Bringing 'Home Town' Elegance to a House With History

Erin and Ben Napier revitalize the classic charm in a historic home in need of some TLC.

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In the new episode of Home Town premiering this week, Erin and Ben go in search of a forever home for a young couple, Will and Courtney, and their two young boys. The family has outgrown their starter home and are looking for something with history and charm.

Ben and Erin Napier with new neighbors Will and Courtney Edwards

Ben and Erin Napier with new neighbors Will and Courtney Edwards

Courtney likes homes with ornamental style and wants something with room for "kids' space" as well as adult space for entertaining. Will likes homes with classic and masculine features — fireplaces, woodwork, beadboard and the like, and would like to have a space to call his own. They're working within a total budget of $200,000 including renovations.

Erin and Ben's initial search gets narrowed to two possibilities. The Myrick House is a brick home built in 1930, is in good shape but is short on character. At 3,800 square feet, it has plenty of room and comes with a large yard. The house's orientation is a bit odd, facing what is now a closed-off street, giving rise to the nickname "the sideways house."

The Pickering House, built in 1910, is located within the town's historic district. It has more of a classic character but is also in need of some serious repairs. At 3,350 square feet, it's slightly smaller than the other option, and the list of repairs is more formidable, but its list price of $136,000 leaves lots of cash in the budget for potential improvements.

It just had this historical elegance that I think you don't see a lot these days. It's not grandma; it's not out of style. It's very modern but with this historical influence, so it…worked together just perfectly.
Courtney Edwards

Once a decision is made, the challenge is to execute a renovation that is respectful to the history of the home and that also satisfies Courtney's cravings for "fancy" while providing the masculine touches that Will is drawn to. Improvements and upgrades include a custom mantel made from reclaimed cypress wood from a New Orleans home and high wainscoting in Queen Anne style. The kitchen is opened up, lightened up and outfitted with modern appliances.

The master bedroom gets reconfigured for a better layout with respect to the home's overall floor plan, and the room is given a classic, Southern-country feel with dark-stained wood floors, an antique-style iron bed in black finish and vintage furnishings.

A room at the back of the house is converted into an informal den, providing Will with a private getaway and a home for his sport-fishing equipment and trophies.

The Home Town episode titled "House With a History" premieres April 11 at 10p|9c. Be sure to check back here to take the complete photo tour and see web-exclusive videos.

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