The Cape Breton landscape is dotted with small gable-roofed houses, often shingled and with minimal roof overhangs. The Sea and Sky Cottage was designed by architect Craig Applegath and artist Stewart Applegath to resemble those vernacular houses. However instead of the small, closed-off rooms that would be found in older houses, this updated version has an open floor plan and a ceiling that vaults up to the roof ridge.
The cottage sits on an exposed grassy bluff with sweeping views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Bright red shutters protect the windows from the storms that regularly sweep in from the Gulf, bringing winds of up to 130 km/hour.
The main floor of the 860 ft2 (79.9 m2) cottage has an eat-in kitchen at one end and the living area at the other. A bank of tall windows in the corner of living room offers a stunning vista of the ocean, with passing whales and lobster boats on view. Stairs placed against one of the long walls lead up to the only bedroom, a large lofted space overlooking the living area. The bathroom is located next to the entrance, partly under the staircase.
Pine was used extensively for the inside finishes. Maritime-style white-painted horizontal boards cover the walls, the ceilings are pine tongue and groove with a clear finish, and the floors feature wide pine planks. Exposed beams and rafters add a lot of architectural character to the interior. Heating is provided by a woodstove placed in the center of the small floor plan, and there is also electric baseboard heat.
The Sea and Sky Cottage can be rented for vacation stays through HomeAway.
Photographs courtesy of Michael Sprague, made available under a Creative Commons license, and Stewart Applegath.
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