From Loft Life to a Homey House in the Suburbs

Home Town’s Erin and Ben Napier help some long-time friends transition from downtown living to a family-friendly home with a great outdoor space.

Related To:

Dawn and Michael Trest are friends of Erin and Ben, and the two couples have known each other for about six years. Dawn and Michael, and their two kids, Anne and Liam, have been living the downtown loft life — which they've enjoyed, but they’re ready for something different. As Michael puts it, "It's time for a house and a yard." Their wish list is a family-friendly home that includes a nice yard and a combination kitchen and living area where the family can be together. The budget max, including any renovations, is $200,000.

Dawn wants a house that just feels like home — and not too fussy. She doesn't like fussy, and she doesn't like modern.
Erin Napier

The search leads to two houses, each of which is a five-minute drive from downtown where Dawn works. The Craft House is a '70s-era brick four-bedroom that comes with 14 acres of land. Despite its dated ranch-style appearance, Erin has a vision for turning it into a woodsy retreat. The Stringer House, built in 1968, is in a classic neighborhood setting and had belonged to a local chef and restaurateur. Among other things, it comes with an odd and problematic layout — for which Erin has some creative remedial ideas. It does come with a large fenced yard and a back deck.

Once the Trests have made a decision, Erin and Ben embark on a substantial renovation that involves reworking spaces and the removal of several dividing walls, including one that was once an exterior brick wall. A closed-off kitchen gets opened onto adjacent dining and living spaces and is transformed into a highly functional new space that’s chef-worthy and inviting.

 Green Kitchen with Black Stone Countertops and Brown Wood Floors

Contemporary Green Kitchen with Black Stone Countertops

Highlights in the new kitchen include new stained wood lower cabinets, lots of storage, black stone countertops and modern stainless appliances including a pro-grade gas stove.

From: Home Town
and So Long Loft, Hello Home

Besides big changes indoors, the home’s exterior transformation includes the creation of a stylish, new patio area with outdoor seating and some custom wood features.

And in addition to an arbor and custom window boxes made using reclaimed wood, this particular project includes a couple of more “metallic” elements that afford Ben the opportunity to branch outside his niche as a woodworker — with a trip to a local foundry.

The jobs at hand are to modify and refurbish an iron handrail and to create a metal frame for an outdoor table. Those are accomplished easily enough but, as long as you’re at a foundry, why not pour some molten metal? Under the watchful supervision of foundry owner Trent and his crew, Ben gets to try his hand at a new vocation — one that, some might say, is especially manly.

Ben assists with a metal pour at Laurel Machine Works and Foundry.

Photo by: 172173005945

172173005945

Ben assists with a metal pour at Laurel Machine Works and Foundry.
You know, there's a saying that 'worlds were not conquered with wood; they were conquered with iron and steel.' Today, I conquered the world.
Ben Napier

The Home Town episode titled “So Long Loft, Hello Home” premieres May 16 at 10p|9c. Be sure to check back here to see the full gallery of this makeover, additional web-exclusive videos and lots more.

Next Up

How Flipping Houses Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

The couple behind Flip or Flop Fort Worth explain how real estate helped them find value and stability in life after the military.

Go Behind the Curtain: 41 Sneak Peek Photos From Fixer Upper Season 3

You don't have to wait until December 1! Get a sneak peek of season 3 right now.

A Growing Family Returns to 'Home Town' Life

Erin and Ben Napier help a returning resident and her family transition back from big-city lights to small-town living.

Apparently, Diane Keaton Flips Houses in Her "Spare" Time

She makes movies and flips homes? Dream job!

Meet 'Home Town': Old Home Love, Small Town Living

Coming in March, HGTV brings you a new renovation show set in a tiny town in the Deep South. Start getting ready now for Home Town.

Things First-Time Flippers Always Say and Live to Regret

"Hope," as Emily Dickinson writes, "is the thing with feathers." Renovation, in turn, is the thing with nasty surprises and delays and OH GOD, WHAT IS THAT STAIN.

'Home Town' Makes Its HGTV Debut

Renovation pros Erin and Ben Napier save old homes and help build community in their small and beloved hometown.

Coming Soon: 'Flip or Flop' Goes to Atlanta, Texas, Nashville + More

Get the scoop and meet the hosts of the five brand-new Flip or Flop spin-offs coming to HGTV.

Peak Mother-Daughter Moments Seen on 'Good Bones'

Now that's what we call a constructive relationship. (Sorry. We couldn't help ourselves.)

'Vintage Flip' is Back for Season Two

Tina and Jessie Rodriguez have great things in store for the new season of their old-home renovation series — and a new addition of their own.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Home Town

6am | 5c

Home Town

7am | 6c

Home Town

8am | 7c

Home Town

9am | 8c

Home Town

10am | 9c

Home Town

11am | 10c

Home Town

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Home Town

8pm | 7c

Home Town

9pm | 8c

Home Town

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11:30pm | 10:30c

Home Town

12am | 11c

Home Town

1:30am | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30am | 1:30c

Home Town

3am | 2c

Home Town

4am | 3c

Home Town

5am | 4c

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.