Are you right-brained or left-brained?

Or just in-the-middle brained?


I need to know.

It’s really important.

Because if you happen to be left-brained…..I just wanted to be clear at the beginning……that this may not be the project for you.




At least that’s what my left-brained son told me….verbally and non-verbally.

Between the eye rolls and the sighing he made his opinion quite clear.

He was dismayed….maybe even distraught….

…..over my callous disregard for correct navigational placement.




In his opinion it was tragic.

A tragice misuse of available resources that the compass ceiling medallion we installed on the ceiling could not be used to navigate the north star.


You see….I’m a right-brain thinker.

All the way.

So, instead of using the correct geographic coordinates…..

……I lined it up to look symmetrical.

And cute.


Upstairs Rec Room


It actually startled me a little.

This left-brain occupation with precise placement.

Was it wrong that my first thought was, “Why?”

Stenciled crate


The graphic is ready to be stuck to the ceiling and I turned  it this way and that way.  First straight and then diagonal and then lined up with the clock hands or maybe the chairs or the pennants or the Cape Cod box under the curtains.


It was hard work trying to figure it out.  Trying to figure out the most aesthetically pleasing direction for north by northwest.

And then I saw it.

Briefly…..out of the corner of my eye.

My left-brain genius pulled up a compass ap on his I-phone and walked around the upstairs game room trying to determine the precise geographic location for the medallion.


Doesn’t he understand?

Compass ceiling medallions that are actually directionally correct are so 2011.


compass medallion


You see… right-brained self was all about the overwhelming creative joy of looking up and seeing…..this.

And when I was thinking of the 2784 reasons why we absolutely, positively needed a compass for the ceiling.

Actually using it….

……never even made the list.


Leather chairs with pillows

So if you are in our neighborhood looking for the North Star.

Whatever you do…..please don’t use our ceiling compass to help in your search for Ursa Minor.

Instead…..I happen to know this incredible navigational genius who can help.

He’s the one with the innovative I-phone compass ap……

…..and the really great left brain 🙂


Come Sail With Me Pillows




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  1. Image for Laura Laura

    The thought of putting that up on the ceiling caused me such a dizzy spell that I had to sit down. (okay, that was a bit of a lie as I was already sitting down) It is so adorable and I think it doesn't matter which direction it points, because then you can go the wrong way and maybe end up somewhere fun like Oz. Is this giving you a clue as to whether I am left or right brained ? Hugs, Laura

  2. Image for Paul and Cathy Paul and Cathy

    I really enjoyed this post. So funny. The ceiling compass is great and the aesthetic is more important than the direction but don't tell any left brainier that. What a great idea.

  3. Image for Beverly Beverly

    I am one of those middle-brained kind of people. I know, scary huh!? Don't hate the middle-brained. The cute and awesome part was a sure thing because I love this. But, I would have had to go with your left-brained son on this one. Accurate and cute.♥ Pointing inaccurately would have gnawed at me. I told you I was a wee bit anal.

  4. Image for Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    Let's hope you don't get lost on a rowboat in the middle of the ocean! Yes, you'll be looking cute in your blinged out flip flops, painted tows and red lipstick, but you'll be as red as a lobster from waiting for days to be rescued. Is that a decal? I stuck a fabulous butterfly decal on the ceiling around the light fixture in my girls playroom and it peeled off and floated to the ground. Guess which direction that went - straight to the bottom of the garbage! I haven't given up - I'm thinking paint next time! Kelly

  5. Image for Marion Bohn Marion Bohn

    Love the compass medallion - and love those pillows. Thank you so much to Hymns and Verses for the coupon code through your site - just used it to finally buy the "Unending Love" "Amazing Grace" pillows I've had pinned forever now! :-)

  6. Image for Gina Gina

    I happened to have one of those left brained geniuses the same age as yours. This will scar him! There will be stories of this tragic moment passed on to your future grandkids. Kari, it's the same as you walking into the living room and seeing the window pane chalkboard crooked every time you passed by. It would drive you CRAZY. You don't want to cause him undo the study of all places! Jut trying to put you on he right path. ;)

  7. Image for Upscale Downhome Upscale Downhome

    My husband and sons definitely would have wanted it pointing in the correct position. Like you, I wouldn't have thought of it but I do agree that they are probably right. :) Your son with the iphone cracked me up. We had a bat in our old house and we were all hiding in the basement and my teenage son googled on his ipod, "how to get a bat out of your house". Got to love this new generation!

  8. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Oh leave it up to our kids to be "logical".....sometimes I am "left brain, sometimes, I am "right brain"...and then there are sometimes when I feel I have "no brain" at what was I thinking.....I am with you on the left brain as it looks wonderful!.....Gotta love the iPhone generation!!... Always love seeing that room!

  9. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Hmmm.... after reading that I have determined that I am bird brained. I say let the neighbors use your ceiling compass it will sort out who has the best sense of direction in case you ever need to know which one to follow in the dark. ~Bliss~

  10. Image for Stephanie Durdan Stephanie Durdan

    I am positive I am left brained. lol. I would have had to placed it in the right direction. It looks fantastic though!! Very clever! I mentally started going over the rooms in my house trying to figure out which one I could do that in! Great job! :-)

  11. Image for jessvii jessvii

    A couple comments - First, I love the sweet burlap Virginia silhouette pillow. Where did you find it?? Second, I think of myself as more right-brained than left-brained, yet I find myself agreeing with your son on the compass placement. I'd feel uncomfortable in a room where a compass was pointing to untruthful directions. People use clocks as design elements all the time, but they're still clocks - they still tell time. Similarly, I think a compass can be beautiful and still point to the correct directions. And, even if you decided that you preferred the right-brained approach, if it really bothered your son, why not go along with him anyway? I'd do it for the sake of creating a peaceful, harmonious environment. Design and decorating, at the core, are supposed to make a home feel comfortable right?

  12. Image for Tiffini Tiffini

    your kidding? I just did a post last week on her shop! I found it through you and I LOVE these pillows! I don't have a nautical theme but still... I may just have to go over there and buy me some:) xoxo

  13. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    I totally love this compass. Being from New England, I love this entire room. I wanted to do a compass inlay in the hardwood foyer of my house. I've made a compass quilt that I love. Great job. Is the compass a decal?

  14. Image for GinaE GinaE

    Raising my hand with the right side brain people. The left side folks can be a bit of a downer sometimes, but they are great to have around when you need techie help! Love the compass!!!

  15. Image for Laura @ Finding Home Laura @ Finding Home

    Sorry girl, I am not sure which side of the rain I am, but I would have to line it up. I am however a huge fan of symmetry. But I also love unbalanced symmetry so it Amy all boil down to me being unbalanced! Love it either way!

  16. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Karianne, Thank you so much for giving a shout out to the Come Sail Away pillows. They look perfect in your nautical themed room! Love the ceiling compass. I live with three left brainers and they would have done the same for their right brained mom! Blessings, Doreen

  17. Image for Kelly @ JAX does design Kelly @ JAX does design

    I can't say that I would have positioned the compass pointing in the right direction either. Sometimes how something looks is more important than how it works ;-) But whether it's functional or not, it's a charming accent in a beautiful room! And I LOVE the Come Sail Away pillows! Thanks for sharing the source :-)

  18. Image for Julie @ follow your heart woodworking Julie @ follow your heart woodworking

    Now ask your son about this... if you put a compass on the ceiling, the North and South can line up BUT don't you have to reverse where the E and W are? Since it's upside down, when you look up at the North, the actual east will be where West used to be on a regular compass. Am I correct? HA HA HA, it's not easy living with this brain I have

  19. Image for Susan Susan

    The compass on the ceiling is perfect, I just love a nautical theme anything, the room is so wonderful! I adore the pillows they are so cute when I saw the pictures of the pillows before I saw who made them I thought to myself, she made them...clever girl. All the photos are so pretty they make you want to hideout in the room. Thanks for sharing. Happy Day, Susan

  20. Image for Jule Jule

    I could never bear living in a house/being in a room with a compass that did NOT face the correct direction. It would drive my MAD! But it looks cute... ;) Jule from inside 9B

  21. Image for Martina@Buidling Beauty Martina@Buidling Beauty

    Wow, really love the graphic of the compass stencil, looks crisp against the bright white ceiling. What a great room you've put together, all the little touches are amazing! Great eye. I think I would be torn as to whether go for pure aesthetics or directional accuracy.

  22. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    This whole room is so cute, KariAnne, and the compass medallion is just the icing on the cake. I love the bright red on the white ceiling. I can't tell the difference between north and south, so it makes absolutely no difference to me which directions you choose to put where--I'm all for cute! But I did love the movie North by Northwest!

  23. Image for Kelly Kelly

    You're right...the compass is totally cute. I would have had an argument with MYSELF as to how it should go up. What does that make me? Wait, don't answer that. Kelly

  24. Image for Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista

    I'm with your son all the way on this one! The compass is adorable, and I probably wouldn't even have thought that were was a certain way to make it cuter by changing the orientation, nice work, the whole room is really coming together!

  25. Image for susan@avintagefarmwife susan@avintagefarmwife

    Another right brainy here! Some how I married a left-brained man and raised 2 left-brained and 1 right-brained son. Just last night husband and one son were helping me move some furniture around and insisted I get the yardstick so they could measure it just so! Sometimes it is just easier to give in. Love your compass and the room it is in!

  26. Image for Denton Denton

    Left-brainers unite! Thanks for all the comments - together we can convince Mom of the importance of directional accuracy in decorating :D

  27. Image for Deanne Deanne

    I have just discovered that several of my children are right brained so they may be fine with the compass, but I am sure my left brained son might have a problem, me I have decided am in the middle!

  28. Image for Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique

    It's tough being a right brainer in a left brained world. . . and just for the poll. . . I would have gone with aesthetics too. To relieve any angst, perhaps a real compass left lying around on the coffee table will solve any directional problems - lol. Love the whole room.

  29. Image for Sheila @SZInteriors Sheila @SZInteriors

    Just think of your compass like a tchotchke... pretty to look at, but without any function other than, well, pretty to look at! I love the pop of red against the white, and the compass itself is such a delightful surprise. Great idea and even better conversational piece :-)

  30. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I'm going to go with right-brained! I cannot wait to show this post to my youngest son. I taught him everything he knows about directions...North is straight ahead...ALWAYS; south is reverse, west is left/east is right until you make the turn and start going straight and then yep, we're once again heading north! When his grandfather asked him what direction we were going while in the car one day, Jacob confidently replied, "North!" His grandfather beamed - at least until he asked Jacob how he had figured it out :) I LOVE the compass ceiling medallion and all the other details in this room! As always, I am in awe of your talent and creativity. You're incredible, KariAnne!!!

  31. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    But it looks so good up there how could someone not think so.....................maybe I am right brained as well I have no idea all I know is that I like it where it

  32. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    When I took a blog tour of your home, this room was my favorite. I love the color, style and comfiness of it. Your style is not copied from a catalog, but original. I love that. This ceiling medallion really is the icing on the cake in this room . LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! As for the correctness of it...whether it's pointing north or not...well I am all about the decor end of it. So , I am with you. Had to LOL about your son. Kids really tell it like it is, don't they?

  33. Image for Kim Banta Kim Banta

    Please, oh please share your source for this compass rose? Did YOU cut it? Purchase it? We have a lake house and it would be so perfect. I have a cutter, but have never come across a design like this! Pretty please???

  34. Image for Pam @ Simple Details Pam @ Simple Details

    When you asked, I immediately thought, 'right brain!' But I did a little gasp when I read you didn't line it up correctly! :) So maybe a little left brain, too! If I were in that fabulous room the last thing I'd be considering is if the compass was correctly placed!

  35. Image for Pat Pat

    It came out beautiful! Thanks so much for showing all your readers new ways of using decals. The rooms decor is fantastic and I love those pillows. Will be using that code to get me some as well!

  36. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I might be left brained, because I would want it pointing in the right direction. It does look marvellous, and I love the colour of it. But yes, I would have to have the North arrow pointing North. Hugs, Cindy

  37. Image for Becky Becky

    Oh, this is just too funny! I must be left-brained because it would make me just NUTS not to have it facing North. Partly because I already get lost all the time, so I would be even more confused...However, SUPER cute project--love the room!!

  38. Image for Anne Anne

    Late to the party again! i don't know how I missed this post, but I did and I'm so glad I stumbled on it!! LOVE this. Such a fabulous idea, I never would have thought of this, I would; however, have placed it according to the proper compass directions because having it pointing in the wrong directions would drive me crazy. Why I always need to know the compass directions, I can't explain. It's just one of those things... blame it on feng shui, blame it on my gardening passion, blame it on Rio, just don't blame it on me! lol xox

  39. Image for Jana Jana

    Cute post, had me laughing just reading it. It reminded me of when my kiddos were little and to teach them N,S,E and W, I put tags all around the ceilings. Your medallion is much more pleasing to eye than my signs were.

  40. Image for Meg Made Designs Meg Made Designs

    First off, let me say I really adore your blog. Also, I LOVE the medallion! I also love the light and shade. Where did you get it?

  41. Image for Kylee Kylee

    This is wonderful. We have a pirate nursery for our 6 month old son. I've been contemplating painting a compass on the ceiling since before he was born and even started it recently. However, painting a ceiling is just as much of a pain in the neck as I've been told. A decal would be amazing! Where can I buy this?

  42. Image for Cathy Cathy

    I just love the Come Sail Away pillows! Our friends just bought a new house and a boat in Florida. I would love to send them the pillows. Any chance they are for sale on a website?????

  43. Image for Brook Brook

    RIGHT BRAIN in greement. It's like having a wax cake at a party and saying its just for looks. Like I'm going nuts already and I'm sure he is too. Like seriously you have to either reposition or buy another and repeat with correctness this time. I have actually wanted to get a decal stencil guide to stain a compass on my front porch so that when store radar alerts I can see direction of the store. Lying in bed and knowing a storm is headed (let's say South) and seeing the incorrect decal and trying to reconvert it makes my head spend. Come on....... decals aren't that much. It's worth a DO-OVER.... PLEASE ALREADY

      1. Image for Brook Brook

        But see I'm confused because I am right brain but to me that means hands on and function and even though I love things to look creative I want them to function so. I guess this is one of those situations where right and left brain cn go nuts over the same thing for different reasons. Lol. LOVE THE IDEA THOUGH . I'm SO......stealing it and yesterday. Maybe for my porch and son's ceiling:) thanks

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