“Home Town” Star Erin Napier Isn’t Interested in “Perfect” Houses

published Nov 5, 2023
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headshot of erin and ben napier
Credit: Photo: Getty Images; Design: Apartment Therapy

Erin Napier isn’t interested in perfection.

The HGTV queen, who stars on the hit series Home Town with her husband, Ben, recently appeared on an episode Southern Living’s podcast, Biscuits and Jam, and discussed how she has no time for immaculately maintained properties that don’t looked lived-in.

“I feel like there’s a lot of home design books that feel just unattainable. And also, I don’t care about seeing pictures of things that are perfect,” shared Napier. “I’m way more interested in the realness of how we live in our houses.”

The home renovation expert channels her passion for imperfection into her new book called Heirloom Rooms. It’s the second publication for Napier, who previously wrote a children’s book. While it’s her first adult publication, Napier has chronicled every inch of her work in a journal every day since 2010. She has even collected her home design inspo in a folder since she was in junior high. But even though the years have flown by, her taste hasn’t changed all that much. 

“All these images, it was the same, the taste that I’ve always had, which is like these great creamy rooms that glow,” she explained. “Lots of lamps, but then heavy dark wood furniture and really soft rumpled linen sofas. It’s just been something I’ve been attracted to since I was 12 years old.”

One of the beloved properties she visits in her book is her grandparents’ home, where her late grandmother would sit in a chair by the patio table. “Everybody else had to sit in the white rocking chairs, and we would talk about life,” Napier recalled. “I’d tell her everything that was happening at school, everything that was happening with Ben. And she just adored him. And I loved our time on that back porch. It was consistent and it was important. And that’s the thing that I miss the most about that house for sure.”

Several other friends and family members contributed to the book as well. But when it came to preparing for the photos, Napier made sure to tell each one to avoid striving for perfection.

“I said, ‘I want you to self-photograph the rooms in your house, and I don’t want you to worry about making it perfect. This is not a photo shoot for a magazine. This is documenting the way you really live in your house,’” she told them. “And my tips would be, ‘turn off all artificial light, only use natural light, and try to shoot straight on. And we’ll have a little consistency if we can all do that.’ And I was so impressed.”

Another thing Napier has no interest in is having her children on social media. She’s the founder of OSPREY (Old School Parents Raising Engaged Youth), a nonprofit that focuses on limiting kids’ use of social media. Napier says she’s extremely grateful she wasn’t exposed to Facebook until she got to college. 

“I know for sure it would’ve been terrible for me to have that when I was a teenager. It just would’ve crushed me. Criticism from people would have crushed me when I was 15, 16 years old,” she recalled, noting that an obsession with social media would have likely stunted her creative interests. “I wouldn’t have that accordion folder of magazine clippings if I had been busy on social media.”

Buy: Heirloom Rooms by Erin Napier, $32.55 (regularly $35)