Local shops, Realtors make HGTV show

Maggie Gordon April 30, 2015

The “Property Brothers” are turning Fairfield County homes into a gallery of before-and-after shots, and local businesses, like Greenwich Window Treatments, are enjoying their brush with fame.

“We’re supplying all the window treatments for the episodes shooting in the Fairfield and Westchester areas from now on,” said the shop’s co-owner, Gina Mele. The shop, at 79 E. Putnam Ave., in Greenwich, is the largest Hunter Douglas gallery in both counties in terms of sales volume, which helped Mele and her business partner, Stuart Sheppard, land the TV gig. Their Hunter Douglas representative secured the partnership with “Property Brothers” earlier this spring, and now the shop is expecting to supply window treatments for about 11 episodes.

“It’s exposure,” Mele said. “There’s no sale involved in this, I can tell you that much. But this is great exposure on a show that we watch and our clients watch.”

“Property Brothers,” the HGTV show starring Jonathan and Drew Scott, who team up as carpenter and Realtor to solve homeowners’ real estate needs, has gained a huge following in the United States since the show’s U.S. premiere in 2011. And that popularity has led to spinoff shows, including “Brother Vs. Brother” and “Buying and Selling,” the latter of which brought the brothers to this area.

In that show, Jonathan and Drew help a couple looking to buy a new house spruce up their current abode in an effort to secure a quick sale. In addition to renovating and staging the home, the brothers also guide the house-hunting expedition for a new property.

“I’m someone who watches the show, and when I was told we could be involved in this, my reaction was `Hell, yeah.’ Of course we want to be involved,” Mele said.

While the store is not making money on the deal, the owners are hopeful that their involvement will create a buzz about their products.

“It’s marketing exposure, social media exposure and digital media exposure,” Sheppard said. “In terms of getting credits at the end of the TV show, that’s not something they normally do at HGTV. But this is about a buzz and bragging rights, letting people know we’re involved and having a little bit of fun with it.”

If you’ve ever wondered how the Scott brothers manage to complete such huge home renovation projects with the tight budgets set by the homeowners, this is it.

“The show provides $10,000 including labor, certain sponsored products, as well as the expertise of Jonathan’s design team,” the brothers’ website explains. “It’s also helpful that we are very resourceful, especially when working with a limited budget.”

The result, according to Ridgefield-based Realtor Dawn Grabover, who is representing the couple seeking to move out of their downtown Danbury home in a search for more space to accommodate their four adopted children, is a life-changing experience at virtually no cost to them.

“They got their house totally redone, basically for free,” Grabover said. “A lot of the stuff came from HomeGoods, and it’s for staging so it will get returned, and then they also rented some furniture. But the house is staged beautifully.”

The couple is waiting for their current home to sell before they make the move to a bigger house. But they’ve filmed several trips to inspect potential homes around Northern Fairfield County, including 8 Dogwood Park North in Danbury, represented by Demaree Cooney of Coldwell Banker.

“They spent like almost a whole day there, going through the house and talking about it,” Cooney said of the April 2 film shoot at the four-bedroom home she is representing. “It’s really exciting.”

It will likely be a few months before the couple cuts a check for a new home, as they just put their newly renovated home on the market last week, asking $325,000, up from the $289,000 it had been listed at before the Property Brothers swooped in.

“I’m so excited for them,” said Grabover. “They’ve been outgrowing this house rather quickly. The last two children they adopted were a brother and a sister, and they went from having two kids to having four in a 1,500 square-foot house, with no storage. And now they’re getting help — help that they needed.”

The episode is scheduled to air in the fall, according to Grabover. In the meantime, she noted there will be an open house on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.