Happy recap day, everyone! Good Bones: Risky Business is moving quickly on a $1 million renovation, and contributing editor Megan Fernandez and art director Kristin Sims are with you watching every dime fly out the exorbitantly expensive windows.
First, a bit of news. The show’s star, Mina Hawk, announced on social media last week that she is being sued by the contractor she fired in Episode 2. She claimed to be broke and asked for help, we’re guessing half-jokingly.
Some fans think Mina is loaded because she has a popular, long-running TV show, but when you hear how much this money pit is costing, you might believe her.
Megan: You know, Karen is an attorney, assuming her license is up to date. My mom is, too—in fact, they went to the same law school at about the same time. If she is like my mom, she’s on the case for her family.
Kristin: I wonder if Two Chicks and the general contractor have been hashing it out in real time and it’s just taken this long—or if the contractor has been watching the show (you know they have) and they see how bad they’ve come off. Either way, my first question, if it pleases the court, is, “Where in the world did YOU spend all the money in the budget that YOU created, which still left the carriage house in shambles?”
Megan: Gavel drop! No objection here. If the court filings are public, those details will come out. Meanwhile, with the carriage house complete and ready to host events, Mina is full steam ahead on renovating the main house. She wants to bring back some of the original Victorian character. For inspiration, she and MJ visit downtown’s historic James Whitcomb Riley home, built around the same period. For non-Indy readers, Riley was a famous poet best-known for writing “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man,” which inspired the characters Raggedy Ann and Andy.
Kristin: Now the Riley house is on the unofficial Good Bones tour of Indy. Mina’s first question is why the doorknobs are so low in these period homes. Their guide explains that the average height of a Victorian man was 5’6″ and a woman was 5’2″, which happens to be exactly how tall MJ and Mina are.
Megan: They are Victorian! Admiring the house, Mina hones in on the layering of decorative elements on walls and ceilings, oversized doors, moldings, chair rails, and pocket doors. It seems ambitious for her to recreate some of these Victorian elements. She’s also noting that each room has individual decoration.
Kristin: It would be ideal to give every room in Charlotte Hall its own personality. And as MJ chimes in, “but blend the Victorian with the modern.” Is this a heads-up? In case they don’t go the layered expensive detail route? We will see.
Megan: Back at the construction site, Joe, Mina’s regular foundation guy, is there to revisit the foundation issue that Martin and Mina disagreed about. Joe understands her vision and says it’s doable. She says that for the first time in over two months, she feels in control and moving in the right direction.
Kristin: Yeah, Joe! Finally, a guy who isn’t condescending!
Megan: Or one who is suing her! Finley visits to review blueprints. Exterior features will include a copper turret and restoring original curved windows on the front of the house, and they will be expensive—$16,000 per window, and they need two! Evidently there are only about six people in the country who make curved glass. It’s a seller’s market.
Kristin: J.T., the Two Chicks project manager, explains that he’s working on some options, including making the windows inoperable. That’s what I was thinking: Add mullions, make them stationary, just make it work. Who would want to open a $16,000 window anyway? Just make them pretty.
Megan: Oh, you’re right. I would be terrified to open them or clean them or even look through them. Inside, the main floor has a big foyer with a showstopping staircase, a parlor, a library, a dining room, a kitchen, and a bedroom suite. Some rooms are separated by original pocket doors, the only remaining character in the house. Blueprints show the addition of barn doors to mimic the look between the dining room and kitchen. My heart sinks. I’m over barn doors.
Kristin: I’m over them, too. Can’t they make cute swinging doors? Barn doors are definitely not in keeping with the Victorian vibe.
Megan: Upstairs are four suites, including a larger “bridal suite,” as well as a coffee bar at the end of the long hallway. With the crew clicking ahead on framing, Mina goes to Witch Hazel for her annual (!!!) haircut. But really to introduce Mel, her stylist, who, conveniently, is looking for a wedding venue. Heeeeyyyyy!
Kristin: Did I miss the actual haircut?
Megan: All I saw was curling. So here’s this week’s risky business: Mina wants to book this wedding now and count on the house being done in time. Like there won’t be more delays.
Kristin: Now we know what the panic was about in last week’s sneak peek.
Megan: The Demo Boys are still MIA, but J.T. is a welcome substitute as a cast member. He’s very likable and doesn’t mess around. He has scoured the country for a solution to the curved windows and got it down to $5,000 for both, plus a large third window on the front of the house thrown in to match. They won’t be operable, but Mina decides that’s not worth $25,000.
Kristin: That’s great. I was also wondering about the quality of glass matching, so doing the whole front of the house is a great solution. Especially at that price.
Megan: Good job, J.T. But easy come, easy go—Mina wants to spend big on a handcarved white-oak staircase in the foyer because it’s going to be the first impression and a photo moment. Finley is worried about the expense, but Mina isn’t willing to skimp.
Kristin: Mina is also sinking a lot of money into a bridal suite. Finley notes that the bathroom alone is as big as one of their usual bedrooms.
Megan: Plus, they are going to add a lot of trim and paneling in the whole house to replicate the elegance of the Riley home. And this will be expensive considering the square footage. They also want to paint rooms monochromatically, so the trim and ceilings match the walls. Budget-conscious Finley is death-staring at Mina and MJ through this conversation as they sell the chicness and the need to make the house special. She eventually concedes and refers to the bridal suite as a “tester.”
Kristin: I interpreted that to mean they are going to go all out on the bridal suite and see how that prices out before continuing to the rest of the house. What happened to the Victorian layering? How did that become monochromatic moldings?
Megan: Victorians used a lot of wallpaper, too. Dream versus reality. Speaking of dreaming, it’s Iron Timbers! I wish they had their own music when they appeared.
Kristin: A “dun-dun-DUN!” or more of a “ta-da”?
Megan: More of a “ta-da.” Or horns. I don’t know. Something triumphant.
Kristin: Maybe that’s it, trumpets. Like when they are announcing royalty, or the Derby.
Megan: We’ll workshop it. Mina explains to the IT guys that she wants them to create ornate, carved posts. One of the sons says his dad is great at drawing such things. It’s an opportunity for Gary to shine. Loving this! You just feel good when IT is on the scene.
Kristin: This may be where the “timber” part of Iron Timbers comes into play. If Gary can carve like that, I bet he can turn some mean balusters! Really, what can’t they do?
Megan: Plan a wedding? Mel and her fiance, Curtis, arrive for a walkthrough—of a construction site. Event planner Bridget from Episode 2 joins them to advise on the schedule. The house is supposed to be done in 13 weeks, but invitations should go out in three weeks. Also, the couple was hoping the wedding could be sooner than 13 weeks. Bridget’s nervous. I predict that this wedding will happen on the finale. It will all work out.
Kristin: Sorry, I was distracted by Curtis’s hat. It was off, it was on, it was partly on, it was off again, then it was fully on. What were we talking about? Oh, yeah, 13 weeks, panic on the set, pull it off in the end. Got it.
Megan: Ha! I didn’t notice his hat. TV rookie. In the construction zone, Mina is trying to describe what the house will look like—the grand staircase, the monochromatic decor with a lot of detail, trim and sconces, and thin-plank floors in the Victorian style. Their faces look blank.
Kristin: I would say horrified. Can you blame them? They are planning one of the biggest days of their lives in an empty, bare-bones, charred space that is barely supporting a roof.
Megan: But the carriage house is done! Mina takes them to see it, and Mel and Curtis feel better. They didn’t say anything about the bedroom bathtub—which is really a living room bathtub. Mel can envision her bridal party in here, getting ready. There’s a lot of white furniture for a party space, though.
Kristin: That’s what I thought last week. The amount of “hair and makeup” talk made me question that decision. And regardless, white furniture in a rental?
Megan: Mina goes to the company that’s making the curved glass for the main house’s original windows. They show how this is done, putting the pane of glass on a half-circle mold in a furnace the size of a giant room. I guess it melts onto the mold and curves. Not a lot of places have kilns large enough to work with windows of this size. What a specialized craft. This is what we get when we don’t spend time on toilet competitions and shenanigans. I think I’m getting over my Taddiction.
Kristin: Finally! Wheeling the finished glass around the shop made me nervous! It was interesting to see how it’s made.
Megan: Back at the Two Chicks HQ, Mina tells Finley they’re having a wedding, and Finley is about to have her third heart attack of the episode. Finley reminds Mina that the heavy trimwork is going to take a long time to install. And the custom staircase? Finley says, “That’s not going to happen.” Mina is determined and tries to sell it by telling Finley to go buy a dress because they might be invited to the wedding if they do a good job! Nice try.
Kristin: Did you notice that when Mina told Finley the big news, she said 13-ISH weeks? If the invitations are in the mail, there’s no “ish” to it.
Megan: Back at the house, we get a peek at the wall colors and trim work in the suites. The original plan was for full wood paneling on the walls to emulate Victorian style, but that cost too much. Finley must have chained herself to a wall in protest. Instead, they get simple 1-inch moldings, aka faux judges paneling, which still looks a little elevated, but it’s nothing like the rich, elaborate paneling in the Riley home.
fKristin: But it’s plenty. No need for real wood when it’s going to be painted anyway.
Megan: The budget must have gone to the bridal suite’s massive wet room, with the bathtub in the shower. It’s done in white-and-gold Carrera marble. It’s luscious. People will want that tile.
Kristin: Love the tile! I’m sad to say I’m already a little over the wet rooms. Who’s cleaning all of those wet nooks and crannies?
Megan: You can actually get cold in a shower that big, too. There’s, like, room for a draft to come through. But I still want one. Time to install the curved windows. Mina’s so nervous about them breaking or not fitting because they don’t have time to remake them. Yet they got a shot of her helping lift one into place. Why risk this? Do they fit?
Kristin: Of course they fit! That was just a little commercial cliffhanger. I was concerned when they pounded on the side of the window frame to make it fit, though. But they know what they’re doing. Also, their shirts said Gilpin Glass in Indy, so these craftsmen are local.
Megan: Reveal time! Mina and Mel tour the finished suites. In the Green Room, paint on the bottom half of the walls goes across doors. Do you like it? I’m undecided. It feels a little unfinished, but it’s also intriguing. I like that we’re seeing a new design idea on Good Bones.
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Kristin: I like that it’s different. That’s what all shows should do—inspire and educate the viewer.Megan: In the Blue Room, I love the monochromatic paint scheme covering the trim and ceiling. With tall ceilings, a medallion, and a contemporary tortoise-looking chandelier, it’s very dramatic. I am watching the show in a monochromatic dark-blue room, and I feel validated. I love the cocooning feel of painted trim and ceiling.Kristin: They brought a pocket door from downstairs up here and installed it as a barn door to the bathroom. Because it’s so big and has character, I like it better than a new barn door. The proportion makes it feel special.Megan: On to the Blush Room, it has a black iron bed and original peaked roofline. It’s soft, but I want it to have even more layers of sweetness and enchantment. Maybe it will eventually. Good start.Kristin: Some of the rooms looked rushed to me. Definitely lacked the moldings that were promised in each room. But, yes, good start.Megan: In the dreamy, all-white bridal suite, there are vaulted ceilings, lots of faux judges paneling, gold-framed artwork on top of the moldings, and a spindle bed. And the bathroom is glamorous! Kristin: Uh, I know it’s the bridal suite, but would you want to spend your wedding night in the room next to your friend or brother or parents? I say, go for the carriage house!Megan: Now that you mention it … Kristin: Everything is going swell, and Mel says she’s intent on having the wedding here. But wait—it has to happen sooner because some family members already booked flights. Mina agrees to shrinking the timeline—by two weeks!Megan: Someone check on Finley. I’m afraid she just had a stroke. I didn’t see her in the preview for the next episode, so I’m worried! Kristin: Forget the house, that seems under control. It’s the exterior and back patio area that would worry me as the bride to be. I guess they will start to tackle that next week.Megan: Two more episodes. This has been intense. But we can do it, everyone. We’re almost there!Gallery photos by The Home Aesthetic