Jenny Reimold's still trying to wrap her mind around what happened. She's always enjoyed decorating her house and helping friends with theirs, but she never expected anyone to love it so much they wanted to film it - let alone use it as the inspiration for an entire episode of Property Brothers.
But, back in May, that's exactly what happened, when Drew and Jonathan Scott rolled up to her front door to film an episode. Jenny and her husband, former MLB player Nolan Reimold, weren't selling their house or looking to buy a new one. In fact, you won't see the couple - or their seven kids - in the upcoming episode at all. But you will see their home.
For the uninitiated, Property Brothers features the twin brothers meeting a couple, helping them search for and buy a fixer upper, then renovate it to get as close to their dream home as possible. In each episode, the first house is always just out of reach - it checks off every box on the couple's criteria for a perfect house, yet it's always out of their budget. It's the inspiration home that sets the vision for the brothers' renovation. But here's the thing most people don't realize: That perfect house isn't always on the market to begin with. Most of the time, it is, though there are rare cases when finding something that's just right requires a little TV magic.
Dream Houses Aren't Born, They're Created.
In the Reimolds' case, the couple had just finished renovating their Franklin, TN, house - it'd been abandoned for a decade before they moved in, so it needed some serious L-O-V-E - when their real estate agent stopped by and was floored with the updates.
"She told me, 'you know, I sometimes work with the Property Brothers. Would you mind if we submitted some photos to producers to use as the inspiration home?'" Jenny recalled.
Two days later, she got a call from producers saying her home fit the bill for an episode featuring a couple who loved coastal style - and asked if they could film there the following Friday morning. Which happened to be the last day of school.
"They wanted to film at 7:30 a.m. I had every mother's panic of having the home spotless and TV-ready - while also getting seven kids out the door - but it was such a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I knew I'd find a way to make it work," Jenny said. "Fortunately, the day before, they pushed the shoot back a few hours."
That news may seem surprising, but Drew and Jonathan haven't shied away from breaking down the realities of their reality TV show. They've let The New York Times follow them as producers had them reshoot the duo feigning surprise and tearing out a dilapidated toilet. Jonathan's hosted a Facebook Live explaining that HGTV covers the cost of filming episodes, while it's up to them to pay for the actual renovations (making it all the more important to stay within homeowners' budgets).
And their website lists an extensive FAQ, where they answer burning questions about just how real the show is, like whether the fixer uppers are staged (no - though, apparently, dream houses can be), how many houses the buyers are shown (two), and whether Drew and Jonathan are, in fact, twins (identical, actually).
Still, some edits have to be made to create compelling TV - and fit the narrative arc of each episode.
Every Aspect Of The Dream House Has To Be Vetted.
Before filming started, Jenny had to make a few changes to her house. All personal photos had to be hidden, as well as any artwork that wasn't pre-approved by the artist to appear in the episode. Yes - every piece of art that appears on the walls of the houses in Property Brothers needs to be approved by producers, and the original artist has to give permission for it to appear.
"A lot of our art is from local artists, so I got their permission, but things from HomeGoods and stuff like that had to come down," Jenny explained.
She also had to make some tweaks to make her style more in line with that of the on-camera couple's. "They wanted a coastal home, so I removed some of our country stuff and replaced it with things we had back when we lived in Florida," Jenny said. "I took out some of the wooden crates and put more coral and sea glass on the bookshelves, for example, and traded out my industrial, Joanna Gaines-farmhouse stuff for wicker baskets and mangrove greenery."
The crew arrived around noon, Jenny said, with Drew and Jonathan rolling up around 12:30. They took 20 minutes or so to chat with Jenny and her family, and take pictures, then Jenny hung out in the driveway as the crew took over her house to film.
"They were so personable and genuine," Jenny said. "We talked about Drew's wedding, and they really took the time to get to know us. They understand that this is a treat for people."
Jenny couldn't reveal what happened during the shoot - it's actually a closed set, so she wasn't there to see that part - but the experience encouraged her to take her design skills more seriously. She runs a lifestyle site, Mommy Mayhem, and the brothers' encouragement has inspired her to post more of her projects.
"Before, it was a lot of mother moments and traveling, but now I'm doing things like family-friendly, budget-friendly ways to update your home and things like that," Jenny said. (In fact, she recently wrote a post about her top decorating tips for getting the home's look.)
She's started talking with her husband about launching a decorating business, as some of Nashville's elite have started sending her emails, asking if she could redo their rooms after seeing her blog. For now, though, she's taking things one step at a time - and planning a viewing party for the day her episode airs, which is tentatively mid-October.
"The director said a lot of people host those, so why not?" Jenny laughed.
After all, her house has proven worthy of the spotlight; it deserves a big-screen premiere.
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