A Night-Shift Home Renovation

HGTV Magazine met a couple who own a busy home renovation company. The only time they had to work on their own house was after the sun set!
By: Jessica Dodell-Feder

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Photo By: David A. Land

Working the Late Shift

For most people, 6 p.m. means time to leave the office. But while Catherine and Nick Balding were renovating their Wilmington, NC, home, early evening meant it was time to get to work! Luckily, the couple runs a remodeling company, Balding Brothers, so they were well-equipped to take on the job. For seven months, they spent most nights and weekends transforming their 1950s ranch from a wood-paneled mess into a cheery four-bedroom home.

The DIY Duo

“We’d work until midnight during the week, then put in 14-hour days on Saturday and Sunday,” says Nick, who tackled most of the construction himself. The reno was so involved that the couple lived in a rental for the first two months. That level of dedication has its drawbacks: "We didn’t go out much," says Nick. Adds Catherine, "I can’t say I’d do it the same way again. But the house turned out perfect for us."

Kitchen Before

The knotty pine cabinets had a dated, log-cabin look. And those peeling laminate counters? Yuck!

Kitchen After

The gourmet kitchen now has stainless steel appliances, an industrial-style range hood, and a 7-foot-long, concrete-topped island. By knocking down two of the walls, Nick opened up the space to create a combo kitchen/dining/living room. The original cabinets got a facelift with paint and glass-front doors. The couple also added Pottery Barn seagrass stools, a subway tile backsplash, and a butcher-block counter around the perimeter.

Exterior Before

With its worn brick facade, beat-up roof, and sandy yard, the house was a real downer, especially compared with other cute bungalows in the area. Trees and overgrown azaleas swallowed up the landscaping.

Exterior After

"When I pull into the driveway, I finally think, Wow, that’s a nice house," says Nick. He and Catherine painted the exterior stone gray and adding a gabled portico over the existing stoop. They installed custom shutters, a new shingle roof, and a brick walkway. The tidy front yard is fully landscaped with boxwoods, Ruby Chinese fringe flower, windmill palms, and mature pine trees. The custom mahogany front door has six windows to let in light.

Living Room Before

Knotty pine paneling made this space feel gloomy despite its large, front-facing window.

Living Room After

Nick and Catherine tore out the paneling and painted the walls a very pale green to give the room a sunnier feel. A stained red IKEA dresser-turned-console greets visitors when they walk through the front door. A neutral Ashley Furniture sofa and Safavieh club chairs from overstock.com get a pick-me-up with patterned pillows from Layla Grayce and a graphic rug from Anthropologie. The chairs share a gray x-base side table by Tritter Feefer, and an antique blanket chest serves as a coffee table.

Before: Carport

The carport was completely transformed. Click next to see the results.

After: Bedroom

Enclosing the carport and leveling out the floor created a much-needed master bedroom. “We kept the original grooved ceiling—we just sanded and painted it,” says Catherine. Nick created custom crown molding to give the room a finished feel, then they added a Pottery Barn seagrass headboard. The Euro shams are from Anthropologie, throw pillows from Layla Grayce, and a peach coverlet from HomeGoods.


“I love marble, but I knew from working with our clients that you have to be careful where you use it,” says Catherine. She opted to put it in the bath rather than the kitchen, so it would be less prone to stains. The mirrors, chrome-finish sconces, and double sink console, which came with a Carrara marble top, are all from Pottery Barn. To temper the room’s elegance, the couple added a rustic floor, which is unstained plywood coated in polyurethane.

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