Photo by Madison Mascare
Hello, HGTV fans! Thanks for dropping by to see what’s happening as Good Bones Season 5 heads into the finale next week. I’m Megan Fernandez, homes editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and design smarties John Cox and Kristin Sims are here, too.
This episode, “The Cottage Catastrophe,” focuses on a vacant Old Southside house that HGTV describes as “crusty.” It starts at White River Gardens by the Indianapolis Zoo, which has a lot of butterflies. Of course Karen shows up wearing a butterfly cape. Is this foreshadowing? Will she find dead butterflies in the house and make some taxidermy art?
Josh: I was too distracted by baby Jack to notice that cape, but I am not surprised.
Kristin: Who has a butterfly cape hanging around? Just in case you visit the zoo? Maybe only Karen. Jack’s “hoo, hoo” was great. I just want to eat him up.
Megan: Then they go to a house that most people would tear down. But Mina and Karen like the character of the exterior details and really like to save those things.
Josh: What is the faux-finish product on the outside of the original cottage?
Kristin: I think it’s an old kind of asphalt shingle.
Megan: Inside, it’s a stinker and the floor is squishy. As soon as I started to type, “Not a lot of crap for Karen to sift through,” she tells Mina, “Oh, here’s a hat for you!” I sighed and started to backspace, then looked up and saw it was a lampshade.
Kristin: I’m surprised they didn’t keep the fireplace surround, which I thought was cool for repurposing. Maybe they did. Let’s keep a look out in future episodes.
Megan: The foundation looks like the result of drunk Jenga with bricks. No mortar. Mina can take it apart with her bare hands. Poor house.
Kristin: I was surprised the house had stood as long as it had when she started pulling out brick.
Megan: But then Mina looks blissful in the excavator, tearing off the back of the house. Oops, her mom is inside! Close one.
Kristin: Mina is a boss with the excavator. Trees, no problem. House, no problem.
Megan: We learn Mina’s nickname is Little T, for Little Tornado. Never get in her way if you see her on the Cultural Trail or in line at Milktooth. Tad is away at a music festival—
Josh: What festival? My initial thought was Coachella because he would literally charm the crocheted pants off of those festival-goers. In reality, I wonder if he was at Lollapalooza in Chicago or maybe Forecastle in Louisville.
Megan: I was happy to scour Tad’s Instagram for you. He was at Bonnaroo last year. Anyway, that creates more screen time for Austin, whom we also adore. He and Karen go off to explore the garage. I love Austin’s optimism—he really thinks there’s a chance the deep freezer they find could be empty and not disgusting. A few minutes later, he compares the smell to “bottom-of-the-locker gym clothes.”
Kristin: It’s going to get worse on Talbott Street. Mina swings by Karen’s and says, “Get in, there’s a problem.” On the way to the property, Mina is half laughing, half crying, but won’t spill the beans. As the truck pulls up, we see Karen with shock on her face, and she says, “It’s all gone.” Cut to commercial. We spend the break wondering, hmm, vandalism? Fire? We find out that once again it is a property that has collapsed.
Josh: Or was it an angry group of trash pandas on a rampage for their lost rotten freezer meat? Whichever, this cottage was truly a metaphor for anyone who made big plans for 2020.
Kristin: For an additional $30K, they are able to redraw plans, pour a new foundation, and still finish with a three-bedroom bigger than the original design.
Megan: There’s the butterfly metamorphosis theme. Tad—who’s back in town!—is so proud of himself for creating space for another full bath, on the main level, by moving the mechanicals from that space into the spot for the first floor’s closet.
Kristin: Great idea, but I’ve lived in a house with no main-floor closet. It isn’t fun.
Megan: Me, too, so I had the same thought. I think we kept the vacuum in the basement. But that’s small potatoes compared to what Mina and Steve are facing when they return to their fertility doctor’s office.
Josh: You can visibly see the fear in Mina’s eyes as they enter the building. They find the heartbeat, and Mina is overwhelmed with emotion in the most controlled way possible.
Megan: Then Mina drops the news into conversation with Tad, and that’s how he finds out! It is so cute. He cries more than Mina did. I can’t stop watching it.
Josh: Tad’s response reduced me to a mess of tears, so much so that our dogs woke from their couch slumber to look at me funny.
Kristin: Possibly my favorite scene of the whole season. I love that they saved this for the camera. I had to grab a tissue myself.
Megan: Did the house reveal bring you to tears, too?
Josh: When they first started talking about shifting the entire design direction for a potential buyer, I honestly got anxious, especially with their track record with buyers this season. Thankfully, this super-pared-down version of modern country was a success.
Kristin: It’s great for the buyer to have a new build. But even though the original house was a little creepy, I thought this exterior ended up looking a little blah, especially compared to Two Chicks’ cute robin’s-egg-blue-and-shake-shingle number just a few doors down. But finally a house with some room! Space for two sofas, a real dining area, and tons of cabinets.
Josh: All of that natural light on the first floor has me dreaming of what plants I could use to create my dream greenhouse. Damn the barn doors to hell, though. When will it end? Was anyone else stressed out wondering where they would keep the detergent and dryer sheets for washer and dryer right inside the back door?
Kristin: They would fit in A CLOSET.
Megan: Josh, a laundry basket and detergent will definitely live on the bench under the window. Or they can go around the corner on the double-decker shelves Karen made to fill a kitchen niche, using the corbels they saved from the house’s exterior. Josh, did you know that Kristin has a wood shop like Karen’s at her house?
Josh: I didn’t. Do the Timber Twins visit you, as well? Can I come to you when I need custom woodworking?
Kristin: I wish the Timber guys would visit. I have plenty of projects for them. Guys, if you’re reading this, call me. And Josh, my chop saw is your chop saw.
Megan: Next week is the season finale, and we’re all wondering …
Josh: … will we get to see Mina tell Karen that she is pregnant?