Design Destination: Magnetic North At Fogo Island Inn

Canada, our neighbor to the north, hides many treasures within her borders. Its wild natural beauty, mixed heritage—which draws on French, English and Aboriginal influences—and crisp climate is inspiring to the design-minded visitor. 

Fogo Island Inn, located off the coast of Newfoundland, draws on this rich history. The word fogo is derived from the Portuguese word for "fire" and the inn, designed by architect Todd Saunders and perched on the island’s spectacular coastline, provides a setting that both puts the mind at ease and sets the imagination ablaze.


The 29-suite inn, which encompasses an award-winning restaurant, a library, a cinema, and an art gallery, has received multiple design and tourism awards since opening in June 2013. The rooms offer handmade furniture and accessories and wood-burning fireplaces. Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows frame powerful ocean views.  

Its interior furnishings and accessories—everything from side tables to dining chairs, to sconces, and hangers—were custom created by a cadre of international designers who immersed themselves in the island’s unique culture, working closely with skilled local artisans to create contemporary pieces that draw on familiar, handmade forms. Many of these pieces, like the Punt chair above, are now available through the Fogo Island Shop with the proceeds from the sale of these items contributing to the Shorefast Foundation whose mandate is to support the continued well-being of the local community.  

Zita Cobb, President of Shorefast Foundation and founding Innkeeper says, "Beyond function and ecological responsibility, furniture is an opportunity to add meaning and joy to our lives. These handmade objects carry the care, craft, and culture of the makers, the vision of the designers, and the dreams and stories of an island.”

For information on the inn, click here. For the Fogo Island Shop, click here.

Photos 1-8 by Alex Fradkin; last photo by Iwan Baan

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