BREED: Hungarian Viszla
ARCHITECT: DFJ Architects
Describe your dog.
Ranger is spirited, communicative and friendly. He thinks he’s more human than hound. Still a young dog, he has the energy and swagger of a teenager. He’s quite breathtakingly handsome (well I am biased) and he sits around the place with refined elegance with his silky rust coloured coat, nose high in the air ready to catch any scent that passes by on the hill top breeze.
He loves to be involved in all family activities and as we have 4 children he simply has joined the pack as number 5. Even when sleeping he has one ear slightly raised and an eye partially open to ensure he doesn’t miss out on any activity, no matter how small.
Describe your home.
Our home, The Range Homestead, is an Australian farmhouse with a Spanish influence set amongst the rolling hills of the Byron hinterland. The Range has been built with a conscience for the environment and has many solar passive elements to allow us to tread with a light footprint on the earth. We have many plans to regenerate the land and give back to the earth, much like our other property The Farm at Byron Bay.
The Range is a family home that provides us with a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of town. It has an earthiness with its recycled timbers and soft textures, and radiates a warmth. It is a place where together we can explore nature fishing in the dam, bush walks through the rainforest and cooking over coals on our stone built fire pit and in the wood fired oven.
What sort of energy does your dog bring to your home?
Ranger is only a year old so still has plenty of joyful puppy moments and boundless energy. He’s very upbeat and positive. He greets us with playful abandonment and strangers initially receive a more robust bark followed by sloppy kisses and frenetic tail wagging.
What makes your dog unique?
He has a way of communicating that feels almost human. From the sounds he makes to the way he uses his paw to tell us something. He’s an important part of our family that brings out the love in us all.
Was your dog considered in any of the design, layout, or choice of finishes for your home?
We wanted our home to be a place where the children and Ranger could roam freely from outside and in and for everyone to feel relaxed. We created the house not to be high maintenance and precious. The choices made for finishes were considered with Ranger in mind, like the terracotta floors are a tone of the colour of the earth. On muddy rainy days you can’t really see any paw prints as it all just blends in, these choices all lead to a low maintenance easy way of living.
What’s your dog’s favourite hanging out spot/furniture/room etc?
Ranger loves the textured Tigmi trading rug to sleep on in the main living room, close to the action of the kitchen but also with good viewing out across the valley. This spot is also close by the side door so he can see who’s coming and going as he’s quite nosey and also suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) so this is the perfect spot to make sure he doesn’t miss out on anything.
He is often seen standing on the rock wall looking out and surveying the valley below, eyeing off the wedge tail eagles as they surf the thermals.
Ranger is also partial to the large arched sun bed around the pool courtyard and although not a lap swimmer (he prefers the spring fed damn) he will spend hours watching the kids play in the pool, acting as life guard on duty.
If dogs and their owners are supposed to look the same, does this reflect in the design of your home as well?
Ranger merges beautifully into the aesthetics of the colour palette and design of The Range, particularly with his rust colour coat that sets off the rusty corten steal that is featured in many spaces at The Range. His sleek form is reflected in the house design.
How did you choose your dogs name?
We had already named our property The Range and having 120 acres to keep an eye on, we liked the idea that our new dog could act as a ranger looking out for us and the land, so one night after a couple of red wines his name was born – Ranger of The Range
Ranger is aptly named as he keeps an eye out always protecting, supervising all outdoor areas, patrolling the grounds and making sure other native animals who live on the property are following the rules.
If your dog said something about the house, what would it be?
The Range is a doggy heaven, I have a safe den high on a hill that I camouflage easily into, I have acres to roam and I get to hang with my favourite humans every day.
Any other fun stories to share?
Ranger likes to be with us all the time so it’s hard to leave him behind. We have a long driveway and many times we are just about to leave through the front gate when we catch him in rear view mirror panting out of breath from his driveway sprint to keep up with us. Most times we turn around and take him back to the house and bribe him to stay with a treat but occasionally we can’t resist his face and he gets to jump in the car and come with us. Cheeky boy.
Ranger’s most recent trick is to try and push an extra chair around the dining table at meal times. I wonder who this is for? Might have to start laying an extra place setting!