Laying low with Annick and Nate
Laying low is a celebration of dogs and the ones that welcome them in. From beachside bungalows to architectural masterpieces, we experience firsthand how the presence of a dog can make a house a home.
Annick Mayer is an Executive Producer at Butter Music & Sound in Venice, CA. Her husband, Nate Ripp, is an Art Director at 72AndSunny. With both of them now working from their mid-century modern home, we catch a rare glimpse of what life looks like for these LA creatives and their two sweet and quirky furry friends.
At a glance
Name: Roy | Breed: Rhodesian Ridgeback | Age: 5 years old
Name: Rue | Breed: Formosan Mountain | Age: 6 years
How would you describe Roy and Rue’s personalities?
Roy is gentle, goofy, and lazy. He loves lounging and eating and is really great at being cuddled (until he sees a cat…and then he turns into a total monster). Rue is the protective boss.
She is very vocal about what she wants and is only snuggly on her terms. But it can also turn into total ham when she abandons her self-imposed "guard duty." She is very loyal and always concerned with what/how we are doing.
Tell us about the first time you brought your dogs home?
We found Rue the first year we moved to California from New York. We had met someone with a Formosan Mountain Dog (aka Taiwanese Mountain Dog) walking around in our new neighborhood and immediately got the info for the rescue where that pup came from.
She was the size and energy level for what we were looking for (medium size, athletic dog). Rue was rescued from living in a parking lot in Taiwan by amazing volunteers who flew with her to the states.
She was very apprehensive at first but watched movies with us on the couch, paw in hand (her favorite) in no time. Nate has wanted a Ridgeback since he was a kid… but finding a rescue Ridgeback puppy was a tall order. Low and behold, we found Roy after months of searching, and a year after getting Rue, Roy joined the family.
Rue quickly showed him the ropes and, of course, taught him that he answered to her. They have been best friends ever since.
What sort of energy does your dog bring to your home?
We joke that Roy is an energy vampire. He is so sweet and snuggly that once you lay down with him, chances are you are sucked in for a while. Rue is always by our side, guarding a window or door, and only relaxes at night once we have all settled into the couch.
They are the best thing to come home to, greeting us with violently wagging tails. They bring an insane amount of cuteness and entertainment into our lives and comfort, especially if one of us is traveling.
Describe your dogs’ favorite spot to hang out and sleep at night.
Roy sleeps in our bed during the day, where he can be on the lookout for any pesky cats that dare cross our street. Rue hangs out on the couch…and since we have been working from home, she curls up at the feet where we work. Rue sleeps with us at night, and Roy sleeps in his crate, which we refer to as Roy's apartment since it's so big. It's his own little cave, and he loves it.
Describe your style.
Nate and I have some overlapping styles but also some differing tastes. Mine is more eclectic, and Nate's is more about clean symmetry and systems. Together we have a good balance of both - resulting in bright, clean, yet inviting spaces. Our design influences are a mixture of Californian Mid-Century with Japanese simplicity…. and some Southwestern textures and colors peppered in there.
Describe your home.
Our house is a mid-century modern split level that we bought and fixed up in 2016. The ceiling height and clerestory windows are my favorite feature. They are a large part of what made us pull the trigger on homeownership.
It's an open layout with lots of bright natural light. We cook a lot, so the kitchen is where many "hanging out" happens. As soon as I start chopping vegetables, Roy comes running. Broccoli, kale, and cabbage are his faves.
If dogs and owners supposedly "look the same," does this reflect in the home design as well?
I think there is some truth to that. If we photograph Roy in our kitchen, he pretty much camouflages into the walnut cabinetry. They both also blend into a lot of our choices in bed linens.
What factors do you consider when buying pet supplies?
Our focus with their food and treats has always been simple food without weird ingredients…which is basically how we eat. They are very spoiled when it comes to food. We rarely buy them toys because they immediately tear them to shreds/I don’t like the waste for environmental reasons…they are happier chasing squirrels in the backyard anyway!
What has been the hardest part of owning a dog when it comes to products and/or maintenance? Any tips?
Navigating your pets' health can be frustrating. Without them being able to say, "Hey, my stomach hurts," it feels like a guessing game.
We finally found a new vet through a friend who immediately thought he might have a thyroid issue. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after a blood test, and now he is on medication twice a day. It has made a huge difference in his energy level and helped him maintain a healthy weight.
If you don't feel your vet is listening (and, in our case, cared more about billing numbers than helping your animals), ask around and find a vet that that other people love. The difference can sometimes be life-saving and, if anything, put your mind at ease.