Half the fun of watching “Property Brothers” — the HGTV reality series where identical twins Drew and Jonathan Scott convince homebuyers to buy an old fixer and trust the design duo to transform it — is trying to tell the handsome brothers apart. Though they look like carbon clones, they make a sport of telling you how different they are.
“Everyone always says I’m the high maintenance one,” Jonathan says. “Have you seen his wardrobe? Have you seen those nails!”
“Have you seen that hair?” Drew fires back, pointing to his brother’s coiffe.
I’m on a virtual call with the pair who are, all kidding aside, launching a furniture collection exclusive to Living Spaces, a furniture retailer. (The closest store to Arkansas is in Frisco, Texas.) Now, in the interest of full transparency, I signed up to attend the first look for media event not so much because I was interested in the new line, but because I thought it would be cool to meet Drew and Jonathan virtually. I’m shallow that way.
True to form, the TV twins managed to distinguish themselves in their new furniture line as well. The California-inspired furniture features two sides of Los Angeles, the city the twins, who hail from Canada, now call home.
“You’re really seeing two sides of our L.A. story,” Jonathan said. “You’ve got Drew’s old Hollywood style, and you’ve also got my laid-back California.” One is more luxe and glamorous, while the other has a casual, sink-into-a-space-and-never-get-up-sort-of vibe.
Drew and his wife, Linda Phan, have a home in Hancock Park, a venerable, mansion-filled neighborhood near downtown. Jonathan and his partner, actor Zooey Deschanel, have recently bought a home they’re renovating in Brentwood, on the city’s west side, nearer the coast.
Like the twins, the City of Angels is a study in contrasts. “When you think about where we are here in LA, there’s so much architectural influence, so many amazing pieces of inspiration, so many beautiful historic homes,” Drew said. “You have art deco, you have regency modern, you have old bungalows, and you have a lot of laid-back vibes, especially over by the water. We thought, how can we capture a little bit of this classic beauty and bring it into our pieces.”
As a California native who has spent most of her life in the Golden State, I , too, was curious to see how they would translate the diverse landscapes and communities into sofas, tables and chairs.
The virtual tour kicked off with the twins sitting in a living room showcasing Drew’s old Hollywood, a look that features chic ebony leather sofas and chairs, dark-wood dressers and chests, oil-rubbed bronze furniture legs, and accent chairs covered in velvety cobalt blue.
Then we move on to Jonathan’s laid-back California living room, a casual coastal look that revolves around a versatile sectional, and case goods made of wood in warm, weathered taupe tones. The centerpiece Culver sofa is made for family movie night, he said, and designed to stand up to everything life throws at it. “You have to be realistic. A sofa can’t just look pretty.”
To create the 90-piece collection, which includes dressers, side tables, rugs, sectionals, dining sets and more, the twins pulled inspiration not only from Southern California, but also from their experience designing more than 500 houses for television and from renovating houses off air long before that. The brothers, now 43, have worked in the business for 25 years, and are both licensed real estate agents. Jonathan is also a licensed contractor.
After the virtual tour, we reporters in the peanut gallery got to ask a few questions:
Q: What are the top furniture trends?
Jonathan: Finding pieces that can be multipurpose. That’s what I like about a modular system that you can change up to work with your space. Today you can find stuff that would be classy if it were in an office environment, or classy if it were in a living space or bedroom. Having that ability to mix and match is important.
Drew: People were structured for a long time. Now we’re seeing a throwback to comfort along with style. We’re seeing more padding on the arms, and more glam.
Q: What are the major furniture buying mistakes people make?
Jonathan: Buying furniture the wrong size. People see something they want. They buy it, and then they realize they have to shimmy sideways to get into the next room. Make sure to measure first.
Drew: A lot of people see something they love and buy it and see something else they love and buy that and wind up with all these different elements. I’m all for an eclectic design. You don’t want matchy matchy. However, sometimes people get all these items, and find they don’t work together. Start with base pieces that work together that you can build on.
Marni Jameson is the author of six home and lifestyle books, including “What to Do With Everything You Own to Leave the Legacy You Want.”