Colin and Justin's Haliburton Cottage Transformation

Before and after

By Home & Cabin   2016-03-03

Colin McCallister and Justin Ryan are designers, cabin lovers, and TV personalities. Their show, Cabin Pressure, airs on Cottage Life TV. Here, they take you through their Haliburton project, showing the stunning transformation with before and after photos. You can catch the latest season of Cabin Pressure on Cottage Life TV on Sundays. In this article, they take you through the renovation of their Haliburton cottage. 


If you watched Cabin Pressure 1 you’ll have seen our trials and tribulations as we transformed a cottage in Muskoka.  For season two, we turned our attentions to Haliburton and bought a ramshackle fixer upper.  

Upstairs, the galleried master, as we found it, had a boxy feel with pine cladding and peeling wallpaper.  Removing the lowered ceiling (before recladding it with walnut stained pine) revealed a monumental peaked space, the extra width and height delivering bags of character.  


In keeping with the loft apartment vibe (hello – condo at the lake?) we added a statuesque brushed steel bed and timber topped nightstands.  The resultant look is modern but friendly, thanks to layers of faux fur, woolen throws and a scattering of plump, yielding cushions.  Note how the pops of red add drama. 

Further detail comes from the salvaged wood barn doors, behind which lies the ceramic tiled ensuite.  

We opted for a long steel framed Unikstone vanity which, topped with a custom black faucet, oozes ‘modern cottage’.  If you follow our work, you’ll know we love trawling antique barns and thrift stores for items to ‘upcycle’.  Examples of this are the ten-buck shoe moulds which we sanded, sprayed black and arranged in a neat row as towel storage.

Next up was the kitchen rejig.  First job? Removing the walls and opening the space to the main, double height living zone.  

A tall rear elevation of white Ikea cabinets conceals inbuilt refrigeration and a sink, whilst a run of units topped with ‘concrete’ Caesarstone form a breakfast bar that contains an inbuilt hob and oven. 

Our final destination was the living/dining room.  Swapping out rickety windows and doors - for larger, black-framed alternatives - transformed our cottage externally and internally.  

Furniture is spaced into two areas – sitting and dining - with a relaxed sofa providing the familiar ‘lived in’ look you get with soft brown leather.

The live edged dining table delivers wow factor and is clustered with Wegner style wishbone chairs.  To warm the space, we added a compact wood stove, which, flanked with vintage chairs is a fabulous focal point and somewhere to nest to when temperatures plunge.


See the brand new season of ‘Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure’ on Cottage Life, Sundays at 9pm.  Visit

‘Game of Homes’, a competition reno’ series with a house as first prize, features Colin and Justin as judges.  Tuesdays at 10pm on The W Network. Visit for info 




Barn doors by


Fireplace by

Beds and dining table from

Linens, textiles and accessories from

Leather sofa and occasional furniture from

Stone sinks by

Faucets by

Kentwood Flooring by

Black windows by




Hands On






Home & Cabin is Newfoundland and Labrador’s quarterly magazine of home design and lifestyle, showcasing life at its best. With Home & Cabin, enjoy quality editorial on everything from designing your new kitchen to building a floating dock to the latest and greatest in the products and accessories. The magazine is published by Downhome Inc.

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