In the “Major Mansion Makeover” episode, Starsiak Hawk and her team are hired to renovate a 9,000-square-foot estate belonging to NBA forward Justin Holiday, who at the time of filming was playing for the Indiana Pacers.
“The house we’re going to today is just a little bit different for us,” Starsiak Hawk tells team members MJ and Corey as they drive over. “As a company, we’re trying to grow and diversify the services we offer, so we’re taking on a fairly high-profile renovation. And the pressure is really on.”
The Holiday mansion is in Zionsville, about 20 miles north of Indianapolis.
“Definitely not our normal stomping grounds because every house in the neighborhood is a mansion,” Starsiak Hawk remarks.
The Holidays purchased the home for $1.3 million and have budgeted $300,000 and eight weeks for the renovation. They want to be finished so they can move in before the NBA season starts.
“It’s not bad; it’s just really dated,” Starsiak Hawk says of the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home.
Even if your own home isn’t a baller mansion, you’ll be able to get some excellent tips from Starsiak Hawk and her crew as they race to complete this massive project.
Purge the pillars
Starsiak Hawk tells her crew that Justin’s wife, Shekina, “kind of hates the pillars … like hates, hates, hates, hates them.”
“I hate the pillars, too,” says Cory. “The pillars say, ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'”
But there’s more to it than just being dated.
“I’m from Louisiana, and I have a little bit of maybe not the most positive connection with pillars,” Shekina explains, referring to their association with plantations. “Being a woman of color, it’s kind of difficult for me to look at those pillars and everything they signify.”
Need those pillars for support? Change their look
Unfortunately, some of these pillars aren’t just decorative.
“We can’t get rid of all of them, because they hold up the house,” says Starsiak Hawk. “But we can bring them up to date.”
Her plan is to remove the pillars that don’t provide support, of which there are many inside and outside. But the ones that need to stay will be boxed with planks, giving them a more modern, edgy shape.
Just boxing them in and squaring them off makes a huge difference.
Get rid of rodents for good
The last thing the crew expects to find when removing the pillars is rodents falling down on them through the ceiling. It seems the critters have somehow infested several parts of the house.
The crew immediately calls the exterminators, then examines the outside of the house to determine the point of entry. It doesn’t take long to find it.
“We found a small section of exterior wall with no plate, so it’s just an open cavity where mice can come and go as they please,” says Starsiak Hawk. “So the boys demo’ed that back wall where the mice were getting in and sealed up two other areas so this house has no possible entry points for rodents.”
Remove carpet to curb allergies
In addition to blocking out the rodents, there is more that must be done to the house.
“One of their kids has really, really bad allergies, which is why all the carpet has to go,” says Starsiak Hawk when making plans for the flooring.
She and the Holidays select a light oak flooring to run throughout the house. It not only eliminates mildew and dust mites, which exacerbate allergies, but it also unifies the house and gives it a nice flow.
Renovating to your own tastes might hurt your home’s value
If the Holidays planned for this to be their forever home, they would remodel it to their own particular tastes. But since an NBA player never knows where he’s going to be from one season to the next, the one big renovation rule they know they must follow is to not make the decor too personal.
This involves using attractive but neutral colors and finishes, and replacing dated features like marble countertops with more timeless surfaces, like marble with a matte finish.
Starsiak Hawk suggests continuing the matte marble “all the way up the wall to make a really sleek, modern backsplash. “The matte look is really sharp right now, and I think it’s going to be super timeless,” she says.
How do this home’s good bones turn out?
Starsiak Hawk’s crew would have finished the massive project in eight weeks if faulty flooring hadn’t been delivered. Returning, reordering, and waiting for delivery set them back a couple of weeks, and they are able to finish only 75% of the project before the NBA season begins.
“We recognize that we’re only at the 75% mark,” says Shekina. “But I feel that most things in our life we could say that didn’t go as planned still turned out pretty dang good. We always rented, so to be able to create that space we always dreamed of was worth it.”
Adds Justin, “We learned a lot. We’re excited and thankful to move in.”
It also turns out to be a good thing they remodeled with resale in mind. Since they shot the episode, Justin has been traded not once but twice: from the Pacers to the Sacramento Kings in February 2022, then in July of that same year to the Atlanta Hawks.