blue and yellow guest bedroom

Have you ever wondered where the name Thistlewood Farm comes from?

I know you will be totally surprised at this….

….but there’s a story. 

Are you rolling your eyes at me right now and nodding?

You knew it….right?

Because around here….it always begins and ends with once upon a time. 🙂

yellow and blue guest bedroom

It’s a once upon a time that started with a thorn.

And….actually….not just one thorn…

…but hundreds and hundreds of them.

If this is your first time reading the blog you might want to start with this story first.

If this is not your first rodeo….you already know how we moved from the city to the country…and found a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere where we live with four children, two dogs, two cats (who are totally making an appearance in Better Homes and Gardens), a family of deer, half a dozen bunny rabbits, salamanders, and a giant tortoise named Fred.

It’s a menagerie of great proportions.

Trust me.

guest bedroom farmhouse

And you know that we totally remodeled the inside of the house.

You’ve heard how we knocked down walls and pulled up carpeting and stripped wallpaper from twelve rooms in the house and added moulding and painted and removed layers and layers of flooring and added a porch.

And that’s only the inside.

phlox flowers

And when we finished the remodel….it was spring.

And we patted ourselves on the back and thought we were done…..

….until we walked outside.


It was a little overwhelming.  We had been so busy renovating the inside….that we had forgotten all about what was going on right outside our front door.   I mean…all those long winter months the outside had looked fine when it was covered with snow.

And then the snow melted.

guest bedroom

And the garden beds were overgrown and the bushes needed to be trimmed and the flowers needed to be divided and everywhere you looked there were thorns and thistles.

(please tell me you can tell where this is going)

And that April my husband started working on the landscaping.  He tried to get rid of the thistles that covered everything and the thorny branches that wound their way around plants and trees.  He dug them up at the roots and cut them back….but they were tenacious and fierce and unrelenting and as hard as he fought….

… looked like the thorns were going to win.

yellow bedding

But in the end he triumphed.

(if he was telling you this story….he would say there was never any doubt)

And after the thorns left…..he discovered something amazing.  There in the woods….hidden behind where all the brambles had been….

….were the most beautiful purple phlox.

They had been there all along….but we missed them because of the thorns and the overgrown landscaping.

Wonderful, incredible phlox….that grew taller and bigger each year and spread out until they covered the entire path that leads down to the pond.

And every July they bloom and fill the air with the smell of summer.

phlox flowers thistlewood farm

And while the phlox are amazing and lovely and make July a wonderful month to live in the country….

…..we never would have found them without the thistles.

It’s a little like life.

Thorns can be overwhelming and tenacious….but they make the flowers all the sweeter.

And so to honor the briars and brambles along our journey….

….Thistlewood Farms was born. 

PS  Oh….and it helped that our last name is Wood. 🙂

blue and yellow farmhouse bedroom

This post on the blue and yellow farmhouse bedroom would not have been possible without the beautiful Montgomery bedding and embroidered sheet set brought to you by Crane and Canopy….a great online resource for designer bedding, duvets and sheets.


The bedding is amazing.   I felt like a princess when I opened the package….total quality from the zippered duvet cover to the detail on the sheets to the lavender sachet that came wrapped in the box.

Hope the thistles don’t see this and plan on moving back in. 🙂

disclosure:  I was sent this bedding from Crane and Canopy for review…but all opinions are completely my own. 

Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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


  1. Image for Lori Ellison Lori Ellison

    Thanks for telling the story about the name of your house...hadn't heard it before. Beautiful life lesson too. And I love blue and yellow. The bedroom is so cheery and beautiful, a reflect of yourself for sure. Blessings.

  2. Image for Mary Feguson Mary Feguson

    Very interesting story. it's always so interesting how things just happen and I think the name goes very well with your stunning farm. The yellow and blue bedroom is very pretty and refreshing. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Have a great weekend at your beautiful farm. Mary

  3. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Top-notch story! Love blue and yellow.... So traditional and preppy and the patterns bring it up-to-date. Nice!! Me like!!

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

    I could listen to your stories all day long! I completely missed the blue and yellow and had to go back and look. And if your let the thistle bloom it has a beautiful flower. Beauty among the thorns. And it sounds like you have a menagerie at your house like we have at ours only thing is we live in town. I am battling deer, moles, voles, chipmunks, slugs, rabbits, etc. Have a wonderful day -- big hugs!

  5. Image for TidyMom TidyMom

    I never roll my eyes at your stories KariAnne! and I'm in love with this duvet - it would be perfect in our guest room, and I need to add the navy!

  6. Image for Janet Janet

    You are just too cute for words! Love your storytelling. I look forward to reading your blog first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee.

  7. Image for Nana Nana

    Thinking of you today as you continue to transform the world around you and follow God's leading - He has the best plans and when you tap into them you are in for a true journey - thistles and all.

  8. Image for gina gina

    I thought of you the other day. We have a tree that came from nowhere and started growing in one of the garden beds outside my front door. I asked my husband what he thought it was and he said a thistle tree. I had never seen one, but he had as it is the symbol of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. Now I am reminded of Thistlewood Farms each day!

  9. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I love this story of naming your farm...I've been trying to come up with something more creative than the B Farm. (We have lots of thorns too that we have to cut back, dig up, and well fight all the time). I love the surprise you found in taming the thistles and thorns. How beautiful! And the blue and yellow bedding is wow! Love it.

  10. Image for Kim Kim

    Karianne, Loved the story...but more importantly when can I move in please? The room is so inviting and love the phlox! What a hidden treasure. Kim

  11. Image for Jen W. Jen W.

    As always, I want you to come up to WI and decorate my house. If that was my bedroom, I don't think I'd ever leave. Also, kudos to the man with the sparkling eyes to battle back the thorns and thistles! Have a great weekend :)

  12. Image for Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane

    What a great story and what a wonderful room! I have always loved blue and yellow together because it just feels like tranquility with a boost of sunshine. My favorite part of the room is above the bed...I will be singing that song in my head (or possibly out loud) all day long! Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory... What a terrific way to start any day! :-)

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    OK, I would buy bedding from a place that puts a lavender sachet in the order! :) Beautiful room, FANTASTIC story! Isn't it amazing how the things we fuss about and fume over often turn out to be some of our biggest blessings! Happy Friday, my friend! :)

  14. Image for Kris Kris

    I thought maybe you had some Scottish in you and were honoring the Scottish thistle. Great story! And I never tire of the blue/yellow/white color combo. Have a lovely day.

  15. Image for Marydon Marydon

    Vinegar takes care of the thistles w/o chemicals beautifully. Love the decor Karianne. I should show you MY blue bedroom. You always make me smile ... TY. TTFN ~ Marydon

  16. Image for Norma Jean Norma Jean

    K- Love, love, love your blue and yellow guest room. What a lovely, happy place to wake up in the morning! Only problem, I wouldn't want to leave the room to come down for breakfast (unless, of course, the smell of bacon would lure me!). You do B&B, right?

  17. Image for Sheryll & Critters. Sheryll & Critters.

    I have always loved this room and the new bedding is just gorgeous! Now I have to go search for the name of the paint color for this room. I think it is what I am considering, but not sure.

  18. Image for Lesley Lesley

    Of all things I was actually going to ask you where the name came from but never got around to it! Love the story behind it... mom can totally relate. Except hers is more a story of Poison Ivy don't know how that would translate in to a name. Lol Poison Ivy House... maybe. Lesley

  19. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    What a lovely story, this is my favorite room so far. phlox are also one of the flowers I also enjoy. Tis true,without the thorns we'd never see the beauty, just like Jesus endured the thorns, then we could see His beauty.

  20. Image for Mary Mary

    Can you tell us what the blue fabrics are, pretty please? I want to do things over in blue (thanks to you!) but I can't find fabrics I like and I can't tell them from the small pictures I find online. I love all the choices that you make, but especially the blues. Thanks!

  21. Image for Cristina Cristina

    Have you written any book? You tell stories beautifully. It helps that there's beauty around you. You should put a LIKE button as in FB

  22. Image for Maggie Maggie

    Love your stories and thank you for answering the question I had: where the name of your blog come from. It makes sense!! You are so inspiring to me and your style and colors you use love them all. Your home is so beautiful and love what you done.

  23. Image for Pat Pat

    I've missed your stories and what's been going on! Tons of technical/computer problems lately...trying to get back to blog land to visit. This bedroom is just made of "happy" ! I can be there in a couple days I know. :) Love the blues and the yellow accents are beautiful! You have such a talent for writing....I'm asking, as someone else did, have you written any books? If not, we would all be so excited if you did! xo Pat

  24. Image for Beverly Beverly

    This room makes me so happy!! Please share where the curtains are from or the fabric you made them from. I'm coveting that pattern :)

    1. Image for Abbey Abbey

      Agreed Beverly, KariAnne has such an amazing eye for design! Not sure where she got her drapes/fabric but we carry do the fabric :);-pindler-nebula-sapphire-.htm

  25. Image for Hillary Hillary

    I second the question about the blue polka dot duvet cover. I love the whole room but I want that cover or want to make it!!

  26. Image for Beth Beth

    Simply love your blog, stories, photos...and I'm even from KY, too! Now live in Raleigh, NC but love KY. Home sweet home. I also need to get up with you about your blog consulting.

  27. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I have no doubt that you would be able to make brambles into gold. The house and grounds are lovely. Everything is so beautiful...but then, you do see the beauty in every thing. Thank you!

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