Erin Napier’s New Book Is All About “The Imperfection Of Our Houses”

published Feb 8, 2023
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headshot of erin and ben napier
Credit: Photo: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

Despite what home magazines and books about decor tell us, our houses rarely (if ever) look as perfectly staged as the photos in those books and magazines might imply. In reality, homes are cluttered, messy, filled with collected items, and are most definitely imperfect. And Erin Napier wanted to pay homage to the imperfect home — so, she wrote a new book called “Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home.”

“I’ve become bored of the photos of perfectly styled and staged interiors you see so much of in the online world and wanted to write a book celebrating the imperfection of our houses,” Napier wrote in a February 7 Instagram caption. “‘How perfect and clever can our houses be?’ seems to be the refrain of social media. But what about the life lived in those rooms?” 

She continued, “The styling can be an outward reflection of who we are and what we love—but really, our houses are the backdrops of our lives and celebrations and failures, of growing families.”

Napier was inspired to write essays about her own home, with each room getting its own chapter about “a particular time in our life together.” She also invited friends and designers to contribute their own stories and unstaged photos of their “lived-in rooms,” sharing what about these spaces make them theirs and no one else’s.

“I hope you’ll find the stories and photos beautiful for their relatability, and that it makes you reframe the way you think of your own home,” Napier wrote.

Heirloom Rooms is Napier’s third book after “The Lantern House” and “Made Something Good Today: A Memoir,” and will hit stores everywhere October 3. But you can preorder it now through Laurel Mercantile or your favorite bookseller.

Described as being “part Southern non-fiction and part photo book,” “Heirloom Rooms” wants to remind people that homes are so much more than just wood, brick, and glass. They’re keepers of memories, milestones, and collections that evolve over time and sometimes over generations.