Better Than New
by Nicole Curtis
Artisan

Such is Rehab Addict Nicole Curtis’ pull that she once had LeBron James working on the refurbishment of a house. The American basketballer’s foundation had wanted to award a star student with a house renovation, and his PR entourage thought they’d film him as part of the construction crew, but then, pssshhhhh. That was the sound of his Nike Air shoe deflating as he stepped on a nail. That was probably also the sound of relief when he gave the thumbs up. Unfortunately, anecdotes such as this are rare in Curtis’ book, about a career built on returning old homes to their former glory. Instead, readers are taken on whirlwind tours of the (often unwanted) houses she bought, spruced up and sold; and which bad boyfriend she was dating at the time of the projects. More interesting would have been detailed descriptions of her work not only restoring unloved historic houses but also finding ones with potential, some of them foreclosures. Part of Curtis’ star attraction comes from the fact she is a DIY-er willing to get her hands dirty. But to really understand her appeal you would need to watch her show.