'Home Town' Star Erin Napier Responds to Fan Outcry Over Controversial Design Decision

hometown's erin napier in floral patterned dress on today season 72
Erin Napier Defends Controversial Design DecisionNBC - Getty Images

In last week's episode of HGTV's Home Town, for the first time ever, design star duo Erin and Ben Napier bulldozed an unsalvageable house and built a custom new one for a newlywed couple who were after an "eclectic, English apothecary style" with plenty of cottage charm.

After the episode, Erin met with an outcry over her choice of a green-and-white striped awning over the architectural team's proposed wooden arch for the front stoop, so she took to Instagram to explain.

The issue: Ben and Erin had a $150,000 budget to not only build a 793-square-foot home but also imbue it with cozy historic charm. It was unclear in the episode due to editing, but the arch would have cost around $3,500. That would have meant forgoing woodwork details and trim upgrades inside, and for Erin, the choice was clear.

"Our first new build and on a $150k budget, but we did all we could to infuse it with historic charms, I know y’all were upset I asked for the striped awning vs. the arched porch: it was edited such that you didn’t hear the part where we learned the cost to do that (about $3500) would have made it too expensive to have any woodwork and larger trim inside," the HGTV design star and best-selling author posted on Instagram along with a carousel of photos of the finished project.

"The juice wasn’t worth that squeeze for us—millwork is the difference between new construction and historic homes when you’re talking interiors, and with LVT floors we needed every last bit of character inside," she continued. "I love the charming awning, and it seems like they did too. 😄 #HGTVHomeTown (huge shout out to our amazing architects @lakeandlandstudio who are the pros at designing new old homes!)"

We watched the episode, entitled "Old World, New Build," and we gotta say, what Erin and Ben pulled off is pretty impressive. One-of-a-kind engraved wood knobs perfectly finished off the green kitchen cabinets. The wall color was indeed "creamy, taupe-y, yummy goodness." (Side note: One of our favorite paint colors for that look is Benjamin Moore's Monroe Bisque.) And the custom range covers that double as cutting boards? That's genius small space decorating.

Still, even after Erin's explanation, some fans were not having it.

"The awning looks cheap and it would look better uf [sic] it was just left off! Just sayimg [sic]! Big disappointment! Maybe you could have spent less on those expensive kitchen appliances," one fan sounded off.

That biting comment led Erin to respond, "You can do it however you wish on your show, which is better in every way I bet."

"SNAP," wrote another fan on the exchange, tagging the original commenter. Others told Erin her response was perfect. And several weighed in that they would prefer the quality appliances, thank you very much. (The homeowner loves to cook, after all.)

Some expressed their preference for the arched entrance but also said they understood Erin's design decision: "I was sad when the arched doorway didn't make the cut, I felt like it took the home to a whole new level. But it was such a beautiful and charming home. You knocked it out of the park once again," said one.

And this one cracked us up: "We were screaming at the TV, 'keep the arch' 😂 then found out this couple were Tolkien fans and I about died…arched doorway=perfect Hobbit house ❤️ I love this episode. The color palate [sic]. The custom knobs. The mushroom knobs. Bathroom mirror. Perfect!"

Others pointed out that the homeowners could always add the arch later if they wanted.

Many raved about the project, including the homeowner who commented, "We love it more than anything and feel so incredibly blessed to call it our home 💛 can't say thank you enough."

Here's what a few others had to say:

  • "Every choice was perfect. The custom knobs were to die for."

  • "So beautiful and charming. I wish today's builders would build more homes like this. They would sell like hotcakes."

  • "Anywhere I can see the episode since I had to miss it?" (PSA—Our guide to how to watch and stream HGTV if you don't have cable can help with that.)

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