Ben put his woodworking skills to work on several projects in the space — including a gorgeous mahogany island

By Hannah Chubb
July 06, 2020 03:10 PM

Ben and Erin Napier have been social distancing at home in Laurel, Mississippi, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, spending the majority of their time hanging out with their immediate family and doing lots of cooking.

So the Home Town stars are especially grateful they recently did a major overhaul of their kitchen.

"This is the dream kitchen I always wanted," Erin, 34, told hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Willie Geist on The Today Show during which she and Ben, 36, led viewers on a tour of the cozy space.  

Ben & Erin Napier
Getty Images

“I wanted to keep it light,” the mom of one explained of the Southern-inspired design, which features stainless-steel appliances, a white pantry and walls, and plenty of fresh flowers.

Ben, who is a woodworker and furniture maker by trade, says the most important project for him was installing “white oak cabinetry everywhere,” bringing even more brightness to the room. He explained that he added a ceruse finish to the cabinets to repurpose the original wood.  

TODAY with Hoda and Jenna/ Facebook
TODAY with Hoda and Jenna/ Facebook

Ben also used his talents to construct a gorgeous wood table that acts as an island in the middle of the kitchen. 

“Our kitchen’s not huge, but he is a furniture maker and designer and I just asked him to give me a spot in between the fridge and the counter,” Erin says of the inspiration behind the custom piece. “He built it for me from mahogany and it’s my favorite piece of furniture, it’s so beautiful.”

TODAY with Hoda and Jenna/ Facebook
TODAY with Hoda and Jenna/ Facebook

The handy couple both agree that what makes their kitchen the most special, however, is the artwork — specifically, the paintings that hang on the walls, courtesy of their 2-year-old daughter, Helen.

“These are some of our most prized possessions,” Ben says of the colorful art pieces. “She’s been painting a lot during quarantine!” Erin added. 

In another segment on Today, the stars also revealed to Bush Hager and Geist the town that will be receiving a major facelift on HGTV’s newest show, Home Town Takeover — a six-part series scheduled to premiere in 2021 that the Napiers will host. 

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In January, the network put out a call for submissions from small towns that deserved a life-changing overhaul courtesy of Ben and Erin, and over half a million people answered.

PEOPLE revealed on Thursday that the winning town is Wetumpka, Alabama, which is home to 8,278 residents. Though full of natural beauty — it's located along Alabama’s scenic Coosa River — Wetumpka has struggled to thrive in recent years. Businesses have shuttered, young people have been choosing to leave, and the town has been impacted by everything from highway diversions to natural disasters. 


The show will see Erin and Ben restore hope to the residents with a town-wide revitalization project — one of HGTV’s most ambitious projects ever — renovating Wetumpka’s private homes, small businesses and a variety of public spaces.

Home Town Takeover is coming to HGTV in 2021.