Home Town Recap from a Homeowner

This week’s episode of Home Town was for sure a special one. It was my house! 

I’m Keri Rowell, and I wear many hats for Lott Furniture Co. I work in the office, manage our Design Studio, handle our Marketing and Advertising, run our social accounts, and do all of our blogging. (That’s what comes with a small, family-owned business, right?)

My wife Laekin and I just bought our first home. Not only that, but our home was featured on national TV and designed by Erin and Ben Napier.

Us being in our early 20s, this is a dream come true that happened about 10 years earlier than we originally planned.

A few years ago, we got our first apartment together in the Historic District. It was a small one-bedroom in a very old house sectioned off into 3 apartments. (Fun fact: It used to be a doctor’s office! Our closets were little X-Ray rooms) During that time, we took a walk up and down the avenues every single day.

We looked at houses and dreamed of owning our own home someday that we could do whatever we wanted with, and escape having to rely on landlords to do what they were supposed to. A home in the Historic District was our ultimate goal, if we decided to stay. And Home Town convinced us to stay in the city we loved.

Budget

Obviously, we are two young people who are not settled down into final good-paying careers with benefits. (Even though we love our jobs!) We are both still in school as well, and at the time of the show–we were planning and paying for a wedding.

So, until we started having detailed conversations with production and Erin and Ben, we weren’t so sure we could afford to buy a home.

Thankfully, they were so helpful and answered all of our house-hunting questions. We then made the decision to go with them to look at homes!

Behind the scenes, we were lucky to have others in our corner too. Thank you Community Bank of Laurel and Redfox Realty for making the process ultimately easier!

Our budget is not a huge one! We could afford 120k all-in, and we were seriously hoping we could find something that would fit all of our needs.

Our Wishlist

We requested a few things that were deal-breakers for us. A great porch, a great entertaining space, fun colors (namely blue and green, which we got!), and a covetable tub.

We are both pretty busy people. Laekin and I both work multiple jobs and are college students, so the time we have at home is precious. With that being said, we needed space to unwind and relax!

Another couple things about us that relate to the renovation are that we are both big readers and love to entertain. We wanted a cozy space great for reading, relaxing, or studying, but also an open concept that allows for room for our huge family and friend circle.

The Wallace House

Our initial reaction to the Wallace house was not great. Behind the scenes to production we were like, “Who do you think we are??”

At first, we just couldn’t visualize what the end product could be. Seeing the watercolor helped immensely, as well as seeing the inside.

If you’ve already seen the episode, you know that the interior was in good shape. The original oak flooring was still in-tact from 1925. It was fairly scratched up, but just refinishing would do the trick.

There were also some really beautiful historic details like crown-moulding, french doors, and an original fireplace.

Once we went inside (and tried to look past the kitchen) we started feeling a lot more optimistic.

The Lott House

This one had a pretty ironic name! I also saw a lot of people tweeting that they wished we would pick that house! While everyone was correct that it had a bit better curb appeal, when we went inside, we just did not see ourselves there.

The inside was very, very gray. Floor to ceiling, even! Just something about it was very bland to us, start to finish.

The Wallace home was a better location for us (just 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk to work), and had those historic details we were looking for.

Although the size of this house was a bit better and was newer, we just weren’t thrilled with the idea of living there!

Our Decision

We chose the Wallace house! It took us some hard-thinkin’ for sure to get past the state of the outside. The foundation and roof were in fairly good condition, and there was less wood-rot than we assumed.

Through all of the “dinge”, we were finally able to visualize the plans Erin and Ben had for our little home, and we were thrilled for them to get started.

Our budget was 120k, this home was listed at $35,000, and we negotiated it down to $27,500.

Fun Fact: I saw a lot of people asking how many bedrooms and bathroom this home was. Here’s your answer to the confusion! When we bought the home, it had 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and an extra room in the back with no closet. After the renovations, the house became a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom. That extra room became the master bathroom.

The Rowell House

The renovation process was simple enough for us, because we weren’t allowed to know anything! Seeing what happened between real estate day and our reveal was really awesome.

I had no clue our sconces were upside down in the bathroom! I would have never known, if they didn’t show it on the episode.

We couldn’t see or drive by the house during the entire process, so the easiest reno ever, right??

Our Reveal

The experience of the reveal was amazing, and we both would do this all over again 10 times if we had the chance. They blindfolded us and drove us to our home, so our reactions were completely genuine. We seriously couldn’t believe the amount of work they did in just under 2 months. Absolutely incredible.Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 10.50.28 AM

My Favorite Parts

  • I really really loved the bed-swing on the porch. It has already come in handy on multiple occasions for afternoon coffee and reading/journaling. The screen is SO useful too. It’s nice to be outside with minimal to no mosquitos.
  • The kitchen was major for us. We’ve never had a nice (or spacious) kitchen, so this was huge. I now get to enjoy cooking and baking, and we do much more of it now!
  • The bathroom turned out so well! It was so amazing how they made something out of nothing. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite room, but this is it for me. The baths in there remain unmatched.
  • The book nook is so cute! We’ve never had room for all of our books anywhere we have lived, so we are super happy to have a place to display them and to hang out.

The After the After

Thankfully, because of where I work, I was able to find some really amazing pieces for my home! It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve got a lot of my bigger pieces out of the way now. Swipe through the gallery below for everything you can shop at Lott Furniture Co.! Most pieces are available in different fabrics and finishes.


-Keri Rowell, Lott Furniture Co.

Follow along with us and check back here for a new recap on the blog every Tuesday during Season 3 of Home Town! Sign up in the gold box for email updates to be the first to discuss the episode with us every time we post.

Let us know in the comments what you thought about this episode! If you have any questions, I can answer them here! 

RESOURCES

-Haven’t seen the episode yet? Watch for re-runs on HGTV, or visit their website or the HGTV app to stream the episode after airing for free. (Depending on your cable provider) Not to mention, you can find exclusive content here like photos, videos, and the new digital series “Erin’spired” and “Talkin’ Shop” with Erin and Ben.

-Want to know everything Home Town used in the Rowell House, down to the paint color? Visit RTR Media’s resource guide after every episode to shop exact pieces and fixtures as seen on the show.

**** This is solely our commentary. Our opinions do not reflect on Home Town Season 3 Productions, HGTV, the cast and crew, or Scripps.

19 replies
  1. Kelly McSparin says:

    Such a charming house!! Congratulations to you & your wife, what an awesome way to start your married lives! Many blessings to you!🏡🥂

  2. Renda Rawdin says:

    Loved the show, and your new home. Congratulations on your marriage. I think in the opening of the show it was soon to be married! My favorite part is the swing. I think Ben’s idea will catch on especially for folks lucky enough to have beautiful porches. I live in Illinois!

  3. Lori Lynn Hallifax says:

    I loved your home. We are moving to Laurel (from OR.)this summer and will have a low home buying budget too. Your home has character & color. Excited to maybe one day meet you & your wife. Can’t wait to shop at Lott Furn. Co.

  4. Keri Rowell says:

    Renda, thanks so much for watching our episode! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, we got married in January! Thanks for your well wishes. We sure do love that porch swing too.

  5. Keri Rowell says:

    Lori, thanks so much for watching! We sure can’t wait to meet you! Please make sure to stop by next time you are in town, and congrats on the move!

  6. Gerri says:

    I absolutely loved how your home turned out. I have been watching Home Town since it started and have never missed an episode and every time I watch an episode it makes me want to retire in Laurel

  7. Kathie says:

    Congratulations on your new home. It looks really amazing! I live in Australia so I haven’t seen the episode as it’s not been aired here yet. Thank you for your recap. I really enjoyed reading about your experience and looking at your photos. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

  8. Keri Rowell says:

    Gerri, thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the episode. Come see us sometime at Lott Furniture!

  9. Keri Rowell says:

    Kathie, so cool to hear from you all the way from Australia!! I can’t wait for the episode to air where you are. Thanks so much for your well-wishes, and maybe someday you can come see Laurel!

  10. Missy Brame says:

    Have already watched the episode twice and have driven by! So cute—loved everything about your new home. Congrats 😊

  11. Patricia Filer says:

    I loved your house. Erin and Ben are a lovely couple. I would love to live in your little town. One day I would love to come visit Laurel!

  12. Toni Araiza says:

    First of all, I ABSOLUTELY love and enjoy this program. Erin and her husband Ben convey sincere joy and genuine affection and respect for each other’s contributions in home preservation.

  13. Toni Araiza says:

    Currently watching S3, E6 and between the rat poop and exquisite vintage porcelain kitchen and bathroom sinks and cushion tufting, (I’m sure due to show’s time constraints I would’ve enjoyed details re: this task), but otherwise I’m waiting with bated breath the end result.

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