So a few weeks ago, just a random Saturday, I found myself on the phone with Drew Scott, one-half of the very popular Property Brothers.
…wait, what? Did I read that right? Sometimes I’m still surprised myself!
Okay, so allow me to explain how this amazing interview with Drew Scott came about:
Last November I enjoyed a wonderful experience, sailing the Caribbean with the Scott Brothers and a few other HGTV stars as part of a bloggers’ design cruise. If you missed it, you can check out my two part series recapping the awesome Sailing with the Scotts Cruise.
During the cruise, I befriended a few of the crew members and design colleagues from Property Brothers and their other shows. One of those was Tracy, owner of Meridian Construction Company, Inc. in Las Vegas, and Drew’s lead contractor on Brother vs Brother, Season 3. Tracy and his wife Kim were incredibly fun and we spent the last two days of the cruise hanging out with them. When Brother vs Brother Season 4 was set to premiere, Tracy made sure to remind me not to miss it – as if I would!
I would often text with Tracy as I watched, finding one episode outtake particularly funny, or teasing him about pranking Drew. As I viewed the finale and chatted with my husband over our own renovation dreams, a light bulb flashed over my head. Sooo many of my favorite HGTV shows spark conversations of renovation dreams, realities, and questions about what we can/should/want to do. Here I was, chummy with a real contractor who just happened to also work on one of said HGTV shows. . .
I wondered if Tracy would let me interview him, ask him questions about home renovations and his experiences on the show?
Fortunately for me, Tracy was all for it! A few days later, he called me to tell me he was planning to head to New Orleans that weekend to surprise The Brothers, both currently on location for their new show, Brothers Take New Orleans. Would I be interested in having Drew join in on the interview?
Gee…..let me think….
So fast forward a few days, and here I was, my list of questions in front of me, waiting for the phone to ring and praying I don’t make a complete fool of myself. I’d met Drew on the cruise and talked with him a bit, so I knew he was very easy going and friendly. I wasn’t too concerned about that; I had just never interviewed anyone before, at least no one as accustomed to being interviewed as Drew must be. I hoped I wouldn’t bore him to tears.
After a brief introduction from Tracy and a little chitchat, we got right to business. Drew was due back on set and had limited time available, so it was all the sweeter that he offered what time he had.
First question: you are basically known as the “realtor” brother on all the different shows that you do with Jonathan, but obviously on Brother vs Brother, you’ve shown that you have some decent home improvement skills of your own. I was curious what your background is in flipping houses?
Drew: Well I taught Tracy everything he knows. (chuckle) We actually, Jonathan and I, both started construction at the same time, you know, with my dad. My dad used to get us to help with some projects when we were kids. You know, if we were finishing our basement, or if we were finishing another space in the house. Jonathan actually built our first house with my dad at sixteen.
Me: Oh wow.
Drew: So for me, we learned a little bit as a kid, and then we got into real estate right out of high school as a way to fund our creative endeavors. We wanted to make our own films – we’d been actors as kids – and so literally Jonathan and myself, and our older brother JD, the three of us, we all started doing the construction side of it the same time, started learning. So most projects, most everything Jonathan does, I can do. He’s done bigger scale; he’s a licensed contractor not me, so he’s done bigger scale. He knows code better than I do, so he isn’t all good with the hands on. I can do a lot of the hands on stuff. I still refer to him, or the same way with Tracy working with me on Brother vs Brother, I refer to the licensed contractors for local code. Tracy can attest, I know how to get my hands dirty on a construction site.
Tracy: He really does.
Me: Well, I’ve seen it myself! I hope your face is still okay after having that fan drop down on you!
Drew: Yeah. Oh! Yeah, it’s a good thing you have Tracy here in front of me when you talk about that! So, I was following safety procedures….uh, he put his foot through the ceiling in my face, ha ha.
Me: So the licensed contractor is the one that…(chuckling)
Drew: Yeah, no, that was, that was sore, I mean obviously he was not expecting.. . a little bloody…but, yeah, we weren’t expecting the drywall and the ceiling to be so soft from the water damage. But…it happened.
Tracy: I felt so bad. That was terrible.
Me: Well, glad you’re okay.
Tracy: He had a book signing to go to and he looked like…he looked like shit.
Drew: Yeah! I had a book signing right after that and I had a nice big swollen lip.
Me: Oh no!
Tracy: I had thousands of women mad at me.
How often would you say your design choices differ from Jonathan’s?
Drew: Um, I mean…pretty much as much as you saw on that Property Brothers at Home that we shot at our place in Vegas. They differ. Jonathan, we both like a more modern design, but infusing traditional or more rustic elements into it. I call it “rustic-ly modern”. But we do, we do differ. Even on Brother vs Brother, even on this project we’re doing, Brothers Take NOLA down here, we’re each doing a space and they are very different. I had a couple of layout ideas that I thought would be better for the flow. Jonathan didn’t agree, he went with something different. So what we always say is when you are looking at design, there’s not just one way. There are always many ways that you can go with it. I always try and find the most functional way for someone to utilize the space. Which obviously, Jonathan does too, but sometimes there are different design aesthetics, aspects of it, you know…I want to go for a thick reclaimed faux beam, or Jonathan may just want to go for a higher ceiling height…so. I mean, we’re brothers. We differ in opinions. It’s not just saying I’m right or Jonathan’s right, it’s just different.
So then how hard does it make it to design for clients that have much different tastes than yours?
Drew: So, see that’s the good thing for me. I don’t design for clients. Typically, on Property Brothers, I have a little bit of feedback – off camera, I’m not on camera – but off camera I can give a few ideas or suggestions here and there. And, you know, Jonathan rolls with that as well, but typically anytime we work with clients it’s Jonathan as the contractor/designer that works with them. I typically design for our own investments, or shows like Brother vs Brother where I am the client. You know, I paid for the house, I’m into designing it to appeal to the masses. You’ll notice, on any of the shows, when I do a design, it is usually meant for appealing to the masses. There’ll be, every room will have one or two features, and it is something that will add to the value. Because I am always looking for that resale value…whereas Jonathan works with a lot of clients, and he has to really listen to what they want. Sometimes, he’ll do something that’s more custom for them and their tastes, but it’s not necessarily – like on Property Brothers, you’ll see – it’s not necessarily something that’s meant for the masses, and the resale value.
Me: Okay –
Drew: Yeah, on Property Brothers, it’s different than the other shows because we are designing for specific clients. And so, you’ll notice, the designs are very different, they’re not all our taste. I mean, sometimes we do things that are definitely not our taste. However, we know it’s that homeowner that really loves that certain something, and this is them that has to live in the home. So, that’s how we do it.