Living

Throwback Thursday: "Nova Scotia cozy" design (1991)

Maritimers know a thing or two about keeping warm in the winter — especially this year. An extra helping of quilted blankets doesn't hurt.

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The issue: February 1991

The times: The Gulf War ends; Dances with Wolves nabs Best Picture at the 63rd Academy Awards; Starbucks expands into California.

The design scheme: “Nova Scotia cozy.” As Chatelaine‘s former homestyle editor Jane Dupere found out on her 1991 house tour of the Maritimes, restoration — not renovation — is the key to authentic Nova Scotian décor. In each of the four East Coast homes visited by Dupere, a deep, abiding love of stockpiling kitschy Canadiana manifested in the form of wood-burning stoves, loudly patterned wallpaper and the odd carved bird. Said Dupere, “Organized clutter is the thing — glorious quilts, folk art, heirloom china.” Iris Newman, an advertising executive (and one of our featured homeowners), embraced her enthusiasm for patterns on patterns, saying, “I like to mix styles, and I like to live with my things, not look at them sitting in a cabinet.” Minimalists among us might call it over-accessorizing, but out East in the early ’90s, too much of a good thing was actually just a good thing.