Home Town: Lots of Space and Spanish Flair

Ben and Erin Napier help out a couple moving to Laurel with three kids and a substantial (for Laurel) budget. The family of five is in search of a large house with a great kitchen, lots of space for active kids and room for a private master retreat for the grownups. Erin and Ben help them fashion a newly upgraded home with a comfortable vibe and New Orleans-style Spanish touches.

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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

Another Laurel Love Story

Erin and Ben Napier are back for a third season of Home Town doing what they do best: rehabbing and restoring the old, neglected and historic homes in their tiny hamlet of Laurel — and bringing loads of love to the process of making their own hometown the best place that it can be.

Meet the Homeowners

Toy and Cory Watts' budget was $300,000 and their wish list included plenty of space for their active kids, a first-rate kitchen and a spa-like bath and master suite. 

Before

The Herndon House certainly met the Watts' requirements in terms of ample space, with four bedrooms and 3600 square feet. The single-owner home was built in 1979 and was listed at $210,000. The balcony and New Orleans style ironwork appealed to Cory and Toy, though the exterior was somewhat bland and the landscaping overgrown.

After

Erin's vision for upgrading the home exterior was more aesthetic than structural. Changes were not drastic and, except for cleaning up the landscaping, the home's basic profile was left as-is. The renovation did include painting the ironwork black for a dramatic contrast and reworking the trim in an eye-pleasing pale green. New, more elegant outdoor sconces add a nice visual focal point at the entrance.

Living Room, Before

The main living area was spacious and had lots of windows but the wood paneling and wall-to-wall carpet made it feel dark and enclosed. As Erin put it: "It feels like a winter coat in the middle of summer."

Living Room, After

The remodel removed the old carpeting and replaced it with wood flooring. Additional recessed lighting was added and the wood paneling was painted white to help lighten up the space. 

Living Room, Before

One positive attribute of the existing living room was the configuration that provided an open sight line to the dining area and kitchen.

Living Room, After

With the carpeting removed, the new wood flooring continues up the stairs and into the dining area providing a unified feel throughout.

Living Room, Before

Living Room, After

he TV that had been mounted above the mantel is replaced with an oversized mirror in a wood frame custom-made in Ben's wood shop. "It's the biggest mirror in the history of mirrors," said Ben. It's actually a one-way mirror that reveals the TV screen when the television is turned on.

Living Room, After

Living Room, After

Neutral and earthy tones and a casual sectional sofa, paired with a oriental rug, linen window treatments and exposed wood, combine to create a comfortable and inviting feel.

Dining Room, After

Dining Room, After

Kitchen, Before

The kitchen, though sizable, was dated, awkwardly laid out and a mish-mash of competing structural elements.

Kitchen, After

Erin's design maintained some of the original configuration, but opened up the space with a smaller island, better integrated elements and a more logical flow. The refrigerator, which had been angled in the corner, is moved to a more accessible location with cabinet surround.

Kitchen, Before

The dark cabinetry was outdated and obtrusive, and the countertops were drab harvest-gold laminate.

Kitchen, After

The original brick paver floor in the kitchen was retained but the hanging cabinets were removed, helping open and lighten up both the kitchen and dining room. The oddly shaped peninsula was replaced by one with simple, clean lines that can double as a breakfast bar for the kids. 

Kitchen, Before

The brick nook housing the range was the home's most distinctive (and Erin's favorite) feature —though, in its current state it was fairly plain. But it offered Erin a blank slate to create a unique statement piece that would help inform the home's overall design.

Kitchen, After

To give new life to the nook, Erin added white tile backsplash, new lighting and a striking inlay in decorative Spanish tile. The pottery bowl on the island was hand-thrown by Erin.

Kitchen, Before

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Master Bath, Before

The master bath was a virtual '80s time capsule —with carpeted floor, smoked wall mirror, faux columns and a sunken whirlpool tub. Erin and Ben recommended a thorough and immediate makeover.

Master Bath, After

The bathroom is thoroughly transformed with new lighting, freestanding tub and, most notably, a stunning Spanish-inspired tile floor in an ornate gray and white pattern.

Master Bath, Before

Master Bathroom, After

With a modest amount of reconfiguring, the redesigned bathroom has an enclosed toilet and massive walk-in shower with gray marble tile.

Master Bath, Before

Erin hit the nail squarely on the head when she characterized this as "a very Scarface bathroom." On the plus side, the space was large and did include a door opening onto a rear balcony.

Master Bath, After

A generous white linen curtain adds a luxurious touch, and the door is painted in charcoal gray, tying in with the cabinets of the his-and-her vanities.

Master Bath, After

The radically transformed bath is a key feature helping fulfill the homebuyers' desire for a sanctuary-like master suite. As Erin justifiably proclaimed: "It's the swankiest bathroom ever." 

Master Bedroom, Before

The master bedroom, though visually nondescript, was spacious and well lit.

Master Bedroom, After

Master Bedroom, Before

The carpet and window treatments were old and faded, but the bedroom did include a functional fireplace.

Master Bedroom, After

The walls and new carpet are a tranquil gray.

Master Bedroom, After

The fireplace gets freshened up with a new coat of white paint and a more contemporary styled screen in contrasting black.

Master Bedroom, After

Master Bedroom, After

The space gets a warming touch with a wooden bench seat, headboard and bed frame all custom made by Ben at his wood shop — with some help from his younger brother Jesse.

Master Bedroom, After

The wooden bed frame and accompanying pieces were all handmade using traditional mortise-and-tenon joinery.

Before

After

After

The renovated exterior has a look that's softer and more distinguished, with newly painted ironwork that provides contrast against the neutral brick. The landscaping has been scaled back, revealing the lines and detail of the house.

Backyard, After

One of the home's main selling points was the large and private backyard with a rear balcony, a pond, a gazebo and a true woodland feel.

Backyard, After

The remodel included this outdoor living area that's ideal for entertaining or just relaxing and enjoying the view.

Behind the Scenes: The Reveal

What was formerly known as The Herndon House ...

Behind the Scenes: The Reveal

... is now The Watts House.

Behind the Scenes: The Reveal

A Happy Ending, Laurel Style

Believe in Magic

"A problem in a lot of towns," says Ben, "[is that] people don't see the beauty and magic anymore. It's already right there, and they don't see it. We want all these houses to shine."

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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