At Home with Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Colin and Justin made their way into our homes – and hearts – first with the Canadian debut of ‘Colin & Justin’s Home Heist’. Canadians have fallen in love with the sassy and witty design duo and all around lifestyle influencers who hail from Glasgow. Their passion for all things home and design shines through on the many television shows that they have hosted world-wide from Australia, England and Canada including their most recent project’s, W Network’s ‘Game of Homes’ and Cottage Life’s ‘Cabin Pressure.’ And if that’s not enough you can add Real Estate gurus to the roster with a growing portfolio of rental properties spread between Toronto, London and Glasgow, delivering ‘market appropriate’ leased properties to style conscious urbanites.

As the renovation season slowly approaches, I had the opportunity to sit down with the pair to get up close and personal’, plus get some tips for your next home reno project.


What is one item in your home that you couldn’t live without?

C: Anything music related, so my iPod and almost certainly my iPad which I use to source design inspiration from across the world. Also our huge sectional sofa in the living room: stretching out there after a long day is bliss! Oops – is that a few things? Sorry!

J: While not an item, as such, I’d have to say Beamer, our 15 month old rescue cat. We got him from the Halliburton Grain Store (a pet food store that also rescue animals near our cottage) and he’s been the best addition to our lives in Toronto ever. Inanimate item? Our Orchid plants. We currently have a great big bobby dazzler in the kitchen. A right big triple headed stoater! Three gorgeous beauties set in a huge graphite bowl, surrounded by moss and succulents. Lush!

Where do you get your inspiration?

C: From travel, food, events such as The GTA Home and Reno Show (hello – is show boss Tina reading this?!) and from reading books. We must have at least five hundred style tomes dotted around our various homes!

J: I’m with Colin on this one – we’ll take the inspiration as it arrives, wherever we are! My sister Colette (lettyp1 on instagram) is a great photographer and her landscape images and abandoned home shots always get me thinking!


If you had a dinner party and could invite anyone – Name 3 people you would invite and why?

C: Lady Gaga and Madonna – imagine the interaction! And Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. I love disco and electro music and his output defined a huge period of my life. Also Debbie Harry, and Ian Schragar, legendary hotelier, and also Diana Ross. What? Is that six? Sorry – I LOVE big dinner parties!

J: Alison Moyet (my favourite ever singer) Kelly Wearstler (a designer I really admire) and Nelson Mandela who we had the very good fortune to meet and get to know (several times, actually) when holidaying in Mauritius – a destination he loved as much as we do. For Nelson we’d have to go back in time, but his spirit remains ever current.

What are your personal mantras?

C: “Live long and prosper.” Also – “Together, we can fix this…” Oh, and “Necessity is the mother of invention…” That final one speaks to my affection for making something out of nothing, when needs must…

J: “What the mind can conceive and believe, I can achieve.” Also – “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.” I’m all about the organisation!

What are three things nobody knows about you, but you wish they did?

C: I am a 1970/1980’s disco music expert. I like to sky dive (My first one was as I entered the ITV show “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.” I am a great cook. I only learned this when I took part in the British version of Masterchef – the UK celebrity version that pits celebrities against each other in the kitchen.

J: I’m bilingual – I speak English and French. I’m sooooooo health obsessed and mix equal parts red wine and cheese with treadmills and weights. It’s all in the balance, right? Many people consider me “The Cat Whisperer” as I can tame even the wildest pussy. Seriously: cats are putty in my hands!

What’s your next big thing? Any projects you can tell us about on the horizon?

C: Let’s just say we’re brewing. Watch this space for exciting developments in the near future!

J: Lol – what he said! Plus we’re finally plotting a new show concept for Britain. That doesn’t mean for a moment we’ll be leaving Canada – just going home for two months or so to film it when it comes together.

Finish this sentence …. “Home is ________________________”

C: Home is …”where the heart is. It’s a state of mind. An emotional order.”

J: Home is …”wherever Colin is, with Beamer on his knee…”


The GTA Home & Reno Show takes over the International Centre, Mississauga on February 17 – 20, 2017.
Twitter: @colinandjustin
Facebook: @colinandjustin
Instagram: @colinjustin

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I'm Anna, the editor for the Toronto Home Shows blog. I'm an avid baker, runner, and love living in and decorating small spaces.

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