Journal



The Smith House

I never imagined I would move to Jones County. I'd told Jordan early in our relationship that I didn't want to stay in Mississippi. I had dreams of moving off and living a life outside of what I'd always known. And we did! We moved to Tennessee and started our life together. So never in my wildest dreams did I think we'd buy our dream house in Laurel, be on a national television show, and trust our friends to handle all the renovations. 

Everything you saw on camera was real— the tears over the lamps, the kitchen, the dining room— the whole house, really. But what you don’t get to see is the history that all four of us share. Jordan started his freshman year at Jones County Junior College with Ben and Erin. They didn’t know each other yet, but their paths eventually crossed when our friend (and Ben’s roommate), Josh Nowell, introduced them to each other at Ole Miss two years later. Jordan was a cheerleader at Ole Miss and was instantly named “the cheerleading friend,” but like… the cool “cheerleading friend.” He became Erin’s biggest fan one night when she played a gig in Oxford their junior year. Story goes, he requested “Zombie” by the Cranberries at least three times and cheered louder every time she played it! Ben and Erin will never let him live that down.

Since then, our lives have always been intertwined in some way, even when we lived in Tennessee. We remained best friends with the Nowells and would visit them when we came home. I think that’s when Laurel’s charm started to win me over. This is when I got to meet Ben and Erin since I came to Ole Miss after they’d graduated and moved back home. When Jordan and I got married, I knew exactly who I wanted to do my wedding stationery. Erin owned Lucky Luxe at the time and I knew she would create something amazing just for us. I asked her to do something completely out of her comfort zone and unlike most of the invitations that she had done before. Of course, she nailed it.

I knew then that I could trust her with just about anything.

To trust them with the complete renovation of our home was easy.

As part of the show, you promise not to drive by your home when they are renovating. As hard as it was, we stuck to that. Our reactions were so genuine. The last time we saw the house was the day we toured it with Ben and Erin. The months of waiting were totally worth it!

 

 

 That’s Patrick, our director, and Angie, the show runner, walking Jordan up the sidewalk.

 

Before:

After:

I had no words and Jordan’s reaction was priceless. Erin & Ben uncovered a rundown, boring house and turned it into the most beautiful Italianate villa. They kept the original brick and painted the trim and windows a beautiful deep green to match one of the existing bricks. I think I might have disliked the exterior more than the interior when they started. But now… I couldn’t pick my favorite between the two.

 The foyer was exactly what I wanted— inviting, and warm but with character. The runner was actually delivered to LMCo. and I texted the group when they came in. I fell in love with it and was so bummed when Erin replied back that she'd ordered it for her house and she would be by later to pick it up. You can see the shock on my face when I saw it on our staircase! Sneaky move, pal.

 We entered the living room and you guessed it.. more tears!


 The most important thing about a home to Jordan and I is that it feels comfortable. It doesn’t always have to be neat or minimalistic. I wanted our home to feel lived-in, filled with history and curated to create memories.

This secretary and the handmade Scotsman Co. lamps were probably my favorite part of the room. Erin didn’t know but the secretary reminded me so much of one in my Nonny’s dining room and childhood days spent coloring at that desk on trips to their home in Grenada. 

Since moving to Laurel and becoming a manager of Laurel Mercantile Co., I’ve gotten to see first-hand how meticulous and detailed Ben is in the Scotsman Co. wood shop. The lamps were so special to me, because I spend every day talking with people from all over the country about how important it is that our products are made in the USA. I spend hours a day handling products that were made by Ben and Jesse in the wood shop like the Scotsman Co. butcher blocks and serving trays. You forget that real people make these products, but the lamps reminded me that there is nothing like knowing who made what’s in your home and the thought that went into each design.

Then there was the beautiful dining room. Painted a dark green (oddly enough called Randolph Gray), this room felt more intimate than ever. The simple linen curtains hung from the ceiling made the room feel so much cozier. Along with the antique wooden round table and plate wall (a signature of Mallorie and Erin’s), the dining room made me want to call all of our friends over for some good food and conversation.

The best part was the Rowan Oak painting Erin painted for us of William Faulkner’s home. We went Ole Miss, and Oxford holds special memories for all of us. Erin had no idea that Jordan and I actually took our engagement portraits there. 

 Then there was the KITCHEN. I’ve never wanted to cook so much in my life!


 I still have no words how to accurately describe how much I love our kitchen. Other than, “Do I seriously get to live here?!”  Before filming, you are asked to create an inspiration board to show Erin and the designers. It was like they chose my favorite thing from each picture and brought it to life. I didn't want a trendy all-white kitchen with only open shelving, because that just isn't practical for our everyday life. We have three dogs and cook a lot! They took to heart what we wanted and what made sense for us. 

It still feels very strange to look back at these pictures and see ourselves and our friends on HGTV’s Home Town. You never know what you’ll do or say in front of a camera or what your voice will sound like on television. As we settled in last night to relive this wonderful experience, we made sure that our DVR was set. Perhaps in the future, we can rewatch the episode whenever we need a reminder of how blessed we are to be here and to have friends like the Napiers, Rasberrys, and Nowells.  We now have a place that I am proud to come home to every single day.