This is what the front of the house looked like when we first started working on it around October.

If this is your first time to visit, this is the house’s story.

Let me go all Reader’s Digest and explain.

This is the house I grew up in.  This is the yard I did backbends in.  These are the sidewalks I walked up when I got home from school and just to the left of the picture is the sidewalk where I first kissed my future husband wearing an add-a-bead necklace, a blue sweater vest with plaid bows and a prairie skirt.

I lived a lifetime in this house.

After my father passed away my mother had to sell it.

And then?

Last year without it ever going on the market, with a phone call to the wonderful family that lived here, with a move across the country, and with a lot of hopes and dreams and prayers…

….we bought it back.

And we’ve been transforming it ever since.

Here’s just a couple of pre-house notes:

1.  The house was yellow.

2.  There was only one light on the right side of the front entrance and a plaque on the other side.

3.  The landscaping was a little overgrown.

4.  There aren’t any decorations on the front porch.

5.  See that pole to the right-hand side next to the tree?  That’s the original hitching post for the house.  I need to photograph it up close so you can see.  My mother used to put a plaid bow on it every Christmas.

And here’s the house now.

The biggest change has probably been the color.

You helped me pick it and I’m forever grateful.

I love how the darker color makes the molding pop.

There are now two lights on either side of the door.

The mailbox has been moved from one of the columns to the front of the house.

These planters that my husband built are on either side of the door are filled with boxwoods.

You can find the DIY for those planters here.

The front steps have two sets of these galvanized lanterns.

I brought them with me from Kentucky.

You can see them on the front of the farmhouse (along with some fun fall door decorating ideas) here.

There are two galvanized metal planters on either side of the front porch.

I brought those with me from Kentucky as well.

They are filled with boxwoods, too.

There are two black outdoor benches now in front of the windows.

(total decorating aside:  I thought about replacing those windows with french doors.  I like the idea—but it may be too much.)

These pillows came from Wal-Mart for only $5.00.

We also just had all the landscaping beds all cleaned up and had metal edging installed.

There’s also an irrigation system now in all the beds to help the roots get established.

We only went with super basic green plants for now because it’s really too hot to plant anything else.

Mostly just rows of boxwoods and holly.

With yards and yards of mulch.

It’s like we are building a house and this is the foundation.

I can’t wait to fill it all in with a little color in the fall and next spring.

The best part of the landscaping is going to be that space on the right.

It’s totally shaded all day.

I’m going to be bold and try to plant hydrangea and hostas and elephant ears back there.

But that’s for another day when it’s not 102 degrees.

For now–I’ll be happy with my foundation.

And my boxwoods.

And my mulch.

And my Texas dirt.

And my new (old) house.

Here’s to celebrating your roots.

(So sorry—I just couldn’t resist.  It was on the low-hanging joke branch.)




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  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I covet those lanterns. I'm currently debating some of those Parisian Bistro chairs. What do you think about them? Lisa

  2. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Love the transformation of the house and especially the stories. Did you take the hitching post down??? I missed it if it’s still there!!! Maybe a plaid wreath and a boxwood wreath for the holidays, if it is still there. :)

  3. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    This house is amazing and I am so thrilled you were able to buy it back. I love it. Your landscaping looks so good.

  4. Image for Joanna Joanna

    What a wonderful transformation! LOVE IT! Your home looks so welcoming and even more amazing. All of the details are so well thought out. Love the benches, pillows, double lanterns etc. Everything looks so balance now! Great job!! PS. Where did you find the adorable black benches?

  5. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Your home looks wonderful! I love the green and everything you have done was a necessity. Your home was lovely before but it is becoming beautiful. Perhaps the Texas heat discouraged the last owners from planting. The heat does that to me.

  6. Image for Marisa Franca Marisa Franca

    Love the colors of the house. And I can certainly see the love that is going into everything you are doing. I love hydrangeas and I have a beautiful one here I have to leave. I also have to leave my huge hostas. They are so pretty. I can't wait to see how you landscape with your shade plants. I bet your mom is over the moon that you are living in our home and transforming it. Sending hugs!!

  7. Image for Tori Tori

    Karianne, it looks wonderful! And over time the landscaping will frame out the house even better. I love that there is now a sense of balance and symmetry. I really like that there are now two wall sconces beside the door, adding to the symmetry, though these seem a bit small compared to the grand entryway. Maybe down the road you might consider larger lights, or perhaps even gas lanterns - perfect with your hitching post! 😀 I love the history and character of old houses so much. So happy you to enjoy your own history again in your lovely home. ❤️

  8. Image for Amanda Amanda

    I have been wanting to plant hydrangeas too!! I do not have a green thumb, but my little E I think may have a green thumb so maybe with her help I could plant them and they survive!!😊

  9. Image for Sue Sue

    The colour change is gorgeous and it’s all looking so wonderful. You are doing the old girl proud (the house, I mean... not your Mum 🤦🏼‍♀️) Sue x

  10. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Oh sweetheart still makes my heart smile for you.. this is like a dream come true. I dream of Savannah buying our old home one day too. I love porches so I love all your ideas. I have two similiar black benches too. But last night watching fireworks with family I said I still think I need Karianne's church pew too. But woukd need 2.. afraid to much but as you know blessed w Tara like porch. Would love to see more posts on that hitching post! Love stuff like that! Hope you and yours had a wonderful 4th! Hot as blazes in Kentucky too so this mermaid who needs to be decorating or cleaning is living in the pool! Hugs from the Bluegrass!

  11. Image for Terri Terri

    Ohhhhh my goodness!!!! It just could not get any cuter !!!!! That entrance is perfect... Amazing in every way... Don't you just love the memories... like sharing that first kiss ?? Right there ...right where you are ......... Your story just is so exciting... wonderful... happy.... well , you get the picture!! I love that you include us!!! :)

  12. Image for Katrina Katrina

    Hi! I've never commented on your blog but I do read it and love all of your post!! It's all bitter sweet! you had a gorgeous home and I'm sure your childhood home will be just as amazing. I think when we get older, it's nice to go home to your roots. It just feels good. I love the new color on the new home! I look forward to reading about your new beginnings at your old home

  13. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Brilliant! Love to see the changes through time. You have really moved fast!!! Love everything you have done!!!

  14. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I love everything you do, girl!! You’ve got a gift and every house you own feels the love. I’m all googly eyed over your boxwoods and those columns are swoon worthy.♥️😍 Happy day, sweet friend!🤗

  15. Image for Gina Gina

    Yes to $5 pillows! I have the same ones on my black outdoor wicker chairs by my pool.. And, I also have matching black benches flanking my front door, too! Great minds...

  16. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Wondering what color you chose for the house? I looked at the post "Help me choose" but didn't see which one you decided on...

  17. Image for Pat Pat

    Your house just keeps getting prettier, the landscaping looks great, and irrigation is probably the best investment ever to help those little guys survive Texas summers. Pat

  18. Image for Marie Lavender Marie Lavender

    We have a shady side to our 100+ year old house too. I plan to make a super gorgeous secret garden out of it when it's not 84 million degrees outside! We were in New Orleans last week and it was just dreadful. Temps were in the full-on inferno range. It felt plumb chilly when we got back to North Carolina. For now, I'm just doing a little bit of de-foresting beneath the trees as I can handle the heat. I have 14 hostas (planted by the previous owners) that are looking puny under some large shade trees in the front. I'm planning to move them soon so they can go ahead and get gi-normous once they're in their new sweet spot. And I want big fluffy hydrangeas. Ferns, impatiens and a wall of honeysuckle too if I can swing it. The humidity makes it too unbearable most days to work on it, even in the evenings. So I just have a cocktail on the side porch and make grand plans in my head.

  19. Image for Michele @ Thistledown Domestic Creations Michele @ Thistledown Domestic Creations

    Wow, my friend, everything is coming together in your old (new) home! I've so been enjoying this transformation. The house we sold this spring was gray. I love the look of a gray home! How lucky you are to be back in your childhood home with all the beautiful memories! I'm looking forward to seeing you at Haven soon!

  20. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    What a sweet story. In my 76 years I've seen widows have to leave their homes because of their husbands death. Now your story has come full circle and I can just imagine how happy I would be to have the chance to return home, God bless you with a long life and to stay in your home as long as you wish. I too love what you have done and throughly enjoy each of your post.

  21. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh ... two FRENCH DOORS?! YES! And I vote for the cocktails and dreams, till the blazing heat lets up (tho’ I think it’s to be only in the upper 90’s for a few days ~ a real cool spell!) It’s all beautiful, KariAnne ... the rest will come in time! 😘 kJ

  22. Image for Dee Dee

    It makes my heart happy knowing that you are back in your home! You have made it into such a gorgeous showpiece, but it doesn't feel like that, does that make sense? It feels like "home" it feels warm, inviting, calm and peaceful. With the love of the Lord flowing all around it and through it because you are all in it!

  23. Image for Sue Sue

    Has been very hot here in Ohio also so seeing all the outdoor "sprucing up" you've done takes my mind off of the heat. Very nice.

  24. Image for Elizabeth Smith Elizabeth Smith

    Beautiful home! The French doors wouldn’t be too much at all!, My daughter and I have 3 French macaron shops just outside of Cleveland insta too, and I think it would be very chateau-like to drop in some French doors! If you do, I’ll send you a box of macarons😊

  25. Image for Peggy Z Peggy Z

    Its looking just gorgeous. It is amazing how much the paint changed the look of the house. And an original hitching post, I may be completely jealous over it! Can’t wait to see the rest of your updates. Thank

  26. Image for Julie Whittington Julie Whittington

    What a lovely transformation. Wondering if you have thought of white washing that red brick front porch? JDubb

  27. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, I am thinking Boxwood is your middle name! Aren’t Boxwoods wonderful! They look great on the front porch! Amazing as always!

  28. Image for Sue P. Sue P.

    All the changes made your house even better! Great color choice on the siding. Perhaps if you trimmed the tall shrubs back a bit it would show off the iron porch railing more. That railing really looks nice with the railings over the porch, but the tall bushes are hiding it. We completely removed a Laurel hedge that was almost hiding our porch rails and it really opened up the front of our house and it looks so much better now.

  29. Image for Linda Linda

    I love all that you’re doing with your lovely home, inside and out. But be careful with the boxwoods. . .they’re toxic to dogs!

  30. Image for Karen Karen

    Just a quick note to let you know I miss the time we all got to spend with you when your books came out...we need to get together again soon!!

  31. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Quite the transformation and it looks GREAT!! Love what you've done with the place.... One burning question.... is the hitching post gone?? I think it would have been great to be able to salvage that. :)

  32. Image for Mary S Mary S

    I agree with one of your readers... if those shrubs behind the boxwoods were a tad bit shorter it would show more of the porch and railing and your benches. I'm sorry hubby for making that suggestion. Personally, I'd like to see more of the porch. I love the red brick... so goes with the house and makes a statement like I'm old and I'm pretty!!

  33. Image for Lily Rose Lily Rose

    Such a lovely old home! It really looks nice, but as an home exterior decorator might I suggest that you go with larger porch light sconces to accentuate that beautiful grand entry, and do away with the lanterns on the brick steps, as they really don’t work. Lanterns in black or no lanterns at all, in my humble opinion. And please don’t change the color of the bricks or replace the windows on this wonderful historic home! The paint colors and landscaping are perfect! Maybe a little trimming around the porch would be good.

  34. Image for Jolene Jolene

    Just beautiful! I love your story of the house and all it's history. Truly--if the walls could talk! The hitching post is so neat. I hope you keep it. I love the new house color. The contrast does highlight the beautiful details of the molding and windows. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

  35. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    It looks just stunning. I think it's so cool you are back in the house you grew up in, making it all yours but with memories on the side. Just wonderful! Hugs, Cecilia

  36. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Just to give you some perspective, and maybe a big laugh, we used to put down 30 YARDS of mulch at the old house. Yes, I said yards. It came in a truck like a tractor trailer:):) But, we were much younger then!!! Love your house and all you're doing.

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