The Erin Napier-Inspired DIY That Will Give Your Old Home Cottage Vibes

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If you're searching for a way to give your contemporary home vintage-inspired vibes, this countryside DIY is an innovative solution. The clever idea comes from the queen of quaint: Erin Napier. She is known for her wholesome hacks and renovations done in partnership with her husband, Ben Napier. On their HGTV show, "Home Town," the Mississippi natives help facilitate breathtaking renovations in their hometown of Laurel.

As the married team rejuvenates their town, home by home, it is evident that Erin's creative vision complements Ben's handiwork. Each "Home Town" exterior is a gorgeous display of their economical approach to design. Not only do they consider each client's taste when upgrading the home, but they also make a distinct effort to preserve any historical qualities. For homeowners who love visible character, one of the gorgeous exterior design ideas you'll want to steal from Ben and Erin Napier are these DIY window mullions, which offer a simple and striking exterior improvement. Rather than replacing your windows altogether, you can measure and cut makeshift mullions that will appear exactly like the real thing. 

The magic of window mullions

In Season 7, Episode 15, Ben and Erin Napier borrowed stylistic inspiration from English countryside cottages. One of the most notable elements of this rustic renovation was the Napiers' DIY window mullions. Typically, window mullions separate adjacent window panes to add both visual and structural support. However, the mullions crafted by Erin and Ben Napier served as an exclusively aesthetic upgrade. "We've gotten so many calls and texts. Did you guys do this house with the amazing windows? We've never done anything like this. It's a big deal," Erin boasts in this YouTube clip.

While these decorative mullions are often found on Tudor-style homes, Erin made a daring design choice to add them to this cottage to create an English country vibe. This home makeover is proof that unconventional design choices often result in a memorable outcome. Plus, this creative addition proves that you don't have to break the bank. Ben and Erin Napier have tons of savvy tips for renovating on a budget, sharing countless affordable tricks. 

Also, while replacing your windows can be pricey, gluing makeshift mullions to your glass can create the illusion of a brand-new exterior. Although epoxy glue can be used, it may yellow over time, which is not ideal for a clear window. Consider a transparent glass and vinyl-compatible glue like E6000 from Amazon. Then, all you need are the following materials: a ruler, vinyl sheets, a saw, and your choice of paint.

DIY your own cottage-style windows

Follow Erin and Ben Napier's lead by first measuring the upper portion of your window pane to determine the length of your mullion strips. If you are wondering what is the difference between window mullions and muntins, mullions offer a thicker alternative. To create a more eye-catching look, Erin Napier chose to make her DIY mullions one inch thick. While Ben cut the sample mullions out of wood, the duo ended up choosing vinyl as the final material. This is a brilliant choice for adhering directly to glass. Vinyl is very lightweight, and it also offers more durability with less upkeep than hardwood. You can cut the vinyl yourself using a miter saw, but Ben chose to have the sheet cut at a factory for precision and ease. Your local millwork manufacturer will have the right tools.

Erin Napier opted to paint the vinyl mullion strips in an identical paint color to the window trim. If you want to match your existing trim or window frames, peel off a small piece of paint and take it to your local Home Depot branch to have the swatch color matched. If this isn't an option, you can paint your entire trim, window frame, and mullions in a brand-new shade. Be sure to follow these tips on how to paint a window without painting it shut. When designing your DIY mullions, explore layouts like classic diamonds — as pictured on "Home Town" — or a grid-like colonial pattern.