HGTV star Mina Starsiak talks Good Bones Season 4 and new TV roles

Mina Starsiak and Mother Karen on the set of HGTV's Good Bones.
Mina Starsiak and Mother Karen on the set of HGTV's Good Bones. /

Good Bones has become one of HGTV’s hottest home repair series and Hidden Remote had the chance to talk with star Mina Starsiak about the show’s new season premiering May.

It’s been three years since a mother-daughter home renovation business piloted as what many are calling “the best show on HGTV…” Eleven years ago, Indianapolis natives Mina Starsiak and her mother Karen Laine began their own home renovation business. Starsiak was a waitress and her mom was a defense attorney, but after flipping their fair share of houses on Fountain Square neighborhood, the mother-daughter duo decided to makes their natural talent for home rehab into a full-fledged business. This was the catalyst that soon led to their hit show, Good Bones.

Originally called Two Chicks and a Hammer, Inc., Starsiak and Laine’s business’ Facebook page was discovered by an HGTV casting agent from High Noon Entertainment. Good Bones aired their pilot March 22, 2016, and the show is now in its fourth season, set to premiere next month. 13 million viewers now tune in every Tuesday night to watch Starsiak and Laine purchase dilapidated homes from their hometown and rehab them into urban, suburban models that maintain original Victorian charm.

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While part of the show’s appeal stems from its shock factor–Starsiak unloading broken freezers filled with rotting meat, Laine making impromptu hospital visits and uncovering animal skeletons–what seems to set the show apart is the focus on family. Starsiak’s half-brother Tad leads the demo crew, their head contractor Lenny is Tad’s step-father, and now Starsiak even brings her new baby on set to be a part of all the action.

And there’s even more coming down the pike for the Good Bones stars as they help to reboot TLC’s While You Were Out and get the chance to rehab one of the most iconic houses in television history on A Very Brady Renovation.

Hidden Remote had the chance to interview Starsiak in her home garage and talk about what viewers can expect with Good Bones Season 4, what it’s been like to renovate The Brady Bunch house and the wild journey these past 11 years have been.

Hidden Remote: It’s been quite the ride with you and your mom Karen’s renovation adventures, from starting out with your own personal business in 2008 to staring in what many are saying is now HGTV’s biggest hit show which is amazing! Can you talk about what this journey has been like for you and your mom?

Mina Starsiak: It’s been interesting. It’s been a whirlwind. When we got the pilot, we were told ‘Nothing is ever going to happen.’ And then we got season one and ‘Nothing more is ever going to happen.’ And apparently we didn’t mess up! We’re entertaining enough. We just wrapped season four…and hopefully we will be moving on to a season five.”

Hidden Remote: Why did people think nothing was ever going to happen with the show?

Starsiak: I think they set those expectations very low. The producers and the network, they don’t want to say, ‘This is great! You might get it!’ and then you don’t. So I think that’s just part of the protocol. [HGTV] make something like 6,000 pilots a year and maybe one becomes a show, or two. So the odds were not in our favor. But it worked!

Mina Starsiak and mother Karen on the set of HGTV’s Good Bones. Photos via HGVT.
Mina Starsiak and mother Karen on the set of HGTV’s Good Bones. Photos via HGVT. /

Hidden Remote: So you had no idea that you guys would go from this pilot to being such a huge success, but the show’s done amazingly.

Starsiak: Yeah, it started because the production company found our Facebook page, so we definitely did not imagine we would ever be here.

Hidden Remote: Right, exactly. What do you think sets this show apart from other renovation shows on HGTV and what made it so successful?

Starsiak: Well, obviously mom and I are gingers which is super fun. But I think there’s a lot of interesting dynamics, different family dynamics on the network–husband and wife, brother and sister–but I think every woman can very much relate to the mother-daughter relationship and how tumultuous it can be. So I think that definitely lends itself, and we have a business that we’ve had for 11 years. It’s the worst of the worst and I think it’s probably the biggest gut-renovation that the network has in a one hour, full house. So you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Hidden Remote: Absolutely. It’s great too that it’s not only this family dynamic in the show but there’s also this message that, ‘Hey, two women can renovate an entire house and you can do it yourself.’

So, you’ve had some pretty memorable moments on Good Bones, uncovering some less-than-pleasant surprises in the homes you guys renovate. But what are some of your favorite memories on this show and what are some treasured moments?

Starsiak: I can’t spoil many things for you because the season hasn’t aired yet, but we always try to get creative. My mom’s big on finding things and redoing things with them. So i’ll give you one little teaser. She loves glass blocks, so what she decided to do what cut the glass block in half and make it into planters.

So she got a bunch of very similar herbs to this [motions to a variety of herbs based in a nearby planter] and she made about eight of them into these really cute planters, put a little bit of soil and a little bit of mulch on top and built them into this really cool craft…We’re trying to do little projects that people could do at home.

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Hidden Remote: What’s the funnest part about renovating a home and what’s the most challenging?

Starsiak: Oh gosh, the same things. Demolition is the most fun, but it’s also very challenging. I think at the end, when the house is done and you’re putting all the pretty furniture in and you’re landscaping the front yard, you’re getting sod down, a fresh flower bead with really pretty bright colors, it just makes it come to life and it helps you spruce up a space.

Obviously, curb appeal is everything…you pull up to a house and there’s nothing? Or, you have really pretty violas and this really cool whisky barrel planter and it just adds this, ‘Ok these people care. They went the extra mile, they put in this special touch.’

Mina Starsiak and mother Karen doing demolition on the set of HGTV’s Good Bones. Photos via HGVT.
Mina Starsiak and mother Karen doing demolition on the set of HGTV’s Good Bones. Photos via HGVT. /

Hidden Remote: It must be a really satisfying feeling too, going from demolishing everything to seeing a home finished and knowing that you’ve done this incredible job. 

Starsiak: It is, it’s very satisfying.

Hidden Remote: So, you and your mom are also involved in some new projects on HGTV, from While You Were Out to A Very Brady Renovation. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Starsiak: Yeah, While You Were Out was so fun. It really is a pressure cooker and I had a blast doing it. We’re still working on the Brady house through May. So, when that airs, it will be the 50th anniversary of when the show aired…I’m really, really excited for everyone to see that. I mean, down to the finest detail, it’s going to be a recreation of that sound stage that everyone saw on TV.

Hidden Remote: What’s it like working on such an iconic house like that?

Starsiak: I mean, no pressure. Whatever. Everyone knows what it is! Everyone is going to see it! So, it really is so, so detail-oriented. We’re trying everything like the toaster in the kitchen and trying to source all these things from across the country. We might be taking a road trip soon to get the refrigerator from someone who has it in Michigan. So, we’re scouring the earth.

Hidden Remote: I can imagine! And it’s so cool that you get to work with such an iconic group of people as well and this house and I can imagine that, looking back on this journey, it’s somewhat awe-inspiring. 

Starsiak: Yes, definitely. I just would never have expected to be here. It’s really cool and I’m just trying to take it all in and make the most of it.

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Good Bones season four premiers Tuesday, May 14 at 9 p.m. EST on HGTV. A Very Brady Renovation will also premier on the network for the first time this fall.

Which show are you looking forward to the most? Any other home renovation shows that have stolen your heart? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.