Jonathan and Drew Scott work hard. Drew is a real estate agent, Jonathan a licensed contractor. They are probably more familiar as the Property Brothers, stars of several shows on HGTV U.S., and W and DIY television networks. They often work in tandem, and their energy is palpable.
But everyone has to recharge sooner or later, and when the guys need downtime, they head for their shared home in Las Vegas. It’s said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but they’ve graciously given us a glimpse of the Property Brothers’ life away from the TV cameras.
Just a brief chat with them makes it obvious that the joking and camaraderie evident on the show are real. That sense of playfulness carries over into their home lives, where such items as a two-storey waterslide accessed directly from the upstairs of their 5,500-square-foot renovated home lend credence to Las Vegas’s reputation as a city devoted to fun! fun! fun!
The formerly bland house is in a style that Jonathan calls “Nuevo Southwest – an American twist on Mediterranean style.” It was erected in 2008, and was “a builder basic on a dirt lot, but in a prime location.
“We tore out the back wall and replaced it with a 22-foot window wall to bring the outside in,” he says. “The majority of the cubic footage is in the living room with its 26-foot ceiling, so we put up a huge chandelier to bring down the height of the ceiling.”
Pretty much everything displayed in the living room (nearly everywhere in the house, in fact) has meaning for the brothers. “We don’t like stark modern design,” Drew says. “We like character. All these knick-knacks are conversation pieces, and every piece in the house has a story.”
The two master bedrooms have room for conversation pieces, too, but how to apportion the rooms also sparked some conversation. Since Jonathan spends more time in Las Vegas, he got the original master bedroom with a walkout balcony. “The room is designed around the big custom-made shelf, and has a gorgeous chandelier that I fell in love with,” he says. “I work nonstop and then sleep in until noon, so it has a really comfy bed.”
“Jonathan has the master closet in the master bedroom, but my room had a small closet,” says Drew. But don’t feel sorry for him because “I needed to expand my closet, and on the other side of my wall is the garage, so I took 17 feet from the garage and now my closet is bigger than Jonathan’s. My bedroom also has a private courtyard for my girlfriend and me to enjoy the sunset.”
Family is important to the brothers, who say there’s no drama in the Scott clan, and they love spending time together. Hence the enormous living area, capacious kitchen, large dining table, and well-equipped games room. But it’s outdoors where the brothers offer the most diversion to family and guests.
“In Vegas, you can enjoy outdoor space year-round, so we have an outdoor dining room,” says Jonathan. “We like to eat dinners with family and friends.”
“Originally I was thinking of a pretty simple yard, maybe just a small pool,” Drew says. “But Jonathan has two tiny dogs and wanted to give them the entire yard. ‘Are the dogs paying for the renovation?’ I asked. (“The dogs are a lot easier to please than Drew is,” rejoins Jonathan.)
“Then we thought we’d have a basketball court, maybe a hot tub as well,” continues Drew. “Now we’ve got a half court, and the hot tub, and a pool with a swim-up bar.” Not to mention the commercial-grade water slide, of course.
“We had our first pool party this year,” Jonathan says. “The only thing not there was the beach volleyball we originally wanted, but the pool is designed for water volleyball.”
With their emphasis on family, the brothers wanted a special place for their parents to enjoy when they headed south from Canada during the winter. The result: a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house adjoining the pool that also houses the swim-up bar.
Having lived in the place since 2010, the brothers were fully primed when they started their five-and-a-half-month reno in January 2014. In June of this year they had a reunion that saw some 260 family members and friends give the amenities, indoors and out, a workout. Now that the brothers have test-driven their funhouse, does it meet expectations?
“Yes,” says Jonathan. Adds Drew, “The big thing now is finding time to use the space.”