Do You Know About The Dog Trot?

No, this isn’t a post about a new dance move.  I think twerking is still terrifying most of us well into Wednesday.  A dog trot is a little known house style that I happen to be in love with.

The first time I was ever in a dog trot style house was in Hawaii when I was working a catering gig at a private home in Honolulu.  The house had a large entry that opened onto a long, wide hallway that looked all the way through to the lanai out back and the ocean beyond.  To the left and right of the large hallway, were the kitchen, dining room, bathroom and office.  A set of stairs led to the bedrooms.  Because this house was water front, I loved that you could see the ocean from the moment you walked in the house.

Many people don’t know that despite it’s mainly tropical environment, many homes in Hawaii don’t have central AC.  Smart architects and builders have for years built homes that make good use of Hawaii’s signature trade winds to cool a house naturally.  It turns out that folks in the south did the same in years before electricity and air conditioning and homes with this style there were referred to as “dog trots” because you would often find the family dog laying in the hallway where it was cool.

A couple of years ago Southern Living featured a dog trot in style house in South Carolina and that’s when I first learned the term.  To me this house is everything, and ever since I read that article I have been obsessed with one day building a similar house.

Today on Hooked on Houses, Julia featured a kitchen redo in East Texas from Kim who blogs at Living Vintage.  I love what’s she’s done to her 1800’s dog trot, don’t you? Anyway, it inspired me to share with you my version of the dog trot.  Who knows what the future will bring, but in my dreams it brings me this.


The house is about 2,500 sq. ft. but since it’s all on one level and there’s only two bathrooms and two floor types, I think it’s an “easy 2,500 sq. ft.”  Here’s an aerial 2D shot.


I created this “dream” in floor planner and as you can hopefully see, a set of stairs leads to a wrap around porch and the front entry which is two, large bi-fold doors.  A circular dining table in the center hall acts as both a formal dining room and a great place to play cards or sit with a visiting neighbor.  Behind it, on the way to the back porch is a sitting area with a fireplace.

The right hand side of the house is where you’ll find the guest bath/powder room, a mud room that leads to the side porch and the garage, as well the kitchen and main living room. This entire “side” would be tiled for less wear and tear and easy maintenance.  The rest of the house would be hardwood.

The left hand side of the house contains the two bedrooms separated by the master bath and walk-in closet.  Each bedroom is good-sized and the master bath features a separate tub and shower and double sinks.

The back patio features a screened in eating area as well a lounge area and hot tub.

Are you ready to move in?

In the current world of “open concept” obsession, I wish more people would consider this style.  While many of the ones you see are more traditional, I have seen some modern interpretations as well.  Here’s a link to many different versions.

Have you ever seen a dog trot house?  Do you love them?  If not, what style blows your skirt up?  There’s so many to choose from!