Being on an episode of Property Brothers is a dream for many, but what goes on behind the scenes may come as a surprise to fans. Here’s what’s real, what’s fake and what was totally unexpected, according to a Nashville mom who lived it.
Jenny Reimold’s house was featured on the series as the out-of-the-budget inspiration home meant to give the episode’s house hunting couple a sense of what the not-so-great properties realtor Drew showed them could become with a makeover from contractor Jonathan.
Overall, she tells PEOPLE, she had a great experience. Meeting Drew and Jonathan was a particular highlight. “They are the kind of guys you’d want to invite to your Sunday barbecue,” she says. “Just two very normal guys who happen to be talented enough to have their own TV show.”
After watching their HGTV series for years, she was glad to have her impressions of the twins, 40, confirmed.
The brothers greeted Jenny warmly and made sure she was feeling good about the day. They even took pictures with some personalized cookies made by her neighbor (see below). “I thought it was a very sweet gesture knowing what a treat it would be for my friend,” Jenny recalls.
Drew, who married his wife Linda Phan last spring and has talked about wanting kids of his own, also played with the family’s youngest member, creating a secret handshake with him and giving him high fives.
A few other elements of the shoot day, however, took her by surprise.
The 7AM call time and the 5-hour shooting schedule for what would become a five-minute segment, for starters, were startling to the mom of seven, who notes the day the show filmed at her house also happened to be the last day of school.
“For most people, having your home not just clean, but TV-ready at 7am, would be a bit of a challenge. As a mother of seven children, you can imagine the panic that set in when I was told that we were the first shoot, on one of the most chaotic days of the school year,” she recalls.
There is also a lot more than cleaning that goes into getting a house ready to appear on the show. Jenny, who is married to retired professional baseball player Nolan Reimold, reveals she also had to go around the house removing certain pieces of art because of potential copyright issues that could arise from them being shown on TV, as well as any family photos.
“We also had to scale back specific areas like shelves, dressers, the bathrooms and any countertop décor, as we were told that minimalist styling filmed better,” she says.
Another sizable request from the producers? Do some redecorating before the big day. Luckily, Jenny, a design lover with a burgeoning decorating business and a HomeGoods style expert, already had an eye for accessorizing.
“We were told our home needed to be a bit more ‘coastal country’ [in style]” she explains. “I made at least three trips back and forth to HomeGoods for accessories including pieces of white and aqua coral for the shelves, pale blue throw blankets and a few fresh accent pillows for nearly every room in our home.”
On the morning of their filming day, the shoot was delayed by several hours, which ended up being a blessing for the busy mom. Fifteen producer, camera people and other crew arrived, then a trailer for hair and makeup, then Drew and Jonathan themselves along with cars, trucks and even a Winnebago.
Jenny was told she couldn’t let her neighbors know what was happening in advance to avoid a potential crowd gathering outside the house, but they were thankfully understanding of the surprising scene on their block.
After meeting and taking some photos with the Scott brothers, the family had to leave the house for the duration of filming, as it was a “closed set,” Jenny says. She tried spying from her car for a bit, but got called out by a good-natured Drew. “He spotted me, called out and waved to let me know that he had seen me,” she says.
Five hours later, it was all over, and the family had nothing to do but put the house right and wait for the episode to air.
When it did, they were startled to see how their house was used.
Jenny was thrilled that, she says, “our home appeared much cleaner and crisper on TV,” but noted they’d fudged a few things.
“I didn’t think they were going upstairs, but my teenage daughter’s bathroom was presented as the downstairs powder room,” she says.
The biggest surprise was that the backyard portrayed as theirs, wasn’t.
“When we first saw that, we were a bit shocked, because we didn’t see that edit coming,” Jenny says. “Although we like to think our yard was a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the one shown, we imagine the other yard was used because they had a tall, wooden fence that offered more privacy.”
The brothers and the crew also accidentally left behind two unexpected “gifts” for the family.
Jenny found a script from the show complete with the Scotts’ handwritten notes after everyone cleared out that. And when she went to check the camera on her Ring doorbell, she realized that she had a slew of outtakes of the scene in which the brothers entered the house saved.
“I laughed through several retakes of the entry and caught a lot of the behind-the-scenes action from our doorbell camera,” she says.
Since the episode aired, Jenny has received so much positive feedback about her house, she’s managed to make a burgeoning business out of her eye for design. In addition to her new status as a Style Expert for HomeGoods, which she calls “a dream role for me as the brand authentically represents who I am as a functional and practical designer and mother,” she’s also taken on some freelance interiors projects.
“I was contacted by a few high-profile Nashville residents for design assistance,” she says. Celebrity hair and makeup artist Melissa Schleicher, and Erin Oprea, trainer to some of country music’s biggest stars, are among her new clients.
She’s also taken on several charity projects like partnering with country icon Alan Jackson’s daughter on the non-profit NaSHEville, which unites and empowers women, and Bloom Family Designs, to create bedrooms and nurseries for adopted children and those in foster care.
Looking back on the experience, she says, “Our life’s journey has taken a different direction all from a chance taping of Property Brothers!”