It might be cold outside, but interior designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan have perfected the creation of that warm, cozy, cottage feel — even inside their high-rise Toronto Condo.
“It’s more than just a look, I think cottaging is a lifestyle,” said McAllister.
“Canadian design is at the forefront of the design community internationally and now Canadian cottaging is the thing that everybody wants to emulate,” said Ryan.
Over the last decade, the married, Scottish pair have combined their love of design and the Canadian outdoors. The designers have not only created several of their own cottage spaces in Muskoka and Haliburton, but they’ve taken their respect for the Canadian landscape and applied it to their latest TV series, Great Canadian Cottages.
“Now Great Canadian Cottages isn’t simply a huge, big list of mansions and multi-million-dollar homes. It’s a really cleaver appraisal of what we think makes for the best domestic space in the country application,” said Ryan.
A new block of shows begins on Thursday at 10 p.m. on Cottage Life and in this episode, Colin and Justin visit 6,500 square feet of luxury. It’s owned by Canadian hockey star Wendel Clark. In addition, the pair take a tour of a unique property that was built over-top an original log cabin.
“The lady, Mara, who owned it, won the lottery and decided she wasn’t going to move to a mansion,” said Ryan.
“She built a new structure around the original, tiny wooden structure and it is off the charts gorgeous.”
McAllister and Ryan said everywhere they go, they are constantly asked how to make homes feel like a cottage.
“It’s all about finding organic elements that you can add to your space,” said Ryan while pointing to a resin moose head on the wall of the dining room.
“Explore the wonders of wood. You don’t have to be faithful to one particular type… think about Mother Nature. How many trees are in a forest? She’s the greatest designer and if she can mix timber, so can you,” added McAllister.
Finally, the self-described “Kings of Cozy” said to incorporate layers of texture.
“Textiles will make or break a scheme. Lots of lovely touchy-feely pillows and throws — all of the things that make you feel cozy,” said Ryan.