Farmhouse Family Room


Dear over-looked, under-appreciated, almost forgotten little room under the stairs,

Bless your heart.

2012 was not your year.

You were always full of stacks and stacks of games and puzzles and play dough and potholder kits and picture frames and decks of cards and bins full of scrapbook paper.

It was a precarious situation.




And I don’t think you ever recovered when the Monopoly game fell off the top shelf and game pieces and dice and chance cards and Reading Railroad tumbled down and covered every square inch.

And no one even paid attention.

I think there might have been a futile half-hearted attempt to pick up the pieces.

But I saw the top hat on the floor last week.

And Marvin Gardens and St. Charles Place have been wedged between the floorboards since last April.




But now it’s 2013.

Your year of glory.

It’s like the “What Not to Wear” episode with the girl with the glasses who always wore sweat pants with tennis shoes and Star Wars t-shirts…..except when she had a fancy occasion to go to and then she would totally bust out an old Gap sweatshirt.


Then Stacy and Clinton surprised her at work and started making her over and she had to stand in front of that terrible three-way mirror…….and they kept raising their eyebrows at her and holding that Gap sweatshirt between their fingers like it was something from another planet…..

……and then they tossed that sweatshirt right into the trash bin.

And then she went to that beautiful store with the beautiful salespeople who helped her pick out the most spectacular outfits and she got her hair cut and highlighted and that funny make-up artist with the curly hair redid her make-up with the most incredible smoky eyes.

And she looked amazing.

And wonderful.

Like she had never even heard of Luke Skywalker.


Renovation Back of Stairs


Guess what little room under the stairs?

It’s time for your make-over.

You are going to have built-ins and electricity.

And crisp white walls.

And a gray chevron rug.

And the cutest little chair with navy fabric.

And baskets with chalkboard labels.



You are going to be amazing.

Without a Gap sweatshirt in sight. 🙂


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  1. Image for Susan Susan

    I can't wait to see it Karianne... I can't help but think if I had a room under the stairs I would make it a place for me to hide :) Susan

  2. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    Grrrr, I want to see it already... lol. I wish I had some space to make over... errr, wrong, my entire, tiny house needs a make over or at the very least some fresh paint, but NO money, So, I do so very enjoy living vicariously through others that can and do and are in the process. And thanks for sharing with me.

  3. Image for Lisa~A Cottage To Me Lisa~A Cottage To Me

    Can't wait to see your little room. We have been working on a similar "neglected" room too. I am having so much fun, can't wait to see yours!

  4. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I know this luckless little room is going to look amazing, because everything you do ends up looks that way! You have a way with rooms, my friend. Hugs, Cindy

  5. Image for baileywife baileywife

    I have to ask how big that room is? Doesn't look big enough for a chair? (not that I'm questioning your expertise) I live for makeovers! ~Kim

  6. Image for Alicia Alicia

    What a great post!! I smiled the whole time because we all can relate to a wasted space & the anticipation of its potential. Can't wait to see what happens!

  7. Image for Jody Jody

    I love the rug you have in this space. I have been hunting forever for the perfect rug. Any chance you would share where you purchased yours?

  8. Image for Kelly @ JAX does design Kelly @ JAX does design

    Room makeovers are always exciting, no matter how big or small they are :-) I'm sure your little room under the stairs is going to be one fab space when you're done with it! Have fun and show us pics of your little room soon!

  9. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Yeah...Stacy and show! I think I should be prepared to be amazed though...where are you going to fit in a blue chair? Room doesn't look big enough.... Anxious to see whatcha gonna do Karianne! Enjoy your day! ;)

  10. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    I love Stacy and them all the time....and then I go in my closet and start tossing!!...So with them "mentoring" you...your space under the stars will be "star worthy"......Looking forward to the makeover reveal complete with pretty sandals!

  11. Image for Donna Coulter Donna Coulter

    Oh what a tease you are. I just knew you were going to have completed pictures. I can't wait to see how you transform this forgotten little room into something grand.

  12. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I CANNOT WAIT to see the transformation!!! Knowing you, it will be spectacular and full of "Why didn't I think of that?" details. I have to say that I love EVERYTHING about the room leading to your Stair Room. May I ask where you found that beautiful rug, please? Thanks so much, KariAnne! Hugs, Zolane

  13. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    All right get busy we all are waiting with bated breath(????) to see the transformation from the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. I'm just having trouble envisioning all you plan on fitting in there. I need a floor plan, this room is just too small for photos to fit together into a vision.

  14. Image for Lynn in FL Lynn in FL

    aawww.....I'm so HAPPY for the little room under the stairs! She's been waiting patiently there in the corner while the other rooms were transformed into stunning beauties. I'm just certain she will turn out to be the Cinderella that takes all the other rooms breath away! And with her fairy godmother Karianne in charge, there will definitely be magic in the air in that little room. Can't wait to see our little Cinderella room when she is ready for the ball!

  15. Image for Christie Christie

    Karianne, you crack me up!! I absolutely LOVE reading your fun every time, and you have such wonderful ideas. SO wishing you were my neighbor but - alas - I am all the way down in southwest Georgia...not even close. :o( Thank goodness for the internet! Can't wait to see your fabulous new under-the-stairs room when it is done!

  16. Image for Tricia Tricia

    Love that you are taking an old forgotten spot and giving it a facelift! Cannot wait to see what you do. Also, slightly jealous that you have a room under the Harry Potter ; o )

  17. Image for tiffini tiffini

    i am doing our little hall closet...turning it into a mud closet;) this little house isn't big enough for an entry way one..i just bought Sherwin Williams watery to use as the stripe color...good storytelling too:) love ya xo

  18. Image for Susan Susan

    Niches can be so overlooked and under appreciated, but it looks like 2013 is going to be big for this precious little space! Can't wait to see the transformation, XOXO

  19. Image for Regina Regina

    I understand that chevron rugs are ALL the rage and is appropriate for ALL body- er, room-types! :) I can't wait to see what you've done! I have been in the midst of an office reclamation at work - you just don't even want to know how bad it was! But my co-worker, my husband, and I did some moving around and i'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!! Hmmm . . . Maybe I need a grey chevron rug . . . . Have an amazing day! :)

  20. Image for KristiIt KristiIt

    We have the same, sad little closet under our stairs. It currently houses our boxes of photos and jackets that we don't ever wear (letter jackets and such). I am hoping to get in there someday and make it useful. Maybe your redo will inspire me!

  21. Image for Rhoda @ Southern HOspitality Rhoda @ Southern HOspitality

    Oh, that little closet won't know what hit it! I can't wait to see this little jewel box come to life as mama's new office space. There's something sweet and cozy about a small office nook and I know you'll make this one shine. Can't wait to see. I sure am enjoying my colorful office!

  22. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Awww, I love this space! It sounds wonderful and just the right size! You amaze me! A space just for you! I can't wait for the reveal!

  23. Image for Danielle Danielle

    I just need to know...where did you put the full of stacks and stacks of games and puzzles and play dough and potholder kits and picture frames and decks of cards and bins full of scrapbook paper?

  24. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I would love to make over the room under my stairs but first I would need stairs and a second floor for them to go up to...............but don't think the landlord would allowe us to add another

  25. Image for Barbara F Barbara F

    I LOVE Stacy and Clinton makeovers! So fun to see them rip someone apart only to make her over again in a new and much more appealing way. Your little room is in for a big surprise, can't wait to see the reveal! :)

  26. Image for IvetteS IvetteS

    KariAnne I'm so excited to how it will turnout! And, this was such a funny post, poor Monopoly board, I can only imagine where Boardwalk is! :)

  27. Image for Kathy :) Kathy :)

    I'm really hoping that she's all done and when I wake up tomorrow and come by for my daily visit there will be a post showing her in all her glory, cuz that's just the way I roll, ask my hubby sometimes he thinks he hears my fingers snapping in his sleep lol!!! It will be amazing and worth the wait........ Xo Kathy ;) Ps have I told you in 2013 how much I enjoy visiting your blog ???? You're the best ,

  28. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Do you have an attic stair area too? You'll find me sitting there waiting for my makeover. If anyone is woman enough to take on the stair eves, you can surly work magic on the likes of me. Bliss

  29. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    Good for you for tackling this project--I bet it's going to be wonderful and can't wait to see it when you're done, KariAnne! And so nice to hear from you at my blog. To answer your question, I'm just doing an audition for 5 theatre companies that do Shakespeare in the Parks around here in the summertime. No guarantees, but maybe something good will happen :) And thank you for your kind words about the photos!

  30. Image for HRH Sarah HRH Sarah

    Ooooh, I love when tiny spaces get "made" into something useful and beautiful! Or even just beautiful... Can't wait to see it, the suspense will be crazy! Maybe I'll come live there when it's done, so I don't have to deal with finding a new house, hmm..

  31. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Oh what memories have come flooding back!!! We had a LOOONG closet under our stairs as children, and it also housed the phone!!! As teens, my sister and I would go in there, shut the door, and TALK TO BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!! We also wrote all over the walls. I wish so much I could go back and see it. Your under the stairs space is going to be amazing. I can't wait to see it!!!! XO, Pinky

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