Decorating & Design

September 5, 2013

PEI Island Sights

Whenever I visit Prince Edward Island (which is as often as possible), I always return with plenty of inspiration and hundreds of photos. This weekend was no exception. Often it’s the simplest things that can launch a million ideas.

I snapped this shot of a fishing hut at Covehead Harbour. I never miss a chance to wander around a wharf or two while I’m on the island. The names of the working fishing boats, the painted graphics and the fishing huts always fascinate me. Many of the huts are clad in simple weathered cedar shingles with the most basic windows and doors. I thought this one was a lovely exception with its black-painted cladding and cheerful turquoise door and trim — and even a stained glass window!

This photo of an old wooden boat tied to the dock at Red Head Harbour is a lesson in colour blocking – grey, yellow, red, white, aqua. It’s the scheme for a cottage right there (In fact, probably the reason I like it so much is that it is largely the scheme of our cottage!). I also love how the old beaten converse sneakers are placed just so on the deck as if I had styled them myself, which I swear I did not!

Bayberry shrubs thrive in the sandy coastal soil and somehow weather the salt air and constant winds. I’d love to plant a bunch of these around our cottage to create a hedge. Bayberry has the most divine scent. I like to brush the leaves or gather some and crush them in my hand on the way to the beach and then inhale deeply. The silvery grey berries offer pretty texture and colour contrast to the long glossy leaves. I often think how wonderful it would be to create a custom perfume or scented candle of bayberry, wild rose, thyme and seaweed — all scents that transport me instantly to P.E.I.

This, if you can believe it, is just a tiny section of sand on Lakeside beach. I think the pattern and tones are so beautiful. I imagine it as a linen or velvet fabric. Or if you increased the scale it would make an amazing wallpaper, don’t you think?

Last but not least is my favourite find of the journey. I picked up this 1950s pure wool blanket in the official tartan of Prince Edward Island at Waterview Antiques, a lovely home-based shop just outside Brudenell. The shop is listed on the P.E.I. Antiques Trail map, but be forewarned: proprietors Darryl and Laura Fraser are retiring after next summer, so get there fast. This piece is extra special to me because I am a collector of tartan blankets and in over 15 years of collecting I had not yet found one in P.E.I. tartan. As a bonus, the blanket has its original label in place so I know it was made right on the island by Condon’s Woolen Mills, which operated in Charlottetown until 1989.

Photo credits:
1-5. Margot Austin