Good Bones: The Tiny Victorian on Woodlawn Ave.

Mina and Karen rescue a small and dilapidated Victorian on the outskirts of Indy’s Fountain Square district, transforming it into a spacious four-bedroom home with a rear addition and a bright, open floor plan.

By:
Show: Good Bones

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

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

Photo By: Mary Ann Carter/Getty Images

We Do Windows … and Lots More

Mina and Karen have some fun with paint and salvaged pieces in their warehouse. In this Good Bones project, the fearless duo goes back to Woodlawn Avenue, coming to the rescue of a Victorian era home in serious disrepair. In terms of repairs needed, peeling paint and a sagging roof were just the tip of the iceberg. Karen and Mina remained firm in their conviction that, underneath the crumbling exterior, the house did still possess promise and period charm.

Before

Once Karen was able to negotiate with local authorities to waive some city fines, Mina and Karen were able to secure this house for $40,000. The home is in rough shape, but it’s located in the East of State neighborhood, just on the outskirts of Indy’s popular Fountain Square district. At only 1780 square feet, the two-bedroom, one-bath home is one of the smallest properties Karen and Mina have taken on. The initial to-do list includes replacing the siding and sagging roof, reworking the plumbing to add functional bathrooms and dealing with the degraded front porch. Estimated cost for complete renovation, inside and out, is $160,000.

After

The exterior gets a thorough facelift, and a new life, with mint green exterior, white trim, new windows, a rebuilt front porch and the quintessential wood picket fence. 

The Nickel Tour

Ground Floor, After. The square footage of the home was increased by means of a rear two-story addition that made room for two additional upstairs bedrooms as well as this spacious, free-flowing floor plan downstairs.

The Nickel Tour

Upstairs Bedroom, After. One of two newly added bedrooms on the second floor, this one has its own full-sized guest bathroom.

The Nickel Tour

Upstairs Bedroom, After. A second upstairs bedroom is distinguished by a palette of powder blue and beige, and a decidedly cow-friendly decorative motif.

The Nickel Tour

Master Bath, After. The downstairs master bath includes a luxurious soaker tub and double vanity.

The Nickel Tour

Home Office, After. This space on the first floor, off the main living area, had been a bedroom. Though it could now easily serve as the home’s fourth bedroom, Mina and Karen have staged it as a stylish home office.

The Nickel Tour

Backyard, After. The rear of the home had been a weed-infested mess (more on that later), but is now a kid-friendly, dog-friendly backyard with new landscaping, deck and outdoor entertaining space.

Before the Renovation

Over time the house had morphed into a severely dysfunctional layout — with a front door that opened into a bedroom (!) and only a single and non-functional bathroom. Adding to the challenge, the house was still filled with piles of trash left by former tenants.

Before the Renovation

When we said that the interior was filled with piles of trash, it was no exaggeration.

Before the Renovation

A friendly but not-so-subtle message for would-be pilferers was left on a boarded-up front window.

Demo Day

Mina offers ample proof that she’s no slouch with a 10-pound sledge hammer.

Demo Day

Karen and Mina work in cahoots to remove old plaster and lath.

The Design Plan

With demo complete, Mina and Karen discuss the planned modifications to the first floor. In the new floor plan, the ground floor will be opened up and the front door will open onto the living room and an adjacent dining room. 

The Design Plan

The new living area is contiguous with an open-concept kitchen, and an addition at the rear of the house includes a large downstairs master suite complete with a luxury bath and walk-in closet. With two additional bedrooms and a new bath upstairs, the house goes from a 1-bedroom, 2-bath home to one with four bedrooms and three baths.

Kitchen, Before

As with many homes from the early 20th century, the kitchen was at the rear of the house, but the footprint of this one was relatively large. Like the rest of the house, the space was in rough condition and filled with refuse.

Kitchen, After

With the new addition at the rear of the house, the kitchen is now located at the center section of the home and, in the updated floor plan, opens onto the main living space.

Kitchen

The new kitchen features a deep farmhouse style sink, tile basket-weave pattern backsplash in gray and white and a small kitchen island with butcher-block top and casters for mobility and convenience.

Kitchen

High ceilings and double-stacked upper cabinets help make for a kitchen with a grand and dramatic feel.

Kitchen and Living Room

The space adjacent to the kitchen, which had been the back exterior of the house, is opened up to make room for a dramatic staircase, with custom open-metal railing, leading to the upstairs of the new addition.

Living Room

"This whole space, with the kitchen, staircase and hallway — I want it to feel like one space," said Mina. "It's gonna feel really nice and bright, and open and huge."

Living Room

Living Room

"We have a lot of industrial elements, some reclaimed wood, a lot of metal," said Karen. "There are bright colors. It's just fun."

Dining Room

The dining room is separate from the main living space, but adjacent to it, just inside the front entrance.

Home Office

Mina and Karen furnished and staged this downstairs room as a home office, though it could be used as a fourth bedroom. The room is separated from the main living area by pocket doors.

First Floor Bathroom

Master Bedroom

The new master suite is located on the first floor in the new addition. Large windows provide plenty of natural light. Because the houses they renovate are in downtown areas, and frequently the houses are very close together, Mina and Karen like to use high, skinny side windows for added privacy.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

An alcove in the master suite provides space for a small work desk and closet access.

Master Bath

The spacious en suite master bath features a soaking tub, double vanity and walk-in shower.

Master Bath

The double vanity includes plenty of drawer storage and towel shelf underneath.

Master Bath

Master Bath

Laundry Room

Another addition on the first floor is this laundry closet situated between the kitchen and master suite.

New Addition

Because the kitchen is located in the center of the house and has no windows, Karen and Mina wanted the stair area to remain open and well lit. The tall windows on the facing wall and open design of the custom stair railing allow plenty of natural light to flow into the space.

Upstairs Landing

Upstairs Bedroom #1

Guest bedroom #1 features powder blue walls, simple blue window treatments, a tuft-upholstered headboard, white metal chandelier and the aforementioned bovine decorating motif. There's just one thing this room needs: More cowbell!

Upstairs Bedroom #2

The second upstairs bedroom boasts a colorful, bohemian vibe, a palette of blues, greens, aqua and coral. 

Upstairs Bedroom #2

This room's thematic animal motif: things that go "woof".

Upstairs Bedroom #2

The second upstairs bedroom boasts a colorful, bohemian vibe, a palette of blues, greens, aqua and coral.

Upstairs Bedroom #2

Backyard, Before

The house came with a large backyard, but it was badly overgrown with weeds and the entire rear of the house, including windows, siding and roof, were in serious disrepair. This exterior wall would be razed to make way for the new rear addition.

Backyard, After

Even after the addition, the backyard is still large enough for four-footed friends or kids to play. New additions include a low deck with outdoor furniture, new privacy fence and raised beds for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers.

Backyard, After

New additions include a low deck with outdoor furniture, new privacy fence and raised beds for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers.

Behind the Scenes

Mina and Karen provide a tour of the finished home to prospective buyers, Stuart and Katie.

Behind the Scenes

"We can tell that Mina and Karen are really trying to change the neighborhood for the better," said Katie, and they're invested in the neighborhood."

Behind the Scenes

For the Woodlawn Victorian, Mina and Karen fashioned raised garden beds at their warehouse by upcycling old old wooden pallets.

Behind the Scenes

Creative Upcycling

The backyard features raised garden beds at their warehouse by upcycling old old wooden pallets.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Kale

The raised beds add visual interest with a colorful selection of plants including purple kale, basil and oregano.

A Kodak Moment

Karen and Mina pose for a pic in the finished living room.

Oh, Mom!

Details

Karen puts finishing touches on the kitchen staging, including a cake stand with fresh cupcakes and pastries. 

Afterword

Karen and Miina purchased the tiny Victorian for $40,000 and spent around $200,000 on renovations. They were able to list the house for $300,000 for a potential profit of around $60,000.

Careful observers might note that the house next door, on the right, is the home Karen and Mina renovated in this Good Bones project: "Rescuing the Forgotten New-Build".