Erin Napier's key to a characterful home works in even the most minimalist of spaces

Yes, it is more than possible to introduce personality into our rooms, whatever our aesthetic may be – here's how

Erin Napier
(Image credit: York Wallcoverings)

Erin Napier is on a mission: to teach everyone how to create an imperfect home that celebrates both our heritage and current livelihoods. But how does this translate to the most minimalist of spaces?

Often exhibiting neutral color schemes, sculptural furnishings, and meticulously curated accessories, the appeal behind a minimalist living room is understandable. However, when designing under a minimal lens, it seems somewhat inevitable that we will need to hide some of our more personal items away – whether that's family heirlooms, photographs, or souvenirs. So, how can we enjoy a warming, characterful home without sacrificing this sought-after style? 

'What makes a house chic is having possessions that are meaningful: objects that came before you, that belonged to your grandmother or mother,' Erin says in conversation with H&G

'These are representative of their life and your ancestry, and whether you're minimalist or maximalist, these objects are just as prominent.'

Minimalist living room with pastel furniture

(Image credit: Rowland Roques O'Neil / Future)

'I would hope that people who don't have much in their homes still have at least that one bowl that their grandmother used to make great biscuits. There has to be some personal artifact somewhere.'

Interior Designer
Erin Napier
Interior Designer
Erin Napier

Erin Napier is a designer and entrepreneur with a fine arts degree who started her career in corporate graphic design before founding her own international stationery company, Lucky Luxe. She co-stars alongside her husband, Ben Napier, in HTGV's Home Town and authored three books, including Heirloom Rooms, (published by Gallery books; 10/3/23). 

Erin's teaching couldn't come at a better time, on the verge of her new book launch, where her ideology comes into play. 

Titled Heirloom Rooms, the book encourages us to create a soulful space that's less concerned with aesthetics and more about making memories. Naturally, this involves decorating with antiques and bringing meaningful family objects to the forefront of our space.

'I do wonder how people are minimalists. I'm not one, but I imagine it's cool to have a house that feels totally organized and uncluttered,' the Home Town designer adds. 'For me, my house has to be clean. I cannot stand the feeling of grit under my bare feet, and I don't know if that's just a me thing. 

'It's one thing to have a house that is cluttered with memories and objects that make you feel things compared to a house that needs to be cleaned.'

We're picking up our copy of Heirloom Rooms via Amazon below.

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.