Looking for ideas to transform rooms in your home? Here is our home’s journey with a little before and after house tour.

Home sweet home- here's a look at our place

Remember this place?

If you have been following me for a while you know that 16 years ago we left Texas and packed up everything that we owned into two moving vans and followed our hopes and our dreams to a far away land called Kentucky.

And somewhere along the way I fell in love with a farmhouse.

We remodeled this house from the tip of the roof to floors down below. We removed walls and added a new roof and took down the wallpaper from all the rooms and painted floors and ripped up years of carpet until every room felt like home.

And then?

We had some stuff happen with our extended family.  Stuff that was overwhelming.  Stuff that scared us.  Stuff that sat us down and had a talk and got all serious on us and told us that we might want to think about being closer to home.

Our family needed us to show up and be counted.

And suddenly, Kentucky was too far away.

So six years ago—almost to the day—we jumped back to Texas. Right back to the house I grew up in. Right back where we belonged.

So in honor of our “houseversary” I wanted to take a look back where we started with this home and where we are now.

Here’s all the befores and all the afters.

before and after house tour

Before and After House Tour

Before I walk you through the rooms in the house and tell the story of how we moved, I wanted to start way back. Waaaaaay back.

Back at the very beginning.

The house we live in—the house we “jumped back” to in Texas was built in 1908. This is a picture taken with the original exterior of the home. There was a double porch on the front with columns that extended all the way to the top of the roof and the front porch extended all the way across the front of the house.

And yes. This is Texas. Apparently Texas had a snowstorm that year.

before and after house tour front of house

Here’s the front of the house after it was remodeled in the 1950’s.

The porch was shortened and only extends over the front door.

The new columns were shortened to about half the previous size and are square now instead of round.

There’s an air vent on the roof now instead of the roof extending out over the porch.

before and after house tour exterior

And here’s the house today.

We added black shutters and gutters and a new black roof. We took off the air vent from the front of the house.

The landscaping beds have also been extended on both sides of the front of the house and we painted the brick gray.

Here's a look at the foyer of our home- love the staircase

Back Door Entry Before

before and after house tour staircase

Back Door Entry After

I still remember when started talking about moving.

What?  US MOVE?  That wasn’t in the plan.  Kentucky was our forever home.  We had a farmhouse and a gatehouse and a business and acres of land and countryside and stars and hay bales and winding country roads.

And for years I had written a blog about our farmhouse and all that goes with it.

The living room and fireplace ready to be decorated

Living Room Before

before and after house tour living room

Living Room After

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to give it all up.

I cried.

I sobbed.

I put on an apron and asked myself what Laura Ingalls would do if Carrie and Mary and Grace and Ma and Pa needed her.

A look into the entry from behind the glass doors

View To The Back Door Before

before and after house tour back entry way

View To The Back Door After

And so, just like Laura, I’m coming home.

This is the home of my childhood.

This is where I grew up.

I have thrown open this backdoor more times that I can even count.

The rooms look much larger when empty

Dining Room Before

Dining room before and after house tour

Dining Room After

Remember when my mother sold it?

You can read all about moving and my wedding dress and dear Abby and a mirror here.

This is the house where I met my future husband who wasn’t even my boyfriend yet on the back porch.

This is the house where he first kissed me goodnight.

This is the house I stood in front of the bathroom mirror on my wedding day.

This is the house where I brought my children home from the hospital.

This is the house where they stamped their tiny hand prints in the driveway when my mother and father had a new driveway poured.

This is the house where I’ve laughed and loved and giggled and shared more joy than a person should be allowed in a lifetime.

This is my home.

Another angle to see the entry and rooms of the house

Living Room Before

before and after house tour front room

Living Room After

I thought it was lost forever.

I thought I’d never walk the halls again.

I thought I’d never celebrate another Christmas or Thanksgiving or birthday or family breakfast here.

Until.

Until we started talking about moving back to Texas and I randomly called up the new owners and asked them if they would sell it.

A look into the bathroom from across the hall

Bathroom Before

Bathroom After

I did it on a whim. I had no idea what they’d say.  I had no idea if they’d even answer the phone.

It wasn’t on the market.

They didn’t really know me and as far as I knew they weren’t planning on selling it.

But I stepped out on faith and dialed the phone.

Kitchen Before

how-to-paint-a-kitchen-island-4

Kitchen After

When the current owner answered the phone, I explained who I was and told her my story and told her we might be moving back and that I had been in a relationship with that house since add-a-bead necklaces were a thing.  Would she?  Could she? Might she be interested in selling it?

And to my surprise.

To my joy.

To my almost fainting on the phone at that moment….

….she said yes.

Another look into the foyer

Staircase Before

CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?

SHE SAID YES.

And then? This new chapter of our lives and the blog and our story began.

Here in these rooms where it all started.

bedroom-before

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After

So many rooms.

So many chapters.

Every day I’m walking in all the steps that I’ve walked in before.

Office Before

Office After

Like this space.

This was my father’s office.

I can remember sitting in this room and pouring out my heart to him.  I’d tell him the troubles of the world and he’d put down his papers and push his glasses up on top of his nose and lend me a sympathetic ear and a funny story and all the cares of the day would melt away.

When I walk in here now and squint, I can almost see him smile.

His heart is in every corner of this room.

And now?

This room is where I write my books and post my posts and share my stories and tell my tales within these four walls.

When I look back at the six years that we’ve lived in this house again, I can’t believe it. It seems like a minute and a lifetime all at the same time. I am the keeper of the memories. I am the keeper of all the chapters that have gone before.

Truly.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for following along. Thank you for taking a seat next to me on this amazing journey we call life.

I wish I could type the tears running down my face as I look back at these pictures.  I wish I could type my joy.  I wish could type the mix of emotions tiptoeing across my heart.

But I can’t.

So I’ll say it the only way I know how.

We are finally home.

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Comments

  1. Image for Libby Lancaster Libby Lancaster

    Thank you ever so much for sharing this sweet history of your house! And I am so thrilled to see your Kentucky farm house. I live in Western Kentucky, about an hour from Grand Rivers, and I always wondered what your Kentucky home looked like, and how close it was to the lakes! Headed through that area tomorrow to Paducah. I enjoy your your stories and tips so much!

    1. Image for Sherra Riley Sherra Riley

      Libby, my house was built in 1906. We live in Benton, KY. I am a real estate broker with Feels Like Home Realty. I just wanted to say hello!

    2. Image for Debi Davis Debi Davis

      I think this is the home in Texas, correct? I live about 2 miles from the Kentucky home and it's the first photo on this thread, with the Victorian style pointed roof lines. I grew up playing on the bannisters of the Kentucky home she had, and this interior isn't what I remember. I think these photos are from the Texas home, perhaps, starting from the black and white photos forward.

  2. Image for Coleen King Coleen King

    I live in Lucas very near McKinney my son lives in McKinney. We love the square. So I think thi s where you live.

  3. Image for Lori A Preston Lori A Preston

    This is my favorite post you have ever written! What a legacy for your family and what a a beautiful home full of so many memories! LOVE IT!!

  4. Image for Joanne McNevin Joanne McNevin

    Oh KariAnne that was a joy to read. I’ve read your book that shared when you bought your home in Kentucky and I admire your sense of adventure. I think what you’ve done with this home is incredible. I love all your choices and so happy for you and your family. Beautiful!

  5. Image for Lorri Lorri

    What a lucky lady you are to live in your old home. To have all the memories of yesteryear and now to make more memories to come. You have a lovely home❤

  6. Image for Jo Jo

    What a beautiful story! It brought me to tears. Every time I see the house I grew up in, I just ache & wish I could buy it. Thank you for the memories. Enjoy your home!

  7. Image for Mar Burke Mar Burke

    I agree w Lori A Preston,your best post ever! Now that's a love affair w your home! 🙏👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  8. Image for Lindsay Lindsay

    A lovely story. I've heard you tell snippets before, but the warmth and needs of your extended families that brought you full circle now tell us more of your story. Your gift of telling tales and taking beautiful pictures speaks to the person that we all (following your blog) have come to love.

  9. Image for Debbie Leko Debbie Leko

    I just love this beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing as it brings back memories of the home I grew up in and how I felt about that home. Although I have never been able to go back to it, I still dream of what it would be like to visit it one day. You are an awesome writer!

  10. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    I remember the farmhouse, I was so in love with the whole place. I understood why you had to leave it and your so lucky to be back in your 'old' home. But truly, don't you ever miss it all, it was a dream home from my point of view. Not that the home your in now isn't, but all the land and the countryside,.....I do love what you have done to your home, the changes are so gorgeous and it all looks amazing. Stay happy Kerianne. xx

  11. Image for Mary Little Mary Little

    I too, have roots that run deep, living in the home that my grandfather built in 1927. I am surrounded by barns and country pastures that have been in my family since 1869.

  12. Image for Jane Tutterow Jane Tutterow

    What a beautiful life story, so far! Just as you, I took moved away to Keller, Texas from Greenville, SC, where I had grown up. My husband's job transferred us there. We were empty nesters. Our two daughters had grown up near Atlanta and they went back "home" after graduating from Clemson. I went kicking and screaming all the way to Texas. Eight years later we moved back to Greenville into my parents home that was then owned by my sister. My parents and husband's mother had all passed during our time in Texas. However, I went back to SC kicking and screaming then too. I fell in love with Texas. I loved our house three. My husband's company was sold and we took early retirement. We did really move back into my childhood home until we could build our house. That is a whole other story. As you said you got to relive all the joy you had in your childhood home, so did I. I think your office is my fav of all your rooms. Your blue and white decor is something I have tried to incorporate into my office and entrance hall. Thank you for opening your home up to all your followers. I have been a fan since we moved into our house five years ago. It was built for us so we get to be the beginning of this house's history. KariAnne, keep on making us smile, sometimes with tears in our eyes.

  13. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    I, too, moved back to my childhood home that my grandfather for us when I was born. When my mother died in 2003 , my daughter said I shouldn’t sell the house and move back to it. I still sleep in my childhood bedroom, but in a larger bed now. Every morning when I get up and walk past my parents’ bedroom I tell them good morning in my heart.So many memories here that come back to me every day. This is my forever home!

  14. Image for Celeste Celeste

    I think and dream about my grandparent's home all the time. It was the central gathering place for all the family most of the years I was growing up. The Christmases, the birthdays, the summer garden are all clear to me. Much more than other places I've resided in over time. When my grandmother moved out, the home was sold to the town and torn down. I felt so sad that I would not be able to go there ever again. Recently, a cousin posted some pictures of the park that the town built on the site. The part that made me tear up was that the park was named after my grandparents. I felt that their legacy was still there. I love your story, it gives me the same feelings.

  15. Image for Liz Shivel Liz Shivel

    Your house is beautiful and the changes in the house itself, as in life, are wonderful. You are the keeper of memories and it’s lovely that you share them with us. You and your husband are so creative, and he’s pretty handy to be able to put in motion your ideas! Thank you for this lovely walk down your memory lane.

  16. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    KariAnne, I love this post! I followed your journey and have enjoyed every post, ( still enjoying). Both or your homes are amazing! I love seeing the girls grow! You are a beautiful inside and out lady! Smiles, alice

  17. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Love reading your home story and the old pictures. You have done such a wonderful job on two different houses and your "original" home just keeps getting better, if that is possible. Your posts make me smile and sometimes cry -- I love them! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  18. Image for Julie Julie

    You have wonderful stories and tales, I have been following you since before Kentucky, have enjoyed every single post! All the very best to you!

  19. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I'm so thankful for your brief jump to Kentucky and that I got to walk through those rooms where it all began. I'm also thankful that you listened to the tug of your heart and through confirmation, you are home---TRULY HOME---once again. I'm grateful to have been a part of following your journey and that you took all of us along for the ride. It's been a joy and so much a part of my journey, as well. I can still hear your voice at "Make" as you told me..."I am a blogger and so are you." Life changing moments that have spoken deep into the depths of my heart. Thank you, my friend. Keep changing the world! One encouraging word at a time. I'll join you in wiping away tears as I type this morning.

  20. Image for Kris Kris

    Both homes are beautiful and you put your special KariAnne mark on both of them. I'm sighing at the floors in your current home.

  21. Image for Toni Toni

    I don’t really know you, I’ve never stepped into your house, or driven through your neighborhood but in your writing I connect with your heart and now I have tears in my eyes. This is lovely and real and communicates all that’s truly valuable in life….gratitude, joy, love. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

  22. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Home IS where the heart is. Each room redone with all the love from the person who loves the home the most. It shows. You have hugged every room and told them " they are safe". The love shines thru the house, and you. BEAUTIFUL!!

  23. Image for Peg Peg

    Awww, huge lump in my throat!! I'm so glad I found you at the farmhouse, and am SO happy to be with you along this journey now that you're home!!! xoxo

  24. Image for Marlene Marlene

    So much done and what fun to see how it all came together. Thanks for taking me on your journey, enjoyed it so much.

  25. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    KariAnne you truly "Bloom where you are planted" You took a situation that could have been a bit depressing and made it into a dream. How wonderful you thought to ask about buying your home. And for them to say yes when you asked is so amazing! I have enoyed your journey and you have really made it your own.

  26. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    KariAnne, this is such a beautiful post. Thanks, so much, for always sharing your heart -- and your gorgeous home -- with us. I am so happy that you were able to buy your "forever home" from the people your Mom sold the house to. This was definitely meant to be for you and your precious family. God knew you needed this home! Your home is absolutely beautiful and everything you and your dear hubby have done, in putting all your personal touches on it, is so amazing. How wonderful that you are making your own precious memories in your home. These memories will only become more precious as the days and years go by! Thanks for taking us on this precious journey with you. We have enjoyed each and every post on the renovating you have done. May God continue to bless you all in your beautiful home!

  27. Image for Lana Lana

    This made me think of my childhood. Made me cry too. Love your story and thank you for sharing your heart with me.

  28. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    That makes for a beautiful Thanksgiving Story!! You are a lucky lady to be able to move back to your childhood home. Plus you've done the house proud bc it is beautiful inside and out! Keep enjoying it!

  29. Image for Lisa Anne Barron Lisa Anne Barron

    Oh I love this KariAnne! Seeing how you transformed the empty room into loving cosy dream rooms is so amazing! This is such a special story, she said ‘Yes” wow, that changed your life. You are blessed my friend! I always love your stories! xoxo Lisa

  30. Image for Kara Winston Kara Winston

    Loved your house story. I too have a similar story in many ways. I understand your love of your house. I had a beautiful 1899 Queen Anne victorian that I knew the minute I walked in that it was my home. My heart and soul immediately settled in there. It felt as though I had lived there before. I loved that home in a way that I dont believe is natural or normal! I swore I would die in that home. But alas, life doesn't go how we want many times. Because of several life events I was forced to tell it goodbye. I cried and hugged and kissed the walls goodbye before I left-never to see it again. My heart was left behind. I got to move to a beautiful 1912 craftsman farm home! Which was also beautiful. We got it because I looked in the county tax books and found out who was paying the taxes on it and their address. I wrote a letter explaining that we loved the house and wondered if they were interested in selling it? And to my surprise he said "yes"! So we moved in a couple of months later and began that joyful journey! It too was a beautiful home and I loved it and the country setting but my heart belonged to the victorian. But what a blessing both homes were! Thank you, God. I too was blessed to get to live in those beautiful, historical homes. Thanks for telling your story!

  31. Image for Tara Tara

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and a sweet joyful journey. Filling a house with joy and love makes it a home and you do that! Your words make me feel the joy, love & warmth that you have for your family and life! It reminds me to be more thankful to God for every little wonderful thing and to have joy because we do have many reasons to be joyful. Thanks again! Happy Fall!

  32. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, sweet KariAnne! You know I love your stories. So touching and heartwarming! And I know you learned telling them from your dad. And I thought how beautiful to have your precious dad smile (which I'm positive he is) at all you're doing. The heart of your home is not your kitchen; it is your office. The story place. Where love and joy and sadness and expectations all meld together in your dad's smile and another story. Bless you, dear one! 🥰

  33. Image for Gaby B. Gaby B.

    What a great story of what’s meant to be will be. I’m so happy you’re in a home that’s beautiful memories and brings you joy.

  34. Image for va in NC va in NC

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. You have done a wonderful job with the things you have done to the house and continue to do.

  35. Image for Gina Gina

    I've been honored to be there for your first posts until now and thank you for taking us along every step of the way. Looking back at the farmhouse pictures and your family's move back to Texas, I am transported back in time, too. I can remember just where I was and what I was going through. I lived vicariously through your blogging journey as my own aspirations to write a blog were sidetracked by my son's autism diagnosis. I became his cheerleader and never stopped being yours! Love your heart.

  36. Image for Nancy Federici Griffiths Nancy Federici Griffiths

    Your home is simply amazing! Your taste is very similar to mine and I could move right in! If I had a boatload of money I would fly you to Oregon and ask you to decorate my house! Love older homes with all their charm and yours is beyond beautiful! Continue to enjoy it for many years to come!

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