The Residence Of Nala The Dog
Meet a sweet-natured chocolate kelpie labrador, and the home she calls her own
Breed: Kelpie labrador
Architects: Woods Bagot, Dom Alvaro, David Whitaker, Ciaran Acton
Design and build: Elan Construct
Location: Sydney, Australia
Behind the brick facade of this unassuming home is a 500-square-metre love letter to timber and a chocolate kelpie labrador to match.
Nala, adopted sight unseen, is nearly the exact same colour as the bespoke walnut interiors that surround her.
Her human crafted much of the furniture and joinery for this hat factory-turned-family residence with his own two hands, and there’s a fortunate amount of it, which means Nala can sometimes be hard to spot.
That’s not to say this rescue pup is a wallflower. She’s always happy to get a little silly with her kid siblings, even allowing them to drive her around the house like a wheelbarrow.
Sweet-natured as she is at home, if there’s a ball to chase in the park, she’s an aerial gymnast ready to T-bone a doberman for it.
Walking back into the house after an outside adventure can include a brief pause at the front door for a moment of praise from passers-by — for both Nala and the 2.5m high, grooved-timber entrance accented by a hand-painted ceramic handle.
Inside, her domain is the rooftop terrace. From there she can survey the entire neighbourhood, or try to look through the glass-bottomed pool that doubles as a skylight for the kitchen below.
There’s usually someone cooking or people seated around the triangular bench, a custom shape designed to entice gatherings in this beating heart of the house.
Nala goes down to help by hanging out on the herringbone floor. Her sensitive stomach keeps her from asking for scraps, but if she’s lucky, she’ll return to her palatial lounge in the sky with the bone of a tomahawk steak in tow.
This is an edited extract from 'Resident Dog (Volume 2): Incredible Dogs and the International Homes They Live In' by Nicole England published by Hardie Grant UK $60AU and $65NZ and is available where all good books are sold. Photographer / © Nicole England. Stylist / Natalie James
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