Psst. Want to know a reality TV hot spot where you can buy a whole house for $15,000? Then tune in to “Hometown,” the HGTV show where minister-and-wife team Ben and Erin Napier have just premiered their fourth season of renovating homes in Laurel, MS.
In the kickoff episode, “From Los Angeles to Laurel,” the Napiers meet Nancy and her husband, actor Richard T. Jones, who’ve recently purchased a house in Laurel—for a mere 15 grand! Richard and Nancy hope to turn this into a rent-to-own property for someone in town, and come to the project with $75,000 to spend.
But surprise: The house needs a ton of work before anyone can move in. And while Erin tries to refinish the house with vintage flair, she runs the risk of going from “darling” to “dated” when she decides to paint the walls green, and also paint the wood floors, and add glass hardware to the kitchen.
Can Erin and Ben turn this home into a smart investment, or will it end up a hometown flop? Read on to find out how this house turns out, and to learn some of Ben and Erin’s best renovation tips.
A welcoming porch makes all the difference
When Nancy and Richard first show Erin and Ben the house, they all know the exterior needs a big refresh. This home looks dark and closed off, with a screened porch and overgrown bushes.
Luckily, Ben and Erin know just how to refresh the front of this house. They take out overgrown greenery and replace it with manageable plants and flowers. Then, they take out the screens and give this home a welcoming porch with a beautiful white railing.
In the end, it’s clear Erin and Ben upped this home’s curb appeal.
“The porch railing, I think, is, like, my favorite detail on the front of the house,” Erin says.
Of course, the new owners love it, too.
“It’s like a whole different house,” Richard says.
Paint the floor to mimic a rug
Erin and Ben know that the master bedroom needs a lot of work. The room has an ugly closet, chipped paint all over the walls, and an uneven floor.
Erin goes for broke: She decides that she wants to paint the floor of this room with peach and light green lines, giving the room the illusion of having a rug.
It’s a risky move, but the finished product looks charming and beautifully vintage. It gives the space a warmer feel and brightens up what used to be dark, dingy floors. Overall, it’s a beautiful and creative improvement.
Consider a wood floor in the bathroom
After painting the master bedroom floor, Erin needs to find the perfect flooring for the en suite bathroom. More of the pink and green paint would be too much, so she needs to find something that won’t clash. She and Ben settle on wood floors.
Wood floors in a bathroom may not be the typical choice, but it looks amazing in the space. It matches the home’s vintage vibe, and the dark color gives the small space a little extra dimension.
A brick fireplace cries out for a modern face-lift
While Erin and Ben try hard to preserve the old-world charm in this classic home, when it comes to the brick fireplace, they know they’re going to need to make a more modern change.
They smooth out the mortar lines so the fireplace will look clean and smooth, then they paint the whole surface white. The finished product has that modern, simplified look, but it still works perfectly in this old house.
Make the best of those original cabinets
Before renovation, the kitchen cabinets are dark, dark, dark, making the whole room feel closed off and creepy. But Erin and Ben know how to fix up the space.
Instead of replacing the old cabinets, they simply paint over them. Erin and Ben know soft, buttery yellow cabinets would look great in the space. Plus, the color would match the home’s exterior.
And as it turns out, the duo are right-on about the color. The light yellow makes the kitchen seem bright and welcoming, and it gives the room a ton of character.
Go vintage with historic glass hardware
With some freshly painted cabinets, Erin knows the kitchen will need some good hardware to bring the look together.
So, when it comes to hardware, Erin chooses a historic replication of recycled green glass, like the kind one might see in old houses. It’s subtle, but still gives the home that gorgeous vintage look.
Plus, it matches the soft green accents in the dining room and the green and peach floor in the bedroom.
Nancy loves the color, saying, “that soft green is carried throughout the house, it’s so perfect.”
Is this house a ‘Hometown’ hit?
By the time Ben and Erin are finished, the house looks amazing, and they finish right on budget. It seems like everything is perfect.
That is until five months later, when a tornado rips through Laurel. Ben and Erin return to their flip to see if there is any damage to the home—and unfortunately, there is, especially to the roof and siding.
Still, Erin and Ben are ready to rebuild, so perhaps later episodes will show that this $15,000 house has a happy ending.
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