The Story of a 1925 Craftsman Cottage in Mississippi

by hookedonhouses on August 29, 2012

When a reader named Erin sent me photos of her 1925 Craftsman Cottage in Laurel, Mississippi, I got a case of serious house envy. I loved not only the house itself but hearing the story behind it, too, so I’m excited she said I could share it with you. Take a look!

The George F. Haynes house, as it’s known, is home to Erin and Ben Napier. I’ll let Erin tell you all about it now, in her words…

“When I was in junior high school, I fell in love with the yellow craftsman cottage in Laurel’s historic district, just across from Mississippi’s first art museum, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art.

“As a budding artist in my high school years, I would come downtown to draw the beautiful architecture, and I would daydream about making that unassuming yellow cottage my home one day.”

“When I would come home to visit during college, I would take long walks in the historic district with my boyfriend, Ben, who would later become my husband, and we would choose our dream houses.

“When I graduated with an art degree from Ole Miss in 2007, we were soon married and before long I started Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence, a letterpress wedding stationery studio from our loft apartment just 2 blocks from the yellow cottage.

“We loved our loft, a former toothpaste factory in WWII, but before long the business outgrew the confines of a home office and Lucky Luxe became an international success in the wedding world.”

“We idly began thinking of buying houses, daydreaming really. My husband is the student minister at our church in downtown Laurel and we learned that one of our favorite parishioners was the owner of the yellow cottage. For fun, we knocked on her door one day and she invited us in to take a look around.

“It was a like a brand new house since its remodel after hurricane Katrina, and she had it decorated in a beautifully formal, Southern style with buttery yellow walls. We, jokingly, told her if she ever wanted to sell the house to call us because we’d love to buy it. And she called us a week later with a price we couldn’t refuse. And we bought our dream house, the yellow craftsman cottage, in September 2011.”

“We learned the fascinating history of the home. Lauren Eastman Rogers, son of one of our city’s affluent and industrious founding fathers, was newly married in the early 1920s and shortly thereafter died tragically of appendicitis at the age of 23.

“They were in the midst of building a home on the site of the art museum at the time, and his heartbroken bride couldn’t bear the thought of living in it alone or anyone else living in it either. Rumor has it that she ordered the partially completed home to be dismantled, and a local contractor used the salvage of the Rogers’ home to build our house for the city’s first dentist, George F. Haynes, in 1925.

“The home is now in the directory of downtown Laurel’s architectural styles as the best example of craftsman architecture in our city. Lauren Rogers became the namesake of the first art museum in Mississippi, which was built on the site of his home as a memorial.”

“In the living room, we had a contractor build simple bookcases the entire length of the wall, which we are slowly filling with white and cream hardback books and objects from our travels and from our family history.”

“Books are especially important to us and act as decor just as much as literature in our home. The coffee table is a factory cart, the striped cotton rug is from Dash and Albert, and the end table is an old chopping block found at the Salvage Market in Jackson, Mississippi.”

“The kitchen wasn’t damaged in the hurricane and thus had not seen a remodel since the 1980s, so that’s where we began. The room was dollhouse cutesy, with scalloped cutouts framing the windows and formica countertops, white appliances placed awkwardly in the layout, with the refrigerator sticking out in the walkway.”

“We did as much of the renovation as possible ourselves, keeping with a simple, basic timeless style that would (hopefully) be in style forever. We did absolutely everything for as little money as possible, and all of our decor was either found (free) or from a flea market. We’re pretty thrifty.”

“Ben built a custom cabinet around our new stainless refrigerator, the butcher block countertops were a bargain from IKEA, the cast iron enamel sink was a vintage find from Ben’s mom, the mercury glass pendants are suspended from old cotton factory pulleys, and the subway tile was a closeout steal for $60.”

“All of the knobs are mismatched and from an architectural salvage shop in Boston. The owner tells us the pulls and knobs came from pharmacies and schoolhouses around New England, our favorite vacation spot every fall. Some are copper, some are painted and chipping, and each one is my absolute favorite one.”

“The 8′ dining room table was built by Ben from old deck boards and my parents’ old front porch columns.”

“The chairs were collected at flea markets, and the original 1876 centennial flag was an estate sale find for $3. An oil portrait of my daddy’s dove hunting dog from the 1970s hangs in there, along with a WWII red cross poster and a watercolor drawing of our house that I made earlier this year.”

“The stairwell had a bold floral wallpaper above the handrail and faux leather wallpaper below with carpeted stairs, and Ben made panel moulding that we painted to match the rest of the trim in the house.”

Here’s how the stairwell looked when they were working on it:

“We hired a specialist to refinish the heart pine stair treads, and the stairwell became a bright, sunshiny space in the center of our cottage, leading to 2 bedrooms and a Jack and Jill bath upstairs, which we are currently working on finishing.”

“We painted the wooden handrails glossy black, then hung a pendant lantern from Ballard Designs.”

“A collection of vintage mirrors hang grouped in our bedroom, and an armoire built by my daddy and Ben from a door that was in my grandfather’s barn, houses his clothes. We found the old painted cedar chest at a flea market in Meridian, Mississippi. The bed linens are mismatched textures in shades of white and cream. 2 antique cameos sit perched on an old door frame above our iron bed.”

“We painted each room in Sherwin Williams’ Dover White with the exception of the Entryway (Java, Eddie Bauer) and the hallway (Nantucket Grey, Benjamin Moore).

“We were careful to choose every decorative element with a story personal to us, nothing pretty for the sake of it, but because we have some personal connection to it.”

“Nearly every wall in our house displays sepia photos of our grandparents and ancestors, reminders of who we come from. We see each other everyday, so rather than hang photos of ourselves we wanted to surround ourselves with the loved ones who made us into who we are now, whom we can no longer see.”

“In the office, we hung some of our collection of vintage maps, places we loved so much we had to bring home a little of it to Mississippi. IKEA’s affordable slipcovered Ektorp sofas are in our living room and office along with an old oak teacher’s desk found on Craigslist for $50.”

“Off the kitchen is the laundry room, which was a small porch that was taken in decades ago, with tile floors and clapboard walls. Ben made built-ins for storage and a bench with space for shoes and boots beneath. It is now a laundry/mud room that’s much more usable.”

Ben built this door himself because the opening isn’t a standard size:

“I’ve been compiling inspiration images for my dream home since 9th grade, and I was amazed when I discovered my idea folder last year. My taste hasn’t changed at all, with airy white interiors and solid, wooden pieces anchoring the rooms. I think I’ll always be happy with our design choices since our style is not inspired by trends but by history.”

Wasn’t that a fun tour? Many thanks to Erin for showing us around and telling us the stories behind her house! She’s the proprietress & designer behind Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence. You can follow her on her blog, too.

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bermudaonion(Kathy) August 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

What a great story and what a beautiful home!

Sheila August 29, 2012 at 6:58 am

All is can say is this: It’s a good thing that I haven’t been invited into that house, because there’s a terrific chance that I’d lever leave. Yowsa! Those lights! That woodwork! All the comfy white sofas! Gorgeous through and through.

Ashley@marriedlane August 29, 2012 at 7:00 am

This was by far my favorite home tour yet! Thanks so much for sharing with us. I’m definitely stashing away a bunch of these photos for inspiration!

Karen August 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

Ditto. I want to move right in!

Mata August 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

A magical story for a perfect home!

Tracey August 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

It is so perfectly perfect. I love it.

MissVindicat August 29, 2012 at 7:18 am

Ah, what a gorgeous pictures! Now I want to take the week off and start changing my house lol :D

jennifer August 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

I love, love this! So inspiring!

MissCaron August 29, 2012 at 7:23 am

That’s wonderful! I loved all the little touches that make the house a home. I especially love the bookcases in the living room! Thanks for sharing!

Trish @TheOldPostRoad August 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

Wow. I am guessing they do not have to run chauffer routes to ballet, school, gymnastics, ball field, etc, just yet? Beautiful home! Her letterpress items are gorgeous!
-Trish

Susan August 29, 2012 at 7:39 am

Wonderful home, wonderful story!

julia sheets August 29, 2012 at 7:42 am

LOVEEEEE IT!!!!! thank you so much!!!!

Emily A. Clark August 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

What a great home. The exterior is my ideal house.

Christine Droney August 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

What can I say…..love

Luciane at HomeBunch.com August 29, 2012 at 7:56 am

WOW!!! Designers of all kind should come take a look at this place. It goes to its roots and so many of us are missing that.
Design rooms and homes with more soul and less trends. Those are places that will last.

xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

House Crazy Sarah August 29, 2012 at 8:02 am

Very nice! The decor is very romantic and soothing and I love the old photographs! You don’t see those very much in new decor, but they are amazingly powerful and personal! Great Job Erin!

Sharon Reid August 29, 2012 at 8:06 am

Good Job! I’d love to be living in this house.

Marsha August 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

Love this one so much. Beautiful !

Christina from Dallas August 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

OMG! I love love this house. The care that they took to decorate it with such love and good taste is so fanstatic. I love the story too of how it was her dream house and now her house. It was meant to be! I love this post Julia!

T. August 29, 2012 at 8:16 am

Charming! I love the framed maps.

Farmeress August 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

The house features such attention to detail… and yet when you look at it as a whole it seems so comfy simple and clean lined. Absolutely beautiful… and that she realized her childhood dream home & shares it with a husband who clearly appreciates it too makes for a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it-May they live happily ever after!

Christian @ Modobject at Home August 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

The home is lovely and the story so compelling. Pure delight. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Mom in High Heels August 29, 2012 at 8:44 am

That house is so pretty it hurts me to look at it! While I’m not a person who could live with all whites (Husband, 2 boys and 2 dogs), I love that some people can. It looks so fresh.

Megan Hull August 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Give it a try! I had white slipcovers with a husband, two messy kids, and furry cats. I just used to bleach the hell out of the slipcovers and they looked great!

Robbyn August 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

Gorgeous!
I just about died when I saw the French doors in the stairway. LOVE.

Ann August 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Me too!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a house before. Beautiful!

Michele August 29, 2012 at 8:48 am

Wow, when can I move in!? What a great story. I love the south

Kelli August 29, 2012 at 8:56 am

What a gorgeous home full of special items. It’s magical. Thanks, Erin, for the tour!

Nathan August 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

I don’t even know where to start so I’ll just say that this might be my favourite of all the houses you’ve ever featured on this site. I love every last part of it! …Okay, I’m not a huge fan of the dining room table and mismatched chairs, but I love every other last part of it, haha.

Kelly August 29, 2012 at 9:02 am

I love everything about that house!

Julie B. [Holland] August 29, 2012 at 9:04 am

“serendipity”

Jeana August 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

By far one of my favorite houses I’ve ever seen. I love the story, because it’s so similar to mine! We just moved in my dream historic neighborhood and home in April. Lots of work to do I n our 1927 Colonial, but we are in love!! I admire her style, it’s quite similar to mine, but I’ve only painted the kitchen and entry is far…will keep this in mind for inspiration!

Weezie August 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

And what a beautiful commentary to go along with it. Thanks for sharing, Erin and Julia. Awesome house, awesome story. Hung on every word. My house fix for the day may last a few.

Patti August 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

If I could have a house transported to Alberta to live in it would be this house. The outside, the inside, the furniture! There isn’t one thing I would change, except to add my own personal photos. Craftsman houses are the very best.

She is a woman after my own design heart.

Sandy August 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

Love the home and the story. Hope they are safe from Hurricane Isaac.

Mimi August 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

My dream house come to reality. Thanks for the tour!

Lisette Drake August 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

What a beautifull house. I just loved it. especially the kitchen. I want to live there.

Franklin Chambers August 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

What a wonderful tour. My parents were raised in Laurel, and I lived there for 3 years. I can say that this is one of the prettiest homes I’ve seen in Laurel. The home and the tour really displays such character, and is the epitome of southern charm.

Teresa August 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

What a beautiful craftsman! Erin and Ben have done a wonderful job and I loved reading the story behind the house. I have a bad case of house envy now too.

Michele August 29, 2012 at 9:58 am

It’s official – I am both obsessed and filled with envy….

claudia August 29, 2012 at 10:04 am

Lovely house, great story.

Julie August 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

Love, love, love!!! What a fantasic home and story!!

Talia August 29, 2012 at 10:30 am

OMG! I love this house – may well be my favorite you’ve posted. Beautiful living for sure!

65andcounting August 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

I can say I’ve never enjoyed a story more here than this one. So many details. So much a sense of who the owners are and their passion for the home. I can feel the love in the walls. Such a gorgeously done renovation (restoration). Simple. Classic. Congratulations. May this be your forever home.

The Other Sue August 29, 2012 at 10:32 am

*sigh* Dreams DO come true!! Wonderful story, house, and decor. This is everything I’ve dreamed of doing in my house. Perhaps I’ll finally be inspired…

Erin August 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

I love the story of how this home became theirs as much as I love this beautiful home! Thanks for sharing both! How completely perfect!

Kare Bear August 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

This home makes me want sit on the front porch sipping a mint julep with the smell of magnolia blossoms in the air and soft jazz music playing in the background. It is simply, perfectly Southern in every way. Love it.

Amanda @ Serenity Now August 29, 2012 at 11:37 am

Oh, thaaaaaank you for sharing this!! What a pleasure that home is. :)

Cheryl August 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

Lovely home, touching story. One thing occurs to me… I need a Ben.

Lisa T. August 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Lol!!!!! The shelves leaning against the wall behind our bedroom door will have been there a year this November. I need a Ben.

Marie August 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I love a home with a history and a story behind it! What a delight!

Laura August 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Totally beautiful house! What a great job they did. All I would add is some old oriental rugs in deep reds. I also love to decorate with books and old family pictures. Wow! (Kind of makes some of those celebrity houses look even more ridiculous – decorate for classic comfort and beauty, not status!)

Jocelyn Pascall August 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Wow – I am almost speechless. What a beautiful, beautiful home – with such a lovely story. I love how it all looks so fresh, yet nostalgic, at the same time. Great post.

annette August 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Yes! This is my favorite of all the homes you have EVER featured. It is beautiful, cozy, artistic and not “decorated”.Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

Julie R. August 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

This is so lovely. A restoration without destroying the feel of the house.

Ruth McArthur August 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love this house and Erin and Ben have made it a wonderful home; old and warm, young and fresh, all at the same time. I really appreciate how they kept the feeling and style of the home as it was intended and yet made it so personal and unusual at the same time. I’m old enough to be their mom and I could live there quite happily just as it is. Thanks for featuring this home, Julia, and Erin, thanks for the tour!

kasey August 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’m in love! I love that everything has a story, and the furniture pieces are interesting and worn in all the best ways. I can’t believe I’ve missed seeing Erin’s beautiful home on my wandering trips through Laurel because I’m always on the lookout for gorgeous, loved, homes. (have to admit I love the loft too & if I ever have reason to move to Laurel I’ll be looking that area up). Obviously I’ve been driving down all the wrong roads, but then I admit with hanging head I haven’t been to the museum yet. Now I have a destination for my next visit.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) August 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Beautiful, beautiful home! Now I have serious house envy! Love the evening view. Wow!

Debi August 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This house is beautiful!! Lovin the old family pics….also, looking at the first pic the house it looks small, but the last pic shows how large it is…..

Kim August 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

What a charming Craftsman house! I love that these people care for and appreciate their home.

Sara August 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Wow!!! I am in love!!!

Janis Covington Stufflebean August 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Wonderful!!

Megan Hull August 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

This is such a beautiful home, exactly my style with the bright white trim and hardwood floors. I love the story of the house too!

Linda Evans August 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm

awesome !!! tastefully decorated…not too much, not too little….love the pieces of history & memories……..looks so cozy, calming, inviting, charming….you get the idea, LOVE this home and everything you have done !!

Joyce Norwood August 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I expecially enjoyed the home tour because I too loved that house. I would never have been brave enough to do all the things you did to it to make it just perfect. I lived in Laurel for many years and was able to watch the changes as they took place.

Shannon August 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm

There are beautiful homes that are restored and decorated beautifully and this is certainly one of them.

What sends it over into that other place where people are so enthusiastically using words like LOVE and FAVORITE (and I sure feel the same way) is how personal it is. You can tell that each thing in that home was lovingly and thoughtfully selected, not because it looked cute on the mantel or added “a burst of unexpected color in that corner” but because they loved it and it had meaning to them. I love that more than anything people do in their homes. I have ancestor photos framed throughout my house and as I kept scrolling through and seeing more and more of theirs I actually got a little teary eyed.
I adore the mismatched chairs and all the old maps, the framed flag, the curtain rods, the old fan on top of the fridge. I could go on and on. I can’t even talk about the doors on the stairs, I have no idea why they are there but I’m crazy about them. I love their house so much I want them to be my friends. I want them to adopt me.

CottageGirl August 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

What a treat!
Love the furnishings.
Love the lay out from the front portch to the back and love the sepia photos of old relatives.
Love this house …
If I could do it all over again, I would do my house EXACTLY like this one!
LOVE it!
What a treat!

Heather August 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Knowing Erin and Ben, this home is a true reflection of them. Tasteful and classic. Congrats, guys, nice job! Laurel is a beautiful town and you have helped to preserve a treasure. If you readers have a chance to check out Erin’s correspondence designs, do! Lucky Luxe mentioned in this article is worth your while!

Erin September 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Heather Z?? We miss you!

Kelly @ Talk of the House August 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I love it…the house, the history, her storytelling. Thank you so much for finding this and sharing it with us. By the way..love the new look in your header…or is it an old look and I am just imagining that it is new??? It has been a very looooooooong day here.

Jen August 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Love the home and the story behind it. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Ann August 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

This is such a beautiful, warm and inviting home. The owner did a great job. – Mary Ann

Destiny August 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Oh Julia:

This is my favorite tour of all of the ones I’ve been on in all of the years I’ve been reading HOH. What isn’t too love? The house? Yes! The realized dreams? Yes, Yes! The student minister husband? Amen! The love of vacationing in New England? A-yuh.

Congratulations to Erin and Ben! May you always be all kinds of happy in your beautiful home.

Tracie August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Wow. Now this is my idea of the perfect fairy tale story with the happiest of endings! Thank you for sharing. This added to a already great day.

Xenia August 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

GORGEOUS home!!!! LOVE IT!! The owners did a great job with the decorating.

Anne C. August 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Beautiful story, beautiful home! These pictures certainly reflect the time and love put into this home.

Anne August 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I absolutely love this house. I think the history embedded within the story and
the owners desire to integrate items which matter to them is part of the appeal. WOW!

Signe August 29, 2012 at 11:51 pm

I love this story and I love this house…. so beautiful.

Wendy August 30, 2012 at 12:08 am

She’s done a beautiful job on a lovely old house. And I’m pea green that her husband shares her interest in making that beautiful house a home.

Anne August 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Me too Wendy! I can only dream.

elle August 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

What a beautiful home you’ve made – I loved it all.

The mis-matched pulls in the kitchen is pure genius.

I’m so curious about that glass door half-way up the stairs. I’ve never seen that before? Is that a southern thing? What is the purpose of those doors? Or is it something unique to your home?

Thanks for sharing – so lovely!

Jane August 30, 2012 at 5:52 am

I adore this home, so warm and inviting and with personality, too. Where do you get the brass nameplates for the photos? I’d love frames with that option!

Megan Hull August 30, 2012 at 7:24 am

I’m stealing this idea too! I already have all the pictures up. I have seen similar little nameplate frames in the scrapbooking/card making section of Michaels. Martha Stewart also has something similar in her line of office supplies at Staples.

Erin August 30, 2012 at 8:34 am

Oh hi there! The photo nameplates each have the family name of who’s in the photo on a little card. They came from a website called anima designs. They are the tiny brass label holders. :)

Jane August 30, 2012 at 9:39 am

thanks!

Carolyn August 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

Congratulations to Erin and Ben for creating such a wonderful home by putting so much of themselves into it. I love that it was always her dream house. Dreams do come true! (I, too, wish I had a Ben – well I have a Ben, just not a carpenter Ben!)

Erin August 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

Ha! On my birthday your comments have been the sweetest gift. If y’all could come over I’d make you all a red velvet cake. And Ben’s head is going to get so big he’ll have to make a new door to accommodate it after reading all this. ;) The doors in the stairs are original to the house and I think they were just there either because it separated the house from the attic before it was turned into 2 finished bedrooms and a bath or it could be a heating and cooling feature. We keep them closed when we don’t have company and open them when we do to improve cooling up there. Thanks again for all your sweet remarks. We put lots of love into this house.

Anne August 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Your desire to make this your own is very evident Erin. Thanks for sharing!

david August 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

I love everything about this house. But I have to admit I gasped when I saw the white ceiling on the porch. Here in Georgia porch ceilings are always painted super pale blue. With your yellow house it would be stunning. I have heard lots of reasons for the blue color from superstition, to bug control, to reflections. Maybe it is just a Georgia thing.

Ranell Morris August 30, 2012 at 9:44 am

A beautiful home, with such loving touches. Erin you have a beautiful spirit!!! Love how you honored your ancestors. thanks for sharing!!!

Jane August 30, 2012 at 9:52 am

Okay, bought the photo nameplates. But I enlarged one of your pictures and, goofy me, can’t see if you used tiny screws to attach them or just a bit of clear glue? Help!

Erin August 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

We used super glue! :)

Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs August 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

My kind of house…..maybe someday {sigh}.

We looked (seriously) for nearly a year to purchase an historic home from 1900-1930′s. Everything was either re-done (electrical/plumbing, etc.) so it was out of our price range or had so much work to do it was affordable but out of our DIY skill set..and ultimately our price range if we had to hire people.

So 8 months ago, we settled into a rather unique floor-plan 1961 home that has some character…at least compared to many new builder homes around here. :-)

But Erin and Ben’s home? To have your dream home one day become your own…wow, that’s magical :-)

Alanna S August 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

What a wonderful story and a beautiful home!

I love the doors leading upstairs. They are so unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them before.

I don’t think I could live with all white everywhere (boys are grungy) but its certainly lovely.

Naomi August 30, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hello! I am in love with this house. My hubby and I hope to build a craftsman some day and I collect pics of them and floorplans. Any chance you have a floor plan for this one?

threadbndr August 30, 2012 at 10:14 am

I usually like to see the dark woodwork in A&C houses (like the last Craftsman tour), but this is a beautiful example of what I call “Beach Craftsman” – with all the woodwork painted white.

I love the staircase details – the french doors part way up and the bottom of the stair details. That’s a great kitchen, too. Not a fan of the mismatched dining room, but it works in the house.

And what a great story. My childhood dream house is just three blocks away from my little A&C cottage and would be miles too big for me alone, but it still makes me smile every time I walk by it.

kelly August 30, 2012 at 10:18 am

If all of the pictures throughout the story weren’t wonderful enough then you blow me away with the final one all lit up at night. Such an inspiration. Great post.

Maggy August 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Ahhh .. what about this house don’t I love?? NOTHING!! It’s gorgeous! Move over, Julia, because you’re going to have to share the “house envy” seat with (I suspect from all the other comments, which I haven’t read, yet) LOTS of us!

What a WONDERFUL post! Kudos (!!!) to Erin and Ben, who did a superb job at making the home of her childhood dreams into the home of their dreams for real. I loved reading about her love of the house and how it ultimately became hers and Ben’s as they began their life together.

I’ll be re-reading this post and taking notes, and then reading all the comments .. I’m sure there’s lots more to glean from this than my first (quick) first pass. Just had to comment and give BIG thumbs up to all!

Nancy 2 August 30, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Wonderful, wonderful! I love the built-in bookcases they added and the enclosure around the fridge. This is another one of those houses that screams, “Raise a family here.”

sissy August 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm

My husband and I found an old 1790′s home in the woods in South Mississippi when we were dating. I sketched it, as it became my dream home, though it had fallen to disrepair. I played with different ways to design and organize the rooms. In 6 months my then boyfriend got down on one knee and said, “I can’t afford a diamond but if you’ll marry me, I’ll build you that house”. And he presented me with a brick from the site. That was 29 years ago. Our beautiful home stands in Madison, MS. and houses our loved collections like yours of great grandmother’s 1900s sink, pre-Civil War pocket doors, a George Hepplewhite mantel, antiques and photos of ancestor’s. LOVED your story!

hookedonhouses August 31, 2012 at 7:08 am

What a great story, Sissy!

sissy August 31, 2012 at 7:37 am

I left out…that out brick…my engagement brick…is laid in the hearth of our fireplace. How could I forget to tell you that?! haha

Megan Hull August 31, 2012 at 7:43 am

That is SO sweet!

Shannon August 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

“If you marry me I’ll build you that house” is the best proposal line ever.

Beth A August 31, 2012 at 8:38 am

Best. House. Ever.

Voluptuous Vegan August 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Beautiful home!

The glass doors at the bottom of the stairs give me a bit of a worry. Is the glass tempered? If not, I would think from a building code stand-point, those doors would be illegal.

Erin Napier August 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Hmmm.. I mean, they’re really just decorative doors. The glass is original like the rest of the windows in the house, rippled with little air pockets. There is no kind of latch, they’re just like cabinet doors.

Laura August 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Love! I have family in nearby Collins, MS and just as a piece of trivia, Laurel is near a small little town called Hot Coffee. As a kid I always got a kick out of that. Love craftsman houses and hope to live in one someday. Unfortunately, there aren’t any in my current neighborhood. “Old” here is from the 1950s. Love that the house has been decorated in such a personal manner and yet it suits the style of the house.

Erin September 1, 2012 at 1:53 am

Laura! Ben’s family hails from Collins and Hot Coffee! His grandparents live on a big farm in the Williamsburg community of Collins, actually. :)

Laura September 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Small world! We’re in Birmingham and don’t get down that way as often as we should to visit.

Screendoorgirl 3 August 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

What a sweet story! That home is beautiful inside and out . It is also a nice reminder to all of us that dreams really can come true ! Thanks Julia..

George September 1, 2012 at 1:01 am

Oh my gosh! I have loved this house for years. I love all the historic house in my town, actually. I have been on the hunt for a historic Laurel home to buy and renovate and this post just solidifies it. Nice to see the great houses in my town getting some recognition.

Erin September 1, 2012 at 1:51 am

George!! As in Jackson or McNeill? Hey mister neighbor man, either way! ;)

Shabby Chick September 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Wow. Doesn’t she have such a great style? Such a rich sense of history with all of the old photographs. How perfect that she got to buy the house she dreamed of owning as a child. This is one house to die for! ;)

Andrea September 2, 2012 at 6:40 pm

This is amazing! I happen to be currently reading “The Blue Castle,” by L.M. Montogmery of “Anne of Green Gables,” fame — I think Ms Montgomery was hooked on houses, too. This morning I came to a passage where the protagonist, Valancy, is walking past a beautiful, new (it’s 1925) house built for a young bride. It has casement windows and a dubbed gable whatever that is. Anyway, I had to put my book down and look at 1925 houses for the rest of the day but couldn’t find exactly the right house to fit my imagination for poor Valancy.

So I gave up and came here and there it is. Just perfect. Y’all are my kindred spirits!

Erin September 4, 2012 at 12:48 am

How cool is that?! I’m flattered! :)

Shannon September 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

I’m so happy you did a Mississippi home! Thanks for sharing

Jerri C. TN September 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm

WOWZER!!!! I love Laurel MS & this home!!!

Kristin S September 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I love every inch of this cottage!

foo September 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

wow, I am so pleased to see so many others as in love with this house as I am, and for the same reasons. I love all the mismatching drawer pulls and chairs. I love the story of the photos. I usually don’t like hanging family photos on the walls, but in this instance it works and the fact that it’s not them, but their family members from long ago, just makes it.

What I love the most is her curtains, which she didn’t speak about. But, since I did the same thing in my living room (http://www.foobella.com/2012/08/cheap-drapery-ii.html shameless plug, I know. ha), I am quite certain she used Canvas drop cloths as curtains, which is so thrifty and yet so lovely.

wonderful home.

hookedonhouses September 7, 2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks for sharing that, Foo! :)

Erin September 7, 2012 at 11:30 am

We sure did! My mama and I made all the curtains for the entire house for less than $100. Each one is different, and I love them all.

foo September 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

That’s fantastic, Erin. A testament to the fact that we don’t have to spend a fortune to get a lovely house.

Melanie Penelope September 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

This home is perfection inside and out and I also love the owner’s story. Bravo Julia on another incredible post!

Ann September 22, 2012 at 3:37 am

It’s perfect. Delicious. Can’t stop looking at the decor.

Celeste September 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This home is what the American is about. Hard work and a young girl’s dream coming true. Wish I could live and raise my family there.

Sam October 17, 2012 at 4:06 am

I love this house and I love the story of it! When I am older and am getting my own house I would love to have a great story about it!
I also, love the map collection!

Dave Armstrong December 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm

What would the difference be between a Craftsman cottage and a Craftsman home?

Thanks,

Dave

Jcrn April 14, 2013 at 10:58 am

Dave- I am guessing square footage is the major factor.This page from The Arts and Crafts Society might be useful: http://www.arts-crafts.com/archive/achomes/bungalowhomes.shtml .At one point, bungalows were considered summer homes. We lived in one for a few years and there was little storage space because people lived there only part of the year.

It could perhaps be an arbitrary distinction now? At one point, however, bungalows were relatively “small homes of distinction” and 1200 sq. feet or so. Cozy and compact.

polly April 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Hi! Your house is beautiful!! I came across a picture of your bedroom with the iron bed on Pinterest, so I followed it to your site. I am about to order a Wesley Allen Hillsboro bed and wondered if that is what this one is. If it is, do you remember what finish you chose? I’m having trouble deciding and I love the color of yours. Thanks!! You have a beautiful home!

Erin April 16, 2013 at 12:37 am

Hi Polly! I’ve not visited this page in months and needed to link it to my blog when I just found this new comment! Crazy! Yes, we ordered the Hillsboro bed from Humble Abode and the color is natural rust. We love it! Hope you love yours, too!

Apryl June 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Would love to know where you got the wrought iron bed that has the cedar chest in front of it! Enjoyed finding out that the cedar chest is from my hometown!

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