On HGTV’s “Home Town,” Erin and Ben Napier have made over many homes in Laurel, MS—but in the latest episode, things get awkward when they help a family member with (dare we say?) tacky tastes.

In the Season 5 episode “All in the Family,” the Napiers meet up with Erin’s uncle, Danny, to fix up his new house, a 1900s build that once belonged to another of Erin’s cousins, so this project really feels close to home.

However, the Napiers run into some trouble when it comes to Danny’s personal style. He loves big, over-the-top designs, so Erin and Ben need to find ways to tone down his outsized tastes so that his old home can feel timeless—all without going over the $130,000 budget.


Here’s how Erin and Ben find a style that works for Danny that’s not too ostentatious—a good reminder that there are plenty of ways to strike a balance with decor that could save you from major renovation regrets in your own home, too.

Don’t make this mistake with your yard: overgrown greenery

house
This house needed some serious landscaping work.

HGTV

When Erin and Ben first see Danny’s house, they point out how great the exterior looks. The color looks great and the structure looks sound. There’s just one issue: the overgrown greenery.

“The house is beautiful,” Erin says, “so we just need to see the house.”

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After cleaning up the greenery, this house has better curb appeal.

HGTV

Luckily, trimming back this landscaping is easy—Erin just needs to decide which plants to keep and which to remove. She decides to keep a maple tree, and removes almost everything else.

When the landscaping is finished, the yard definitely gives the house a cleaner look. Now, it’s the house, not the yard, that people will see first when they pull up.

Cover a doorway with a bookshelf

doorway
Erin and Ben Napier wanted to cover this doorway.

HGTV

To make this home work better for Danny, Erin and Ben decide to turn a den into a big, beautiful bathroom. This means they need to close up one of the entryways, but matching the wood paneling on the wall could be difficult. So Erin gets creative.

“We don’t need that door going to that room, though, so I want to build in a bookcase there and close that off,” Erin says.

bookcase
This doorway is now a convenient bookshelf!

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Her bookcase solution is a great idea because not only does it allow them to keep the wood paneling as is, but it also adds storage to this space. It’s a great solution and in the end, the new bookcase looks like it was always supposed to be there.

Lights should be grand but not gaudy

Chandelier
Ben and Erin know that a subtle chandelier will make a better statement.

HGTV

Erin worries that Danny’s flashy tastes will take over this house, so she is careful to make understated design choices while still including features that Danny will like.

“Uncle Danny likes the finest of the finest, and he likes really huge, big chandeliers and light fixtures,” Erin says. “And he likes ornately big, carved desks and beds. So it’s going to be my job to reel that in a little bit.”

One way she does this is with the chandelier in the dining room. She chooses a big statement fixture, but makes sure that it’s not overwhelming the room. The light is large, but it has a simple style in a muted color.

Luckily, Danny loves the chandelier.

“I would have never picked that out; mine would have been gaudy,” Danny says. “This is the way it should be.”

Paint the fireplace for a quick makeover

Erin and Ben need to fix up lots of rooms in this house, but most of the place doesn’t require a lot of changes. In fact, the living room just needs some new paint. The team paints the lime-green walls a creamy off-white, and the brick fireplace a brighter white.

“The white fireplace, all that brick, and then having that wood wainscoting and trim around it, that’s going to look good,” Ben says.

fireplace
White paint gives this fireplace a fresh look for a low price.

HGTV

This white paint is a simple way to update the space. It also highlights the wood paneling in this room, making the space feel grand. While Danny prefers big features and overstated design, the simple paint job and soft furnishings let the wood paneling in this room really shine.

Go big with the kitchen island

island
Sometimes it’s OK to go big—on the kitchen island.

HGTV

While much of this house is in good shape, the kitchen is, as Danny says, a “total redo.”

So the team rips out the old cabinets and counters to create a beautiful kitchen with forest-green cabinets, big windows, and two ovens.

Of course, Erin and Ben want to include an island, but they know that Danny wants lots of extra space for big family gatherings. They decide to install an extra large island that’s farther from the perimeter counters, so Danny can have extra space.

“Having that big island, pushed out from the kitchen a little bit, double ovens, it’s going to be awesome,” Ben says.

It all shows that, sometimes, bigger is indeed better.

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