Photo by Madison Mascare
Hi, HGTV fans! I can’t even wait to introduce myself before screaming that last night’s Good Bones Season 5 episode was ALL MJ. HGTV heard our recap pleas for “more MJ!” in the first half of the season and obliged with a reno of the designer’s own house!
What? They filmed “MJ’s Dream Home” way before we were clamoring for more MJ?
Well, we’re here now—me, Megan Fernandez, frequent homes writer for Indianapolis Monthly, and my design superiors Kristin Sims and Josh Cox, your regular Good Bones recap team.
Here, exactly, is a neighborhood called Wolfington. If you’re a Good Bones tourist to Indianapolis, do not ask anyone for directions to Wolfington. I have never heard of it. It’s just west of Newfields in an area I’ve known as Wynnedale. MJ and his husband, Andrew, bought a standard red-brick ranch because it has a high-ceilinged sunroom on the back with the proportions of a Montana lodge.
Josh: Hooray for HGTV, showing a happy gay couple on national television!
Megan: They were saving MJ for this. It’s like when my siblings and I would go to the pool in the summer and roll up the car windows and turn on the heater on the way there, so we’d appreciate it more.
Kristin: Your family is so weird!
Megan: We’re nothing compared to Karen and Mina’s family.
Josh: I really enjoyed how it seemed to be a family affair for demo day. Whether there were additional people off camera or not, I liked the portrayed careful touch.
Megan: Mina asked the demo boys to be extra careful while opening up the house and tearing out the kitchen because MJ and Andrew were going to be living there during the reno and, as Karen pointed out, washing their dishes in the bathtub. They mostly did, though Tad treated himself to some carrots from MJ’s refrigerator.
Kristin: I’m shocked that with all the crap the boys have pulled this season, a couple carrots (belonging to people you know) was the breaking point for Karen. I was more amazed that they were eating vegetables.
Megan: I was impressed by that, too.
Josh: I sincerely hope that when Karen yelled “Put the wall back!” during demo that it was all for TV, and that they had checked structural walls before they began demo. By the way, Karen and Mina have the best teeth. I noticed while Karen screamed about the wall.
Megan: Behind the fireplace’s bead board was … more bead board! And behind that … brick! Glorious brick!
Kristin: Stripping that brick is the last thing I would want to tackle! But I’m glad they did. I looked great. Must have taken forever.
Megan: Of course Karen can strip and remodel a fireplace. She’s like an HGTV renaissance woman. She can do everything. And MJ is the rare client who knows exactly what he wants: a kitchen island in the most organic dark stone he can find. Arches somewhere, which end up being on new custom bookcases he sketches out. And a Malm fireplace. Mina found a Malm at Midland for $900, which she said was a champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget deal.
Josh: That booth looked like the home of Flux, if they still have one at Midland. The tags on the products seemed to match those at their own studio, and they specialize in such mid-mod beauties.
Kristin: It was hard for me to see them paint the fireplace (MJ didn’t like the original pumpkin orange), but I knew the Iron Timber guys would make it look cool … until the electric logs went in! Couldn’t they have added a cool round slab of stone underneath? Something. Anything but fake ELECTRIC fire.
Megan: The kitchen cabinets are stained wood. This is the first time I’ve seen Good Bones do a natural stained cabinet, rather than white or green. MJ and Andrew wanted a mix of traditional and modern, and the glossy white quartz counters modernize them.
Josh: The stone choices in the kitchen, the fireplace, and the color palette give me very Nancy Meyers purse-porn in the most dreamy way possible. They did a wonderful job of opening up the space, but still defining uses so it doesn’t feel cavernous. Seeing this finished product, you can see MJ’s influence over West Elm styling in The Fashion Mall, or vice versa.
Josh: I remember a two-year period that whenever I would go in there, he was there, and seemingly setting up displays. That, or there was a doppelgänger.
Megan: Cory’s in Carhartt this episode, not dark slim-cut jeans and a designer tee. What do you think?
Josh: Cory always looks good, especially when he is teaching MJ about how “life is full of risks” only one episode after panic-climbing the scaffolding.
Megan: This was my favorite home of the season. I want to live there.
Josh: Painting brick can be controversial, but the lime wash and black trim was the right choice.
Kristin: The original exterior wasn’t terrible, but it was a drive-by. Now people will take notice. I’m curious how the lime wash wears.
Josh: I absolutely adore rug layering when it is done correctly, like in MJ and Andrew’s house. But I can never get it to look right in my own home. Can someone teach me the trick?
Kristin: I, too, love the layered rugs! That was the first thing I noticed in the main bedroom.
Megan: I have layered rugs at home. But I don’t have MJ and Andrew’s outrageously dreamy sunroom with that repainted black Malm fireplace. If MJ goes AWOL again, we know where to find him. But I hope we see him next week!