Mina and Karen's Magical Cottage on the Hill

The good ladies of Good Bones create a cottage charmer with a contemporary coastal vibe.

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When Karen and Mina took on the renovation of the “little white house on Sanders Street” in the historic Bates-Hendricks neighborhood in southeast Indy, everything at first seemed like rainbows and unicorns. Despite having seen some hard times, the 1200-square-foot cottage, with its tiny footprint, spindle porch columns and heirloom rose bush did, in fact, have a certain fairytale appeal.

BEFORE: The Sanders Street House

BEFORE: The Sanders Street House

It's going to be cute; it's going to be cozy. It's going to be our adorable, little magic fairy cottage.
Karen

But rainbows are fleeting, unicorns are elusive and, upon closer inspection, the little white house on Sanders Street seemed more scary than enchanting. A cursory tour revealed water leaking in the basement, significant foundation issues, an unsound roof and floor joists with no visible means of support.

BEFORE: Living Room

BEFORE: Living Room

So it would seem our fearless duo find themselves — not for the first time — in possession of a challenging fixer-upper that’s apparently still standing solely by the power of magic. At least that’s Karen’s take. Mina has her doubts.

There's nothing magical about this. What I call a problem that's going to cost more money, Mom calls 'magic'. Those are the two sides of the coin here.
Mina

Undaunted, Team Two Chicks and a Hammer proceeds full speed ahead, ripping down siding, taking the home interior down to the studs and devising an all-new floor plan that better suits the scale of the house.

The first floor gets updated with an open-concept layout in the forward section that incorporates a combined kitchen, dining and living space. The high ceilings get a dramatic cathedral treatment and the new kitchen gets double-stacked cabinets and Carrara marble backsplash.

Contemporary Blue Living Room with an Orange and Blue Rug

Contemporary Blue Living Room with an Orange and Blue Rug

AFTER: Living Room

From: Good Bones
and Little White House on a Hill

Photo by: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

AFTER: Living Room

The rear section of the house, which had been divided into small, awkward spaces, gets reconfigured to create a spacious master suite with an all-new bath highlighted by pocket doors, a double vanity and full-sized tub.

Contemporary Master Bedroom with Blue Night Stands

Contemporary Master Bedroom with Blue Night Stands

The downstairs spaces at the rear of the house were reconfigured to create this new master bedroom with a new en suite bath.

From: Good Bones
and Little White House on a Hill

Photo by: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Contemporary Blue Guest Bedroom with En Suite Bath

Contemporary Blue Guest Bedroom with En Suite Bath

The second downstairs bedroom also has a separate en suite bath.

From: Good Bones
and Little White House on a Hill

Photo by: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Also added on the first-floor is a second bedroom, with separate bath, in a space that had originally been a porch add-on. Upstairs, a loft space gets updated to create a guest bedroom with day bed and seating area.

Mina and Karen take Linda, who owned the house from 1975 through 1986, on a tour of the newly renovated spaces.

Photo by: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Mina and Karen take Linda, who owned the house from 1975 through 1986, on a tour of the newly renovated spaces.

In a rare opportunity, before the house gets put on the market, a former owner who had lived in the house during the '70s gets to make a return visit to see Karen and Mina’s completed transformation. Her overall impression: “I was in awe when I looked at it. It looks so magical. It looks happy,” she said. “You’ve taken a diamond in the rough and turned it into a beautiful jewel.”

AFTER: The Sanders Street House

Photo by: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

AFTER: The Sanders Street House

The Good Bones episode titled "The Little White House on the Hill" premieres June 20 at 10p|9c. And check back here to see more new photo galleries, exclusive video clips and show updates.

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Karen and Mina's Magical Mystery Cottage

Karen and Mina fashioned a simple white 1200-square-foot house — long neglected and with some serious repair issues — into this enchantingly quaint cottage with a fresh, beachy feel. 

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Magic Happens...If You Work at It

When our fearless duo took on renovation of the “little white house on Sanders Street” in the historic Bates-Hendricks neighborhood, everything at first seemed like rainbows and unicorns. "It's going to be cute; it's going to be cozy," said Karen. "It's going to be our adorable little magic fairy cottage." Closer inspection, however, revealed some cold, hard realities. Sometimes sheer diligence is required to make fairytale endings come true.

Fresh and Energizing

The main living space, newly reconfigured with an open-concept design, features high cathedral ceilings, bright white walls, hardwood floors and casual, contemporary furnishings.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Vivid and Vibrant

Karen and Mina staged the spaces using a mix of vintage-modern and contemporary furnishings, eye-catching wall art and a bright palette with electric hues. "To make this floor plan feel warm and livable," said Karen, "we're going to have to really think hard about how we furnish it."

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Modern Luxe

The new kitchen, now located toward the front of the house, opens onto the main dining and living space and features double-stacked cabinets and a sleek Carrara marble backsplash.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Behind the Scenes

 

Behind the Scenes

 

Behind the Scenes

As it turned out, the foundation was in such bad condition that heavy equipment had to be brought in to dig out new channels and pour a new concrete supports. Karen and Mina pitch in with digging and bailing water out of the channels after a rain.

Behind the Scenes

"There's nothing magical about this," said Mina after some of the major repair issues were uncovered. "What I call a problem that's going to cost more money, Mom calls 'magic'. Those are the two sides of the coin here."

Before

The Sanders Street house did have a certain undeniable charm, despite its plain white exterior and rather rough condition. However, the roof and siding were in bad shape and the concrete porch was crumbling. Inside inspection revealed serious foundation issues and problems with floor joists.

After

The renovated exterior features a new roof and siding, wood decking for the front porch, new front windows and door, and a new concrete walk. The exterior gets freshened up with a clean white exterior accented with upper shingles painted aqua blue.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After

Karen added fresh landscaping next to the front walkway, and was able to retain the heirloom rose bush that had been planted there decades before.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Backyard, Before

 

Backyard, After

The concrete parking bad at the rear of the house is converted into a patio with outdoor seating and dining areas.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Backyard, After

 

Living Room, Before

The living area downstairs was divided up into separate spaces, and the floors sloped and were covered in damaged, moldy carpet.

Living Room, After

A contemporary living room with an orange and blue rug is shown, as seen on HGTV's Good Bones.

Living Room, After

By opening up the floor plan, Mina and Karen created a combined living and dining area and were able take advantage of the high ceilings with a cathedral treatment and exposed beams.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Living Room, After

 

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Kitchen, After

In the old layout of the home, the kitchen had been located at the back of the house. Karen and Mina created a more efficient space with the kitchen moved forward and opening onto the living room. Double-stacked upper cabinets help give the space a more open and dramatic feel.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Kitchen, After

Other highlights in the kitchen include a farmhouse sink, stone countertops and Carrara tile backsplash.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Before

This space, which presumably had been a bedroom, is located at the rear of the first floor.

Before

Prior to the renovation, the downstairs rooms had marred paneling, damaged carpet and flooring that varied in height from room to room. These spaces would essentially all be gutted and taken down to bare studs.

Before

The only bathroom in the house had a curious shotgun shape — approximately 15 feet in length and only about 4 feet wide —  and a wall outcropping that made access to the shower awkward and difficult. This odd, narrow space would be reconfigured to create a half bath and separate laundry room.

Master Bedroom, After

The downstairs spaces at the rear of the house were reconfigured to create this new master bedroom with a new en suite bath.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Master Bath, After

The new master bath is highlighted by pocket doors, a double vanity and full-sized tub. 

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Guest Bedroom, After

A portion of a rear addition to the house — which had likely originally been a back porch — was turned into this second downstairs bedroom.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Guest Bedroom, After

The second downstairs bedroom also has a separate en suite bath. 

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Guest Bath, After

According to Mina, the biggest strategic challenge with the redesign of the house was the fact that it originally had only one bath. Now it has two full bathrooms and a half-bath.

Upstairs Loft, Before

Though it was small and with low ceiling, this upstairs loft space was technically classified as a third bedroom.

Upstairs Loft, After

Mina and Karen modified updated the space and furnished it with a day bed to create a versatile bonus room.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Upstairs Loft, After

 

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Before

 

After

Karen and Mina purchased the Sanders Street house for $30,000 and invested $145,000 in renovations. Once they put the house on the market, it sold quickly for $200,000 leaving proceeds after closing costs and fees of around $50,000. The hope is that high-quality improvements such as this will help attract buyers willing to take on similar thoughtful renovations of distressed properties nearby, ultimately bringing new life, new businesses and vitality to the inner-city neighborhood.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Rhapsody in Blue

If you enjoyed this Good Bones renovation, be sure to keep checking back here for more new galleries, exclusive videos and show updates.

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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