What happens when a Norwegian-born fashion retailer sets up house with a French cosmetics exec in rural Quebec? A whole lot of design magic, that's what. "We fell in love with it on a country drive ages ago," says homeowner Nina Dyson, of her 21-year-old home in the Eastern Townships. Several years later an excited agent called them to let them know the house was on the market. They bought it immediately, despite the home's dark and dated interior. "The first thing I did was order a special whitewash that's traditionally used in Norway and did all the wood —even the floors, which had coats of dark stain on them," she says. Her Norwegian roots also show in the way she's used colour and in the overall lightness of the design. "There's something about the light in Scandinavia that makes us Northerners gravitate toward the combination of white with bright colours. Maybe it's the endless summer days, the Northern lights or the dark winters, where we fill the house with candlelight, but we've learned to create spaces that are both modern and comforting." Even in the winter, with all the snow outside, Nina says her colour of choice is easy to live with and maintain. "My husband and kids love it so much, I've convinced them all to paint our city house white, too!"
Get this look: Paint, All White, Farrow & Ball. Sofa, Biltmore Domicile. Pillows, Ikea. Throw, Oleana. Lanterns, Lamp, both Artemide.
Nina Dyson, homeowner and proprietor of Montreal's Emma Boutique.
Outside the home.