Home Town: A Forever Home and a Fine Southern Porch

Erin and Ben Napier help a couple relocating from Arizona fashion a traditional Southern home – with a great front porch and some casually comfortable features – in one of Laurel's oldest houses.

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

Photo By: Todd Douglas/ Getty Images

All About the Porch

Everybody loves a porch ...
  Because porches are magical.

—Erin Napier

The Hogue House

With its varied interiors, this renovation purposefully integrates the old with the new — with traditional, formal spaces at the front of the home balanced with more casual, family friendly spaces at the rear. This newly renovated den has been updated with a dark stained wood mantel and warm, neutral colors to help create a relaxed feel.

The Hogue House

Ben and Erin created a chef-worthy kitchen for two professional cooks. The newly expanded kitchen features a full walk-in pantry as well as an original butler's pantry and two massive kitchen islands.

The Hogue House

The formal living room takes full advantage of a beautiful fireplace and amazing original bead board. "I'm going through a rug thing," said Erin. "Rugs on the wall and on the floors." Here she made use of a vintage rug as a wall hanging, providing visual interest and a nice contrast with the pale blue walls.

The Hogue House

The dining room, with its soft, neutral palette, offers a tranquil retreat that helps ground the vibrant visual motifs in the front foyer and living room. The round pedestal table was handcrafted by Ben at his woodshop with reclaimed pine wood with help from his brother Jesse.

Meet the Homeowners

Bill and Julie Hogue are moving to Laurel from Arizona – and bringing four of their 10 children with them. And contributing to Laurel's developing food scene, they’re also bringing their food truck and specialty tacos. They’re looking for a traditional home with Southern character and a good amount of room. The Hogues' all-in budget is $250,000.

Before

The Redd House was the former residence of Roscoe and Lucille Redd who lived in the house for around 40 years. It is located on one of the most appealing streets in Laurel, with lots of old, historic homes. It was built in 1890 and is likely one of the oldest surviving homes in Laurel. It has four bedrooms, 3300 square feet and many of the attributes that the Hogues are looking for — except for the one big one: a stately front porch. The existing one is rather modest, disproportionate and functionally awkward.

Erin's Vision

Fortunately, Erin has a design and a game plan that will take care of the home's one big deficit. "This new front porch," says Erin "gives it this this big, lofty, grand, classic Southern architecture that it was lacking."

After

The exterior renovation included a new porch frame around the existing columns, adding new railing and staircase entry. Raising the porch to the level of the front door creates a more proportional look for the front of the home. The renovation also includes an added architectural feature at the center of the top floor helping add balance and visual interest.

After

For the Hogues, "Southern living" could essentially be encapsulated in one word, and that word is "porch." Bill and Julie were wanting to find a home with traditional, stately Southern architecture, including a great front porch. Ben and Erin's renovation helped them get precisely what they were looking for.

Foyer, Before

The foyer had ornate upholstery wall-covering — a relatively uncommon feature — and traditional wainscoting.

Foyer, After

Erin recommended keeping the vintage wall covering as well as the wainscoting but painting the wood trim and wainscoting in a shade that picks up on one of the colors in the graphic of the wall covering. The wood is painted in a soft blue/green that helps ground the look of the foyer.

Foyer, After

Foyer, Detail

A doorway at the back of the foyer, which opened onto the master bathroom, was closed off and repurposed as a built-in bookcase. (There were two other entrances to the master bath, so a third off the foyer was not really necessary.)

Foyer, Detail

Ben custom created a solid oak console table for the foyer with hand-turned newel posts that mimics those on the original staircase bannister. A template of the original staircase posts was used to create the replicas for the console on a lathe.

Foyer and Dining Room, After

A view from the foyer on the newly renovated formal dining room highlights the subtle but deliberate transition between the spaces.

Dining Room, Before

Opening off the left side of the foyer, the dining room also had fabric wall covering and white wainscoting. The initial plan was to retain the original wainscoting.

Dining Room, After

The wainscoting, and the wood walls beneath the fabric wall-covering, was unfortunately in poor condition. Ben and Erin opted to install new drywall and paint the room in a neutral tan-gray with white trim. The subtle palette of the dining room provides a calming counterpoint to the vibrancy of the colors in living room and foyer.

Dining Room, After

The dining room gets accessorized with a new chandelier and a gallery wall featuring botanical and ornithological prints.

Dining Room, After

Ben and his brother Jesse crafted the surface of the dining table using reclaimed flooring from other home restorations. The table is large enough to accommodate the Hogue family, including their four children who will be living with them in Laurel.

Living Room, Before

Opening off the right side of the foyer is the formal living room which, prior to the renovation, had walls covered in dark green wall covering that was badly damaged and, in places, falling off the walls.

Living Room, After

The living room transformation was one of the more dramatic updates in the renovation. Once the wall covering was removed, the bead board was found to be in good shape, but it was dark and heavily textured. rin opted to bring in a lighter motif. "We need to soften it," she said, "and bring in colors that feel like traditional Southern home."

Living Room, Before

The living room had a beautiful fireplace surrounded by marble tile and a mantle with faux columns and dentil molding.

Living Room, After

The mantel was reworked slightly, removing the dentil molding for a more streamlined look, but the surround of white marble with dark gray veins was kept intact.

Living Room, After

The living room walls are painted in a cooler pale blue-gray. The original bead board had been meticulously installed in solid horizontal runs with no vertical seams visible across the span of the walls.

Living Room, After

The grandfather clock is an heirloom from homeowner Bill Hogue’s grandmother.

Den, Before

On a lower level, and located adjacent to the breakfast area, was a huge family room that had been an addition to the original home and which opened onto a patio and pool.

Den, After

Erin recommended replacing the wood flooring in the addition with a luxury vinyl tile that mimics the look of wood, but which would be water resistant and more durable for a large and active family making frequent use of the pool. The den is furnished with a generously sized sectional sofa, large coffee table, console, new window treatments and a richly ornate area rug.

Den, Before

The family room was visually dated but came with a fireplace and built-in shelving.

Den, After

The shelving is brightened up with fresh white paint. The original stained wood mantel was retained, but this fireplace was updated with a new marble surround, tying in with the brighter palette. The walls are painted a cool gray with bright white trim.

Den, After

The dated wrought-iron railing has been removed, and the stairs are widened to the full span of the opening between the den and dining area – creating a better flow and better transition between the two spaces. Since the wall that had originally separated the den and breakfast area was a load-bearing wall, removing it required installing a new support beam which, along with the new stairs also helps create a visual break between the spaces.

Den, Before

Den, After

Kitchen, Before

Prior to the renovation, the kitchen had dated cabinetry and heart-pine wood flooring that was deteriorated and damaged in places. A passthrough window opened onto a dining area that was part of a later addition to the house and had tile floors.

Kitchen, After

Ben and Erin recommended a dramatic reconfiguration of the kitchen, opening up the wall into the breakfast area and creating visual continuity with uniform brick flooring throughout both spaces. Two large islands were added, one for a prep space and cooking, and a second for seating and serving.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

The kitchen got all new cabinetry, painted in soft gray, offset by gray and white marble countertops. The existing walk-in pantry was kept intact and the interior upgraded.

Kitchen, Before

The original layout of the kitchen felt asymmetrical, with the window over a lower cabinet off-center in the wall and too close to the adjacent doorway.

Kitchen, After

Erin recommended centering the window over a newly repositioned sink.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, After

Butler's Pantry, Before

A butler's pantry, a feature not too uncommon in houses from this era, connected the dining room and kitchen.

Butler's Pantry, After

The original vintage wall-covering and bead board were retained, but the cabinetry was updated and, along with the countertops, finished to match the cabinetry and countertops in the kitchen.

Butler's Pantry, Before

Butler's Pantry, After

Kitchen, After

The expansive size of the kitchen, as well as the modern appointments, is especially appealing to the Hogues since both are professional cooks. 

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, After

The second kitchen island actually includes an extension that serves as an informal dining table and essentially doubles its surface area.

Before

After

Where the bright red door and black shutters gave the home exterior a stark appearance, the natural wood door and shutters in soft mossy green help soften the exterior and create a stately but welcoming entry.

Porch Dreams Do Come True

An inviting and visually impressive front porch, spanning the full width of the house, and now raised to a more vsually and functionally suitable height, now welcomes all visitors to the Hogues' new home.

New Neighbors

Ben and Erin introduce Bill and Julie Hogue to their new home, including one spectacular kitchen.

Y'all Come Back!

Keep visiting HGTV.com/HomeTown for more galleries and other exclusive content — including two all-new digital series that provide exclusive behind-the-scenes insights with Erin and Ben as well as additional detail on the Home Town projects and designs.

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