When HGTV designer Debra Salmoni offered to take fans’ questions live on her Instagram Stories, they were mighty curious about her history with co-host Scott McGillivray and their on-screen chemistry.
Salmoni is a busy interior designer and mom in Toronto, Canada, when she’s not filming “Scott’s Vacation Home Rules” with McGillivray, a real estate expert and contractor who also lives in the Toronto area. Unlike many HGTV duos, the two are not married — at least not to each other.
Salmoni Tiptoes Around Question About Jealousy
Salmoni and McGillivray have such great on-screen chemistry, often teasing each other and laughing together, that many viewers suspect they’re a couple or somehow related. But the truth is, they’re both married with kids — and unrelated.
On July 18, Salmoni offered to answer fans’ questions in her Instagram Stories, writing, “Ask away, I’m an open book!” As questions rolled in, she shared and answered multiple inquiries about her and McGillivray, who’s been hosting shows on HGTV in the U.S. and Canada since 2008.
One fan asked, “Honestly how long have you known Scott? The sibling style teasing and laughter is the best!”
Salmoni answered, “Three years but feels like a decade at least” followed by three crying-laughing emojis.
Salmoni did, indeed, start filming with McGillivray in 2019. “They literally found me on Instagram, interviewed me, and hired me, and I was shooting in a week,” she told Seneca News. “It was the quickest turnaround they’d ever seen.”
When another fan asked whether her husband ever gets jealous over her friendship with McGillivray, Salmoni didn’t directly answer the question, choosing instead to talk about how great their spouses are.
She responded, “HAHAHA! Have you seen my husband? He’s hands down the best looking human on planet earth. Plus I’m OBSESSED beyond comprehension. He’s my everything. Secondly, have you seen Sabrina? Scott’s wife. She’s gorgeous and so so so kind and sweet! They are such a wonderful couple. I just adore the McGillivray family.”
When another fan asked Salmoni to share her favorite parts of filming “Vacation House Rules,” she said she loves helping homeowners and seeing their reactions after a renovation, spending time with the crew (“we honestly laugh all day,” she wrote), “learning how to rhyme” and that the views are always pretty great.
One downside is how patient they have to be during the process. In her Stories, Salmoni revealed that most house projects are hours away from home, requiring six or seven hours of driving both ways, and that their renovations take four to five months to complete.
Both HGTV Personalities are Married With Two Kids
Salmoni has been married since 2015 to husband Dave, who’s quite famous himself. A Canadian animal trainer, Dave has hosted many Animal Planet shows and has appeared on many late-night talk shows in the U.S., dating back to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The couple had their first child — son Thomas — two months after their wedding, and have since had a daughter, Elizabeth.
Meanwhile, McGillivray got married in June 2009 to Sabrina Deacetis. The couple has two daughters, Myah and Layla, who are both dancers; in fact, Scott posted a photo on July 1 from a dance competition with his family in Las Vegas.
In August 2021, Debra posted an Instagram photo of herself with Sabrina, writing, “One of my favorite parts of working alongside @scott_mcgillivray every day, is that I get to hang out with his gorgeous + awesome wife, Sabrina. Scott and Sabrina are two of the most generous, kind, cool and fun people I know. Im lucky to have them both in my life.”
In June, HGTV Canada announced “Scott’s Vacation House Rules” has been renewed for a fourth season, to air in 2023; no word yet on whether it will also air in the U.S. They are currently casting families in Canada with vacation homes that need renovating and budgets of at least $150,000. Both personalities are expected to be back for the new season.