HGTV’s ‘Renovation Island’ star among headliners at Minneapolis Home + Garden show

Few people have restored a resort, let alone one that’s on an island. HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler is one of them.

The challenges he faced was well documented on a television show, aptly named “Renovation Island,” that followed Baeumler and his wife Sarah as they restored a rundown beach resort on South Andros Island in the Bahamas. The couple learned how to be resourceful, Baeumler said in an interview. He will be among the featured guest speakers at the upcoming 2024 Minneapolis Home + Garden Show.

“When you’re building in a small town or somewhere off the beaten path or an island, logistics are a huge part of the decision-making process and there’s times when a boat doesn’t show up or there’s a storm,” he said. “So I certainly think we learned how to pivot and work with what we’ve got but also not to give up and not to compromise too much on things that were important to us.”

When Baeumler takes the stage at the Minneapolis Home + Garden Show, Feb. 21-25 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, he’ll talk about the best way to spend your money on home improvement projects. He’ll also talk about what happened behind the scenes on the show and answer audience questions.

In addition to Baeumler’s appearance (Fresh Ideas stage, 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday), featured guests throughout the home and garden show’s run include Dave and Jenny Marrs of HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” and local television/radio host and author Stephanie Hansen. Exhibitions of chairs made by Dunwoody College of Technology students will also be featured during the show.

Ahead of Baeumler’s Twin Cities visit, we asked him about emerging home trends, advice for homeowners tackling projects and more. The story has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What home trends do you think are on the horizon?

A: I think a lot of people are moving towards doing things in their home and spending money that reduces operating costs and reduces long-term ownership costs. People are looking at homes as their largest investment and savings platform so they spend their entire life paying their mortgage off and then have that home to sell in order to retire.

People are starting to spend money on things that save them money around the house and make design changes that will give them an asset. And as cost of materials and things continue to grow — those savings are exponential in the future.

I’m also seeing people building smaller and much more efficient homes that are designed (and) that will work when the homeowners are single people, when they have a family and as they get older.

Q: On “Renovation Island” you and your wife Sarah seem to have like a lot of fun working together. Can you talk more about what it’s like to work with your partner?

A: We do have a lot of fun. Sarah’s got a great eye for design — elevated and expensive at times. I build everything and we have a symbiotic relationship. And in other areas, we bump heads. Somewhere in the middle of that is a perfect mix, where it looks great and is built well. It can be a challenge working with your spouse, but we have a system that works for us.

Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to buy or renovate a home?

A: I would say do it as soon as possible and do whatever it takes to be able to afford to purchase a home —whether that’s having roommates or living with your parents so you save money up.

For renovations, I would caution people not to focus on the cosmetics. It’s looking at putting the money into lifetime roofing solutions like a standing seam metal roof or upgrading the insulation to spray foam and doing all the things you can to really reduce those operating costs and the long-term maintenance costs.

Do the things that are most permanent and least accessible first. That way once you do put the kitchen in and the new flooring and all those things, it makes those upgrades to the cosmetics of a home easier.

Minneapolis Home + Garden Show

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 21-22; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Feb. 23-24; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 25.

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S., Mpls.

Tickets: General admission $13 online, $15 at the door, $5 admission after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the box office.

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