design and also have passion for furry felines? Then you might love House Cat by PAUL BARBERA. In this extract we meet Monty and Punk.


This is not a book about cats. Nor is it a book on interiors. It is somewhere in-between: a look at how cats and interiors interact, and how cats become a fundamental part of the home. House Cat introduces us to 50 feline residents and offers a fascinating insight into their luxurious lives.

Where They Purr was my first iteration of this theme. I shot it in Australia in between lockdowns, before returning to New York, which has been my home for over a decade. When I got back to the States, it felt natural to celebrate US cats. After all, why should they miss out?

I learned a lot shooting the first book. The elusive and seriously aloof nature of cats can make them difficult subjects. I was keen to shoot more cute details this time around, which required getting close up. Luckily I am very, very patient. I just took my time and let them come to me, which enabled meto capture more of the intricacies of their personalities.






Monty and Punk work in tandem to obliterate even the suggestion of dullness from their owner’s life. When they are not flying around the house wrestling, the one-year-old Maine Coon brothers take turns in an array of shenanigans, including unzipping makeup bags in search of hair ties to destroy or carrying around, and even sleeping, with silk hangers as if they were a bone – and the cats dogs! They have learned yoga poses from their owner’s classes but apparently slept through their own lessons on not destroying the Jean Royère furniture. However, the most impressive of their tricks is an ability to, without warning, become peaceful and loving as if seconds before they hadn’t been typhoons.

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The cats live in a 1920s baroque building, complete with gargoyles and a large English garden that safeguards their apartment from the furore of New York City. Besides original tiles in the bathrooms and a functioning wood fireplace, the home leans towards a clean and classical modern aesthetic, with carefully placed bursts of the eclectic and unique personality of the cats’ designer owner. Unusual sculptural pieces, ample paintings – by the likes of John Koga and Eddie Martinez – and authorial furnishing from collaborations with Ann Sacks, The Rug Company and Savoir Beds add vibrant colour to the black-and-white walls and floors.


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Deliberate mismatching evades trends and tropes in an always surprising, room-at-large harmony that goes beyond simple groupings. Nothing better than two unpredictable cats to tie it all together.


Devoted friends, with a supermodel’s swag.

Decidedly extroverts, though their social needs begin and end with their owner.

Yes, and they ignore the very spacious custom mattress to sleep right on top of the human.

Kittens, literally, but no sign of it going away any time soon.

Explorers in the kingdom of their own home.

Extremely lazy and extremely active, as they please.

Never met one

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Paul Barber author photographerPaul Barbera is an Australian-born, New York-based lifestyle and interiors photographer. He has shot the studios and homes of architects, designers and artists around the world, from Tadao Ando and Kengo Kuma to Jonathan Adler and Massimo Vitali. Employing a minimalist approach, Paul shoots in natural light and avoids complicated technical arrangements to capture emotional honesty in his subjects.

Regularly commissioned throughout the US, Asia and Europe, Paul’s work has been published in high-end publications such as Vogue Living, Bon Appetit, New Yorker, Martha Stuart and Elle Decor. He is the author of Where they Create and Where they Purr.

Visit Paul Barbera’s website

Author: Paul Barbera

Category: The arts

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Thames & Hudson Aust

ISBN: 9781760763008

RRP: $49.99

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