On the “Good Bones” spinoff “Good Bones: Risky Business,” Mina Starsiak Hawk has faced more than her share of daunting setbacks as she attempts to remodel a run-down old mansion into a bed-and-breakfast and event space.
But in the latest episode, aptly titled “Redemption,” it seems as if a light has appeared at the end of this renovation tunnel.
Now that the surly contractors Starsiak Hawk regrets hiring are history, she has the freedom to do things her way. Although there are myriad added expenses and they are way over budget, at least things are getting done right!
As Starsiak Hawk and her crew finish up the carriage house, they deliver some incredibly smart tips for updating any living space, as well as one very risqué idea that might not be for everyone but definitely makes an impression!
Murphy beds provide flexibility
There are two guest suites in the carriage house above the event space on the main floor, and Starsiak Hawk wants both suites to be used as extensions of the event space, as well as places to stay.
“For both bedrooms, we use Murphy beds, so those rooms can be as flexible as possible,” she says. “When they’re up, they look pretty, like they’re a custom built-in and you have so much room for activities! You could dance, have high-top cocktail tables…”
“There could be a dining table,” adds her designer, MJ.
All great ideas—and plenty of room for them.
Don’t forget to decorate all walls—even hidden ones
“When [the Murphy beds] are down, that space behind them is naked, so we’ll want something back there,” says Starsiak Hawk.
She’s right—there’s a big blank space on the wall behind where the mattress folds up.
She could use interesting wallpaper, but she decides to paint something on the walls behind both Murphy beds, upstairs and downstairs.
Starsiak Hawk hires an artist to paint a picture of the house with a car in the driveway, in a nod to one of its former owners.
“It’s kind of genius—it’s like a little surprise when you open it up,” says MJ.
Take advantage of existing brick walls
Exposed brick is so much more interesting than plain drywall. It adds color, it adds texture, and bonus, it’s already there, so you don’t need to spend much! All you need to do is clean it up—then you have a fabulous accent wall. It can also help determine the style of the room.
“Because we have all this cool, old, exposed brick, I think the space really lends itself to an industrial style,” says Starsiak Hawk. “What we’re going for is that urban loft, boutique hotel with white cabinets and black walls.”
Use black walls sparingly
Sure, black walls can emphasize that industrial look, but use them too much and they look cramped and give off a teen Goth vibe.
Starsiak Hawk knows how to use just the right amount of black on the walls— behind the white shelves and cabinetry, on the wall-mounted cabinetry itself, and in the powder room, with white fixtures and gold accessories. It really is elegant.
Bathtubs outside of bathrooms are a big trend
Starsiak Hawk wants to go all out on one suite above the event space, so it will be popular with vacationers or people attending the downstairs events.
As she’s shopping for upscale bathroom fixtures with MJ, she reveals her plan, inspired by a hotel she stayed in on a trip to Las Vegas that had a bathtub in the bedroom.
“I thought it was so cool, so I feel like this would be the opportune time to do a bathtub in the living space,” she says. “You know, make it a little sexy, give it a little somethin’ somethin’. I want people to come in and be like ‘Oh, my gosh, there’s a tub in the middle of the room!’ Everyone is going to tell their friends, their friends will want to go there, it’s going to be like the cool place.”
How does this home’s good bones turn out?
Finally, the carriage house is complete—in twice the allotted time, at more than double the budget. It’s a good thing Starsiak Hawk was able to sell one of her completed projects for cash to cover the overages.
Also, there’s still the entire main house to finish, hopefully without the hassles.
“The carriage house is finished,” she says. “It’s a small victory in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s something to celebrate.”