INLATE SPRING, not long after the magnolia trees have burst into bloom, Kevin and Bernadette decamp fromtheir house in Toronto and head to a summer home on Prince Edward Island. They arrive around the same time bobolink songbirds are also migrating back to the couple’s seven-and-a-half-hectare South Shore plot overlooking the Northumberland Strait. As the small birds make their summer home in the meadow, one of Bernadette’s favourite daily pursuits is counting them. She might spot as many as 10 per day, which she’ll dutifully report to the local Island Nature Trust. It’s a peaceful pastime indicative of the couple’s life on the Island. In the evenings, Kevin usually gravitates to the living room with a book while Bernadette knits in one of the roll armchairs. When it’s just the two of them, sometimes the only sounds are the turning of pages and the comfortable clacking of wooden knitting needles. Even laundry is a pleasure here. “There’s nothing more relaxing than taking it outside and hanging it up to dry,” says Kevin.Bernadette, a retired medical professional, and Kevin, who runs a global analytics group, built their waterfront retreat in 2012 after falling in love with P.E.I. on family trips with their three now-grown children. “We wanted something that we owned and enjoyed but that didn’t own us,” says Kevin. To that end, they kept things simple. Drawing from Kevin’s New England roots, the 3,100-square-foot home has a distinctly Cape Cod feel, from its tidy one-and-a-half-storey layout to its weathered cedar shake exterior. “Throughout its history, P.E.I.’s architecture has been greatly influenced by that of New England,” says David Lopes, the Charlottetown architect Kevin and Bernadette enlisted to design the home. “The house ref lects New England values with the regular rhythm of the windows and doors, and the simple furnishings,” he adds. Nothing is overly elaborate or ornate, giving the space a noticeably relaxed quality. Equally important is the view of the sea from every vantage point, with windows that stretch nearly from f loor to ceiling. David chose black specifically for the interior window casings to better frame the views. “Similar to the frame on a painting,” he says. The clean, coastal vibe is finished with a crisp blue and white palette coupled with modern furnishings that create a fresh yet timeless look. Set about 75 feet from the water’s edge, the house is peaceful and private, but this is also the kind of place where you get to know your neighbours. Kevin and Bernadette buy their eggs from a woman down the road who keeps sheep, chickens and a ram named Angus. And when lobsters are in season, Bernadette heads over to one of the nearby fishermen and returns with a bucket brimming with the freshest catch of the day. “You couldn’t ask for better neighbours,” says Kevin. “That’s one of the things we love best about being here.