HGTV’s Jonathan Scott helps Macon man with $65,000 upgrade

lfabian@macon.comNovember 21, 2013 

Grandma’s floral drapes in the living room have to go.

Drafty windows need to be replaced.

A wrap-around porch would enhance the backyard.

Outdated lighting fixtures need to come down

Steve Bell was looking for a “brave knight with tools” to help save his 1872 home, and he got a famous one.

Thursday morning, HGTV’s Jonathan Scott had plenty of ideas to share for Bell’s blue house at the corner of Oglethorpe and College streets.

The 35-year-old celebrity contractor’s visit and $65,000 renovation was the grand prize of the Dove Men+Care Hair “King of the Castle” contest.

“Macon seems to be one of these places that I’ve never been, but everyone I know, whether they live in Georgia, or anywhere else in the world, apparently has been here,” Scott said after touring Bell’s home. “So, it’s been good. Everyone seems really friendly.”

The co-star of “Property Brothers” has just been named one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, along with his twin brother, Drew, a real estate agent.

His longer hair and signature 3½ days growth of facial hair set him apart.

“I have a very meticulous and strict manscaping routine,” he said. “I don’t like being too clean-shaven. I like having a little scruff. Nobody’s ever complained.”

Scott, who is known as “the hair” of the network, was a natural to front the contest to strengthen a man’s home. (The company says the Dove products are guaranteed to make hair three times stronger.)

Dressed in his familiar plaid, Scott came down from Atlanta, where he is currently filming.

He walked through each room of the 3,400-square-foot house to inspire the family to make changes.

Bell was one of 25,000 entrants in the contest he found while surfing social media.

His 100-word essay about his 19th century home appealed to Scott.

Bell explained he’s about to lose a third of his front yard to a roundabout on the corner of Tattnall Square Park.

“My castle is under siege, and we want to keep it looking good for years,” Bell explained in his winning entry.

Steve and Laura Bell bought the two-story, wooden house 16 years ago just before they married. She wanted to walk home barefoot from their October wedding at the Neel House, the Federated Garden Clubs headquarters. Now, two children later, they are ready for an upgrade.

Steve Bell is busy running an advertising agency from his home office and is opening Ocmulgee Traders grocery store in the Dannenburg building. Keeping up the maintenance at home has been difficult, he said.

He plans to put a new roof on the house, replace windows and paint the exterior with his winnings.

“It’ll be a completely different-looking house from the outside,” Scott said. “It’s going to be something that still pays tribute to the era of the home, but it’s going to be much classier, much more elegant.”

The house sits across from Alexander II Math and Science Magnet School, where Laura Bell teaches. She walked Scott over for a brief visit with the students, who struck a variety of poses with the star.

While he was walking back through the park, the tall brunette caught the eye of fan Annie Stephens. She stopped her car on Adams Street to wave hello to the man see sees regularly on television.

“I watch reality that is quality, not that housewives crap,” said Stephens.

Scott said it’s the Bells’ house that will stop traffic in the future. He’d like to return to Macon to see the finished product.

“It’s going to be that gorgeous house that people drive by, and they’re like, ‘Wow, I want to see inside.’”

Telegraph photographer Woody Marshall contributed to this report.

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