before and after wood wall

I finally finished the beach house bedroom.

And after every board was hung and every piece painted and every curtain sewed and hung and every pillow placed…..

….I took these pictures in the middle of a hurricane.

Hello, Arthur. 🙂

cape cod bedroom makeover

There’s so much more to the story….but before I begin….

….let take a trip back to remember where we started.

Before Arthur.

Before the winds and the rains and a gloomy horizon……when we started at the very beginning.

We arrived at the Cape two weeks ago to sunny weather and blue skies and a bedroom that looked like this.


Not bad.

Not terrible.

Just white and simple and….oh wait….boring.


Well….boring except for that fascinating navy blue wall that I painted many summers ago when I had big plans for the room.  Big plans that involved painting a navy blue wall and not much else.  I can remember when the wall was finished….simply shrugging my shoulders…..thinking it was good enough….

….and heading for the beach.

But not this time.

This time I finished the room.

And now the bedroom looks like…..

beach decorating ideas


Well….this with swirling winds and blowing trees and pelting rain just right outside the window.

But inside….there’s a calm oasis of stripes and white bedding with pops of color and vivid patterns.

Inside…’s just another day at the beach.

before and after cape cod bedroom

And when I finished photographing the room….I walked outside to the living room of our family beach house where all my brothers and sisters were assembled……

….and plopped myself in the chair with an air of great self-satisfaction.

I mean….seriously.

A hurricane and howling winds and torrential rain….

….and I still managed to blog on.

beach decorating

I sat patiently and looked around at my brothers and sisters…..waiting for the accolades to begin.

No one even looked up.

They were reading and checking e-mails and trying to stay warm and generally unconcerned with the fact that an amazing beach bedroom makeover had just been completed just down the hallway.

coastal decorating

Now…my brothers and sisters are a tough crowd.

I mean….they are creative and amazing and wonderful and generally all about themselves and their projects and what they have going on.

But the bedroom was finished.

And the time had come to celebrate.

beach ideas for decorating

I waited.

And sighed dramatically again and drummed my fingers on the chair impatiently hoping to catch someone’s eye.

Still no response.

beach inspired bedroom

So I did what anyone would do when they have just worked for two weeks on a project and they are waiting for someone to notice.

I cleared my throat and announced to no one in particular, “Ummm….I’ve finished the beach bedroom makeover.  And just in case anyone wasn’t aware….just in case you were wondering….

….I’m amazing.”

beach decorating inspiration


A response.

All eyes in the room turned to me.

“You’re done?” they said.  “The bedroom is finished?  Really? Good for you.”

cape cod decorating ideas


I had run the race.

I had finished the task set before me.

I had crossed the finish line.

And they finally noticed.

Life was incredible.

cape cod inspired bedroom

They all smiled and laughed and told me how amazing the room was and how much they loved it and they were so happy it was finished.

I sat there in that living room surrounded by some of the toughest critics I know…..basking in the glow of the accolades and the high fives.

And then.

Right in the middle of my basking….someone added, “Good thing your husband was here…..

….so he could finish all of the projects.” 🙂

before and after coastal decorating


See….I told you they are a tough crowd.

But they’re right.  And I should totally give credit where credit is due.  And so I dedicate this before and after makeover to the cutest carpenter on the planet.  A carpenter with the cutest pair of twinkling brown eyes who built the wall and hung the curtains and painted the planks and told me jokes while I sewed the curtains and walked four miles on the beach looking for the perfect piece of drift wood.

Mr. carpenter…..I just wanted you to know today…..just in case you weren’t aware….

…you are amazing. 🙂

PS  A giant shout out to Online Fabric Store for providing the fabric for the room as well as Lamps Plus for providing the lamps on the side tables!  I’ll share all the room details later….but all opinions are completely my own!

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Doreen @ Hymns and Verses Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    I want to be YOU when I grow up - Oh wait! - I'm older than you!!! Seriously - your talent never ceases to amaze! It's just gorgeous and I LOVE all the thoughtful details. The house numbers on the drawers - genius!

  2. Image for Betsy@coastal-colors Betsy@coastal-colors

    Wow, this is amazing! I can't wait to go pin your fabulous ideas! Mr. Carpenter and you are both wonderful! I love the numbers on the chest and the sisal rope "sail" sign! I wish I had half the ideas that you have! Bravo on a great beach bedroom makeover!

  3. Image for Lisa Lisa

    KariAnne, YOU are amazing, and so is your beach house bedroom makeover!!!! The white walls look so fresh, especially with the pop of blue & coral… the fabrics!!! It came together beautifully. Enjoy the sunshine now that it has returned and you are done with your big project!

  4. Image for Dawna Dawna

    Love it all!! What a great wall feature, perfect for all those wonderful beachy things you have ! Hats off to our great hubbies....the workers behind all of our "ideas"! Enjoy the beach and stay safe in those hurricane winds!

  5. Image for Jane Jane

    Love the is amazing. Where on the cape is your beach house...we visit there often because we live in southern Mass. The cape beaches are wonderful.

  6. Image for Angela Angela

    Awesome transformation! You just amaze me! Where do you get all your energy??!! You need to bottle it and sell'd make a fortune!! LOL!! Beautiful room!~~Angela

  7. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

    I love everything about this room and more especially the fabrics. I have a husband who is just like your's, and I am so grateful for him. He just had his 90th birthday, is still a bundle of energy, and stays busy helping me with decorating chores every day.

  8. Image for lynda lynda

    You never cease to amaze me.... the room is just stunning, I want to come and spend the night it is just so happy!!! See you soon,.. just a few more days, hope we'll get to sit for a coffee or a cookie or just a big fat hug!! =)

  9. Image for Kris Kris

    Karianne, You Rock Girl!!!!! This bedroom is amazing right out of the pages of a beautiful magazine. Seriously your talents are amazing. Mr. Carpenter did a wonderful job with your visions. You two make a great team. Love this room. I want to come and stay. So beautiful. Kris

  10. Image for Kymee Martinak Kymee Martinak

    Love it... you and your husband are awesome thanks for having this great blog so that we all can be inspired to go past blah!. you are very talented. Kymee

  11. Image for Kris Kris

    Gorgeous! When my husband does something nice for me, he sings, "I am so wonderful" ... maybe that should be your hubby's song, too?

  12. Image for Sue Sue

    Fabulous makeover....I love it all but the best is that little night stand/dresser next to the's wonderful with the blue stripes and the numbers...You did good...give yourself a pat on the back!!

  13. Image for Erin Erin

    This room is amazing, KariAnne! I love everything about it! I unfortunately met Arthur last week while on vacation in North Carolina too. He was not very nice, and knocked me down in the ocean a few me a few scrapes and bruises. Glad your tough critics enjoyed the room, and that you had a cute carpenter helping you along the way :)

  14. Image for Mimi -247 Mulberry Lane Mimi -247 Mulberry Lane

    KariAnne, You and the Mr. rocked a hurricane! ;-) All the detail you managed to work into that little space truly defies the laws of physics--it's AMAZING and I love every square inch! Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us.

  15. Image for Suzie Suzie

    Dear Karianne, The bedroom makeover is beautiful. I am so glad that "Mr. Carpenter" and you take the time out of your busy lives to inspire the rest of us. :) Enjoy your vacation.

  16. Image for Cristiana Cristiana

    Oh My Stars!! or should I say Oh My Lobsters!! This is A-mazing!! Ok hubby too! Love everything about it! your next stop? My house!! ;)

  17. Image for Kelly - Talk of the House Kelly - Talk of the House

    Applause applause for your vision for the room (and sewing skills) and for your husband who helps to make it all happen!! I don't know what I would do without my sweetie! He takes orders for projects very well. :) And I imagine yours does too. I looove all the red, white, and blue in the room! (It matches my porch very well. :) )

  18. Image for Marian@Gathering Branches Marian@Gathering Branches

    I am now wracking my brain for a spot to put house numbers instead of drawer pulls. That is the coolest idea ever. And it looks like your bloggy friends have more than made up for your siblings' lack of enthusiasm about the room. My how beloved you are, my dear. And I was wondering if you have been thinking about your book, you know, the charming love story you're going to write before you get too old to remember what young love was like? I was painting the other day and hoping you would write some charming love story. As great as a decorating book from you would be, I think you have a great love story in there too. Just somethin' to thing about, The Other Marian

  19. Image for Theresa Nolan Theresa Nolan

    Perfection! Thank you so much for taking the pictures and then sharing your gifts with us through your blog! Love the curtains and the night stand! Continue being awesome!!

  20. Image for Becky Becky

    What an amazing space! Boy, they are a tough crowd, but I think even Martha herself would have to love this space (I imagine her to be the ultimate tough crowd!). Relax, enjoy, have some chowder!

  21. Image for Tardevil Tardevil

    Well, I love it! I used the same colors in my guest room at my beach home, except I used rope for tiebacks. My favorite things are the red signs, (you should sell them), the whale & the 'sail' rope sign. The fabric choices are awesome, too. Wish we could still find driftwood at our beach…enjoy your time there!

  22. Image for Heather {Woods of Bell Trees} Heather {Woods of Bell Trees}

    I was giggling as I read, because I knew exactly what you were going through! I mean seriously, it's so big it should have had an automatic ovation! Hehe Sometimes I can't get my people excited so I wildly show them how it's done...they just think I'm crazy! LOL

  23. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Stunning! So fresh and beeeeeautiful! You know your family knows you had the vision and twinkling eyes is always there to support you:) Great job to you both!

  24. Image for Pinky at Designs by Pinky Pinky at Designs by Pinky

    Well, I am sure it is amazing and fabulous and gorgeous...just like you, but the after pics won't load!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UUGGHHH!!! I will come back. And a high 5 to your hubby with the twinkling brown eyes:):):)

  25. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    It's fabulous! It reminds me a little of Layla's dining room. Between the two of you I want more than ever to do this in my bedroom! SO. BAD. Glad you had a wonderful time at the beach - well up to the storm.

  26. Image for Colleen Colleen

    It looks amazing! Well done!! Siblings are a tough crowd in everyone's family I think...just for you I'm sending you virtual cheers, applause and a standing O, just in case they didn't give you one...because who doesn't need a standing O?

  27. Image for Lori Ellison Lori Ellison

    I will be honest and say that I was not crazy about the fabric selections you showed for this project...but now that I see it all is AMAZING! That plank wall really sets the beach mood. Well done and hopefully you got to have some fun at the beach after the hurricane!

  28. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Splendid! Who wouldn't love staying in that room? Did I spy with my little eye a couple Nancy Drew books? If so, I'd bet one is "By the Shore" or some similar title. Love it, Karianne... Thanks for sharing it with us!!

  29. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    OMG love it and wish I had known you were on the cape I would have brought you some driftwood and helped hang the curtains! I would love to meet you in person! AND then WE could have popped the champagne ! I love standing back, walking out again and coming back in to see the whole thing finished! Favorite part for to make new pillowcases to bring all my new bedding together! You and the twinkly eyed one ROCK!

  30. Image for Amy@StowandTellU Amy@StowandTellU

    Stunning!! That wall is the perfect touch. The whole room is amazing. You and your hub make a great team. It had to be a lot of work for both of you to pull that off in two weeks under the threat of a hurricane. Hooray for success!!

  31. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    KariAnne ~ it's absolutely AWESOME ~ I LOVE it all!!! It's bold, bright and beautifully beachy! And yes, your "twinkly eyed love" is most appreciated by all your Blogging Peeps ~ we think he's one of the most talented and skilled woodmakers/carpenters ever!!! Now I finally realize why I've been thinking recently that I need to dig my toes in some fluffy beach sand! It's because of your planting all these beach thoughts: seashore and lobster, starfish and coral, driftwood and ~ our favorite to hunt ~ sand dollars, plus many more! We're heading out next week, but not to the shore, so we'll have to plan a beach trip next ... and soon! Excellent design and masterful execution, friend!

  32. Image for Sue@CountryDesignHome Sue@CountryDesignHome

    Gotta say, sometimes 'theme" rooms can look a bit staged and over the top. But yours is really the perfect blend of nautical decor and fun fabrics. Against the white walls and that fabulous bookcase wall, it really is just beautiful! Job well done to you (and your hubby : )

  33. Image for Debbie W. Debbie W.

    A MA ZING!!! You sound like such a sweet person, love your happy stories mixed in with fabulous photos. This room is incredible. I'm pretty sure if I was there in that house, I would've been tapping on the door asking "Are you done yet?! Can I come see now??!!" lol

  34. Image for Betty819 Betty819

    Kari, I am so glad that you and your family had such a nice visit with Laura and her family. The photos tell me a great time was had by all and so glad the kids all made new friends. I am in awe at the fantastic and colorful job you did on the beach house bedroom in such a short time! I thought my eyes were deceiving me first and I blinked a few times to make sure. Gosh, you must have had a decorating dream before you got there..or inspiration from Laura's home. Wished you lived in Md. so I could hire you to put the finishing touches on my sunroom that we had painted last year and are at a standstill. I have found a few items online and I am procrastinating that they won't be right and if I have to return them, DH will be upset and remind me of it for the rest of our lives. You'd think after 50 yrs. of marriage, I would have been used to it by now, huh? Such is life! Did you have any or all of the decorative items already or there's a neat nautical store nearby? What state is the beach house in? Congrats on a job well done by you and DH! I'm anxious to check out the rest of your blog now.

  35. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Oh and do YOU get this room every time or do you have to take turns like every good brother and sister does?? ;-) So fun!! Glad you did not finish it long ago!!! This is really unique and fun and cute and has red too and I recognize the old books. Awesome room!!

  36. Image for Maureen Maureen

    Outdid yourself again sweetie! I love the pinstripe on the end table - how you got it so-o-o-o-o straight is beyond me. And the SAIL pic - just perfect. You head must hurt with all the ideas just waiting to pop out! Sounds like the perfect vacation (or working vacation in your case)!

  37. Image for TidyMom TidyMom

    Karianne I LOVE it! we are doing my daughter's family room in a nautical/beach theme and these has given me some great inspiration! all the little goodies around the room - they are perfect!

  38. Image for Katie @ Upcycled Treasures Katie @ Upcycled Treasures

    This room just blows me away, I saw it yesterday on G+ and haven't stopped thinking about it ever since. You did such an amazing job and the details are so thought out and beautiful. LOVE!

  39. Image for Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney

    Wow I just saw this room on Pinterest and had to stop by and check it out. Beautiful job, I love everything about it. I'm in the process of switching my home over to a more beach themed vibe and I see some great ideas here. I would be proud to show this room off to anyone. Love all the little details you added.

  40. Image for nancy zoleta nancy zoleta

    The room came out looking beautiful! You really gave it that beach cottage feel with all the right decorations and colors.

  41. Image for Shauna K Shauna K

    I honestly don't know which part of this room I love the most! I'm totally a sucker for anything beachy/nautical, so this room is right up my alley ;) My eye keeps coming back to the "Sail" sign done in rope- love <3 Thanks for sharing your beautiful makeover!! Originally visiting from Link Party Palooza, and definitely pinning this post!

  42. Image for Rebecca Lopez Rebecca Lopez

    Love Love Love how this room turned out. I've always been a fan of beachy decor, this is so fresh and gorgeous. Thanks for linking it up to The Creative Collection Link Party! Have a great weekend.

  43. Image for Yasmina from Mina and Her Blog Yasmina from Mina and Her Blog

    Just WoW! I. Had to giggle when you said you painted navy blue and went to the beach. Sounds just like me LOL. I wanna spend the night there ! Listen to the water waves and the wind blowing , me going to wonderland. Yep, you did an AMAZING job! I love that you mixed it up with coral colour. My fave?the night stand ! Thank you for sharing - Yasmina

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  46. Image for Krista @ the happy housie Krista @ the happy housie

    Stunning room! I deserves amazing does your 'carpenter'... but aren't projects always better when we do them together:) Love the beautiful hits of pattern and color against all that fresh white...and the planked shelf wall is such an amazing feature.

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