Lauren & Stephen

These historical collectors let us inside their Edwardian home with Snapple & Andy

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style Team

 

Lauren & Stephen outside with Andy & Snapple

This creative Toronto couple found their perfect pair in a rescue and a foster who became their forever dogs. Stepping into their West End Edwardian home, we see every corner steeped in their personal style: a mix of antiques, greenery, and uniquely cozy spots for their pooches to perch and relax on.

Thanks for sitting down with us. Can you tell us a bit about your professional lives?

Lauren: I’m a product designer at Format.com, a tool for creative people like photographers and artists to build their own portfolio website. I consider myself extremely lucky to have a challenging job, doing interesting work, in a company of truly awesome people. One of the great perks of working at a tech company is that the dogs can come in to the office every day. They each have their own bed and water dish under my desk, and get spoiled rotten all day by my co-workers.

Stephen: I’m the Senior Editor at Exclaim! Magazine, where I edit all reviews, help decide which artists to cover and contribute my own features, interviews and reviews. It’s a perfect mix of my passions (Music! Records! Concerts!) and my peculiarities (Grammar! Spelling! Perfectionism!).

tiny dog in dog bed

How did your two pups and their personalities come into your life?

Lauren: I had wanted a dog forever, but it was important to me to adopt a rescue instead of buying from a breeder. I finally found my dream dog in a scruffy little mutt named Snapple: small, wispy-haired, shy at first but very loyal once trust is established… basically, me in dog-form.

Andy is a Chihuahua from Texas that we fostered through Save Our Scruff Rehome & Rescue. Just a week into our foster period, we decided we couldn’t let him go, and he became a permanent part of the family. He also happens to be more like Steve: boundlessly energetic, social and sometimes mischievous.

tiny dog strolls around the bedroom

What does your ideal weekend look like?

We usually start the perfect weekend by stopping at our local café, Cherry Bomb, where (if we’re lucky) we hope to snag some ever-elusive jalapeno and cheddar croissants to have with our coffees. Then, we take the dogs for a walk around Parkdale and Roncesvalles to check out the antiques stores and boutiques. If it’s nice out, we might end up at High Park or Sunnyside Beach, where the dogs can enjoy some off-leash time chasing squirrels (and each other). After we head home for dinner, we’ll often have friends over for drinks and board games, or maybe head to a show.

How would you each describe your personal style?

Stephen: I’m a pretty classic dresser. I’ll wear a blue button-up most days with either jeans or khakis and a pullover sweater or cardigan. On warm days, I’ll wear boat shoes; when it’s cooler, oxfords.

Lauren: My favorite things to wear are simple and cozy. My everyday uniform is a drapey sweater in a neutral colour, high-waisted skinny jeans in black, with Chelsea boots. I also love jewelry, and store my collection in an old typesetter’s tray so I can see it all at once.

What inspires you?

Lauren: I’m a big collector, and I’ve got a soft spot for anything that’s historical or handmade. I’ll go to a museum and stare at broken pottery fragments indefinitely. Maybe it’s because I’m a designer myself, but I love to think about all the decisions that go into making an object, and the story it tells about the time and place it was created.

Stephen: I’m very detail-oriented, so I’m often inspired by the small ways people interact. A look exchanged in a film, a line in a novel or just the right chord change in a song can send shivers down my spine, and I have to share it.

Unique artsy bull skull

Let’s talk about your (very Instagramable) home. How did you build the aesthetic?

Our house was built in 1908, and we’ve tried to preserve some of the Edwardian character. Every room is furnished mostly with antiques, and we even have a few century-old pieces: our upright piano and claw-foot stool, my great-grandmother’s steamer trunk, and our Victrola phonograph — which still works! That said, we’ve also tried to weave in more modern pieces and bits of greenery so that our house doesn’t look like a time capsule.

Finally, for the dogs, is it friendship or fighting?

Our dogs aren’t allowed on our bed, so their favorite place in the house in on the pull-out couch in the basement. As soon as either one of us steps toward the stairs, Snapple and Andy will peel off ahead to get there first. Andy always burrows under the blankets until he’s fully hidden, and Snapple will perch on top of the highest point of the pile.

We always say that the dogs have a big brother/little brother relationship. Andy will often pester Snapple by running up behind him when he’s not expecting it, or by stealing his toys out from under him. Snapple tends to just ignore the antics until he can’t take it any more, and growls in protest. Despite this, we sometimes catch them snuggled up in the same bed and we know they secretly love each other.