Cabarrus

'Sell This House' host coming to Cabarrus

Stuck on that latest home-improvement project? Need inspiration?

Roger Hazard is coming to Cabarrus County to help, and he wants you to bring him your questions.

Hazard will headline the eighth annual Greater Charlotte Home & Landscape Show, which runs Jan. 27-29 at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord.

Hazard, who puts an emphasis on functionality, said he will share renovating techniques that can be done relatively fast and with a modest budget. His seminars are planned for Saturday and Sunday.

The Texas native, known as "TV's original home stager," was a designer and producer for A&E's Emmy-nominated "Sell This House," "Sell This House: Extreme" and "Move This House."

He's a regular columnist and has appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as well as on CBS, ABC and NBC television. He's designed celebrity homes, restaurants and sets for TV shows.

He and his husband, Chris Stout, offer residential and commercial design, renovation and staging services through their firm Design Hazards.

The company website offers a tour of their recently renovated home, staging tips, project ideas - make a pillow out of a bath mat; stage your house in 10 minutes - and access to the duo's daily life via social networking sites, which showcase the "fun, frustration, dirt and drama of home design."

Hazard answered five questions for Cabarrus News via email about his upcoming appearance.

Q. What can people expect from you at the Home & Landscape Show?

"My sessions are very free-form, with most of my time on stage focused on answering questions from the audience," said Hazard. "My goal with an event like this is to answer as many questions as possible.

"I think it's great when people bring specific questions about their homes. It means I have to think on my feet a bit. But getting those answers can help them move forward with their project."

Q. You're built more like a professional wrestler than the average do-it-yourselfer. How do strangers react when they learn what you do for a living?

"People think it's kind of cool - at least that's the impression I've gotten. Here's how I look at it: Everyone should have a shot at doing the kind of work they love, no matter who they are or what they look like."

Q. Can you tell us about your domestically manufactured hardwood furniture line, which is due out this year, and where you'd rank it among the many projects on your professional highlight reel?

"Each piece is built on demand, so we can offer a level of customization that is pretty much unheard-of in our price range. We can customize the dimensions of pieces - make a table longer or wider, for example - and we're offering around 32 different colors and finishes, so you don't have to worry about your neighbor having the exact same dining room table.

"We are in the final stages of engineering our first set of pieces. I'm very proud that all of the pieces will be built here in the United States. Some of the furniture designs were inspired by the needs of my design clients; others are based on antiques from my own house."

Q. You and your husband, Chris Stout, recently restored your home in Austin, Texas. What advice do you have for couples who take on projects together, and what does it take to mix your business and personal lives successfully?

"A home renovation project is always stressful, but in my experience the conflict usually centers around one half of the couple feeling like they didn't get enough say in the matter. So before starting a project, sit down and come up with a plan together.

"Most couples focus on selecting a design, but neglect to plan how they will divide the work, establish a firm but fair budget and really work to make sure both of them will be happy with the end result."

Q. Where do you get your drive and ambition, and what advice would you give to entrepreneurs?

"I'm really lucky to have come from a family full of people who are passionate about what they do and, as a result, work hard. Do what you love, and surround yourself with people doing what they love, and you can't help but be motivated."

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