cover image Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home

Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home

Erin Napier. Gallery, $35 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982190-43-9

“Your home does not look like a magazine article and it was never meant to,” writes Napier (Make Something Good Today), cohost of HGTV’s Home Town, in this unpretentious celebration of ordinary houses. She discusses how she and her husband transformed a 1925 Craftsman-style house in Laurel, Miss., noting they refurbished the kitchen by installing a cast-iron sink and custom-built refrigerator cabinet and spruced up the living room with canvas curtain panels and an antique butcher’s chopping block used as an end table. Napier weaves intimate memories into descriptions of the renovations, recounting, for example, how she bathed her newborn daughter in the freestanding tub she put in the primary bathroom. Though the photos of Napier’s house are carefully orchestrated, they’re more candid than typical home design fare, with her daughters’ mermaid dolls splayed in the bathtub and a child’s costume left draped over a kitchen chair. Images from the homes of Napier’s friends highlight, for instance, bed frames sourced from a WWII-era Navy cargo ship in the guest room of frequent Home Town guest star Mallorie Rasberry and the Ping-Pong table and neon sign in the basement of Linda Phan, creative director of Scott Brothers Entertainment. Napier’s fans will relish the personal anecdotes, and the emphasis on everyday living offers a down-to-earth alternative to the luxurious abodes that populate most home design books. This charms. (Oct.)