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Designer Q&A: Victoria Tonelli from the Property Brothers

We met Victoria Tonelli this summer while Property Brothers: Buying and Selling was filming in Nashville, Tennessee. Victoria is a designer based out of Toronto that works with Jonathan and Drew Scott to create dream spaces for homeowners featured on the Property Brothers' shows in addition to taking on her own clients. Check out her thoughts on finding inspiration and working with some of the most well-known twin brothers on television!


How long have you been working as a designer? Do you do design work outside of the Property Brothers?

Victoria Tonelli: I’ve been working in design for almost 5 years now. I do take on private projects that are a nice change of pace in comparison to designing for television.

Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Victoria: Although this seems very cliché… EVERYWHERE. Hotels, restaurants, window displays, fashion, travel, architecture, social media, magazines… Taking notes and thinking about how to translate what I’m seeing into my own designs is what I think keeps my work fresh and interesting. I’m obsessed with what I do, so the wheels never stop turning!

How is working as a designer on a television show different from working as a designer outside of television?

Victoria: The biggest difference by far is the timeline. When designing for television you are working with a quarter (if that) of what a designer would be used to in “real life.” Although these accelerated timelines come with lots of sleepless nights and stress, it’s exhilarating to see these transformations come to life so quickly and to work on so many simultaneously.

How does your job work in conjunction with Jonathan and Drew’s?

Victoria: When working on Buying & Selling, Jonathan and I always start with a long brainstorming session to come up with a clear direction for the space. There’s lots of back and forth about layout, color schemes, materials, furniture plans, etc. This is also when we do our research to find exciting new, quality product (like Pella!) to include in our reveals. Once all this is generally decided, I work to make sure the vision that we originally discussed comes to life!

When you meet the people whose houses will be featured on the show, what is your process for learning about their needs and wants for their home?

Victoria: For Property Brothers: Buying and Selling we are renovating and staging so that the current homeowners can sell. My focus is then: where do we get the biggest bang for our buck? We then need the homeowners to disconnect from their homes and allow us to go in with a fresh set of eyes to find a way to make their space look most enticing to buyers. We always want to get them top dollar on the sale of their home!

What is your favorite part of the process from meeting the families to the finished product?

Victoria: Hands down – reveal days. No matter how tired you are from the late-night staging days, it’s pretty incredible to step back and look at these magazine-worthy spaces that we created in such a short period of time.

What is one project from the show that sticks out in your mind? What about it made it a special project for you?

Victoria: There was a house we did in New York – it was a very small space so we really needed to push ourselves to get creative with layout and design. The house ended up being my favorite transformation to date, and I was so happy with what we came up with. The homeowner was also very deserving and so appreciative of our help!

What is your favorite design trend of 2017 thus far?

Victoria: I don’t really follow what is “trendy.” I think if you do you’ll get sick of it quite fast. Instead, focus on what is classic and will stand the test of time. If I had to pick, and I don’t know if this is necessarily “2017” specific, but mixing and matching and curating a space with juxtaposing design elements is what makes for an interesting design. Matchy-matchy is a thing of the past.