Nicole's Tried-and-True Remodeling Tips

Why buy something new when you can restore something old for less? Whether you're planning a vintage restoration of your own or are just a fan of the show, read on to learn five tried-and-true design mantras that I never break.

One: Only garbage goes in the dumpster.

 Lauren Noess

Lauren Noess

I save EVERYTHING. When a new heating system was installed in this 1920s bungalow, the old cast iron radiator was repurposed for use as a bedroom shelf. By reusing and recycling, I save thousands of dollars on my projects and maintain as much of the home's original integrity as possible. 


Two: Figure out what was there, then do your best to restore it or replicate it.

 Matthew Allen/AP Images

Matthew Allen/AP Images

I'm adamant about preserving a home's original architecture and charm. You'll often find me stripping carpet or paint to expose the authentic beauty of the wood or stone beneath. By doing so, I save money on building materials and boost the home's value. In this Akron, Ohio home, I peeled back dirty carpet to reveal gorgeous pine hardwood floors.


Three: Trends will come and go, so stick with a classic look that matches the era of your home.

 Mark Teskey

Mark Teskey

The only modern or "trendy" pieces I implement in my homes are those that can be easily replaced, such as furniture or wall decorations. I aim to keep all other features original or as true to the original era of the home as possible. In this stunning sitting room, beautiful vintage-inspired furniture is a pretty complement to the original bird's-eye maple trim and white oak hardwood floors. 

Four: Keep it simple. 

 Andrew D Myers

Andrew D Myers

I forgo over-the-top color and accessories, relying instead on the inherent beauty of a home's architecture to make a big statement. In this small kitchen, sleek stainless steel appliances and a custom live-edge bar fit the scale of the space and add a modern touch without overpowering the original white cabinets, backsplash and hardwood floor. 


Five: Take the time to do things right.

 Andrew D Myers

Andrew D Myers

A little elbow grease goes a long way. I simply scrubbed and repaired the original tub and tile in this 100-year-old bathroom to create a beautiful, high-quality space at half the cost. No demo necessary.