Quick heads up to tell you about an hour-long original pilot called Home Town that’s airing on HGTV this Sunday, January 24 at 11am CST! Thanks to an insta-introduction by another Instagrammer I follow, I e-met this cutie pie couple (Ben and Erin Napier) a couple of days ago:
I had SO much fun scrolling through their photos and was pumped to read about their new show, Home Town.
I reached out to Erin and she said that in their pilot episode, they help bring new-to-towners, Ross and Laura Tew, into the fold of their quirky, lovable neighborhood, by working together with a team of local architects, builders and craftsmen, to restore an old house for them to call home.
On her blog Erin says, “Ben and I aren’t home flippers, we’re just a woodworker and an artist who love our town and want to see it brought back to life the way it was in it’s hey-day…and with the help of our friends, we’ll do just that.”
Here are some photos of Ben and Erin’s house that I pulled over (with permission from Erin!) from their Instagram feed. I also included Erin’s captions so you could get a feel for her sunny personality. 🙂
“Y’all come in! Every room in our house is white with exception of the “pass through” rooms like the entryway, where I hope anyone walking in the door immediately feels cozy and welcomed. You won’t find photos of @btnapier and me because our walls are covered with the people we love, our grandparents and parents, holding watermelons proudly beside a lake in 1949, riding bicycles in rolled up jeans, posing with an English setter and an awkward haircut, laughing, holding up blue crabs on some distant dock. Our people were young and silly and adventurous, they shaped who we are and what we become, and their presence everywhere we turn makes home feel the way it should–the most comfortable place where we can be ourselves. Each frame has a tiny brass label holder with that branch of the family’s surname so people can say “Oh Ben! You have her eyes!” Or “Your brother stands just like that too!” The entry paint is Java by Eddie Bauer. Sometimes it’s grey, sometimes it’s green or brown. @scotsman.co made the screen doors to the porch and in the spring and fall, I love to hear that creeeeeeak SMACK of coming and going.”
“Our kitchen was the only room in the house that got a total renovation when we bought it in 2011. The butcher block countertops were a steal from Ikea and we found the antique drawer and door pulls at an architectural salvage shop in Boston. They’re assorted and mismatched- some are brass, some are enameled, and each one is my favorite. My favorite Mississippi artist is Walter Anderson, so we hung his alligator and Ocean Springs prints above the fridge and by the back door. I designed a refrigerator cabinet and @scotsman.co built it just the way I dreamed. It’s weird, but when I daydream about home, I imagine cutting lemons at the sink.”
“The breakfast room with the butler’s pantry and all that original old wavy glass in the cabinet doors made my heart beat fast the first time sweet Mrs. Mary Lyn gave us a tour of the house. When we bought the house, we changed the light fixture and cabinet hardware and filled the shelves with all the white and aqua ceramic dinnerware I made in my senior year ceramics class at Ole Miss. The little antique oak table and chairs came with the house since they’re such a perfect fit in the breakfast nook.”
“And now that I’ve recovered from The Revenant, back to our regularly scheduled house tour programming! ? I felt so inspired by the living room in Something’s Gotta Give and took a few cues from the set including the Dash and Albert striped cotton rug. Our house originally had no bookcases, so we added a wall of built ins surrounding the French doors to the dining room and filled them with Southern noir, art history, books about old Florida and lots and lots of fiction. There may or may not be a framed photo of Ernest Hemingway hanging amongst the family pictures and the books. You know, crazy old Uncle Papa.”
“Our dinner table was the first piece of furniture @scotsman.co ever built. Now he’s embarrassed by how primitive it is, but to me it’s a treasure. The top is made from my parents’ old back porch flooring that they replaced and the legs are their old front porch columns, so in that way, I always have a piece of my childhood home here with me. The 13-star centennial replica flag from the early 1900s was an estate sale find for $3, and the chairs came from flea markets from Biloxi to Virginia. As long as they were super sturdy and had a nice, early American shape, we bought them all for around $20 each. The original WWII Red Cross ad with its cloth backing is one of my favorite things in our house. The French grain sack upholstered wingback chair came from@southernantiques, just around the corner from our shop, and my mama @kcrasberry made the table runner from a drop cloth. It has two simple slate blue rows of stitches down the center that sort of mimic the wingback chair. Our house is very informal and it’s important that all of our closest can gather around the table when they come over for dinner.”
“14 days until #HGTVHomeTown airs! I think you’re gonna love the Tews house, but for a few more days I’ll be walking you through ours. We lived here for two years before we turned the long, narrow closet under the stairs into a half bath right off the office. It was so narrow and the ceiling sloped all the way down to the floor which made it pretty unusable once it was full of stuff. I wanted it to feel like a New England cottage, though most people say it reminds them of being on an old boat. We painted the walls high gloss Dover White, the ceiling Nantucket Gray (like the hallway) and @scotsman.co made a shelf around the top that keeps our collection of travel jars that hold pebbles, sand, and tags with the location of all the places we’ve been. We found the little antique cast iron sink hidden under the leaves at my grandparents’ old farm in the woods and refinished it for the bathroom. The mirror came out of the old grey house @btnapier lived in in college. He took it with him when we graduated, because we are embarrassingly sentimental. There are bookshelves with Hemingway and Larry Brown, portraits of presidents, sea captains and war generals. We never miss the storage.”
“Our bedroom usually has a couple pair of size 14 work boots laying around that I stub my toes on in the night. We couldn’t find an antique iron bed to fit @scotsman.co, but this reproduction struck my fancy. I keep it dressed in linen that’s cool in the Mississippi summer, but plenty warm in the winter, with an extra blanket at the foot of the bed on the old hope chest we found at a flea market. A gallery wall of old mirrors hangs beside the dresser, and the sconces keep it dim and cozy for reading at bedtime while @btnapier snores.”
“I can’t believe we finally spilled the beans yesterday. It’s so real now, and it’s killing me that we all have to wait and see which house Ross and Laura will pick on Home Town in a couple weeks, so to pass the time…I’ll just be sharing some interiors of our house so you’ll get to know our style before the big day! The glass doors on our stairs are original to the house from 1925. @scotsman.co pulled up the carpet that was covering them, made panel moulding for the stairwell and then gave it all a fresh coat of Sherwin Williams Dover White semi gloss. You’re gonna see a lot of Dover White up in here. It’s my spirit color. We hung art from my favorite old @thedecemberists album, The Crane Wife, and filled the stairs with black and white photos of our parents and siblings. I believe your home should reflect your history more than decor trends.”
(Note about the doors: They don’t latch- they just swing. They are original to the house and they were used to regulate the temperature between the upstairs and downstairs back in the day. What’s extra awesome is that Ben and Erin are still using them for that purpose today. Erin said they rarely go upstairs, so keeping them closed helps keep the first floor stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.)
I’m hoping their pilot episode does well, and that HGTV picks up the series because, based on their spirit and style, I just *know* I’d love it! We’ll be at church when the pilot airs on Sunday, but I’ve got our DVR set to record it, and because I know the network will track how many people actually tune in while the episode is airing, I’m going to leave my TV on while we’re gone that morning too! 😀 (If you have a chance to watch or record it (or let your pets watch it while you’re at church- ha!), I know they’d sure appreciate the support, too!)
…and speaking of renovations: y’all we have some EXCITING things going on in our living room right now. One planned project has spiraled into four unplanned updates that have TOTALLY amped up the personality factor of the room! I’ve got one more thing to paint, and then I’ll snap some photos and blog about what we’re up to. So excited to share the new ideas with you next week!