“Property Brothers” help VUMC employee create her dream house
Spending lots of money, feeling lots of stress: typical house renovation. Being on national television at the same time: not typical.April 27, 2018
Carson Padgett, manager of Pharmacy Inpatient Clinical Operations, second from left, with her friend and neighbor Leah Wilson and “Property Brothers” Drew Scott, left, and Jonathan Scott. Photo courtesy HGTV
Carson Padgett, manager of Pharmacy Inpatient Clinical Operations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, admits if she ever considered a different career, being a country music singer or a realtor would top her list.
So when she had the chance to meet Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of the popular HGTV show Property Brothers at the Grand Ole Opry a couple of years ago, Padgett was thrilled.
The brothers are known for helping clients find a fixer-upper house or condo, and while staying within the new homeowner’s budget, remodeling it into their dream home.
“Knowing they were gutting the house I just bought, and I couldn’t see it — and I had no control over what was happening — oh my gosh, it was a stressful process for me.”
The catch is, the homeowner isn’t allowed to see the renovated dwelling until all the work is done, and the moment is captured in an on-camera “reveal.” The show has been on since 2011, and has a large fan base — including Padgett.
“I told them if you’re ever [filming] in Nashville, I would like to be your first client,” Padgett recalls of that first meeting in 2015. Even though she didn’t own a home at that point, she was already giving a lot of thought to what she wanted, and had a personal design sketchbook filled with renovation ideas.
“They told me to follow their Facebook page, so I did, and in September  they were casting in Nashville,” Padgett said.
She sensed this was her big moment, but getting picked to be on the show was not an easy or quick process.
“I did screen testing, and Skype interviews, and they sent film crews out,” she says. But her determination and patience paid off. Six months after applying, Padgett found out she had been selected for the show.
Then, things started moving.
“Once I made it, everything happened really fast. Two weeks after I was picked, they had a film crew here.”
The overall renovation took eight weeks. During that time, the TV crew shot 39 hours of tape, which was edited down to 38 minutes for the broadcast.
Padgett had bought a townhouse not far from Vanderbilt, and while the work was going on there she lived with her friend, Leah Wilson, who owns a townhouse in the same neighborhood.
The overall renovation took eight weeks. During that time, the TV crew shot 39 hours of tape, which was edited down to 38 minutes for the broadcast. The show required Padgett to appear on-camera every now and then, so she worked out a filming schedule with the production crew that didn’t interfere with her work at VUMC.
“I plan and develop expansion of our services and manage the ‘day-to-day’ for the pharmacists who practice in internal medicine, transplant, and emergency medicine,” Padgett says.
Her job requires a lot of attention to detail, control and multi-tasking — exactly the things she wasn’t allowed to do when it came to the renovation of her house.
“Knowing they were gutting the house I just bought, and I couldn’t see it — and I had no control over what was happening — oh my gosh, it was a stressful process for me,” she says.
Padgett had shared her makeover ideas with the hosts Drew and Jonathan, of course, but the only thing the brothers allowed her to monitor was the budget.
“We did go back and forth with the budget, and there was some stuff where I would say, I don’t really want to spend that much in that area. Is there any way we can cut down on that so I have more money to spend in this area? So, I did have an idea of how much money was going to different parts of the project.”
But still — leaving those decision to somebody else was hard for a person who kept a design book for a house she didn’t even have yet.
“I did think I would have a little more say with how things ended up, but I think part of it is because I knew exactly what I wanted, and they were like, ‘Why do you need us if you know what you want?’
“So I think they purposefully kept me in the dark more than they would other clients,” Padgett said.
The Property Brothers may travel from city to city, but they keep the work local. The TV production crew and the construction crew were from Nashville. And when it comes to decorating Padgett’s new home, most of the furniture and fixtures were purchased from local vendors. Padgett even has a painting from a local artist that not only fit the design of her remodeled home, but it was big enough to cover-up an electrical box.
Even though she couldn’t see the work that the construction crew was doing on her house, she and Wilson did get to spend quite a bit of time with the Property Brothers, and found them to be as entertaining in person as they are on television.
“The guys are wild and hilarious. They goofed around all the time. They hung out with us during the filming so we got to feel like we knew them. All the people on the crew were amazing, so it made it a very comfortable environment to work in.”
Of course, no renovation project is without its glitches and stressful surprises, so all that fun on location probably helped at those times when Padgett was filmed getting bad news — a process which, she says, is presented accurately on the show.
“A lot of people wonder if all the surprises, and the terrible news you get during the process, they think — that can’t all be true, but it really is. They kept me in the dark about things that were going on, so when I found out about the additional costs, on-camera is when I found out.”
Those unexpected additional costs, plus some last-minute requests from Padgett, such as extra storage space in the staircase, meant that the project did go over budget, but Padgett, in the style of any veteran homeowner who has ever taken on a renovation, is philosophical about it.
“The amount of money I spent was more than I was planning to, but I also got way more out of it than I was planning,” she says. “Honestly, I would recommend this 100 percent. It was a great experience.”
And, in the end, she feels like she not only got a newly renovated house, but she gained a group of new friends in the process.
“I had an open house after they were done. Jonathan unexpectedly showed up with a bottle of wine. He and the show’s director, Steve, came by. All of my friends freaked out.”
The show aired several times in January and February, 2018, and is scheduled to air again on May 9. The Property Brothers section of the HGTV website will have updates on future airings.