Why Erin Napier Sometimes Feels At Odds With What Is Shown On HGTV's Home Town

Fans of HGTV's "Home Town" appreciate many things about the show, from its commitment to historical preservation to the Southern charm of its hosts. On the flip side, there are definitely some negatives to the reality series, and host Erin Napier has admitted there are things she dislikes about filming the renovation program.

The Mississippi native has also expressed feeling at odds with the picture-perfect renovations shown in every episode. While the interior designer and her woodworking husband conjure their magic to make old Mississippi homes the perfect spaces for their clients, Napier also recognizes that the finished products don't reflect a lived-in reality.

"Everything looks so perfect on reveal day, but no one has yet lived there," she told House Beautiful. She added that there's a big difference between a show-ready home and one that sees the hustle and bustle of daily life. "Think about the photos of yourself growing up in the house that you grew up in," she explained. "There's always a Pepsi can in the background and somebody's ugly old jacket laying over a chair—no one's styled things.

Erin Napier is conflicted about the perfect reveals on Home Town

HGTV star Erin Napier revealed that she's hesitant about the perfect home reveals featured in her renovation show, admitting that "Home Town" doesn't reflect most people's reality. "I'm conflicted about this because on 'Home Town' you see [houses] on reveal day when everything is so perfect," she said on "Good Morning America." "I'm so much more interested in what happens after that day."

In an interview with Realtor, Napier expanded on this idea, explaining that she's afraid these perfect-looking reveals negatively impact viewers' idea of what their own homes should look like, something she's experienced herself. While she said that there's nothing wrong in depictions of pristine homes, they shouldn't make people feel bad about their own homes looking less immaculate. "It can inspire decor and design, and we should use it as such," she said. "But not use it as like, 'This is what my house should be.'"

Besides fearing the unrealistic expectations that picture-perfect interior design photos can create, Napier has expressed a growing disinterest in the staged flawlessness of these snapshots. "We stopped following social media accounts where everything is always staged and beautiful and perfect because it is so boring to me," Napier told Yahoo. "Perfection is deeply boring and unrelatable to me."

The HGTV star celebrates home imperfections in her book, Heirloom Rooms

Prompted by these conflicting feelings, Erin Napier wrote a book that embraces the imperfections, messiness, and beauty of unstaged and lived-in homes. Titled "Heirloom Rooms," the book was released in October 2023. The publication consists of a series of essays that take readers on a tour through the rooms of her lived-in house, featuring photos from her home as well as the homes of friends and family. 

When announcing the book, the HGTV star shared some more insight into the inspiration behind the idea. "I've become bored of the photos of perfectly styled and staged interiors you see so much of in the online world and wanted to write a book celebrating the imperfection of our houses," she wrote on Instagram. "'How perfect and clever can our houses be?' seems to be the refrain of social media. But what about the life lived in those rooms?"

"Heirloom Rooms" won't change the reveals featured on shows like "Home Town," but it does provide a more vivid picture of the full lives that these once-unblemished homes go on to have. In a time when authenticity feels so fleeting, we think this is an especially powerful message from Napier. As she wrote, "I hope you'll find the stories and photos beautiful for their relatability, and that it makes you reframe the way you think of your own home."