Face Time: Ty Pennington

March 9, 2012

Home redo guru Ty Pennington knows a thing or two about a good makeover. Since 2000, he has lent his carpentry skills and wisecracking demeanor to nest-redressing TV shows — first, TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and later ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Now, Pennington is one of five hosts of ABC’s daytime chat show, “The Revolution,” which helps viewers make major changes via small steps. He’ll share nest tips at the Washington Home & Garden Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center today through Sunday.

What do you see on the horizon for home decor?
I think you’re definitely going to see a lot of repurposing — lots of reclaimed and recycled materials in cool pieces of furniture, lamps, you name it. Rustic, eclectic things from the past are definitely coming into your home. It’s the same thing that’s happening in fashion. You’ve got the throwback look with the cuffed jeans and a lot of the detailing and stitching.

Have you done any interesting DIY projects in your own home?
I designed and built all the furniture in my home. I always try and turn whatever found objects I have into something really cool. I’ve made coffee tables out of old and rustic champagne trays that have these interesting holes that let light through them.

What was it like to transition from “Extreme Home Makeover” to “The Revolution”?
With “Extreme,” I’ve really gotten to see what change looks like. The thing about “The Revolution” is somebody can turn it on for a minute and learn something, whether it’s a quick way to make a meal, or, for instance, we were just learning about urine the other day.

Did you just say “urine”?
Urine: What does it say about you? And I’m, like, “Oh, my god, this is fantastic.” Knowing that people at home are also learning, they’re going to be able to make some changes in their life.

Are you getting any style tips from [co-host] Tim Gunn?
I think that Tim Gunn goes to bed in a three-piece suit! He’s always dressed to the nines. He’s been really great because I think he and I are sort of opposites in the sense that he’s — let’s just say — military fold, if you will, and I’m a little bit more casual. What I love about him is his sense of humor and his dry wit. It’s great, too, when he helps me out with a project. Just seeing him with any type of tool in his hand — he just looks completely out of place.

Have you imparted any home tips to him?
Oh, yeah. He already tried something out. To get water stains off a table, you can use just an iron and a towel, or — believe it or not — something as simple as mayonnaise can work wonders. He went home and tried it, and it actually worked.

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Katie Aberbach | March 9, 2012