Hello, pumpkins! It’s November and we’re still watching Good Bones, a first in the show’s seven seasons. Contributing editor Megan Fernandez and art director Kristin Sims are recapping the next-to-last episode. The finale will return in two weeks after next week’s break for co-host Karen E Laine’s new special, Good Bones: Better Yard.
Mina decides to replicate last week’s new build next-door in the Old Southside. It sounds like bad TV, but it’s good real estate because the comp from last week’s house will apply. She explains this while she and Cory walk from last week’s house to the next lot. If your address is Charles Street, 46225, your home value just went up because they mention it about four times as a good investment.
Kristin: Mina also says twinning this week’s house will be easy because they just built the same plan. Let’s hope they have learned from their previous mistakes and know the height of a door frame!
Megan: Haha! Maybe that’s why you wait more than one week, so viewers forget about the big whoops. Mina also explains that buyers need to be wowed when they walk into a new build, so that’s her design challenge. Cory floats the idea of floating stairs, but it will mean sacrificing a coat closet inside the front door. Hard no.
Kristin: I agree. I’ve lived in a house with no closet on the entire first floor. It sucked—especially when having company.
Megan: We have been a broken record on the first-floor closet issue for several seasons now, but I will die on this mountain. Always have a first-floor closet.
Kristin: They’re building from scratch. They can put it anywhere!
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Megan: The construction begins. Quick story: I played women’s full-tackle football about 20 years ago. On the first play of the first game, I jumped the whistle and got a flag for a false start. False Start Fernandez. I thought of that when Two Chicks was slapped with a stop order before the foundation was even poured. They failed some inspection. False Start—. I need an F-word. Kristin: Flippers!Megan: Yes! False Start Flippers. That would be my HGTV show. Cory guaranteed no more mistakes on this house.Kristin: I wasn’t convinced, and Cory himself didn’t look too convinced. More like he’d just eaten a bad burrito. Megan: That would be another violation. Kristin: As Mina and Cory reviewed the plans, I wondered why can’t they put the closet under a portion of the stairs. And will there be another built-in MJ desk moment at the top of the stairs?Megan: Good question about the closet. See, you fixed it from your couch. Good call about the built-in desk. We may never find out because while framing and window installation happened fast, there are five pink slips in the window! Either stop-work orders or Cory ate a lot of bad burritos. This many slip-ups are a big fail on a new build, which Mina indicates are pretty hard to screw up. At least the basic stuff.Kristin: I liked Cory’s comment, “Looks like we have some unqualified people working in here.” Isn’t this the recurring theme of the season?Megan: Yes, and not the narrative they wanted. They resolve the big issue by reinforcing an I-beam so the house won’t fall down. But it will cut into Mina’s planned $50,000 profit—and her shacket budget. At the design meeting, she and MJ are in plaids and shackets again, like last week. Mina’s is bright purple with tone-on-tone trim. For the house, they are going for moody cabin outside with dark siding, but still chic inside. Kristin: Ugh, cabin chic.Megan: I don’t like it when MJ calls a countertop “super veiny.”Kristin: Mina has started calling this house a “fraternal twin,” not an identical twin. She wants to replicate last week’s dramatic stair railing but change it from black iron to a natural wood. Doesn’t this negate the whole look of floating stairs? Megan: Oh, yeah. I liked the floating stairs idea. Maybe this twinning thing is going too far. The homeowners won’t know they have a fraternal twin house next-door. And they’d probably rather not have one anyway.Kristin: MJ is cooking up his own design idea, riffing off the Indianapolis Art Center’s dye garden, where they grow plants that produce fabric dyes. MJ wants to dye the bedding for this house because bedding is expensive.Megan: It was cute when he explained that it feels cabin-y to use plants and flowers from the forest to make something. Mina pointed out the dye garden is in the city, not a forest, but we’ll go with it. I like this project. It’s something new on Good Bones. Kristin: If they have dyed something before, it has been a while. Megan: Back to the stair railing, Mina and Cory go visit the carpenter to discuss it and start working on it. This happens at Mercantile 37 with co-owner Nick Roudebush. So add Mercantile 37 to the Good Bones travel itinerary.Kristin: Back at the house, as they are adding the drywall, we see that the plan has changed—no more floating stairs! Fingers crossed for a closet.Megan: I think I saw a closet inside the front door when they were installing the stairway railing. Kristin: I hope it’s a closet. Last week it looked like a doorway to another room.Megan: Dang it. It could be the door to the main-floor bedroom, one of four. Construction is moving along well, so it’s time to start decorating. The cozy-chic cabin vibe is shaping up with knotty-looking floors, soft greige wall paint, white kitchen cabinets to brighten it up, marble counters for a chic touch, a wide chair rail, and some shake shingles outside.Kristin: And MJ is going to build another custom desk at the top of the stairs. Megan: Tad is there to be the symmetry police while they install it. For a twist, MJ wants to paint the cabinetry to match the walls—that monochromatic look that’s popular this season—and add some marble … no, low-tier granite … maybe plywood … for the desk part. It’s funny that MJ has a cringey reaction to the term “hogging a hole out” of a desktop material for the computer cords. Kristin: It’s a carpentry term for working with a router. When you remove material, you’re “hogging” it out. Megan: MJ hates it, just like I hate a “super-veiny” countertop. What’s your cringey phrase on Good Bones?Kristin: Any theme.Megan: Well, in the cabin-chic backyard, Cory, Karen, and Austin are working on the landscaping and deck. Karen and Austin forgot that she had agreed to integrate a bench into the deck. Now that it’s time to do it, they’re like, Uh … we said that? Yep, roll it back. They skip it.Kristin: In hindsight, it was probably a good “accident” because the yard is small. Megan: Ooh, the viewers just got an aerial shot of Indy’s beautiful fall foliage with lots of cardinal reds. We had gorgeous foliage this year. Viewers, it really was that gorgeous. I stopped in my tracks several times this fall while walking outside and took it in. Kristin: It’s amazing that some of the leaves seemed to glow. Which I know is not possible, but beautiful.Megan: You’re exactly right, they do seem to glow.A great place to see Indy’s foliage is on the Monon Trail, which runs right by the Indianapolis Art Center. How’s that for a clunky transition? Karen and MJ go to dye the duvet with some women who work with the dye garden.Kristin: They were in a tricked-out pole barn. Do they have this space at the Art Center? I wonder if they are working with the director of the dye garden in her studio.Megan: That’s possible. What a job, director of a dye garden! She explains that indigo is a plant, and they start with dried indigo to dye the white duvet. The dyeing process will give MJ the character he’s looking for instead of just solid blue. Kristin: I think it’s interesting that they do these projects, but isn’t the duvet just for staging? Everything goes back out of the house at the end. Maybe they can negotiate it into the price.Megan: We know they get a lot of mileage out of their staging props! I love this project. MJ is pouring indigo dye without an apron. His chore coat is too pretty to mess up. But all four of them—Karen, MJ, and the women helping—manage to dye the whole duvet and carry it outside without a spot on them. I would have looked like a Smurf by then.Kristin: Ha! I noticed that, too. But they were working with the professionals.Megan: Back at the house, staging is in full swing with lots of natural wood in furniture and knick-knacks, and everything very soft. Then they show the house to Hannah, a first-time homebuyer, who’s currently renting in Fountain Square.Kristin: At $300,000, this is almost three times the price of our first home. I guess I went into the wrong profession.Megan: Recapping is definitely not lucrative, folks. I didn’t like the brown exterior when it was going up, but now I do, except for that lighter, khaki section on the second floor. I had a very strong reaction to it. Maybe it looks better in person. Kristin: I like the single porch roof better than last week’s double roofline, but the furniture and plants don’t have the same pop. Maybe it needs Karen’s planter boxes.Megan: Perhaps she forgot about those, too. I’m not sold on the stair railing again. It’s busy and overwhelming visually. Maybe it looks high-quality in person. I like the rest of the home. It’s more traditional they they usually go with and more colorful. It’s not white-gray-modern.
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Kristin: Something we haven’t mentioned this season, but have in past, is that it still seems like a small living area for a four-bedroom, three-bath home. It works if one person remains in the kitchen at all times. Then one person can only sit at the dining table and two may sit in the living area.Megan: There’s not a lot of elbow room. You trade square footage for the location. I’m guessing there’s no basement.Kristin: The cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, a Mina no-no. Megan: Otherwise, the marble countertops and full-height backsplash look nice, and there’s a beautiful, shiny pull-down faucet that’s like jewelry. I also like the petite window over the sink between cabinets—the proportion feels cozy. The kitchen is a winner. I’m also a fan of the backyard. There’s just a little lawn, lots of decking, and a raised flower bed. Kristin: Cozy and private. Again, no garage?Megan: That’s a big luxury downtown now. Not at this $300,000 price point. At the top of the stairs (I refuse to call that space a loft), the desk proportions are better than last week. It also looks more custom than last week’s, although I did like that one, too. Kristin: The workspace is bigger, but it’s very tall! You’d need a tall stool to use that as a workspace. But I liked the addition of the marble. I’d remove the chair, add some shelves underneath, and use it as a pretty storage and display space. You have four bedrooms—plenty of room for an office.Megan: Good point. I wouldn’t sit there with my back to the stairs. This main bedroom is one of my favorites they have done. There are a lot of layers of decorating, and the indigo bedding looks gorgeous—we will definitely notice if it shows up in another house. Maybe MJ’s taking it home.Kristin: It was nice to see a bigger footprint and some space to breathe. I also liked the black fixtures in the en suite. It’s a nice change.Megan: The I-beam fix didn’t even add to the budget, according to the final numbers. Hannah put in an offer of $305,000, $15,000 over list, and bought it. One more name-check of Charles Street and another bump in home values and we’re out! Kristin: Welcome home, Hannah.Gallery by The Home Aesthetic, courtesy Two Chicks and a Hammer