Before….Meet After

Before….Meet After



I adore my brother.

I wish you could meet him.

He’s funny and quirky and sweet and smart with eyes that twinkle and he has a way of talking to you that makes you feel like you are the most important person in the room.

And he makes the most amazing tables.

But the best thing about him….is that he was smart enough…..

….to marry my sister-in-law.



Remember that girl from the after-school-special who was super cute and sweet and friends with everyone and then one day she decided that she wanted to learn to play soccer even though she had never played before in her whole life….but of course she discovered that she had super soccer talents and so with relatively little practice she was able to completely lead her team to win the state championship…..and as you were watching the movie you thought to yourself….

….of course she did.


That’s my sister-in-law.

When I’m around her….I always think….”of course she did.”

I can’t help it.

It’s what makes her so special.

She somehow knows what you are thinking…..or what you need….or what would make you smile….

….before you even know yourself.


She listened to every story I’ve ever told more than once….and laughed every time.

Of course she did.

She made homemade Christmas presents every year….that looked just like Pottery Barn.

Of course she did.

She always baked birthday cakes and rice crispy treats and banana bread….that taste just like home.

Of course she did.


And she is always doing everything for everyone else.

All the time.

So I wanted to surprise her.

When she left for the afternoon….I did a little shopping and a little painting and a little fluffing and shopped her house….


And changed her dining room from this……


….to this.

And when she came home….I jumped out and yelled surprise and started dancing around and oddly trying to do the lawnmower.

She didn’t say anything at first.

She just stood there.

And then she turned to look at me with tears welling up in her eyes….and hugged me and cried a little and hugged me some more…..and made me feel like I wanted to decorate 27 more rooms in her house.

And I thought to myself…..

….of course she did. πŸ™‚


PS  I love you guys. πŸ™‚

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  1. you are just so sweet. “Of course she did” love that room. Your brother looks just like you!! πŸ™‚

  2. Linda Gregory :

    Of course you did. I also think she was smart enough to marry a good looking guy who had a fantastic sister who can decorate anything and make it look fabulous . What a wonderful surprise for her. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. The funny thing was KariAnne, the whole time I was reading it I was saying…yep that’s KariAnne….yep….that’s her! Then I read what you did for your special sister-in-law! And now I’m SHOUTING it! Of course you did KariAnne. You are so special.

  4. Awww. How precious! I want to be your sister-in-law! We can even leave off the in-law! That’s so sweet! ~Tammy

  5. I love that you did the lawnmower…how could you not love anything once someone did the lawnmower? Looks amazing…

  6. Of course she did indeed! Wow what a wonderful surprise…how sweet of you! Thanks for the midweek smile! (hugs) and never change!

  7. I would love to come home to a surprise like that…do you make house calls?
    What a beautiful room for a beautiful family!! (and great story of course!)

  8. Beautiful makeover! You’re lucky to have such good people in your life, and they’re lucky to have you.
    By the way…. what did you do with the light switch and thermostat?

  9. awww you made me get teary….that’s the sweetest thing ever!…now come do my house…LOL

  10. That is a lovely makeover and I wish my sister in law (ex now) was as lovely as yours. But I guess it doesn’t matter for me anymore! Ha! Maybe the next one πŸ˜‰

  11. What a sweet family. Kind of amazing what a huge impact a few small changes can make. The room looks lovely πŸ™‚

  12. Of course she loved it. So sweet of you to spruce her place up and I do love that table.

  13. You’re all about your family and it shows! Lovely post – and a lovely thing you did for your brother, sister-in-law and their family. Well done… However, I must ask… What did you do with the thermostate/lightswitch? that was on the wall before the redo? Inquiring minds need to know! I too have a thermostat in the middle of a wall I’d like to make disappear.


  14. Love the quote on he wall! A favorite. And did you actually paint the chandelier? Oh, Karianne. Of course, you did!

  15. A family filled with love and talent. It doesn’t get any better.

    The room looks great!

  16. I couldn’t agree more about your awesome brother and amazing sister-in-law! Not to mention the most precious nephews and niece!! Love the whole family!

    What a wonderful surprise from you to that amazing sister-in-law! By the way, I would put you in the awesome category, too! Thanks for sharing!

  17. It’s lovely – of course! and just so you know – you can come decorate my house any time you please!

  18. How do you make a heart on this computer????? It’s amazing what a little love can do to a space! I just kept going back and forth on the pictures to see the changes you made. I love it…. It looks wonderful! Can you come too my house next πŸ™‚ my rooms could use a little sparkle. Love to “shop the house”. Sometimes rearranging from another’s perspective is amazing in results! Thanks for sharing the love. Janita

  19. Geez, had I known you make house-calls, I would have turned you loose on our kitchen.

    We recently went from wallpaper + wallpaper + wallpaper to paint + tile + lovely. It is AMAZING what the right color of paint can do for a room. Well, that and the absence of outdated wallpaper. Just sayin’.

    Nice job on the dining room makeover. Dang.

  20. What a precious story! You are truly blessed to have such wonderful relationships! I have a feeling your sister-in-law describes you in the same way! Of course you did! Have a great day!!~~Angela

  21. You gave it the Kari touch — just beautiful! She’s one lucky sister-in-law!

    πŸ™‚ Linda

  22. beautiful.
    he DOES make beautiful tables…assuming he made their dining room table.

  23. What a touching story! I love the changes you made to her dining room! You have one talented family, Karianne! The table is fabulous!

  24. What a wonderful sister-n-law YOU are! What a sweet thing for you to do. And it is beautiful! Love the yellow pops of color!

  25. what a great little before and after!! and I love the story, those kind of people are the best!!

  26. Kari..that was so nice of you!..She sounds like such a wonderful person and happy to see a picture of your brother and his beautiful family…You did a fantastic job..”of course you did”…When I had my re-design and staging business, the best part of my work was the clients coming home and seeing their faces with what you can do with things they already had…such a rewarding experience..I can envision you running around happily redesigning that beautiful room…..Now on to the other 27 rooms Kari!!

  27. What a sweet and thoughtful thing for you to do Karianne. The room turned out great!

  28. You certainly can tell you’re family! Love it, XOXO

  29. If I say my middle name is “of course she did” (truly, its on my birth certificate) will you come surprise me with a room makeover too? πŸ™‚

    What a sweet surprise, and you know what? While I was reading this, I kept saying to myself…whenever I read your great posts and see your great projects…I find myself saying the EXACT same thing about YOU… of course she did.


  30. You and your sister-in-law sound like two of a kind. Aren’t those the best kinds of surprises? Just makes one’s heart sing πŸ™‚ Beautiful transformation and a beautiful family. You’re the best, KariAnne, and I’d love to be in your family…or your neighbor…or your gas station pizza attendant πŸ™‚

  31. As sweet as your sister in law is, I’ll just bet she thinks the same of you. I mean, come on…. not just ANYONE even attempts to do the lawnmower. My family has mastered the sprinkler, unfortunately for everyone around us.


  32. I thought I was looking at your house! Now that’s a good sis in law!

  33. AAAAhhh… Bless your heart! Of course you did! Made me all emotional. So sweet. And a pretty makeover too πŸ™‚
    Hugs, Gee

  34. Oh my gosh, you’re a renovation raider! What a great gift, Karianne!

  35. That is amazing!!! What a great surprise to come home to! I keep looking at the before and afters, trying to catch all of the little things that add up to such a WOW result! I did notice that her light switch and thermostat went away–hope she doesn’t miss those!!! πŸ™‚

  36. Absolutely gorgeous! You can come and “shop” my house any time! πŸ˜‰ Don’t you just love when it’s just moving things around that make such a difference?

  37. What a cool pulpit! And you did a marvelous job – so pretty!

  38. Such a cute story πŸ™‚ They are adorable! You are soooo lucky to have each other!

  39. …and of course YOU did! Lovely…that must have been fun ~ being all secret sleuth decorator & all!

  40. This is a great story and such a great surprise for your sister-in-law and the change you made is wonderful! Glad to see pictures of your family.


  41. This was written perfectly. Thank you for sharing two wonderful people (and a great room) with us today!

  42. Of course you did!

  43. What a great makeover! I love the addition of the white plates / art to the back wall.

  44. When I saw the first picture, I thought perhaps it was the gatehouse? Could it be a room in your own home that we hadn’t seen? The room is certainly beautiful, but to find out it is your sister in laws and that you transformed it for her and her family, well, that makes it so much more special. Special room, from a special person πŸ™‚

  45. This is now one of my favorite posts I’ve ever read here on your blog.

  46. Loved your post. What asuper sweet ffamily you all are.

  47. hey what did you do with the thermostat and light switch? I am quite sure she says the exact same thing about your myriad of talents!

  48. Do you need my address?

  49. I will be out this afternoon – can you come do that for me?! Sweet lady!

  50. come to my house πŸ™‚
    love it!

  51. KariAnne, you are blessed to have a sister-in-law like that, and she is too. That says alot about your husband as well. Your makeover is lovely, what a nice surprise.

  52. KarieAnne, it looks amazing! You ae still the same sweet, fun gal I remember. What a nice surprise for your sister-in-law. You can tell me, ’cause I won’t tell anyone else. . .did you photo shop the thermostat and dimmer switch out of the picture?

  53. I’m sure your sister-in-law feels the same way about you. The room looks great. I wish you lived down the street from me πŸ™‚

  54. It looks gorgeous! What a lucky girl to have you as a sister-in-law!

  55. Karianne, what a nice thing to do for your sister-in-law. I’m going to bookmark this post as I have a sister who I will be doing something for soon and, although it won’t turn out as beautiful as this one, I will do my best (of course I will). It is gorgeous and I bet she was very happy. You are a good sister, of course you are!..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  56. What a beautiful room, & SUCH a sweet surprise! I love that you used your talents to bless someone who is fervently working to bless others! πŸ™‚ So sweet!

  57. awwww so sweet! Looks wonderful πŸ™‚

  58. Love this! So sweet. It looks great!

  59. Well now I just love you even more my friend!!! You are so amazing and I’m sure your beautiful sister-in-law feels just as blessed to have YOU in HER life…I know I feel blessed to have you in mine…of course I do! πŸ™‚

  60. What a sweet sister-in-law you are! I love how you brightened up her room and “of course she did”! Very, very pretty!

  61. It looks fantastic! Love the touches you added. x

  62. I wanna be your sister-in-law! You made the room look beautiful…of course, YOU DID!

  63. Looks great..sweet post

  64. I might have just shed a tear myself…

  65. Of course YOU did. πŸ™‚ What a beautiful family. And lucky too. To have you in their family. I LOVE the pops of yellow, and I can tell that the room fits them perfectly.

  66. P.S. Will you be MY sister? Sister-in-law?

  67. You are an inspiration…You have to have confidence to do something like this…I love hearing your voice in my head as I read your story. A SIL like you is a treasure, and I am blessed to have one in my SIL Elazabeth! Great job! Love, Penny

  68. gorgeous redo friend — to a well deserved SIL — i hope to have one just like it someday!!

  69. What a fun surprise! I feel the same way about my sister-in-law. Did you paint the Frost poem? If you did I’d love to see it better…..I want to make one. Amazing how a few changes and some color can make such a dramatic difference. You have such a good eye. I am looking for ward to seeing what you do to the gatehouse.

    • I want to know how to do the Frost poem also! Next tutorial, Karianne! πŸ™‚ Love all the touches you added to the space. I bet they couldn’t wait to get in there and use it.

  70. OF COURSE YOU DID!!!!!!!!!!!!! How so very sweet and generous of you. You are a ROCK STAR:):):) XO,Pinky LOVED seeing the picture of your brother and his family!

  71. Your sister-in-law sounds incredible.

    That’s a gorgeous room you fluffed…really made it come alive.

  72. What a totally sweet gift you gave, KariAnne! The room is beautiful and that table is pretty amazing!


  73. Beautiful room for a awesome lady!

  74. Wow! That was a very sweet surprise and you did a Wonderful job! I’m surprise not many others have asked this, but how in the world did you make the thermostat and light switch disappear? All in one afternoon?! Please do share!
    PS. Love the pop of yellow! Looks so fresh!

  75. Oh, and did you turn her chandelier from pewter/nickel color to black?

  76. Thank you for gracing your beauty over at my place where you added joy to my day.
    Your brother not only has that sparkle in his eyes he has that sparkle that radiates in his style. What a beautiful family you are blessed with. You table is amazing and your family talent is such a blessing. Love that you can mix and match so many design style seating with your brothers creative designing in the table, I am looking for a planked style table do you want to share your brother does he have room for another sister :))

    Thank you dearly for taking the time to post from your heart the love you have for your brother and family it is so touching and reminds us all what life here is all about.

    Keep inspiring your beauty, have a perfectly soulful weekend.


  77. What a sweet post!! Beautiful makeover!

  78. Best. Post. Ever!

  79. Now we love ’em too! You worked your magic and you’re right- that table is gorgeous.

  80. Beautiful family! Including YOU!

  81. Love this! Little things can make such a difference! I love the splashes of yellow. What a sweet gesture for your family, it turned out great! You can come to my house anytime and do the same thing by the way….

  82. aw, my dear now you have me crying!!
    Your heart is made out of gold!

  83. Awww, so sweet! Your brother must have had some good examples in his life to pick the right one, of course he did, so she did too, lol! Thanks for sharing, the room looks gorgeous! ~Diane

  84. What a wonderful surprise. And the room turned out so beautifully. I’m glad she loved it.

    And now, I’m inspired to be an “of course, she did” kind of lady.


  85. What a darling story, KariAnne… and all I can think about you is… “of course she did”. Kindness is just something you do! xo

  86. Sweet post, Karianne! I think you’re pretty amazing, too!

  87. Oh my gosh, this is so sweet! Sounds like you are both lucky to have each other! The room looks beautiful, I love the yellow accents.

  88. Love this room!! I love the grey and yellow. It’s amazing how a few small changes make such a huge difference! How lucky the two of you are to have each other as friends!!

  89. Absolutely beautiful! You’re welcome to come to my house and transform any room your heart desires:)