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

Related To:

Follow HGTV Obsessed on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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)

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.

NRHK_201029_124

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.

Next Up

Getting Ready for a Reno? Check Out These Design Resources First

Check out these online tools and apps to help with your renovation.

2024: Basement Kitchen Design Ideas and Construction Costs

Building a kitchen in a basement takes some special planning and considerations. Here’s what you need to know and what you might expect to pay.

What Does Asbestos Look Like and How to Identify It

Nearly 50 years after the first federal ban, asbestos is finally not being used in new residential building materials, but it still exists in millions of homes. Living with asbestos doesn’t automatically make it a problem, but it can become one if we’re not careful.

Chelsea DeBoer Answers Fans' Most-Asked Questions

You asked and Chelsea DeBoer of Teen Mom 2 answered. Ahead: The HGTV co-host discusses life as a mom, beauty, interior design, her and Cole's new show Down Home Fab and more.

New Series 'First Home Fix' Comes to HGTV

First-time homeowners get bold, budget-friendly renovations in new HGTV series 'First Home Fix' starring Raisa Kuddus and Austin Coleman.

Good Vibes Are in Abundance on HGTV's 'Good Bones'

A few observations about why viewers are falling head-over-heels for HGTV's new home renovation series Good Bones, now shooting its second season.

Get to Know the Hosts of HGTV's 'Saving the Manor'

Architect Dean Poulton and real estate expert Borja De Maqua are single-handedly restoring a 5-building, 65-room Georgian manor on land once owned by King Henry VII. Here’s what you need to know about this historic-renovation power couple.

HGTV to Launch Digital Original Series 'Freestyled' Starring Adar Kirkham

The new digital-original series will be available at HGTV.com/freestyled, and on HGTV's YouTube channel HGTV Handmade, beginning July 24, 2022.

'Flip to a Million' — HGTV's Bold New Real Estate Experiment

HGTV's new series, premiering August 1, 2022, follows two separate couples — all experienced real-estate pros — as they strategize to turn a thousand-dollar start into a million-dollar home sale in just six months.

HGTV's 'Bargain Block' Spotlights Stunning, Affordable Detroit Homes In New Season

Season 2 of the HGTV hit series Bargain Block premieres Wednesday, June 8, at 9/8c on HGTV and will be available to stream on discovery+.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

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

Luxury Home Giveaways

HGTV Smart Home

A sophisticated Southwestern home in Santa Fe, New Mexico

HGTV Dream Home

A modern mountain getaway in Morrison, Colorado

HGTV Urban Oasis

A Southern-inspired escape in Louisville, Kentucky