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After we published this post in 2014, it took on a life of its own! Erin and Ben Napier now have an HGTV show, Home Town, and a bustling storefront in Laurel, the Laurel Mercantile. We are so proud of them and happy to be a small part of their success! Please enjoy this look inside Erin and Ben’s home…

Ladies, I am having a hard time gathering my thoughts as to how to introduce today’s guest – there’s just so much I want to say!! Erin, the genius wedding invitation designer behind Lucky Luxe, popped up on my radar a few years ago, when I stumbled upon the story of how she and her husband came to own their home. Walking through a favorite neighborhood with her future husband discussing their dream houses sounded so similar to one of my favorite pastimes that I instantly felt a kinship. I also fell in love with her blog, where she documents the good things that happen every single day of her life.

So when we were brainstorming folks to reach out to for our Southern Newlywed feature, Erin was at the top of my list. And then she turned in her interview answers, and they were even better than I had hoped – I kept whispering yes, yes, yes!! to myself as I read through them! From the way she and Ben do dinner to the way they do chores, I think her outlook on life and marriage is really refreshing and inspiring, and I hope you do, too.

And, of course, it probably goes without saying, but the Mississippi home these two have created is AMAZING – I think you’ll enjoy taking a peek inside it, too :)

Who lives in this lovely home? Ben and Erin Napier, married 5.5 years.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. After secretly crushing on each other for a year, I was assigned to design a story feature on “Big Ben,” the most popular guy on campus, for our college yearbook, so we hung out that Thursday afternoon and said “I love you, let’s get married” on Monday.

What is your favorite part of being married? Oh man! So many things! Just belonging to Ben and sharing his last name makes my heart feel fluttery. How many people marry the biggest crush they ever had? I never forget that. Actually, the way we share everything, come to think of it. We share our work (he helps me at Lucky Luxe, I help him with youth ministry) and we share every meal every day. We’re rarely apart from one another since we both work within a two-block radius of home. On Saturdays, we always have burgers and cherry Sprites for lunch at the old Phillips Drive-In downtown. We collect antique cars and take my 1971 VW Beetle convertible, his 1962 Chevy pickup, and 1964 Pontiac Catalina (which belonged to my grandfather, then my daddy, now Ben) to car shows. Sharing our families, our home, our interests, our cereal, our books and music, and never having to deal with life on my own–that’s what I love about being married.

Do you rent or own? We rent a loft in downtown Laurel that was our first home after our wedding. As Lucky Luxe grew, it took over the loft, so we bought the yellow 1925 craftsman cottage I’ve been in love with since junior high in our historic district. It’s two blocks from the loft and we were still too sentimental to let the loft go, so we just kept it for my studio. Now, we’re working on building a little garage in our backyard so Ben can do mechanics and build furniture out there. Living in Mississippi affords you many great things–one of which is the crazy low cost of real estate!
What most makes your house feel like home? In most of the rooms in our house, you’ll find gallery walls of old photos of our grandparents and parents from the 1940s through the 1970s. None of them are in color, and they make us smile when we see them. For instance, there’s one of my daddy’s parents in their 20s, in their swimsuits at the lake, leaning against a 1940s Buick mid-laugh, holding a watermelon. My grandfather is making a face that looks like he just said something flirty and off color to my grandmother. They aren’t old–they’re just like us, now. Every photo is a one-of-a-kind work of art. We don’t want pictures of ourselves hanging around to stare at–we can see each other in real life any time.

Who cooks dinner? My cousin, Jim, married my college roommate, Mallorie. They have a baby girl, Lucy, and they live a couple houses down from us. They’re our best friends and we share dinner with them on our porch or in their 1912 city farmhouse almost every night of the week. Sometimes I cook, sometimes Mallorie cooks, but no matter who cooks, we make enough to feed us all. Most nights, we’re too tired and just eat out. Ben is the master of skillet meals. He can take random ingredients like mushrooms, eggs, chicken, sausage, and salsa and make something incredible.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? I’m the Italian cook in our little crew, so if I’m fixing dinner, it’s going to be something rich and saucy, like spaghetti and homemade meatballs, pasta Roberto (a sausage and red bell pepper pasta with creamy tomato sauce), or my mama’s lasagna. On the weekend, we’re usually grilling.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I have a few sources for meals that hit the spot every single time. Obviously, The Pioneer Woman is one, and my favorite cookbooks are La Cucina (by the Italian Academy of Cuisine), An Italian Palate (by Robert St. John–the pride of Mississippi!), and Bell’s Best.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? The kitchen stuff gets used every single day, particularly our Tag bubble glass drinkware and our Biltmore knife set. I never would’ve splurged and bought myself a KitchenAid stand mixer, but that was a post-wedding gift from our friend, Mickey, a chef, and I don’t know how I lived without it before. You can dump anything in there and it’ll make magic. Also, someone gave us a mattress pad that keeps you cool all night while you sleep. That’s solid gold when you sleep next to a 300 lb. furnace.

What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I would have registered for a really good toaster oven. Can you believe I forgot to? We’ve had bad luck in the toaster arena. They never work as well as the one I grew up making grilled cheeses and English muffin pizzas in. One thing I’d advise: we registered for really nice Ralph Lauren towels in white and light blue. The blue ones mildewed after a year, no matter how many washings they got, and now they’re just shop towels, but you can bleach the white ones every wash and they never mildew or stain. We’ll be using those same towels when we’re retired. Register for white towels, people!

Tell us about the process of moving in together. The thing that I think makes our home style work is that every room is anchored by a masculine thing. In the living room, our side table is an old, warped, oiled and worn butcher’s chopping block. In our bedroom, it’s the antique soldier’s cedar chest at the foot of our bed and the hulking armoire Ben and daddy built. In the kitchen, it’s the old wooden Brehmer’s Pub sign and the cotton factory pulleys that our lights hang from. I love white, linen, hydrangeas, patterned wallpapers, and antique floral engravings, but if that’s all our house was, the look would fall flat and be totally unoriginal. Every room needs to reflect a little ruggedness to feel like it’s really OUR house, I think, right down to the Civil War portraits and Hemingway books that live in the all-white half bath under the stairs.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? Ha! I hardly ever splurge. We like shopping flea markets and architectural salvage, or Ben builds things himself. I’m not impressed by money or expensive things. My sofa is a crazy comfy hand-me-down from mama and we had a custom white denim slipcover made for it. All of the old family portraits of our grandparents and parents are in mismatched brown frames we found at dollar stores all over town. My work desk was a $30 Craigslist find. If we do splurge, it’s because we just couldn’t live without it or couldn’t find a less pricey comparable option. The short list: our Restoration Hardware linen bedding and Jamison latex mattress (good sleep makes life worth living, y’all), and the stately portrait of Tony Soprano and his race horse in our dining room that was used in the HBO show. Other than that, if it’s in our house, we probably found it on the side of the road.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? If I’m awake first, I go start his coffee. I’ve got to have a real Coke first thing when I wake up, but he’s very attached to his coffee. He swears nothing makes him feel more loved and it’s an easy thing for me to do for him. He runs a bath for me every night before bed, always.

How does your family handle finances? We’re hardcore about tithing. We give to our church, no matter what, every single week, and our needs have always been met. Ben always says, “In the same way that prayer focuses us spiritually, tithing focuses us financially.” When you give up what controls you (money) and put your faith in God, He always provides. If you do it with confidence and without bitterness or worry, it’ll change your life. Ben also sets aside a couple hundred dollars from every paycheck for our vacation fund because we love to travel. When it’s time to buy plane tickets, it feels like, “Hey! Free trip!” We generally don’t spend money unless we really need something, or we might spend a little more if we’ve had a great week with Lucky Luxe. Otherwise, we save everything we can and invest it in mutual funds, our IRAs, and real estate trusts at the end of every year. Jim is a financial advisor and is helping us build a really nice little nest egg already, even at 28 and 30 years old. If you get a financial advisor, you’ll thank yourself later. They’re worth every penny, and it’s not even many pennies!

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… how hard it would be to plan Christmas. No matter what, since our families live four hours apart, one of our mamas won’t have all her babies at home on Christmas morning. To make sure it’s fair, we alternate Christmas morning every other year (and every other year, I still cry over it), but it’s always wonderful no matter where we spend it. There’s going to be good food and and our favorite people in the world either way–it’s just SO tough to coordinate with siblings and their families. I urge you to put it on your calendars to make a Christmas plan in the summer. It’s the best way to cut out the confusion!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? If you can share them, do that. Whether it’s shipping Lucky Luxe orders, making youth sabbath slideshows, or folding laundry, it spreads the burden, lightens the load, and becomes quality time if we’re doing it together. Also, you’ve got to get out of town sometimes. A quick one-day trip to the beach that gives you a little sunburn and sand in your overnight bag clears away so much mental debris.

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Well, it used to be aimlessly wandering through Blockbuster, picking up old movies we used to love, usually followed by a trip to Sonic for a strawberry limeade. Thanks a lot, stupid Netflix! Now that college is over, date night consists of dinner with friends. Or not with friends. But always a good dinner. It’s seems trite, but it’s a real pleasure for us. Oh wait, I love Netflix. It gave us House of Cards!

Do you have children? Only a handful of our friends don’t have kids yet, so it’s on my mind constantly, though I don’t feel quite ready for it yet. Lucky Luxe has been our baby since we were married, but as it’s become more sustainable in the last few years, I find we’re talking about babies more. I’m still working on building up my courage for the physical realities (labor?! AH!) of having babies, but it’s definitely part of the plan. If we try and find we aren’t able to, we’ll adopt. It’ll all work out just the way God has planned for us, and thankfully, that means it’s not in our control. That’s all I know for sure.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Does a porch count as a room? We really live on the front porch. We have breakfast out there every morning, my family comes over for porch lunch every Friday, and our friends come over for supper after work. We lie on the porch bed and read on lazy Sunday afternoons. We can hear the church bells playing songs every hour, our neighbors walk by with dogs and babies and kids on bikes, and you can hear live music on the weekends drifting from the restaurant downtown if the wind blows just right. We watch weddings beneath the old live oaks on the lawn of the museum house across the street on Saturdays. Life is always happening from the porch. With the screen doors Ben made for us last fall, the porch now sort of creeps right into the living room–my second favorite room of the house–any time the weather is nice.

In 2014, our family is most excited about… There’s big stuff coming up for Lucky Luxe with our first full-page feature in Martha Stewart Weddings this fall, and we’re planning a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway. Every fall, we take a big trip, usually to New England or NYC, but this year, we want to experience California. Would love some tips if any of you other wandering Southerners have some must-see spots between San Fran and San Diego!

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I’ve been surprised by how easy marriage is for us. I get that it’s not so simple for everyone, and a lot of people have disagreements on important things like kids and finances, but we haven’t struggled with that. Marriage is our comfort zone and support system; it’s as natural as breathing and just as necessary for making my way through life with all its good and hard times. People say, “Marriage is hard and it takes hard work.” That hasn’t been my experience. I think that if you marry the right person for you, the disagreements won’t feel like work.
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? You need two books: Streams in the Desert and The Perfectly Imperfect Home. They’ll keep your heart and home in good working order.

Follow along with Erin:
Lucky Luxe
Lucky Luxe blog
Personal blog
Lucky Luxe instagram
Personal instagram

Photography: Jean Allsopp

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    This whole home is absolutely breaktaking but that porch, oh my heavens! Also, love their philosophy about finances, definitely spot on with tithing and needs being met.

  2. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I LOVE this house, the story, and how this cute couple made it such a cozy home. It seriously looks like it is straight out of a Nicholas Spark’s novel. Loving these features, too! :)

  3. avatar Julie reply

    I am just so inspired by this feature. I love Erin and Ben’s outlook on life, home, and marriage. As a soon-to-be married chica, I adored this!

  4. avatar Kristen reply

    I grew up in the same small town as Erin and also grew up in love with that precious house in historic downtown. It is absolutely beautiful and rich with character. Beautiful article…congrats Erin!

  5. avatar Erin reply

    Love love love this feature! I laughed out loud at Erin’s comment about Blockbuster, and her philosophy is just so wonderful!

  6. avatar Abby reply

    That porch bed is brilliant and instantly was added to my list of must-haves in buying my first home!

  7. avatar Lisa reply

    That porch is a dream!! Love their outlook on decorating, community, and marriage.

  8. avatar Southern Newlywed on | Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence | Letterpress Wedding Stationery reply

    […] super in-depth questions about mine and Ben’s marriage and our thoughts on home style for Southern Weddings, the sister publication to Southern Living. I’m long winded (as you’ll find), but it […]

  9. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Blue Ribbon Vendors! We took a tour of Erin Napier’s seriously amazing Mississippi home in Southern Newlywed. Megan and Barnett chose two sentimental venues for their jewel-toned Alabama wedding. Lauren and […]

  10. avatar Cami reply

    This home is a dream. Absolutely beautiful and so incredibly warm and inviting.

  11. avatar Hannah reply

    Gosh, seriously my favorite “at home” post yet! I love everything about this cozy home and the wise words from the owner!

  12. avatar Gillian reply

    What a great house! I love the striped wing chair in the dining room. Any chance you could mention where you bought it, Erin? Thanks in advance!

  13. avatar Dining Room Plans | Neverland Nook reply

    […]  Farmhouse Lighting – I’m loving all farmhouse/barn lighting!  I’m not sure if we will change the […]

  14. avatar Carl Blackledge reply

    Erin, I am Kelsey Blackledge father. I would like to know if HGTV has chosen any more homes in Laurel to remodel for the HGTV network.
    We have a home built in 1911 that may be perfect for the show.
    Please contact me . Thanks , Carl

  15. avatar Caitlynn reply

    Where was the black iron bed frame purchased? Love it!

  16. avatar Brittany Moore reply

    I was just scanning through Pinterest when I came across a staircase that looked so familiar! Sure enough I clicked and realized I lived in this home when I we in the third grade! I now live in Hattiesburg. Such an amazing home and so funny the staircase caught my eye! So interesting to see it now! Absolutely beautiful!

  17. avatar Meg reply

    Your house is beautiful, as well as your personal stories! Any chance you know the name of your bed linens or how long ago they were purchased? Thanks so much!!

  18. avatar Erin Phillips reply

    This home tour is SPECTACULAR! The use of color, the gallery wall with family portraits and the framed flag have me weak in the knees. What a great feature and even better inspiration!

  19. avatar Bri A reply

    This is so dreamy!! This is exactly the kind of couple HGTV needs. Can’t wait to hear even more about their story (and keep falling in love with their porch!!).

  20. avatar Ben Napier's height, Erin Napier's age: HGTV Home Town FAQ reply

    […] galleries (so far). In chronological order, they are the 2012 Hooked on Houses feature; the 2014 Southern Weddings article; and a Life at Cloverhill tour, also from 2014. We’ll close with a handful of shots of the […]

  21. avatar Jill reply

    Your home is so lovely and homey, your attitudes on life and love are so genuine. It was a real treat to be introduced to you both and your down-to-earth small town outlook. Too many people think nothing of any importance goes on in “small towns”.

    Chip and Joanna showed that Waco was cool and you two will show that Mississippi and the town of Laurel has more to offer than folks outside the area ever knew. Best of luck on the start of your new show, I am looking forward to seeing it on Tuesday (and saving on DVR).

    Good luck from a former Natchez, Mississippi resident (my husband grew up in Woodville and one brother still lives in Grenada and there are nieces and nephews in Jackson and Natchez).


  22. avatar Friday Favorites No. 27: Rose's Luxury – Classic Catherine reply

    […] so I get small towns. If you’d believe it, these two were “discovered” from their Southern Newlywed interview on the same column that we were on! Erin and Ben remodel older homes similarly to Fixer Upper, but […]

  23. avatar Mary reply

    Love the house and the show!! And you have a Great Pyr, so do we. Aren’t they the best!

  24. avatar Jim McNulty reply

    love the show… unique… in this era of astronomical real estate prices ( see san fran l.a. n.y etc I believe value is in small ( undiscovered ?) 1950 type hamlets. no ?

  25. avatar Sharon King reply

    Love your new show! I just moved back to Texas after 12 years in California. Retired 6 months ago after 50 years in nursing. On your Cali trip go across the Golden Gate into Marin and see Muir Woods. Check out the small town of Petaluma (my daughter’s familyives there) in Sonoma County and the Napa wine countryside and vineyards. I’m in small town Cibolo, TX now, just north of San Antonio, my hometown. Really grew to love small towns after serving as Director of Nursing for 3 years in Gonzales TX, pop. 6500. Wishes for continued success, loved y’all’s backstories!

  26. avatar carole stintsman reply

    LOVE your show and enjoy watching the two of you interact. The love is very visible ! Makes me happy that you are refurbishing the old houses and making a true home for your clients. God Bless.

  27. avatar Diane Miller reply


  28. avatar Donna De Mey reply

    I have been watching the show “Home Town”, and now all of a sudden it has not been on. This show was awesome as were the couple doing the renovating. I loved it and now cannot find it on HGTV, WHY????

  29. avatar Jeannie Fox reply

    Absolutely adore your show, makes me feel like being with my family! We look forward to Thursday nights, and rewatch the episodes over to the next week. From California, Jeannie Fox

  30. avatar Cyndi reply

    Love Ben & Erin,they are so sweet together & have done beautiful work on homes.Take Care & God Bless…

  31. avatar Sue Wilkins reply

    I love your style and vision for the homes you renovate on your show! It’s exactly the style I’m implementing while we renovate our home. I enjoy your show, and the back to the basic way of life you leave us feeling each week. Kudos to you both!
    P.S. Love the items in your store, though, out of my price range, I’m afraid.

  32. avatar Dorothy Pflug reply

    Love your show!

  33. avatar John Jubinville reply

    I guess what makes Erin & Ben’s show so special is that having been born in Laurel myself and living now in Baton Rouge I don’t make it home very often. I watch the kids, sorry Erin and Ben ,but I am 73 years old. Your show brings me so much pleasure, like going home at least once a week.
    Quality is rare so keep up the great work, see you next week. Ya’ll make me want to head back home,. I have just been needing a reason think I might have found it.

  34. avatar Beverly reply

    I just love your show ya are real home folk. Congraulation on your baby girl. What is her name and when was she born.


  35. avatar Modern Farmhouse Staple: The Antique Black Bed | thetarnishedjewelblog reply

    […] source: […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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Dave and I recently started chatting about which decor pieces we’ll be bringing into our newlywed home next year, and to say that we have different ideas is a bit of understatement. It is a great comfort to hear that when Caroline and Aaron moved in together, their home was the “biggest, most ridiculous mash-up of furniture and styles you’ve ever seen,” but over time, their tastes have meshed to result in the effortlessly cool apartment they’ve shared with us today. Along with the reassurance that totally different decor preferences can come together so beautifully, I’m also so inspired by Caroline and Aaron’s unique budgeting system and their commitment to spending lots of quality time together.

P.S. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Caroline and Aaron’s adorable whippet, who makes a few cameos in their home tour! :)

Years married: 2.5
Where you live: Austin, Texas
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met in high school (he was the cool senior, I was the super nerdy sophomore, too shy to say hi), reconnected after college, fell in love on our first date, and were married eight months later. *sigh* I love our story.
What is your favorite part of being married? Every. Single. Bit of it. I love that we’re creating a life and legacy together–something that wouldn’t have existed in this world otherwise. I love that we’re better people just by being together.

Do you rent or own? We rent. We just signed another lease for a second year in our tiny 600 sq. ft. apartment and we could not be more happy, content, and excited. After living in an 1800 sq. ft. house during our first year of marriage, we wondered if there was another way, so we downsized. We’ve never looked back! This past year has totally changed our perspective on space and how much we actually need. Renting often gets a bad rap, and we definitely went through an intense phase early in our marriage when ALL we could think about was buying a house of our own. All our friends were, and we felt behind for renting. But there’s something to be said for listening to your inner compass and buying at the right time for you. Having experienced both renting and owning, I have to say, there are so many lovely things about living in an apartment that often go overlooked–the pool, the gym that’s steps out my door, the free coffee at the office when we run out at home, and the ability to pick up and move to Paris for a few months should we feel so inclined. ;)

Tell us about the process of moving in together. At first, our home was the biggest, most ridiculous mash-up of furniture and styles you’ve ever seen. My style was shabby chic meets glam and Aaron’s style was dark, heavy, and manly. Awkward mental picture, right? But over time, our tastes and styles changed and meshed together. Now we’re both into midcentury modern and California cool. Honestly, my best tip for blending styles is simply this: don’t worry if your house isn’t styled perfectly right away. Embrace the messy mash-up at first–it’s like a fun little rite of passage. We’ve all been there.
What most makes your house feel like home? Consider yourself warned because this gets cheesy, but to me, our apartment feels like a home because of my husband. It’s like that song, “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It’s true. (#aww)

Who cooks dinner? Aaron! I’m the luckiest girl ever because he’s an amazing chef. Me… not so much.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We love Mexican food and will typically throw together a taco salad when we need an easy weeknight dinner with lots of veggies. We use fresh greens, bell peppers, avocado, tomatoes, corn, jicama, onions, and chicken fajita meat.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Our favorite cookbook is the Kinfolk Table, but we also get a lot of inspiration from restaurants in Austin.

How does your family handle finances? We absolutely live by a budget, and we manage it using a hybrid approach to Dave Ramsey’s cash system. It goes like this: all our bills, groceries, and gas are budgeted and paid by debit card, but then we each get a monthly allowance in cash. We’re each responsible for budgeting our allowances for eating out, entertainment, clothes shopping, hobbies, etc. It cuts out the, “You spent what on what?!” moments, because we give each other the freedom to spend our allowances however we like. It’s kind of a different approach, but it works for us and we love it.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? When we downsized, we discovered something cool: if you have less space, you can buy fewer, better things to fill it. So, in a way, our tiny space is how we save, because we don’t have to buy much. For what we do buy, however, we can splurge a little. I love it! For furniture, we love West Elm (especially the outlet!) and Ikea. We also like mixing in handmade pieces from Austin artists and decor from designers like Jonathan Adler.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our little patio is my favorite spot. It’s the tiniest space ever, but it’s magical. We strung up big bulb lights, and in the summertime, we love to eat dinner out there.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? We try to have shared hobbies as much as possible so we can spend time together doing things that thrill us, challenge us, and help us to grow together. I’m currently working up the nerve to join Aaron in his most recent hobby–Crossfit (yikes!). We also like to invite each other along for menial tasks, like grocery shopping or running to the post office. That time adds up and it can be really sweet.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We love doing a food truck crawl, which is when we eat appetizers at one food truck, dinner at another, and dessert at another. It’s a blast!

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? One tiny little way I love on Aaron is by hanging out with him in the kitchen while he’s making dinner, goofing off with him, cleaning up along the way, and making sure his wine glass gets a refill.
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? The books that have helped Aaron and I most in our marriage are Mindset by Carol Dweck (it helped us understand ourselves and how we approach hard things) and The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander (the chapter “Telling The We Story” changed everything for us).

We’re so grateful to Caroline and Aaron for sharing their hearts and home with us! If you love their style as much as we do, be sure to follow Caroline’s lovely photography here, her inspiring capsule wardrobe blog here, and her day-to-day life on Instagram.

Home photos: Caroline Joy / Family photos: Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd is a delightful member of the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Leanne Caroline reply

    Oh my word, I want your home! Homely simplicity. Perfect. And I love that you love marriage. So very inspiring. Caroline, you’re a gorgeous role model.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Y’all have come a long way from “ridiculous mash-up” – your home couldn’t look more cohesive or perfect for you two now. And I love Steve Z on your pillows :)

  3. avatar Caroline Joy reply

    Oh sweet ladies of SW, this just makes my heart so happy! Thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of Southern Newlywed. It’s such an honor! Xoxo Caroline

  4. avatar Erin reply

    My goodness, what a beautiful home and such an amazing inspiration for a lovely marriage!

  5. avatar jame reply

    lovely lovely home. :)
    caroline do you mind sharing (or remember) where your patio lights (and the ones around the mirror) came from? those look like they are better quality than the ones you can buy at christmas.

  6. avatar Katie reply

    I love this! Caroline is such an inspiration and encouragement for simple living. She truly examples a life filled with what matters most. Thanks, Caroline and I adore your home. Especially all those succulents! :)

  7. avatar Kat reply

    I love it!! I love how they have blended their styles together, and I love her advice to just “embrace the messy mash-up” because that’s what I feel like our house looks like right now!!

  8. avatar Sydni reply

    I love everything about this post!! What a beautiful home. We also love renting (going on our 3rd year) in order to save money to put 20% down on a house in PA, and having fewer things. Also, love that print in the bathroom – ha!

  9. avatar Watercolor house portraits – Em for Marvelous – reply

    […] also loved Caroline and Aaron’s apartment, and their thoughts on small space living are […]

  10. avatar Carri Pryor reply

    Caroline and Aaron have such a beautiful home. I was hoping to check out Caroline’s photography but clicked on the link and it is now a dead link ( Just wanted to let you know!

  11. avatar How to add Color to your Apartment reply

    […] If you’re looking for a furniture piece, but don’t want to break the bank – accent chairs are the way to go. Since they’re on the smaller side of the furniture scale, it’s also easier to pick a color and it’s sure to blend well with a neutral sofa! Target, World Market, and Home Goods are great places to find an accent chair. {via Southern Weddings} […]

  12. avatar Midnight Links // 08 – The Midnight Blog reply

    […] > House Dreaming How gorgeous are this Stockholm appartment, this pretty house and this cosy Texan home? […]

  13. avatar Sweet Tea Sundays No. 79 – Southern Weddings reply

    […] on Southern Newlywed was Caroline and Aaron–you can find their adorable Austin apartment here! Their whole interview was super inspiring, but one of my favorite parts of it was when Caroline […]

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When Landon and Jordan sent over the photos for today’s tour, the first thing I said to Lisa was, “I want to move in!!” When I said the same thing to Jordan in an email, she kindly responded that I was welcome to, but that their house was a bit small. I haven’t packed my bags yet; instead, I’ve been inspired to make a few changes in my own home. Because the thing I love most about the space these two share isn’t their beautiful paint choices or white kitchen cabinets (though I do love those things), it’s that it clearly shows who they are, how they live, and what they love.

And, they have chickens!! So obviously they were a natural candidate for our Southern Newlywed At Home series :)

Years married: 7
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Hometown and college sweethearts fall madly in love and save the world.
Do you rent or own? We own a cute bungalow in a historic neighborhood in downtown Columbia, SC.

What is your favorite part of being married? Definitely our friendship! Don’t get me wrong, we are deeply in love with each other, but when life goes to the pits (and it does for everyone at some point), there’s nothing better than coming home to your best friend who loves you unconditionally. We are with each other a lot. I mean… A LOT. Not only do we live together (obviously), but we also work together full-time with our photography business. Thankfully, we really enjoy each other’s company. We make each other laugh almost constantly, which is another favorite part of our marriage.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. If two creative people move in together, there might be some disagreements on decor. Both of us enjoy the art of creating spaces, and we can both be pretty stubborn about it. It didn’t take us long to realize that one person needed to have the final say. So, after about a year of intense decorating battles, I, Landon, relinquished the veto power to Jordan (my wife). This doesn’t mean Jordan won’t ask for my opinion, or that I don’t often give it. It just means I’m okay with her final decision either way. After all, she is incredibly talented. We no longer argue about it, and I love the way our house looks and feels. Guys, if decorating is super important to your wife, there’s nothing wrong with giving in or learning to love and appreciate her taste.

What most makes your house feel like home? I would say the thought and time we’ve put into designing every space in our house. Everything is there for a reason, and was probably given much consideration. This has turned our house into a unique and personal home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? It’s a little ironic given how much we love decorating, but we really don’t splurge on much. We’ve always wanted our house to look a certain way, even early on in our marriage, and of course, most newlyweds don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on decor. For our first several years together, almost everything we owned was either bought on clearance, at yard sales, Ikea, thrift stores, traded for, given to us, or built from scratch. It took a lot more time than simply picking out our favorite pieces from a boutique, but in the end, it enabled us to decorate every part of our house the way we wanted. Most inexpensive things don’t last forever (surprise!), so we’ve been in the process of replacing the pieces we use the most with items that will.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our favorite room would have be our dinning room–it’s where we gather and enjoy delicious meals with all our wonderful friends.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? None of it :( We were young and had no idea what to register for, so we didn’t register for much. A couple of years ago, I was super sad to see our salt shaker break, because it was one of the few gifts we had from our wedding. I wish we would have registered for heavy duty china and flatware. It’s fun setting up a fancy dinner for guests, so we’ve had to buy a good bit on our own.

Who cooks dinner? I’d say it’s about 50-50. We both love to cook, but also love when the other does as well :)
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We are both pescetarian (vegetarians who eat fish). During the week, you’ll probably find us eating salmon with corn risotto or rice and beans with homemade tortillas. We travel a lot on the weekends, so Chipotle is our go-to.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? A cookbook called Happy Herbivore has been super handy. We have a couple great recipes from Kinfolk as well.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Probably that doing something as simple as communicating can be difficult at times. We were probably three years into marriage before we realized that a lot of our arguments only began because we didn’t understand what the other was trying to communicate. Thankfully, as noted above, spending lots of time together has made us much better at understanding each other, as well as (even more importantly) listening.
How does your family handle finances? We set a budget and use the cash system. It helps keep two very non-type-A people in check.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This can definitely be a tough area. There are lots of things you have to do and lots of things you want to do, and most of the time, they conflict with each other. Our tip is to bounce things off your spouse. They should know you pretty well and can help you balance the have-to’s with the want-to’s.

Do you have children? Does a dog and chickens count? Nope? That’s okay. We love kids and would love to have our own one day!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Typically, we go out to our favorite restaurant, and then skip on over to a local coffee shop to play chess. Landon almost always wins.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? From Landon: It’s simple, but whenever Jordan makes a run to the grocery store or goes out to eat with a friend, she’ll often bring me back a little treat. It always makes me feel special. From Jordan: Anytime we are curled up on the sofa watching our favorite TV show, Landon scratches my back. I always think he’s the sweetest!

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that marriage is incredible, but it will expose almost all the areas in your life where you need to grow. And that’s ok, because you’re not a perfect person. Your spouse will know you more intimately than anyone else, and therefore, will notice your weaknesses more than anyone else, and visa versa. Two important things to remember: 1. Let’s just go ahead and assume that your imperfections are abundant, so give your spouse tons and tons of grace when their flaws pop up. 2. Don’t get upset when your spouse exposes a shortcoming of yours. Instead, be thankful. The alternative would be having tons of weaknesses you don’t know about.

Landon and Jordan (otherwise known as Landon Jacob) are great friends of the Southern Weddings family, and we’re so thankful they shared their thoughts and home with us! You can see more of their work on their site here and follow along with their married life on instagram. Until next week!

P.S. As if you needed any more reason to think these two are amazing, they’re traveling to Africa in July to volunteer with an organization called Clothed in Hope. To help fund their trip, they’re currently offering an insane deal ($130) on mini portrait sessions in Columbia, SC on May 18th, June 1st, and June 8th. If you’re interested, email them at hello at to reserve a spot! Great opportunity for engagement photos, anniversary photos, or Christmas card photos :)

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Yup, I am ready to move in, too! Love L&J, their beautiful and purposeful home, and their insightful marriage advice.

  2. avatar Lara reply

    AH!!!! I love every single thing about this — especially the fine feathered friends! L + J, can you please clone your home (including chickens) and bring it to me? I love y’all and your amazing hearts!

  3. avatar Emily Alice reply

    This home is beautiful! My Columbia pride is bursting! :)

  4. avatar L + J reply

    Thanks so much Lara! We’ll definitely get on that. Haha! Love y’all as well!

  5. avatar Kaitlin Holland reply

    Landon & Jordan, this is beautiful!!! I love your hearts for each other and your stunning home.

  6. avatar Nicole reply

    Cutest chicken coop ever? I love every detail of your home, L + J, and reading about how you make it the perfect fit for yourselves!

  7. avatar Abi Losli reply

    Yep, everything about this is adorable! And oh my heart, those chickens! Seeing homes with meaningful, purposeful details gets me all fired up to make our home that way. Thank you for living a great (and inspiring!) story Landon & Jordan! I so appreciate your hearts for each other and the wisdom in your advice.

  8. avatar Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride reply

    It is so stunning and so comfortable. I love the balance of beauty and comfort!

  9. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    When my kids grow up, this is what I want my house to look like! LOL! Not a toy in sight!

  10. avatar Leanne Caroline reply

    Beautiful home. Beautiful words and wisdom. Thank you for sharing, and thank you Southern Weddings for this new post marriage series. I’m not married yet but do so like the “rest of your life” thoughts, aspirations and goals more than the wedding day ideals already. Love the big picture stuff, can’t wait to read more.

  11. avatar celine reply

    I would love to know the color paint you used for the living room (& the guest room if it is a different color). I’m on the search for the perfect gray….

  12. avatar Sarah reply

    Two of the most beautiful people I have ever known. Love this pair to pieces.

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  15. avatar Andrea Rodriguez reply

    Just curious about the mirror in your living room I believe. Did you make that? Can you tell me the dimensions?
    Thank you

  16. avatar Angela C. reply

    Can you tell me where you found the hanging wall baskets in your entryway?
    Thank you!

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  18. avatar Jennifer Ferry reply

    do you share paint colors?

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  20. avatar Lyndsey reply

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your larger wooden mirror in your dining room?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: