BRUNO & TOBY

BREED: Labradoodles
ARCHITECT: McIntosh Harris

Describe your dogs.

Bruno & Toby are litter brothers and inseparable. They are 11 years old but age defying. They still chase each other around like pups and often sleep curled into the same bed together.

Bruno is chocolate and very loving, anxious to please, and extremely clingy with his human. A pair of dark brown eyes follows my every move and he's happiest when he's within cuddling range. My children think he needs counselling. He's terrified of loud noises, so we dread Guy Fawkes. Bruno is tennis ball obsessed and greets every visitor with a slobbery ball in his mouth as a sign of welcome.

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RONDO (RONNIE)

BREED:  Golden Labrador
ARCHITECT: Original architect GUILFORD BELL, restored by SJB in 2007.

Describe your dog.

Ronnie is a playful, friendly, excitable and smelly dog, who loves a cuddle and a wrestle.
He is also very loyal and companionable but his love is easily won over by anyone who gives him food or takes him on a walk.

Describe your home.

Our home is very relaxed and was built with hard wearing surfaces in mind… which is lucky given all the balls that get thrown around inside when the 4 kids (and husband) play.
The interior tends to reflect the beautiful natural colours of the landscape but because vibrant colours make me happy I have incorporated lots of colour in the artworks. The house has a beautiful open entertaining areas but also cosy areas to get away from it all. 

What sort of vibe does your dog bring to your home?

Rondo provides a relaxed, fun energy around the home. He is often found lazing in the sunshine or sleeping on my son’s bed but the offer of a walk sends him running around in circles with excitement.  He likes to invite us to play with him by greeting us with a toy or stick in his mouth.  He really brings the whole family together… we collectively admire his cute antics…  or whine about his annoying habits… stealing socks to name just one!

Was your dog considered in any of the design, layout, or choice of finishes for your home?

Not really but if the back lawn fails to recover I am threatening to replace it with fake grass in the future.

Whats your dogs favourite hanging out spot?

Definitely our son’s bed! 

If dogs and their owners are supposed to look the same, does this reflect in the design of your home as well?

Maybe… both the house and dog are never as well “groomed” as I would like them to be. Ronnie’s hair is a constant feature around the house and on the furniture!

Left Artist: John Coburn
Right Artist: Del Kathryn Barton

What makes your dog unique?

Ronnie has a love for little soft toys, and he usually has a favourite that he will carry around the house in his mouth everywhere he goes, like it is his own little pet. Inevitably however they are all doomed to the same fate and end up as tufts of fluff.

Rondo is simultaneously protective and cowardly. He gets very protective when a neighbour’s cat approaches our home and makes a big show of barking at it from behind the glass windows but if ever actually face–to-face with the cat, Ronnie is quick to sprint away.

How did you choose your dogs name?

We got our dog when he was a 1 year old, and he was already named Ronnie.  We thought Rondo had a better ring to it.  Nowadays it’s ‘Ronnie’ most of the time but ‘Rondo’ when he is being naughty. 

Ronnie was one of the ‘R’ batch of puppies bred by the Seeing Eye Dog Association. He was officially rejected at the 12month assessment because he has a small cataract in one eye but we think the real reason he didn’t make the grade is because he is so easily distracted by food!


If your dog said something about the house, what would it be? 

“I love living so close to the dog beach and you’ll know where to find me when I wander off.”

Artist: Emily Floyd

Any other fun stories to share?

Rondo is the celebrity in the family, having moved into the entertainment industry as an actor and a model. He has starred in several episodes of the TV series Pooches At Play (where he is known as big Ron) and has even had his photo in the local paper modelling a dog friendly caravan! 

Artist: Craig Waddell

STUDIO DOG: PONCHO

BREED: Chocolate Labrador
STUDIO: Pampa

Describe your dog.

Poncho is a 2 year old chocolate Labrador who loves nothing more than food and chasing his frisbee at the beach. He is the most cuddly and intuitive dog we have ever had. He has an on/off switch where he can lay around all day snoring like a little piglet, but once you give him the play signal he comes to life in an instant.

Describe your studio.

Our studio and showroom is in Byron Bay’s Arts & Industry Estate. It has an open floor plan where the showroom is on the ground level, and our studio is on the mezzanine.

Floors and walls are all painted an off white and the shelving, counter and tables are constructed from solid plywood. We wanted to have a simple showroom fit out, to let our products pop and do the talking. It’s full with cactus and terracotta pots inspired in our South American roots.

How did you choose your dog’s name?

The name Poncho came from our need to stay connected with Latin America, and our love for woven goods such as Ponchos. It is also a word that is pronounced the same in English and Spanish. The name is prefect for our cozy bear! Sometimes in the studio we call him Mr Ponchi-P.


What sort of energy does your dog bring to your studio?

He definitely takes the seriousness out of stressful moments. If it’s all getting a little too much we just play with him for 5 minutes and the day instantly brightens up. Now he is a little older he just takes it easy all day, but in the early days he was a real handful and we couldn’t take our eyes off him.

What is your dog’s favourite lounging spot, furniture, or room?

Underneath the desk near our feet. We genuinely think he loves coming to work with us - it’s part of his routine.


If dogs and their owners are supposed to look the same, does this reflect in the design of your business or studio?

I guess it does a little, the colour palette of the woven products in our showroom are mostly natural in tones. The brown wool used in our rugs is almost a perfect match with Poncho’s chocolate brown fur, he almost gets lost in those rugs.


How do you think the presence of a dog alters the studio atmosphere?

It is a definite ice breaker, people usually are much more relaxed and up for a chat as soon as Poncho shows his face. Byron Bay being a holiday town means we get a lot of people pop in who are missing their dogs at home, so Poncho gets plenty of affection from others and not just us.

 Any other fun stories to share?

One day, we left him at home while we went to work (he was around 6 months old) and when we arrived home at the end of the day, he had destroyed a big basket full of toilet paper. The chewed up paper rolls were all over the house. He gave us a look of, I know this is bad, but what are you going to do about it. I remember laughing instead of getting angry because it was obvious that he didn’t like staying at home by himself.
Since then we take him to work almost every day, although he has thankfully grown out of this habit now.