Erin Napier Explains A Budget-Friendly Option To Give Character To Your Kitchen

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A home is filled with memories and stories, and it should reflect the personality of the people who live there. This philosophy inspires Erin Napier's home design, and she illustrates her belief in the stories found in her new book, "Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home." On their popular HGTV show, "Home Town," Erin and her husband, Ben Napier, work together to renovate historic properties in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, and they transform these properties into homes that reflect the character of their clients. One particular story in Napier's new book focuses on the transformation of a 1908 Craftsman, as featured in Season 2, Episode 4 of "Home Town," "Countryside in the City." For this home renovation, Napier explained how her choice of a wallpaper kitchen backsplash had a special significance for the new homeowners.

Emily and Billy James had decided to relocate from the country to a new home where they would be surrounded by neighbors and friends as they raised their family. They purchased the Rutledge House, a Craftsman home built in 1908. Napier decided that one of the best ways to create a sense of familiarity and belonging in the new house was to incorporate Emily's Mexican heritage into the design. Before they began the renovation, the Napiers spent time learning about the James family. "I learned how important Emily's Mexican heritage is to her — the style, the colors, the food, and the culture all became touchstones in the design process," Napier shared, in an excerpt from her new book.

Using vinyl wallpaper to design

Erin Napier designed a custom wallpaper backsplash for Emily and Billy James' kitchen in a striking pattern that resembled Mexican tile (above), featuring shades of teal, blue, and white. As she explained in her book, "Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home," "We are always trying to find the common thread between what the house gives us (architecture) and who the homeowners are (personality). The printed vinyl backsplash was a budget-friendly nod to painted Mexican tile."

Vinyl wallpaper can be styled in a number of different ways. You can, for instance, copy Napier's idea by installing it as a backsplash around the kitchen, or use it to designate one area of the room as a coffee station. If centered behind the stove for a colorful focal point, the laminate surface will make it easy to clean. You could also add it to a kitchen island wall as protection from scuff marks that could result from someone sitting on a stool at the counter, while the colorful pattern will add a beautiful detail to the room.

Transform your kitchen on a budget

As Erin Napier notes, vinyl wallpaper can be a budget-friendly design solution. And because it comes in so many designs, you can find one that really captures your home's character and your room's style. For example, you could get nearly 10 feet of vinyl wallpaper from Amazon (above) for under $10. This kind of paper is both economical and easy to install (peel and stick). It's often waterproof as well, making it ideal for a kitchen setting.

Other décor ideas for vinyl wallpaper? Use it for kitchen cabinets or place them at the back of glass-front cupboards or open shelves to add both color and design to the room. Create a custom-looking tabletop by resurfacing a thrift store find. Or perhaps use the paper as shelf liners or drawer liners, or even place it under the sink. It'll not only look stylish each time you open the doors but the vinyl material will also protect the surfaces from moisture and wear and tear.

Your imagination is really the limit when it comes to all the ways that colorful vinyl wallpaper can transform your kitchen. Choose a style and color combination that reflects your personal taste, and you'll create a home that tells a story like Napier describes in "Heirloom Rooms: Soulful Stories of Home."