Fall containers, local DIY reality stars and tips on organizing books

  • Updated: August 23, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Katie and Dan Kurtz on “Rowhouse Showdown.”

Photo: Photo provided by Katie Kurtz,

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DIY stars

Katie and Dan Kurtz of Shore­view are the team to beat on “Rowhouse Showdown” an FYI.TV reality competition show set in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the 10-episode series, the Kurtzes use their resourcefulness and skills to renovate 10 rooms in an old, rundown row house. The judges have already awarded the couple first and second place on several challenges, including a kitchen and master suite.

Katie, a Keller Williams real estate agent, and Dan, a plumber and carpenter, are experienced pros, having bought, fixed up and sold several older homes in the Twin Cities. But the show proved much more challenging — they only had two to four days to complete each “Rowhouse Showdown.”

“We didn’t get much sleep and worked around the clock some days,” said Katie. “But it was super fun and all the teams got along really well.”

“Rowhouse Showdown,” hosted by Carter Oosterhouse, airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays on FYI.TV; episodes also are available online at www.fyi.tv/shows/rowhouse-showdown. On the Sept. 10 finale, find out if Katie and Dan “increased the appeal of their home to the max” and won $50,000. (The winners’ completed home renovation also will be showcased on Dwell magazine’s website.)

Although they finished shooting last spring, Katie isn’t revealing any spoilers, noting that they signed a contract. “We haven’t even told our parents if we won,” she said. “But they keep trying to get it out of us.”

Inviting autumn

After Labor Day, it’s time to transition your outdoor pots from summer to fall. Learn how to design a showstopping container, with seasonally appropriate plants, to decorate your front entry, terrace or patio. “Fall Container Workshops” are offered 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 6, and 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Bachman’s, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis. The cost is $50 and covers all materials for an arrangement to bring home. Register at www.bachmans.com or call 612-861-7600.

LYNN UNDERWOOD

Tips for organizing your books

• Get stuff out from under the bookcase.

• Mementos are better used interspersed throughout the shelves.

• Don’t cram things on top of the books.

• Move cookbooks to the kitchen, where they’re used.

• Arrange books by color or size to make the shelf look less cluttered.

• Combine vertical and horizontal stacks for visual interest.

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