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Scottish design duo, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, hosts of HGTV Canada’s wildly popular Colin & Justin’s Home Heist are ”it” designers in Canada and the UK. They do it all – from hosting and appearing on several shows, writing best-selling books, contributing to magazine features and designing their own line of home furnishings.

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1. Show us a picture of the room you most enjoyed designing and tell us why you love it.

C: We never decorate for ourselves, but for our clients. That means interpreting the signals we receive, so we can deliver exactly what they need in terms of function and style. Initially, this living room simply didn’t reflect decorative ambition. We liked the light this room enjoys and wanted to capitalize on that. 

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J: We saw color — and LOADS of it. In this case, an application of sunny yellow was our first suggestion and our clients were immediately seduced. To add extra layers, we specified loads of white accessories — most of which were scouted from dollar stores and spray painted. Lastly, we added comfy seating and created an inexpensive coffee table from wallpaper-covered MDF. As we often like to report, “It’s not how much money you spend but how you spend it that makes all the difference….”

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 2. Which designer(s) most influenced you?

C + J: We love the work of Kelly Wearstler, a talented creative whose fresh, colorful style is revered the world over. We’re captivated by the way she fuses highly-colored accents with beachy, country style. We’re also inspired by another fabulous Kelly, Kelly Hoppen, who’s widely credited as having introduced the “East Meets West” style to the world of interior decor.

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3. What’s your favorite design style?

J: I like to mix old with new. ‘Junktiques’ (as I like to call them) can be great value. I’ll find a mid-century credenza for eighty bucks and paint it or switch up hardware for a whole new look.

C: I’m a sucker for New England. Checks and plaids in a fresh, breezy scheme is SO me. A carefully composed “shabby chic” aesthetic with beach-inspired seaside references is enough to make me swoon.

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4. What’s the essential home accessory (or piece of furniture) you use in your designs?

C: I always try to incorporate discreet sound systems wherever possible. I’d hate to think that a spaghetti of cables would appear after we’ve packed up and moved on. A little careful planning at the build stage is critically important.

J: Just like Colin, I always think about form AND function. If a fabulous room isn’t a useable space, then there’s a problem. I always equip bedrooms with ample clothing storage and living rooms with a combination of discreet and display storage.  

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5. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

J: I LOVE Mauritius at the tip of Madagascar. The year before last, we were on the beach with Nelson Mandela and struck up a conversation that may lead to us reworking his home!

 C: I just adore Cairo. It perfectly fuses east meets west and old meets new.  One minute I’m haggling over raw silk in a rustic market and the next I’m stepping into a glossy restaurant with some of the world’s best food.

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Designers & Shops

27 Responses

  1. Janet Wrack says:

    This is right up my alley I purchased a gallon of this bright yellow before my back started having problems after braking it 6 yrs ago… now I dont know when Ill get to decorating again. I love to decorate and w sure need it here, my daughter wants to paint her room black any suggestions would be greatly appreciated I could use some help with this one I love color but I also had my dad back in the blacklight days paint my room black also,so hopefully Ill get better soon and would love some input. I think your ideas of decorating are brilliant,what was that a glass shelf holding the urnin back of chair by fireplace?

    • martine davsion says:

      Hey Janet – they done it nice, huh? Beautiful design, Im gonna go scope these guys and find out more bout them. xox

    • Sam says:

      Hell, you gotta watch that, black sounds like it could be too much, no? Maybe just use black accessories, no?
      Sam

    • Anne-marie says:

      hi Janet, my daughters room is black (was already painted when we moved in), she has bright white furniture and trim, a large window, and black white and yellow graphic print bedding. Its gorgeous! A few yellow accents and you're all set..

  2. Martine Davison says:

    Oh wy word, but this is beautiful. I so enjoy seeing colour used like this. Never heard of these guys in America but I hope we see more of them over here. And they're pretty hot too, huh? Nice work, gonna try go watch Home Heist if I can find it on import.
    Luuurve,
    Martine Catchpole Davison xox

  3. dany says:

    Martine – check their website at <a href="http://www.colinandjustin.tv,” target=”_blank”>www.colinandjustin.tv, there's more samples of their work there. These guys as huge in Canada/UK as they are hot. In their designs they bring in the color and the oomph, and their fun personalities just bring in the happy :)

  4. david says:

    Shame I dont get these dudes on my cable. Just looked at their website and they got in going on! We need them here in Ohio working their stuff! Anyone got any idea how I can see their shows on US cable? Is there any way of over riding the wire? Im curious to see them on TV now I saw their clip! They look awesome! Love this brilliant yellow, makes me feel high!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. sam says:

    Jeez – you need to go see these gentlemans "show real" on their site. Thanks Martine for the heads up on that one! Pity they aint on TV in New York. Theyre like totally wicked! A total scream and the decorations they do is beautiful.
    Sam, Larchmont, NY

  6. Sam says:

    this is thyre site, just spent ages lookin at all the cool before and after pics, colinandjustin.tv Its wicked cool
    Sam

  7. kelly benson says:

    Respect. These young men, even though I dont recognise them from American TV seem to do pretty stuff. Very refreshing decor and it all looks nicely achievable,
    Fondly,
    Kelly Leigh Ann Benson (nee Silverton)

  8. Rita says:

    Cool posting. Saw these guys on TV when I lived in Vancouver and always wondered why they didnt appear on TV over this way. They are somewhere between Will and Grace and Mike Holmes!!!!! Lol!!!Anyways, been in the windy city for nearly a year now and theres not a lot like them out here! Lol! We need them in the USA!!!
    Love this HGTV blog. Some great ideas. Been a devoted fan of the network since I got here. Also love Property Virgins too.
    Anyone got an idea of whether Jason and Colins Million Dollar Challenge show is on tv? I tried joining their facebook site but seems they got clamped by facebook for too many friends. Bummer. Never mind. It also helps that they are rather handsome! Does that make me a cougar at probably fifteen years their senior!!!! And yes, I know I'm not on their 'train'!!!!! But a girls got an imagination!!!!
    Also – any ideas for decorating a windowless basement? I need HELP! RAFL!!!!!!!!!!
    Rita The Maneata

  9. dany says:

    These boys are just too precious, I watch Home Heist here in Canada every day!

    Rita – Bec they went over the limit on their Facebook friends, they opened a new one here:http://www.facebook.com/ColinJustin I've joined it and it's awesome.
    Speaking of handsome, did you know they each posed for Harlequin novels?!!

    As for windowless basement, they tackled something similar. Here's a link for you:http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/article/586153

  10. Jill says:

    Wish these designers did a show on HGTV cos they blew me away with this yellow room. Been doing a trawl of the internet after seeing this blog post and theyre very interesting guys. Theyve been a couple for 25 years according to a story on line! They dont look old enough! Sweet! Plus they are very easy on the eye and seem like real stars. We need people like them to liven us all up. Let's all bring 'em over to the states! come on folks!
    Jill

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