Erin Napier is 'bored' of 'perfectly styled interiors' – here's what she's celebrating instead

The HGTV Home Town host urges us to create a home that serves as an imperfect backdrop to ever-changing family lives

Erin Napier
(Image credit: GettyImages)

HGTV Home Town star Erin Napier is perhaps best associated with seemingly 'perfect' homes, as seen in her ever-popular series. 

In the show, the designer and her husband, Ben, revitalize aging properties in their hometown Laurel, Mississippi – drawing from the buildings' historical features to create authentic spaces that simultaneously accommodate contemporary living. It's certainly easy to look at these homes and label them as quintessentially picture-perfect – however, this is a description that is actually quite the contrast to Erin Napier's interior design ideology. 

'I've become bored of the photos of perfectly styled and staged interiors you see so much of in the online world and wanted to write a book celebrating the imperfection of our houses,' Erin says. The book in question – Heirloom Rooms – encourages us to celebrate imperfections in spaces that accommodate the ever-evolving quirks of family life. 

'How perfect and clever can our houses be? seems to be the refrain of social media. But what about the life lived in those rooms?' Erin says.

Our decorating ideas, according to Erin, should be an 'outward reflection of who we are and what we love' – accommodating us as we grow through celebrations and failures as ever-evolving families. 

'I wanted to write essays about our own home wherein every room is its own chapter about a particular time in our life together, and I invited friends and designers to be contributors, self-photographing their unstaged and lived-in rooms and sharing their stories of what makes it theirs and no one else's,' Erin says. 

If you're looking to follow the designer's teaching, her book (which you can order above and below) is an excellent starting point. 

However, if you're looking for another simple way to make your scheme more welcoming, individual (and slightly less perfect), we recommend experimenting with the 'Hipstoric Home' aesthetic that Pinterest predicts is one of the most exciting interior design trends of 2023, and which is entirely in tune with Erin's principles. 

Pinterest's data found a common trend in the rise of the ‘Hipstoric Home,’ with searches like ‘eclectic interior design vintage’ and ‘mixing modern and antique furniture’ on the rise (+850% and +530% respectively).

Vinterior’s brand director and vintage enthusiast, Lucy Ward, says that incorporating eclectic decor is one of the easiest ways to make your home feel more personal and lived in (much like Erin Napier celebrates) – but where should you begin? According to Lucy, mastering the art of decorating with antiques is key.

'Diversify how you obtain your furniture for that truly eclectic look and feel. Ranging between chain stores, marketplaces, and charity shops will help you find a range of products that have varying degrees of quality and wear,' Lucy says. 

'This is the key to getting that eclectic aesthetic that makes your home feel cozy and inviting with a vintage undertone.

Alongside this, Lucy says that you should look beyond one particular color idea and incorporate a rich variety of paints, patterns, and materials that add depth and variation to your home. 'The ‘hipstoric’ trend is all about being eclectic and unique with your style, so a one-layer landscape will stop any chance of achieving this. Switch up the finishes in a space to maximize the effect you’re looking for,' she says. 

Though decorating for Erin is all about authenticity, it's the life of a home that really fascinates her. Her first book, The Lantern House, is written for children from the perspective of the home, which watches the families who live there over the years, which chimes nicely with her latest release.

'The reality about our houses is, they go on after we've left them, and imagine if houses could talk, what would they tell us about the things that they've seen. That's fascinating to me,' Napier told PEOPLE last year. 

Erin's book which is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

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 beautifully-illustrated book is a unique celebration of the homes we live in and love. Erin tells the story of her modern family life – and the days that made her home the place she longs for when she’s away.

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.