A self-taught home rehabber, licensed real estate agent and designer Nicole Curtis, star of HGTV's "Rehab Addict," has made an art of introducing the comforts and conveniences of modern living while restoring homes to their former glory.

Whether you're giving new life to a historic treasure or sprucing up a more modern home, there are many ways to retain the integrity of the original design while keeping your renovation within budget.

Take hardwood flooring, for example. Many homeowners can't wait to tear out a dingy carpet, but that carpet may actually be covering a hidden gem: original hardwood floors. Approach your renovation with a "What can I save?" rather than a "What can I lose?" mentality, says Curtis. Damaged sections of wood flooring can be patched using reclaimed wood from other parts of the home, or even the attic. A good sanding and a fresh coat of stain are all that's needed to restore the original flooring.

Likewise, consider every alternative before installing a brand new feature in your home. A ductless system, for instance, is a modern upgrade that won't destroy the existing structure and architectural integrity of the home.

"No ductwork makes my life so much easier," Curtis says. "There's less time and money spent on finding ductwork space and installing the systems, so we no longer have to sacrifice design."

When it comes to the kitchen, pause before you make plans to gut it. In the kitchen, you may be surprised by how sanding and staining or painting the existing cabinetry transforms the space. Keep in mind that lightly colored cabinets and countertops will make a small kitchen space feel larger, and you can bring pops of color into the room with the backsplash and décor, says Curtis.


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