Island style

The bespoke furniture collection that put Fogo Island on the map is now available globally.

The quietly luxurious Fogo Island Inn – on the little-known island off an island off the north-eastern coast of Canada – shot to design prominence earlier this year when it opened its doors. This was partly because of its distinct bespoke furniture conceived by a roster of lauded designers and drawing on the island’s unusual traditional crafts (a striking contemporary structure by architect Todd Saunders located on wave-lashed cliffs helps too).  

Until now, you literally had to travel to the ends of the earth to purchase the furniture at the inn’s shop on the island. But guests – and the international press – loved the furniture so much that the inn has now made the furniture available to a wider audience through Toronto-based furniture retailer Klaus by Nienkämper.

The furniture can be purchased through the retailer’s showroom and shipped anywhere in the world.

Internationally lauded designers from Canada and Europe designed the handcrafted collection of furniture in late 2013. For three years, designers such as Ineke Hans, Elaine Fortin and Donna Wilson traveled to Fogo Island and immersed themselves in its distinct culture. They worked with local artisans and residents to get to know the traditional culture, motifs, materials and craft techniques, and together they translated these into contemporary furniture pieces.

We first covered Ineke Hans’s collaboration with the locals here.

The strength of the furniture collection is its rootedness in the culture of this tiny island, a dot on the map whose appeal is rippling outwards.

View more images of the furniture here

Hans designed the Get-Your-Feet-Up chair , which features split wooden spindles and a seat angled for comfort
Her Long Bench offers a simpler flat seat and arms wide enough to accommodate a mug of coffee or a glass of wine.
Donna Wilson’s Bertha armchair combines exposed planks and wool cushions that evoke the homeyness of the island’s domestic interiors.
Drawing inspiration from the traditional wooden “punt” fishing boats of Fogo Island, the Punt Chair reflects local boat-building techniques, materials and design. Designed by Elaine Fortin, its curved legs are formed from the natural bend in the trunk of the island’s tamarack trees. The trees have a limited harvesting season in late fall, resulting in the piece taking up to a year to produce. It is thus produced in limited quantities, making it a collector’s item.
The Puppy, an ingenious side table designed by Nick Herder, is crafted from a single piece of wood board. The pattern cut-out from one of the cast-off sides serves as a leg on the other. The design has also been applied to a bench.
The Guild, a group of local artisans, created the Snake Cushion from bits of leftover yarn. These are knitted into pieces and wrapped around stuffing that is then coiled to create a round cushion.

Watch the Talk with Ineke Hans