Why HGTV's Nicole Curtis Left The Limelight After Her Hit Show Ended

HGTV has shown us plenty of strong, smart women over the years who are more than capable of tackling a home renovation from demo to design. Stars like Mina Starsiak Hawk of "Good Bones" and Jasmine Roth of "Hidden Potential" are just two of the network's many girl bosses. But back in 2010 there weren't nearly as many hammer-wielding women; just ask Nicole Curtis. The self-taught rehabber kicked off her show, "Rehab Addict," in October 2010 and instantly had audiences tuning in. She wasn't your average Bob Villa but a hardworking single mom.

Then, after almost a decade of hosting the beloved show, Curtis stepped away from the spotlight completely in 2018. Fans began to speculate why the network regular was no longer an HGTV mainstay, wondering if she was simply taking time out to focus on her family or if perhaps the longtime renovator was facing legal troubles. Curtis finally clued fans in about the reasons for her departure while speaking to People in 2022 and they were so relatable. 

"I was completely burned out. There was so much time in those ten years where I didn't get to enjoy it at all. I was stressed out," she confessed. The mother of two had also significantly struggled with being a one-man show (pun intended). As Curtis confirmed, "Everything you see on the show, I personally bought, picked up, put into place, ironed the curtains, everything. It was so raw. And I'd wear the same clothes every day. I didn't have any makeup on."

Curtis counts herself and her family as very fortunate

Burnout wasn't the only reason why Nicole Curtis took a step back from HGTV. She wanted to slow down and enjoy family life, too. "I could just be at home, being a mom. When I had a chance for that to happen, I took it, because I didn't have that the first time around," the renovator explained to People. Curtis first became a mom when she was 20, raising her son Ethan alone while also working and shooting her HGTV show. In 2015, she expanded her family, welcoming her second son, Harper, after keeping the pregnancy a secret on the set of "Rehab Addict."

For three years, alongside starring in the hit HGTV show, Curtis juggled caring for her children while also going through a complex custody battle with Harper's father, her ex-boyfriend Shane Maguire. To say it was a bit chaotic would be an understatement. Soon enough, it took a toll on the Michigan native. "I just reached a point where I didn't have to do it anymore. I'm thankful," Curtis acknowledged about her success and the opportunities it afforded her.

And, when it was time for her to return to the spotlight in 2021, with spinoff "Rehab Addict Rescue," Curtis was determined to do things differently. "I had a very chaotic ten years. I didn't want to go down that path again," she asserted. "I'm hyper-focused right now on remembering where I want to be, what matters in my life, what my priorities are."

She and Ethan don't regret a thing about the journey

Nicole Curtis worked very hard to build a business from the ground up and to achieve fame on HGTV, but she wasn't the only one who put in long hours on set. Her son, Ethan, was a child when the series really began to take off. Fans occasionally got a glimpse of him here and there, but they have admitted that he was around more than anyone realized. In the premiere episode of her comeback show, "Rehab Addict Rescue," the mother-son team discussed those early years. 

"When he was little I had to work 24-7. He had to be on a job site morning, noon and night," she reflected (via People). "Since the beginning, he was always by my side on every house build. It finally came to a point where I promised him he would no longer have to live in drywall dust." Ethan concurs, telling the client and homeowner, "She's worked to the bone to get what she has," before admitting that he couldn't be more grateful for his mom and all she has achieved.

The super close pair had their fair share of trials and tribulations while Ethan was growing up, ranging from custody battles between Curtis and Ethan's father to Ethan and his mom having a huge disagreement, after which he only wanted to live with his grandmother. Fortunately, it seems like they are on much better terms nowadays, and Curtis is determined not to let her work disrupt her family life this time around.