This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams®.

When it comes to heroes in this world, teachers are at the top of my list.

They inspire.

They plant seeds.

They uplift.

They inspire generations of learners and help to make this world worth the living.

In my life they have poured life and creativity and joy of learning into each of my four children until it spills over into every aspect of our lives.

And for that I will always and continue to be eternally grateful.

So when Sherwin-Williams contacted me to work with them again on giving back to the community with a National Painting Week project, I jumped at the chance.  National Painting Week is an annual celebration dedicated to the transformative power of paint and color in our homes and communities.  In the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to partner with Sherwin-Williams on a project for cancer survivors.  I’ve also worked with local residents to transform a local community center.

But this year?

I think it might be my favorite year of all.

Because this year’s project is all about making a difference in the lives of the teachers at one of our local schools.

We started here.

This is the lobby of Imagine International Academy of North Texas.  It’s an incredible local school whose mission is all about raising future leaders to make a positive contribution to their local and global communities.  Over 1400 people walk through this lobby every day.  This is the first thing people see when they enter the school and I wanted it to put its best foot forward.

I came up with the idea of incorporating their logo on the wall, but to do that on the red might be a little overwhelming.

So I wrote a proposal incorporating new furniture for the lobby and painting the existing walls and adding a little greenery and other ideas to create a space that truly represented the school.

And then I went to work.

And we patched the walls.

And painted the first coat of paint in Natural Choice SW 7011 all around the room.

And the second coat and the third coat.

We painted the molding and the bottom half of the wall Tricorn Black SW 6258.

And then the room looked like this.

Next, we painted the stripes in Repose Gray SW 7015.

And the room looked like this.

Next, I painted the mural on the wall and brought in furniture from Pottery Barn and lighting from Pottery Barn and pillows from Pottery Barn like these and these and a fiddle leaf fig.

And then?

That same space?

It looked like this.

And this.

And this.

And this.

Here’s a close-up of the mural on the wall.

It’s the school logo.

Caritas et scientia.

Charity and science.

The day after the installation I couldn’t wait to see their reaction.

That is my favorite part of any project like this.

Would they love it?

Would they like how it turned out?

Would they be all about their new lobby or would they call me up and tell me they wanted the red back?

About 9:30 my phone rang.

It was a group of teachers.

Calling me with excitement and exuberance and joy in their voices to tell me thank you.


They told ME thank you.

I told them I truly appreciated it and they were amazing and that it meant the world to me that they called.

But truly.

If I had all the minutes in the world I could never, ever, ever thank them enough for what they have done for all those future generations.

If you are a teacher, can I take a moment to thank you too?

Thank you for giving back.

Thank you for believing and inspiring and challenging your students.

Thank you for waking up and showing up and putting one foot in front of the other and making a difference.

Every. Single. Day.

But most of all.

Thank you for teaching with your heart.

PS  Speaking of thank yous.

This card showed up from the teachers and administrators at the school

I’ll keep it forever.

If you would also like to make a difference in your community or have a room at home that is begging for a refresh, National Painting Week is a great time to get started.  Visit your local Sherwin-Williams store for 30% off on paints and stains May 25-June 4.

disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Sherwin-Williams.

All opinions are my own.

Please see my disclosure page for more information.

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  1. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Well, good Tuesday morning! (Love it when I get to be the first one to post.) Leave it to you to do a fab job in transforming a school lobby that used to look pretty much like all school lobbies into something absolutely spectacular. I can just imagine their faces when they walked in the next day!

  2. Image for Basia Minta Basia Minta

    OMG! This is absolutely stunning and amazing! What you did with that space....I can't come up with the right words to describe it. I have chills! WOW

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    So wonderfully beautiful ( and what a welcome to a school day!!) My husband is a middle school math teacher and my son leaves for college in the fall to follow in his daddy's footsteps~ as an education major/rugby player!!! I can only imagine what an impact you have made~ cherish those THANK YOU's. You deserve them!!

  4. Image for Jessica Jessica

    Now I want to do this for our school system. School should be an inspiring space to grow and learn and so often they look "cold" and "unwelcoming". You sure have created a transformation! Dare I say, the students and teachers are certainly more excited to walk through those halls now.

  5. Image for Gina Gina

    Wow! Now the school walls say, Karianne was here!" Lol....I love my Sherwin-Williams store. I always heard that when the paint goes on sale, buy it. You can always get it tinted later if you don't know what color you want now.

  6. Image for Linda Linda

    Thank you for picking a school this year. Both my parents were teachers and it’s a profession that is under valued these days. They need to be commended and encouraged just like they do for our children and grandchildren.

  7. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Thank you for your inspiration and initiative. What a beautiful setting. I know the teachers will smile each time they enter this site. I had the pleasure of teaching in a newly built middle school. For months, my colleagues and I beamed as we passed through our hallways.

  8. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    Kudos, bravo, two thumbs up and applause! Great job. I know they are super excited to walk by that everyday instead of what was there.

  9. Image for Betty in Arlington Betty in Arlington

    You do commercial spaces with your magic, too? So elegant and professional! I love the touch with the striped pillows, too!

  10. Image for Leslie Watkin Leslie Watkin

    Fabulous job. This teacher appreciates your support of others in the field. Thank you! What a wonderful first impression for students, guests and staff.❤️

  11. Image for Nancy McCullough Nancy McCullough

    Amazing and thank you from the bottom of my teacher heart!!!! Love you, your blog, your inspirations, your dedication and the kindness that you share everyday!!! 😍👏🏻👏🏻


    KariAnne, you are such an AMAZING gal with such a HUGE heart for others! You did a wonderful job of transforming this lobby. Bless you!

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I am a retired teacher of 27 years and want to thank you for all your gratitude and your efforts in support of teachers. The lobby is wonderful. What a welcome for all who enter those hallowed walls. Thanks for all the fun and tender stories and all the wonderful inspiration that you bring into my life.

  14. Image for Jeanie Jeanie

    Simply incredible! The lobby looks 100% better. You are AMAZING! Thank you for giving back to our schools. Teachers ROCK!

  15. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    WELL DONE, ma'am! Great post - awesome job - that lobby looks AMAZING! And you are right - what a perfect thing to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day! PS = one of my fav tee shirt sayings: "If you are able to read this, thank a teacher!"

  16. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, Thank you for updating the school's entry with such an inspiring space and for giving back to education with this year's National Painting Week. The entry is truly a welcoming area that proclaims its mission in the school colors. The Arlington ISD, TX school in which I worked for many years has red, black, and silver as its school colors. This design would be perfect for that school! Judith, retired educator, but forever a teacher in my heart

  17. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    So gorgeous and practical! Love how you used all the elements that mean something to the school. Great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Image for Ren Ren

    Wow! What a transformation!! I spent 38 years in the classroom and know well the impact one’s surroundings can make on students and teachers. I worked constantly to provide a colorful, cheerful environment for my students (and me!) what a difference it made. Often, students who weren’t in my classes would stop by just to see my room. Your work will have a huge impact on staff, students and visitors. It welcomes everyone and provides a lasting first impression. Well done!!

  19. Image for ivory ivory

    You did a fabulous job, and I am sure not only do the staff/teachers loved what you did, but the students loved the outstanding transformation you did to their school hallway. WOW!

  20. Image for Lynn Lynn

    This is outstanding work! Exactly what the space needs! This is truly an example of decorating used to its highest purpose: it is very functional, it is beautiful, the space is transformed to its best use. WOW!!

  21. Image for Paula Paula

    Beautiful transformation! Impressed with your logo work. Just curious, did you use a template for the letters or vinyl? Love it!

  22. Image for Darla Darla

    And this. . . .is why I check your blog once in awhile. Absolutely stunning, the transformation! My spirit would be refreshed, simply entering this space. Brilliant work!!

  23. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    WOW! Just WOW! What a difference you made. I love that you share your wonderful, God-given talent in this way!!

  24. Image for PJ PJ

    KariAnne, thank you for your kind words about teachers. You brought tears to my eyes. I retired after more than thirty years of teaching and continue to work as a substitute. The physical environment has a profound effect on the morale of the staff. I see some very sad spaces as I travel from school to school. I guarantee that you gave your teachers a much needed boost of spirit with your thoughtful transformation.

  25. Image for Lynne Lynne

    As a proud teacher, I thank you! This space is amazing! Thank you for inspiring so many with your creativity, talent, and generous spirit! Well done, my friend!!

  26. Image for Rita Rita

    Sherwin Williams is absolutely the best. When we moved into our home,, I bought another paint because it was cheaper. Was that a mistake. I ended up repainting because the white I used ended up yellowing. I'll stick with Sherwin Williams. It's been on the woodwork for ten years now and is still white! Love Sherwin Williams! You did a great job and I appreciate your words of praise for teachers! We owe them a debt of gratitude!

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