Between the Lines

Taking Action

“I don’t just renovate,” says Nicole Curtis, the 36-year-old star of Rehab Addict.  “I restore old houses to their former glory.”

She’s a willowy blonde with the body of a pinup model and the determination of a drill sergeant—and she can wield a nail gun as well as any man, if not better.  That may be part of why she got her own TV show on the DIY Network, but the real reason was her passion: She loves old houses and has made a career out of restoring—not just “fixing up”—the fine old Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Beaux Arts, and Greek Revival homes of Minneapolis, where she lives.  In the midst of the Rust Belt’s urban decay, there is little Nicole with her nail gun, her iron will, and not much money, pushing back against the evil forces of modernity and lovingly stitching back together the broken bones of these ruined beauties.

No, she doesn’t do it for the money, because there’s not really any money in it.  There’s just enough to let her do what she wants to do, and indeed feels she must do: save and make pretty again the withered old wrecks that were once the pride of Minneapolis.  And she does it her way: not with materials bought at Home Depot or one of the other big-box stores.  Everything is reclaimed, reused, and true to the period of the home she’s...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here