Think of Erin Napier, and thoughts of whimsy, welcoming spaces are sure to follow suit. The HGTV Home Town designer has made a name for creating sweet, southern country-style spaces that turn their backs on 'trends' and showcase the homeowner's personality instead. And, naturally, her stately, old brick Tudor is no exception.
'Everything comes down to feelings for me, and maybe that's my art school background,' Erin says in an exclusive interview with H&G. The Laurel-based star recently published a book, Heirloom Rooms, that taps into her unique design ideology: creating soulful spaces less concerned with aesthetics and more about making memories. And nothing allows her to do this quite like color.
'I didn’t go to interior design school, so I'm feeling my way through. It’s the reason I was kicked out of piano lessons – for ten years; I didn’t just want to read the music; I wanted to play by ear, and I still play by ear, but this time with interior design,' Erin says. So, how does she use this to find the right colors?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes to choosing paint and wallpaper, Erin doesn't follow current color trends. Instead, she looks to evoke a certain feeling, both in her home and her projects.
'Figure out what colors make you feel good. For me, they are creamy colors with honey undertones or anything that feels aged. I went to art school, so color is the most important factor for me,' she says. 'The room I'm sitting in now is painted a shade of cream; that's the perfect backdrop for my maximalist life. Dingy whites are my love language.'
However, despite her admiration for warming neutrals, followers of Erin will know she is also no stranger to maximalist prints, too. 'In some rooms, I use wallpaper with a busy pattern that allows me to tap into the whimsy I loved when I was a child. We should never lose that childlike love for color and pattern – I use it as much as I can,' she adds.
'It works especially well when you have rooms that are mostly creamy and white, but figure out which colors make you feel like you.'
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 has authored three books, including Heirloom Rooms (published by Gallery Books).
'Dingy' whites and maximalist wallpaper aside, Erin adds that bolder hues, such as a 'school bus yellow,' allow yet more opportunity for us to showcase our most playful selves in the way we design.
'Currently, I am absolutely obsessed with this kitchen that I saw recently that has school bus yellow cabinets and very bold wallpaper all around the walls. It shows the homeowner knows who they are,' she says.
'To me, when you can see a person's total, raw, authentic self (for example, all over the walls in this kitchen), it is the definition of beauty.'
For more ways to design a home that pays homage to our past and current selves, Heirloom Rooms are an inevitable investment. We've already picked up a copy via Amazon below.
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.
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Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. 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.
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