Top News

COLIN AND JUSTIN: Picture perfect

Laura Fowler's renovations are worth going 'lala' for at lala_takes_pics.
Laura Fowler's renovations are worth going 'lala' for at lala_takes_pics. - Laura Fowler/Instagram/via Postmedia

Colin and Justin examine the social media phenomenon where every picture tells a story

Instagram. Along with (but, in our opinion, way better than) other picture gathering sites such as Pinterest and Hauzz, the inspirational portal has become, it’s fair to report, a go to destination to share, and indeed harvest, information.

And blimey: is it ever useful . Imagine, if you will, we’re asked by a client to steer a project that references modern Danish aesthetics. Short of jumping on a plane, camera in hand, to report back from Copenhagen’s down town design district, the next best thing is to surf the web and prepare a mood board of inspiring imagery.

To that end, we’re in Instagram’s debt for the time it helps save. When starting our business (blimey, those were the days: with Victoria still on the throne, Charlie Chaplin ruling the silver screen and mobile phones little more than yogurt pots attached by string between expectant ears) research was a wildly difficult affair, with microfiche raiding library trips and fortunes spent on magazines commonplace for two fledgling reporters with Scotland’s Glasgow Herald.

Gosh – how life has changed. Nowadays, our fingers simply dance across keyboards to demonstrate to clients the choice that exists. And so today, insta’ inspo at the forefront of our minds, we thought it’d be fun to compile a list of the sites we most enjoy. Some here in Toronto and others spread further afield in Great Britain, South Africa and Australia. Each, however, shares a common denominator: property porn .

First up is a Sydney based interior studio who came to our attention when we guest hosted ‘The Living Room’ on Channel 10 and judged an ep’ of Antipodean property show ‘The Block’ on The Nine Network. Whilst sipping ‘flat whites’ in Australia’s cooler bars and restaurants, we joyed at the level of design pedigree the company displayed. Scan their gram at www.instagram.com/arentpyke_inout

Recently, poised as we are to work in South Africa, we’ve been scanning the country’s upper echelon design practises to get a feel for what the country has to offer. One such firm that grabbed our attention is instagram.com/vogel_furnituredesign Based in Cape Town, the team specialises in contemporary design and wood sculpture, inspired by nature and a drive towards sustainable product.

Next up is instagram.com/joannagaines Together with husband Chip, Joanna fronts HGTV transformative juggernaut Fixer Upper. You’ve probably seen her various books or pored over Magnolia, a style magazine that positively brims with shiplap layered design. Fall in love with the entire Gaines family via instagram as you ready yourself for the Gaines very own TV network which, in 2020, is slated to replace The DIY Network.

Another C&J favourite is California based Studio McGee whose instagram.com/studiomcgee is awash with white backdrops and stunning pale wood. Click the link for an avalanche of exposed brick and modern rustic detail. It’s a spellbindingly beautiful resource.

Closer to home, we admire www.instagram.com/lala_takes_pics Curated by international stylist Laura Fowler, it’s interspersed with furniture, travel and design fodder. If you recognise Laura’s name, it’s probably because you’ve seen it roll during the credits of design shows like HGTV’s Leave It To Bryan, our previous show ‘Colin and Justin’s Home Heist’ (also HGTV) and Cabin Pressure on Cottage Life. Laura, a highly acclaimed after art director, is currently travelling the globe with a brand new show that will air shortly on Netflix.

In the magazine space, instagram.com/styleathome is considered by many Canada’s top resource for decorating, design and entertaining. Also worth a scan is instagram.com/archdigest but our favourite by far, is that of Livingetc Magazine. Prior to our tenure on Canadian soil, we were Celebrity Homes Editors with the monthly style tome, compiling ‘at home’ features with luminaries such as Kelly Hoppen, Jasper Conran and the late Joseph Ettedgui. https://www.instagram.com/livingetcuk

On a personal level, we actually run two sites: one that charts our latest cottage project ( instagram.com/colinandjustinslongbeach ) and our principal account ( www.instagram.com/colinandjustin ) which covers all aspects of lifestyle from design and architecture, to food, travel and health. Follow along and stay apprised of what we’re up to!

And so, whether curating our own sites or navigating others, it’s safe to say we’re big insta fans: it’s less wordy – and infinitely cooler – than facebook, easier to navigate that Pinterest and way less bitchy than twitter. And while Instagram is certainly visually driven, it’s also an easy place to chat with like-minded creatives and a fun environment in which to share ideas.

In short, Instagram is a site where ‘engagement’ is king, where the best posters happily answer questions that pertain to each photographic jewel posted. Take it from us: the exciting portal inspires and excites in equal measure. So happy ‘gramming. We look forward to seeing you on the brighter side!

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

Recent Stories