Nicole Curtis is not a flipper.
She cringes at the term.
Instead, she sees herself as a rescuer of old houses in need of major renovations. “I fall in love with these homes,” she said.
Curtis’ latest project is a 4,000-square-foot, five-bedroom home on Minnehaha Creek in the Tangletown neighborhood.
Curtis, star of the DIY Network’s “Rehab Addict,” and her crew have gutted the place, outfitting the home with new mechanics and restoring the 1916-era house with appropriate furnishings and details for the time period. She used a lot of recycled materials on the home to give it an elegant look without a steep price tag.
The house is a mixture of Arts and Crafts and Mission styles.
The Tangletown home has been featured on the “Rehab Addict” show, which premiered Feb. 3. The show airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.
This is her fourth renovation in Minneapolis. The Tangletown house will be put on the market in a few weeks. She declined to say how much it will be listed for and also didn’t want to divulge how much she’s invested in the property.
Besides rehabbing the homes, she also researches their histories. She has met some people who grew up in the house and gleaned insights about the properties’ past. Curtis also checks out historical societies and finds abstract deeds to learn more about the houses she works on.
She takes great pride in her work. Besides the house on Minnehaha Parkway, she has restored a home on Colfax and one on Grand in the Lyn-Lake area. She’s also revitalized a house on Lyndale in the Kingfield neighborhood.
“Everyone assumes that anyone can do this,” Curtis said. “It really is a specialty.”
In a promo for her show, she’s described as a “sweet-talking, hammer-swinging whirlwind.” A native of Detroit, she’s a licensed Realtor and interior designer who lives in Uptown. In addition to her properties in Minneapolis, she’s remodeled homes in Tampa, Fla., Atlanta and Los Angeles.
She hunts for unique items at flea markets, reuse centers and other interesting shops for the houses. She’s also a champion of local hardware stores, as opposed to big-box hardware retailers.
Although the Tangletown home has gone through a dramatic makeover, Curtis said the property doesn’t look like it’s gone through a radical change.
“Everything is specific to the era,”
The master bedroom, in particular, is something she’s proud of. It has a spacious 600-square-foot dressing room.
Curtis has been rehabbing homes for 15 years. Working on renovations these days, given the bleak market conditions, takes ingenuity and discipline.
“I use a lot of salvaged materials and a lot more elbow grease,” she said.