Ben and Erin Napier had no qualms about mixing business with family when Erin’s uncle Danny asked them to help him find a craftsman home to renovate, but the family ties went even deeper when Danny settled on a 120-year-old home that had once belonged to his cousin Kit. Erin embraced the opportunity to walk down memory lane and breathe new life into a home that meant so much to her uncle. See how she transformed the $165,000 heritage home, and made it a place her family can gather for many more years to come.
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Welcome to the Raspberry House
When the Napiers brought Erin’s uncle Danny to see this craftsman home, he recognized it immediately: it had once belonged to his cousin Kit! The 3,000-square-foot home, which was built in 1900, had been the site of many family gatherings for Erin and her uncle, and offered the perfect opportunity for Danny to marry his passion for restoring Laurel, Mississippi’s historical homes, with his love for family. With Ben and Erin’s vision, the Raspberry Home was given an extensive $120,000 makeover, starting with the exterior. A new door was installed, along with new lighting and outdoor fans for those hot southern summers, and Ben upcycled a kitchen banquette into a charming porch swing.
Welcome to the Jungle
Prior to the renovation, the home was hidden behind overgrown landscaping, but that didn’t deter Danny. He could see the home’s potential, and was happy to invest what was necessary to make it the heart-warming space it had once been when it belonged to cousin Kit. In fact, his “all in” budget meant Ben and Erin could transform the dated house, starting with the kitchen (which was one of the most unsightly “before” spaces we’ve seen).
A Truly Hideous Kitchen
The kitchen was going to require the majority of the renovation budget, as very little was salvageable, but when Ben quoted $45,000 for the makeover, Danny replied nonchalantly with: “That’s it?” (Talk about a dream client!). Erin had big plans for this room, she wanted to blow it out, creating space for a large island, copious amounts of storage, and a layout to accommodate two ovens (one of Danny’s few requests).
A Kitchen Makeover That’ll Take Your Breath Away
Looking at this kitchen, you’d never imagine what it looked like before Erin and Ben got their hands on it. Aside from the original hardwood floors, nearly everything was scrapped, and it all made way for exquisite green cabinetry that runs floor to ceiling, a functional layout that allows for large family gatherings, and a gorgeous table, made by Ben using white oak from Tupelo, Mississippi (a nod to Danny’s love of Elvis). And, of course, Danny’s coveted second oven!
A Family Room Worthy of a Reunion
The kitchen opens onto a cozy family room that was left largely intact, save for a fresh coat of white paint over the dated brick fireplace. Erin pulled it all together with cozy armchairs, plush pillows and neutral accents to brighten the original stained trim.
A Dark and Drab Dining Room
Despite Danny’s love for the original light fixture, Erin pulled her trump card and opted to replace it with something that would highlight the room’s incredibly high ceilings. She also envisioned a new paint colour for the walls, one that would brighten the room, and draw attention to the big, beautiful window.
Dear Dining Room
Post renovation, the dining room is airy and elegant, with a new bookshelf pulled from the original study (more on that room later!) and an updated dining room light fixture approved by Erin. Upon touring the finished dining room, Danny and the Napiers agreed he’d be responsible for hosting every family dinner from now on.
Down to Earth Design
The ceiling in the living room may reach the heavens, but the design is totally down to Earth. We love how Erin introduced touches of colour with a vibrant rug, pillows and artwork, but left the essentials of the room (the walls, window dressings and furniture) fairly neutral. (This is a great trick for anyone who likes to mix things up for each season, or every few years).
A Very Merry Primary Bedroom
The main floor primary bedroom was a nice size, but the attached bathroom posed a huge problem: it was teeny-tiny. It was so small it was nearly a deal breaker for Danny, but Erin insisted she could take over the study off the entryway, and transform it into a spacious en suite. It wouldn’t be cheap (just a cool $35,000 for the bedroom and bathroom makeover) but knowing Danny’s attitude towards budgets, Erin knew he’d be easily convinced if it meant enjoying a roomy primary bathroom.
A Legacy Reclaimed
Double vanity? Check. Roomy shower? Check, check. Classic soaker tub? Check, check, check. The newly renovated primary en suite bathroom is completely unrecognizable, and Danny was blown away by it, calling it “a big win.” Erin’s ability to re-envision space, taking a room that was largely unused and transforming it into a space Danny can enjoy morning and night is exactly why her uncle turned to her in the first place.
Danny purchased the Raspberry House for $165,000 and invested $120,000 into the renovation, for a total value of $285,000, but the value of bringing Cousin Kit’s craftsman home back into the family fold is worth more to Uncle Danny and Erin than any price tag.