It happens to all homeowners: You have a great idea for a home project, you host your own version of an HGTV “demolition day” and then … nothing. Maybe it was a bathroom that needed a new tile floor or a kitchen remodel that started off strong, but now, you’re stuck.
Luckily, you can head to the Capital Home Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly from Sept. 20 to 22, and find dozens of local and national exhibitors who can help. Looking for the newest home technology, construction services or just some all-around home inspiration? This is the place.
From a Bathroom Wars competition to a Make it, Take it area, there are plenty of ways to get the inspiration or assistance you’re looking for throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, you can catch the keynote speaker, Brett Tutor of TLC’s Trading Spaces, discuss his experience with various home renovations, his advice for certain scenarios and more.
Want more home events to fill your calendar with? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters here.
We spoke with Tutor about taking the trip to Northern Virginia and why he is still surprised that he is doing home improvement as part of his career path. Highlights from our conversation below.
What are you looking forward to most about attending the Capital Home Show in Northern Virginia?
I love coming to this part of the country. It’s so beautiful, and I love meeting homeowners and talking with them in person about their home renovation ideas and seeing if there is any way I can help out.
How has your experience been on Trading Spaces so far, and what are you looking forward to with it?
I started working on Trading Spaces two years ago and it has been a dream come true for me. I think everyone on earth watched Trading Spaces religiously growing up and it was an honor to get to work with such talented and well-known designers and carpenters. It can get a little nuts sometimes though, the schedule and the short amount of time we have to do these renovations is crazy. It’s like being in a circus but we all love each other and have so much getting to do this! I am excited to see what happens next with Trading Spaces and also what may come next for me.
You’ve traveled quite a bit around the world, and you’ve gotten your hands in a lot of things. Do you find yourself pulling inspiration in home design, innovation, structure, etc. from those experiences?
I have been extremely blessed and have had the privilege of traveling a great deal for a variety reasons. I have definitely applied some of those lessons that I have learned abroad on the Trading Spaces set. Survival training has come in handy. Sometimes we work through the night if it is a big job and I have to remind myself to hydrate and stay focused. I have had to use my EMT training once on myself unfortunately when I hit my finger with the miter saw blade. And from building relief structures with the Peace Corps in the jungle, just like on Trading Spaces, you have to learn to use whatever you have around you, be creative and improvise.
How does it feel to be working in home improvement and filming with Trading Spaces when it was something you grew up doing as a kid?
Being on Trading Spaces has been a huge privilege. It is funny, I was doing carpentry work at such a young age but I never imagined that I would be doing this work as an adult. And I never in a million years could have imagined I would have a career in the entertainment business after growing up in a small Texas town. That never seemed like it could have ever been possible. Life is funny.
What would be your go-to advice for homeowners who are looking to redesign?
I get this question a lot and for good reason. I have seen so many homeowners get in trouble biting off more than they can chew on a renovation. I just try to remind people who are wanting to start a project and are new to DIY to start small! Even experienced contractors still get in over their heads with renovations. I love encouraging homeowners to tackle projects, but starting with a full kitchen renovation may not be the best idea. Things are not always as easy and as fast as they look on television. Maybe begin on a deck, dog house or guest room to get an idea of how much materials cost, what tools you may need and how long things take in reality. Then step it up from there!
Any last advice for readers before you arrive at the Capital Home Show on Sept. 21?
Although trying to take on a large renovation with little to no experience may not be a good idea, I really love encouraging homeowners to get their hands dirty and to take chances, as long as it safe and within budget. There are so many resources available to us through the internet that it is easier than ever to learn how to do things. I actually taught myself how to weld off of YouTube. Don’t be too scared to get in there and get your hands dirty!