In their latest book, Magali Elali and partner Bart Kiggen—the couple behind studio Coffeeklatch and Greenterior—ventured behind the closed doors of creatives who share their much-adored abodes with their much-adored pets. Wild at Heart is a medley of touching interviews and tickling anecdotes alongside photography that flaunts sometimes eclectic, often cosy homes. We spoke to Elali about what she learned along the way. This is what she had to say.
A home without a pet is like a home without a soul. Animals breathe joy and life into a space. If you look closely, the homes featured in this book aren’t pristine nor messy; they are well lived-in and reflect a particular lifestyle. A lifestyle where animals and people live in harmony, and pets can roam freely around the house, where running and playing is allowed without breaking or bumping into precious furniture. Living with pets is like living with children—you have to teach them the house rules and let it go when things go wrong. Living with pets is a process. It’s a game of trial and error. It’s messy and never perfect.
When you come home after a stressful day, nothing beats that feeling of being welcomed by a pet. I think their enthusiasm and energy soothes you and lifts you up, and that feeling definitely boosts your level of creativity. A pet certainly makes you think outside the box—it gives you a different perspective. The best ideas come to mind when stroking a pet. And pets are an interesting topic in interviews with creatives because it catches people off-guard. No matter who you talk to, the conversation’s serious tone immediately changes. When you talk about animals, people smile, and they start sharing small, funny anecdotes.
Bart [Kiggen] and I both grew up with pets in the house. We had dogs, cats, chickens, parrots, and rabbits in the countryside and the city. When we moved in together, we decided to take in one cat, but one cat became five and now we’re planning on taking a dog, a Kooikerhondje, just like An and Jeroen from the book. We also want chickens on the roof. As a family, I can’t imagine living without pets.
All images courtesy of Bart Kiggen and Magali Elali
You can buy a copy of Wild at Heart here
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. We are currently raising funds to finance all original content, to launch the collection with London and New York, and to get tails wagging for more cities to come. You can support the project here.
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