Season 6 of “Good Bones” has begun! And in the season premiere, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine find something truly creepy within the walls of their house.
In “Scary to Chic in Old Southside,” this mother-daughter team have bought a house in Indianapolis. While the team is tearing out walls, it stumbles across an old shoe wrapped in nylon. The construction foreman explains that hiding shoes in the wall was once thought to ward off evil spirits. He also says that this shoe’s nylon wrapping was likely a Wiccan binding spell.
Starsiak Hawk and Laine decide to leave the shoe where it was found, hoping that its presence might bring them good luck—or at least ward off bad juju. Here’s how this renovation unfolds, which contains plenty of lessons you might be inspired to try in your own home.
Don’t let a tree ruin your curb appeal—or plumbing
This house not only has creepy vibes inside, but the exterior looks kind of scary, too, due to a twisty tree out front. Right away, Starsiak Hawk and Laine decide to remove this eyesore, particularly since it could mess with this property’s plumbing.
“It’s really important in a city to plant a city-friendly tree,” Laine explains. “You want something that’s not going to break through your drainage tile or break up your sidewalk. You want an appropriate size, and different trees have different behaviors, so you want one that behaves differently than this one is behaving.”
They replace the old tree with a small maple on the opposite side of the yard. The young tree is petite and perfect for a city yard.
Play up details that make a house special
This house may be partly hidden under an ugly tree, but Starsiak Hawk and Laine are still able to see the unique wood details on the exterior. The home has gingerbreading over the porch, plus some lovely fish scale siding near the roof. Both add character to the home.
To highlight these features, Starsiak Hawk and Laine give the fish scale a coat of dark paint, then they remove the ugly lattice railing on the porch and replace it with a piece designed to match the gingerbreading above.
“It just really helps feature the craftsmanship and detail that we have in this house,” Starsiak Hawk says of the upgrades. “And I feel like buyers are really going to be impressed with it and just fall in love with the house.”
Add a bookshelf to a corner
Starsiak Hawk and Laine completely redo the layout of the ground floor, moving the kitchen and making it all much more open and welcoming. It’s a smart change; however, designer MJ Coyle notices an unused corner, so he suggests adding a library with chunky wood shelves.
“It’s kind of an awkward corner right there, so I think it’ll make it more functional,” Starsiak Hawk says, giving Coyle the green light.
These wood shelves not only enhance the interior’s natural aesthetic, but also add some smart storage. In the end, this addition turns an underused corner into an eye-catching feature.
A vaulted ceiling is worth the investment
After a ton of demo, project manager Tad Starsiak (Starsiak Hawk’s younger brother) comes up with an idea to vault the ceiling in the kitchen. Starsiak Hawk isn’t sure about the $1,600 price tag, but agrees to the upgrade.
“It might make [a] cool enough focal point that might sell it a little bit quicker, which is great,” she explains.
When the kitchen is finished, it looks beautiful. But the true “wow” factor is the vaulted ceiling. It’s a feature rarely found in old homes like this, making it a true standout.
Brown counters can warm up a white kitchen
After agreeing to spend extra money to vault the ceiling, Starsiak Hawk wants to bring attention to that feature.
“In the kitchen, we’ve got those big vaulted ceilings, so that architectural feature is going to be really cool,” Starsiak Hawk says. “So I want to keep everything else kind of, like, white, clean, simple cabinets.”
However, she decides to do a brown matte countertop, explaining that it’ll warm up the otherwise very white kitchen.
When the kitchen is finished, the brown counters look perfect. They’re warmer than a white countertop, and not so stark as black would be. Brown counters are certainly uncommon, but perhaps Starsiak Hawk has just started a hot new trend.
Do this home’s good bones pay off?
This house takes a lot of work and a lot of demo, costing them $195,000. But in the end, this expensive renovation appears to pay off when Starsiak Hawk and Laine find a buyer for $257,000, leaving them with a $22,000 profit.
Looks like that shoe in the wall might have been a good luck charm after all!