‘Home Town’s Erin Napier Explains Controversial Design Choice


The Big Picture

  • Erin Napier’s design choices can be controversial, as seen in
    Home Town
    ‘s most recent episode.
  • Fans criticized Erin’s choice of a fabric scalloped awning due to budget constraints.
  • Erin defends her decisions, reminding fans of the show’s ultimate goal to please homeowners.

When it comes to design shows on HGTV, fans are never shy to express their opinions. Oftentimes, they are in awe of the ultimate makeover, shocked at how a renovation or complete house build can completely transform the original space. When it comes to the smash hit HGTV show Home Town, husband and wife reno duo Ben and Erin Napier have performed magic throughout their eight seasons. But a recent design choice has caused Erin to be in the crossfire, having to defend and explain her decisions. It’s time for Erin to speak out!

Since debuting on HGTV in 2016, Ben and Erin Napier have renovated houses in an area they know quite well, Laurel, Mississippi. Currently, in its triumphant eighth season, every episode of Home Town features the Napiers showing their clients a few potential home options that will eventually become their dream home. Like many design and renovation shows on the network, the formula is quite simple. From selecting a house, presenting a renovation plan, doing the hard work, and then ultimately surprising the homeowners, Home Town is a sickly sweet guilty pleasure that has boosted the Napiers as one of the faces of the network. In fact, in 2023, it was rated the number one real estate show to watch! Even when Home Town is infused with such buoyancy and positivity on screen, viewers may not always feel the same after seeing the final result. Most recently, it was the March 17th, 2024 episode of Home Town that had fans clamoring online.

Home Town

Ben and Erin Napier work with each other to change old homes into dream homes.

Release Date
January 24, 2016

Ben Napier , Erin Napier


The Drama Over the Awning on ‘Home Town’

Ben and Erin Napier in front of the infamous awning house on 'Home Town.'
Image via HGTV

On the 10th episode of the eighth season of Home Town, Erin and Ben Napier welcomed a pair of quirky Laurel newlyweds as they had a chance to leave their 300 square foot tiny house and upgrade to an old rundown family home. The big twist: the Napiers went to a place they never go, demolition! The rundown home was in such disarray, it was best for Ben and Erin to bulldoze every inch of the home and start from scratch. For the first time, the Napiers are going to give their clients a custom build. With a budget of $150,000 to spend on the total renovation, Ben and Erin ran into some newfound challenges that caused the ultimate riff between Erin and the fans. And in reality, it was a blink, and you’ll miss the moment!

As presented early in the episode, the clients, Dylan and Dara, love to have people over. They want a bedroom they can walk around in, plus an office for Dylan as he works from home. As far as aesthetics, Dara explains they love an old cottage meets English garden vibe. Knowing they had eccentric clients, Erin had to ensure, like she does with all of her clients, that their personalities were shown through in the final design. They worked with their architects at Lake + Land to assist in bringing a historically charming home come to life. As they sat down with the architects, they showed Erin a white house with green trim and a green roof. And proudly standing in the front was a beautifully designed arched doorway. But as beautiful as it was, Erin chimes in and shares that she has always loved a fabric scalloped awning. The computer generated rendering swaps it in and Erin is sold. Sadly, that’s not the case for her loyal viewers. To say it was tacky is an understatement. But when it comes to home renovations, there’s a reason for everything.

Erin explained that the reason for her decision was based on budget. That single doorway element would have eaten up too much of the cost as Erin’s main focus was to keep the character inside the physical structure. As Erin stated on her Instagram post, the archway would have cost them about $3500. Regardless of the explanation, fans took to Erin’s post to voice their opinions. When one fan called the awning cheap, Erin jumped in and called out the fan by simply stating, “You can do it however you wish on your show, which is better in every way I bet.” The biting comment led to a later social media post from Erin calling out the fans for their rude comments and how they are not hurting her feelings, but those of the real people living in those homes. Regardless of how the viewers felt about the final product, the real test was to win over the new homeowners. Thankfully, Dylan and Dara were in awe of Erin and Ben’s creation; awning included!


‘Home Town’s Ben & Erin Napier Reveal the Impact of Ben’s Injury on Their “Best Season Ever” and Tease Their “Origin Story” Episode [Interview]

‘Home Town’ stars Ben and Erin Napier also talk about a very special guest star stepping in this season.

Erin Napier Is No Stranger to Controversial Design

Not every design choice will please everyone. Between limitations ranging from budget and client requests, design and renovation choices will be made that might baffle the viewers. Especially when the designer in question is known for a certain kind of aesthetic. Erin Napier is a down-to-earth Southern woman. She’s known for traditional elements and antique furnishings with a subtle yet neutral color palette. But when a client wants something out of her comfort zone, Erin is unafraid to go all in and give the client their dream. In the final episode of the seventh season, Erin paid homage to her client’s newfound US citizenship by bringing Americana into the kitchen. That meant the room was very much red, white, and blue. To the average viewer, it was certainly controversial as it was loud and bold. At least it helped separate them from their home renovation counterparts, Chip and Joanna Gains of Fixer Upper fame and Dave and Jenny Marrs of Fixer to Fabulous fame, as it was a far cry from the Southern charm all three couples are quite fond of.

Erin Napier has never been shy about blocking the owners of rude social media comments. While it may have been about her parenting skills, we’re sure Erin is unafraid of smashing that block button to the naysayers of her designs as well. Home Town is a smash hit on HGTV. At the end of the day, a long building process is reduced down to a single 44-minute edited episode. What appears in the final product may not make complete sense to the fans, but hey, this is reality television! The beauty of a show like Home Town is it’s not often that Erin and Ben cause controversy. They’re still going strong with their main show and their spin-off series, Home Town Takeover. Watch this space in case there’s a newfound Awning-Gate!

Home Town is available to stream on MAX in the U.S. with new episodes airing on Sundays.

Watch on MAX


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