Say hello to our newest neighbors, Linda Nelson and Bob Kaliski! After falling in love with the setting and people of Home Town, Bob and Linda had to visit Erin and Ben's hometown of Laurel, Mississippi to see it for themselves. What they found was a place that felt like home and a community that welcomed them like family.
Linda says, "Everyone we met was so nice and friendly. It's exactly what you'd think of the typical Southern hospitality. We became friends with the Stencils who own the Bed and Breakfast in downtown. They introduced us to a lot of people, and we've enjoyed the community. We've even joined the museum, and went to our first Pancake Day breakfast and parade. This whole thing has been just a wonderful experience."
During their search, they hoped to find something that would be their winter home. Is there such thing as Winter in Mississippi? She says, "It's too hot and humid in Mississippi to be our summer home, but we love the fall, winter, and spring. We really enjoyed the start of the Christmas holiday season!"
With help from Ben and Erin, they found the perfect historic home with plenty of space to entertain and invite others to stay awhile.
She continues, "We wanted to keep as much as the historic charm as we could. While we didn't want to make too many drastic changes, we needed this older home to work for us and our needs."
One of the surprising gifts from Ben Napier was the china cabinet for the dining room. Linda was stunned to see it there as the last time she had seen it, it was not in usable condition.
She says, "When we were doing the reveal, and they had us walk into the dining room and we stood right next to the china cabinet. I glanced over and I yelled! I had no idea how they would incorporate it so it worked out."
Before the renovation, Erin and Ben were already in love with the historic staple that sits in downtown near Lauren Rogers Museum of Art. Its immaculate craftsmanship and details were in excellent condition, but they needed a little attention to restore them back to their original glory.
Linda shares, "We wanted to feel comfortable in the home. After all, we're not stuffy people. It's important to have a balance. Not too modern, but updated. I'd like things to be where you go in and you feel welcome to sit on the couch and take your shoes off."
Linda and Bob were thrilled with how the Napiers combined their styles to reflect their interests. Erin used neutral palettes full of greens, oranges, tans/cognac, along with natural textures and imagery to draw out these elements.
Linda shared how Ben made a an island for their new kitchen that served for beauty and function. To maintain flexibility in the kitchen, they made it a moveable island because the kitchen wasn't big enough to hold a standard sized island.
Linda says, "We got engaged in Venice, so we like to collect things from there. Ben made an island and butcher block based on our love for their culture. He looked up how they make gondolas from different woods, and he made it from the same thing Venetians would use to make a gondola."
Though this is Bob and Linda's winter home, Erin and Ben made it feel like it's been their home all along. This sweet couple couldn't get over their kindness and experience on Home Town!
"It'll be fun to see the episode after all this time and remember the excitement of the reveal. Everyone was so kind to us on Home Town. From the crew, the director, producer and Erin and Ben, this was the funnest experience. I can't wait to walk through those doors and be at home there all the time," she says.
We're so excited to see how Linda and Bob will grow and what memories will be made in their beautiful home in Laurel. You can shop their home here in the Kaliski Collection!