“Home Town” stars Erin and Ben Napier always give their clients a stunning home reveal when they’re done with a renovation, finally letting them see their home’s transformation. But what happens when one of the new owners didn’t even see the house before the renovation began?

In the latest episode, “A House With History,” home buyers Jay and Rhonda are excited to find a home and settle down in Laurel, MI. However, due to his physical therapy, Jay is unable to tour homes with Erin and Ben, so it’s up to Rhonda to pick the right house.

But will Rhonda make the right choice? And will Ben and Erin be able to capture both Rhonda and Jay’s styles? Read on to find out if Jay approves of the final product, and how the Napiers’ reno work could help us all improve our own homes—on a budget no less!

Give that vintage home a vintage color

This dark blue didn’t go with the classic look Rhonda and Jay wanted.


Rhonda loves the old Craftsman style of her new house, but Erin and Ben know that the dark blue color doesn’t quite fit the look they’re going for. Erin proposes painting the house gold and brown to embrace a beautiful, vintage style.

In the end, the house looks amazing. The new color is a much better fit for this charming old home and, as it turns out, Erin and Ben have to do little else to make this home’s exterior perfect.

This mix of yellow, brown, and green are perfect for this home’s style.


“We do a lot of Craftsman houses, right, but they’re not always in the condition where we can restore what was original,” Erin says.

With just a little bit of paint, this home looks perfect.

No laundry room? No problem!

This bathroom wasn’t stylish or functional.


Ben and Erin are lucky because Jay and Rhonda’s new house is in great shape for its age. It looks so good, in fact, that they don’t have to do much to make this home perfect for the new owners.

However, there is one big change they have to make before move-in day.

Old homes, Erin explains, are often missing a laundry room. But Jay and Rhonda still have to put their washer and dryer somewhere. What can they do?

This room works much better as a laundry room.


Ben and Erin decide to transform one of the bathrooms into a beautiful laundry room. It’s a perfect spot to wash and fold, with the large vintage sink (repurposed from the kitchen) and a folding station that collapses to make more room.

With cream-colored walls and a vintage look, this laundry room fits right in with the rest of the house. You’d never guess it wasn’t original!

Try a different kind of backsplash

The backsplash fits this kitchen perfectly.


Erin and Ben know that they’ll need to update the kitchen to make it workable for modern meals, still, they love the old charm of this Southern home, so they decide to give the kitchen as many homey touches as possible.

One beautiful feature is the backsplash. Instead of going with a typical tile backsplash, Erin achieves an elegant rustic look with special paneling.

When Erin and Ben finally show Rhonda and Jay their new kitchen, Erin explains, “The V-groove paneling was a decision because we wanted to make your cabinetry feel like built-in furniture.”

Erin’s plan works because the paneling not only looks great, but it also helps the modern appliances blend in with the rustic kitchen.

A coat of paint can make over just about anything

While most of this house is charmingly vintage, there’s one eyesore that’s simply outdated: the ’70s green vent hood in the kitchen.

While many renovators may have just ripped out this ugly feature, Erin paints it black with a small bit of gold to make it look aged. This way, it fits in with the old-fashioned style of the house.

Focus on preservation with new pieces to match

Ben Napier made this bench himself!


Ben and Erin know that Rhonda and Jay want to preserve the charm of this hold house, but there are some small details that the house is missing. Since the front door opens into the living room, Erin and Ben realize that Jay and Rhonda won’t have a mudroom in which to take off their shoes. So, Ben builds the couple a bench with storage and to welcome them home.

The bench is a great mudroom replacement.


The bench is perfect because not only is it a functional alternative to a mudroom, but it also perfectly matches the style of the home. With a rustic and classic vibe, this bench fits right in with the original windows and cupboards.

Is this ‘Home Town’ house a hit?

Rhonda and Jay want the budget for their new house to stay between $175,000 to $185,000. Luckily, Ben and Erin are confident they can deliver.

This one-story Craftsman cost only $65,000. Erin and Ben spend $100,000 renovating it, for a grand total of $165,000. That’s way under budget!

But are both Rhonda and Jay happy with their new home?

Since only Rhonda was able to tour the house, Jay never got to see the place before it was finished. He isn’t able to see how much progress Ben and Erin make on the house. But in the end, he still loves the finished product. Now that’s a feel-good story just when we need one!

The post ‘Home Town’ Recap: Can You Spot What This House Is Missing? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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