Brother Vs. Brother: The Dos and Don'ts With Jonathan and Drew

They team up on plenty of renos, but HGTV pros Jonathan and Drew Scott don't always agree on the details. HGTV Magazine asks, whose corner are you in?
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder and Betsy Goldberg
Cartoon of Jonathan and Drew Scott in the Boxing Ring

Brother-vs-Brother in the Boxing Ring

Brother vs Brother hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott go head-to-head on the do's and don'ts of decorating and remodeling for HGTV Magazine.

From: Brother Vs. Brother

Photo by: Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett

In one corner, licensed contractor Jonathan Scott. In the other corner, his brother, real estate agent Drew Scott.

Round 1: Outdoor Fountains

Jonathan: Do A fountain can make a great addition if it fits in with your overall space. I wouldn’t plop a fancy, carved fountain into a casual yard, but a simple stone version could work. When shopping, keep in mind that inexpensive fountains usually look cheap.

Drew: Don’t
Not everyone has a huge outdoor space, and in most small yards, a fountain sticks out like a sore thumb. Save your money for something more worthwhile, like seasonal flowers or patio furniture.

Cartoon of Jonathan and Drew Scott as Boxers

Brother-vs-Brother Boxers

Brother vs Brother hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott go head-to-head and share their do's and don'ts of decorating and remodeling.

From: Brother Vs. Brother

Photo by: Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett

Round 2: Laminate Counters

Jonathan: Don’t
I can’t think of a single kitchen design where laminate would look better than stone, butcher block, or a solid surface like Corian. Yes, laminate is cheaper, but in many cases, you can actually take value away from a house by installing it.

Drew: Don’t
It frustrates me to no end when people spend their budget on a product, like laminate, that automatically seems dated—it’s like throwing money away! If you have no other choice, at least get a laminate that’s printed to look like stone. But make it a last resort.

Round 3: Canopy Beds

Jonathan: Do
Canopies make a room feel luxurious, and that’s always a plus. I especially like draping one in a custom fabric that plays off the other patterns and colors in the room. However, keep sizing in mind—you need high ceilings and a pretty big room to accommodate this kind of bed.

Drew: Don’t
People may aim for luxury with a canopy bed, but it usually just ends up looking gaudy and too traditional. Also, because canopies take up so much space, they make a room seem cramped. To fill the space above your bed, try a chandelier. It’ll add interest without the bulk.

Round 4: Painted Brick Indoors

Jonathan: Don’t
Painting brick can be a great option if you like a rustic style. But the paint isn’t going to hide the brick, so if you don’t like the way brick looks, it won’t help. Instead, consider covering it with tile. Never keep a material you hate just because you think it has character.

Drew: Do
Paint lets you freshen up brick the easy and inexpensive way. Try white, off-white, or a pale gray and your room will instantly look bigger and brighter.

Round 5: Open Kitchen Shelving

Jonathan: Do 

If you want your kitchen to feel closed in, sure, go with cabinets on all your walls. But if you have a small kitchen and want it to look airy and bigger than it really is, try at least one section of open shelves. They’re the perfect way to show off nice plates and serving pieces.

Drew: Don’t
For the average family, open shelves aren’t all that functional. Unless you’re very careful about what you display, the shelves will end up packed with random dishes and looking messy. For an airy look without the clutter, get cabinet doors with frosted glass panels.

Round 6: Seagrass Rugs

Jonathan: Do
These natural, woven rugs look beachy and breezy, which I like. But since these types of rugs aren't very cozy, I would save them for a room where you rarely walk barefoot, like a mudroom. And skip putting them on stairs-seagrass is very slippery.

Drew: Do
I agree. Seagrass works, but only to an extent. For me, that means using them solely outdoors-try one on a porch or other open-air living area, where you can play up their rough, natural texture.

Round 7: Fake Plants

Jonathan: Do
Yeah, fresh flowers smell amazing. But these days, faux greenery looks so convincing, most people can't tell it's not real-plus it'll last even if you don't have a green thumb. Put the fake flowers near fresh ones and no one will know.

Drew: Don't
When Grandma offers you her fake plant collection, politely decline. Not only can faux versions look dated, but getting fresh flowers is easy-and cheap if you grow them in your yard.

Round 8: Glass Block Windows

Jonathan: Don't
A huge hole in the front of your house would look better than these '80s-style windows. I've also found that many are improperly installed, which makes them a major safety hazard

Drew: Don't
Remove any glass blocks immediately and sell them online-you can get serious money for them if they're in good condition. Then, if you want a window with detailing, install one that's frosted or has stained-glass panels.

Round 9: Skylights

Jonathan: Do
Skylights add so much natural light to a room-how could you not like them? They're especially good for spaces that don't have enough windows, like a bathroom or laundry room. That said, they've been known to leak if not installed properly, so hire a reliable pro.

Drew: Don't
Skylight installation can run into the thousands of dollars, which seems pretty crazy when you can brighten up your space almost as well with a few new light fixtures, like lamps or pendants.

Round 10: Front Door Kickplates

Jonathan: Do
A kickplate is practical-it helps protect your door from scuffs. Plus it boosts a door's curb appeal. Just make sure to pick something that's substantial and matches your door's other hardware.

Drew: Don't
Instead of wasting money on a kickplate, stop kicking your front door!

Round 11: Ceiling Can Lights

Jonathan: Do
Six-inch can lights are too '80s, but I do like four-inch and five-inch recessed lights, especially in a low ceiling-say, less than eight feet. That way you don't lose headroom like you would with a hanging fixture. Choose thin, white trim; chrome; or brushed metal.

Drew: Don't
I'm against can lights in general, especially the kind that use halogen bulbs since they burn out so fast. I prefer fixture lighting that's more of a design element, like a chandelier or pendant, for ceilings of all heights.

Round 12: Beadboard

Jonathan: Do
I like beadboard. I think it looks elegant in a kitchen or dining room, inside a door panel, or used as wainscoting.

Drew: Don't
Too much beadboard can make a home feel dated, especially if it fills an entire wall and resembles paneling-not a good look. I've also seen people use it in a bathroom or in a kitchen as a backsplash. But it's not waterproof!

Round 13: Rubber Mulch

Jonathan: Don't
Rubber mulch holds up well, but nothing compares to the amazing earthy smell of fresh mulch in your yard. Also, some rubber mulch is made of recycled tires, which means it's flammable and may contain toxins that could leach into the ground.

Drew: Do
Durability is what makes rubber mulch a great product. It doesn't disintegrate like wood, so it lasts a lot longer, which means less work for you. I like less work!

Round 14: Jetted Bathtubs

Jonathan: Do
After a long day, there's nothing better than kicking back in a jetted tub with a glass of wine and a good book. Just choose a deep tub-at least 20 inches-with air jets rather than water jets. Air jets blow all the water out of the lines when the tub isn't in use, keeping it clean and helping prevent mold growth. The more jets, the better!

Drew: Don't
People pay all this money for a jetted tub-$1,500 and up-and then rarely use it. Plus, it can be a pain for cleaning and maintenance since it's hard to keep the jets from getting moldy and musty. You're better off with a nice, deep soaking tub.

Round 15: Mosaic Glass Tile Backslashes

Jonathan: Do
I love the range of colors and patterns you can get with mosaic glass tiles. I use them in almost every kitchen I design. My favorites are teal or a mix of white and clear.

Drew: Don't
Mosaic tiles are tricky because they can look crooked or jut out. If you have your heart set on them, don't do the installation yourself. Hire a pro with lots of experience.

Round 16: Pebble Driveways

Jonathan: Don't
If given the option to resurface a driveway, I prefer stamped concrete because you can imitate any kind of look-flagstone, brick, even limestone. Also, it holds up just as well, if not better, than a pebble driveway.

Drew: Do
When done right by a pro, a pebble driveway is a great curb appeal upgrade. You can even add a pebble stone coating over concrete without ripping out the old material, so it's not as much of a hassle as you might expect.

Round 17: Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Jonathan: Do
Many people like the feeling of wall-to-wall carpeting in a kid's room or family room because it's soft on your feet and gentle for kids to crawl on. But in your main living space, stick to hardwood floors and area rugs for a cleaner, more modern look.

Drew: Don't
These days no one says, "My dream home has wall-to-wall carpeting." Carpets are a trap for dirt, dust, and other allergens, and they wear easily. I prefer plank-style porcelain tile or high-quality laminate that looks like wood. Both withstand heavy foot traffic better-just top them with an area rug for softness.

Round 18: Sectional Sofas

Jonathan: Do
I love working a big, beautiful sectional into a room's design. It frames the living space and is roomy enough for the whole family to pile on. Just don't go crazy with color-pick a neutral one and brighten it up with pillows.

Drew: Don't
In most homes, sectionals end up looking too big for the living area. I'm a minimalist kinda guy. Keep it simple with a not-too-bulky couch and accent chairs facing your TV or fireplace.

Round 19: Stackable Washer/Dryer

Jonathan: Don't
If your laundry room is big enough, it's nicer looking and more functional to have a front loader with a built-in bottom drawer and a dryer next to it, with the folding surface on top.

Drew: Do
I am an efficiency freak, so I find stackable appliances way more appealing than side-by-side ones. It's a much better use of space.

Round 20: Pet Portraits

Jonathan: Do
Pets are part of the family, so why not show them off? I think a pet painting is fun and whimsical in a den, but I wouldn't put one, say, above your fireplace-that's just weird.

Drew: Don't
So cheesy! The only thing worse is pushing your dog around in a stroller.

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