Photo by Jasmine Deporta
The landscape of outport Newfoundland is anything but bleak. At least seven distinct seasons make it a constantly changing palette from intensely bright to moody and muted natural colours. Accompanying the natural, the outport aesthetic prizes individual expression and ignores rules resulting in the riot of colour in houses, quilts, and furniture.
Fogo Island is a refreshing change from a flattened world of greige. The colours of our island are hard to capture but we’ve tried our best to translate this landscape and light into an inspired palette.
The saltbox houses of Fogo Island are often associated with bright tones and almost colour anarchy that expresses the individuality of the homeowner.
In the early days of settlement, the first homes on Fogo Island were whitewashed with a mixture of lime and oil to protect the wood from the sun, wind, and rain. Before the convenience of pre-mixed paint, a clay pigment called ‘red ochre’ was mixed with either fish oil, seal oil, and on occasion, linseed oil as paint for outbuildings, resulting in the iconic red stages that outport Newfoundland is now known for.
With advances in mid-20th-century technology, pastel shades became popular in rural Newfoundland, allowing homeowners to be more creative with the exterior design of their homes.
The colourful palette of this place has a long history that encompasses muted natural materials, like ochre mixed with natural oils, to the vibrant painted finishes of recent days.
Learn more about historical colours here.
All the Heritage Palette colours were pulled from local houses and outbuildings. While the colour palette was originally developed for the Fogo Island Inn at Home Collection, who would we be to stop you from embracing the anarchy of the outport aesthetic and applying them to anything you please?
A green inspired by the Fisherman’s Union buildings
The low-lying morning fog
A vibrant hue that ignites the senses
A balanced grey
Bright and soft as winter’s first snowfall
A timeless and elegant deep brown
Dark enough for stargazing
Colours of Fogo Island
We asked renowned colourist Giulio Ridolfo to come for a residency that would try to capture the colours of Fogo Island. Described as "moving freely among flaneur and observer, artist, alchemist, and designer," he uses an embodied and idiosyncratic method to translate landscapes, objects, and emotions into colour.
Giulio hiked surveyed, observed, and absorbed the varying scenes on Fogo Island. Then, with found objects like a pebble, a maroon insect-eating pitcher plant, an old cast iron teapot, a wooden bowl of blueberries, he recreates the scenes in a collage of objects. One of Giulio's favourite sayings is: "you can't mix colour in theory." When he's satisfied that a collage is harmonious and true, he turns to science. With a spectrophotometer, he scans the still life's tones, translating them into exact numeric codes of the NHS colour system drawn from the DNA of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black/key (CYMK).
The Colours of Fogo Island below are the result of his thoughtful and tactile approach. While this palette was designed in coordination with the Premises Collection of furniture made for small-scale living, we encourage you to incorporate it on any piece you please.
"There is such a long history of making things here. Beauty lies in the everyday." - Giulio Ridolfo
Intense and dark as the carnivorous plant it's named after
Fogo House Red
Inspired by the abundance of red outbuildings along our shores.
A golden-orange treasure that's a Fogo Island favourite for jams and pies
The bright reflection of the moon off the North Atlantic.
Inspired by the lush greenery found further inland and on the west coast of Fogo Island
A soft green that covers the 420-million-year-old geology of the island.
A slightly faded tone that clings to the rocky landscape.
A deep blue that references the North Atlantic Ocean on a summer night.