Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict: Hit Show on DIY Network

You guys know that I have been on a DIY kick lately. It’s been so great to find things on the side of the road, and turn someone else’s trash into treasures forthe home.
About three months ago, I started watching DIY Network again and came across this amazing show called Rehab Addict! Nicole Curtis is the star of Rehab Addict,   and she shows how even those with a tight budget can turn an eye sore into an amazing show home.
Nicole is down to earth, passionate, and determined to show everyone out there that you CAN restore old homes and restore them to their former glory. Recently, we were able to interview her to learn a little bit more about Nicole and how she got her start rehabing homes.
Nicole Curtis Rehab Addict
CF: How did you begin restoring older homes?
Nicole: My first home purchase was a heap bought via land contract in Tampa, Florida-I couldn’t afford a “pretty home” so I bought the ugliest 1945 Ranch for 52K-my house payment was $596.42 a month and I waitressed and sold cell phone contracts while going to school to afford it. I had to learn how to paint, plumb, tile from the ground up. The next house was a 1928 Bungalow in Detroit-a massive step up for me 4 years later-Ethan was a baby and my budget just as small-this is where I really thought-“I’ve lost my mind”. Wall to wall carpet and wallpaper-disaster everywhere you looked-but just 6 years later (true story) I completed renovations that today would take me a month or two:) This was the house where I got hooked and realized that finding people that restored was like finding a needle in a haystack–

CF: Of all the homes that you have restored/designed what would you say was your favorite project?
Nicole: 620 Minnehaha will always be my favorite….always. It was the hardest 4 years of my life-financial disaster,love gone wrong—way wrong and I made it thru. For me that house is the symbol of “I’m a survivor” -Beyonce ringing in my ears. So many people lined up to tell me that I would never pull it off and I did and I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that house is pretty darn famous now. People make pilgimages to MPLS just to take a picture in front of it…it will always be my house:)


CF: What advice do you have for people that are looking to buy an older home? What should they look out for?
Figure out your finances first-because the truth is -money fixes all. However, in my case, I always had time not money. So major things like structural issues aren’t deal breakers-but you have to be able to fit it in your budget. Look for the “after”-if you stand in an old house in it’s worst shape and see your dream home—that’s 90% of what you need. I have been able to find a cure for just about everything wrong in one of these beauties. First time buyers-pick a house with quick restoration projects–wallpaper removal doable-new foundation–not so much. The key is education regarding that particular house-befriend a few old house people and get their opinion. As a real estate agent, my clients know that when they work with me-they are getting the facts about their home-I study them and relay an honest opinion-seek an knowledgable agent that is always a must.

CF: You are originally from the Detroit area, what brought you to the Minneapolis area?
Nicole: Honestly, a relationship-which was one of the worst experiences of my life-but the pro was-here I am:)

CF: Your son has appeared in several episodes of Rehab Addict. What does he think of his mom being on DIY Network/HGTV?
Nicole: My son has always seen me as “mom” and always will. There is no “tv star” life. I have a house to clean, dishes to do and a son to raise. He said the other day-I don’t know why you just don’t rock out real estate again:) We use rock out quite a bit in our home. On a serious note, it’s a bit aggravating for him-we lived in LA for a bit and there seeing someone on TV is an everyday occurance & I wouldnt even come close to rating-here it’s a privacy robber, to say the least.

CF:When you aren’t restoring or designing, what do you do in your spare time?
I’m with my family. I’m a very active mom–it’s the only role that counts for me-so I’ve basically done everything you could with a child involved:) Biking, running, travel. It’s only been in the past couple years that I have found myself alone in my spare time and I have taken up kayaking in the summer and snowshoeing in winter. Everyone assumes I have some secret fitness routine–I don’t sit still:) that’s the secret-


CF:Restoration seems to be all about having the right tools! What is something that you always have in your tool “belt”?

Nicole: A claw and a hammer–I can pretty much figure everything out with those 
Nicole Curtis Case House

Used with permission from Nicole Curtis

CF: You always find the neatest items to put in your homes? What are your favorite places to find the vintage items you use when you design?
Nicole: I’m still a garbage picking fool. Something always seems better when it’s free and dirty

CF: My readers are all about upcycling and repurposing items. When you remove fixtures, tubs, etc from homes what happens to them? Do you donate them or reuse them in other projects you are working on ?
Nicole: I reuse 90%-the other items that don’t fit the period of the home are donated or sold. Dumpster divers are always met with disappointment on my properties. If it’s still usable=-its’ going to get used

CF:You are all about rolling up your sleeves and doing projects yourself. What are some of the things you do yourself, and when do you decide to hire a contractor?
Nicole:Well, I can do everything on a house myself, but a few years ago I regained my sanity and said hmmm, I don’t think this is not the most efficient way to do things. I took inventory and thought–whatever could kill me-I’m passing off-so Electrical big ticket items-rewiring house, electrical service–gone. Hanging light fixtures, changing outlets-still me. Plumbing same thing-fixture no problem-installing the hot water heater and gas lines and replumbing entire house-no more:) I take on the smaller projects now-finished trim, framing, installation of cabinets, tile, windows—the heavy stuff-well, I figure-that’s where the men come in now:)

Want to learn more about Nicole and Rehab Addict? Make sure to follow her on her social media channels!

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  1. says

    That was a great interview Ash!!! I LOVE her show!! She seems like such a down to Earth kinda gal and I like that even more! Now, you’ve got yourself this whole moving thing under way… you should totally call her and have her turn some home into your dream home!! But you better get in there and get dirty woman!

    • Crunchy Frugalista says

      Ronni, she is incredibly nice, and I love the fact she shows you you don’t have to have a million dollar budget to rehab your home. I just wish I could post photos I took that would do her work justice. Of course, I would get in there to DIY my own home. That’s half the fun!

    • Crunchy Frugalista says

      Shelley, So glad to hear. Nicole is such an interesting and passionate person. It’s great to learn more about what she does!

    • Crunchy Frugalista says

      Isn’t it nice to see someone beating the odds. I love the fact that she’s a women in a man’s world. She’s a firecracker and definitely not afraid to do it all on her own.

    • Crunchy Frugalista says

      We did have a great time. Be on the look out for some more pictures from the Case House. We were able to attend one of her open houses, and it will be on Rehab Addict later in the season.

  2. Dale Burke says

    I am so happy to have found someone REAL. Nicole tries so hard to be such a good mom, daughter, sister, all the while working herself to the bone to prove she CAN do it. Love her!!!


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