Highclere Castle, in early-twentieth-century England, and contemporary Mississippi, may appear worlds apart – but there are some similarities – in the most surprising places.
Enter Erin Napier, HGTV's Home Town star who restores historic properties with her husband Ben – a woodworker with a shared love of simple, southern living. However, their kitchen draws unlikely inspiration from Mrs. Patmore's kitchen, which serves as a backdrop in the Downton Abbey franchise. So, while much of Erin and Ben's home epitomizes their design ideologies – their kitchen ideas are slightly more Trans-Atlantic.
'I was so inspired by Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen from Downton Abbey and tried to match that buttery worn golden cream color of the cabinets,' Erin says. 'The beams Ben Napier built (opens in new tab) to replicate the original trim throughout the house [and it] feels like it’s always been there, and I can’t imagine the kitchen without them now.'
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Since Erin was designing her kitchen almost a century after those in Downton, the process came with inevitable differences – including the incorporation of modern-day appliances, naturally. However, while these pieces are a natural (and essential) part of the contemporary day, the designer still managed to maintain the traditional aesthetic (and find pieces that complement the kitchen color perfectly).
'Our BlueStar (opens in new tab)fridge, range and hood are all built in the USA, and I chose brown black for the enamel in a nod to antique kitchen appliances and to work with my honed black mist granite countertops (I can’t believe it’s not soapstone),' Erin adds.
The designer accentuated the space further with a vintage freestanding worktable and lighting ideas reminiscent of the copper pots that line Mrs. Patmore’s famous back wall.
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The designer's kitchen has a connection to one of England's most recognized homes – but how does the rest of her home celebrate her southern postcode? We've already looked at Erin Napier's entryway and her ice cream bar-inspired bathroom, but her bedroom is equally as note-worthy.
The bobbin poster bed in our room was handcrafted from mahogany by our dear friend Andrew Reid – the expert in heirloom bed design,' Erin says, regarding the second post in her photo carousel. This space is also one of her 'favorite' areas in her home.
'I made a custom design for our bathroom floors in collaboration with Mirth Studio, inspired by European bistro tile but with the warmth of this old Tudor and all its 1920s millwork. They are printed wood floors made in South Carolina with a waterproof coating that makes them safe for use in baths (and fun for Helen to hop on).'
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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