Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott Share Their Design Tips
When we arrive on site at the Property Brothers shoot in Nashville, the set is buzzing with crew, makeup artists, and prop stylists. Fresh flowers and food decorate a freshly renovated kitchen that features our very own NativeStone Farmhouse 3018 sink in Pearl.
We sat down with the brothers while they shared some of their kitchen and bathroom design tips:
Jonathan: We’re just about to reveal a property to these homeowners, and typical of most homeowners, they were stressed about the idea of having to do a renovation. They could not find what they wanted in a home that was already renovated. Especially the wife—she has very good taste, but very particular taste.
Drew: Cat is like me. Jonathan’s a little more laid back like the husband Ryan. Cat and me, we’re organization freaks. Everything has its place. She needed tons of storage because she has lots of appliances in her kitchen.
Jonathan: And they wanted it to be a family-friendly home. Sometimes you’ll see designs that don’t actually function for real families. We like to design houses for real people.
Drew: If you look around, this design feels fresh, clean, new; however, there’s a lot of character throughout, whether it’s the fireplace or the concrete kitchen sink that has more of that artisanal, rustic charm. We even used Cat’s grandma’s old cookbook to stage in the kitchen, so it feels like there are a lot of memories infused into this design.
NT: Native Trails is known for providing designers with artisan-made products that have a textural, tactile appeal. How does that work with the “Property Brothers” design style?
Drew: It’s great to get great-looking pieces like your sinks to pop in to showcase a space and add character. We don’t like putting in the norm. Something needs to stand out.
Jonathan: One of the biggest trends is mixed metals, but also mixing many materials to make for more interesting designs. For us, it’s about creating something interesting. You never walk into a space where everything is matchy-matchy and typical and then walk away with a feeling of it being unique and wonderful. We go for a very eclectic mix of materials.
Drew: You never wow anybody by playing it safe or just doing the norm. Everybody wants their space to be unique, and that’s why we like that eclectic feel.
NT: Building homes is one thing; renovating them is an entirely different thing. When it comes to kitchen and bathroom renovations, what are the most important things to provide homeowners with?
Drew: Most people, when they try to renovate, think about pretty and forget about function. They forget about how a family is going to function in a space. It doesn’t matter if you replace the fixtures or the cabinets if you keep a really bad flow. So that’s the big thing—we always try to give function along with style to homeowners.
You never wow anybody by playing it safe or just doing the norm. Everybody wants their space to be unique, and that’s why we like that eclectic feel.
Jonathan: It’s the same with twins. Usually there’s one good-looking one—
Drew: —Yeah, one for style, and one for function. The contractor’s the function.
NT: Let’s talk bathtubs. What kind of bathtub works best in a modern home?
Drew: The biggest concern is some people will want to put in a clawfoot tub when they don’t have space for it. With a clawfoot tub, you’re going to have water spilling over. So the only time we’ll put that in is if you have a separate shower because your clawfoot tub should not be the shower as well. If you’ve ever tried to take a shower with one of those wraparound curtains, it’s useless. And there needs to be a fully tiled, fully waterproof space all around it. Clawfoot tubs are beautiful, as are many, many freestanding tubs, but it has to be the right setup for it.
Jonathan: We just put in one of your hammered nickel bathtubs. The whole point of a freestanding tub is for it to be a statement piece, so if you have the room for a freestanding tub, you should look to make a statement with it. So either you want to go all out and do a hammered nickel finish or maybe a gold leaf on the outside to make a statement. You also want to look at the symmetry of the room to make sure it will actually flow. Drew’s bathroom is a prime example. The bathroom is designed—the tile work, the shower, the vanities on each side—with the freestanding tub to be the feature in the middle of the bathroom. If you have a bathroom where you have to have it off to the side, that’s OK. It can still be a statement piece even if it’s not balanced in the middle of the room.
Drew: Jonathan and I find that the reason most people always talk about kitchens and bathrooms being where you can add the most value is because those rooms are the rooms that typically have the bling—the fixtures, appliances, lighting. Those are the areas where you can really showcase that wow-factor. If you look at all of our episodes for “Property Brothers” and “Buying and Selling” and “Brother Vs. Brother,” every single kitchen we do is different. Every bathroom is different because every house is different, and that’s where you get to let loose and have fun.
The reason most people always talk about kitchens and bathrooms being where you can add the most value is because those rooms are the rooms that typically have the bling—the fixtures, appliances, lighting. Those are the areas where you can really showcase that wow-factor.
NT: What do you do to keep inspiration alive?
Drew: We find inspiration everywhere we go. I just got married in Italy, and we both spent a little extra time out there, touring around and looking at cathedrals and different spaces.
Jonathan: Not only did I pick up inspiration while I was in Italy, I picked up ten pounds.
Drew: His inspiration was pizza.
Jonathan: Whether we’re at a hotel or a resort or a restaurant, we’re always looking at things and thinking, ‘That could make an interesting application in a residential situation,’ and also learning new technologies that are coming along. We attend a lot of tradeshows to see where trends are going. Immersing yourself constantly in design is the only way to learn.
Drew: Yeah, we’re lifelong students.
For more inspiration check out some more of our products on “Property Brothers” here.