On “Good Bones,” Mina Starsiak Hawk and her mother, Karen Laine, have fixed up homes that were lacking in many ways, but their latest flip is missing a doozy that boosts their renovation budget big-time.
In the episode “Pricey Paradise, Big Problems,” Starsiak Hawk has bought a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Indianapolis for $70,000. Not only is that way more than she’s used to paying, but this mother-daughter team then pours $215,000 into renovations.
It’s an expensive flip, but Laine and Starsiak Hawk end up getting a buyer before the home is even finished, netting them a respectable $40,000 profit. Here’s how the “Good Bones” team pulls it off, with plenty of valuable take-home lessons you might be inspired to try.
Trim back foliage so you can see the house
When Starsiak Hawk first takes Laine to tour this property, Laine is seriously underwhelmed. The home itself doesn’t look too bad, but it’s hidden behind a mountain of trees and shrubbery. So the team gets to work removing the overgrown foliage to give this home the curb appeal it deserves.
“Before, you couldn’t even see it,” Starsiak Hawk says of the home. “Now, we’re actually going to be able to see the house, see the garage. It’s going to be all nice and clean. And I just want it light, bright, and happy.”
In addition, Starsiak Hawk refreshes the exterior with cream paint, a blue door, and some fish-scale shingles.
When the renovation is nearly done, Laine plants a few simple shrubs that won’t take focus away from the beautiful new exterior.
“Since it’s winter in Indiana, Mom had to get a little creative with her plant choices and chose some winterberry bushes to give the front a pop of color,” Starsiak Hawk says.
You can’t go wrong with a white kitchen
Every home needs a kitchen, but surprisingly, this house doesn’t come with one. Starsiak Hawk knows she’ll need to carve out space for a beautiful kitchen. Since this home already has a buyer, she designs the kitchen with her in mind.
“Since Rebecca said she really likes light colors, we’re going to do all-white kitchen cabinets and a really nice, light, marblelike quartz for the countertops,” Starsiak Hawk says.
The light colors give the space a French country aesthetic, and help this relatively small house seem much bigger. It’s a big upgrade from the red paint originally on the walls.
Use a tile theme throughout the home
To finish the kitchen, Starsiak Hawk chooses a backsplash that will complement the tile she wants to use in the main shower.
“The white-and-gray, basket-weave tile backsplash we chose gives the kitchen an updated French farmhouse feel,” Starsiak Hawk says. “A similar basket-weave tile is going up in the main bathroom, to give the house a cohesive look.”
Once installed in their respective spaces, the two tiles look great. The backsplash adds a little color to the white kitchen, while the shower tile adds a bit of geometric interest to an otherwise simple bathroom. In this home, choosing styles that look similar pays off when trying to create a cohesive theme.
A unique handrail creates a statement staircase
Starsiak Hawk and Laine want this home to have the light, airy ambiance of the French countryside with some modern flair. So they decide to use black railings on the staircase.
“The black railing is definitely going to add the modern touch we need,” says project manager Cory Miller.
The team also decides to soften the look with a wood handrail that’s a distinctive combination of ambrosia maple and resin. The resin gives parts of the handrail a cool, see-through look that Laine loves.
“They made a form for the handrail, they put the ambrosia maple in the form, they poured the resin over it, and you can see the wood through the translucent resin,” Laine says. “It’s so cool.”
Create a dining room that can double as a bedroom
For years, formal dining rooms have been out of style; people today often prefer open concept homes with a more casual eating area. Still, designer MJ Coyle suggests dressing up one ground-floor room as a formal dining room.
Starsiak Hawk likes the idea: “The point of that room is multipurpose. So if you want to dress it as a dining room, I think that’s great.”
They give this space a lovely table and even a chandelier. It’s a beautiful addition to the home that proves that the formal dining room isn’t dead. Still, they want to make sure this room could be used as a bedroom (if needed), so they make a few adjustments.
“We wanted to make this room multipurpose, so you could use it as a formal dining” space, Starsiak Hawk says. “But we also added these two closets and an egress window so it counts as a bedroom.”