9 Questions for the Property Brothers

HGTV stars offer design insight

We caught up with Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” “Buying & Selling” and “Brother vs. Brother” and asked them a few home design-related questions for Design NJ readers.

Design NJ: Are homeowners more design savvy today than five years ago?
Jonathan & Drew: Homeowners are definitely more resourceful—there’s a plethora of information and inspiration that is easily accessible. From online sources and design exhibits to television shows and in-store experts, homeowners don’t really have an excuse to make uneducated decisions when it comes to their home.

Design-savvy homeowners know the best places to shop for furnishings to suit their tastes.  February/March 2016.


DNJ: What are the hottest design features homebuyers look for today?
J&D: More and more emphasis has been placed on the luxury of having a well-designed outdoor living space. This is a cost-effective way to add more usable square footage to your home without having to knock down walls. It’s making the best use of what’s already there and adds to the overall enjoyment of the home.

A fire pit and cozy faux fur throw extend the use of the rooftop porch into cooler weather. Featured in our October/November 2018 issue.

DNJ: What interior design trends do you feel don’t have staying power or that you wish would go away?
J&D: We always warn homeowners that the trendier something is, the quicker it may go out of style. Wallpaper, for example, can stand the test of time if done right and if in the right pattern. But if you go for a bold, loud print that you love right now, it may repulse someone considering purchasing your home in a few years. If you’re going to wallpaper, opt for a more versatile and neutral pattern, color or texture.

Subtle wallpaper, such as this one in a grass-cloth fabric, allow for depth without adding too much distraction. April/May 2017.

DNJ: What is your background in design? Given the quick turn-around times required for television, do you have behind-the-scenes help in finding furniture and accents?
Drew: We both have over 15 years of experience in real estate and have renovated hundreds of homes. And Jonathan will admit that I have even been known to get my hands dirty with a reno.
Jonathan: I am also a licensed contractor and master builder. I always have a great design team to help move the projects along. We have up to nine houses on the go at any given time, so it’s important to surround myself with a professional team.

DNJ: Do you both gravitate toward a particular style or do you have different personal tastes in architecture and interior design?
Jonathan: I describe my style as elegantly eclectic. I love combining rustic elements with more classic, elegant designs to create a space that’s rich in personality.
Drew: I love a more modern space with clean, crisp lines, but not to a point where the home feels sterile and cold. I tend to add warmth, color and personal context through design features or décor pieces, for example, an accent chair or antiques collected from my travels.

DNJ: Where do you source the furnishings for the projects that appear on television?
J&D: We find products and furnishings in a variety of stores and other sources in the cities where we work.

DNJ: Have homeowners ever requested a particular design feature that you liked so much you recommended it in subsequent projects?
J&D: We continually see new ideas and learn something new with every project. We designed a kosher kitchen for one family and that was very interesting. We didn’t have a lot of space to work with, but we were able to provide them with a stylish and functional space where their family could gather to prep and enjoy their meals together. Many times families ask for features without considering how they would tie in with the overall design. It’s our job to take the things that are important to them and create a design that works for their family.

DNJ: What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of open floor plans?
J&D: An open floor plan is a great way to create a continuous visual and functional flow, offering a clean, unified look from one area to the next. For families with young children, it may be beneficial also because you can keep your eye on the kids in the family room as you prep dinner in the kitchen. On the other hand, many families prefer a closed floor plan because it offers more privacy and a sound buffer. We always suggest that homeowners consider what buyers want because a closed floor plan may get you a lower sale price.

An open floor plan kitchen and living room allow for ample sunlight and flow throughout the house, as seen in this home featured in our February/March 2018 issue.

DNJ: If someone is tired of granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, what would you recommend?
J&D: Butcher block for your kitchen island countertop is a great way to add variety and a designer touch without busting your budget. Quartz, while it can be more expensive, offers a very durable, zero-maintenance surface and comes in many patterns and colors. For an alternative to stainless steel appliances, you can integrate panels to tie your appliances in with cabinet doors. This can create a sleek look that combines function and style.

Butcher block on a portion of an island adds pattern and texture to contrast with the stone countertop. October/November 2018 issue.