Design duo

Fans of design television shows will know Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. Better known as Colin and Justin on HGTV and the Million Pound Property Experiment on the BBC, the two Scottish designers have exploded onto the international scene thanks to their compelling combination of artistic talent and candor.

Through their energetic approach, the design duo approach by stealth and, through their persuasive powers, take willing subjects under their wing. Colin and Justin not only redecorate homes, they change lives.

Colin and Justin’s rise to fame began when their own stylish flat in Glasgow (which they decorated on a minimum budget) caught a real estate agent’s interest, which led to a TV interview. Sensing an on-camera chemistry between the pair, the station pulled them aside to discuss future appearances.

It wasn’t long before two stars were born. They now live between their homes in London, Scotland and Toronto and film shows on both sides of the pond. Fans all over the world have access to their tools, enabling them to convert their own homes into the place of their dreams.

So, how do Colin and Justin transform your living space? With the no-nonsense advice (tempered by a loving touch and humour) for which they are renowned. They step in, assess, tap into their clients’ psyches, and transform rooms into personal havens.

On their climb up the ladder to stardom, Colin and Justin have encountered their fair share of interesting scenarios, a number involving shag carpet. These have led to a list of ‘absolute nos’ in their interior decorating book. When it comes to tips and advice, they offer some simple guidelines:

  • When you move into a property, don’t simply learn to live with the previous occupants’ mistakes – design it to suit your personality and taste.
  • Don’t cram all your belongings into the space. Choose specific items and keepsakes that mean a lot to you and start with those as you build your design.
  • It is possible to make a big difference with a minimal budget. Think twice, shop once.
  • In the event that you are selling, put some effort into your appearance when showing your home. Colin and Justin have an anecdote of a house that simply wasn’t moving on the market. The owner appeared on the doorstep, resembling a character from Grimms’ fairy tales, which immediately answered all their questions. Sometimes it isn’t just the home that requires a face lift.

Throughout their visit to the Cayman Islands, Colin and Justin have been impressed with how the local culture is incorporated into the designs of prominent modern buildings, such as those in Camana Bay and the homes in Cayman Kai. Cayman Motor Museum was also one of their stops, where the personal touches of owners Andreas and Natalie Ugland are reflected in the layout of the interior, exemplified in the authentic diner in the north-eastern corner.

Colin and Justin have been so inspired by the blue seas and white sands of the Cayman Islands that they plan to add a Cayman Candle to their newly-launched collection of hand poured, soy wax, scented candles. It won’t be long before relocated locals or former expats can simply light a candle to be transported home.

Colin and Justin appear to be taking the design industry by storm. Whether they are lending their celebrity to a new cause or bringing a bit of magic into people’s homes, there is no doubt they are out to conquer the world, one armoire at a time.