Good Bones: The Little White House on the Hill

Mina and Karen of HGTV's Good Bones renovate a small two-story house in the historic Bates-Hendricks neighborhood in southeast Indy, creating a cottage charmer with a coastal vibe and explosions of color.

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Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Photo By: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

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. 

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Living Room, After

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.

Kitchen, After

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

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.

Master Bath, After

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

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.

Guest Bedroom, After

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

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.

Upstairs Loft, After

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.

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.