History Of The Dogtrot Foor Plan

What is a dogtrot house?

Dogtrot homes are characterized by the large, open breezeway that runs through the middle of the house, with two separate living areas on either side, all under one roof. A two-room dogtrot cabin on the Belle Meade Plantation outside of Nashville.

Where did dogtrot houses originate?

This style of home is thought to have originated in either the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky or the coastal lowcountry of the Carolinas in the 1800s. Given their functional design, it’s possible the idea was developed in several areas across the South around the same time.

Why do people build dogtrot houses?

Given their functional design, it’s possible the idea was developed in several areas across the South around the same time. Prior to air conditioning or electricity, rural agrarian families in these warm climates built dogtrot houses to take advantage of cross breezes.

How did it get its name?

Historically, dogs loved to sit in the central hallway, because, like their owners, they wanted to catch a break from the summer heat.

Modern Day Dogtrot

Patricia and Geordie Cole, a couple living in the low country of South Carolina, chose to reintroduce the dogtrot floor plan, originally developed centuries ago to accommodate the heat and humidity of the South, in their newly constructed South Carolina home.

Modest in scale and rooted in the history of the Lowcountry, it is an architectural style that reflects the quiet lifestyle the Coles envisioned for themselves. It’s a classic design, updated with all the provisions for modern-day living.

The Front Entrace

Modeled on a traditional dogtrot, the house’s central hall opens to the front and back with large folding doors that replace a traditional front entry to completely open the central hallway.

Dining Room

The dining room is strategically located in the central breezeway for an alfresco experience.


Windows in the kitchen open to the central hallway and reflect original dogtrot architecture.


With a wall of large windows, the kitchen’s breakfast nook is an ideal bird-watching spot.

The Den

The fireplace mantel in the central hallway is a piece of reclaimed cherry found by the builder. The painting on the mantel is by South Carolina artist Linda Rorer.

The Porch

The long, narrow screened porch runs the width of the home and is accessible from the formal living room, the central hallway, and the master bedroom.


Adapted from SouthernLiving.com

By Style Bestie

Super busy mom