Living by the water is the ultimate luxury. The most enticing retreats are always designed to take advantage of the landscape and the view. I was thrilled earlier this year when Architectural Digest featured the stunning cottage of Canadian designer and artist Martha Sturdy.

Preston Island is 20 miles northwest of Vancouver. Martha’s 5 acre retreat looks onto the Strait of Georgia.

The talented and original designer is also a grandmother and an animal lover, so her homes are always designed for real life. She understands the wear and tear a well-loved home faces. Martha’s inviting retreat showcases her skill at mixing materials and layering textures. The designer’s modern take on cottage living is warm and inviting.

Martha is well-known for her creative use of natural materials like brass, steel and synthetic resin. She used white leather upholstery and resin furniture to create a serene and luxurious space. A versatile artist, Martha also created the wall sculpture — so beautiful.

I love the lights. They remind me of planetary models. Can you imagine a twilight dinner at Martha’s place?

I don’t know how Martha was able to build so close to the shoreline, but the effect is spectacular. It must feel like a boathouse.

Martha is known for the range of colours in her resin furniture and accessories collection, yet white seems to be a favourite. It has a surprising warmth and works beautifully in her cottage.

To learn more about Martha Sturdy’s work you can read a post I wrote on her here or check out her website here. Photography by Laurie Black for Architectural Digest.