Hi, HGTV fans! Good Bones took a detour into new construction this week, turned out a gorgeous large home, and destroyed a car, all in an hour. Mina’s newborn daughter was on set and slept right through it. We—Megan Fernandez, the homes editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and art director Kristin Sims—can’t wait to get into it.
The only bad news is for Cory, the project manager and noted acrophobe. This house has a catwalk that overlooks the first floor, and because Two Chicks and a Hammer bought the house after it was framed out but not completed, there are no walls, railings, or even a roof yet. It’s a personal ring of hell for someone afraid of heights. But the show must go on because Two Chicks has to recoup its $300,000 investment in this Old Southside house, the largest they have done in the transitioning neighborhood just south of downtown.
Kristin: New construction is a plus here. If you are going to spend so much in the Old Southside, it’s nice that it’s all new and fresh.
Megan: Within the first five minutes, Karen is all over this episode, even though she is supposed to be retired from Two Chicks. First, she and Mina replant trees in one of the neighborhoods where they work, explaining that they always plant multiple trees for every one they have to remove during renovation. It’s foreshadowing, because this house is hidden behind a lot of old trees, some of which have to go. But Karen manages to save a lovely catalpa right along the street, because she says trees make neighborhoods appealing. Then she has an idea for a built-in banquette in the corner of the dining room, pulling from her “collection of church pews.” Are you saying “amen” to the idea like Mina is?
Kristin: Yes! I like the idea, but I’m waiting to see how they pull it off.
Megan: She also thinks every bedroom should have a toilet (not in the bedroom, of course), so she successfully argues for one more bathroom than the two-and-a-half Mina has planned. The house will be four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. The one-toilet-per-bedroom is new house math to me. You?
Kristin: Would it be nice to have your own bath? Yes—as an adult. But if you are parents of three kids, that would be at least four toilets to clean. No one wants that.
Megan: Cory and the crew plan to prank Karen by dropping one of the trees to be removed on an old junker car they will plant on the scene. They set it up by telling her that Chad, the arborist, is going to show them how good he is by missing the old car pulled into the yard.
Kristin: Since they didn’t have demo in this episode, they had to fill their joke quota somehow.
Megan: That’s bad news for Chad’s old car.
Kristin: I wish they had played the prank on the viewer, too. It was more exciting in the teasers. The edit was a little lackluster.
Megan: Karen initially laughed, but I think she was just stunned—you don’t see a tree fall on a car every day.
Kristin: But Karen DID say that she thought it was real for 30 to 40 minutes. That got lost in the scene.
Megan: The main level has a lofted ceiling soaring two stories, flooding the house with light. On the second level, a catwalk leads to three bedrooms. The main suite is on the first floor. And there’s a design theme—lakehouse. Warm wood tones, cool blues and grays.
Kristin: Modern lakehouse. Another week, another theme.
Megan: Team Recap doesn’t think Good Bones‘s homes need a theme, but what do we know about creating hit TV shows or selling houses? However, it is always a loose theme. In this case, designer MJ introduces the idea of a floating staircase, which I love, but it’s not lake-y. And our beloved Iron Timber guys are going to build it.
Kristin: While I love the look of a floating staircase, I’ve heard nightmare stories about open stairs with kids and pets.
Megan: I am a little puzzled when MJ and Mina discuss the kitchen design. They are going with rather simple skinny subway tile for the backsplash. The backsplash is a Two Chicks signature—they usually do something cool with it. This seems boring for a house that Mina says needs “bomb finishes” to sell at top dollar.
Kristin: I’m glad they don’t go over the top with the tile. There’s a lot going on in the space with the two-tone cabinets (painted uppers, natural-wood base), the quartz countertop, the wood floors, the open concept, and the two-story ceiling height.
Megan: You can see these things better than I can. What I see is Tad looking like Jesus with his long hair down—
Megan: —as the crew installs a gorgeous woven basket-like light fixture on the vaulted ceiling upstairs.
Kristin: That scaffolding is crazy! So happy they all make it down safely. I do really like the light fixture, though.
Megan: No way would I have gotten up there. As Cory describes it, Tad and the electrician are on top of a ladder on top of rickety scaffolding. He himself crawls along the catwalk on all fours. When the electrician drops the drill all the way down, it startles Cory and he falls to his hands and knees again. He’s so paranoid.
Kristin: I love the catwalk crawl!
Megan: And he just realizes he has to help install leftover flooring on the ceiling, which is MJ’s idea.
Kristin: There is no way Cory will be installing that ceiling!
Megan: Road trip! Mina, Cory, and MJ are going to Iron Timbers in Osgood to see the staircase.
Kristin: This is an awkward scene talking about their trip at the Marathon gas station. Then later Mina brings in drinks in Marathon cups. Looks like it’s a new sponsor.
Megan: Love that Mina brought in Big Gulps. So south side.
Kristin: So “cha-ching.”
Megan: Maybe. Since you’re the Iron Timbers Fan Club president, what’s happening with the staircase?
Kristin: The handmade chunky treads are beautiful. I’m always amazed by their work. It’s interesting that they have the stair risers “under wraps” for the big unveiling to the crew. They lift the welded stairs and screw them into the wall. After they add the stair treads to the platforms, we get a sneak peek of the finished product. If Tad had been there, he probably would have wanted to climb on them.
Megan: Oh, totally. The only thing he climbs on this week is the big tree once it had fallen on the car. In comparison, baby Charlotte is so well behaved. She’s just attached to Mina’s shoulder while Mina walks through the house under construction.
Kristin: I love that she toted around the baby—who sleeps the whole time!
Megan: MJ and Mina end up painting the kitchen cabinets black, which isn’t lakehouse, but we are so beyond that anyway.
Kristin: The black cabinets are more modern, less lakehouse.
Megan: WHOA—Karen’s raccoon cap or whatever that fur headdress is. She just pops up in a furry hat with sides that hang down to about her waist.
Kristin: Maybe she just watched Dances with Wolves?
Megan: She redeems herself with the church-pew dining banquette. The pews are from a church in Richmond. Wow, she does a lot of work on them. She rips off the upholstery, takes them apart, and refinishes them. And then accidentally body-slams one trying to carry it herself, which snaps it in two. I’m surprised they didn’t make her redo it for the camera.
Kristin: Did anyone else notice that they pile up pillows in the corner of the pew bench? That would have been a very difficult cut and seam. I was curious how it would be constructed. I guess we’ll never know. They add a blanket over the corner for the buyer reveal.
Megan: The house itself turns out lovely. I love the lofted ceiling, the staircase, the catwalk …
Kristin: But remember last season when I questioned running the stairs up the kitchen wall? I had flashbacks as Cory was crawling across the catwalk—all that dust falling to the kitchen below.
Megan: True. But the kitchen itself?
Kristin: I like the natural base cabinets with the painted black uppers. I have painted and natural cabinets in my kitchen, too! Love the row of seating at the island—great for entertaining. In my opinion, the living room is lacking space. It’s a good thing there are only four bedrooms in the house because there are only four places to sit!
Megan: One thing I noticed is that one upstairs bedroom has a ceiling fan. Mina told us that they rarely install those for the show because they can never afford good-looking ones. They install chandeliers and then often swap them for a ceiling fan for a homeowner after filming.
Kristin: Hmmm, that’s interesting.
Megan: Mina says this house in Fountain Square would be $600,000. They list it for $389,000 and end up getting it under contract for a little under that to a guy moving here from New York, who will have roommates to help him pay the mortgage. It probably seems like a bargain to him. He’s getting one of the best Good Bones houses yet.
Kristin: I liked a lot of things about it. The size of the kitchen and dining. The bathrooms and lighting. The stairs. And I’m so thankful that it wasn’t more theme-y.
Megan: There’s always next week. We’ll see you then!