'Big Brother' House Designer Takes Us on a Tour of This Year's Digs

Step inside the house that promises to take contestants around the world.

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Since 2000, people from across the country enter CBS’s Big Brother house each summer to compete for a $500,000 cash prize. And each year (since the third season), production designer Scott Storey comes up with the theme and design of the house where contestants (dubbed "houseguests") will live while trying to avoid eviction until one is crowned the winner. This year’s theme: the ultimate summer vacation.

"One important thing about the house is that each room has a different character so it speaks to different houseguests,” Scott says. And this year’s house definitely delivers.

Living Room

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates -- Coverage of the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Johnny Vy/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Johnny Vy

Johnny Vy

"I wanted the living room to feel as if you're at home base, so that's the airport terminal," Scott says. "I was looking at a lot of European airports and that's the sort of style I got with the big undulating white wall and all of those lines.” And the furnishings match — Scott got the room’s plastic chairs from a place called the "airplane graveyard," which has a variety of old airport furniture and airplane parts.

The mural of an airplane makes you feel like you’re waiting to take off, and the giant departures board will tell you where you’re going: “Every city on that departure board is a destination that's inside the house,” says Scott. And the living room is also the place where a houseguest will depart from the game each week.

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Kitchen + Dining Room

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

The travel theme continues into the kitchen and dining room with custom-made wallpaper. “I did an airplane icon everywhere and that's the theme for when you leave the living room,” Scott says. The coolest feature of the kitchen? An island made from the cowling of a 727 jet engine, also a pick from the "airplane graveyard."

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Lounge

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Need a place to scheme? While houseguests won’t be hidden from the more than 100 microphones and 87 cameras in the house, the photo safari-themed lounge may give them a little privacy from their fellow competitors. 

Bathroom

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates -- Coverage of the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Johnny Vy/CBS ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Johnny Vy

Johnny Vy

The one bathroom (yes, one main bathroom for 16 people) takes you on a tropical vacation. “That is Ocho Rios in Jamaica. It's the number one cruise ship destination,” Scott says. 

“I'll find an image that I'm inspired by and print it on something nontraditional,” he says. “There's an image on the wall of Ocho Rios and I had it printed on commercial exterior siding, and I cut all the siding and reapplied it with a deeper reveal so there's more of a shadow.” Both the walls and the bright wooden furniture will make the houseguests want a tropical drink.

Head of Household Bedroom

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Houseguests compete for safety, power and luxury and this bedroom is one of the spoils. The Head of Household bedroom takes the winner to Hawaii with an image of Waikiki on the walls and a large saltwater aquarium as the bed’s headboard. “It's really great when you're lying there,” Scott says. “It's very peaceful. Head of Household needs to be a retreat and very peaceful, and I feel when you're lying in bed staring at the fish it succeeds at that point.”

Tokyo Bedroom

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Julie Chen goes on the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights ReservedPlates of the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Head East to Tokyo with this flashy bedroom styled with bright colors and plenty of Japanese flair. The walls are covered with words in Japanese that translate to words important in the game including “eviction,” “veto” and “alliance” (plus one written in English that says “llama”). The microphones in the house and that the contestants wear posed a design challenge for Scott, who wanted to incorporate neon in the room. “Neon makes a real subtle buzzing sound, so I couldn't use actual neon so we built custom light boxes that look like neon, but they're filled with LED lights that don't make any buzzing,” he says. 

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates of the house fromf he CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

And one of Scott’s favorite design features is in this room and the next: a phone booth that doubles as a door to the London-style bedroom. One half is a bright yellow Japanese phone booth and leads to the other side that’s a traditional red English phone booth (complete with working phone that the Head of Household can dial down to).

London Bedroom

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Julie Chen goes on the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights ReservedPlates of the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

“One of the things that's so iconic in London are those red phone booths and I really wanted one of those,” Scott says. Topping off the decor in the London bedroom are top-hat lamps (see what I did there?) lining a corner, and these are one of the few items in the house that Scott and his team didn’t make custom or reupholster.

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Julie Chen goes on the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights ReservedPlates of the house tour from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

Backyard

BIG BROTHER

BIG BROTHER

Plates from the CBS series BIG BROTHER, scheduled to air on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS © 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo by: Sonja Flemming

Sonja Flemming

The backyard was redesigned this year with some brand-new features including a new and larger pool and spa. But it serves a practical purpose, as well. “When we do our big competitions in the backyard we have to deck over the pool and everything. That pool was custom-built with the idea of them bringing in big steel platforms that go down on top of the pool and seal it off,” Scott says. The backyard’s design also reflects the 100th anniversary of the nation’s National Parks with forest greens and deep oranges. “I just wanted to feel like you were glamping a little bit back there,” he says.

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And while this looks like all the house has, a have-not room (where losers of a certain competition will have to stay and endure uncomfortable sleeping arrangements) and some house surprises have yet to be revealed. “The house does have a few tricks this year that I can't tell you about,” Scott says. “But throughout the season you'll be like ‘Oh! how did that happen.’ I'm excited about those tricks.”

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