All The Drama Between Good Bones Stars Mina Starsiak And Her Mom Karen Laine

When Mina Starsiak Hawk and her mom, Karen Laine, cofounded contracting company Two Chicks and a Hammer in 2007, they could never have dreamed that this venture would one day land them a spot on one of the country's most popular cable networks. The mother-daughter duo, who specializes in turning dilapidated houses into stunning homes, became the stars of the popular HGTV show, "Good Bones," and they entertained fans with their top-notch construction skills for almost a decade.

Laine, who worked as a lawyer for most of her life, gave up her career to star in "Good Bones" with her daughter. It wasn't the easiest transition — shortly after their show got picked up by HGTV, Laine told PopSugar that her clients weren't exactly on board with her change of career. "Some of them have not reacted well. They've been very dissatisfied that I'm changing things in my life. And I get that!" she said at the time.

Laine and her daughter never aimed to become TV stars, but as fate would have it, a producer from High Noon Entertainment was intrigued by their contracting company and messaged Starsiak Hawk, asking if she and her mother would be interested in taking their home renovations on screen. One very successful Skype meeting later, the two were ready to take the world by storm; but fame has been hard on Starsiak Hawk and Laine's relationship, and plenty of drama unfolded behind the scenes during the show's eight-season run.

Mina Starsaik and Karen Laine have had a challenging relationship since Mina was a kid

While many fans only became aware of the tension between Mina Starsiak Hawk and her mom, Karen Laine, after they started their show "Good Bones," the two have long had a tricky relationship. "We always have these ups and downs. That's how mom and I have been, honestly, since I was like six," Starsiak Hawk told Women Lifestyle exclusively in 2021. What makes the relationship with her mom all the more tricky is the fact that Starsiak Hawk can't really point out what caused the rift between them in the first place. "It's not been one thing that my mom and I can go back to, and I can say, 'Okay, I forgive you and we're going to go past this one thing," she explained in an episode of her podcast, "Mina AF." "It's a cumulative situation from the time I can remember when I was 3, of things that have created the situation that we're in now, and it's incredibly hard to undo," she continued.

Even though the mother-daughter duo appeared to make a mean team on "Good Bones," they continued to face challenges in their relationship. In the podcast episode, Starsiak Hawk said that, while she is willing to accept responsibility for the role she might have played in the demise of her and her mother's relationship, Laine doesn't exactly want to take the same accountability.

Mina Starsiak didn't like her mother's second husband

After Karen Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk's father split up, things between Laine and Starsiak Hawk became even more complicated. Starsiak Hawk went to live with her dad instead of her mom after the divorce. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because Starsiak Hawk didn't take a liking to the man Laine remarried.

While making an appearance on the "At Home with Linda & Drew Scott" podcast, Starsiak Hawk revealed that she was not a fan of Laine's second husband. She didn't elaborate, but she did admit that because she never developed a good relationship with him, she rarely went to visit her mom after the divorce. "I didn't see her for a while because I took issue with her husband. I was probably 10-ish, so that was the first of a period of kind of like ups and downs in our relationships," she told the Scotts. Starsiak Hawk turned out to be the only one of her siblings who stopped visiting her mother. "My brothers, you know, they're boys, it's just different, but they always kept going," she said.

Starsiak Hawk only started visiting Laine regularly after she got married to her third husband, whom Starsiak Hawk described as "a really nice gentleman who's a judge." Despite her mother's new husband, she chose to continue living with her dad.

Karen Laine was more of a friend than a mom to Mina Starsiak

When "Good Bones" star Mina Starsiak Hawk was growing up, she felt that Karen Laine could be more like a friend than a mom. This would continue to affect their relationship as Starsiak Hawk got older; Laine was the parent who would let her daughter get away with things her father wouldn't. During her interview with the "At Home with Linda & Drew Scott" podcast, Starsiak Hawk said that her mom was pretty lenient when she was a teenager. "I'd have a party and get into trouble and my mom would pick my friends and me up and talk to the cops, whatever... So she was kind of like the fun parent in high school," she said.

Speaking to People in 2023, Starsiak Hawk said that her siblings are much closer to Laine. While she and her mom developed a stronger bond years down the road, they never quite managed to completely mend their relationship. "When we became close, we became close as friends. We never were really close as, 'You are my mom; you take care of me. I'm your daughter; I look to you to be a safe place,'" she explained. She added that many fans of "Good Bones" have a warped view of the dynamic she has with her mom in real life because it isn't as simple and effortless as it always appears on screen.

Their relationship took a hit after Karen Laine tried to file for custody of Mina Starsiak

While Mina Starsiak Hawk saw her mother, Karen Laine, as the cool parent in high school, that perception quickly changed when her father landed a new job that required him to move. Starsiak Hawk was just about to finish her junior high school year when her relationship with her mom hit another snag. "When he moved, my mom tried to get custody of me," Starsiak Hawk said on the "At Home with Linda & Drew Scott" podcast. Her father wouldn't budge, and Laine ended up taking the matter to court. 

Starsiak Hawk was anything but happy when all of this went down. "I'm sure she thought she was doing the best thing, but because of where our relationship was, I kind of felt like, you know, you've not really been a mom. Like, I'm about to turn 18 and you're trying to mom me now," she explained, adding that she was already 17 at the time. When her 18th birthday rolled around, she felt relieved. "I turned 18 and pretty much was like, 'Peace. What are you going to do about it?'" she said.

The custody battle put even more strain on Starsiak Hawk and Laine's fragile relationship, and the two were at odds for some time in the aftermath. "[We] actually didn't talk for a couple years," Starsiak Hawk told Linda and Drew Scott, adding that she continued to stay at her dad's house after he moved.

Filming Good Bones put a lot of strain on their relationship

Mother-daughter relationships can be tricky under the best of circumstances, but throw in a reality TV show, and you've got yourself a pressure cooker that's bound to flip its lid at some point. In one of the episodes of her podcast, "Mina AF," Mina Starsiak Hawk explained that once upon a time, she believed she and Karen Laine could overcome any conflict that might come their way thanks to the show. Alas, while they did make it through eight seasons of "Good Bones," it wasn't with their relationship intact. "I just wish I had known how bad it could be," she said on another episode of her podcast.

When Starsiak Hawk and Laine spoke to IndyStar in 2016, the former said that she and her mom needed regular breaks from each other and that the show made that hard to do. "Any mother-daughter duo who says they'd love to work together only says that because they haven't done it!" Laine quipped during an interview with PopSugar in 2015.

While they seemed to joke about the strain on their relationship back then, it soon wasn't funny anymore. Starsiak Hawk admitted that, during the show's eight seasons, she and her mom were constantly at odds. "There were definitely some challenging [moments] because my mom and I were in some of the most challenging places I felt we've been. [We had] a knockdown drag-out [fight] during demo," she told People in 2023.

Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine's different communication styles caused tension on set

Apparently, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine couldn't be more different when it comes to the way they tackle projects, and this appears to have been the root cause for most of their disagreements on "Good Bones." At least, that's what their co-star and the interior designer on "Good Bones," Michael MJ Coyle told Starsiak Hawk on her podcast, "Mina AF."

Coyle was answering fan questions, and one person asked him what his experience was working with Starsiak Hawk and Laine. Starsiak Hawk responded first, saying that she and her mom are very different people. Coyle agreed, explaining that he had a unique relationship with each of them. "I hope this comes off as a compliment, but you are a little bit more predictable on a day-to-day basis," he told Starsiak Hawk, explaining that his way of doing things is similar to hers. "So, it was easier for me to understand your wants, your needs, your general immediacy and policy and how you like things done, because I was like, 'She likes things done the same way I do," Coyle explained.

Understanding Laine's way of doing things was more challenging for Coyle. "It's like she really wants people to understand things that are completely un-understandable. As creative and incredible as she is, getting on the same page as her can be very difficult," he said, adding, "Once you're on that page, the pages just start flipping and flying."

The mother-daughter duo have had some good drama on set as well

While Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine don't always get along, they've had their good moments while working on "Good Bones," and some of these behind-the-scenes shenanigans were quite hilarious.

When the mother-daughter duo sat down for an interview with House Beautiful in 2018, they talked about one hilarious moment fans never got to see which occurred during the duo's first renovation. Starsiak Hawk explained that she and her mom were installing bamboo floors for the first time, and they were kind of winging it. "We didn't cut out openings for the HVAC return and vents, we just covered them. ... We got the manual nail gun, not the air-powered pneumatic guy," Starsiak Hawk explained. Now, manual nail guns work with a strike plate, and while she was operating the gun, Starsiak Hawk's aim was off and she missed the strike plate, hitting herself with the hammer on her ankle instead. Ouch!

Laine started laughing uncontrollably before meeting her own fate. "[She] stumbled backwards — and because the hole for the HVAC return wasn't cut out, she fell about five feet down the return hole and bruised her whole leg up. So she's peeing her pants, half crying, half laughing. I'm peeing my pants laughing at her, because she's down in the hole and it was immediate karma, and it was just...it was just a sh** show," Starsiak Hawk recalled. We'd pay good money to see footage of that moment.

Mina Starsiak didn't invite her mom to her son's birthday party

In the days leading up to her son's 5th birthday, Mina Starsiak Hawk was having a hard time deciding whether she should invite her mom to the birthday party. She shared this conundrum with fans on an August 2023 episode of her podcast, "Mina AF." "My mom and I aren't in a great place," she admitted during the episode, adding that the same could be said of her relationship with her brothers. She was worried about the day turning sour because of them not getting along. "We don't really engage much and the last engagement wasn't super positive, and that was maybe a year ago," she said. Starsiak Hawk also noted that while she did have some reservations about inviting her mom to her kid's party, she wasn't trying to keep her mom away from her children.

In the end, Starsiak Hawk opted not to invite any of her family members to the birthday gathering. She explained this in a follow-up episode, admitting that the issues she and her mom have come from both sides. "You can still judge me for not inviting my mom to Jack's birthday party," she said. "You can dislike me for it. You can still think I'm the problem, which I'm for sure part of the problem. I'm working on it." She also told her listeners that her mother didn't acknowledge her 2-year-old daughter's birthday in September and that it broke her heart.

Mina Starsiak has tried to play nice

Many families have that one person who tries to keep the peace and encourages everyone to get along, and in Mina Starsiak Hawk's family, that person is her father. However, Starsiak Hawk's messy dynamic with her mother, Karen Laine, can loom large over these get-togethers. 

During an episode of "Mina AF," Starsiak Hawk said that, when they do have family gatherings, she, her mom, and her brothers all try to stay on good behavior. "We all act nice and like normal adult humans because this is an important thing for a handful of different people. I think at the top of that list is my dad," she said. "Whenever there's an event, we all put our big kid pants on and pretend to be nice to each other and do the event, and then go back to our corners of the universe and talk sh** about each other," she continued.

Starsiak Hawk admitted that she doesn't like this setup and that it feels inauthentic. At family holidays, for example, they put on smiles and pretend they don't notice the conflict that'd been swept under the rug. While the end might justify the means, she questioned whether this just makes their family even more dysfunctional than she initially thought.

Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine don't talk much these days

Casual fans might not know this, but the first episode of "Good Bones'" Season 8 run was rigged with tension. Right before the cameras started rolling, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine had a falling-out, and the whole time they were filming, Starsiak Hawk wondered whether viewers would be able to tell that she and Laine had a spat moments before. "And of course, you can't because that's the idea. People... that's not why they're tuning in to watch 'Good Bones.' That's not what they want," she told People in 2023, admitting that every season of the show had been extra challenging because of her and Laine's differences.

In an October 2023 episode of her podcast, "Mina AF," Starsiak Hawk revealed that while they were still very much estranged, she'd recently heard from Laine. "I got a text from my mom this morning saying maybe we should talk," she told listeners during the episode. "We do not talk," she admitted. "We haven't in a long time. It was early this morning, and I just didn't really know what to do with it." She didn't elaborate on whether she planned to take Laine up on the offer, but we hope that the mother-daughter duo can find a way to deal with their differences. After all, they managed to pull off an eight-season HGTV show. Nothing's impossible.