A 'Home Town' Homecoming
Ben and Erin Napier renovate a vintage downtown Craftsman for a couple returning home to Mississippi.
Erin and Ben are thrilled to be helping a couple who are moving back to town after having been away for several years, particularly since the new returnees have the same love for classic homes that they do.
Kyle and Brooke are newlyweds who've been living in Nashville but are moving back to their hometown in Mississippi. They're eager to return to their small-town roots and find a great home where they may one day raise a family. They're looking for an older home in the downtown area and have a $200,000 all-in budget, including repairs and renovation.
Their wish list includes an older home with charm and character, a large kitchen for hosting family and friends and — true to good Southern form — a really nice front porch.
For the house hunt, Ben and Erin focus on two Craftsman-style homes in a beautiful, walkable neighborhood. The first is "The Jensen House", with some desirable features including high ceilings, heart-pine floors and a side porch — but the kitchen is tiny, the bathroom outdated and the exterior could use some attention to curb appeal.
The second is "The Chancellor House", a five-bedroom home built in 1913 with 3,000 square feet. Downsides: The exterior paint is peeling and the interior color choices are a bit unconventional. It does have a large front porch, but at some point it was screened in giving it a less-than-classic look.
Erin has some creative ideas for re-inventing either home that Kyle and Brooke might choose, with an expanded kitchen and significant exterior enhancements being key in either case.
Once a decision is made and work begins, some interesting discoveries are made, including potential for some newly exposed brick and one very cool and unusual room feature. Other discoveries, like roofing and water-leak issues, present some less welcome challenges.
After: Upstairs Landing With Rustic Bookshelves
Exposing the brick chimney helped completely change the aesthetic of this space and exposed one of the home's key architectural features. A vintage rug, simple rustic bookshelves and comfy chairs complete the change, turning an underutilized space into a welcoming retreat.
For a newly redesigned breakfast nook, Ben takes to his wood shop to modify some vintage church pews salvaged from an old schoolhouse. And in the living room, an old fireplace becomes a new focal point with boldly patterned tile counterbalanced with colorful framed art by Mississippi artist Walter Inglis Anderson.
Here’s a web-exclusive Home Town bonus clip with a tip from Erin on cleaning brick.