A contractor-designer odd couple brighten Boise homes
On HGTV’s “Boise Boys,” contractor Clint Robertson handily operates a bulldozer and designer Luke Caldwell waxes poetic about soapstone countertops. The odd couple’s second season of revamping battered Boise, Idaho, homes launches April 24.
The pair met five years ago, and in 2015 founded the realty and design-build firm Timber and Love.
The feel-good show includes cameos of the men’s families — Robertson has three children and Caldwell has six, four of whom are adopted special-needs kids from China.
Caldwell, in his high-top fade haircut, and “get ’er done” Robertson, dressed in trademark plaid, chatted with us from their office in the west end of downtown Boise.
What’s the mood there regarding Californication — house-rich Californians scoring deals on second and primary homes in Boise?
Clint: People come in with higher expectations, so it’s opened the door for an amazing restaurant and night scene. In a short period, Boise has become a real metropolitan area with a lot of diversity and variety.
Luke: For locals, it’s a little tricky: “Wow! My house has increased in value hundreds of thousands of dollars in just the last five years.” They also feel like they can’t afford to live in the neighborhood they grew up in anymore, just working a regular job, and these out-of-state people are selling their junky houses, able to buy an incredible home up here.
Sorry to ask, but our readers will want to know where to snap up those deals.
Luke: Garden City is starting to trend right now, right across the river from our headquarters. It’s crazy the amount of development that’s happening. People are realizing, “Why is there this old commercial factory building when there could be an amazing condo development, and so close to downtown?”
We envision Boise homes as having handsome woods, stunning views and a couple of roaring fireplaces.
Luke: We use tongue-and-groove cedar on a lot of our homes. It adds a lot of warmth to a space and gives a bit of that rustic look, but still very modern as well.
Clint: There’s a lot of pine up here and cedar. Also walnut, a lot of maple and the sycamores are really beautiful. Idaho has a big timber industry, so we’re fortunate.
Live-edge wood pieces must figure into some of your designs.
Clint: We found a huge piece of black walnut, a massive tree that had fallen, and were able to take a piece big enough for a king-size bed headboard — 180 degrees of live edge. We put a nice oil finish on it that brought out amazing color. We installed it so it floats on the wall.
Renovation hosts won’t often discuss their blunders, but you do — refreshing given that the genre can have a staged vibe.
Clint: At the end of the day, that’s our name on a house and we’re going to make it right. It’s happened more than once — we painted an entire house, and it’s not cheap to paint the exterior of a 2,500-square-foot house. We looked at it and both went, “Ick!” And we repainted it. It was a gray that was way too purple; looked like a giant Easter egg. We used a little darker gray and it looks incredible now.
Luke, you’re on trend with the all-black kitchen featured on the show. Do you fear future viewers sniffing, “Oh, that’s sooo 2019?”
Luke: In general, you’re pretty safe. Look around and people are always buying black cars, white cars. Whites, blacks and woods — they’ll always be timeless. Black just has so much richness to it, and when you pick another color or wood to go against it, there’s such a strong contrast.
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