Those with dogs at home—or those lucky enough to have friends that do—know how they add spontaneity to a living space. Oftentimes, pups take ownership with their idiosyncrasies and habits, helping to personify the dwelling. Just ask residential photographer and author Nicole England.
"The presence of a dog allows us to see these homes in a completely different way," writes England in the introduction of her new book
Resident Dog: Incredible Homes and the Dogs that Live There published by Thames & Hudson. "Whether they end up in a the final shot or not, dogs can bring vitality, movement, and warmth to sometimes static spaces." Resident Dog: Incredible Homes and the Dogs that Live There
In this stunningly photographed book of architecturally superb houses—many of them architects' own homes—readers see how the presence of a dog brings warmth and life to the most dramatic spaces.
Below, we've highlighted 10 homes and the distinguished doggos that breathe life into static architecture.
The Residence of Skipper the Border Collie
Sensitive and responsive, Skipper has a knack for reading the mood of the household. He is a best friend to everyone: engaging, comforting, and surprising. The Sydney, Australia, house by Handelsmann + Khaw is classic yet contemporary, with an industrial edge. It is designed to provide a calm retreat from busy city life. The family jokes that with his black and white coat, Skipper suits the monochromatic palette of the home.
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.
See a sample The Residence of Cookie the Labradoodle
Cookie has her very own futon to sit on, which she likes placed so she can view all entrances and exits to the house. As long as she can keep an eye on the goings-on of the household, she's content. The house is a worker's cottage dating from the mid-1880s. It has recently been renovated, retaining the original facade but adding a contemporary extension at the rear. Brisbane architects Cavill made the adjustments.
The Residence of Italian Greyhounds Enzo and Carlo
Enzo and Carlo are refined, elegant dogs that are perfectly suited to the understated, sophisticated, and timeless design of this converted warehouse. Every element of the home was designed with the dogs in mind. They even have their own black leather beanbags for sleeping—though they're also partial to crisp, white sheets.
The Residence of Bergie, a Bull Mastiff-Kelpie
Being a big dog in a relatively small space, Bergie's presence is always felt—for better or for worse. He is vigilant in his role as protector, but when not on point duty, he adds a relaxed and calming presence to the home. The kids absolutely adore him. The house is a compact late 19th-century Melbourne terrace. Modern modifications have delivered a pared back, neutral palette, which allows the owners to overhaul the interior design as often as they like.
The Residence of Bruno the Field Spaniel
Bruno is a clever and amiable spaniel in the prime of his life. He has a great capacity for fun and loves car trips and going new places. At home, this lovable guy has managed to negotiate four walks a day—he has an uncanny ability to convey his wishes. The Melbourne Victorian terrace house has undergone several layers of renovations. The most recent work incorporates the owner's desire to create a quiet refuge from busy working life.
The Residence of French Bulldog Stewey
Stewey is sweet, very loving, and extremely cheeky. His favorite game is to steal a cushion, run outside with it, and wait to be chased. He is also an enthusiastic participant in family cuddles, jumping on heads, and nibbling on ears. Architect Austin Maynard designed a clever dog-door system so that there was no need to install one in any of the windows (of which there are many). When family members arrive home they can see Stewey waiting with toy in mouth to present to them as a welcome-home gift.
The Residence of Toy Poodles Ginger and Harry
Ginger and Harry bring fun, joy, and an unpredictable chaos to this otherwise calm Melbourne retreat. Lazing around in the sun, they almost merge into the architecture, while at other times they literally bounce off the walls. Hidden within a secret garden, the house is made up of a series of layered and transparent spaces that allow the outdoor landscape to be enjoyed from every room. The honest palette uses durable, natural materials like brick, concrete, and white-stained timber (all robust enough to withstand young children as well as dogs.)
The Residence of Claire the Kelpie
Having worked most of her life on a sheep farm, Claire is well educated, intelligent, and unfailingly loyal. Now getting on in years and officially retired, she still skips like a pup in the mornings when it's time for a walk. The original Victorian weatherboard facade has been carefully restored, and a modern and spacious two-story timber-clad building added at the back. Travertine floors integrate the internal and external areas.
The Residence of Zara, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Zara is a chilled-out dog who loves belly scratches, food, walks, and sleeping—but most of all she likes to be wherever her humans are. She is great with kids, easy to train, and her beautiful blue coast doesn't shed. Her modest Sydney home is partially surrounded by a brick retaining wall that was built in 1921 to support a community grandstand. Inside, birch ply and burnt-ash timber linings combine with concrete floors and glass openings throughout to create a simple, warm palette.
The Residence of Muddy the Labradoodle
From his vantage point looking out over the park and laneway, Muddy vigilantly surveils the area, protecting his owners from intruding dogs and possums. Muddy's Sydney residence is a pavilion that overlooks the harbor, the interior connecting seamlessly with the garden and surrounding landscape.