Exclusive Interview With Design Duo Colin and Justin

I’ve recently seen their faces on transit ads, taking over the Cottage channel, and now they continue their TV adventures as Judges on a new TV series ‘Game of Homes’ that premiers this Tuesday, April 12.

Friends of Toronto Home Shows and a fan favourite, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan took time out of their busy schedules to catch up with us and chat about what they’re up to. It’s been hard trying to catch up with everything they have going on – from traveling around the globe from Scotland, Toronto to Australia, Colin and Justin share what’s happening in their whirlwind world.

TH: Nice to chat Colin and Justin! How are you boys and where are you spending most of your time at the moment?

Hey Tina! Cheers for finding time to catch up! We’re pretty much full time based in Canada now. We became Permanent Residents last year and we haven’t looked back. We LOVE it here! We still have our house in Glasgow, and a pied a terre in London, England, but we spend the majority of our time in our Toronto condo or our cottage in Haliburton.

TH: Ah yes – your cottage exploits? Tell me about what you’re working on at the moment?

Blimey – we’ve been busy boys! ‘Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure’ – season 3 has just started airing on Cottage Life and it’s already going great guns. The network is in free preview at the moment which means that even if you didn’t previously have Cottage Life you can now watch it at no cost. Yay!


TH: What’s different with Cabin Pressure this year?

Last year on season 2 we did up our own wee place and named in Grey Gardens. It’s in Haliburton and we’re totally in love with the vibe in cottage country. It’s soooooo relaxing. So anyway: we’ve kept that as our own cottage and we get up there almost every weekend. But season 3 is a totally different cottage. It’s also in Haliburton but the premise this time round is that we’re building the ULTIMATE Canadian rental cottage. We figured it was time that the rental sector was totally indulged! So we bought a tiny fixer upper. It was a real rough as dogs place but we’ve rebuilt and restored it. We’ve added a whole new walkout basement level and a hot tub, an outdoor sauna, an outdoor shower, a 2,300 square feet deck and a three level dock with LOADS of room to paaaaartaaaaay!

TH: Are there lots of dramas on the show?

OMG – it’s INSANE! Every day, every episode… something else goes wrong. Deliveries don’t arrive. We argue with our contractors. The weather lets us down. Our brand new log built bunkie is flooded. We find the corpses of hundreds of dead animals as we tear away the old to make way for the new. Aye, it’s a bumpy ride. But just WAIT till you see the reveals!


TH: So does it all turn out well in the end?

In true TV style – it all comes good, but SERIOUSLY…. The cr*p we have to deal with is almost never ending! But the results are staggering. We’ve even surprised ourselves! What started off as the worst cottage on the lake is now a rustic beauty which we’ve named Plan B. There are four bedrooms in the main house, two living rooms, three bathrooms, a whisky lounge and a laundry. It’s a rustic vision of loveliness. All comfy layers and warm welcoming touches. Externally it’s all black board and batten siding and a slick black metal roof. But we’ve added lots of real Western Cedar to punctuate the black notes. It’s joy!


TH: And you’re working on another show – tell me about that?

Oh yes – Game of Homes on The W Network. It’s a nail biting competition series where four couples renovate four run down bungalows. The houses themselves have been ‘monster moved’ from their original locations and brought over land to a site just outside Toronto. We’re the series judges (have you seen the buses and billboards around Toronto with our mugs smiling out!?) and it’s our job to appraise the renovations that are done each week.

new resident judges Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Game of Homes Host and Cast {Dominic and Michael, Tyler and Coutrney, Harry and Kim, Alex and Shelley
Game of Homes
Host and Cast {Dominic and Michael, Tyler and Coutrney, Harry and Kim, Alex and Shelley

The teams save rundown houses from the wrecking ball and week-by-week, revive them into dream homes, one room at a time. Each team works side-by-side, around the clock, to completely transform these dumps into show homes – while also living in them through the entire renovation. They will battle small budgets, tight deadlines, cramped quarters and each other for a chance to win a home and change their lives forever.

TH: Yes I have seen the ads – tell me about Dave who’s also in those tram car ads?

That’s Dave Salmoni, the series host. He’s a total joy and we know that hem-lines across Canada are going to start twitching when the show launches! He’s an animal expert and has hosted loads of shows in the USA about releasing captive animals back into the wild. That kinda stuff. And now he’s here in Canada – his country of origin. You’re gonna love him – he’s the consummate professional host!

As host of Game of Homes, Dave Salmoni guides four teams of skilled amateur home renovators as they compete for the chance to trade their skills for the prize of a lifetime – their own home and a plot of land to put it on

TH: And you just came back from Australia, right?

We did indeed! We know you were there at the same time as us but we were in different parts of the country. It would have been fun to get together. Next time, defo! We were series judges on a show called Reno Rumble which is airing right now on Channel 9, one of the biggest free to air networks down under. It was loads of fun. We saw lots of similarities between Australian and Canadian design and architecture so we felt very at home!

TH: Great to have chatted fellas – I look forward to catching up with both shows. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. And good luck with everything and I look forward to all of the reveals!

‘Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure’ airs on Cottage Life Sundays at 9pm.
‘Game of Homes airs on The W Network – premiere is this Tuesday 12th April at 10pm.

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Tina Holmes

Home decor + reno enthusiast, lover of wine, food, a good laugh. Producer of Toronto Home Shows, cottage dweller & cycling addict

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