Photo courtesy of W Network Image by: Photo courtesy of W Network
A strict deadline raises the stakes in this mammoth home makeover, as the boys have to complete the project before the Scott family reunion, which (naturally), they've offered to host.
Having just wrapped filming in Las Vegas, Drew and Jonathan returned to Toronto to chat with Canadian Living about the series, sibling rivalry, and Sin City's newest—and biggest—residential waterslide.
Canadian Living: What exactly is the Scott family reunion all about?
Drew: We have not had an official Scott family reunion in our lifetime, and we've got a very hilarious cast of characters in our family, so we thought when we finish the renovation of our place in Vegas, we're going to throw the party of all parties. We literally had about 120 family and friends from all over the world fly in – Canada, the U.K., the U.S…
Jonathan: What are you talking about, 120? We had almost 300.
Drew: Well, 120 flew in, and the rest were all people from Vegas, and people who had worked on the show, so all in all, it was just under 300 people.
Canadian Living: Why Las Vegas?
Drew: I've been in Vegas for over five years, and Jonathan's been there seven and a half years, so we sold our individual places and picked up this compound with the idea of turning it into our family home. We've been holding onto the place for a couple of years, but haven't done anything with it because we haven't had the time. Finally, we were able to set the wheels in motion and get the renovation done.
Jonathan: I like that he calls it a "compound," as though we're like, dictators or a cult or something.
Drew: Actually, if you look at our fan base, they're pretty passionate. So, maybe we're starting something. Who knows?
Canadian Living: And how do you feed 300 people at a family reunion?
Drew: We had it fully catered. I used to own an event planning company, so the logistics are easy for us.
Jonathan: We take your Canadian Living recipes, and multiply them by 100.
Drew: Not that I'm biased—because it was our party—but it was probably the best party I've gone to in the last decade. We had every square inch of the place being used. There's a 15-foot movie screen outside just off the pool and a two-storey commercial waterslide that comes down the back. We had ping-pong, circus performers… We even had a monkey in a tuxedo.
Jonathan: He and Drew looked very similar, actually.
Drew: It was a lot of fun.
Canadian Living: How was filming this show different from filming Property Brothers?
Drew: Well, we're used to being on camera, but the difference with Property Brothers: At Home is that we had a camera in our face 24/7, at our home. It was a little different having that invasion of privacy, but I didn't really mind it. For years I've been wanting to show fans my place and what I would actually do with it, because every home that we do for Property Brothers is catered to another family's wants and needs.
Jonathan: And we set out a rule in the beginning that the cameras would not cut. Some people think that we make up the drama for all of the shows that we do, but we don't—this stuff actually happens in any major construction project. This is the largest residential project I have ever done—and I've done big projects—so we had a lot of stuff pop up that was insane and chaotic… And that makes for good television.
Drew: The commercial-grade waterslide that we installed, for example, was one of the biggest drama points. Jonathan just had to have this, and I was saying to him, "It costs a fortune; you're going to use it once and it's just going to sit there."
Jonathan: I've used it twice already.
Drew: The city didn't even have code for it because they've never put a commercial waterslide in a residential application. Still, Jonathan spent $10,000 on footings to put it in before it had been passed. I said to him, "You realize that if they deny it, you've just spent $10,000 on fill."
Jonathan: It's Vegas baby. You gotta gamble sometimes.
Canadian Living: What are the unique challenges of designing with your own personal tastes in mind?
Jonathan: Oh, I will tell you what the biggest challenge is. (Points at Drew.) Granted, Drew understands design and can see the potential in a space. But we had very different goals as to what we wanted to achieve.
Drew: We divided and conquered. Jonathan had his areas of the home and I had my areas. I designed my bedroom and the courtyard that I have off of my bedroom. I went with a Parisian theme because my girlfriend loves Paris, and we wanted to have that elegance. And then Jonathan took over. The living room is this massive open area with a 26-foot ceiling, and Jonathan designed a light fixture that's a metal cage with a crystal chandelier inside—it's beautiful. So it was nice that we were able to take different aspects of the home and make them our own.
For more from the Property Brothers, check out their tips for new homeowners.