INTERVIEW: Mina Starsiak Hawk Designs Bedroom for Child Cancer Patient

Mina Starsiak Hawk in Luke's new bedroom

Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special Spaces Mina Starsiak Hawk in Luke's new bedroom

A lot of HGTV hosts care deeply about the communities they are working in, and Mina Starsiak Hawk of “Good Bones” is no exception. The Indianapolis native is always looking for ways to get involved in and give back to the community which she tries to preserve and rebuild on “Good Bones” with her mother, Karen Laine.

In a new partnership with Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special Spaces, Starsiak Hawk recently worked to help design a bedroom makeover for a 10-year-old, Luke, who is currently battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Starsiak Hawk spoke with Heavy about how she got involved in the project and what working with Luke’s family has taught her.

Read below for a portion of this interview, as well as photos of Luke’s completed bedroom.

Mina Starsiak Hawk Did a Deep Dive on WWII Jets For Inspiration

Luke's finished room

Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special SpacesLuke’s finished room

Mina Starsiak Hawk has a lot on her plate, with her spinoff “Good Bones: Risky Business” recently over and season seven of “Good Bones” still airing, in addition to ongoing construction work, but she said she really wanted to make time for this project with Luke, telling Heavy that her business, Two Chicks and a Hammer, is “asked to be a part of a lot of nonprofits, a lot of good causes, and anything with kids or animals I am always drawn to and always try to figure out a way to be a part of in some way, shape, or form.”

While she is fortunate to not be directly impacted by childhood cancer in her immediate family, Starsiak Hawk understands that battling the disease can add an unimaginable weight to all of those affected, including the patient, their family, loved ones, and caretakers.

“It’s just a lot of weight on everyone’s shoulders,” Starsiak Hawk adds, “so being able to do anything, even in a small way, to maybe make at least a day a little bit better is the least that I think anyone can do.”

For the design of Luke’s room, Starsiak Hawk had to make sure the room was fun for Luke but also functional for him, his caretakers, and any medications or equipment he would need during the course of his treatment.

“It’s not just designing a room that a kid’s gonna love, but one that makes sense. Are they maybe bedridden right now? How many medications do they need to keep? How does it need to be organized? Do they have oxygen or other machines in their room? That’s something that’s totally new to me,” Starsiak Hawk said, adding that Special Spaces was a big help in this area, “[Luke] loves World War II aircraft carriers, and the fighter jets, so I went down the rabbit hole looking up his favorite ones and finding fun things, whether that was wall art, or bedding, or curtains. It’s fun when you’re working with a kid because you can go in all in on a theme, whereas adults, it’s just not that whimsical.”

The finished room includes murals of all different kinds of battleships and jets, and a lot of other small touches, such as model planes, embroidered pillows, a comfortable chair, and a desk off of Luke’s vision board for the room.

Mina with the Special Spaces team

Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special SpacesMina with the Special Spaces team

Mina Starsiak Hawk Didn’t See the Finished Bedroom Until the Big Reveal

Luke's new bed

Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special SpacesLuke’s new bed

In speaking with Heavy, Starsiak Hawk said she learned a lot during this project about including functionality in her design, but the biggest lesson she is taking away from this is “an even greater perspective on life.”

“Luke is actively in treatment,” Starsiak Hawk told Heavy, “So that was incredibly eye-opening to be closer to that than I had experienced so far in my life.”

While Starsiak Hawk is often extremely hands-on and involved in every project she embarks on in “Good Bones”, she didn’t help much with the actual transformation of Luke’s bedroom, beyond the design of course, thanks to the huge team of volunteers who pitched in, saying, “There are people that work for Special Spaces that all come in to do special projects, so it really was making room for everyone who wants to be able to help and do something meaningful. So there’s been a lot of people actually doing the physical part of it after I worked on the design. It’s been really cool and a big group effort.”

Mina with Luke and his family in his brand new room

Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Special SpacesMina with Luke and his family in his brand new room

READ NEXT: HGTV’s Mina Starsiak Hawk Announces New Podcast ‘Mina AF’

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