Good Bones: Boring, Boxy Duplex Gets a New Life

Mina and Karen take on another super-distressed property, and Mina’s none too thrilled about this one – with its charmless exterior and just-plain-nasty interior. But Karen sees potential and, when all’s said and done, the transformation is just plain amazing.

By:
Show: Good Bones
Related To:

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

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

Happy Campers

It’s all smiles in this pic (now that the renovation is complete), but at the outset of this project, Mina required some convincing — and a pep talk from mom — to get on board.

“The [Parkway duplex] is another one of the houses we got from the city for $4,000,” said Mina, “and it's the one that I want to give back."

Sparkles Like a Diamond

In the completed renovation, the kitchen is without doubt the star of the show — with contrasting upper and lower custom cabinets, gray Carrara marble countertops, distinctive lighting choices and eye-catching wraparound tile backsplash.

Pretty in Pink

One of two upstairs bedroom, this one features a feminine feel with soft pinks and blue hues, new wood flooring and a full-length window treatment that functions as a backdrop for the bed.

Cool and Inviting

The new first-floor master suite includes a spacious bedroom with wall paint in a soothing cool-tone gray offset by a classic Persian rug in bold red and a king-sized bed with substantive wooden bedframe and button-tufted headboard, both in charcoal gray.

Keynote Features

The master bath is highlighted by an oversized soaking tub and a distinctive double vanity built in a vintage-style cabinet console, painted artichoke green. The vanity, one of two like this installed in the house, served as the visual inspiration and touchstone for the entire home design.

Before

The Parkway House. Prior to the renovation, this Bates-Hendricks duplex was boarded up and had recently been lived in by squatters. And raccoons. Aside from general deterioration and damage, the house offered little in the way of visual appeal and the yard was badly overgrown with vines and junk trees. “There’s really no charm,” said Mina. “I'm just having a really hard time seeing anything because the house is a box, and all the rooms in the house are boxes. There's nothing inspirational. It's just flat and square.”

The to-do list included a complete makeover to the front exterior to create much-needed curb appeal. Also on the agenda was removal of the center wall that separated the house into two duplex units, making space for a single, large open-concept kitchen and living area.

After

The Parkway House. The home is now converted to a single-family residence, with dual entrances replaced by a single glass-pane front door with sidelight windows and moss green trim. The home’s entire front exterior is transformed by the addition of a new covered porch, new railing in decorative sunburst pattern, white support columns and metal roof.

Backyard, Before

Another major item on the renovation to-do list was the removal of the shed-roof addition at the rear of the house – which was crumbling and termite-damaged.

Backyard, After

The rear of the house is transformed with an updated rear addition, back deck, new landscaping and privacy fence. The new rear addition houses the first-floor master suite.

Living Room, Before

Prior to the renovation, the two duplex unites were structural mirror images, each with kitchen and living room on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs. Though this was one of the two living rooms, it appeared that someone had been using it as a bedroom.

Living Room, After

The first floor was gutted, and the duplex dividing wall removed and replaced with support columns, to make room for a spacious main living area that opens onto a new and enlarged kitchen.

Living Room, After

The new living room is stylized with contemporary furnishings, a bold patterned area rug and color palette of golds, soft greens, blues and indigo.

Dining Room, Before

Dining Room, After

The dining area, which is contiguous with the kitchen and main living area, features a farm style table, in dark wood stain, with seating for up to eight. 

Dining Room, After

The new wood flooring used throughout the new spaces is in a finish that shows the grain pattern and is reminiscent of rustic or reclaimed wood.

Dining Room and Kitchen, After

With the duplex's dividing wall removed, the newly combined floor plan brings together the kitchen and living and dining spaces for a large and open common area.

Kitchen, Before

The duplex had two identical kitchens on the first floor — both severely damaged and non-functional.

Kitchen, After

The modified floor plan makes way for the creation of a much enlarged kitchen that now includes a large island with marble top bench seating for five.

Kitchen, After

Other highlights in the kitchen include stainless appliances, double-stacked upper cabinets, a farm sink and backsplash in green and gray tile.

Before

In the original layout, the kitchen was at the rear of the house and opened onto a shed-roof addition that served as a back entrance and mudroom.

Master Suite, After

The old shed-roof addition was removed and replaced with an expanded new rear addition, making way for this spacious bedroom and luxury master bath.

Before

Each duplex unit had a single small bathroom on the first floor.

Before

 Both of the existing bathrooms were essentially beyond repair.

Master Bath, After

Combining the spaces allowed for the new master suite to include this spacious bath with pocket doors, oversized tub and Karen's strategically selected double vanity in blue-green finish with gold trim.

Master Bath, After

Upstairs Bedroom #1, Before

Upstairs Bedroom #1, After

Upstairs Bedroom #2, Before

Upstairs Bedroom #2, After

Upstairs Bath, After

The original upstairs floor plan included four bedrooms, split between the two duplex units. The new design allowed for the addition of this second sizable bathroom on the upper floor.

Before

After

One of the upstairs room was converted from a bedroom into this upstairs living area that could also be furnished to serve as a home office or kids' playroom.

After

A contemporary white living room with two blue armchairs is shown, as seen on Prefit's Good Bones.

Backyard, After

The backyard was freshly landscaped and this small patio deck added for outdoor dining and entertaining.

Backyard, After

Backyard Horticulture

As a special addition in the backyard, Karen and Mina built these cold frame greenhouses — small enclosures used for growing and protecting delicate plants during cold or adverse weather. The tops are made from old salvaged windows, attached with hinges to the box structures, and serve as a "greenhouse roof," allowing sunlight to penetrate and warm the interior. Using these, the life of planted spring and fall vegetables can be extended further into the winter months.

Behind the Scenes

The Reveal. Karen and Mina provide a tour of the finished renovation for potential buyers, Cassie and Greg.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

A Difference of Opinion. Prior to renovation, Karen and Mina discuss the game plan for the project. Mina takes some convincing in terms of the overall feasibility.

Karen:  "In my mind, this house is already done — and it's amazing and beautiful, and it's going to be her absolute favorite."

Mina:  "I'll get there. I'm just not there."

Behind the Scenes

Mina and construction crew-member Jim work on the roof decking for the new addition at the rear of the house.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

New Neighborhood Gem

Karen and Mina purchased the Parkway duplex from the city for $4000. The renovations, extensive as they were, actually came in slightly under the original estimate at around $175,000 — for a total investment of around $180,000. They were able to list the house and sell it for $225,000 for proceeds, after fees and closing costs, of more than $25,000.

Afterword

If you enjoyed this Good Bones renovation, we think you'd probably also like this one: 
The Big House on Sanders Street

And keep checking back here for more new galleries, videos and show updates.

Next Up

'Good Bones' Season Two is Headed Your Way

Those mighty Indy women, Mina and Karen, are back for a second season of home renos and rescues in their city's historic neighborhoods.

Good Bedroom Color Schemes

To find the perfect color scheme for your bedroom, start with the colors you love.

How to Get Rid of Moles

Don't let these burrowing varmints turn your lawn into their playpen.

Find Your Design Style + Toast Your Good Taste

Whether your design style is classic or contemporary, looks to the future or is a blast from the past — there’s a cocktail for that! Take our quiz to learn which style suits you best, then whip up one of our delish cocktails and toast to your good taste. Cheers!

Get Ready for Season Five of 'Fixer Upper'

Let the countdown commence, Chip and Jo fans. The season premiere is headed your way, and we've got solid hints at what you'll be seeing this season. 

Man-of-His-Word Chip Gaines Gets One Serious Haircut

He said he would, and then he did. Chip cuts off his hair (all of it!), and for the best of reasons.

How to Get Rid of Gophers, Moles and Armadillos

Learn how to drive off unwanted underground garden guests with these expert tips.