After four months and some seriously beautiful renovations, Erin and Ben Napier are finally wrapping up this season of “Home Town Takeover” by putting the finishing touches on Wetumpka, AL.
In the finale episode, “Blooming on the Coosa,” the Napiers renovate an old 1850 house. Then they create a stunning space for a farmers market that’s sure to become a new go-to destination for locals.
There’s lots of work to be done, so Erin and Ben get some help from fellow HGTV stars Jasmine Roth and Ty Pennington.
Here’s how they renovate these two ho-hum spots into incredible gathering spaces, which includes lots of take-home lessons you might be inspired to try in your own home and outdoor space, too.
A nonfunctioning fireplace can still look great
Chip and Stephanie Harrison, plus their three girls, live in one of Wetumpka’s most unique homes. The house was built in 1850 but the past owners, the Cain sisters, decided that the place was too small, so they added two other homes onto the original structure. Now, Erin and Ben need to make this 3-in-1 structure feel like home for the Harrisons.
“What we want to do is make it fit them,” Ben says.
“Make it theirs,” Erin chimes in. “But to keep those historic elements.”
When it comes to the old fireplace, Erin, Ben, and Roth want to make sure it’s well-preserved, even though the chimney has crumbled and the fireplace no longer works.
Roth wants to keep the historic mantel, so she decides to create a decorative firebox.
“They’re never going to light a fire,” Roth says, “which means I could use wood—and I have a whole pile of, like, old wood that Ben ripped out of the wall.”
She uses old wood from the home to make a lovely herringbone design inside the fireplace. It’s a great way to preserve the look of the old fireplace without spending a ton of money.
Add a library ladder to tall shelves
Chip and Stephanie’s daughters, Ella, Maggie, and Zoey, are always busy with homework, but they don’t have a designated workspace.
“They’ve been doing all their studying and everything at the dinner table,” Ben explains. “So we wanted to give them a bookshelf with a place for their computer and a place to do homework.”
Ben builds a desk and bookshelves that go all the way up to the ceiling, then to finish off the study area, he adds a library ladder. It’s a fun way to keep everything within reach.
“The desk and ladder are going to be really functional for the Harrison girls,” Ben says, “but it’s also going to look like it belongs in their historic home.”
Ben’s mini library proves that designing a workspace doesn’t have to feel like, well, work. This space is fun and classic, and it might even make Ella, Maggie, and Zoey more excited to do their homework!
Farmhouse kitchens are out, country kitchens are in
Farmhouse kitchens, with lots of white cabinets and simple black accents, have been wildly popular in recent years. But Erin and Ben prove that this style isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Instead, they give the Harrison kitchen cabinets a calming light blue color—which looks as warm as it is airy.
“The color of the cabinets is sort of a robin’s egg blue,” Pennington points out. “It’s such a good country kitchen color.”
The tone is a little bit daring, but it looks fantastic. Who knows? Maybe blue county kitchens will become the next hot home decor style.
Add monogrammed stained glass for a personal touch
While the Cain sisters made this strange home unique, Erin and Ben want to make sure that the Harrisons feel like this place is truly their own, so they commission a stained-glass design for the china cabinet doors featuring the letter H.
“I feel like putting this H on the doors is a little more than just a monogram,” Erin says. “It’s a way of them marking their permanence in this house.”
Of course, Stephanie and Chip love the detail. These windows are a charming touch, and serve as great inspiration for homeowners looking to make their place a little more personal.
Add swings to an outdoor space
While Chip and Stephanie’s house requires a lot of attention, Ben and Erin have just enough time to finish another project.
They want to give the town a designated farmers market, so Pennington stops by to help build a space for farmers to sell their goods. Plus, he helps build a swingset that will certainly encourage townspeople to hang out in the space for a while.
“This is one of the prettiest views in town,” Ben says of the farmers market. “We want people to enjoy it, make it a destination.”
Ben builds four bench swings with arches inspired by a nearby bridge, making the swings feel like they really belong in the area.
With these two projects finished, Erin and Ben head back to Laurel, MS, proud of their work bringing new life to the small town of Wetumpka.
“It’s not about construction; it’s really not,” Ben says. “It’s about the people.”