Ben and Erin Napier Explain Why They Love Old Houses So Much

 “They’re storytellers, and as Southerners, that’s what we’re good at is telling stories.”

Ben and Erin Napier Seated
Photo: Brooke Davis-Jefcoat

If you're an HGTV fan, chances are the Home Town series with Ben and Erin Napier has been biscuits and gravy for your Southern soul during these uncertain and unsettling times.

As superfans of the show, we love learning all that we can about these sweet and talented Laurel leaders. That's why we were thrilled to see that Heath Racela⁠—who was a senior producer and director of PBS' series This Old House and Ask This Old House⁠—interviewed the Napiers for a recent episode of his podcast Quarantine Creatives with Heath Racela. Having been laid off in March from his Concord, Massachusetts-based team just prior to the coroanvirus-related shutdown, he started the podcast as an outlet for those in creative industries like TV and radio to share their work experiences amid the current climate.

On the recent episode featuring the Napiers, the couple dives into how the coronavirus pandemic will impact production on Season 5, life in Laurel, and so much more. In their interview with Heath, we particularly loved hearing the duo express their love for old houses.

"They're storytellers, and as Southerners, that's what we're good at is telling stories," says Ben, sharing his love for homes from bygone days. For Erin, her appreciation for old houses is manifold: "The character, the creaks, the patina of a wood floor that's 100 years old. You can't fake that. You can't manufacture it. You can find old photos of it, the original family, the people that built the house, the original floor plans. There's just so much that changes over the decades that you get to see when you uncover and you open up walls or you bring down old wallpaper, you just get to see the decades and layers. There's just a sterility to new houses that don't interest us at all."

Later in the conversation, Ben notes, "We did a house that the builder or one of the builders wrote the date and 'Laurel, Mississippi' on one of the boards inside. And it was really cool because we knew exactly what day that board was put up because somebody wrote it on there." It may seem like a simple gesture—etching a date and year into a special place in your home designating when it was built, but think of the smiles it could create for generations to come.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify below or check it out on all major podcast platforms (Apple, Stitcher, etc.).

What did you think of the episode? Learn something new about these HGTV stars? Raise your hand if you're ready for Season 5, we know we could use some more biscuits and gravy for our souls right about now—praise be for reruns.

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