No One Fancy Lives Here

No One Fancy Lives Here


Black and White Farmhouse Porch Thistlewood  

I don’t think they knew what to make of me when I first moved to the country.

You see….I’m a city girl at heart.

I’ve never eaten fresh eggs that came from a chicken I knew.

I’ve never picked my own ears of corn from the stalk.

I’ve never been late because I was driving behind an international harvester.

I’ve never seen a tractor up close or fished from the river or gotten stuck in the mud or gave a tortoise a name or made a walking track around a barn or watched my children play on a hay bale.


Until I moved here.


Monogram Wreath

When we first moved to the country and started remodeling the farmhouse….we had a steady stream of visitors.

They wanted to know why my husband was driving a 40-pane window down the road and what were we going to do with it?  And could they have the lace patterned curtains I was getting rid of and why was I painting the fireplace in the kitchen and were we going to get rid of that hot water heater in the butler’s pantry?

And when I told them of my plans and hopes and dreams….they would shake their heads.

And sigh.


But I think I grew on them over time.


Black and White Chair


One day my friend stopped by for a glass of tea and we talked and talked and talked…….and I couldn’t wait to show her the barn door I hauled out of a broken down barn down the road…….to use for my mantel.

She stared at it and literally rolled her eyes, “A barn door?” 

“Really?  You made a mantel  from a barn door?”

“Are you kidding?” I asked.  “Did you see the patina?  The age?  The beauty?  The character?”

“It has such a story to tell.”


Front Porch Lantern


“A story……from a barn door?  Who does that?  Who puts a barn door on a mantel?” she asked in disbelief.

“I do,” I said stubbornly.

And then she smiled and took a long sip of iced tea.  “If anyone can make it work….it will be you.  I can still remember when you first moved here…..we all thought you were going to be stuck-up.”

I mean….you are from the big city.”

And then you bought the farmhouse….and started tearing everything apart…..and everyone thought you were way too fancy.”

Farmhouse Front Door


“We were all talking about it….about how your house was going to be so fancy…..and how you were going to have fancy furniture and fancy mirrors and pictures and lamps and rugs…..that you were going to order from stores we never even heard of.”

Then she paused.


“But you know what…’re not stuck up……and you love a bargain.”  

“Even your front door came from the junk store.”


“I mean we all know……you aren’t fancy at all…..

…..after all….. you don’t have a stitch of new furniture in this whole house.” 🙂


She’s right.

No one fancy lives here.

I’m a city girl who loves the country…..who never met a yard sale or a thrift store…..or a junk store front door…..

……she didn’t like. 🙂

 For more monogrammed projects….be sure to check out my monogram projects page.

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  1. We here in the city have something called “large item pickup” in the summer. Guess who’s driving around the rich peoples’ neighborhoods in a 1995 Volvo station wagon, shoving things into the back? That’s right–THIS ol’ broad!

    • Oh Lord! I laughed out loud at your comment. One (wo)man’s trash IS another (wo)man’s treasure.

      I do the same thing and it makes my wife shake her head in dis-belief. Oh well. : – )

  2. I can kind of relate, KariAnne. I’m a city girl at heart, too. Always lived in the city. But, you took the plunge, and they all love you because you are the best. I’ve still never lived in the country, but even some of the city folk around here had to get used to me. lol

  3. Gorgeous front porch KariAnne. Do you mind me asking where you found your topiary balls that flank the front door in the planters? I am in love with them! Im really hoping you diy’ed ’em so I can give it a go myself 🙂


  4. Ha! I got the same reaction when I moved here. But they still think I’m fancy because I decorate….I only know one other person that does!

  5. 🙂 You have me laughing… I can see the expressions on faces. I remember visiting here from NYC. Ohmygosh!!! I was the one with the odd look on my face. I was in a half horse town… one blinking light at the intersection. I also had my first experience with the driving 2 MPH behind the tractor….. People that dressed weirdly and had the nerve to look at me as if I was the odd one.
    Now I live in Horse capital USA. A small(ish) city. HUGE horse farms sprawled all over the place. 2 Malls and 3 movie Theaters ( I mean) …. I have finally gotten used to it.
    Thanks for the giggles….
    Hugs. Gee
    PS… luv the wreath on the ‘from the junk store’ front door.

  6. I know the sighs well. 🙂 xo

  7. I don’t believe it all – you are fancy girl! Take care, Laura

  8. I can see you now…riding down the road behind the International Harvester and spotting that window on the side of the road, and getting out of your SUV with those blinged out earrings and red lipstick…Beautiful porch Kari…love how you hung the lanterns!!

  9. You took a page outta my book my dear. When one new neighbor lady met me (you know the city girl building the big house), she said “ohhhh… you don’t look anything like I thought”. Guess I didn’t have my red lipstick on.


  10. Love your house and your blog. You may not be fancy but you sure have a knack for style.

  11. Kari Anne, it’s called style! “You can buy fashion, but style one must possess!” Kari Anne has style! I suspect everyone of those neighbors admire you and you have done with your farmhouse.
    Thanks for sharing another delightful post. ~ Sarah

  12. It’s funny how we decide city from country living. We technically live in the city boundaries, but when the wind is blowing just right in the springtime, we can smell the smells that you can only smell in the Wisconsin countryside! Junk store or not, your front door is classy! And you have the best stories to go with all your treasures! I personally think if we had more stories for “our junk”, not as much would end up in our landfills! 😉

  13. The best way to create a home…

  14. I love your blog, your home, your ideas and your wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing it all!! Kathy

  15. And I’m a country bumpkin living in a big city …

    🙂 me

  16. This was super fun to read. We just moved from the heart of Houston to a small farm in Franklin, TN. We’ve been working on our house since the day we got here. Neighbors have stared, and a few have commented, but none brave enough to say what your friend said to you. I have a feeling they think the same thing of me your friend thought of you. Oh, well! I’ll love them anyway!

  17. Haha! Love your spirit! Your front porch is to die for! I have never seen anything like the topiaries~I want to find them for myself… Again youre an inspiration!! xo~melissa from “tinsel”

  18. Julie G. from Iowa :

    Inspiration comes from all over… and I am so inspired by your post!
    For our Christmas decorations I have these huge metal and glass lanterns (they stand 36″ tall) placed on either side of my front door. Inside the lanterns I put some faux holly & berry greenery with white lights and large red ornaments. I love my lanterns and was trying to think of a way to use them throughout the year and fill them up without having actual candles in them. Did you know a huge candle for a huge lantern comes with a HUGE price tag?! They also melt into an ugly pile if they sit in the sun too. Ugh!
    Now I have a much prettier (and cheaper!) idea thanks to you! I’m off to the craft store for some boxwood greenery and willow baskets.
    Love your post, love your house and love your blog! Thanks again -Julie.

  19. I love your blog. I can’ wait to get home every day after I take my daughter to school to read it with a cup of coffee to start the day. Your blog and my word from my devotion is the start of a great day everyday! I wonder if we are kin? My maiden name is Wood 🙂

  20. Sheryll & Critters. :

    I love it, wish I could do the same…… had a HD employee tell me to go to Walmart and buy a pc desk…… till I said oh h**l NO, that I would never buy a piece of you know what …… ever again. I am making my own, from REAL wood, even if it takes me ten years!

  21. Sheryll & Critters. :

    And your home is so beautiful…… and yes, I so love it….. and a lot jealous, but I can live with that….. grin.

  22. I would love to be your neighbor!

  23. Ah, KariAnne . . . You’re a city girl in the country, and I’m a country girl smack-dab in a thriving metropolis . . . ish . . . . 😉 Hey, a block and a half from the county courthouse is the city, right?

    You are an inspiration to me – that maybe, just MAYBE someday, I’ll live in the country again. 🙂

  24. Love the lanterns hanging next to the door…wonderful!!

  25. very excited to see the give away…
    thanks for letting us offer one of our signs…..VERY much appreciated!!!

  26. From one city girl to another, I completely get your experience. My in-laws thought I was ‘high maintenance’ until they realized I maintain myself. Do my own nails, clean my own house, mow my own lawn, etc…I gave them an education in big city and what it really means – self maintained! 🙂

    Love your house – it is absolutely beautiful!

  27. We closed on our farm house last week, will move in a couple months from now, I’m so excited to glean ideas from you. Love, love and did I say I love (black and white) this porch vignette?

  28. Your such am inspiration. I love your front porch and those orbs are to die for. Was your house really built in 1918? That’s close to the year they are in on Downton Abbey. I love that show and I love your blog. I have always wanted to live in an old farmhouse. Even as a little girl I would dream of my prince charming and I living out in the country. My prince charming keeps telling me some day that dream will come true. If it does at least I have your blog that I can get ideas from.

  29. Your post put the biggest smile on my face! We are relocating from CA to Alabama and I can only imagine what will be thought of us. I’m a Country girl and will be so happy to leave the City behind. Looking forward to new friends and a peaceful life!

  30. Oh my gosh! I love your story….loved! It’s funny how others see us, or ‘see’ who they want to see. Great post!

  31. Looks pretty fancy to me…I have to re enter my info every time I comment on your blog…:(

  32. Quilting Lora :

    Oh my gosh! I love your story….really loved! It’s funny how others perceive us, or ‘see’ what they want to see. My husband was a country boy and after 15 years in the city, we moved to the country. But not his hometown. So we were both new and outsiders. But learned he actually had a cousin about 1 mile up the road! They stopped by one evening to visit and I’m sure they were shocked! We had cardboard boxes for end tables and a trash rescue for a table and chairs. All our furniture was still in our old house, staging it to be sold. But I’m sure the story went around that we were poor as church mice, lol. Oh well, guess no one will think we’re stuck up!

  33. Cute story, and your front porch is gorgeous.

  34. Kariann, I am SO glad your neighbors got to know the REAL YOU!!! The not fussy but INCREDIBLY TALENTED woman you are!!! Everything you touch turns magically to BEAUTY!!! I love the anterns and the wreath and the pillows on the porch. I wish I had a porch again AND wish I could decorate one in the winter. XO, Pinky

  35. You seem like such a down to earth person! I am glad they could see that in you! I wish we lived a bit closer!Hope you will visit here soon 🙂

  36. Good thing you know the very best things don’t come from stores where everything is new Karianne!

  37. I’m afraid we all can have preconceived notions about those we don’t know, right? I would love you to move from the city and be my new neighbor!

  38. Aww, yes, but someone awesome lives there! lol

  39. Here’s to non fancy homes – they are the best!

  40. I love that you aren’t fancy KariAnne. But, your home is fancy….in the perfect kind of way. I’m sure that everyone who comes in feels very special and valued and loved….and that’s the kind of fancy that makes a home glow.
    And one more thing….I love your story of transition from city to country. In fact, I just might drop by for that tea…just so I can hear every single detail. (okay…don’t get scared…it’s just a nice thought…I’d call first!) Heehee

  41. You can find some of the best things on the side of the road……………..along with some of the strangest things as well……….lol

  42. I felt kind of the same way when we moved to country. I am sure all of your neighbors are so glad that you live there!!

  43. But I heard THE karianne woods of thistlewood farms lives there? RIGHT there, in that house just down the road. Aren’t the paparazzi always stopping by?

  44. Such a warm and beautiful welcome. I sure wish I was coming a knockin on your door)

  45. What a great story you have to tell!!
    When we moved to this house (23 yrs ago), we were the second owners. Even here in the suburbs, people had the same feeling about us when I started changing things. Afterall, it was the other people’s house….. sometimes people still call it the “so and so house”…
    What you have done is wonderful….I just wish mine were in the country.

  46. Oh I love love your hanging lanterns with the boxwood! So classy and so pretty! Now I just have to figure out how I can do this on my porch! No one fancy live over here either…we just like things to look pretty & fresh! 😉

  47. I’m glad you moved to Kentucky and you aren’t stuck up. I can speak from experience. What you are is……. funny and sassy and cute and just darn nice! Congratulations on your article in Flea Market Decor. I had to make a special stop at Books A Million to get a copy 🙂

  48. sorry, couldn’t resist the smiley face

  49. I bet they are proud of you now! Your taste is totally exquisite, I love how you put it all together! PS, I could not find the window molding post on your blog but I read it in my Google Reader and your plywood moldings are awesome!

  50. I love what you wrote as much as the gorgeous details on your front porch!!! That was so neat to learn a little about you, where you came from, where you live now and how you won everyone over! LOVED this post! I’m your newest follower!!! =D

  51. Karianne,
    I simply adore this post. (Shared on FB)
    (And, since I haven’t been here in a while, I can’t wait to catch up. Must find out more about that mantel!)

    What I get from this is that rather than a city girl who lives in the country – the town folks’ fear – instead you’re a country girl who happened to live in the city.

    I’m a gal who longs to live in a cabin in the woods by a stream (in the 1950s) who just happens to live in the suburbs of Chicago 🙂

    ~ Dana

  52. I absolutely never get tired of looking at your porch (or anything else in your home!)! I gotta know, though… do you keep it so darn clean??!! I mean it!! So white and spotless!! I clean mine one day and the next it looks like the hurricane from Oz hit it!! LOL!!

    Love your blog!!


  53. City girl (woman…..after all I am 57!) living in Scottish countryside! Love your style! 🙂

  54. I would like to be a country weekend girl. I love your porch and you have given me new inspiration to decorate mine. I also have a bench – old church pew – and an old scale and some other items. Where did you get your monogram for the wreath? I would like to have something like that for my porch as well. Very pretty!

  55. Love your home! Its not “stuck-up” at all. Ha. It amazes me tho that the very people who thought you were going to be a stuck up city girl are really the ones who were stuck up to begin with in making a pre judgement of you prior to knowing you. “Where the mind goes, the body follows”. If we all could reserve our judgements and just use acceptance of EVERYONE, no matter WHERE they come from, it would be a more peaceful, joyful world. All the best to you and I’m glad your new country life is working out. Pay no attention to others. Do what is kind, and you will always have a friend, no matter where you live!