10 Dreamy Coastal Homes With Relaxed Summer Style
We won’t weigh in on which coast is the best host, but those who have homes on Canada’s beautiful shores are pretty much blessed either way. From a P.E.I. vacation home designed by Sarah Richardson to a modern cottage on B.C.’s Preston Island, click through these charming coastal retreats and let us know: which side is calling your name?
Dubbed the Hawaii of Canada, B.C.’s Pender Island is filled with natural beauty, including ocean views, lush greenery and mountains that dot the horizon. The exterior of designer Carrie McCarthy’s nature-inspired retreat capitalizes on its surroundings, with a patio that takes advantage of sweeping vistas.
The home’s minimalist interior features a restrained white palette and simple but luxurious materials. A Gothic chandelier draws attention to the height of the living room.
Carrie’s compact country kitchen has all the trappings of a modern city home. An oversized burlap tablecloth adds natural color and texture.
A low-profile bed makes this loft bedroom feel laid-back and comfortable. A simple wooden cube serves as a bedside table.
Homeowner Nicholas Lewin never thought he’d end up in the coastal town of Black Harbour in Chester, Nova Scotia. Originally from Montreal, he “thought this was the last place we would want to live,” he says of his family’s deep grey abode. Now, he can’t imagine living anywhere else. “As a family, we’ve become much closer here.”
Drawing on the comfort and ease that comes with living seaside, Nicholas — an architectural designer — opted for beamed, 18′-high ceilings that impart an airy feel in the kitchen.
A wooden dining table adds warmth against polished concrete floors in the dining room, while ample windows and doors can be opened up to let the ocean breeze in.
Floor-to-ceiling shelves provide storage space for the family’s impressive book collection in this guest bedroom. The colorful spines pop against the room’s white envelope.
A striped blue rug punches up the principal bathroom’s white and wood aesthetic with color. An ornate baroque mirror is an unexpected choice.
Surrounded by maples and foxgloves, this vibrant green-fronted getaway on B.C.’s Gambier Island is made up of seven separate buildings connected by walkways. “Arriving at and entering the cottage is an experience — following a pathway around a cabin, with beautiful little outdoor sitting areas along the way,” says the homeowner.
The cabin’s largest building features an open-concept kitchen and living area that’s ideal for entertaining. Orange leather pulls and dark grey piping on the sofa add subtle hits of color and contrast.
A monochromatic palette allowed designer Erin Chow to mix furniture styles. Modern, rustic and traditional pieces all happily coexist in the living room.
In this guest bedroom, an unadorned window set just below the roofline lets plenty of sunlight stream in and keeps the room bright throughout the day.
To make the bathroom feel like an indoor-outdoor space without compromising on privacy, Erin installed a large skylight in place of a roof.
Taking its cue from Cape Cod-style cottages, Kenny and Michelle Gemmill’s Vancouver home has an airy palette and is filled with classic architectural moves like beadboard ceiling and simple moldings. “We’re really drawn to a beachy look and feel. So Cape Cod-style architecture was an inspiration for us,” says Michelle.
In the kitchen, indigo blue lower cabinets pair nicely with clean white uppers and a mod walnut island.
Ample throw pillows make the banquette a cozy spot to linger after a meal, while tall windows keep the area light and bright.
Built-ins maximize storage around the TV in the family room. Yellow throw pillows and a deep blue rug flood the space with color.
A crisp white envelope keeps the principal bedroom serene. A standout light fixture and plush bedding up the luxe factor.
The Gemmill’s pool may be on the smaller side, but it’s become one of their favorite features. “My idea of putting in a pool was met with some disbelief,” says Kenny. “Now everyone thinks it was the greatest idea.”
You would expect that an artist’s home would be filled with color and bold, large-scale artwork, and Bobbie Burgers’ home is no exception. Her home is filled with vibrant patterns and plenty of fun pieces — in the kitchen, chinoiserie plates and a simple bouquet of flowers pop against white cupboards and countertops.
Florals abound in the living room, seen in the painting on the wall, patterned throw pillows and on the coffee table.
A standalone tub placed next to a floor-to-ceiling window creates the feeling of alfresco bathing.
The patio just off the living room is partially shaded by a pergola. Tree branches grown between the slats evoke vineyards in the South of France.
Here is designer Deb Nelson outside The Woodbox, a circa 1844 Georgian Revival in Nova Scotia which is clad in shakes, and has a charming fanlight over the door.
In the historic Chester, Nova Scotia, home, the third-floor bedroom overlooking the Chester harbor is the ideal viewing gallery for Canada’s largest keelboat competition, held in August.
Deb says a high hedge gives her three-storey coastal home privacy. At the same time, “it’s got that secret garden feel, even though it’s right in the middle of town,” she says.
Deb makes regular antiquing trips to Great Village, Nova Scotia. The sculptural whale vertebrae by the fireplace is one of her most cherished finds.
Sculptor and designer Martha Sturdy’s cottage is located on Preston Island, a private enclave overlooking B.C.’s Howe Sound. White leather sofas in the main entertaining space make a clean visual statement and hold up wear and tear from a cottage that can accommodate 18 family members.
When Martha wants something, such as the resin light fixtures in the dining room, she makes it. The orbs are randomly spaced for a playful look and they float like planets above the waterfront view.
Martha continued the minimalist palette in the principal bedroom. The headboard and hollowed-out cube tables she made boast a marbled effect that echoes the surrounding stone.
In P.E.I., designer Sarah Richardson and her team tackle a striking new saltbox perched on the red cliffs of the Northumberland Strait. The living room pulls together the home’s sea-inspired blue and white palette. A soaring ceiling accommodates the two-tiered wrought-iron chandelier.
The dining room in this P.E.I. vacation home designed by Sarah Richardson, with its unadorned glass doors, is all about the view. Vinyl upholstery wipes clean, and the bench can accommodate a crowd of kids.
A pale blue palette and the fresh sea air makes this P.E.I. bedroom designed by Sarah Richardson especially conducive to a tranquil sleep. Dark wood twin headboards, bought at auction for $60, feel light and airy after being transformed with white paint.
There is a real connection to the sea in the glass-walled pavilion at the heart of a modernist vacation home on South Pender Island, in B.C.’s Southern Gulf Islands. Furnishings here are sleek and low-slung, so they don’t block the views. The huge white oak dining table and benches are designed to feel like a modern picnic table.
Natural materials such as stone and wood play a starring role in this South Pender Island retreat, where family and friends gather to watch TV or enjoy a fire in the natural stone fireplace, one of the home’s most impressive architectural features. The dining bench slides into the living area for more seating.
The principal bedroom in this B.C. vacation home is cantilivered and wrapped in windows so it feels like a treehouse nestled in the cedars. A spiky wooden light fixture is a modern take on an antler chandelier. Plush carpeting, linen drapes and cozy bedding in soft, calming shades of grey and taupe balance the industrial austerity of concrete floors.
Despite being a new-build, designer Philip Mitchell’s Chester, Nova Scotia, coach house was designed to look old. Divided windows, an Enviroshake roof that looks like authentic cedar and trim details are true to the period of the main cottage, which was built in 1795. Pretty hydrangea bushes keep the coach house totally private.
Philip maxes out space in his Nova Scotia guest house with clever storage solutions. Along one wall of this narrow hallway, he installed a bar with fully stocked cabinets, a mini fridge and sink.
Nautical-themed oil paintings, boat etchings and photographs become a curated collection in the stairwell that leads up to the coach house apartment this new build with a heritage look.
In the bathroom, Philip modelled the floor after a 1940s lavatory, and to give the room a vintage feel, used practical black grout. The tub deck is antique Labrador brown granite.