I never met a design challenge I didn’t like.


When I was first married we lived in student housing with brick walls that we weren’t allowed to nail anything into.  Walls and walls and walls of brick without a single place to hang a picture.  Some people might have shrugged at those walls.  Some people might have thrown up their hands and rolled their eyes and resigned themselves to being pictureless.


I stood up and took brick wall names and reach for a pencil.  The space between the brick was the perfect size to hold a pencil.  I’d cram in pencils and then nail nails into the pencil and hang up pictures.

Necessity is the mother of design invention.

Just like this table.  It sits out on the porch at the beach house.  We got it at a yard sale and it’s cute.  And white.  Super extra plain boring white.

And now?

Literally five minutes per coat and a roll of FrogTape?

Hello, beautiful.

Such an easy solution to a boring white table.

Whitney and I taped and painted the first coat in eleven minutes.

I stood on one side of the table and she stood on the other side and we taped off the outer edges first and then the center.

(quick taping tip:  to get even stripes–you can actually tape three pieces of tape on each side and then remove the center one–where you’ll paint–to make sure your center stripe is even and the exact width of a piece of tape).

Four pieces of tape.

One coat of SW Naval.

Then leave and get ice cream.

Pick up these cute crab pillows to distract yourself from eating too much ice cream.

Return home.

Add one more coat of SW Naval.

Now that white table looks like this.

So thankful for those brick walls from long ago.  They taught me so much about design challenges.

They taught me to think outside the box.

They taught me to recognize that you don’t have to spend tons of money to make it look beautiful.

They taught me to shop the side of the road and to brake for yard sales and to always make time for ice cream.

Okay—maybe the ice cream part was all me.

But they “schooled” me in the rest. 🙂

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

    Now I would be the person that gave up -- or tried to tape everything to the wall. I don't think they made double face tape in THOSE days. Not quite Little House on The Prairie but just about. I love the table -- you can't keep genius down. You are awesome!! Hugs! 🤗

  2. Image for Monica Monica

    Wow, something soooo simple can turn out soooo great!!! LOVE the blue and white.....very nautical!!! I have my moms round table with 4 chairs and now I know what I will be doing with them, thanks to your idea!!! You keep coming up with more and more brilliant ideas......don't stop!!!!

  3. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    You have such a way with words, KariAnne! You make even plain brick walls sound exciting. 😊 Love the table. It's going to be the life of many parties now! And cute pillows. As for the ice cream, I'm in! Some of the best I've had was at the beach. Happy summer day, my friend! Cecilia

  4. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Sweet!!! Navy is calling my name these days... Shhh! Don't tell him that I think I'm going to go out with Mr. Green cause he just looks better when you live in the woods and you know looks are pretty important. ;) But, Navy (we're on a first-name basis) will always have a special place in my heart. xo

  5. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    Oh KariAnne you are such a clever bird! I love your creativity and writing and last but not Least your red lipstick! Smiles, Alice Ps the tape tip was genius as well as the pencils! 😊

  6. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    I never would have thought to put down three pieces of tape and remove the middle strip for the perfect stripe...I would have been frustrated with wonky uneven width stripes as a result. Genius. You bet. And pencils rammed into brick mortar...now that's dedication and smart. So fun!

  7. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    What an innovative idea...pencils in mortar! But, you are right...one does seem to be more imaginative when one is presented with a "situation". Your assistant did a great job on the table...so did you! ;)

  8. Image for Michelle Michelle

    What an adorable table and such a great hello to Summer in that NW Navy! I have to add, what a brilliant solution for your brick wall in the dorm! I'd say a celebratory ice cream was definitely in order :-)

  9. Image for Brenda Brenda

    I would never have thought of a pencil. I would have put a copper pipe with chain, suspended from the ceiling to hang the pictures from. But I'm weird that way! I love the table and the pillows. Is this a working vacation and if so where can I sign up? I'm up for the ice cream too! What did you decide on the mantle from yesterdays post?

  10. Image for Tonya Tonya

    Love the navy stripes! Gorgeous. I'm thinking the metal post thingy under the table top would be cute wrapped in a thick rope. Extra nautical goodness.

  11. Image for Vee Muller Vee Muller

    Beautiful table! Great idea! Love your newlywed inspirations! Had a few of my own back in the day! Including wrinkling aluminum foil then taping it to 1 bedroom apartment wall to mimic foil wall paper, which we could not afford nor use in an apartment. We thought it was beautiful! I still smile when I think about it 41 years later!

  12. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    PENCILS?!!! Brilliant!! Who would have thought?! And that table is amazing along with those great pillows. You nailed it this time, friend, and not just to the pencils! ;-)

  13. Image for Robin Robin

    Love the table. Such a simple but clever idea. And thank you for the tape hint. My daughters and me do a vintage furniture booth in the fall so always looking for new ideas. Have a great day

  14. Image for Kris Kris

    Cute table. But ... apparently I can't leave on a vacation for 2 weeks--big stuff happens on your blog in the meantime! Congrats on the book and your new "look".

  15. Image for Debrashoppeno5 Debrashoppeno5

    I don't have brick walls but I love your tip on how to hang pictures on one. #Soclosetoamazing! The plain table earned its stripes and looks fantastic.

  16. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    Love how you think outside the box! I picked up a straw tote/purse at a yard sale for a buck... ONE DOLLAR! I dropped some faux white hydrangea, pink peonies and some pretty yellow sprig-filler in it and hung it on my front door. Summery alternative to a wreath. HOWEVER... the straw on the purse was just too dark. Simple fix... ivory paint. No ivory paint in my stash. Simple fix... mix brown, orange and LOTS of white! Dry brush on 'yard-sale-find' straw purse, and now it's perfect! :-) Love when things like that come together!

  17. Image for Anna Anna

    Yeah...those college dorm and married student housing rooms with brick walls! Ugh! ;-) Nowadays we could use Command tapes/strips. I used to wonder what they'd do if you just decided to paint a picture right ON the walls....LOL..... The table is divine! The color is great for a beachy look.

  18. Image for Emily Emily

    I love what a simple coat of paint can do for a piece of furniture! And ice cream... I love that too ;) Thank you for sharing with Merry Monday this week.

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