“Property Brothers” stars Drew and Jonathan Scott often elicit tears of joy once they do their big reveal at the end of a project, but tears from start to finish? Now that’s something new!

In the latest episode, titled “Searching for the Heart of the Home,” we meet Sandy and her devoted husband, Pat, a tax accountant who just landed his dream job in Nashville, TN. So Sandy, a retired schoolteacher, insisted that they leave their dream home in Wisconsin and move south to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

For Sandy, leaving behind the state where she’d lived her entire life was hard, and it didn’t help that her Nashville living arrangements were far from ideal: They share a two-bedroom apartment with Sandy’s elderly father (who uses a walker) and the couple’s two sons—one in high school, the other in college.

Pat has promised Sandy a new, prairie-style dream home, with accommodations for Sandy’s father as well as a big, beautiful kitchen that Sandy considers the heart of the home. And luckily they have a generous $840,000 budget to spend on the purchase and renovation. The Scotts come up with a number of heartfelt and ingenious ideas that could work wonders for any home—and bring tears of joy to your eyes, too.

Sandy wants a new kitchen that will become the heart of the home.
Homes that sit on the market are prime targets for negotiating

Drew finds a rare Prairie-style home that came on the market almost a year ago in the low $900,000, and has since been gradually reduced to $729,000. What’s up with that?

“When a house has been on the market and overpriced for so long, you kind of wonder if the seller is really motivated to sell,” says Drew. “Maybe they just don’t want to let it go.”

Looking at the comps, Drew suggests they offer $660,000 for the home. What have they got to lose? With what Drew claims is a combination of timing and luck, the sellers accept their offer.

A ‘submaster’ is the new in-law suite

There are a number of names for a bedroom with its own bath: en suite, guest suite, in-law suite, and probably more. But Drew goes out on a limb and calls the room they’re going to set up for Sandy’s father a “submaster.” You go, Drew! They make it bigger and more private by closing off the bathroom entrance from the hall and making it accessible only from the bedroom. Then they add the extra hall space to the bathroom.

Jonathan’s designs look right at home in Tennessee or Wisconsin.
Accessible bathrooms can be stylish, too

Grab bars to help avoid slips and falls in the bathroom have come a long way since they were constructed to be purely functional. Jonathan has found some that are actually elegant and curvaceous, made of attractive brushed stainless steel. In fact, they’re so attractive they almost look like intentional design features.

Have a secret fund for something special

Tears flow in this episode even when Sandy isn’t around! Pat reveals he wants to do something especially nice for Sandy. Since she loved to sit outdoors in their former home, Pat asks Jonathan to install large glass doors leading to the enclosed terrace, which will allow the outdoors in. Jonathan tells him those types of doors are expensive, and could cost up to $7,000. But Pat says he has a secret fund to cover something special like this. This makes both grown men cry. (You might, too.)

Use native plants to feel at home

Jonathan recruits Pat and Sandy’s two sons, who are home from school, to go to the nursery with him to pick out some plants for the terrace that are native to Wisconsin and will remind Sandy of home. To make sure the plants don’t die, they consult with a plant specialist to find out which native Wisconsin species will do well on an enclosed Nashville terrace. The end result is thoughtful and looks great.

Try ‘framing’ wallpaper

Pat and Sandy’s new home has a two-story wall that Jonathan thinks would look great covered in dark gray wallpaper with a wavy pattern, but when he unfurls a roll of it down the wall from the second-floor balcony, the couple think it’s a little too dark—and altogether a little too much.

So Jonathan switches gears and selects a different wallpaper design. He cuts two rectangular swaths, adheres them to the wall, and then frames them, so there’s just enough pattern and not too much, This is an affordable, attractive, and practical alternative to wall art, and it looks just right.

Finally, Pat and Sandy are dancing, rather than crying. Note the framed wallpaper in back.
So do the Scott brothers deliver?

Of course!

“It’s even better and brighter than the Wisconsin house!” declares Sandy. “I love it! It’s overwhelming.”

The only question is, how many are crying now?

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning writer who covers lifestyle, entertainment, real estate, design, and travel. Find her on

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