Erin And Ben Napier Have Some Tips On What To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

The HGTV power couple can spot a poorly done flip a mile away.

Reality television and our favorite HGTV shows make flipping houses look fun and easy. Turns out there’s a reason we don’t all have reality shows. On a recent episode of Home Town, stars Erin and Ben Napier toured a home that they could tell had been recently flipped —and not very well. 

In the episode “A Drop of Sunshine” from the show’s seventh season, the Napiers showed their clients a home dating back to 1955, but had been updated recently. However, they noted that there were a few choices the former owners had made that made it look like a hastily done flip on a budget. While the Napiers’ clients opted to buy that home, they wanted the couple to add back some of the charm that had been lost in the remodel. 

Erin and Ben Napier Seated

Manny Carabel / Contributor/Getty Images

If you want to avoid the same mistakes when you remodel, follow these rules laid out by the Napiers, as originally reported by

The Napiers’ biggest complaint about the house was that it was “boring in every possible way”. That included the exterior, which had been painted a very modern pale gray. Erin opted for a sunshine yellow hue and added a blue front door that gives the home a much cheerier personality. 

On the inside, the flippers had given the home a modern update, but the end result was “kind of lacking in the historic architectural charm,” according to Ben. They opted to let some of the home’s original charm shine through, including using old materials to add character. To do that, they vaulted the ceiling and used the ceiling beams to create a mantel for the fireplace and a bookcase for storage.

Similarly, while the Napiers were originally planning on plastering the ceiling. When they found original paneling they decided to keep it and add back some character. Erin also let the ceilings tongue-and-groove pattern remain intact, but painted it white to give it a new-old effect.

Of course, it’s hard to build a home entirely out of old materials and new materials, if chosen wisely, can add character, too. In the kitchen, Erin opted for a tile that looked like painted brick, adding a charming weathered effect to an otherwise modern room.

If you really want to make a house feel like a home and not just a flip project, Erin suggests taking personal style as a design inspiration. In this remodel, when she noticed one of the owners sporting a sea glass necklace, she was inspired to use a sea glass-like tile in the shower to dramatic effect. Plus she knew the clients would love it, because he wore that necklace every day. “Honestly, the way people dress tells us a little about what their house should look like,” Erin says in the show.

The Napiers (and the clients) were pleased with the end result, because now the house “feels like it has some personality.” We couldn’t agree more!

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