Thanks to their hit HGTV show, Ben and Erin Napier have become known worldwide for renovating charming old homes in their small town of Laurel, Mississippi. But in their most significant project to date, the couple has been busy renovating a new place for their family to call home. Although the couple previously said they bought a “holiday home” in the countryside, they have in fact moved into a renovated dream home that they didn’t know existed on the outskirts of town.
The Napiers’ major move and renovation of their historic home will be detailed in a new episode of “Home Town” in early December, but Southern Living is giving fans an exclusive first look at the family’s home in the November issue, due out in October. the kiosks. 21.
In the cover story, Erin revealed that their quaint 1925 Craftsman cottage, the home she dreamed of when she was a little girl, started to get a little cramped when she and Ben welcomed their first daughter Helen in early January 2018 — especially if they stayed overnight. would have guests.
By the time they were expecting daughter Mae, who is now one and a half, it was clear they needed more space, not just inside, but outside as well. Since their old home was in downtown Laurel, the couple often talked about a weekend getaway in the countryside.
In fact, in March 2022, the pair told Heavy exclusively that they were “in the midst of” fixing up their “little getaway in the country.”
“We call it a vacation home because we never leave Laurel, and so it’s us, this is our vacation home,” Ben said at the time.
Erin shared multiple Instagram posts about the ongoing renovation in early 2022, also calling it the family’s “country house.” But it seems the couple have decided to make the Tudor their family’s primary home, in part because of all the outdoor space it offers.
“I grew up on a 40-acre chicken farm and every time a new shipment came in, I would pick a chick as my pet,” Erin told Southern Living. “My playing time consisted of climbing a lot of trees and digging for arrowheads in the forest. Our girls can’t do that in the city. I want their bathwater to be dirty at the end of the day, so it means they weren’t just playing on screens.”
The couple stumbled upon the house in the spring of 2021, when Erin was nine months pregnant with Mae. Ben showed her a real estate ad for a house she’d never seen: an old brick Tudor tucked behind rolling hills and pine trees, located on a two-lane highway just outside town.
“I fell in love right away — and that scared me to death,” she said. “I thought, ‘We don’t need another house… but maybe we do.'”
One of the things Ben loved most about the old Tudor was all the original woodwork, including huge heart-pine beams, wide plank floors, tongue-and-groove panels and custom millwork.
“It’s incredibly well built,” Ben told Southern Living. “Presumably all the wood in the whole house—the floors, the trim, the beams—was cut and milled on site. And that’s pretty cool for me as a woodworker.”
But the old house needed a lot of refurbishment. In an Instagram post on October 11, 2022, Erin said they’ve spent the past year renovating the property. Changes include a new laundry room, work on the outdoor areas, updating the verandah connected to their primary bedroom and a more functional kitchen – which was inspired by her love of the British show ‘Downton Abbey’.
“This is the only room we use constantly,” Erin said of the kitchen, the family’s favorite room in the house. “It’s all new, but I wanted it to feel like it could be from ‘Downton Abbey’ – a classic and casual English style that’s utilitarian but also a bit elegant.”
That British influence can be seen throughout the house, with hints of Southern charm merging seamlessly, such as Erin’s favorite kitchen item: the cookie painting above the kitchen door, which came from her grandmother Ouida’s house.
“One of the reasons we had to buy this house was the very British feel,” explains Erin. “It feels like you have crossed the ocean and are no longer in Mississippi. It’s like a vacation for us. All the cozy rooms with dark wood make it seem like you are sitting next to a fire – that’s the dream
for me. I love this style so much.”
The Napiers will finish filming season 6 of their hit series “Home Town” in mid-September. The first series of episodes aired until April 2022, but a new series will air later this year. While HGTV hasn’t released the premiere date yet, Erin has hinted on social media that new episodes will be released around the holiday season.
The couple told Southern Living that the episode dedicated to their new home will air in early December. With no client to impress, Ben and Erin will make a big reveal for their mothers, who were not allowed to see any progress during the renovation.