The bonny boys of home renovation and decoration are back. Yes, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan—better known to their legions of fans as Colin and Justin—return for Season 2 of the pair’s primetime Cabin Pressure project where they take turn a dilapidated cottage into a dream getaway starting Sunday night on Cottage Life.
In Season 1, the duo partnered with friends and purchased a run-down outpost and converted it into something magnificent, complete with massive bunkhouse, outdoor hot tub and a bank of windows in the main house overlooking a lake. But it didn’t take long for McAllister and Ryan to yearn for a property of their own. So they sold it and went hunting for another piece of paradise.
That hunt—and the subsequent adventures involved in transforming “chicken poo into chicken pie,” as McAllister so colourfully describes in Sunday’s first instalment—is the show’s focus. There is plenty of poo, thanks to the wild animals who took up residence in the cottage, and … nastier things.
“We find a dead beaver, dead raccoons, dead pigeons and dead squirrels,” McAllister describes while Ryan makes a face. “The worst was, we removed some drywall and found the corpses of several hundred dead mice. We found what we thought was black insulating foam and it was actually the fur from several hundred dead mice. The stench was unbelievable.”
“There was a damp spot on the ceiling that we thought was just a little bit of water damage,” Ryan recalls. “And we uncovered a huge wasp’s nest and a highway of rodents.” McAllister figures they got rid of 80 per cent of the original cottage, keeping some character intact while meeting their needs in a prime lakeside location in Ontario’s cottage country. That involved lifting the building up off its foundation so that a basement could be dug out, adding extra space in a mud room, TV room, laundry and storage and over $100,000 to the value of the property.
And while Ryan describes Season 1’s final product as “European Colin and Justin,” he says this season’s project is all about connectivity. Bedrooms are enhanced to feel like guests are sleeping in the forest and the cottage’s main great room is modernized. But McAllister is quick to point out that chunks of money spent to update windows, septic systems and add the basement meant tighter design budgets and being creative with existing items. Case in point: they turned the top five feet of the television antenna into a fab lamp, resurrected the waterlogged deck into a headboard and made tables from discarded wood.
“I think last season was a walk in the park,” Ryan says. “This season is bigger build and we’re more boisterous. I like to think this is our Adele second album: better than the first!”
Colin & Justin’s Cabin Pressure airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life. Cottage Life is available for a free preview now.