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‘Good Bones’ Reveals the $50 Trick That Can Help Sell a House Fast


Good Bones” stars Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine have a ton of design experience, so when it comes to making a small house seem bigger, they have a few tricks up their sleeves.

In the Season 7 episode “From Burned Out to Boho Nordic,” Starsiak Hawk buys a $7,000 home in Indianapolis. She calls the home “a small, little nugget”—and indeed, the place is tiny (and damaged from a fire), but the team sees potential for it. The team customizes the space with a mix of Nordic and boho style, giving it a relaxed and clean look. Clever tricks also make this small home look bigger so it can work for a family.

Read on for ideas on making your own square footage feel more spacious.

Add some head space without adding square footage

worn-down house
Before: This run-down house cost just $7,000.


This home is right next to project manager Cory Miller‘s house (which Starsiak Hawk and the team renovated, too), so they’re excited to work on a house on a street they’re familiar with.

To update the home, they put on new siding and a fresh coat of cream-colored paint.

“Since Cory’s house is a little bit darker, I say we go lighter,” designer MJ Coyle says during a design meeting with Starsiak Hawk.

updated exterior
After: The team adds more space upstairs.


But perhaps the biggest change is the alterations to the roof, which makes the tiny second floor feel much bigger.

“We popped out two dormers, so the roofline’s very different,” Starsiak Hawk says. “So, for a small amount of square feet, it packs a lot of punch.”

With the popped-out dormers, Starsiak Hawk turns unused attic space into livable bedrooms, proving that homeowners can add “head space” without building out square footage.

Use curtains to make windows and a whole room look taller

living room
Before: This living room featured a bed that lowered from the ceiling.


Partway through the renovation, Starsiak Hawk finds a couple, Malcom and Jasmine, who are interested in buying this house. When the house is done, the couple take a tour and notice how open the living room seems, despite it being relatively small.

“I love what you did with the curtains over there, how high they are,” Jasmine says.

living room
After: With the help of new furniture and curtains, this living room looks bigger.


Curtains are an inexpensive purchase of just $50 to $100—yet by having them stretch up to the ceiling, they can make any petite space look taller and grander.

“It’s a good trick. It always makes the space feel bigger, makes the ceilings feel higher,” Starsiak Hawk says.

And in this case, it helps sell the house!

Choose light, neutral colors

fire damage
Before: Fire damage made this kitchen unusable.


Starsiak Hawk is inspired by the boho Nordic style Jasmine and Malcom say they love, so she incorporates a lot of textures and neutral, fresh colors.

“We’re keeping it pretty simple because it’s small,” says Starsiak Hawk. “You don’t want it to be overwhelming.”

After: The team chose brown cabinets and a white tile backsplash.


In the kitchen, she chooses a medium brown for the cabinets and a simple white backsplash tile to keep the space looking clean and classic.

It’s a good reminder that a basic subway tile is always a safe choice, and it shows how simple, neutral tones can really make a tight space seem less busy and more open.

This white subway tile backsplash is simple and neutral.


Create comfortable outdoor spaces

outdoor space
Before: This outdoor space wasn’t usable.


When it comes down to it, Starsiak Hawk and Laine know they can do only so much to make the interior of this home seem bigger without building an addition. So they create an outdoor living space in the overgrown side yard.

They pour a concrete slab in this space and plant some greenery to make it extra welcoming. To finish the space, Laine wants to use a 36-inch round piece of tempered glass (that she found in the house during demo) to make an outdoor table.

side yard
After: Now, the side yard is an extension of the house.


The team finds a beautiful piece of wood by the Ohio River, trim off some branches, and put it under the piece of glass. It’s now a beautiful outdoor feature that Laine knows the buyers will be able to gather around with friends and family.

“It’s going to hold up great outside, and Jasmine and Malcom can have all their outdoor parties now,” Laine says.

The lesson: Owners of small homes should look outdoors for extra living space. Even a small, overgrown side yard can become a prime entertaining spot.

updated table
This table is a beautiful and creative addition.


Make a bedroom multifunctional

rock wall
The rock wall allows this bedroom to double as a playground.


When Starsiak Hawk did a walk-through with the clients, she learned that their daughter is into rock climbing, so they decide to add a climbing element to her bedroom wall. Still, Miller is worried about making this feature secure.

“We’re not going to be drilling climbing grips into the wall willy-nilly,” the project manager says. “Each one of these grips has to be reinforced into the stud.”

Once he’s sure the wall will be stable, Coyle paints the rocks to match the rest of the home.

“To go with the natural boho vibe of this house, we did a few blush and then we did some, like, natural stone colors,” Coyle says.

How do this home’s good bones end up?

After buying this place for $7,000, Starsiak Hawk plans to spend $150,000 on the renovation. But after some framing issues and foundation work, she ends up spending $213,000.

Jasmine and Malcom agree to buy the house for $240,000, giving Starsiak Hawk a profit of $20,000. Given the shape this little house was in before, it’s a decent profit.

The post ‘Good Bones’ Reveals the $50 Trick That Can Help Sell a House Fast appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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