‘Home Town’ Reveals a Personal Design Challenge That Erin Napier Loves

On “Home Town,” Erin and Ben Napier adore renovating old, historic homes. The challenge, though, is figuring out how to freshen up the look without erasing what’s great about the original.

In the Season 6 episode “The Zen Room,” the Napiers meet Scott and Deanna, a couple from California who plan to retire in Laurel, MS. Erin and Ben help them buy a 1915 Craftsman home for $150,000, and while Erin wants to honor this home’s history, Scott and Deanna also have a style that’s all their own.

“Our design style is eclectic,” Deanna says. “We like Spanish, Mexican influences, and we travel every year to Puerto Vallarta for our anniversary.”

Erin and Ben have $100,000 to add some Spanish style to this Craftsman, while still letting the old-fashioned architecture shine.

Read on to see how Erin and Ben incorporate new designs in an old home, with plenty of tips to help inspire you to shake up the design of your own abode.

A home’s colors should match the style of the house

blue house
This classic Craftsman home needed classic Craftsman colors.


When Erin and Ben first show their clients this home, they know Scott and Deanna won’t be impressed by the light blue exterior. Erin points out that while this is certainly a Craftsman-style home, the house doesn’t have the fun color palette one would expect. Erin thinks she can give this home some new colors that will satisfy both its historical integrity as well as Scott and Deanna’s sense of style.

Craftsman house
After: With new colors, this house looks like a true Craftsman.


“I wanted to use a very truly historic 1920s Craftsman color palette, but that also works with this style that I know you love, which is Mexican-inspired,” Erin explains about her color choice. “These rich, like, terra-cotta tones. So I want to paint the house a very deep, rusty red-brown and then an ecru color on all the trim and an avocado color on the windows and front door.”

Once the exterior is finished, it’s clear that these colors really add personality to this house. They suit not only its history, but also the style of the new homeowners.

Connect new details with old features

dining room window
Before: Erin Napier wanted to copy this dining room window.


Erin wants to update Deanna and Scott’s front porch by adding a railing, but she doesn’t want this modern addition to seem out of place. So she designs a railing that will match one of the original features of the house.

“The front porch rail is going to have the X pattern that you see in the dining room window,” Erin says. “And I feel like that’ll be a nice moment of connection between what we’re doing that’s new and what’s original to the house. So then hopefully, it feels like that handrail has always been there.”

This new railing seems like it could have always been part of the house.


When the new railing is installed, it adds some visual interest to the entrance and makes the porch a cozier spot to hang out.

“The thing about the railing is it made it feel finished,” Erin says.

Incorporate sentimental pieces wherever possible

This fireplace was plain.



In the living room, Erin and Ben plan to redo the fireplace by adding some unique tiles from Deanna and Scott’s personal collection. They include tiles with a cactus, a wagon wheel, and even a skull. It’s not a typical tile choice, but Erin loves the challenge.

“I love it so much when people have something to give us that’s personal that we can design around,” Erin says.

To finish the fireplace, she also incorporates some dramatic, dark green tiles.

After: The colorful tiles on the fireplace are a nice contrast to the orange walls.


unique tile
These colorful tiles add a personal touch to the living room.


Saltillo tiles can add warmth to a kitchen

This kitchen had an odd layout and, even worse, laminate floors.


Scott and Deanna explain that they don’t want a formal dining room, saying they’d rather use the space for something else.

“We came from a house where we had a Zen room. It was kind of our quiet room,” Scott says.

Still, Erin points out that they “gotta eat somewhere,” and luckily their kitchen is large enough to also serve as a dining space.

There’s only one thing that absolutely has to go: the drab laminate floor. Erin replaces it with elegant Saltillo tiles.

“These Saltillo tiles are truly handmade,” Erin explains. “There is a ton of imperfection, which, to me, is perfection.”

updated kitchen
After: The Saltillo tile flooring warms up the kitchen.


Once installed, this tile flooring gives off Spanish vibes and serves to remind homeowners that there are many flooring options besides hardwood.

Go bold with cabinet colors

kitchen counter
This kitchen looks great with open shelves, a new counter, and blue cabinets.


To finish this kitchen, Erin surprises herself when it comes to cabinet color.

“I chose a cobalt blue for the cabinets, which is not in my usual wheelhouse,” she says. “This is not the norm for me.”

Still, she goes ahead with the color choice, impressing Deanna and Scott with the bold look. And surprisingly, their bold color helps complement the Saltillo tile floors.

The post ‘Home Town’ Reveals a Personal Design Challenge That Erin Napier Loves appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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