Designers Colin and Justin back with cottage series

The Canadian Press
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Rollicking interior design stars Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are back with a new series they say has been their most “taxing” yet soul-fulfilling show yet.

Interior design stars Colin McAllister (left) and Justin Ryan, are back with a new series, “Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure,” they say has been their most "taxing" yet soul-fulfilling show yet.

Debuting Tuesday on Cottage Life (at 10 p.m. ET/PT), “Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure” sees the sassy Scottish pair — admittedly “very metropolitan city boys” — co-purchasing a log cabin in Ontario’s Muskoka region with another couple and fixing it up to their tastes.

“We’ve learned how to cope with problems that are really butch, manly, Canadian northern problems, and we’ve had to deal with a lot of drama,” says Ryan, the blond counterpart to his brunette partner.

“It’s also fair to say, as much as this show is all about glamour and creating a beautiful house, it’s a scene-by-scene, perfect recreation of ’Deliverance,”’ he adds, mimicking the “Dueling Banjos” music from the 1972 thriller.

“We have to deal with a lot of people who didn’t particularly want us around and about. We’ve had to fight through a lot of kind of presumptions that people made about us. But we met really good people, and after we’d shown them who we really are — we’re not just two big, silly crazy boys with silly hair and mad flowers in our lapels. We’re also measured blokes who want to be part of the community.

“So we made a lot of friends, but I think we scared the living bejesus out of a lot of people. Because we arrived in fake-fur, floor-length coats and trailed around the lake in the middle of summer like the Kardashians on crack.

“But it has been brilliant. It’s made us better people. We’ve learned such a lot about ourselves.”

For those hoping to buy their own cottage and spruce it up, the design duo offersome tips

One is to plan carefully, and “think twice, buy once.”

“Cliche but it’s true is: To fail to plan is to plan to fail,” says Ryan.

When it came to their own property, Ryan says they had “a really tight budget” and looked at hundreds of cottages before finding the right one.

And they still ran into “a huge amount of problems,” including dangerous wiring and a rotting deck.

“I would really say to anybody buying a cottage, think really, really carefully,” he says.

“Neither Colin or I realized just what a pig in lipstick we were buying.”

Cottage Life will run a national free preview from April 1 to May 31.

Organizations: ET/PT

Geographic location: Ontario, Muskoka

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