Posts Tagged ‘England’

Bulldog couture: Upholsterer Joanna Mac on a new breed of interior design

British bulldogs. Singer Adele’s got one, Winston Churchill resembled one (allegedly!) and they have been popularly used to represent England and the UK for years. Now bulldogs are all over the most stylish of interiors.


Joanna Mac is an upholsterer whose English bulldogs are her inspiration. She sources elegant chairs for her clients and creates one-off pieces featuring one of her own mighty pooches, Watson, as her muse. Joanna says, “My dogs Watson and Rosy are hilarious and make me laugh every day. Their faces are so full of expression – what’s not to love?! I think that’s why bulldogs are so popular at the moment in interiors – they have such hugely expressive faces.”

Joanna Mac's bulldog Watson is the inspiration for her cute designs

Joanna Mac’s bulldog Watson is the inspiration for her cute designs

To Joanna, it seemed like the perfect solution to include Watson and Rosy in her work, as they “will do anything to make sure they are the centre of the universe – they are both such attention seekers!” She’s had a great response already to her designs and, as each one is unique, her clients are delighted to own a piece that cannot be found anywhere else.

When it comes to incorporating dog-inspired furnishings into your home, Joanna suggests you choose one or two key pieces. “Try not to overdo it,” she advises. “A chair and/or a cushion is plenty enough for one room and will allow your dog-inspired pieces to take centre stage.”

Of course, it’s not just we humans who can appreciate bespoke furniture. “I’ve been working on a footstool – but this one’s actually for my bulldogs,” Joanna explains. “They like to be able to see out of the window and watch the world go by but, as they are quite short, I re-upholstered one for them to sit on. They absolutely love it.”

One of Joanna’s Watson chairs retails for approximately £150 and you can arrange collection of your bespoke bulldog chair in just four to six weeks – and they make a fabulous gift. Based in south-west London, Joanna can be contacted via email at

Although Joanna doesn’t usually create pieces featuring her clients’ own pets – she has to be careful with the images she uses, as quality is paramount – we’re delighted that she’s extended her services to all Mighty Pooch clients. Simply send Joanna one of your professional photographs from your MP photoshoot and she will create a unique piece featuring your own canine chum.

Drop Joanna a line:

Coming soon to The Mighty Pooch blog: Bulldog couture part 2!

Words: Aislinn Kelly

Disneyland for patterdale terriers: a foolish thought

I have something to confess: I thought that, when we visited the village of Patterdale in the Lake District (where patterdales originated), it would be like Disneyland for patterdale terrier owners. I really did. So Michael and I booked a weekend in a cosy dog-friendly inn and took Bruce, our patterdale mix, on holiday to see the sights.

patterdale sign

Michael and Bruce in Patterdale


On the journey, I imagined patterdales of all shapes and sizes dragging their owners down the main street of the village, the tips of their ears meeting on the top of their heads from sheer determination to reach the next bottom for a sniff.

I was convinced I’d see ridiculous people wearing patterdale dog costumes beckoning us into dog-friendly shops, where rows of patterdale paraphernalia would gleam on the shelves. Stuff you’d never need but somehow have to have. Pat the patterdale mascot would wave at us across the street and urge us to enter a Ripley’s weird and wonderful museum of all things patterdale.

I pictured myself spoilt for choice in the bijou gift shops, as I debated over an Abigail Ahern-esque patterdale lamp and a large white candle carved into the shape of my favourite breed, before deciding there was definitely room in my life for both. If the worst came to the worst, I thought, I would settle for one of those bizarre mugs where the head and tail wrap around the mug to make a handle. Maybe even a fridge magnet.

I just knew Bruce would love Patterdale too. A village full of Bruce lookalikes. He could have a good sniff, investigate lamp posts sprinkled with genuine patterdale pee and make important comparisons. He could maybe learn a thing or two from some of the more polite patterdales walking the main strip.

Michael and Bruce enjoy the beautiful scenery at Ullswater

Michael and Bruce enjoy the beautiful scenery at Ullswater

I could be terribly proud of Bruce’s coat and how shiny it is. I could talk to other crazy dog ladies about the little tricks and characteristics of the breed and the individual personalities of our little friends. I would be in patterdale heaven.

Or so I thought. In reality, I went to Patterdale and I didn’t even come back with a ‘lousy t-shirt’. As pretty a village as it is (and it really is!), nestled in the glorious scenery of the Lake District, all I could find to bring home was the Patterdale village sign. And as that seemed to be stuck fast in the ground, I had to settle for a photo of that.

Disneyland for patterdales … what was I thinking?!

Final, more serious note: Despite the lack of patterdale gift shops etc. etc., we’ll definitely be back to the area. What a beautiful part of the world – highly recommended for a relaxing, scenic holiday with plenty of great walks for dogs.

Words: Aislinn Kelly

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