Erin and Ben Napier infused a new-build home with historic charm on an unusually tiny budget

'We needed every last bit of character inside': Here's how the duo cleverly brought an 'eclectic, English apothecary style' to Mississippi

Erin Napier
(Image credit: York Wallcoverings)

Erin Napier, known for her quintessential, historic style, emphasizes character in every home she designs – and her power seemingly extends to even the newest builds. The Home Town star and her husband Ben recently faced (arguably) their most ambitious project to date: a new custom-built property with an 'eclectic, English apothecary style' on a notably tight budget. 

'Our first new build and on a $150k budget, but we did all we could to infuse it with historic charms,' Erin says alongside a photo of her and Ben outside the home in question. The process, seen in its entirety on the aforementioned HGTV show, saw Ben and Erin bulldoze an unsalvageable house before decorating the inevitably modern space with classic style in mind. 

After the episode aired, Erin's decision to choose a green-and-white striped awning (instead of the architectural team's proposed wooden arch over the front stoop) sparked mixed reactions. However, she used Instagram to justify her decorating ideas while offering more insight into the project. 

'I know y’all were upset I asked for the striped awning vs. the arched porch: it was edited such that you didn’t hear the part where we learned the cost to do that (about $3500) would have made it too expensive to have any woodwork and larger trim inside,' Napier shares. 

'The juice wasn’t worth that squeeze for us – millwork is the difference between new construction and historic homes when you’re talking interiors, and with LVT floors, we needed every last bit of character inside. I love the charming awning, and it seems like they did, too.' Napier also thanked Lake + Land Studio, a Mississippi-based studio that 'are the pros at designing new old homes' – and a look through Napier's photo carousel (above) shows their work in all its glory. 

Curb appeal features aside, there's a lot to note inside the home, where the English country-inspired aesthetic comes to life. It's hard to choose exactly what feature taps into this look the most – from the neutral living room with eccentric patterned furnishings to the dark academia-style study space. However, if we had to, we'd say the green kitchen is the stand-out space.

'Green works exceptionally well in the kitchen, where its organic nature brings a feeling of health, harmony, and energy, perfect for a busy multifunctional space,' comments designer Tom Howley, an expert on British-style kitchens. 

'Dark greens such as our paint color Avocado can achieve a wonderful sense of timelessness when combined with secondary colors such as white and greige.'

We're more than happy to rewatch the episode (Old World, New Build) to confirm the green kitchen is our favorite of the spaces, however. Happy viewing to anyone following suit.

Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home by Erin Napier | $23.18 on Amazon

Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home by Erin Napier | $23.18 on Amazon
This collection of personal essays and photos reflects on what home means to Erin as her family has evolved over the years. It includes interviews with influential friends on what makes a house a home. The photos and stories throughout feature well-loved and lived-in homes that are aspirational, relatable, and imperfect.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.