What is Newfoundland design? What sets us apart on this rugged island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Or is it just that. We are remote, detached, and often forgotten. Newfoundland has always been a place of necessity, need not want. From a history of hardworking fishermen and living off an unforgiving land, these islanders made do with what they had. This is represented in the homes of Newfoundlanders.
As a young girl visiting my grandparents on the Burin Peninsula, I never understood why half of their basement was a rock, yes a massive rock. My grandfather built his family home on the side of a rock. It was the only land he had and he made do.
Newfoundland's capital city is known for it's colourful row houses, know as Jellybean Row. This may have started as a way to make homes more visible to fishermen returning to land through the foggy weather, but the tradition continued into the 1970's as a way to brighten up a declining downtown.
The Battery in St. John's is one of the cities most unique places. Houses are literally built on the side of the cliff as you enter the city's harbour, known as The Narrows. Newfoundlanders settled and built on this sloping land due to it's proximity to the fishing stages.
A fishing stage is exactly what I thought of as I pulled up to the Fogo Island Inn. Yes, it has a very modern architectural look to it. However, those black posts supporting the hotel's stark white exterior is reminiscent of the wood that would hold up a wharf in many parts of Newfoundland.
When I think about Newfoundland design, I think about colourful houses, homes built on the side of rocks and cliffs, warm quilts and roaring wood stoves. A Newfoundland home may be small but is always welcoming with layers of newspaper for wallpaper and the kitchen full of family and friends.