disclosure:  this post is sponsored by FrogTape.

This is where we started.

This is where it all began.

That wood desk has heard it all.  My stories.  My laughter.  My tears.

Whenever I had a problem or news that had to immediately be shared or when I just wanted to talk, I’d walk into my dad’s study and plop down across from him on the other side of this desk and share my heart.

I remember when I was sixteen and started my first job at Dairy Queen.  I wanted to quit after the first day.  I dumped a Blizzard on someone’s car in the drive-through and my ice cream fell off the cone and my apron was not cute and I was sticky and dirty and tired.

I walked into this office and announced I was quitting.

I was done.

I was finished.

My father looked at me over the top of his glasses with a twinkle in his eye and told me something I’ve never forgotten.

“When the going gets tough–the tough get going.”

That’s what I told the office.

It was time for the tough to get going.

I wanted lighter and brighter and a cozy rug on the floor and chairs on either side of the desk and lamps and books and a little personality and a shine on the floor.

But I needed help.

So I reached out to FrogTape to see if they wanted to partner with me on this project.

If you have read this blog for more than five minutes you know how much I love FrogTape.

We have created some amazing projects together.

Like this one.

And this one.

We applied the FrogTape to the molding and the sides of the brick.

And taped off the ceilings.

And I taped off the windows which took forever.

But it was worth it.

More than worth it.

Because when we added the last coat of paint on the walls and moldings and windows and peeled off the tape to reveal perfect paint lines (even with all that dark paint)…

….we stood back and smiled.

And now?


The office looks like this.


I am sitting in here typing this to you and literally laughing out loud.

There’s a tree in the bay window.

And a cozy rug on the floor.

The floors have been shined.

The room is painted my new favorite khaki/greige color.

It’s called SW 7547 Sandbar.

The brick is painted a slightly lighter 70/30 mix of SW Sandbar using my favorite painting tip.

The wood burning stove actually works and my favorite thing in the room is hanging on the brick.

These are the metal pieces from our very first house.

We took down the metal and put up wood columns instead.

I saved these pieces and they sat in our attic for years.

I knew one day there would be the perfect spot.

I hung stockings on the chalkboard on the wall.

And decorated the room with Christmas lights.

And hung a gold office sign on the door.

I’m so happy with how it turned out.

It was a labor of love.

I could feel the room smiling as we worked.

And the desk?

It’s polished and in its place and ready.

For the next generation.

For the stories and the laughter and the occasional tear.


My heart is so full.

I’m so thankful for my father and his love.

I’m so thankful he taught me the value of hard work and to live every minute to the fullest and how to grab life by the tail and never let go.

And I’m so thankful that when the going got tough…

…the office got going. 🙂

PS  I cannot say thank you enough for all of your sweet words and prayers and encouragement about our golden.

Buddy says thank you.

You are my heart.

Forever and always.

disclosure:  This post was sponsored by FrogTape.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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


  1. Image for laura laura

    love, love, love the Christmas tree in the office. Is that a wood burning fireplace? love, love, love laura from Colorado

  2. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    How beautiful. Well done!! It always so great just what paint can do. Its beautiful...have to say it again. Love it so much. Makes me want to paint mine.

  3. Image for Brenda Brenda

    It's so bright and cheerful! I'm constantly reminded how a different paint color will completely change a room. Awesome room!

  4. Image for Terri Terri

    Making memories .... all over again !!! What a beautiful transformation..... ( funny..... I am quite a bit older than you... But my very first job at the age of 17 .... yep.. Dairy Queen!!! Blizzards & Shakes !!! lolololol

    1. Image for Linda Chauvin Linda Chauvin

      Can you say 1963?? That when I worked at DQ, also my first job, in southern Indiana. You just dragged up some memories. I’m now your neighbor in Louisiana. Enjoy your wacky posts.

  5. Image for cheryl cheryl

    What an amazing transformation. I absolutely love it!!! It truly looks like you now :) I'm so happy you are back where you began and living life with all that you have learned along the way. Adversity makes us stronger. Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done! Cheryl

  6. Image for Karen Karen

    That is truly like a breath of fresh air ! OH, I bet your Dad is smiling =) The room is beautiful ... Paint on sister ..... Your Arkansas neighbor =)

  7. Image for Terri Terri

    Happy tears in my eyes after reading your post. Your return to "home" just touches me in a very deep way. I can't even put into words how happy I am for you and yours.

  8. Image for Beth Beard Beth Beard

    Jaw-dropping! Another gorgeous make over and fabulous story about your father. I so wish I had your talent. You really have an eye for decorating.

  9. Image for Sara Sara

    What a wonderful transformation! I have just finished your book and it Ran a gamut of emotions in me while I was reading it. From laughing to feeling sad for you, just picking up your family and moving. A must read for your followers! Merry Christmas and keep the blogs coming. Sara

  10. Image for Harriet Harriet

    I love how you put yourself out there in all your posts! You make all your readers feel like a best friend and that is a special talent. The office transformation is beautiful. Whoever inherits your desk will be one lucky child! Happy Holidays!

  11. Image for Carolyn Driskill Carolyn Driskill

    It’s beautiful! Really coming together! ! We have a wood burning stove that we use before heading to Texas for the winter! It’s the best heat!! Missing u MERRY CHRISTMAS my friend

  12. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Well, you've done it again! It's gorgeous!! Hey, and by the way, Dairy Queen was my first job at 16 too :-) Only I didn't ask my dad's advice before I quit...the first day on the job. It wasn't the fact that the apron wasn't 'cute' that made me quit. Nope. It was an entire troop of Boy Scouts taking up the whole lounge area and yelling at me at the same time that they wanted 'this' and they wanted 'that' and I was expected to master the ice cream cone machine without ever being trained on it... Well, my ice cream cones were sadly pitiful. Not in the least like the pictures you see on the walls of a respectable Dairy Queen. And then the cook started yelling at me that I needed to hurry up with the orders. Needless to say, at the end of my first and last day working for Dairy Queen, I handed the cook my apron and said, with tears flowing, "I quit. I'm never coming back.' And then I got a job at JC Penney's. Which seemed like a piece of cake compared to that ice cream cone machine. I'll bet your cones were masterpieces LOL.

  13. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    So love how you are keeping old while making new memories. Still smile and think of you when I see Pringle can and yes dead hydrageas.😂 Hugs from KY!

  14. Image for jillian jillian

    Whoa...gorgeous! I have to admit I went down a few pictures and thought the final was red brick with all that black and it was, oh no...but yay surprise final pics are wonderful. What a relief!

  15. Image for Richella Parham Richella Parham

    Wow wow wow!! What a wonderful tribute to your father. Question: did he sing "Kari Waits for Me" to you in this room? This room is very much now your space. . . and I know your dad would be so proud. And I would think the folks at Frog Tape would be proud, too--the paint job looks gorgeous! :)

  16. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Your father is beaming down at you from heaven. I'm certain he is thrilled that you are back at your house. All that love and wisdom is jam packed in every nook and cranny!! Love the look of the office. Sending big hugs!!

  17. Image for Sharon Sharon

    So stunning! Cozy and warm, elegant and stylish all at the same time. I could stay in there for hours. Great job.! Merry Christmas.

  18. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    Completely stunning, amazing what a lick of paint [or two] can do.....as always you worked your magic, bet your Dad was with you all the way....... So sorry about your beautiful dog, it's hard to part with them I know..xx

  19. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    KarieAnne, You are amazing! The office looks wonderful, and what a gift it is for you to be the one sitting behind your father's old desk, ready to share all the amazing insights he shared with you. Wishing you a warm, wonderful, TEXAS Christmas, with all your extended family this year. hugs,

  20. Image for Lynn Lynn

    Stunning - I kept going back and forth between the before and after pictures. You truly have an eye for decorating. Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. Image for Sue Sue

    Oh my goodness what a light, bright, happy room! If it could sing, it surly would. It is beautiful! You did a fabulous job. Thank you again for sharing your stories, and your home with all of us.

  22. Image for Megan Walsh Megan Walsh

    You see the jewel hidden in all things. RUGS! They are brutal to shop for. I just returned two to Rugs USA because the quality and the color was off off off. Please share with us the details of the rug in your office....save us all. THanks!

  23. Image for d denise d denise

    I just never leave a comment on any blog I visit, but I just had to on this one. First, the office is precious, in many ways. You are so lucky to have your special home! Second, I feel your pain concerning your dog. Seven years ago my husband and I purchased the home next door to ours. It would become my dream place, partly because it had a wonderful fenced backyard for our precious lab Mackie. He loved the yard and enjoyed it for about 6 months before he fell ill and passed away one Friday afternoon with his head on my lap. We were waiting for his boys to come home to say their last goodbyes. It is hard. It was hard. But, wonderful memories have replaced the painful ones and I am now enjoying the granddog, his pup, daily because he came for a visit and never left! P.S. thank goodness for Grammarly!

  24. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    When I saw you'd taped off the fireplace, I thought "she's not going to paint the brick?" And then you did! I love how it all turned out! It's fresh, it's beautiful, and it's you! Gorgeous!! cecilia

  25. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    The room is WONDERFUL!! And I love your paint color. Actually, there's not a thing I don't love about your new office. And how special to have your Dad's desk as the focal point...for you to carry on the " legacy" of sharing special moments with your children!! 😄🎄

  26. Image for susan b susan b

    You may be my long lost twin sister......First job, Dairy Queen, check.....(not to mentiong lots of other things) then I look at this room and realize the rug you put down is the long lost twin rug to the quilt in my cart at Hayneedle RIGHT THIS MINUTE! Crazy. Office looks great - usually not an advocate of painting brick - but looks two thumbs up.... and I have VERY similar brackets from my M.I.L.'s house gathering dust!

  27. Image for Corriemae Corriemae

    Oh it is so lovely!! Amazing what paint and a little hard work can do! Can you share where the stockings are from?


    KariAnne, your office is just so lovely! You have done a fabulous job! Your precious Dad would be so happy to see what you have done! How nice to have your Dad's desk! This will be such a great room for you to make new memories with your precious family! Enjoy! Blessings!

  29. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, my goodness!! Such a difference. But through those beautiful painted walls and brick is familiarity of home in a bright, light way. Love the things you kept and the things you've added. You have to be smiling in this room. Perfect!

  30. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Beautiful! My favorite part is the chair across the desk from yours! A place where your children will hear those wonderful words of wisdom coming from you! Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas!

  31. Image for Gina Gina

    You made this office look like you! And among the many "me too" moments I've had when you reveal your history, likes, thoughts...I also had a first job selling ice cream!

  32. Image for Kris Kris

    OK, so I had to scroll back to make sure that the desk was the same desk in the first picture. It's funny how a "different" room can completely change the look of a piece of furniture. Now it's the star of the show instead of getting lost in all those browns. It's a beautiful transformation (and when I first saw the picture, I knew you would work your paint magic--yes, even on the brick!).

  33. Image for Janet Parker Janet Parker

    Your office is simply beautiful! I love the warmth and simplicity. As long as my "office" is also my sewing room and a guest room I don't have much hope for it to be simple, but I am working toward the warmth and at-home feel.

  34. Image for Don Paschal Don Paschal

    While the blog is a very accurate picture of the office history and transformation, I must add a note of validation. The depiction of Kari Ann’s father’s advice is good but needs a little emblishment. As a long time friend, I had many extended conversations and short chats with her father, who had a PhD in geology. He would give the listener many looks during a discussion, but when he came to an important point or recommendation, it was always the same.....he would give the listener(s) his “professorial” pose....head lowered and slightly forward, glasses low and forward on his nose, eyes above the glasses rims and focused on the audience whether one or many.....his voice clearly enunciating a clear and concise point....just like the advice to Kari Ann. Pure professorial pose and clarity of thought.

  35. Image for Linda Charlton Linda Charlton

    Your office is gorgeous and I especially love the wall color. I am reading your book right now and I want to tell you how inspiring it is to me. You tell the truth about DIY projects. Perfectly imperfect.

  36. Image for Lucy Belivea Lucy Belivea

    Dear Karianne!! Wow! You really went gang busters my friend, and it looks perfectly beautiful!! The tree is spectacular and I love everything white!! It's so cheerful and welcoming!! You will now have a beautiful place to do what you do best...,write lovely posts for us to enjoy!!! I'll look forward to your next fabulous ideas!! Keep them coming, please! You make me smile!! Thank you for being on Facebook!! I love to scroll and see your post!! Merry Christmas!!🎄☃️

  37. Image for PJ PJ

    Bright, light, and beautiful space filled with memories and sure to be the setting for more memory making...Love it! Now I need to go downstairs and have a conversation with a room or two.

  38. Image for Kathleen Smith Kathleen Smith

    What a beautiful transformation, so bright and airy. I love reading your stories always puts a smile on my face. Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year from your neighbour in Ontario Canada

  39. Image for Patricia Krank Patricia Krank

    This room is so happy to have you back and I know she is feeling beautiful with this makeover! Gorgeous. Patti

  40. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I am thinking that this office is patting itself on the back for how well it GOT GOING!!!! It is fabulous! Your Dad must be so happy looking down at this! I wish we could see more of the metal piece. And the tree. Merry Christmas!!!

  41. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    What a lovely time for you to bury yourself in memories of your dad! I bet you had so many chats with him while you were working on this project. It makes my heart happy just thinking about it. I always talk to myself when I am working on things. In fact I bawled my way through decorating my Christmas tree listening to Julie Andrews' Christmas album and thinking how grateful I was the Christ was born. This is what happens when I work on stuff alone. It's kind of fabulous. Also, I am super giddy because your book should arrive TODAY! My little present to myself. Anyway, have a merry day friend! Or have a Diet Coke. That makes everything better. The Other Marian

  42. Image for Kathy Kathy

    The office looks awesome! I love the paint color. My favorite things are your dad's desk and the "I hope you dance" sign. I loved that sign in your previous home and it seems even more perfect in this office. I usually try to read most of the comments your readers make. I especially liked the comments from Dan Paschal. How special that he knew your dad and took the time to comment!

  43. Image for Marie in AZ Marie in AZ

    Oh, old new house, how do I love thee....let me count the ways! Karianne, I love love love what you have done so far and I just can't wait to see more! Your office is just perfect!

  44. Image for Shirley Shirley

    What is the cute little spiral thingy on the desk. I was at Hobby Lobby all day looking for one but they didn't have any. I thought they had some last week. Where can I find me one? Or how do I make one. Your rooms are always so beautiful. I am jealous.

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