Last year was all about the befores….

…and the afters.

I decorated one room three different ways.

Totally fun.

I decorated a gatehouse.

Totally worth it.

And each time…..I would finish the project and post it on the blog with a before picture taken in terrible light with a bunch of nonsense sitting around and then post a sparkly, shiny after picture with everything in its place.

But now….I’m thinking…..

……befores and afters are so 2013.


I mean….aren’t there times when you want to know how it was done and what I was thinking…..and sometimes what was I thinking?

Me too.

So welcome to 2014…..

……the year of the “durings”.


Welcome to one of the upstairs bedrooms of the farmhouse.

A room that has never been seen on the light of day on the blog before…..

…..with good reason.

Here’s the before…..before.

This was taken on the day we started the construction on the downstairs.


Here’s another view with the beautiful ship wallpaper border.

At least I think it was ship wallpaper border.

It didn’t really last long enough to really be remembered.

Ditto for the matching blue shag carpet.


Here’s the same room after I painted the walls.

The color is Macadamia.  The carpet is Home Depo special.  The weight bench is 2011 garage sale.

I had big plans….and then I just could not wrap my head around that color.

It never seemed to fit and the carpet was not a good choice for dogs and teenage boys with extra stinky socks.

So we pulled up the carpet and painted the wood floors and then painted the walls white……


….and now here’s the room from the same angle.

A little rough right now.

I know.

This is a perfect example of a during.

We are just getting started.

Here’s some of the plans for the finished room.


1.  I ordered the wall map from here.

2.  We are installing an industrial cage light for the ceiling.

3.  I think I’m going with an aluminum accent table beside the bed.  I have to get the chair in the corner first to see how much space I have….but this is kind of what I’m thinking.


I wanted to show you this before of the before again….because the wall with the lace curtain on it is where we built the closets.

The house was built before closets.

Back when everyone had an armoire.

So this room had four walls without a closet…..


….until now.

This is the exact same angle of the room with the two closets built-in.

4.  The doors need hardware.  I’m thinking industrial shape that’s nickel plated…..something like this.

Then we won’t need a random rock to hold the door closed.

5.  The doors need to be painted a light gray.

6.  I’m painting a sign over the bookcase with the first 72 digits of Pi.


Here’s the front view of the wall with the built-in closets.

7.  I’m making a simple painted canvas valance for the windows.

8.  This desk came from the junktique store and I’m painting it white and adding new hardware.


9.  I’m having a chair and ottoman upholstered (that I bought at auction for $40) and it will be tucked back in this corner.

10.  The bulletin boards are from Wal-Mart and I taped off the number signs and spray painted them.


11.  I’m painting a periodic table sign over the bookcases.

12.  The bed will have finials on the four posts and a white duvet cover on the bed with gray bedding and I’m ordering this rug from Ballard Designs for the floor.


At least I think this is all what I’m doing.



I’m pretty sure.

Stay tuned…..because this is the year of “durings”…..

…..and it’s only January. 🙂

PS  In the interest of full disclosure….I work for Lamps Plus and they provided me with the light for the room…..but I totally, totally love it. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    What a fabulous are so right...DURING!!!!! I do believe this room is going to be spectacularly WORLDLY!!!! I adore the world map as a focal and your plans for everything sound sensational...oh how I LOVE the industrial lighting you have picked out! 2014 will be a very interesting year...looking very much forward to the ride! Hugs...

  2. Image for Amy@{A*very} Blessed Home Amy@{A*very} Blessed Home

    Oh WOW! Kari Anne you never cease to amaze me with a couple of cans of paint and the willingness to give it a go. That before and after and before and after again are, to use your trade mark line, "rock star!" I can't wait to see the ultimate after! And I could get lost in that map for hours! Have a beautiful day!

  3. Image for Marisa Franca Marisa Franca

    How VERY SMART of you!! You took pictures of the before and now you'll have a record. I love what you're doing for the boys room. It looks clean and crisp yet boyish and masculine. Don't think they'll outgrow it any time soon. I wish I would have room pictures of our house - there was duck wallpaper on the walls in the family room and strawberries all over the kitchen. Huge mauve cabbage roses were on many walls in the bedroom and hallway. I know what you're thinking - why in God's name did they purchase it????? It had good bones and now we are taking it several (many) steps further and giving it our stamp. I'm anxious to keep looking over your shoulder at your during.

  4. Image for Marian Marian

    Yay! Now I don't have to have any more inferiority complexes about your perfectly decorated house. (Although I have gotten quite a lot of mileage from that post I wrote of my dirty house in reaction to your "finished" one.)I just get to see the play by play of how you do it. Which is all I really wanted in the first place. You lovely thing, I can't wait to see all your ideas play out. The math corkboard thing is PURE GENIOUS! I need to make a pretty periodic table for my sweet 14 year old scientist. She'd love that. Have a great day sweet lady. isure enjoy you. The Other Marian

  5. Image for Kris Kris

    I have a dear friend who, like you, is a genius at pulling a home together on a budget. Unfortunately she and I now live several states apart. Anyway, when I was grousing to her one time about my outdated home and ugly kitchen and yadda yadda yadda, her comment to me was that a room I disliked was really a gift because I could change it up any way I wanted to. She's right. Sometimes I think there is too much HGTV-viewing today and people want to move into a perfectly decorated home, but for most of us, that isn't realistic, and it leads to discontentment. I've had to work really hard on praying for contentment and being patient as we s-l-o-w-l-y make improvements ... but ... while cosmetically my house hasn't been what I would hope for, it HAS kept us warm and dry and safe for 12 years now. And slowly, it's getting prettier.

  6. Image for Shelley @ Calypso in the Country Shelley @ Calypso in the Country

    I am loving the direction of this room! I will have to show the pictures to my boys to give them some ideas since we love maps so much in our house! I love how you are explaining your plans for the room. 2014 is going to be a great year! -Shelley

  7. Image for Maureen Maureen

    I love this! Durings. I mean, in my home every room is a constant during! That is why I blog about food!! Mind you I am not talking full on reno's, but every few months I tend to change things up. Even if it is just furniture placement or a new color scheme by adding in some new fabrics. It is great to see how things evolve.

  8. Image for Melanie Kolb Melanie Kolb

    Yes, we benefit more from the during. It helps us see your vision in little pieces which makes it easier to break our own projects into doable parts. Then things don't seem so overwhelming. Thank you! Thank yiu also for the post about your first blogger's conference. You are a rock star more so because you don't try to act like a rock star! Thanks for being so real. I met you at the Chapel Market, and you were more interested in talking to me than worrying about my purchase. I really like that. I bought some of your chandelier chrystals and they are as sparkly as your personality. If any of you readers get a chance to meet Kari, please take the time to do it. She is a joy.

  9. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I love a good "during"! Who's room is of your sons? It's important for you to show your rooms in progress...otherwise, we might just think you twitched your nose ...and voila! ;)

  10. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Love the fresh white paint and floors! I clicked on the rug choice- I love using indoor/outdoor rugs too. Lower price, wear well, and look great:) Thanks for the during photos- looking forward to the finished room.

  11. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    Wow, Karianne, you have done it again, and the room isn't even finished! So excited about your plans and can't wait to see the finished product!! I love it all.

  12. Image for Teresa @ wherelovemeetslife Teresa @ wherelovemeetslife

    I follow but don't often comment... 1. I am completely with you on this. I love some good before and afters..but I like realistic ones. I am so not a fan of the pics where the girl has her hair in a pony tail, terrible light and she looks like she just lost her dog, then the after is a well taken photo with beautiful hair and great makeup. Sure, it's dramatic, but its so far from reality. So thank you!!! 2. I LOVE that map wall, as in.. I NEED to do one for my kiddos. White walls with that brilliant pop of color is really breathtaking. Looking forward to the "afters".

  13. Image for Susan Susan

    I love seeing "durings" and hearing the thought process between points a and b! I love the direction this room is fresh and fun! :)

  14. Image for Sammi Jo Sammi Jo

    AWESOME, as usual Karianne! My boys never wanted to give up there gym equipment and its so darn ugly right in the middle of a wonderful room makeover! I open my extra room right now and I want to run..... I know there is hope and I appreciate your inspiration I just have to keep on keeping on! :-)

  15. Image for Brandi - Nest of Bliss Brandi - Nest of Bliss

    Well I am just loving the direction you are taking on this. One thing that I've learned from being a new home owner is particularly what I will do different in our next house - I think I would love to try my hand at white walls. I'm working on my downstairs bathroom so plan to paint in there white to see how I work with it! :) I cannot wait to see this room completed!

  16. Image for Lisa at celebrate-creativity Lisa at celebrate-creativity

    Happy Monday, Karianne. Fun to see how you're pulling the room together "as you go". I like the idea of "durings' although I must admit I also like "before" photos to see how the room initially presented. I absolutely love the world map too. It's a gorgeous focal point. Enjoy your day, Lisa

  17. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, I think I've mentioned before that our house is a 200 year old stage stop. You're right, no closets back then. They only had one good suit and some workclothes. Also no on off switches, just a light bulb hanging with a string....Ahh lots of remodeling over the years here. Wouldnt trade it for anything! I love your post and all your brain-storming! The other Marilyn monroe ha~

  18. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Ok, you DO realize that I have a whole Pinterest board entitled "Love Maps?" Sigh. I've considered just collecting old maps and papering a room with them. The mural, though? For a boy's room? GENIUS. :) I can't wait to see how it turns out! Periodic updates? Pretty-please? Happy Monday!

  19. Image for Ashley Rane Sparks Ashley Rane Sparks

    You're so smart. The thing I like about you is that you continue to work it..well done girl! I was noticing the "painted floor". I have lived in my house for 7 years and the upstairs floors were never finished after we promptly pulled the carpet out when we moved in. I was thinking of painting them. Did you do it? Can you do a tutorial on how that worked? Thanks! Love the during idea! Ashley Rane Sparks

  20. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I'm trying to think of something witty to say about the wallpaper border, but I got nothing this morning. Hope you rock the boat in that room.

  21. Image for Jill Jill

    Thanks for the "Before" and "During." Love the maps and the new closets. Pi and the Periodic Table are going to be lovely touch. I hope you show us another "During" along the way. Happy Monday!

  22. Image for Betsy Betsy

    My dear as always you have pulled off the spectacular !! I adore those painted floors and the simplicity of the room. The map is gorgeous !! Any young man would love to live in that room. I just got back from the "home sale" at Ross. I found two beautiful blue and white vases at $4.99 and a huge basket for $10.00. I am so excited to get the placed in our home. I'm curious if either one of your girls have shown an interest and talent in the design work that you so excel at !!! Blessings to you and your family. Betsy

  23. Image for Judy Judy

    Hi KariAnne, thanks for the wonderful perspective! You are definitely Meant to be doing what you are doing! Thank you!

  24. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    What a wonderful during! I love this look and how you made a few changes to make for a modern room. The map behind the headboard is just fab. It's definitely my favorite element. Although I do like the idea of industrial lighting.... I just like it all! Looking forward to seeing the after. =)

  25. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I am so happy you're going to be showing us "durings" this year. Love all the plans that you have for this room and am looking forward to the "after".

  26. Image for Elisabeth Elisabeth

    I feel much better seeing an uncompleted room in your house. :) I have so many areas that I can't make decisions on and then I look at your place and think, "Oh, if only I could get inspiration like Karianne..." I like your idea of "Durings". Looking forward to seeing the room as it progresses.

  27. Image for colleen from Alabama colleen from Alabama

    Probably one of my favorite posts EVER. I am a visual learner and I need to see the "durings". I process the finished product with much better clarity if I know what happened along the way. Especially if the "along the way" didn't happen in a 24 hour period... which it rarely does but you wouldn't know the way most DIYs are posted :) Thank you for an authentic post. My soul craves authenticity and you hit the nail on the head. My husband also teaches engineering and calculus based physics to High School students (yes, he has a one of a kind, four year, engineering curriculum for High School students - he has a masters and PhD in Mechanical Eng from Duke University) and he would LOVE the math/science details in that room. I'm not going to show it to him because he might want his classroom decorated like that! HA! Thanks Kari Anne! Totally love this new approach!

  28. Image for BrocanteuseRose BrocanteuseRose

    Love it! Especially random rock, I love random rock, tee hee. Also Pi what a cute idea, my girls and I tell each other we love each other Pi, all the time. I may just steal ahem commandeer this idea in some way. :)

  29. Image for KATHY KATHY

    I for one am so glad about the during! I had literally just thought to myself the day before this post...Why don't bloggers ever show the work in progress? I hate getting on a blog that is constantly putting you off for the afters! I lose interest and move on to other bloggers. Sometimes I will just never go back to that blog. You must have been really inspired Kari Anne! I love to see a work in progress and I must not be the only one. I will be a more faithful follower because NOW I am so excited to see how it all evolves. I love your blog and your stories. Thank you!

  30. Image for Eileen Eileen

    We did the same thing in my sons' room and I love it. Looks like the exact wallpaper in 8 panels but it is not dry erase, which is a really cool feature. Price was right though...about $68 at toys r us online. We hung it on a slanted ceiling.

  31. Image for Jill Jill

    Lots of great ideas in this room. But I wonder if your kids want their bedroom--their sanctuary--to have constant reminders of school All Over Their Room. When I came home from school as a child and when I woke up in the mornings, the last thing I wanted to think of or be reminded of was school. Now if this were a designated homework space or a room for home schooling, that would be different. Then it would be a Get Down To Business Room as opposed to a Time For Rest or Play room. Just my thoughts.

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