Hello, HGTV fans! We’re halfway through Season 6 of Good Bones, but don’t worry—the crew is already filming Season 7. We can enjoy this midway-point recap without any anxiety about missing Mina, Karen, and our favorite design show. I’m Megan Fernandez, the homes editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and art director Kristin Sims is here, albeit disappointed that Iron Timbers sits out this episode.
Two Chicks and a Hammer returns to where it all began for them, Fountain Square, to renovate a house that a woman, Kate, is giving to her daughter, Claire, to lure her back home after finishing medical school. It’s a modest bungalow with one big, obvious problem—the peak of the roof is offset. The client calls it “Claire’s Crooked Cottage.”
Megan: If Mina ever writes a second children’s book (she released her first one, Built Together, earlier this year), the title should be Claire’s Crooked Cottage. But Mina has an idea for a simple fix for the roof, and the rest of the house is…
Kristin: It’s in great shape, albeit with a few questionable design choices. I love the original arch between the living and dining areas, and the house looks bigger compared to some of their other renos. I am so happy to see a place with an actual dining space. And the hardwoods are in great condition. I think the key is that this house has obviously been flipped before. Not well, but flipped. You don’t get beautiful original floors when you pay $9,000 for a house.
Megan: The home is one story. The left half contains three bedrooms and a bath along a tight hallway. The right half has the living, kitchen, and dining areas and the arch you love. Two Chicks will open up those main living spaces, redo the kitchen, spruce it all up, and add on to the back to create an owner’s suite, turning the house into a four-bedroom, two-bath. They will also build a garage, replace the house’s siding, and address the funny roofline. Kate paid $190,000 for the house and has another $180,000 for renovation, which Mina says will not exceed the home’s market value. Usually Good Bones doesn’t have a client involved in the reno stage, so this will be interesting.
Kristin: My favorite part is that Tad has to be good during demo because the client is there. The homeowner mentions three times that she is keeping an eye on Tad so that he doesn’t screw something up. It shows that I’m not the only one Tad scares.
Megan: And yet it’s Karen who made a mistake, taking off the fireplace stone. There was a miscommunication and the owner thought they were leaving it. But it was so ugly, this turned into a happy accident.
Kristin: Built-ins under the windows next to the fireplace are a nice addition, too.
Megan: Those are gorgeous and they didn’t even talk about them. Anyway, there was an even bigger flub than Karen’s fireplace boo-boo. The crew misunderstood Mina’s plan to fix the roofline by adding a triangular bump-out on the front. I can’t even describe it. Here it is:
Megan: It’s the funniest thing I have ever seen on HGTV and I’m so glad the producers left it in.
Kristin: I wondered why it was crooked in the first place. Was it added on? Did they get a good deal on small trusses and improvised? Was the builder drunk?
Megan: In the design meeting, Mina and MJ settle on “modern American classic,” evidently not opposed to a contradiction. This is the Two Chicks thing, though—they mix styles. They call their style “modern eclectic,” and in my interpretation, it means they have a clean, modern look that serves as good base for inflections of other styles. In this case, it’s classic Americana—beadboard, weathered woods, built-ins, all of which speak to those original wood floors.
Kristin: They didn’t play up the “modern American classic” at the meeting, but they certainly repeat it a zillion times later.
Megan: They are using a very soft, neutral palette of barely grays and shades of white like “sea salt” (Mina has it in her home) and MJ-favorite “oyster,” and adding Claire’s favorite color, green. They call the resulting look “basically Mina’s house with a tinge of green.” But Mina has a castle compared to this crooked cottage. It’s Mina’s house’s baby sister.
Kristin: Then they go shopping for a dining table at French Pharmacie in Broad Ripple. They score ladder-back chairs and a traditional, slim wood table with two “leaflets,” as MJ calls them, that will fit the tight dining space. How does MJ not know what a “drop leaf” is?
Megan: Right! Mina knows “leaflets” isn’t quite right, saying a leaflet is like a pamphlet, but MJ sticks to his guns and says the two narrow leaves, one on each end, looked pamphlet-sized. Back at the house, Karen chases Cory around with the carcass of a tiny mouse after they unload mantle options from her truck.
Kristin: Eww. Was that in one of the mantles, or has Karen been driving mummified Mickey around for a while?
Megan: Anyone’s guess. Now we’re ready for the reveal! Claire, the doctor who’s getting a free house, comes straight from a night shift at the hospital, where she delivered babies.
Kristin: I think this is my favorite reno of the season. It might be the dining space—hooray to the homeowner for listing this as a must-have. I know I harp on this every week, but the added dining space makes the open area feel larger and provides more opportunities for entertaining. And in the reveal, I felt better about losing the beautiful archway. Also, it’s nice that you don’t walk into the sofa as you came in the front door. The new fireplace’s stacked stone belongs in a Fishers tract home, but they were accommodating the homeowner.
Megan: I like the house a lot, but something felt a little regressive after the last two episodes, when we were wowed by a show-stopping custom island and a gorgeous floating staircase. Then I realized—Iron Timbers is missing this week!
Kristin: You know I love me some IT—the woodworkers, not tech geeks. I was also sad to see the porch swing go. Some of our favorite times at our former Irvington home were on our porch swing.
Megan: While we’re getting nostalgic, my favorite Indy reference in this episode was Mina’s Deer Creek Music Center shirt. It doesn’t seem like she’s old enough to have gone there when it was named Deer Creek. What was the last show you saw there?
Kristin: Chicago. But not the one a couple weeks ago—maybe more than 10 years ago.
Megan: Mine was Spice Girls. I took my niece in a limo. So you really wouldn’t move home to Elkhart if your mother gave you a house?
Kristin: Ummmm, while I love to go home and get all nostalgic and, of course, visit my family and old friends, I don’t know if I could go back. However, it does have better Chinese food than any I’ve found in Indy.