Jonathan and Drew Scott have one more reason to celebrate this holiday season: Drew and his wife, Linda Phan, are expecting their first child.
“Cat’s out of the bag, everyone,” Drew announced on a recent episode of their podcast, At Home. “Linda’s pregnant!”
Phan and Drew are no doubt busy preparing their home for the arrival of the newest member of the Scott clan, due in May. And they will have plenty of help from soon-to-be-Uncle Jonathan, a contractor with plenty of experience making homes more family-friendly. In fact, on the latest episode of “Property Brothers: Forever Home,” he and the dad-to-be include one upgrade that’s perfect for kids, particularly come dinnertime.
In the Season 6 episode “The Final Move,” Drew and Jonathan meet with Meghan and Chris, Calgary, Alberta, parents of two who have moved 14 times in 15 years. Now, they’re living in a 1972 house that they’re hoping to turn into their forever home.
Here’s how the Scott brothers use their $150,000 renovation budget to add plenty of smart upgrades, including one that’s so perfect for parents, we wouldn’t be surprised if Drew and Phan have it already.
Small changes can freshen up an old fireplace
While many homeowners want to replace a dated brick fireplace, Meghan and Chris actually love theirs. Surprisingly, the brothers support their choice.
“This is one of those things where a lot of craftsmanship went into this,” Jonathan says, inspecting the brick arch design. “There’s no sense in ripping this out.”
The brothers agree to keep the feature, but suggest a few small changes to freshen the look. They paint the white brick a light, soothing gray and paint the brass components black to give the feature some contrast.
“It’s all about updating the color tones so that when it’s done, it’ll be a beautiful feature that adds that retro flair but also ties into everything that’s new,” Jonathan says.
To finish this fireplace, they add a new black quartz hearth for $750 and create some built-ins on either side so this family of four will have plenty of storage.
These changes show how a retro feature can fit in with a modern home. With a slight color change and some added storage, this fireplace wall looks perfect in this home. This upgrade is a lot cheaper than a new fireplace, and it shows off the history of the home.
Arches make an entrance feel special
Since the brothers are keeping the arched fireplace design, they decide to mirror the look on the other side of the room by adding an arched entryway.
“Meghan lit up when she was talking about the arch in the fireplace,” Jonathan says. “And so, the idea of doing an arch here is going to be like her dream first impression.”
Once the team installs the arch, it’s clear that this feature was the right choice. The design adds an elegant touch to the space and brings attention to the unique fireplace.
“It’s nice, it’s grand, it doesn’t close you in,” Jonathan says. “I think just having that little extra embellishment makes it special.”
It’s a clever addition that proves it’s OK to embrace a unique style, and that carrying that style from one room to the next will help the flow of a home.
Cream cabinets are warmer than stark white
Meghan and Chris dislike their dated wood cabinets, so they relish helping rip them out, while Jonathan budgets for a new set of white Shaker-style cabinets.
However, the couple explain that they want to avoid bright whites.
“We’d like more of an off-white. … Not bright sterile white but, like, warmer,” Meghan says.
While bright white cabinets have been on trend for years, off-white cabinets give this kitchen a more cozy, comfortable vibe. When the brothers are finished installing them, the kitchen looks much more updated. Still, the off-white tone keeps this kitchen from looking too modern. The softer shade is also a great way to keep a home feeling warm and inviting without going too stark.
Use wood tones sparingly
While the brothers know that switching out the wood cabinets with white will make the kitchen look more updated, they’re not opposed to using wood tones in the space.
Jonathan adds an island to this small kitchen, giving it dark brown cabinets.
“It will punch with lighter counters,” he says.
When the kitchen is finished, it’s clear that Jonathan was right. The darker island really pops next to the light countertop and creamy white perimeter cabinets. Wood tones, in small doses, give this kitchen classic charm.
A built-in banquette is perfect for kids
Mealtime with two young children can get messy, so to avoid spilling food on the carpet, Meghan and Chris started dining at the small plastic kids’ table they keep in their kitchen. Of course, Drew and Jonathan do not approve!
The Scott brothers replace the kitchen carpet with easy-to-clean laminate flooring, then make space for a (much more grown-up) built-in banquette.
Jonathan knows a banquette will be perfect for this family.
“For kids, it’s great. They can sit on a bench, they can slide around, you can get more kids in there—it’s perfect,” he says.
Plus, he knows it’s a great alternative to a traditional dining table because it won’t take up too much space in Chris and Meghan’s small house.
“Had we just left it with a regular table, we’d have to leave clearance behind the seating, and then it would stick out more into the room,” Jonathan says. “This tucks it away nice and neat.”
The homeowners mention that they like modern farmhouse style, so the brothers install some shiplap above the banquette, which adds extra charm. Finally, this family doesn’t have to slouch over a plastic kids’ table. Now, they can dine in serious style!
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