Tour Ben and Erin Napier's Charming Mississippi Home

Because seeing their designs for other homeowners on HGTV isn't enough.

mississippi-home
Ben and Erin Napier

You've seen Erin's designs and Ben's handiwork on Home Town, but now you can get a behind-the-scenes peek at the house the HGTV stars call home. The story of how the Napiers acquired their 1925 Craftsman-style house in their beloved town of Laurel, Mississippi, is like something straight out of a movie. Erin had dreamed of living in it since she was a little girl growing up in the small southern city.

When she was all grown up and on a walk with her husband, Ben, she saw then-owner Mary Lyn on the porch and told her how much she admired her house. Naturally, because Laurel is seemingly the friendliest town in the USA, Mary Lyn invited them in for a tour, where they fell even more in love with the property. As they left, the newlyweds told her "if she ever decided to move, to please call us because we would love to buy it," Erin wrote on her blog.

"Not two weeks later, Mrs. Mary Lyn's daughter called to ask if we would seriously like to buy it because she's tired of keeping up a yard and is thinking of moving into a condo where she won't have to worry about a thing." The Napiers jumped at the chance and landed their dream house, which they proceeded to renovate into a home. Here's a look at the gorgeous rooms inside.

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White Picket Fence (and Pups)

#welcomewagon

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We can't imagine a friendlier welcome than a classic white picket fence (and the couple's two adorable Great Pyrenees pups: Baker, a rescue, and Chevy, who came from a working farm).

Front Porch

Big gave all the white trim and columns a fresh coat of paint and I'll be dadgum if it doesn't look like a new house! Giving the oil enamel on the floor 2 days to dry and cure is the hardest part. #weekendwarriors

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An expansive porch with stately white columns provides plenty of space for the Napiers to entertain their family — and their "framily," as they call their close friends with whom they run their storefront, Laurel Mercantile. 

I know @ernapier posted one similar to this, but she wasn't in it. This porch and this day are a lot prettier with her in the frame. My artist girl. #iliveinlaurel

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It's also the perfect place for Erin to work on her art — and for the couple to enjoy romantic dinners together.

Entryway

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. (📷 by @jallsopp) #HGTVHomeTown #iliveinlaurel #HGTV

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Covered in nostalgic family photos, the foyer looks like a great big hug greeting you as you walk in the door. You'll notice the only rooms not painted white in the Napiers' house are "pass through" rooms like this one. Erin calls Sherwin Williams' Dover White her "spirit color."

Thanks for the perfect rug, @adamtrest 😍

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Expertly layered rugs lead to a home office (straight) and the living room (left).

Living Room

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. 9 more days until #HGTVHomeTown, y'all! #HGTV #iliveinlaurel (📷 by @jallsopp)

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This has to be one of the coziest spaces we ever did see. Inspired by the living room in Something's Gotta Give, Erin and Ben filled it with a coastal striped cotton rug, comfy white furniture and a wall of built-in bookcases.

I'm going to decorate that tree. And I'm going to church. But it's so hard to turn off the Royal Tenenbaums right now. See y'all at @laurelmercantile today from 1-5! (P.s.- Best English muffin I've ever tasted thanks to @gautraud and @carlygautraud)

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On the opposite wall is a lovely fireplace.

Dining Room

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 and made two simple slate blue rows of stitches down the center that sort of mimic the 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. 13 days till #HGTVHomeTown! Click the link in my profile and like the official page for updates and whatnot. I just can't thank y'all enough for following along with us here. #HGTV #iliveinlaurel (📷 by @jallsopp)

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"Our dinner table was the first piece of furniture [Ben] ever built," Erin captioned this photo. "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."

Here's another side of the dining room with the mission style oak buffet we found at a flea market that I considered restaining... Then didn't because I think I love it just the way it is. My aunt Mae thinks that's a painting of @scotsman.co's dad and a race horse, but it was actually a prop from a certain TV series and if you recognize it I'll give you $5 and a bowl of chili. It's important to be authentic about the things you love and put in your home. Be weird! Be you! It'll all come together to paint a rich, beautiful story. 12 days till #HGTVHomeTown! #HGTV #iliveinlaurel

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On the other side of the dining room sits an oak buffet Erin scored at a flea market. Above it, "My aunt Mae thinks that's a painting of [Ben]'s dad and a race horse, but it was actually a prop from a certain TV series and if you recognize it I'll give you $5 and a bowl of chili," Erin wrote. "It's important to be authentic about the things you love and put in your home. Be weird! Be you! It'll all come together to paint a rich, beautiful story." (Oh, and if you're curious — that TV series is The Sopranos!)

Kitchen

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. #HGTVHomeTown #iliveinlaurel #HGTV (📷 by @jallsopp)

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You're looking at the only room in the Napiers' house that was completely renovated upon move-in. But thrifty Erin and Ben did it affordably, with butcher block countertops from IKEA, mismatched antique drawer pulls and a refrigerator cabinet — designed by Erin and built by Ben, of course.

Billie Holiday + biscuits 📷: @bethmorganphotography

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Can these two get any cuter?

Laundry Room

When your #wife says she wants #builtins in her laundry room, you give her built-ins. #ScotsmanCo

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"When your #wife says she wants #builtins in her laundry room, you give her built-ins," Ben wrote in this photo's caption. Good man. 

Office

This is the office, but for whatever reason this is the room people always gravitate to when they come over. Because it's dark and cozy at night, it's easy to get sleepy in the cushy sofa and armchair. Every morning I brush off the dirt and sawdust from @btnapier's boots, because he lays on it with his legs hanging over the arm, dozing while I blog at my oak craigslist desk where I've written the bulk of 2,212 posts about the best thing that happened that day. In this room, the only art on the walls are the maps of all our favorite places we've ever been framed by @scotsman.co with wood taken from my great grandparents' now-dismantled Victorian farmhouse. We happened upon the @annieselkeco outlet one snowy day in western Massachusetts with @malraz and I came home with my favorite Pine Cone Hill quilt for a song. On the other wall is a piano and a dust-covered Tori Amos songbook that's ready to play whenever I am. 11 days until #HGTVHomeTown and I'll see y'all tomorrow at lunch on periscope for a convertible ride around our neighborhood! #iliveinlaurel #HGTV (📷 by @jallsopp)

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The office is where Erin has written a majority of her blog posts about the best things that happen daily, where she plays gorgeous covers on the piano (yep, she's gifted musically, too!), and, as she wrote, "for whatever reason ... the room people always gravitate to when they come over." We think the warm, inviting colors and maps of their favorite places (framed with wood from Erin's great grandparents' old Victorian farmhouse) might have something to do with it.

Half Bath

GUYS... It's 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. #iliveinlaurel #HGTV

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You'd probably never guess that this New England cottage-style half-bath under the stairs used to be a narrow closet. A high shelf holds "travel jars" filled with sand and pebbles, labeled for the locations where they were gathered.

Stairs

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. More on that tomorrow! (📷 by @jallsopp) #HGTVHomeTown #iliveinlaurel #HGTV

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A few simple updates was all this stairwell needed. The quaint glass doors that lead upstairs are original to the house, but Ben removed the carpet from the steps, installed panel moulding and gave everything a fresh coat of white paint.

Bedroom

Our bedroom usually has a couple pair of size 14 work boots laying around that I stump 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. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks until #HGTVHomeTown! #iliveinlaurel #HGTV (📷 by @jallsopp)

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"We couldn't find an antique iron bed to fit [6'6", 300-pound Ben], but this reproduction struck my fancy," Erin wrote. "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 [Ben] snores."

Sconces. My favorite member of the lighting family.

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I'm ready for floppy hat adventures. ☀️

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Backyard

It's an early morning with @bankofamerica for live interviews all over the country today! 😴

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Just look at that green, green grass!

Hey yaw 🐶 #myfatty

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He appears to be saying, "Thanks for stopping by!"

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