If they seemed exhausted you’d forgive them. But Drew and Jonathan Scott – best known as HGTV’s “Property Brothers” – are fresh faced and gracious Saturday morning in High Point, as they sit at an aged concrete dining table that bears their name for a chat before giving a talk to more than 600 design industry professionals later in the day.
It’d be impossible to find busier twins in show business: In addition to the five home renovation shows they film for HGTV, they’ve got an eponymous furniture line, they just wrapped a 12-city stage show to promote their new book (“It Takes Two”) and Drew is competing on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
“Last night we landed at 8:30 and Drew immediately went with Emma (Slater, his dance partner) to a dance studio to rehearse,” Jonathan says.
Chimes Drew: “I was at Fred Astaire ’til midnight.”
Jonathan is due on a Toronto job site at 6 a.m. Sunday; he’s got 17 construction projects going simultaneously now for the shows.
But on Saturday, the brothers’ attention is fixed on promoting and gathering feedback on the Scott Living furniture line from the thousands of home design professionals gathered here. It’s their third visit to a market week in High Point since their furniture line launched in 2014.
Here are five things we learned, from the best aspect of the brothers’ childhood bedroom to how they juggle a media empire and whether they’ll ever wind up shooting in the Charlotte area.
▪ Don’t ask them how they do it all, because they don’t do it all (themselves).
“I laugh when people go on Twitter and they’ll say, ‘How do you do it all by yourself?’ I’m like, ‘What, are you nuts?’ ” Jonathan laughs.
“I’m a general contractor, so at the end of the day I have to make sure I get to the sites to make sure everything’s being handled,” Jonathan says. “But I would never be the one laying 5,000 square feet of flooring – I’ve got subtrades for that. I have seven full-time crews operating right now.”
They’re currently filming “Property Brothers” and “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling” in Toronto, as well as “Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House,” (airing in November) in which the brothers are racing to renovate Drew’s Los Angeles home in time for Drew and fiance Linda Phan to host their rehearsal dinner.
Says Drew: “We’re the first to admit, there’s no way we could be doing it all ourselves. Even myself, I have local real estate agents that work under me in every market because we’re in a different city filming every two to three months. So right now, with two shows filming in Toronto and one filming in Los Angeles, there’s no way we could be doing that all on our own. We really are only as strong as our team and that’s what I love.”
▪ Will we ever see “Property Brothers” filmed in the Queen City?
“We’d love to,” Drew says. “We always tell fans, if you want us to come to your city, get on social media and hit up HGTV and tell them you’d love to see us. They actually listen. They choose where we go. We have five series, so every two to three months we’re in a different city.”
“We actually almost did,” Jonathan recalls. “The last time we did Property Brothers in New York, the final two contenders were New York and North Carolina. … near Charlotte. The main reason we went to New York was press. We had to do a lot of national press.”
“The Today Show would have us on every day if we could,” Drew laughs. Quips Jonathan: “They’d call it ‘The Brothers Show.’ ”
So how do they feel about the South, after filming shows in cities like Atlanta and Austin and Galveston, Texas?
“We like it, other than humidity and me and this hair,” Jonathan says. “They don’t get along so well.”
▪ On the hardest part of the design process for their shows:
“I’ll tell you what the biggest challenge is, usually, is getting the husband and wife to agree on the style,” Jonathan says. “I’ve never – knock on concrete top (he knocks on the table top) – had a client at the end of the day who didn’t like the design. … Homeowners don’t know what they want. They think they know what they want, but they don’t.”
Says Drew: “We call it ‘demo therapy.’ We’re therapists on top of designers and contractors and real estate agents and we really sometimes have to push people past their comfort zone and show them what they like, they just didn’t know that they like.”
▪ On the one piece of furniture that was key to their childhood, but is missing from their furniture line (as of yet):
“Brothers Bunk Beds! That’s how we grew up,” Drew says. “We grew up in a small house, a ranch style home, with three bedrooms and one bath.”
“We shared a room. Jonathan had the top bunk originally – he’s older than me so he got the first choice; he’s four minutes older – however that bunk bed was not built exactly to the same codes you have today for furniture manufacturing,” Drew says. “The rail was like this (he motions a big space between his hands), so skinny little Jonathan would roll under it in the night and you’d just hear a thud. My parents would come in and he would be asleep on the floor.”
▪ On what they think makes their furniture line different from other celebrity lines:
“There are a lot of celebrity brands out there, where they don’t take the time to come to (High Point Furniture) market, but we feel you have to,” Drew says. “We have the integrity of our brand. We want people to see we’re not just slapping our names on something. We design everything and we make sure we are hands-on with the whole process.”