Good Bones: The Big Ugly Duckling That Became a Swan

Mina and Karen of Good Bones return to Indy's "best-kept secret" neighborhood, Bates-Hendricks, to renovate a dilapidated eyesore on Sanders Street, transforming it into a stylish home with an all-new floor plan.

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Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Easy Being Green

Mina and Karen pose for a pic in the completed living room in the newly remodeled home on Sanders Avenue. Green is substantially in evidence in the new color palette, including this forest green upholstered sofa and dramatically patterned wallpaper backdrop.

Before

An Ugly Duckling. Though the sizable home is in a great location, close to Indy's fashionable Fountain Square district, it had previously been divided up into at least three separate apartments, had a confused, labyrinthine floorplan and was generally in disrepair. The outside has been painted in three separate (and all of them ugly) shades of brown, and the front porch had been enclosed as part of an earlier modification.

After

A Graceful Swan. For the renovation, the enclosed front porch has been opened back up, recreating the home's original curb appeal. A side section is also opened back up, creating a wraparound porch with the front door offset to the right. Other improvements include a new concrete walkway, updated stairs, and new porch columns and railing. Exterior painted in pale blue with white trim.

Floor Plan Fix

Strategic Arrangement. Mina and Karen ponder the modifications that will transform the home back from three separate apartments to a single-family dwelling. The interior of the house was an impressive 3350 square feet, but the cobbled-together floor plan would need to be thoroughly revised. To turn it into separate apartment units, the downstairs had been divided up into 10 individual rooms, including two kitchens, with an additional kitchen on the second floor. "And it's just a total hodge-podgey mess," said Mina.

Before

Awkward Spaces. This narrow front room had originally been the home's front porch and, like much of the rest of the house, was lined with dated wood paneling. Immediately behind this space, what had been the original front living room had been divided up into two tiny bedrooms. "No one designed this floor plan," said Karen. "This floor plan 'happened' to this house."

After

A Pretty Face. The new take on the front porch includes this offset section with a vintage style bench seat and the new front entrance. "Porches make neighborhoods livable," says Karen.

Before

This space had formerly been used as a kitchen. Old kitchen cabinets had been concealed by the wood paneling.

After

A drop ceiling was removed to reveal the original high ceilings in this space — now converted to one of two spacious master suites on the ground floor. Throughout the house, a soft powder-blue was used for the walls, and accented with white trim. Mina and Karen went with bold visuals and an eclectic, global style in this bedroom which includes a bed with button-tufted headboard, brightly colored tapestry and custom made wall art.

Living Room, Before

"We've got to knock down a ton of walls," said Mina, "so we can turn this wacko maze of a house into one grand single-family home."

Living Room, After

Decorated with a mix of contemporary and vintage inspired pieces in a green palette with earthy, red and orange accents. Walls are painted in pale blue. A feature wall with green patterned wallpaper in abstract gradient design evokes an outdoor feel and forms a perfect backdrop for the tufted velvet sofa in forest green. "It was different," said Karen, "It was intriguing and kind of went with the whole rest of the room."

Living Room, After

"We're putting all this amazing furniture in," said Karen, "to balance what is a very clean, modern house with things that make it feel approachable and cozy and livable."

A wall at one end of the space was removed to create a large, functional area and open the main living space onto the new kitchen.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

The new kitchen becomes a focal point for the home and features high ceilings, updated and recessed lighting, marble countertops and a double farm-style sink in stainless finish. The double-stacked upper cabinets, as well as the lower cabinets, are simple Shaker style and painted in buff gray.

Kitchen, After

Another kitchen highlight is the gray and white tile backsplash in a bold and geometric chevron pattern.

Kitchen, After

The signature piece in the kitchen is the large picnic style dining table that can comfortably seat up to eight. The table was custom made using reclaimed wood by Purposeful Design, an Indy based organization and wood shop that produces handcrafted furniture pieces while teaching building and crafting techniques to homeless individuals, helping them to develop job skills that may help them find future employment.

Downstairs Master Bedroom #1

In this master bedroom, with en suite bath, Mina opts for the "high skinny" side windows for added privacy.

Downstairs Master Bedroom, #1

The master suite features high ceilings, hardwood floors in a medium dark stain and a color palette of earth tones and blues.

Bathroom, Before

Master Bath, After

An en suite master bath features pocket doors, double vanity and oversized tub.

Master Bath, Detail

The tile tub surround features subway tile with dark grout and an accent band in a geometric chevron pattern echoing the one found in the kitchen backsplash.

Master Bath, Detail

The master bath comes with plenty of storage including this large armoire with arched doors, shelving and lower drawers.

Downstairs Master Bedroom #2

For the second downstairs master, Karen and Mina went with a bright and colorful garden theme, including two preserved-plant wall hangings custom designed by Karen and Mina.

Downstairs Master Bedroom #2, Detail

Karen's wall piece (L) focuses on dimensional foliage arranged to mimic thick, natural forest growth. Mina's wall-hangning (R) drew inspiration from Van Gogh's Starry Night, using branches and leaves to create a pattern of dynamic curves and swirls.

Stairwell, After

The newly rebuilt staircase leads to a second floor with two guest bedrooms and an upstairs bonus room.

Upstairs Landing, After

This narrow nook tucked to the side of the stairwell on the upstairs landing makes for an ideal space for an open shelf unit for displaying books and decorative accessories.

Before

Guest Bedroom #1, After

A space that had formerly been an upstairs bath is converted to create this comfortable guest bedroom. The angled ceilings coupled with a muted color palette, green accents and dark patterned area rug make for a cozy ambiance.

Guest Bedroom #2, After

The second upstairs guest room is larger and offers lots of closet space.

Guest Bedroom #2, After

A contemporary blue bedroom with a green velvet chair is shown, as seen on HGTV's Good Bones.

Upstairs Bath, After

The new upstairs bath has a double vanity and full tub/shower combination.

Upstairs Bath, After

Above the double vanity, a high window lets plenty of natural light into the bathroom space.

Attic Space, Before

The Finished Attic Space

The low, angled ceilings in this space offered some design challenges, but judicious placement of furniture, with seating areas toward the perimeter, this becomes a functional space which could potentially be repurposed as a fifth bedroom.

Bonus Room, After

Mina and Karen staged the upstairs space as a bonus room with his-and-her  work desks at either end and a sectional sofa for a casual seating area.

Bonus Room, After

Behind the Scenes, The Reveal

Mina and Karen show prospective buyers Ashley and Joshua the new upstairs bonus room.

Behind the Scenes, The Reveal

Josh and Ashley check out the newly remodeled main living area and kitchen.

Behind the Scenes, The Reveal

"So we love what Mina and Karen are doing with this neighborhood. [It's] definitely getting revitalized," said prospective buyer, Ashley. "I think it would be a really great place for us to buy our first house."

Behind the Scenes, The Reveal

"I love how open it is, but for how big it is, it feels so cozy inside," said Ashley. "I think that we could definitely host all the holidays with both our families. Everybody could stay."

Behind the Scenes

During construction, Mina does her prairie dog impersonation as she helps with installation of the floor joists.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Karen stages the game table in the upstairs bonus room with oversized dominoes.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Karen and Mina pose next to their respective custom art pieces hung in one of the downstairs bedrooms.

Behind the Scenes

Karen's affinity for velvet sofas has been well documented throughout the first two seasons of Good Bones.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Another house down and, hopefully, another awesome couple to join the neighborhood. 
—Mina Starsiak Hawk

Afterword

According to a recent issue of the Indianapolis Business Journal, Bates-Hendricks is Indy's best-kept secret and the next up-and-coming neighborhood. Adds Mina: "I don't think it's really a secret anymore, but it's definitely up-and-coming."

If you enjoyed this Good Bones project, we'll bet you'd also like: The Orange Street Duplex Conversion.  And keep checking back here for more new galleries, exclusive video and show updates.