With its fourth season recently finished and a fifth in the works, “Home Town” has turned husband-and-wife design team Ben and Erin Napier into HGTV’s next big thing.
And we can see why: Their work renovating houses in Laurel, MS, is inspiring not only in terms of design, but also because they’re raising their humble town’s profile and real estate values all around!
Yet although their names and signature designs may now ring a bell, how well do you really know the Napiers?
With a bit of digging, we found out that they have a lot of surprises and, yes, even skeletons in their past. Here are some fun facts about these “Home Town” stars you probably never knew.
1. They’re college sweethearts
View this post on Instagram
On December 7, 2004 @scotsman.co and I met in our college yearbook room about the feature story we were writing about him. I was the design editor and for two years had noticed him, always the center of attention, everyone’s best friend, my biggest crush. December 8, we took the photos for the yearbook. December 9, we went on our first date and he met my mama. December 10, we looked at the Christmas lights in Mason Park. December 13, we decided we would get married someday. It sounds crazy to you, maybe. But it makes perfect sense to me. Click the link in my profile for the journal Big wrote about the night we saw the lights, just like we did tonight with Helen, 15 years later.❤️ #loveweek
Erin and Ben seem to be a really close couple, and here’s one reason why: They’ve known each other a long, long time.
These two met at Jones Country Junior College—and knew within a week of dating that they’d one day marry. Talk about love at first sight!
2. They weren’t big HGTV fans before they got their show
As it turns out, these “Home Town” stars hadn’t ever dreamed of being on TV. In fact, they admitted that they’d only just started watching shows like “Fixer Upper” when an HGTV executive asked if they’d ever thought about doing their own show.
“I never really watched HGTV before,” Erin said in an interview. “We weren’t big TV watchers at all.”
In the end, they decided to sign on for “Home Town” because, as Erin explains, “anything that can draw some positive attention to our town, we’re game.”
3. They don’t have much renovation experience
As it turns out, Erin and Ben didn’t have a home renovation background. In fact, Erin has a degree in graphic design while Ben has a degree in history.
Before they got the show, the couple filled their time by running their small businesses: a furniture shop, a stationery shop, and a home goods store in Laurel.
While Ben and Erin may not have had a lot of experience renovating homes before the show started, clearly they picked it up quickly.
4. Health struggles threatened their ability to have kids
While Erin and Ben may have gotten into HGTV fairly easily, things haven’t always been smooth sailing for this couple. For years, Erin suffered from a mysterious illness with weeklong episodes of terrible stomach pain and fever, rendering her unable to move without pain.
Then, in 2014, an exploratory surgery revealed that her appendix had been continually bursting and healing itself over the years. After Erin underwent the surgery to remove her appendix and scar tissue, she was told having kids “wasn’t likely.” Nonetheless, their daughter, Helen, was born in January 2018.
5. They kept their pregnancy a secret
Erin and Ben may have had their baby in January 2018 (just before the Season 2 premiere), but fans didn’t know she was pregnant until she was almost ready to deliver.
In October 2017, Erin posted a photo on Instagram with a caption that read, “I have a secret to tell you.” The post directed followers to a link to their pregnancy announcement on her blog.
Erin was seven months along and had managed to keep the pregnancy quiet (even while filming) until the pair were finally ready to tell the world.
6. Erin has several hidden talents
View this post on Instagram
When I was 14, I started playing music at the coffee house in downtown Laurel to earn my money. I did that until I graduated high school, when my interests in art just kind of edged out my interest in music, and @scotsman.co still mourns it, always asking me to sing him a song. It just wasn't where my heart was anymore. It's been so long since I played. At least a year. You inspired me, @chrisandmorgane. Thank you for that. ❤️ #saturdaysongs
Erin seems like a multitalented person: From interior design to graphic art to stationery making, what can’t she do?
Well, it looks like we have to add music to her long list of skills because Erin can sing, play the piano, and strum a guitar, too!
In one Instagram post she explained that she used to be much more interested in music.
“When I was 14, I started playing music at the coffeehouse in downtown Laurel to earn my money,” she said. “I did that until I graduated high school.”
Every so often, she’ll post a video on Instagram of herself singing and/or playing, but it seems like her music has taken a back seat to home renovations. But who knows, maybe she’ll play a song on “Home Town” one day.
7. Ben and Erin have a unique morning routine
In one interview, Erin described a sweet habit Ben fits into his morning routine.
“Every day he’s up before me, and he writes me a letter,” she says. “It’s a short one, but it’s a letter.”
She also says that he always has a Coke waiting for her.
That’s right, while Ben drinks coffee in the morning, Erin reports that she washes down her breakfast cereal with a Coke Zero. It might not be the most conventional morning drink, but whatever works!
The post 7 Surprising Facts About Erin and Ben Napier on ‘Home Town’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.