Erin Napier's bathroom draws unexpected inspiration from a vintage ice cream bar – and yes, it's mouth-watering

The 'Home Town' star offered a look inside her 1930s Tudor bathroom – and it comes with a light-hearted (but timeless) twist

Erin Napier
(Image credit: GettyImages)

If anyone knows how to marry the world of homes and history together, it is Erin Napier. 

The HGTV Home Town host, and her husband, Ben, have built their enviable reputation by revitalizing properties, and of course, this includes their own home in the town of Laurel, Mississippi. Their property epitomizes their love for historic homes and simple, southern living –  the latter serving as an enduring influence for the couple. 

Erin and Ben live with their children, Helen and Mae, in a whimsical home that is – inevitably – a source of traditional decorating ideas rooted in history. Erin Napier's entryway recently made headlines after the designer shared its quaint wood paneling and hand-carved banister rail on her Instagram feed. This time, however, it was her bathroom that stole center stage. 

'One room that I haven’t shared much of from the farm, but I love it so much: our bathroom,' Erin says. And while there is a lot to admire in this space – its unlikely source of inspiration is easiest to love. 

'I couldn’t decide what would be the most appropriate surfaces for our 1930 Tudor, and I kept returning to the design of the Wakulla Springs Lodge and its marble slab ice cream bar [below] and baths from that same era,' Erin says in the discussion of her unconventional bathroom idea

'Bless David, who took the time to meticulously lay the shower floor mosaic tiles in the bistro diamond pattern that echoes the wood floor.'

Yes, the ice cream bar in question is the Soda Fountain at Wakulla Springs Lodge in Wakulla Springs, Florida (above). Founded in 1937, Wakulla Springs Lodge has a lot in common with Erin Napier's home which originated in the same decade. It is perhaps best known for its classic counter that is over 70 feet long – making it the largest marble soda fountain ever built. 

Designers constructed the fountain's front from 'one piece of marble that was cut and book matched' to 'create a symmetrical pattern at every joint.' Now, around 86 years later, it serves as a source of inspiration for the HGTV star. 

The designer says they received the slabs of Calacatta gold marble from their 'friends at Premier Countertops' who sourced the stone for the family.

And while it is easy to get distracted by the mosaics in the shower, there is yet more to love in the space. When considering bath ideas, it is hard to rival the traditional marble tub countertop that pays homage to the home's (nearly) century-long history. Erin pairs this cream-hued marble with an intricate gold faucet that complements the historic aesthetic perfectly. 

We're now craving new tiles – and ice cream – naturally. 

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.