Hi, HGTV fans! We’re late with this recap of the second episode of Good Bones, but we (Megan Fernandez, Indianapolis Monthly’s home editor, and art director Kristin Sims) have a good reason—we got some input and current photos from the homeowner, none other than cast member Cory Miller himself.
Miller is a project manager with Two Chicks and a Hammer, the renovation company the show follows, and a fixture on the demo and construction teams since Season 2. As it turns out, he always talks about buying the current Two Chicks project, but this time, he means it. It’s a snug house at the far end of the Old Southside, one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods that Two Chicks invests in. It’s just 1,000 square feet and one bedroom and one bath (to become two bedrooms after reno) and perfect for the young man’s first home. Two Chicks owner Mina and designer MJ will take the design in a masculine-chic direction. But we’ll get there.
Megan: The show again starts at Mina’s counter in her Fountain Square dream house. Cory comes over to babysit little Jack, Mina’s son, and they build a couch-cushion fort. It’s adorable, and a foreshadowing that Cory will figure prominently into this episode. Then Mina and Karen go to see what Mina calls a “cute little nugget house,” which they got for $9,000. But even at that price, it’s a risky investment because it will be the first house they redo on this end of the Old Southside. It could be a loss leader, just functioning as a comp for their future renos. Plus, it has severe fire damage. It is crispy.
Kristin: My first thought was, Why not just tear it down and start over? It’s gotta be more economical. I was glad when Mina explained, later in the episode, that they would never get approval to rebuild on that antiquated footprint.
Megan: I don’t really get that. The lot is too small? Nevertheless, they will save this sorry little nugget with $120,000 in renovations and hope to sell it for $180,000. By the way, the fire is a good thing because Karen says it means all the poop inside has burned. And the demo team didn’t have to deal with any refrigerator juice, cat pee, raccoon turds, or overflowing toilets.
Kristin: Ewwww, flashbacks from last week’s episode!
Megan: Tad is raring to go on demo. He says that no one is around to “reel me in” while taking down a chimney, so he decides to take it down from the bottom. But Mina pops up just in time to remind him that doing so can damage floor joists. Tad, always looking on the bright side, says, “We didn’t have the whole ‘kaboom, is-the-house-gonna-fall’ situation. But it was still satisfying to take it down my way.”
Kristin: Thank goodness, a voice of reason!
Megan: Well, it’s not over. Tad needlessly wrestles a piece of siding to the ground, doing a full 360 in the air, and I rewound it twice. But then he starts kicking siding off from an upstairs window, and debris is flying all over the place. Mina has to guard a car parked on the street. She should make Cory babysit him instead of Jack. But he’s busy demo’ing in aviator glasses.
Kristin: It seems like we have some new shots of Indy this season. They always make the city look great. There’s a gorgeous shot of the American Legion Mall and the skyline.
Megan: Another rewind moment—a lingering full view of the front of Mina’s three-story house. The covered second-level balcony across the entire front is a dream. I feel like it’s not a balcony, not a porch … what is it?
Kristin: I would call it a covered porch. I would live, work, eat, and sleep out there.
Megan: They call the reno house a “nugget” again and all I can think of is that many, many chicken McNuggets are shaped like Indiana. Check your next order.
Kristin: That’s crazy! I’ve always thought that they were Indiana-shaped, too, but I didn’t think anyone else thought the same!
Megan: Cory won’t find out because he’s excited to start a new life as a homeowner who cooks. The design is taking shape with darker, moody colors, leather and raw wood, and gold accents for a high-end look. But first, disaster—the kitchen cabinets they ordered are a mess. All but three are damaged. Mina finds the boys slouched on the kitchen floor, looking dejected, although Cory is still in the aviators.
Kristin: Mina totally takes it in stride. They will re-order and deal with the delays it causes to the rest of the kitchen installation. On the bright side, Mina and MJ found slabs of flooring with a herringbone pattern. Usually they have to create that look themselves by spending more time cutting and laying the pattern that way, which adds labor costs. I wonder what it really feels like, wood or vinyl. But the look is fun.
Megan: My favorite thing in the house is the shower head. It’s like a flat doughnut, a ring with a hole in the middle, and matte black. The front porch railing in a chevron pattern is also something I want. But I have to jump forward to the reveal because Cory shows up in a chunky oatmeal cardigan that looks so good on him. But surprise—he borrowed it from MJ. He also got the house for $155,000, leaving Two Chicks with a grand profit of $1,000. They’re OK with it because Cory is like family and it’s a loss leader for the next projects they already have lined up on this street.
Kristin: Buying this house was super smart. We know from past episodes that they scoop up multiple houses on the same street. Cory should know that this tiny dancer will skyrocket in value. You just need to be willing to live with the trash littering the streets (which was in multiple shots) until that day.
Megan: Total change of subject, but Karen looks so different with her new silvery hair. It’s gorgeous.
Kristin: I love Karen’s au natural hair. So the big question: When do we get to see what the house looks like with Cory’s real furniture?
Megan: Right now! See below! Cory kindly sent us current photos, and the big changes are the artwork (Mina and MJ staged it with moody abstracts in thick gold frames), adding a TV in the living room, and moving the sofa so it faces the TV. He also painted the bathroom’s 10-foot ceiling black because, he says, he wanted to embrace the height. He kept a lot of the furniture and accessories. Without further ado, here’s more from Cory himself:
Indianapolis Monthly: Are you concerned about viewers figuring out where you live now that your house has been on the show?
Cory Miller: Not particularly! I love people being able to see not only my house but also all the other houses we’ve done in this neighborhood. As long as they don’t have their hands cupped against my window peeking in, we’re good!
IM: Have fans ever come to your house? They come to Indy to shop at Two Chicks District Co. and drive by the homes.
CM: A ton of people have been driving by and slowing down to gawk, but none have knocked on my door…as of yet!
IM: Why do they call you “Towie” on the show?
CM: Mina’s niece couldn’t pronounce my name, so we just rolled with it.
IM: Google now calls you a TV personality. What do you think about that?
CM: I kinda like it and think it’s deserved since I’ve been on the show since Season 2 and we’re now filming Season 7—not to mention I filmed the first season of Rock the Block [on HGTV]. Now I’m just waiting on Instagram to verify me, but crickets on that end!
IM: What did you really want to be when you grew up?
CM: The textbook answer I always gave out was either a nurse or firefighter. Couldn’t imagine doing anything else at this point.
IM: Did you think working for Two Chicks and a Hammer would turn into something this big and long-lasting?
CM: I really joined Two Chicks to obtain a different style and understanding of project management, but Mina had different plans for me, as it turned out.
IM: Are you ever horrified by Tad’s antics during demo?
CM: At this point, if Tad hurts himself, unfortunately it will just be a hard lesson learned.