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.
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.
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!
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??
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.
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!
-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.
Keri Rowell is part of Downtown Laurel’s most historic business, Lott Furniture Co. A Laurel native and Historic District resident, Keri enjoys exploring all of the beautiful spaces and places in her Home Town, discovering the hidden tales buried deep within its history, and sharing them with the world. When you visit Downtown Laurel, you might just spot her out exploring, dreaming up the next story to share with you.