Jonathan and Drew Scott love to shed their adult shoes and horse around like kids, so they are delighted by the house they see on the latest episode of their show “Property Brothers: Forever Home.”
In the “All Grown Up” episode, the Scott brothers head to a house in Manhattan Beach, CA, where every room is filled with toys, games, puzzles, and play equipment designed to inspire activity, wonder, and imagination.
Homeowners Janice and Mark had designed it this way for their three children. But now that the children are pre-teen and into more mature pursuits, that rope jungle gym in the living room isn’t getting used much anymore.
This is the only home the kids have ever known and there are lots of great memories here, so Janice and Mark don’t want to move. They’ve asked the property brothers to help transition the space so that it satisfies both adults and more mature kids. They have a budget of $285,000 to make that happen.
Jonathan and Drew get to relive their own childhoods as they transform the kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room. Along the way, they deliver some remarkable tips for updating and brightening up our own spaces. Watch and learn!
The dining room has always been a playroom for the kids, with a pool table that flips over into an air hockey table. The table is converted to a dining table when it’s time to eat.
“Before, this was obviously a fun space, a cool space,” says Drew. “But now we want you to have a beautiful family space, somewhere that just has those tones that help you relax. Then you can focus on the good times, the food, the laughter, and that’s what I think’s going to happen here.”
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He says that’s the way it was in their home when they were growing up.
“In our family, we had three kids. We have the two of us and our older brother, and we spent every dinner, every breakfast here,” Drew shares. “We sat around the table, and it was so important for us. It was a bonding experience for us. I’m so glad you now have that for you guys.”
The ceiling in the kitchen has always bothered Janice and Mark. It’s low, and the lighting in it is not flattering at all.
“This ceiling was dropped down to accommodate fluorescent lights,” says Jonathan. “It’s got to go back up.”
During demolition, they discover that the dropped ceiling also accommodates vents and electrical and plumbing, things that should have gone in soffits. So they raise the ceiling and build new soffits.
Post-makeover, the added headroom helps the kitchen feel much more spacious.
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The kitchen has tile countertops, and while this was once a popular trend, Janice says the grouting between the tile is trapping dirt and looks grimy.
“Back in the day, this is how people did it. But it only takes a month or two for it to discolor,” says Jonathan. “Out with the gross tile counters that are sucking up bacteria! They’ll have beautiful stone going in here now that’s not only a clean, sanitary surface, but there’s also more prep space and it’s brighter. Everything in this kitchen is going to reflect light.”
In the inspiration house that Jonathan shows them, Janice and Mark like seeing wallpaper up to the ceiling because it adds color and draws the eye higher, making the room seem bigger.
So Jonathan decides to take it a step further and add wallpaper on the ceiling, because it also draws the eye up and adds color in an interesting way. It ends up being a big hit, and a great way to decorate a space that mostly goes unnoticed.
Janice and Mark have a breakfast nook that’s more like “a breakfast cave,” according to Jonathan, so they decide to put a door in one wall to access the backyard and open up the space.
This changes the seating situation in the breakfast nook.
“We want to make sure Janice and Mark and the kids have all the room they need,” says Jonathan. “I feel like the best use of space is tucking the banquette right against the wall, almost like an L-shape with a fancy corner here.”
But they absolutely want to consider the comfort factor as well.
“You’re going to be sitting there for a long time,” says Jonathan. “I want to make sure it has a good back cushion, seat cushion, and it’s easy to get in and out of.”
When it’s finished, Jonathan says, “With this great-looking, custom banquette they build, there will be fewer chairs to block the flow to the front door. It will change everything for them.”
Janice is so happy with the outcome, which came in right on budget, she gets sweetly emotional.
“I feel like our lives have been so stressful and busy, and now I feel like I can breathe and rest and relax,” she says. “This changes so much. This space is just so happy and peaceful.”
“This new space is perfect,” agrees Mark. So perfect, in fact, that the family ends up getting in a popcorn fight (instigated by Jonathan and Drew, of course). Now, who said a house designed for adults can’t let loose once in a while?
Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning writer who covers lifestyle, entertainment, real estate, design, and travel. Find her on ReallyRather.com