HGTV’s ‘Listed Sisters’ share tips for budget-friendly home renovations
The identical twin-sister design and real estate duo helps Nashville residents turn fixer-uppers into dream homes.
'Property Brothers' Drew and Jonathan Scott aren't the only sibling real estate and design power duo heating up. LA-born, Las Vegas-raised identical twin sisters Alana and Lex LeBlanc costar on HGTV’s “Listed Sisters,” where they find fixer-uppers and turn them into dream homes for clients in Nashville.
Alana was the first of the two to move to Nashville, where she found her footing as a realtor in new construction. She was able to convince Lex, who had been working as an interior designer in New York City, to join her — on one stipulation.
“I called up Alana, and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna move to Nashville, but I think we totally need our own show,” she remembers. “You’re the realtor, I’m the designer, and it sounds like an HGTV show.”
The rest is history. Ahead of season 2, out July 12, the 35-year-olds shares their tips on how to get started on DIY projects if you’re a newbie and easy tips to freshen up your home on a budget.
Brighten up your space
“Paint alone can completely transform a space,” says Lex. “A lighter color goes a long way to make the space feel larger, if you don’t have the natural light coming through windows,” adds Alana.
Another solution: Wallpaper. If you're a renter try pretty removal patterns. For an even more affordable option, Lex says she once used pages from an old book to wallpaper her bathroom.
Another simple trick to freshening up your space for free: rearranging a room. Growing up, Alana and Lex shared a bedroom, and “we used to move our furniture around every week,” Lex remembers. “I knew we would be designers because we kept recreating our bedroom, like, for years.”
Multiple small touches can add up to a big difference: Switch out your pillows, update rugs and curtains, she adds. Instead of buying a new dining table, “refinishing and giving new life to an old piece of furniture adds character to the space, and it’s also affordable,” suggests Alana.
Expand your square footage
Especially if you live in a city, finding ways to best utilize your space is essential for your sanity.
A space-saving trick for homeowners: Use upper cabinets as lower cabinets. Lex explains that because floor cabinets are usually larger and deeper, if you swap those out for upper cabinets, you can make more room on the ground.
Instead of upper cabinets, you can always go for floating shelves, which “give you more of an airy feel,” she explains. The duo are big fans of installing wooden planks and pipe shelving.
In the bedroom: Try vertical storage — shoe cubbies, even extra shelves — to get things off the closet floor. And the LeBlancs are fans of Murphy-style beds. “People don’t think about them that often, but they’re a real thing, and [ideal] for studio apartments,” says Alana.
How to get started
What if you have ideas but don’t know how to execute them?
“Not just because we have a show on HGTV,” Alana jokes, “but I love HGTV Magazine for easy, cost-effective DIYs that anyone can do.”
They add that Pinterest is always a good place for inspiration and how-tos. But don’t underestimate a trip to Home Depot. “They can cut the wood for you if you don’t have a saw,” Lex says — or even your local hardware store. “Ask them all the questions.”
A word of advice for bigger renovations: “You have to have a clear concise plan before you start any project. Have it written down,” Alana says. “If you can, have any materials or furnishings that are needed, ordered and on their way. Never demo a space without the materials almost there or on site already.”
Season 2 of “Listed Sisters” premieres on Wednesday, July 12 at 11 p.m. ET on HGTV.