Erin and Ben Napier have quickly become HGTV’s Southern sweethearts. With heartwarming renovations on “Home Town” and their spin-off “Home Town Takeover,” the Laurel, MS, couple fill their shows with heart, warm design styles, and a deep appreciation for not-so-sleepy small-town life.
And now, Ben and Erin are busier than ever, with a second baby girl, named Mae, and a new show, “Home Town Kickstart” (coming in spring 2022). Meanwhile, the sixth season of “Home Town” premieres on Dec. 26.
How are they juggling it all? To find out, we had a heart-to-heart with the couple about how they’re doing with two kids, what happens behind the scenes on “Home Town,” and much more you’ll be surprised to know.
Do you have a favorite renovation on ‘Home Town’ Season 6?
Ben: So far we’ve only finished five of them. Well, technically we finished nine. We filmed four episodes at the end of last season because we were going on maternity and paternity leave. We knew we were going to have a big break, so we went ahead and canned a few episodes to get ahead on the season.
Then Mae was born. We had a break, and we’ve only filmed five so far. But we’re doing a couple of personal projects, like our home in the country. It’s a little way outside of Laurel, kind of a getaway for our family. And then also we’re building a bath and body store that is a part of our company in downtown Laurel.
Congratulations on your second baby! I loved seeing Ben make Helen’s crib back in Season 2. Did you build anything special for Mae?
Ben: I wanted to build her a crib also. I presumed, well, what if one day when they’re older and they have kids of their own? Then Erin pointed out that likely neither of them will have a baby in the crib at the same time.
Erin: Not likely. I wanted them to have one heirloom crib that will always be in our family.https://08efa246417557e64c21c69cdfea18f1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Ben: That they can share.
Erin: So yeah, it’s the one crib. That’s the one that Mae is sleeping in right now, and it’s very sweet to see that Helen outgrew it and now it’s Mae’s.
Although your renovations always look beautiful now, I’m sure it wasn’t always smooth sailing. Have you done any upgrades you regret?
Erin: Our first apartment, we’re actually sitting in it right now. It has been our office for 10 years. But the kitchen backsplash, we used galvanized tin, because it’s what we could afford, but it was also sort of a trend at the moment. I wish I had not done something with a trend. I think sometimes we get caught up in what’s trendy right now. But instead, just go with what do you really love and stay authentic to that, instead of worrying about a fleeting trend that’s happening on Pinterest right now.
Ben: Yeah. That’s the only thing that we didn’t love in our first place.
Is there any upgrade or material you two are particularly loving lately?
Erin: Walnut. We used it a lot last year, and now this season I’m like, “We’re going to use it for everything.” So right now I’m loving walnut cabinets, walnut vanities, walnut medicine cabinets.
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Ben: Butcher block countertops are fixing to have a big moment, because we’re building a butcher block countertop backsplash right now.
Erin: Yes, we’re banking on it!
It’s a wild real estate market out there right now. Any advice for homebuyers?
Ben: I mean standard things, make sure you’re getting it inspected. Unless you’re getting a house that is on the verge of being torn down or it’s in really rough shape and you’re only going to spend 20 grand buying it. Then you probably know what you’re getting into. But look out for asbestos. Look out for termites.
Erin: Termites, man.
Ben: Yeah, sometimes it’s hard to find them. We just did a house on Season 6 that was so eaten up with termites that it was borderline structurally unsound. But there was no way they could have known. The homeowners couldn’t have known. We couldn’t have known until you open the walls up. It was an unfortunate event.
But you could fix just about anything in a house. Make sure you get the foundation inspected. That’s pretty much it.https://08efa246417557e64c21c69cdfea18f1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Erin, do you have a favorite DIY project from the show?
Erin: Maybe the mercury glass backsplash in Season 3. It was so easy and so cool! And you just do it with silver spray paint and vinegar. That was one of the coolest, super easy and fun.
A lot of homeowners would love to renovate but don’t have a huge budget. Any suggestions on where they should focus?
Ben: I always say focus on the kitchen. People say spend your money on kitchens or bathrooms, but I always feel like you can do a light freshen-up on a bathroom and it goes a long way. But if you really want to sink your teeth into something…
Erin: … the kitchen. That’s why you never see a “Home Town” episode where we didn’t do the kitchen!
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