Celebrate Color: Let nature dictate a no-fail, multihued palette of blues and greens.
A built-in window seat spans the entire width of Eliot and Alexandra Angles' home in Nova Scotia. Covered in nine shades of woolen fabric by Kvadrat, the channeled cushion represents the variety of colors that make up the view.
Color Lesson 1: An unexpected detail—like an aqua stair riser—can really bring a room to life.
The Angles hang out in the kitchen with their 11-month-old daughter, Elefe. The beadboard cabinets, maple farm table, and vintage floral chandelier all play off the idea of a traditional country home. The white Autoban Octopus light, however, hits a purely urban note.
Color Lesson 2: Unify an elaborate and varied palette with one piece that incorporates every hue.
The colors spread throughout the Angles' house are picked up in the cushions of the built-in window seat. Alexandra chose the two Vittorio Bonacina rattan chairs that flank the Knoll Toothpick table because "they remind me of seashells."
Color Lesson 3: Relax, it's only paint! If you try something and don't like it, just start over.
After she'd cloaked the office in a soft green, Alexandra decided to scrap it and go with blue-tinged gray instead. A vintage chair contrasts with the Piet Boon desk made of corrugated cardboard. When the room is dark, the felt light fixture by Mixko casts butterflies on the walls.
Color Lesson 4: Warm up an ultracool hue with a variety of natural textures.
Beechwood swing-arm sconces by Le Klint and a table Eliot crafted from driftwood steer the seafoam wall color to a woodsy place. Likewise, linen sheets and a quilt from Anthropologie soften the angularity of the custom-made bed. Alexandra commissioned the rug at a local artisans' co-op and picked up the butterfly prints at the Winter Works on Paper gallery in New York City.
The front door of the cottage overlooks the Cabot Trail leading to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, where Eliot hikes with the couple's Tibetan terrier, Sturtevant.
The west-facing deck, built with locally harvested pine, is outfitted with two Ikea recliners. Alexandra says the wooden riser along the perimeter serves as both continuous seating and a de facto railing for Elefe.
The Angles bought the master bath's vintage claw-foot tub in Halifax and had its underside painted the same cool shade as their bedroom. Antique stools hold books and beauty products.
A small skylight cut into the eaves of the guest bath gives the room an ethereal glow.
Heirloom items give the guest room authenticity: The Alvar Aalto bureau and fish print came from Alexandra's family; Eliot's grandmother gave him the embroidered nautical scene. John Robshaw cotton robes allow guests to travel to and from the house's outdoor shower with their modesty intact.