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Mina Starsiak and her mom, Karen Laine, of the HGTV series “Good Bones” pride themselves on bringing new life to old houses. But they may have met their match with a run-down hoarder house in Indianapolis, IN.
In the “Victorian in Old Southside” episode, Starsiak and Laine buy a house that has extensive fire damage. But that’s not all. This home is also packed with junk. Starsiak and Laine truly have their work cut out for them!
They need to clean out and completely renovate the home before they can give it the modern Victorian look they’re dreaming of. Here’s how they pull it off, and some smart renovation tips you might be inspired to try in your own home, too.
Choose a classic wood floor in a modern color
With this house already dripping with old-world charm, Starsiak wants to turn it into a modern Victorian wonderland. But that means she has to be careful about maintaining a good balance when mixing new and classic features.
When it comes to the flooring, she chooses gray-tone vinyl plank floors that are durable and modern but can look Victorian when paired with the right decor.
Laine loves her daughter’s choice, saying that the gray flooring is a good compromise. She says that while a true Victorian house would have hardwood floors that would have darkened over time, “We’re keeping the feel of a hardwood but we’re keeping it light.”
Let a fireplace mantel show its age
While Starsiak and Laine want this home to be modern and comfortable, they also want to preserve its charm and history. One way they do this is by restoring the oak fireplace mantel.
Unfortunately, the fire damage in this home was extensive, and they were unable to save the full fireplace. Still, the mantel has enough charm to work on its own, functioning both as a feature piece and shelf. With a slightly worn look and a warm wood color, this mantel brings sophistication to the space.
“I could have stripped all the finish off of it, but I just didn’t want to,” Laine says as she admires the finished product, which still has some wear and tear. “You know, you can see that she’s lived, but she doesn’t look haggard.”
The lightly aged style choice works so well that buyers may not even notice there’s no fireplace!
Go big with a backsplash wall
Starsiak wants to make the kitchen stand out. To do this, she decides to go all out with a stunning backsplash—or rather, a wallsplash.
She chooses a white and gray tile in a geometric circle pattern, which looks modern without being too stark. The tile looks so great in the kitchen that Starsiak decides to extend the backsplash all the way to the ceiling.
“We went a little crazy and did a whole backsplash wall,” Mina tells some potential buyers.
It’s a daring choice, but with the soft gray and white color, it gives the kitchen enough of a pop without being distracting.
Island legs are a fun way to add charm to a kitchen
While this house already has some classic touches, like the turned wood posts on the front porch and the classic mantel, Starsiak knows she’ll have to add some more charming features to give this place the Victorian look she’s going for.
One of her Victorian-inspired additions is a set of turned wood legs on the island. They give the modern kitchen a little touch of Victorian.
Plus, Laine points out that the style actually matches one of the home’s original features.
“It’s a little homage to the front porch posts,” she says.
Shower tile makes the bathroom
While Starsiak is happy to include classic features in the kitchen and living room, she knows that the master bathroom should feel comfortable and modern. Still, with such a charmingly classic house, she knows that a too-modern bathroom will feel out of place.
So she chooses a large, white hexagonal shower tile.
The modern tile is perfect for the look Starsiak is going for, and Laine loves it too. She says that hexagonal tiles were very common in Victorian bathrooms and this is a nod to the old style.
“This is an update in the classic hex tile,” she says.
When the tile is finished, it looks amazing.
“It’s really sleek and modern but also has sort of an old-school elegance about it,” Starsiak says.
Do this home’s ‘Good Bones’ clean up well?
Starsiak and Laine buy this property for just $22,000, then put $210,000 into the renovation. And this investment pays off: After renovation, they list this modern Victorian for $280,000 and end up getting an offer for list price. In the end, this mother-daughter team stand to make a profit of $48,000.
Consider it proof that even the most run-down, old house has hope to morph into a desirable property!
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