Laurie, our cottage-loving new girlfriend, is quite possibly the loveliest women you’ll ever see on Canadian TV. Sure, her decorating prowess was that of a crazy person but from the moment we met her she tugged at our heartstrings and we simply couldn’t resist taking on her cabin-style project.

A psychiatric nurse, Laurie has made a career out of helping others put their lives back together but, being so busy, she had given up on ever putting her property dream together due to a booming real estate market that propelled values beyond her carefully measured budget. But then, just as her dream was evaporating, a friend spotted a fairly priced house that she reckoned Laurie would love. To make a long story short, Laurie called the realtor to discuss it. She subsequently viewed it, loved it, offered for it and then got it … all in the same day!

And so her dream, against all the odds, became reality. That said the house was filled with a lacklustre collection of furnishings, making it more of a nightmare as far as we could see. However, Laurie valiantly did what she could to turn her microscopic clunker into a home to be proud of. It was miserable to the power of 10 — but it was Laurie’s and she loved it. And, because of that, so, too, did we.


You’ve heard of the ugly duckling? Well this week’s Home Heist is the domestic equivalent of that avian tale. You simply won’t believe your eyes! We bulldozed a decrepit kitchen and replaced it with a beautiful farmhouse update that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Tuscany. We Venetian plastered the walls to elicit a low-key shabby chic look and we added a host of elegant yet cottage-style furnishings that we knew Laurie would love. A black fireplace became a white fireplace, windows became French doors opening onto the forest and every inch of knotty pine was painted in soothing country tones.

Next, we combined a tiny powder room with a tight shower room to make a spacious bathroom complete with Victorian fittings, a roll-top tub and a checkerboard floor. God, we’re good! Little wonder then that during our reveal Laurie wept like a baby. And so, too, did our cameraman, who had to stop filming to compose himself. Then our director and her associate wept. And then we, too, started to cry. Don’t get us wrong — we think ALL our homeowners are deserving of their transformations but we firmly believe that, sometimes, our makeovers are actually life-changing.

And that’s how we feel about Laurie’s. A ridiculously small house has been beautified to the power of 10 and we think it’s probably doubled in price.

And we’re proud that, values aside, Laurie loves it. Watch how, like a swan, her beautiful home emerges. Kleenex at the ready — 9 p.m.

HGTV hosts Colin and Justin continue their mission of beautification with their Canadian design series Colin & Justin’s Home Heist, airing Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.

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