If you thought that pets and beautiful interiors couldn’t be happy bedfellows, think again. In our extract from Susanna Salk’s new book ‘At Home in the English Countryside: Designers and their Dogs’, some of Britain’s most celebrated designers show how their own homes just wouldn’t be the same without their beloved pets
INTERIOR DESIGNER CARLOS SÁNCHEZ-GARCÍA‘S WHIPPETS TRISTAN AND THEODORA IN THE GARDEN OF THE NORTH NORFOLK HOME HE SHARES WITH HIS PARTNER MICHAEL NEWMAN. “AS WE OPENED THE DOOR, THEODORA AND TRISTAN RAN WILD UP AND DOWN. THAT’S WHEN MICHAEL AND I KNEW THE HOUSE WAS MEANT TO BE OURS”, SAYS CARLOS. “THE DOGS ARE PART OF OUR LIFE HERE AND USE EVERY PART OF THE HOUSE JUST AS WE DO. IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY?” IMAGE: STACEY BEWKES
“Dogs seem to be an integral part of design—after all, they come in the most incredible designs themselves. And, much like creating a room, sometimes the most surprising mixture delivers the most interesting result.” Legendary interior designer Nina Campbell’s foreword to Susanna Salk’s beautiful new book At Home in the English Countryside: Designers and their Dogs really sums up why, if you’re keen on them, dogs really make a house a home.
Susanna and photographer Stacey Bewkes visited the British country homes of 18 esteemed designers and show that far from having stuffy show houses, they were always comfortable and welcoming. After all, little could make you feel more relaxed when you walk into a room than seeing a dog nonchalently sprawled on a sofa. Here, we share some of our favourite designers’ homes from the book, which would be nothing without their beloved pets.
ANTIQUE DEALER, INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FURNITURE MAKER MAX ROLLITT WITH HIS PARSONS RUSSELL TERRIER, BEANO, AND GINNY THE ENGLISH POINTER AT THE HAMPSHIRE HOME HE SHARES WITH WIFE JANE, THEIR FOUR SONS, SUSHI THE CAT AND TWO PIGS NAMED BETSEY AND MADAME WHITEBOOTS. “MY TIP REGARDING DOGS IS TO TRAIN THEM FROM AN EARLY AGE,” ADVISES MAX. “BEANO HAS CALMED DOWN A LOT IN HIS MIDDLE AGE, BUT AS A YOUNG JACK RUSSELL WITH A MIND OF HIS OWN HE CAUSED US MANY ANGST-FILLED HOURS.” IMAGE: STACEY BEWKES
IMPY, PIXIE AND RUPERT, THREE OF INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FIRMDALE HOTELS CO-OWNER KIT KEMP‘S FIVE CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS IN THE SHEPHERD’S HUT IN THE GARDEN AT HER NEW FOREST HOME WHERE SHE LIVES WITH HUSBAND AND BUSINESS PARTNER, TIM. THE SHEPHERD’S HUT WAS HAND-PAINTED BY DECORATIVE ARTIST MELISSA WHITE. “I DON’T THINK HOMES SHOULD BE TOO TAILORED,” SAYS KIT. “A HOME SHOULD TELL A STORY ABOUT WHO LIVES THERE, AND THAT IS WHAT OURS IS LIKE.” IMAGE: STACEY BEWKES
ABBIE THE BLACK LABRADOR AND PETAL THE JACK RUSSELL RELAX IN THE LIBRARY AT THE WELSH COUNTRY HOME OF INTERIOR AND TEXTILE DESIGNER PENNY MORRISON AND HER HUSBAND, GUY. PENNY HAS LOVINGLY RESTORED THE REGENCY-STYLE HOUSE OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS AND HER FABRICS CAN BE SEEN THROUGHOUT. THE COUPLE ALSO HAVE A GOLDEN LABRADOR CALLED GOBI AND LOVE TO WALK THEM THROUGH THEIR GARDEN. “THERE’S NOTHING MORE SATISFYING THAN WALKING UP TO THE GARDENS ON A SUMMER’S EVENING, SELECTING WHAT LOOKS BEST, AND THEN DECIDING WHAT TO COOK FOR DINNER.” IMAGE: STACEY BEWKES
EDWARD BULMER, INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FOUNDER OF EDWARD BULMER NATURAL PAINT, WITH MOLLY THE BEDLINGTON LURCHER CROSS AND LENNY THE MINIATURE SMOOTH-HAIRED DACHSHUND AT THE HEREFORDSHIRE HOME HE SHARES WITH HIS WIFE AND BUSINESS PARTNER, EMMA. “WE HAVE REMODELLED IT CONSIDERABLY TO BE A WARM, PRACTICAL HOME FOR OUR THREE DAUGHTERS, TWO DOGS AND A CAT,” SAYS EMMA. “AFTER ALL, HOW CAN YOU HAVE A PROPER COUNTRY HOUSE WITHOUT DOGS?” ASKS EDWARD. IMAGE: STACEY BEWKES
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