I’m asking you this question because I know you are brilliant.

Did you have any idea that there are formulas for the perfect headline? There are headline formulas out there that tell you exciting questions to ask and the perfect words to use to create copy and ideas for headlines that will make readers click and click and click.

At the risk of stating the obvious….

….I was completely unaware of this fact.

Were you?

Think about it.  How many times have you seen a magazine cover or blog or online news site and you see a headline that you HAD to click on?  Your finger hovers over the enter button and you know don’t have time. You have 17 loads of laundry and a sink full of dishes and America’s Got Talent just came on television and you really need to find out if Simon is going to press the golden buzzer…

…..but you click anyway.

I wish I could write a headline like that.

I’m working on it.

But today I don’t have time for headlines. Today I went all plain jane headline with “Before and After Farmhouse Hutch” because I’m too excited to show you the project and my headline brain is too tired.

Are you ready?

Are you set?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

Here’s my before and after farmhouse hutch.

This isn’t the after.

This was my goal. This hutch was and probably forever will be one of my favorite yard sale finds on this planet.

It was tucked away in the back of a garage with tools and aprons and a giant stack of Reader’s Digests sitting on it. I brought it home, dusted it off and painted it white. Then I painted it blue. Then I painted it with stripes.

And now?

It’s gray. I’ve moved it from room to room and realized how amazing it was and tried for years to find another.

Do you know how hard it is to find a hutch like this?

It’s like the unicorn of hutches.

And then one day I was walking through a thrift store and had a brilliant idea. What if I made my own? What if I took a thrift store hutch and used my originial hutch as inspiration and make my own version?

Could it be possible?

Would it be possible?


Yes my wonderful, awesome, amazing friends.


Because here’s the before.

And here’s the after.



WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? What just happened?

Please look at that before again.

Because that before? That before that I bought at the thrift store on super SALE because it had been sitting and sitting with no one to buy it. It was the perfect size–80″ tall and 56″ wide and 17″ deep. It just needed a little vision.

And now? That before?

It turned into this.

And this.


It was such a simpler project than I thought it was going to be.

When I found the hutch and jumped up and down and waved my hands around and explained the project to my husband…

…his eyes glazed over.

He was NOT SURE about this at all.

But in the end?

The hutch turned out exactly how I imagined.

Here’s how we transformed this.

Into this.

Step 1: Remove the glass and doors

We started by removing the glass from the back of the hutch.

It was just screwed in and it came off really easily.

Next, we removed all four doors from the front. Two were stationary and two opened and closed.

Here are the indentations in the wood after we removed the doors.

They needed to be filled in with wood putty and sanded down before we painted.

Step 2: Remove the hardware and the center pieces of wood

Basically this project was all about removing things.

The center pieces of wood were screwed in at the top.

We unscrewed them and removed all the hardware.

Step 3: Build side pieces

The hutch had glass sides which didn’t really work with the new farmhouse design.

We unscrewed the glass pieces.

Next, we cut a piece of oak paneling to fit in the space where the glass was and attached it with the same pieces that held the glass.

Step 4:  Build wood shelves

The shelves before were glass.

We removed those and cut wood pieces to fit where the glass once was.

These are simple 1″ pine boards.

Step 5: Add dentil molding

To mimic our inspiration hutch, I found this dentil molding at Lowe’s.

It comes in pieces like this that you can cut to fit.

We cut the piece to fit and glued it in place with wood glue.

We also removed the lights from the top of the hutch and added a piece of oak paneling to cover the holes.

Step 6: Paint and prime

We caulked all the holes and added wood filler where needed.

Then we primed the entire hutch.

And painted it with two coats of SW Mindful Gray.

And now?

One more time just because it makes me so happy.



I wish you could see it in real life.

The pictures don’t even show you how amazing it is.

We are actually making over the family room and updating things a little bit and this hutch is the showpiece of the room.

I can’t wait to show you the entire space after it’s done.

I won’t let you down on that post….

….I’ll be sure and think up an amazing headline between now and then. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Jean Waldrop Jean Waldrop

    Very pretty. I have oak kitchen cabinets that I want to have painted, and am wondering if the grain of the oak wood shows thru after you painted your hutch.

    1. Image for jillian jillian

      Oak grain is a difficult painting project. Speak with a painting rep. The grain is hard to cover but they might have something to prime with that helps. (we own a painting company, my hubby does not like the results of painted oak) I have seen photos where people have painted it, but maybe they were a little misleading.

    2. Image for Mary S Mary S

      Hi Jean I had oak kitchen cabinets (builder grade) and painted them white. This was b4 I knew about chalk paint. Just be sure to prime first - maybe even 2 coats of primer... then you're good to go. Mary S

  2. Image for David David

    That is a brilliant transformation! And easy (at least from an observers POV)! Well done. Also, titles. I can never decide between clickable but generic titles for my posts or quirkier more personal ones that might not gain as much traction but are more "me." I also always get tongue-tied and cant' think of what to call whatever it was I just did. Personally, I like your titles as they are - I'm always pulled in.

  3. Image for Denise V Cox Denise V Cox

    THE ULTIMATE GORGEOUS!!! I started one, but then gave it away FREE on CL as I discovered I really didn't have the room for one. I was terribly disappointed as I was counting on that extra space to showcase my collectables ( ie. Jim Shore et al). Yours is EXACTLY what I was aiming for!!! KariAnne, job well done... 👏👏👏!!

  4. Image for june june

    Jaw dropping amazing...you have such a creative eye when it comes to repurposing. I have a beautiful french country hutch that I love. I joked with my husband I know our boys wont want it...told him maybe I can be buried with it😉 I think i will print todays post and tuck it away in their keepsakes...who knows they may follow your inspiration ❤️

  5. Image for Sue Sue

    OMGosh!! Beautiful! And my favorite part is that you saved and recycled. I read lots of blogs and always prefer the ones like yours- where creativity and resourcefulness are the recurring themes.

  6. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, my goodness! I need a piece in my dining room that doesn’t repeat the hutch I have. This idea is a perfect solution! Thanks, friend! Off to scour the countryside spots for one that works for me.👍


    Stunning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!When I think of titles or headlines I think of Carmen Diaz in the movie "The Holiday" where her company made movie clips.

  8. Image for Anna Anna

    The hutch looks amazing! I so wish i had your eye for style and hadn’t gotten rid of mom’s when we sold her home! Yours is beautiful!

  9. Image for PJ PJ

    Beautiful! There's something so satisfying about a furniture makeover. That piece looks so solid too. I love the glazed over eyes look. I see it at my house too and now mine says to me, "I can tell you're thinking about something". He knows me and we're blessed with these guys of ours.

  10. Image for Kathy Kathy

    How you envisioned THAT from the original piece is beyond me!!!!! I guess I'm going to have to look a little harder when I go to those stores!!! Oh the possibilities!!! I looooove the way your piece turned out! It truly is magnificent. You have good reason to boast!!!!!!!

  11. Image for Nancy Nancy

    KariAnne, Your posts are absolutely the best! Don’t worry about catchy headlines, your text is pure enjoyment! I always look forward to a few minutes of happiness when I see a new post from you! May I ask for a bit of decorating advice? A few years ago I chalk painted my bedroom furniture, and have not been happy with how it’s held up. I used ASCP Old White and clear wax and it goes well with my BM Manchester Tan wall paint; however I’m loving your SW Mindful Gray. It appears to be a warm light gray - I’m considering repainting the furniture with it. May I have your thoughts? If Mindful Gray isn’t good with Manchester Tan, do you have another suggestion? Thanks KariAnne! Nancy in New Orleans

  12. Image for Erin Erin

    Not related but thought you might be interested that it’s National Ice Tea Day. It’s my drink of choice here in FL. (But I have to drink it the diet way....sweet n lowed). Cant do the sweet tea thing anymore!

  13. Image for Laura Laura

    Can I tell you a secret about my hutch from 2018? We painted the glass back and sides. Shh ... I think I shared my previous mid-west cherry hutch 17 times last year! Love yours and love that trim!

  14. Image for Linda Linda

    I would open anything that said it was from thistlewoodfarms, even if it had the title of “free range” socks because I know that you would have a great story behind the title! You make me smile every day, thank you!!!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      I would definitely open a title of Free Range Socks. Maybe that should be KariAnne's next post. I agree with everyone, though .... she is one of the few bloggers I follow regularly and I do it because of the content of her writing and joyful style, NOT because of the title of the post. Oh yeah, and I like the hutch, too .... sorry, I got distracted. :)

  15. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    KariAnne, you don’t need HEADLINES! I’d read anything you post or publish (actually, I do)! The hutch makeover is inspired and I’m tempted to paint an old armoire! Not an antique so I feel I can give it an updated look. I look forward to seeing the redone family room!

  16. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    I love what you did with the unloved cabinet. I could have used this when decorating my cottage. Could you have taken the top off of the base because I would have wanted to hang the top on the wall and used the bottom for a center island with a marble top large enough to use corbels to hold up the overhang. I also would have taken the glass doors off and painted everything. Love your imagination❤️

  17. Image for PJ PJ

    What a fabulous transformation! I passed up a hutch that had lots of glass on the sides since I did not have your vision. Go, you!

  18. Image for Pat Pat

    You are the headline dear friend! And the makeover is amazing, hutches are such great pieces for storage and display. xoPat

  19. Image for Sue Sue

    The headline that always makes me click on an article? "Before and after." I always click to see the transformation!

  20. Image for KATHY KATHY

    Terrific Job Karianne!!..I love it when furniture is Reused again!!!..Any of the articles you write always make me want to read them!!You are so enthusiastic about everything I need to read more!

  21. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Great job!! You saved the hutch! I know what you mean about the headlines thing. I am new to blogging, and the SEO business can nearly take the joy out of just writing and taking pictures! It has also changed the way I look at blogs and headlines. Some things I would rather be ignorant of...it is necessary I suppose. Thanks for just being you!

  22. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Okay, first things first.....anything that includes Thistle Wood Farms is going to cause me to click on it....just sayin'! Second, I can't tell you how many times I scrolled back and forth between the FIRST Before picture and the FIRST gray hutch make over. Seriously. I kept saying....Whaaaat? That's not the same hutch.....and I mean SERIOUSLY.....at least 5 or 6 times before I finally scrolled down and read that it WASN'T the "after" you were talking about....sigh....miz karianne, I'm confused enough on my own! Third, I love pretty oak....although, even though that hutch was pretty in it's own right, the oak really dated it, so it now has a whole new life, thanks to your amazing vision! It's really pretty, and wow did you guys do a great job!

  23. Image for Cristie Cristie

    OMG!! It’s Amazing!. You out did yourself this time girlfriend! And can I be honest? We are friends, right? .... I like the New Gray Hutch Better then the Old Gray Hutch!! I’m just sayin......

  24. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Oh boy!!! This hutch turned out great! Only think I'd change is to remove the 'corbels' on the first shelf and replace them with something green and one of your painted pitches with some pretty flowers... silk or not. The corbels are a bit heavy. Beautiful job tho. Can't wait to see where it lands in your house.

  25. Image for Barbara Ann Barbara Ann

    Wow what great timing! I just got one of these hutch pieces for cleaning out my aunts house. I knew I was going to paint it, but really I just thought I would keep the base and not the top glass piece. But I see this and I am going in another direction thanks to you!! But I think I will keep the glass and the light. But for sure replace the side glass, which is brilliant by the way!! Thank You for the inspiration!! Now, to find the time!!!

  26. Image for Liz Birkeland Liz Birkeland

    Here’s a title, right from your post: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? What just happened? Love the transformation. Makes me wish I still had my mother’s hutch - and the room for it!

  27. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    What brand of paint did you use? I love the gray and I have a family heirloom hutch I'm preparing to redo here in SMITHLAND!! Just wondering what brand of paint you use and might recommend to me.

  28. Image for Elizabeth Shivel Elizabeth Shivel

    This is perfect! I’ve been looking at pieces like this at Habitat for Humanity ReStores. I want to add to the “library feel” of my spare bedroom, and I need more bookcases. This is perfect!! Thanks for this great idea and all of steps you did to make it work out. Those took time to include in your blog, and they are so appreciated!

  29. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    This project must have taken quite a while to accomplish. It was well worth the effort. It's a wonderful piece; a good addition to any room. Also, your titles are always spot on. Your writing style is amazing and that alone draws most of us in, no matter what you call the post. So, I wouldn't be concerned with what the "experts" say. Just be you.

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