Better Than New : Lessons I've Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me)
by Nicole Curtis

Overview - A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

For the first time, Nicole Curtis, the star of the megahit HGTV and DIY Network show Rehab Addict , reveals her private struggles, her personal victories, and the inspiring lessons we can all learn from them.

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More About Better Than New by Nicole Curtis
A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

For the first time, Nicole Curtis, the star of the megahit HGTV and DIY Network show Rehab Addict, reveals her private struggles, her personal victories, and the inspiring lessons we can all learn from them.

Nicole Curtis is the tough, soulful, charismatic dynamo who for the past twenty years has worked tirelessly to restore historical houses, often revitalizing neighborhoods in the process. And also, in the process, drawing millions of fans to her television show, Rehab Addict, where they follow each step of the hard work and singular vision that transform the seemingly lost cause of a run-down building into a beautifully restored home. But there is so much more to this self-taught expert and working mom. With hersignature irresistible honesty and energy, Curtis writes about a project that every reader will find compelling: how she rehabbed herself. Better Than New reveals what's not seen on TV--Curtis's personal battles and her personal triumphs, her complicated relationships, her life as a single mother, the story of how she got started remodeling houses, and the consuming ins and outs of producing a megahit television show while keeping up with two kids, two rescue dogs, and countless tasks on her home renovation punch lists. Followers of the show will get an inside look at some of her most famous restorations, including the Dollar house, the Minnehaha house, the Campbell Street project, and the Ransom Gillis mansion.

Part inspirational memoir and part self-help guide, Better Than New is a journey ineight chapters--each pinned to the story of a house that Curtis has remodeled, each delivering a hard-fought lesson about life--that takes readers to the place we all want to be: home.

  • ISBN-13: 9781579656676
  • ISBN-10: 1579656676
  • Publisher: Artisan Publishers
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.75 pounds

Related Categories

Books > House & Home > Remodeling & Renovation - General
Books > Design > Interior Decorating
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

BookPage Reviews

Lifestyles: Rehab therapy

In her hit HGTV show “Rehab Addict,” Nicole Curtis remodels aged houses in need of much TLC, showing viewers just what it takes and why it’s worth it to keep the old. But it is reality TV, which means there’s a lot of reality that gets left out. Luckily for us, Curtis’ new memoir, Better Than New, goes behind the TV screen in a house-by-house narrative of some of her most formidable projects. “I’ve renovated so many old houses that after a while, the lessons piled up and started to seem like a guidebook to a well-lived life,” she writes. Indeed, there is an attic’s worth of inspiring takeaways in this breezily written book. Curtis’ energy, grit and love for the hustle are infectious, while her tales of mistakes and unforeseen challenges on every restoration—from rookie hiccups to outright fiascos—fuel her story with nonstop tension. 

Before perusing the dreamy Loose Leaf, I’d never heard of a Monstera Chandelier. Essentially a ball-shaped structure of large leaves, vines and ferns suspended from the ceiling, it’s the invention of botanical designers Wona Bae and Charlie Lawler. Based out of the Melbourne, Australia, shop/studio from which this book takes its title, the couple creates stunning sculptural pieces and plant-based installations that both celebrate and summon the magic of nature. Wreaths, nests, roadside bouquets and other verdant delights are captured here in sumptuous photographs with modest how-tos. A section on “Curious Plants” suggests mistletoe cactus and devil’s ivy as solid choices for one’s own living plant gallery. Loose Leaf will be a rich treat for any serious plant-lover in your life. 

The first item in “The Gardenista Manifesto” reads, “Outdoor space is living space, and should be as carefully considered as any other room in your home.” This thinking informs every page of Gardenista, a version of “that you can dog-ear,” writes the site’s editor-in-chief Michelle Slatalla in the book’s introduction. Dozens of stylish outdoor settings are showcased within, along with callouts, captions and “Steal This Look” lists that make the designs accessible. I love the “Design Ideas” section, which guides readers in creating a garden workstation, finishing touches (like shed-door storage and a simple outdoor shower) and hardscaping basics. It may seem easy to become overwhelmed by this beautiful book, overflowing as it is with lust-worthy gardens in a vast array of styles and settings, but it’s a source you’ll return to again and again over a lifetime in pursuit of both big landscaping transformations and weekend projects. As visually enchanting as it is brimming with practical advice, Gardenista shows readers that, just as with interior design, there are countless ways to create an attractive and functional outdoor living space—from wild and loose to tailored and lavish, from rustic to minimalist and everything in between.


This article was originally published in the November 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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