Don’t get robbed by bad design

Colin and Justin talk about their new book and why they've taken on Canadian design

By Matthew Pioro

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On what they’ve taken from Canadian design

Justin: In Britain, people tend to set an area rug to cover the floor just short of 12″ from the walls. But in Canada, you guys love stuff where the dining room chairs will be half on the rug and half off, so you might have an area rug that is like a little island in the middle of the room. That’s quite nice because then you have a nice expanse of timber exposed on the floor.

On the Canadian basement

Colin: The humble Canadian basement is a mystery to us. We have no idea why your old sofas are down there and that old television, and why there’s a bar in the corner. Meanwhile, upstairs, you still have stuff cluttered about. If you thought about it practically, there is a third of our home or a half of our home that is underutilized. We’re not into spare rooms. We hate that idea. You should use all your space. Use it effectively and get your money’s worth. So, we want to get our hands on your downstairs.

On decorating with wood

Justin: We love good-quality timber products. We just bought handmade Windsor chairs.

Colin: And had them spray-painted black!

Justin: And you can still see the grain. If you are slavish about wood, about not painting it, then you lose a great opportunity. Timber isn’t just a surface to be left natural. You can buy inferior-quality timber and strengthen it with a stain or a varnish.

Colin: You need contrast as well. What’s the point in making a nice project and then popping it in a room that’s lined with the same colour of timber? Where’s the pop?

Justin: Take N-A-U-G-H-T-Y pine. A little bit can be nice, but too much and it’s like walking into a Swedish massage parlor.

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