HGTV Obsessed Episode 18: The Napiers and The Marrses

This week Marianne meets with Ben and Erin Napier and Dave and Jenny Marrs, two couples who are passionate about restoring small towns and cities.

April 29, 2021
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As seen on Home Town, Ben and Erin Napier (C) have completely renovated the Hogue residence in downtown Laurel, Mississippi. The exterior now features a new raised porch area, new paint and a new front door that welcomes the Hogues to the downtown area. (portrait)

Photo by: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

On our #couplegoals, #smalltown episode, Marianne meets with two of HGTV’s hardest working couples — the Napiers and the Marrses. First up, Ben and Erin talk about how excited they are to be expecting their second baby girl in May. When asked how they balance a busy home life plus three shows — Home Town, Home Town Takeover and Home Town: Ben’s Workshop — and two businesses, Ben and Erin admit they sometimes have to say no to many projects and that they’re lucky to have trustworthy and skilled helpers both at home and at work.

The Road to Takeover 6 Videos

Check out this exclusive digital series offering background and insights from Ben, Erin and crew on HGTV's series Home Town Takeover.

On Home Town Takeover, Ben and Erin along with a slew of celebrity guests, make over the town Wetumpka, Alabama. Ben and Erin put the word out last year that they wanted to make over one small town in America. After receiving submissions for 2,600 towns from around the country, Wetumpka was chosen. The six-episode series features 12 major renovations including private homes, restaurants and even a barber shop. When asked why they think small towns are so special, Ben and Erin talk about roots and traditions: “Everybody grew up somewhere, everybody has a place they call home and they have a dream of going back to it or of it being a successful place,” explains Ben.

Defend the Trend: Is Painting Finished Wood a Sin?

In our Defend the Trend segment of the podcast, Marianne asks Ben and Erin if painting over finished wood — furniture or trim — is ever okay or is it a cardinal sin. Ben takes a moment to cringe before he answers, but Erin cites Ben’s rule of you can always paint over poplar and both agree that every situation is different and that it can be a personal choice when it comes things like molding and paneling. But in the case of furniture, Ben has a definite opinion: “With painting furniture, I think that it’s a cardinal sin, because if you want to paint it, go find one that’s made out of something else.”

How to Refinish Wood Furniture

Learn how to strip, sand and stain a piece of wooden furniture.

Marianne then moves on (virtually) to Bentonville, Arkansas to chat with Jenny and Dave Marrs from HGTV’s Fixer to Fabulous. The couple has five kids plus a construction business, plus a TV show, so Marianne asks them the same question she asked Ben and Erin about work/life balance. Jenny and Dave say their secret is taking it all one day at a time and focusing on one project at a time. They talk about being very intentional with their family time — planning family dinners and making time to attend their kids’ sporting games and activities. And they both admit they really enjoy shooting the reveal part of each episode because it means they get to spend a lot of time together. Awww.



As seen on HGTV's Home Town Takeover, Dave and Jenny Marrs work together to renovated the kitchen of the Moody house in Wetumpka, Alabama. The house will be completely renovated.

Photo by: Jessica McGowan/Getty

Jessica McGowan/Getty

Jenny and Dave have renovated over 300 homes together. He started their construction business back in 2004, then Jenny joined him in the business in 2010. When asked which they like better, working on new homes or renovating older homes, both agree they like older homes because they are more of a challenge and a puzzle. Marianne then brings up the amazing job they did creating a hidden staircase to a wine cellar inside a kitchen island.

Hidden Wine Cellar

Dave and Jenny concealed the staircase to a wine cellar inside a kitchen island.

Jenny and Dave not only joined Ben and Erin in this podcast, Jenny and Dave also helped out renovating Wetumpka on Home Town Takeover, which premieres May 3. But in the meantime you can catch Jenny and Dave's innovative designs on Fixer to Fabulous.

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