Renovating and decorating with HGTV's Kortney and Dave Wilson | Home Front

Kortney and Dave Wilson
Sep 14, 2017

After a run as a country music duo, Kortney and Dave Wilson traded in their microphones for tool belts and began flipping houses while raising their three children in Nashville. They are renowned for their artistic design in transforming run-down disasters into stunning one-of-a-kind family homes. In "HGTV’s “Masters of Flip,” they breathe new life into old, rundown Nashville homes. The Wilsons will be appearing at the Capital Home Show on September 23 at the Dulles Expo Center.

Every week, Jura Koncius helps you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. She and weekly guests, whether Martha Stewart, the Property Brothers or Nate Berkus, answer your decorating and design questions. Jura is always happy to whip out her paint chips, track down a hard-to-find piece of furniture or offer her seasoned advice on practical living and decluttering. For more than 10 years, Home Front has been an online conversation about the best way to make your home comfortable, stylish and fun. We invite you to submit questions and share you own great tips, ideas and gripes. No problem is too big or too small, send them over.

After a run as a country music duo, Kortney and Dave Wilson traded in their microphones for tool belts and began flipping houses while raising their three children in Nashville. They are renowned for their artistic design in transforming run-down disasters into stunning one-of-a-kind family homes. In "HGTV’s “Masters of Flip,” they breathe new life into old, rundown Nashville homes. The Wilsons will be appearing at the Capital Home Show on September 23 at the Dulles Expo Center.This is a great opportunity to ask questions about a renovation you are considering. Let's chat.

Hey Guys,

It's Kortney (and Dave is on the computer beside me). We LOVE getting to know the people that are watching the show.  For the next hour, ask your questions about reno, our show, our life or whatever you'd like and we will do our best to answer.  Dave - DON'T BE TOO SILLY!  Okay, now that we have him in line, let's get this thing started.

How did you start flipping houses?

We wanted another source of income and since I was not the best waiter, lol We bought a small house and did a cosmetic reno on it. Paint, windows, new roof and kitchen and bath update. We made a great profit and just kept going from there. We got into bigger renos as we gained experience.

Any tips for my friends and relatives who were flooded in the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida? Where do you begin if you had water in your home?

You have to start with your insurance company. Find a reputable contractor that has experience in water damage. Very important!!!! Get the water out. Dry it out first. Get rid of all old damaged drywall and flooring as well.

Greetings from The Netherlands. Question to Kortney: Where do you get inspiration from, when it comes to paint colour? Do you consider getting your own line of paint colour? I loved the redish door on the charcoal house from season 2.

Thanks for your question ALL THE WAY FROM THE NETHERLANDS!  I get inspired all over the place.  The other day I took a picture of a bouquet of flowers that came to the house when I was sick and I think I've just secured a color palette for one of the flips coming up on season 3.  I use Pinterest a lot if I'm stuck but I also love looking at pieces of art that I'm attracted to.  Then I try and figure out why the colors work together and how I can translate that to home and decor.  And YES, YES, YES, I would love my own color line some day:)

And Dave, did you hear that?  She LOVES the reddish/coral door on the charcoal house:))))

Im in love with your show and your design styles and I thoroughly have a passion for design - do you currently offer employment in Nashville ?

We are not currently hiring but I would love to eventually start an intern program.  Perhaps I could learn a few things from some fresh blood - ha . . .Kortney

I am so confused because my husband says that if we do pre-finished floors, we can't sand them down. Can you please help us solve this argument? Melissa from Australia

There are many pre finished hardwoods that can be sanded. You can not sand laminate floors. Tell your hubby that he needs to research which ones are sandable. lol. most flooring stores will guide you before you purchase. ...Dave

What do you do if you find mold under your kitchen sub floor if your dishwasher floods? The tiles are vinyl.

I would definitely get a specialist out there to remediate.  Mold can usually be removed fairly easily but if on the off chance it has spread further than you think, you may want to remove the entire floor.  Not all mold can be removed with household products. . . .Kort

Hi guys! It's Johnny De Sousa from instagram. Do you see any chance of doing a show or any type of Reno project in the GTA or anywhere in Canada? It would be so cool, especially the part where you hire me as a Supervisor :) ok ok Labourer but still! I'm in anytime!

Love the idea of that but we are way too busy here in Nashville. Ya never know though....Dave

White brick house built in 1935. (Baltimore used brick; hence the paint – can’t sand blast to restore original brick.) White replacement window trim, white siding, bright red front door, new grey roof, black wrought iron handrails, red brick walkway. The white paint hurts my blue eyes, so looking for a change. Color suggestions?

I am doing a house right now that is inspired by the Ralph Lauren color scheme.  Really clean, slightly creamy whites and navy blues.  I'm painting the brick for the same reason and doing blue and black accents.  I can't wait for you to see it.  The greenery that Jeff, our landscaper has planned is going to pull it all together.  . .Kort

Just wondering when we will start seeing Season 3 being aired on HGTV?

The new episodes will be ready by the end of this year so I think it will start airing early next year but it all depends on which country you live in.  To our knowledge, HGTV US is also bringing it back.  More info soo . . .Kort  P.S Thanks for watching.  No seriously!

Hi Courtney and Dave! Canadian here, living in a story and a half 1940's home. Want to move my preteen daughter upstairs but the room is incredibly hot in the summer and chilly in the winter. Best course of action ? Insulate more? Install separate heater/ac unit?

Your options are limited, unfortunately.  Most of the issues are from the roof. You can take down the ceiling and put spray foam but that is one big job. Getting a bigger HVAC unit is your best bet but costs will make you mad. lol ....Dave

Post Points Code: HF1939

Hi! How can I keep my couches from sliding all over my Pergo floors? We tried the stick-on thingies from Home Depot, but with two young boys who can be quite, ahem, "athletic" with my couches, the thingies didn't last long. Do you have any other solutions? Thanks!

Korts advice is to get Velcro sticks from any hardware store and put on the feet. My advice is to tell the kids if they move the couch and scratch the floors they are grounded for a week and have to pay for new floors. lol ...dave 

As Canadians, we love your show and love you both. And you inspired our first trip to Nashville last month to see the eclipse and see your town! Your warmth, care and relationship shine through on the show. We notice that a Kortney signature touch seems to be open dish cupboards where the plates are positioned vertically like record albums. What are the advantages and how do you clean it? More importantly, how do we get one for our kitchen? Plus, where do you get all those high heeled work boots?

I LOVE this question.  I model a lot of the open cabinetry (which is also so in right now) after more European kitchens.  I love the idea of being able to see the plates.  I also find that they never get dirty sitting vertically on a shelf.  Of course, we are a big family and use them nearly every day.  I've been experimenting with different colors on the interior walls to give is a spin on the design but it works best when the open cabinetry is busy (and by busy, I mean, filled).  If it's too sparse, it just doesn't look right!


Kortney, have you had to slow down on the number of projects you have going on at a time in order to have enough time for home schooling?

I haven't had to yet.  I usually homeschool in the mornings and film in the afternoon.  We built a home office outside so my design assistant can work from there and I can go in and out to make decisions quickly.  On paper it sounds messy and confusing but we somehow make it work.  I never pretend to have balance.  The lack of balance, is our balance - ha . . .Kortney

We have in floor heating in our basement floor. The cement is not even. We put down a laminate but because the floor is not level the flooring is coming apart . What would you suggest doing Dave and Courtney.

ooh that's a tough one. Any time you are dealing with uneven floors it gets tricky. I would fix the flooring if you can when the problem arises or replace after you self-level the concrete. Its a big job though.  

Where can we watch? All that comes up are the questions

This is an online only chat! You can look at the photo of Kortney and Dave and imagine them answering together.  Thanks for clicking us on.

We are moving into our house in two weeks and have to repainted the entire house. Any budget friendly tips you can share?

Paint is the least expensive way to really make a big bang for the least amount of money.  I would consider giving everything a neutral coat and then once you're in, start layering in colors once you have a clearer direction.  Considering buying some old frames and painting them all different colors for a gallery wall.  The color on the neutral wall will be an easy transition and if you get bored, um, paint them all black or white.  I speak to a few of these tips when Dave and I are at the home shows and it's one of my fav topics.  The options are endless. . . .Kort

The only DIY I've done is write the check to the person doing the work. But I'm interested in doing more myself. I don't have any handy friends and will do most of the learning and work myself, so I'm intimidated about going it alone. How do you recommend a DIY blank slate gets started and builds confidence?

Just dive in and gain confidence slowly. Don't build a house the first week. lol Start with something you are most interested in. Painting? carpentry? plumbing? etc. There are amazing tutorials on YouTube that can get you started. Also, Big box store and local hardware stores have classes on everything reno and ask a million questions if you can. People love sharing advice and what to avoid. You got this! do it...Dave

Due to constant leaks, we have decided to take out two skylights. Is there a way to save the 2 wells (in the arched ceiling) and keep the architecture? thanks, Susan C.

As long as the roof is repaired, I think there is a way to keep it.  You just have to decide if it is still serving a purpose.  For example, if it's in a kids room, you could hang butterflies or a bunch of origami or heck, a mobile for a babies room and it will draw your eye up.  If it's in a living room, perhaps a candelabra.  If it looks weird or gives an unnecessary focal point, just seal it up:) . . .Kortney

Would you ever consider flipping a house in Florida after the hurricane?

I would consider it, but Nashville is our wheelhouse. One of the secrets to flipping is to know your market. I would love to help the people in Florida get their homes back together if time permits. ..Dave

yay or nay? love putting up curtains but sometimes I find they make the space smaller or is it depending on what type of curtains are put on?

I love the addition of fabric to a room but it doesn't work everywhere.  For example, I am itching to build a very modern home for our family and I will likely have very little fabric. If I do, nothing fancy.  Straight panels, light in color (possibly a very simple and contemporary pattern) and high as high as you can.  This will contribute to a very clean look and not distract from the room itself.  When the draperies start getting too fancy and overwhelm the room, it can distract and feel cluttering (and even smaller, as you mentioned).

Love your work Courtney do you have a magazine to follow some of your designs and are we up with the latest season's? in Australia.

I don't have a magazine but one day, it might be fun, if I can find the time, to contribute to a project like that.  I wouldn't want to do it unless I could find a way to give it a spin on what's already out there.  Thanks for the question, and the vote of confidence. . .Kort

Hi Guys, What are some of your secrets to maintaining a working relationship with your spouse? Love your show!

Drink wine in the morning and coffee at night. LOL Its a balance. Knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses is key. Separating work from family is tough but essential. Listen to each other and don't yell. Problems get solved faster with communication. I am still learning this trick. lol

Are you coming back on in US

Yes. Be patient cause it's going to be amazing! lol You will know when we do but they are planning for a new roll out soon...Dave

What do the kids think of your celebrity

We are just mom and dad and always have been.  Our oldest, Jett, is 13 and a little more aware than the other two (I think because his friends are too).  They love when they get to travel with us.  There are definitely a few perks for them but at the end of the day, they just care that we haven't grounded them or taken away their phones for talking back.  

First of all, I'm in Australia and absolutely LOVE you guys! I look forward to each episode and can't wait for new episodes. I LOVE the coral door and my favourite kitchen (which I always say I will get one day in our house lol) is the kitchen from Two's A Crowd episode/house. My question is, when you are going around looking at all the houses on the market, or choosing a new area, what helps make your mind up on which house you're going to choose and how you are going to design it? What are say, the top 3 factors that help you decide on house and design? Thank you, Lorraine

Top 3 would be...Location, layout, and cost to reno. The design can create the budget but we usually know when we see it if it's a home run or not. Planning is everything. Korts a great design on the fly person. She is my secret weapon. Thanks for watching the show and hopefully we will be in Australia soon. Dave

How much money do you need at the very least to flip a home? I know that's a loaded question. Also, is it better to get a mortgage on a flip property or if you have the cash but the house outright? Thank you.

That is a loaded question because not only, is every house different, but every market is different.  We were actually going to mortgage a house this week and in order to stay competitive and get it, we decided to pay cash at the last minute so we didn't lose the house.  Cash is always best when the houses go quickly and then you don't have carrying costs, but it is also riskier.  If something goes wrong and you are upside down, the bank will likely not want to lend you money.  It's important to do your due diligence.

As far as budgets, they run anywhere from 60k (for a small house that doesn't need a bump out) to about 250k. I would say generally, we spend about 170k a house to do a bump out and complete overhaul on about 2500 sq ft. . . .Kort . P.S Thanks for your question!

Woodpeckers have attacked trees in my yard and now they are attacking my pressure treated fence! Any ideas on what I can do - I have tried holographic tape... Also should I fill in the holes in my fence? What produce should I use?

Best question ever! lol I'm not up on my woodpecker remediation but I would recommend Getting a fake owl or Halk and using them as Scarecrows. I would wait the woodpeckers are done with your fence before you fix it. They also love wood filler so hold off for now...Dave

In our living room our furniture is brown and tables are lighter brown, would like to have a white vase and some red tones - my question is when pulling out another color, how much is too much to put out there in a room.?

It's always harder for me to answer specific design questions without seeing the room but I would say that I don't usually love red and browns together.  I would pull creamy whites and some light blues or gray blues on the wall and in the pillows.  The white vase is a great idea.  Not too much at all.  .  . Kort

I live in the San Jose, California area and I have a "great" room that is a combination entry, living room and dining room with a curved staircase on the left. I think it's impossible to design it well on our own but my husband (who has an eye for design) wants to do it on his own. I want to move ahead and hire a designer without him but I've never gone about doing this. I've asked friends for recommendations but have had no luck. First, how do I go about finding one? And second, is there anything I should look out for? We don't have a huge budget and generally buy things on discount. I don't want to do an online thing as I think it's important for the person to come to our house. If I were to find someone, does it matter how established they are? I guess my question for this (to me) foreign industry is - is it more about experience or is it more about their creativity and style?

If you trust your husband's design sense, maybe let him do it but have him put an inspiration board as a way to guide you to what you want it to look like.  If not, I would post online that you are looking for someone to help with design.  DO NOT USE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER - ha.  It's not worth runining a relationship if you don't see eye to eye.  Post that you are working with a very limited budget but would love a 2nd or 3rd opinion.
Pinterest is a great tool for people who want to get inspired but can't really put things together so if all else fails, find a picture of exactly what you want to do and follow the color scheme and design as closely as you can!

I think the money spent on a designer might be well-worth it since you will get your money back when and if you sell IF it's done right.  So many skip this part and I think it's a mistake.  Do it right and it WILL pay off!

how did u two meet ?? all i know you meet in tennesse but we dont know how you two happened to be there at the same place of all places both canadians ,,, and did u like him first Kortney or not ?? also have closed captioning on this live feed tomorrow so i can read what they say ,, yes i am deaf ,, and i have watched their shows,,,

Short story version....We met at a mutual friends house. I was visiting him from England and Kort new of him and his wife and needed a place to stay when she moved to Nashville. I opened the door and Boom! I was in love. She thought I was Gay case I just shaved my head and wore bell bottoms at the time. ( London Rock musician)lol after a couple of weeks, I won her over and begged her to grow old with me. She's still thinking about it but I have a feeling....Dave

Have u ever thought of doing flips in other countries - to get a feel for their specific style(s)?? Would love to see u in Vancouver!

Just your luck.  We will be in Vancouver at the home show in October.  Hope to see you there.  
And yes, I would love to flip in other countries but it's hard to pick up and leave when you have kids. Flipping works when you do your due diligence so IF we flipped in another country or heck, another city, we would have to really do some research.  . .Kort

I have recently painted most of our house "Cloud White" I'm thinking of painting all the interior doors a medium Charcoal Gray, to make them stand out. They are nice "800" series doors with some panelled detail. What do you think?

I think that will look sharp. Make sure you prime the doors. Rookie mistake if you don't. lol Dave

Currently I have wire shelving, would love to change it for better - since it's only seen by the owners - is it best to change to wooden shelving or doing a DIY to cover the wire shelving. I know changing it to a wooden shelving would probably cost more but is it worth it?

Why don't you use a really inexpensive wood and cover it with the amazing peel and stick wallpapers that are out there now?  It's fine, it's contemporary.  I'm not sure where the shelves are but this would be great in an office or laundry room.   . . .Kort

I need a rug for my dining room. Where should I look? I want something that is either a solid color or with a very discreet pattern. I can afford a few hundred dollars. I looked at Ikea's and World Market's website but haven't seen anything that I really like.

Those were the two places I was going to suggest. lol Try some online stores but make sure they ship free. 

Do you think the trend towards open shelving in kitchens will endure? It seems like it's only for people who aren't messy. Cabinets also keep your dishes cleaner. What do you think?

Ha.  Yes, I do think it's here to stay but I also think that people in general are trying hard to de-clutter their lives.  Strip things down and unload the "extra" stuff.  The open shelving sort of forces you to put things away to keep it clean so it works for me.  If it doesn't continue stuffing it behind closed doors but that eventually catches up with us all.  It's why I love no doors on pantries or glass doors.  I used to let it pile up but for what?  I It's sort of a shift in how we are all a little more aware of what we are eating, what we are teaching our kids and how we want to live. (and I don't always get this right but, I'm trying) . . .Kort

Do you have any advice about online resources for finding the best contractor? We are just starting a complete renovation on our mid 1960s home and will do some of the work ourselves (inspired by you two) but need a good contractor to do the major stuff. We're having trouble finding contractors to interview. We don't have a lot of friends who have had experience with renovations so I've been looking on line. I've found a few using the standard google search/Yelp/etc but sometimes find bad BBB reviews for them. I'm stuck at step 1!

Hardest thing to find. I would suggest Angies list or home advisor. They are an easy way to screen the bad ones out. Remember, Cheap...Good...on time and budget. You can usually only get two out of three. Dave

How do you juggle homeschooling and work?

I drink wine - H!
In all seriousness, it is a constant juggling act but it's been worth it.  The boys have thrived as homeschoolers which made the decision to continue, pretty easy.  Jett is at a school this year to get him into the high school that he wants to go so I only have 1 at home.  Lennox is still in elementary school and loving it.  I usually only film after lunch to allow me plenty of time with Sully but there are always exceptions.  If you ask my kids, I'm a pretty strict teacher but homeschooling also allows for a ton of flexibility. .  . Kort

When will the second series of your show by shown in the UK

It's coming. Be patient. lol They are in the process of editing for the different markets. Thanks for watching the show...Dave

I'm redoing my living room. I've had my camelback sofa recovered in a very fun fabric that incorporates the colors of fall: russet orange, a bit of gold, mossy green and a color that is not quite white and not quite ivory. Walls are light tan. The end table is oak. Brass lamps in the room. The two chairs in the room are (1) dark wood and (2) a wing chair recovered in a combination of cream, moss, russet brown. No rugs yet, though I plan to stick to the beige family to provide neutrality against the colorful sofa. I ordered an ottoman online from a popular site in brown which has arrived but seems VERY dark to me. Good quality, right size but gloomily dark. I will return it but am not sure whether to replace it with one in the white-cream family or a crimson. I love red/russet but am concerned it will be too much. Your thoughts? Also, for the large wall space over the sofa: this room has only one window that gets morning light. Should I go for a mirror -- or incorporate a mirror into an arrangement - over the sofa to reflect the light or is that a wasted effort? Thank you!!!

I kind of wish I could see the entire space since it sounds like there is a lot going on here. If the main sofa is a print, I would definitely do a solid on the chair and then put a pillow or blanket with a print so it doesn't look too stark. A creamy color should work but it also sounds like you may need a more stylish chair with some curves to soften the room.  Appropriately sized to the rest of the furniture but not too big to allow some end tables with some beautiful lamps.  It will bring in the light that you need and break up the space a bit.  A mirror sounds great but not necessarily over the sofa.  Maybe over a table in the room to help that light bounce/reflect. . . .Kort
P.S I wish I could be more helpful but without seeing the actual sofa, it's a wee bit difficult.

Since you are in a music city - do you have time to get out and enjoy any good music and who are your favorite artists...

Absolutely.  We get out and see a ton of artists.  We are in the music city capital, after all.  Dave and I work hard, but we also play hard too.  It's important for us to get out as a family, and sometimes, just as a couple.  We just had about 75 people over this weekend and set up a band in our backyard.  We have so many friends who play with great artists and whome are artists themselves (as in one just opened up for U2) so we had a great Southern Jam session in our backyard - ha.  
My fav country artist is Alison Krauss but I'm also a Little Big Town fan and have loved them since I had a record deal with Disney years ago and they were signed to a different company.
I love musicals and I'm currently obsessing over Hamilton and I love pop music too.


Love love your shows. Just thought, I know it doesn't usually show where you get your décor when the house is all staged - do you think some point in the future you can let the viewers know where it's from (store)?

We work with some great staging companies and they get the furniture from everywhere. There is no one particular store. Kortney always has a theme that she works paint colors and furnishings to blend for the final product. I think she may be magic, cause it always comes together. Dave

Master Bedroom: My husband and I are emply nesters and we want a new look for our bedroom. We currently have a bed, dresser, and armoire in traditional cherrywood pieces of Bernhardt furniture including a sleigh bed. My husband agreed that I can do a glam look without buying new furnishings. I never had nightstands to make the wood furniture so I decided to buy mirrored nightstandsto add to a small mirrored chest; now I am stuck. The nightstands don't look right with the wood furniture (my daughter warned me), and I don't want to buy the upholstered headboard. How do I make what I have in this space work?

Eek.  I hate to say it, but your daughter is likely right.  This two materials may not ever work right unless you are willing to paint the wood to soften it.  That is definitely an option to make it work.  So sorry:(( . Kort



Thanks so much for talking about the open plate cabinets! We were wondering how to keep the open cabinet clean. Does the front with the lasts come off for a quick wipe down or do you reach through with a Swiffer on a short pole? Love to you both! Your fellow Canucks, Jill and Rob.

Great question. Make Rob reach in with a damp cloth and clean them once a week. Then tell him to vacuum the house when he's done. Thanks for watching the show. Go Canada!!!Dave

We have LOVED chatting with you all.  Thanks so much for submitting all of your questions.  We are off to demo a house now - ha.  No, seriously.

Kortney & Dave

Great chat Cortney and Dave. Excited to hear your ideas and hope you have a great time at the Capital Home Show next week. Next Thursday,  I'll have Georgetown designer Michele Evans on this live chat. Evans just designed a house for herself with a glam blush pink bathroom/dressing room. She's great at designing small spaces with style. She'll be featured in the Washington Post Magazine Fall Home & Design Issue next week. Thanks for being here.

That's awesome.  I may have to tune into that chat.  Our entire kitchen is blush pink with the slightest hue of lavender (although you wouldn't see that with the naked eye).  We balanced it with gray and ivory and white accents and even glam chandeliers.  It wasn't "in" 5 years ago but pink has been trendy the last year or two.


In This Chat
Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering, organizing and DC retail.

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Kortney and Dave Wilson
Husband and wife team Kortney and Dave Wilson are the hosts of HGTV's "Masters of Flip."
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