Drew and Jonathan Scott are always showing off their best home improvement tricks on their show “Property Brothers: Forever Home.” So it’s no surprise when, on the latest episode, they impress their clients by getting rid of a smoky cigarette smell and finding a creative solution to popcorn ceilings that can’t be easily removed.
On the “Move-In Ready” episode, the Scott brothers meet J.R. and Jackie, a married couple with two young daughters. They recently purchased a house they love in Mississauga, Canada, but they know there are lots of things that need to be fixed before they can move in.
Read on to find out Drew and Jonathan’s best home improvements for this place, which might inspire a few changes in your own abode, too.
A stairway can make or break your first impression of a house
Right when the brothers walk into Jackie and J.R.’s home, they’re unimpressed—and blame the stairway.
While a curved staircase can make an entryway feel grand, J.R. and Jackie’s stairs are cursed with an outdated yellow paint color and an even more garish purple runner.
Jonathan knows this space needs a makeover to make a better first impression.
“I have built so many curved staircases in my day,” Jonathan says, “and it can cost tens of thousands of dollars for all the custom millwork. These stairs are in great shape. They’re just a bad color.”
He sands out the railings, paints them gray and white, and then gives the stairs a new, nonpurple runner.
“I can’t believe it’s the same staircase,” Jackie says when she sees it.
How to get rid of cigarette smells
While one might think that the outdated staircase might distract Drew and Jonathan during their first tour of J.R. and Jackie’s place, the brothers can’t help but notice the home’s other big problem.
They’re shocked by how stinky the home is.
“The smoke smell in here is overpowering,” Drew says.
The brothers explain that the smell is probably lingering in the carpet and even in the drywall. So, they replace the old drywall and rip up the carpet, making way for smell-free walls and a stylish hardwood floor.
With light tones and an updated look, the hardwood flooring is a big improvement from the carpet, and it especially makes an impression on J.R. and Jackie.
“The floors are amazing, like, just every detail,” Jackie says. “It’s so bright, too. It makes it look so much bigger.”
Get a big kitchen, without making it feel too big
Jackie and J.R. want to be able to have the whole family over on holidays, but with their tiny kitchen, they know they won’t be able to entertain. Looking in the cramped space, Jackie says that they won’t be able to cook a turkey here.
“You’re not even cooking, like, a personal-pan pizza in here,” Jonathan jokes, looking around.
Drew and Jonathan decide to relocate the laundry room and knock down the living room wall to make one long kitchen and living space. There’s just one problem: With all the walls down, this space may now be too big and too long.
To avoid that “bowling alley” feel, Jonathan installs a peninsula in the middle of this room. This is the perfect spot for the kids to sit, plus Jonathan installs a wine cooler and a pull-out microwave so the peninsula is functional as well as stylish.
After the renovation is complete, Jackie and J.R. are thrilled with the space.
“This is stunning,” Jackie says. “It is the biggest kitchen I’ve ever been in.”
Remove any unnecessary windows
When Drew and Jonathan relocate the laundry room to make space for a bigger kitchen, they’re left with the old laundry room window in the middle of the wall. So Jonathan decides to remove it. While it may sound like a bad idea to take out a window, Jonathan has a method to his madness.
“Sometimes homeowners give me side eye when I suggest eliminating a window,” Jonathan says, “but once you remove a couple of walls, sometimes you’re left with a window that isn’t doing much.”
He explains that getting rid of the window makes way for the peninsula and extra storage, both of which this kitchen really needs.
Go for bold colors in the kitchen
While many homeowners aim for white and bright kitchens, J.R. and Jackie are more interested in a bold look. They explain that they like darker cabinets and darker countertops.
“Big kitchens are great for taking a chance on a bold color for your cabinets, because you don’t have to worry about the space feeling closed in,” Jonathan says, “but I wouldn’t go dark on all of the surfaces. You still need to have some visual contrast.”
So Jonathan chooses a creamy off-white backsplash and lighter hardwood flooring. The kitchen may have dark, moody colors, but it still seems airy and bright.
Get rid of popcorn ceiling—the easy way
Have pesky popcorn ceiling? Jonathan explains that sometimes it can’t be easily scraped off.
When he realizes that the popcorn will not budge from J.R. and Jackie’s ceiling, he decides to try a different method: covering it up. That’s right! The team puts up a new layer of drywall right below the popcorn ceiling, dramatically improving the look.
“We don’t want to lose a bunch of ceiling height,” Jonathan explains, “but the method we’re going with is applying one-quarter inch drywall. It doesn’t take a lot of time to install, but you instantly get that smooth ceiling.”
Do the Scott brothers deliver?
J.R. and Jackie already had a beautiful house, but by the time Drew and Jonathan are done with it, this place has transformed into a gorgeous forever home.
Plus, they deliver this renovation right on time and right on budget. The brothers quote this project at seven weeks and $160,000, and though they have a lot to do with the kitchen and the floors, they end up finishing the project as expected.
In the end, Jackie and J.R. are amazed by the home.
“It feels like us,” says J.R.