“Property Brothers” stars Jonathan and Drew Scott are fully away that everyone’s favorite kitchen feature these days is a large island, but is it possible to achieve island overkill?
That’s the question they face on the latest episode, titled “Party on the Hill,” in which they try to help Keith and Thiago find and renovate their dream home, after having slept in Keith’s sister’s basement for just a little too long.
Thiago left his family and his hometown in Brazil to come to Calgary, Canada, and start a new life with Keith. And now they’re looking for a home together with a view of their beloved mountains, as well as plenty of space to entertain their friends and Thiago’s family when they come to visit.
They’re fairly easygoing and have $1,050,000 to spend, which is a relatively generous budget, so you would think it would be a breeze for the Scott brothers, right? Not exactly.
It seems flexibility can create a few challenges in and of itself. At one point Jonathan says, “I don’t think they know what they want” as he struggles to come up with a design plan that will please them both.
But there’s one thing both guys agree on: They want an island—and an absolutely ginormous one at that. As Drew works to find them a house with a view and room for an oversize island and Jonathan tries to design the house just right, they come up with some fabulous buying and building tips that you might be able to use in your own life. Keep reading!
Flat is where it’s at
Keith and Thiago don’t have any children of their own, but they realize the value of a flat yard for Keith’s young niece and nephew to play on when they come to visit. It’s also easier to entertain in a flat yard, as no one needs to worry about setting up tables and chairs on a hill.
Uneven floors can be a sign of major structural issues
Drew finds Keith and Thiago a wonderful two-story house on a hill that’s very near their desired neighborhood. But he warns them upfront, “there are probably major structural issues here” and he shows them why.
He can feel a slant in the floor underfoot, so he lays his pen laser on the floor, and demonstrates how the light hits the wall about 6 inches above the floor line. This could be a sign of foundation problems, support problems, or myriad other maladies, which could cost a fortune to fix. He suggests not making an offer until the house is inspected.
Haggling over a few thousand bucks may not be worth the hassle
The inspection reveals that the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath house won’t be outrageously expensive to fix. But since it’s been on the market for several weeks, Drew suggests Keith and Thiago offer $870,000 for the house, which is listed at $929,000.
Their offer is not accepted, but the owners come back with a counter of $874,000. Since it’s fairly close to what they were willing to pay, they decide there’s no point in haggling just for haggling’s sake, and give the sellers what they’ve asked for. Jonathan comes up with a reno budget of $160,000.
A combined mudroom/laundry room is a practical space saver
The moment you walk in the back door of this house, you’re in the mudroom, which doubles as a laundry room! That means you can shed your muddy socks and sweaty shirts before you even enter the house. Talk about a great combo merging two utility rooms into one.
Gray and white can be warm
The couple claim they want warm, natural colors throughout the house, “not cold grays and whites,” but when they bring in a box of weathered driftwood for Jonathan to use as color scheme inspiration, he notes there’s a lot of gray in it.
To get a better idea of their taste, Jonathan paints several color swatches on the wall, and they pick a white with taupe and gray tones. That’s all the inspiration he needs to create a new design style: modern, rustic chalet.
With white-ish walls, blue accents, and some modern fixtures, Jonathan needs to warm up the house a bit more. So he goes with lighter wood floors with prominent knots in the wide planks. This gives an interesting, rustic aesthetic to the home.
Two-tone kitchens are a hot trend
At first, Keith and Thiago claim the idea of simple white kitchen cabinets were too modern and cold, but Jonathan pairs them with blue-gray cabinets under the island and a textured, chevron backsplash, and they admit it looks fabulous. Two-tone cabinets are quite the thing now, Jonathan asserts.
‘Can an island ever be too big?’
At first, Keith and Thiago claim they want an island that will seat about 20 people, and while that’s not practical in even the largest house, Jonathan comes up with a very clever way to construct the largest island possible for the space: He makes it L-shaped. That way, there’s maximum seating and storage around the exterior, without creating a lot of wasted space in the middle that’s hard to reach. The couple are thrilled.
Do the ‘Property Brothers’ stars deliver?
Jonathan manages to straighten out the floors and other structural problems without breaking his budget, and so is able to renovate the house for $170,000. That still comes in at $6,000 below the couple’s total budget of $1,050,000.
It’s no surprise, then, that Keith and Thiago are over the moon with the results—especially their L-shaped kitchen island, which is plenty big but not too big, proving that the right size island might boil down to the right shape instead.