Hello, turkeys! Good Bones wrapped up its super-stuffed Season 7 this week. Contributing editor Megan Fernandez and art director Kristin Sims are thankful that you are here for their take on the skinniest house the show has ever seen.
Two Chicks returns to The Valley, an emerging neighborhood close to the west edge of downtown. (Again, readers, this is not a neighborhood most locals have heard of, so don’t ask for directions.) Mina bought a 20-foot-wide lot for $10,000. Walking up to the property with Cory, she compares it to a “side yard,” and Cory downgraded it to a “driveway” and wants to know who told her it was a separate lot.
The new house will be 16 feet wide and 1,568 square feet. Last week’s buyer, Hannah, is dating a guy named Zach, who’s house-hunting, so he’s interested in it. Mina assures him that people are starting to migrate to the west side of Indy, but that just means her business is heading that way, where $10,000 goes a lot farther than it does in Fountain Square and Bates-Hendricks.
Kristin: I was surprised they didn’t mention shotgun a zillion times, meaning a shotgun-style house. Long and narrow, usually only one room wide. As it happens, I’m currently in New Orleans for the holiday, so I’m surrounded by shotgun charmers.
Megan: Lucky you! Mina’s floorplan has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. Everything cruises along until Mina shows up to check out the framing, and Cory says, “We need to talk. This one’s tough.” Whatever could it be?
Kristin: I was ready for a framing faux pas once again. Something like, the plumbing’s missing or there are no doorways in or out.
Megan: It was a fake-a-roo. Cory said he was wrong and the house feels bigger than he expected. He loves that all the bedrooms are upstairs. Mina reveals that his reaction is tied to the “ninja position.” It’s when someone has to sleep in a main-level bedroom, they’re first responders to any break-in.
Kristin: Or did she mean victim?
Megan: Hopefully not, but that’s the subtext. On to the design meeting, MJ pitches a super-dark house with a rosé-colored door, and Mina adds gold hardware to the vision. I have been wondering why they haven’t done a dark exterior, which is trendy. I figured it wasn’t buyer-friendly. Mina is talking about luxe gold hardware inside, which isn’t sounding particularly masculine to me. But Zach’s not a sure thing, so Mina wants to keep it chic and luxe.
Kristin: Is there a “man’s style” or “woman’s style” anymore? Isn’t it all just “people style”?
Megan: Not if we’re being honest, in my opinion. Mina busts out a Black Friday special for the house—a high-end stove that they have on hand. It’s Italian, 36 inches, sits on legs, and has gold accents. It was meant for another house, but something fell through. It’s too expensive for The Valley’s market, but Mina is thinking it will increase the chic factor. Plus, they wouldn’t have to buy another stove, so it saves money to use it. Would you have used the special stove here or saved it?
Kristin: Well, they actually should have sent it to my house. But since that didn’t happen, and that house has so much length, a wider stove might help balance the space.
Megan: MJ also selects muted floral wallpaper for the powder bath and oversized quatrefoil marble tile in the main bath. This doesn’t sound like Zach.
Kristin: Who cares about Zach? Sorry, Zach. Until he signs on the dotted line, it just needs to be good design. I love the thistle wallpaper in the powder bath. I would have liked the reverse pattern better with the dark background to echo the exterior, but it’s a great pattern. And that it’s printed on grasscloth is an added bonus.
Megan: Why do you love grasscloth so much?
Kristin: Grasscloth has been having a renaissance. It provides texture, adds class—ugh, dare I say luxe—and can hide a multitude of sins.
Megan: Sins in the construction?
Kristin: Sure. But also spots and dents, and it helps buffer sound. Which is awkward to say since this is in a bathroom!
Megan: Ha! But practical, as the bathroom is right by the kitchen and within earshot of people at the island. The ideas to chic up the house keep coming. MJ wants to add beams to the high ceilings in the main level. Mina suspiciously asks if they’ll be under $300, and he reluctantly says yes. He says there’s a way to make “cheap beams.” I don’t know if he meant each or total.
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Kristin: There is no way the beams were anywhere close to $300 in any economy. If they are going to throw out projections like this, HGTV should at least make note to the viewer that they know it will cost more. Megan: I could also use a note for what we see next—Tad suddenly appears on screen in a deep squat in tight denim shorts. He’s helping to straighten a large pine tree that is leaning and needs to be staked. HGTV, give us some warning!Kristin: That shot will have to last you all winter until next season.Megan: It’s already my screensaver.Kristin: That gave me a giggle. This brings us to the Karen projects and landscaping. Karen finds some old (and I don’t mean cool vintage, I mean scrap junk) construction spools. Her plan with Cory is to make the tops into a table for the back patio by adding hairpin legs. It must be questionable when even Cory doubts the “luxe” factor.Megan: He tells it like it is. I was kinda with him. Riffing on the rosé front door, Karen also piles on the pink in the outdoor decor, with pink flowers, pink patio curtains, and pink planters. Zach is not buying this house.Kristin: I like the idea of curtains, but I wouldn’t have made them pink. Same with her painted planters—I think different shades of neutral would have looked great. All of this really overshadows the unique rosé color of the door.Megan: MJ has Cory build a curvy powder-room backsplash. It’s overtly feminine. Do you like it?Kristin: I didn’t think feminine, I thought “grandma’s old Victorian.” Maybe he’s still channeling Charlotte Hall?Megan: Yeah, it felt fusty at first. Then installed, it looked quite elegant. For the rest of the house, MJ and Mina stage it to be a bit more masculine for Zach, but I’m already convinced that he isn’t buying the house. One such touch is a wire art piece MJ made for the wall. It was a wire cage at the base of a tree, and he twisted it into a large abstract squiggle. Imagine closing your eyes and drawing a spider web with your non-dominate hand. That’s what it looks like, right? Do you like it? Kristin: Actually, that’s a great description of it! I kinda liked it once it was hung. It looked like a cool sculpture and filled the space. Mixed reviews in our house. My sister-in-law Hillary said it was ridiculous. My husband couldn’t believe that MJ was following in Karen’s footsteps. All in all during the reveal, I was just hoping no one would get poked in the eye as it protruded from the wall.Megan: Let’s hope those ends were sanded. I appreciate the creativity. It must be harder than it seems to make a good shape. Of course, I just think about dusting it.Kristin: Hey, let’s see if Zach and Hannah can dodge the sculpture at the reveal. Here they come.Megan: The kitchen is the show-stopper. Because the house is a shotgun, the glossy-white kitchen has a huge, long island. But that means a tiny living room. There’s space for a couch and two arm chairs.
Kristin: It’s ALWAYS a tiny living space! They always cram in more bedrooms and baths—which I understand look good on an MLS listing—but there’s nowhere to sit and gather. I do like the dining area this week. It’s one of the only builds that includes a dining space. It looked lovely in a windowed corner full of sunlight.
Megan: I agree, I liked the dining area at the back of the main-floor layout, adjacent to the kitchen. I guess the living-room gathering space is just a luxury for this price point near downtown. It must not be a priority for the Two Chicks demo.
Kristin: Hey, I just realized, when we visited the main bedroom (with the web art), the en suite’s fab vanity was made from a piece of furniture that was used as a side table early in the season. I guess it’s good that this is the season finale. They might run out of stuff!
Megan: No kidding. Good eye. It looked like a library console with a ton of little drawers. I wondered how many of those draws open or if they are combined into larger drawers. You need drawers in a main-suite bathroom.
Kristin: I thought the same thing! If ever you needed a piece with a thousand drawers, it’s in the bathroom.
Megan: I could have a drawer just for my ponytail holders. One for lipsticks. One for cotton swabs…Alas, Zach will not have the pleasure. He’s in a lease for another four or five months and taking a pass on the house, so it’s going on the market. Two Chicks put in $255,000 and will list it for $279,000 for a potential profit of $24,000. They consider it a loss leader in the Valley, where they have six more projects coming up.
Kristin: Including the house next door that was an empty lot by the time the reveal came around?
Megan: Guess we’ll find out in Season 8!
Kristin: Thank you, friends. This week I’m grateful for this time we’ve shared. But after a half-season of Good Bones, a season of Risky Business, more Good Bones, a minute of Karen’s Better Yard, and then the finale, I’m thankful we’re done!
Megan: Well, almost. Check back next week for our exclusive Q&A with Mina about Season 7. I need to know her Top 5 favorite design elements and if fans have been dropping by their new headquarters.Photo gallery by The Home Aesthetic, courtesy Two Chicks and a Hammer