Colin and Justin: Everything will be white at night

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Although there is nothing serious about this living space, the pine look had to go

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Rarely have we hesitated to think that we have an intrinsic allergy to pine. It’s not that we don’t love the kind of tree itself: Dotted across the landscape in richly verdant garb, or lavished with snow to detail a Hallmark greeting card, living pines are a real sight. have.

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But fashioned as a covering and then used to smother a perfectly innocent space? Not really…

As proof, we offer you the living room of our Cape Breton Airbnb beach house, an annex of North Star*, our coastal hotel.

Boasting all the appeal of the Swedish sauna – with enough wood to make Abba blush – the orange walls screamed a color similar to that of an American “politician”, with a well-documented persecution complex. The disturbing tint has therefore been “eliminated”, using our trump card: the white paint.

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But where to start ? Well the previous owner actually did a fantastic job building our little beach house, great job at every turn. Corrective tactics were therefore a little simpler than they might have been if the chalet had been built incorrectly.

The shellack varnish was remarkably smooth, requiring only light abrasion (with medium-gauge paper) to ensure adhesion of “Prime Lock Plus” (visit for more information) which inhibits reappearance wood knots after painting.

With this done, and using a small brush to get into the v-grooves and a roller to attempt smooth results, Saul, our decorator, applied two even coats of Chantilly lace (again per Benjamin Moore) to erase the gleaned orange.

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Remarkably, the process only consumed eight gallons of product, so the hardware bill (including node protection) cost us just under $400. Even factoring in 25 hours of painstaking work, our project costs remained manageable.

The floor, also pine, was next on our hit list, and although we originally planned to put new wood on top, it was eventually removed to unify the levels as the room transitions to the hallway beyond. .

A cool grey/tawny engineered floor from Twelve Oaks (visit for tips and information) creates a beautifully ashy ambiance and helps balance the light that bathes the octagonal room.

Flooring is an area you need to consider carefully (as it is an ‘important’ item), so invest – if you can – in a quality brand like this to ensure the future of your home.

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At this point, we still haven’t specified any window treatments, since the openings are 100 inches and most wood blind manufacturers produce blinds up to a maximum of 96 inches. So the search continues.

Meanwhile, an anti-reflective film has been applied to moderately glare without impairing the lighting. We’ll come back to these shades in the future, but for now – with such incredible ocean views – we’re more than happy as we are.

To meet the seating needs, we specified Ikea sofas, with usable gray slipcovers to complement the paler tones of the room.

With what we imagine to be heavy guest traffic, blankets can be whipped out and hung in the washing machine in case of later issues with heavy hits and spills.

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After hours of searching online, we still couldn’t find a standard coffee table big enough (and low enough) for the room, so we hired a local carpenter to build us the heavy gray painted table we were witnesses here. And hey: the resulting bill of just $300 made us smile.

What we love most about this piece (apart from its aesthetics, of course) is its ease of maintenance, an important consideration when creating space for the rental pool.

Hey, the mix of hard-wearing paint, thick tables, sturdy engineered floors and easy-care upholstery all balance out perfectly, to deliver a space that (we hope) will look just as good after the 2023 rental log, as it does now. And that’s how we – and indeed Rolanda, the North Star’s senior housekeeper* – love it…

Watch Colin and Justin on Cabin Pressure and Great Canadian Cottages (Cottage Life TV) and on Cityline (CityTV). Find the Colin and Justin collection in stores across Canada. Visit

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