Real Estate Business

Is Your Home Decor Grown Up Enough?

Jonathan and Drew Scott know that a home’s design aesthetic should mature with the homeowner. And on the latest “Celebrity IOU,” they have their work cut out for them when comedian Howie Mandel asks for help renovating his friend’s condo, which feels like a college dorm.

In the Season 4 episode “Howie’s Sensational Surprise,” Mandel tells the “Property Brothers” stars about his road manager turned friend of 30 years, Rich. Rich moved into his condo 15 years ago and hasn’t refreshed the space since. So it’s no surprise that, when the brothers see the home, they’re not impressed. Not only does the place have beer cans and a bottle cap collection on display, it feels cramped and dated as well.

“It’s pretty much what Howie explained to us,” Jonathan says. “It feels like a frat pad.”

The property brothers know they’ll have to overhaul this space while maintaining a fun-loving vibe.

“There’s a way to balance all of the fun and collectibles from the road with a place that actually feels grown-up and relaxing and put together,” Jonathan says.

Read on to find out how the Scott brothers help this home mature with its owner, which might clue you in to a few areas in your own abode that need to do some growing up, too.

Layout and finishes can make a space look bigger

cramped kitchen
Before: This kitchen was certainly cramped.


One of the biggest problems with Rich’s condo is the cramped kitchen. When Mandel first shows the Scott brothers the home, he points out just how tight the space is. The brothers wholeheartedly agree that this space is just too tiny.

The team takes down the kitchen wall to give the whole space a more welcoming feel, then they update the space with light, modern finishes like flat-panel cabinets and a light-gray porcelain counter. While opening up the layout makes a huge difference, the finishes are really what make this kitchen feel bright and open.

open kitchen
After: This white, bright kitchen is connected to a convenient built-in banquette.


Drew and Jonathan show that there are a lot of ways to help a small space feel much bigger. While taking down a wall might not be possible for every home, simply lightening up the color palette makes a big difference.

“So many people say, ‘I’ve got a smaller place, footprint’s not big. There’s nothing I can do with it,’” Drew says. “I’m like, ‘No, you can do amazing things.’”

Jonathan Scott and Howie Mandel
Jonathan Scott and Howie Mandel talk finishes.


Don’t be afraid to remove windows

kitchen window
Before: This kitchen window brought in some natural light.


During the renovation, Drew and Jonathan decide to close up the kitchen window, a design decision that would probably surprise many homeowners. Still, the brothers know that with a wall down, this kitchen doesn’t need the extra natural light and will benefit more from a vent hood and backsplash tile in its place.

“Normally it’d be like, ‘Don’t do it!’” Jonathan says. “Except by opening up the walls of the kitchen, now all the light from the back comes in. It’s going to be gorgeous.”

new backsplash
After: Without a window, the Scott brothers make more room for the stylish new backsplash.


When the kitchen is done, it’s clear this space isn’t missing the window. Sunshine floods in from the big windows on the other side of the condo, and now the kitchen wall looks stylish with a slab backsplash and added cabinetry. It’s clear that removing that window was a smart upgrade that many homeowners wouldn’t have even considered.

New stair railings can add sophistication

cramped condo
Before: The brothers wanted to update this railing.


Drew and Jonathan want to make sure this condo is beautiful as well as mature. So they work hard to find spots where they can give it a more modern, dignified touch. One spot they zero in on is the stair railing.

To add a sophisticated touch, they replace the dated white rail with tall iron railings. The results are much more dramatic, bringing the eye up and making the condo look bigger.

“These railings have that clean, modern look that Howie told us Rich loves,” Jonathan says. “And we’ll be painting them black to elevate the entire space and give Rich the grown-up retreat he deserves.”

stair railing
After: Drew and Jonathan make big changes to the stair railing


In the end, the dramatic black rails look perfect in this space. They match the black banquette wall and give the home a more refined look. Sometimes, something as simple as replacing your railings can go a long way in turning a frat pad into an elegant home.

stair railing
A stair railing can be an easy thing to update to make a house look more modern.


An L-shaped fireplace can be enjoyed from more angles

old fireplace
Before: This old fireplace was nothing special.


The property brothers know that another great way to make a condo feel grown-up is with a classy fire feature. Drew shops for fireplaces and ends up selecting an L-shaped gas fireplace with a modern, sleek look.

“Because it does wrap around, even from the kitchen looking this way, you’re still going to see the beauty of the fireplace,” Jonathan says.

living room
After: This fireplace even looks great from the kitchen.


A dark, moody color can make a bedroom feel more chic

Before: Rich’s bedroom before the renovation


When the brothers are done with the living room and kitchen renovation, they decide to give Rich’s bedroom a quick refresh as well. As Drew points out, the space needs some work.

“It does feel like a dorm room; it really does,” Drew says. “However, I feel there’s so much we can do just to freshen it up and make it feel like a great adult space for him and his girlfriend.”

dark bedroom
After: This dark bedroom feels more refined.


The brothers and Mandel decide to paint the room a dark gray and add shiplap to the headboard wall. When the room is done, it’s incredible to see just how much this room has changed. With a little bit of shiplap and some moody paint, this space feels like a chic, elegant place.

Celebrity IOU
Rich is thrilled with his updated home on “Celebrity IOU.”


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