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The Landlording Show Episode 04: The Art of Property Enhancement with Robin Nicole Part 2

Welcome to The Landlord Show with Tim Harstead! Today, we’re diving into the world of interior design with Robin Nicole from Robin Nicole Interiors, discussing everything from countertops to creative uses of laminate and preserving historical elements in properties.

Tim Harstead: Welcome back, Robin. Speaking of countertops, how have trends changed in recent years?

Robin Nicole: It's been fascinating. The shift from fake granite to genuine materials was a significant upgrade. Recently, I've seen a trend towards various countertop materials, especially those that were not previously well-known.

Tim: What kinds of materials are you finding popular now?

Robin: For rental properties, man-made materials like laminates are becoming more popular because they're cost-effective and durable. They come in various designs, including options that mimic wood grain, and are easy to replace if damaged.

Tim: Are these materials fooling anyone? Can people tell they’re not natural stone?

Robin: Absolutely, the quality has improved tremendously. Today’s high-quality laminates can easily pass for natural stone to the untrained eye, offering significant cost savings and durability.

Tim: With these durable options available, does this mean they're comparable in price to more traditional materials?

Robin: Definitely. A sheet of laminate might cost between $100 to $400, while a comparable slab of granite could cost upwards of $5,000. It's not just about initial costs, though—laminates are designed to withstand high heat, spills, and scratches much better than natural stones.

Tim: Shifting gears a bit, I understand you’re also an avid antique shopper. How does this influence your design projects?

Robin: I've been antiquing for decades and often incorporate vintage items into my projects. In places like Chicago's Kenwood or Hyde Park, where properties often date back to the 1850s, my aim is to restore and preserve the original architecture. Antiques play a huge role in this, adding unique character and historical continuity to a space.

Tim: It sounds like antiquing can be quite beneficial for restoring older properties. Any tips for our listeners on how to approach this?

Robin: If you’re interested in antiquing, start by visiting local shops or exploring online platforms like Facebook Marketplace. You’d be surprised what you can find—often at a fraction of the cost of new items. It’s also a sustainable choice, as it prevents older, quality pieces from being discarded.

Tim: Lastly, any advice on refinishing kitchen cabinets as an alternative to replacing them?

Robin: The key is preparation. Cabinets need to be properly sanded and stripped before painting. I recommend using high-quality paints, like those from Benjamin Moore, because they offer excellent coverage and longevity. It’s about investing in the right products to ensure a lasting finish.

Tim: Thank you, Robin, for sharing these insights. It’s clear that thoughtful interior design can make a significant difference in property management.

Robin: It was a pleasure to discuss these topics with you. Thank you for having me!

Tim: And thank you to our listeners for tuning in. We hope these tips inspire you to consider new possibilities in property design and management. Stay tuned for more expert advice on The Landlord Show.