house fall

sunset fall outside of house

Have you ever tried to multi-task?

I know….right?  I thought it was an amazing idea, too.

Two things at the same time?

Crossing two items off the list with a single stroke of the pencil?

front door urn

front door flowers

Brilliant idea you tell yourself.  Simply brilliant.

It has to work.  I mean, you’ve seen your mom successfully do it and friends do it and you think you’ve tried it before.

How hard can it be?

Kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head.

fall front door decor

happy fall wreath

fall decorating front door ideas

At first the whole it works like a charm.

You sell t-shirts for the cheerleading team while adding pumpkins to urns on the front porch.

You edit all the photos for this post while washing two loads of clothes.

You sweep off the back porch and water the flowers and go over your speech for tonight.

fall decorating in the living room

fall decor pumpkinYou become the most efficient of people.

Like talk show might call you up to interview you to see how you get it all done.


If you were a superhero they would call  you the efficienterator.

living room fall

pumpkins and jute

It becomes amazing day at the farm.

Your list gets shorter and shorter and shorter.

You blink twice and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Why didn’t I try this before… tell yourself.

fall decor fireplace

fall decor living room

It’s going so well and zipping by so fast with out a hitch.  Everything is wonderful.  Everything is working out.


Until it doesn’t.

wood sign in hallway fall decor

Until you decide that you are going to sew a ruffle onto a sheet and talk on the phone to your best friend on the phone.

Simple, right?

I mean….isn’t that what speaker phones are for?

fall decor mantel

The conversation goes a little like this.

You: (brrrrring….the sound of the sewing machine) Hello?

Her: I need your opinion.

You: (brrrrrrriiiiiinnng….never pausing the sewing) Of course.  You have come to the right place.  My specialty is opinions.

Her:  What do you think of vintage maple buckets?

You:  (brrriiinng) I love them. (brrrrr)  What a fun idea (briiiinnnggggg) I think I……(clunck, thud)  

……ohhhhhhh nooooooooooo.



You:  (with the sound of anguish in your voice) I have to call you back.

fall decor hallway

fall decor hallway cabinet

You get off the phone because you’ve sewed your shirt to the ruffles on your sheet.


Then when you try to get the two apart, you break the sewing needle with half of it still threaded attached to your shirt.

Good times.

Now you’ve added….drive to Wal-Mart to buy a sewing needle to your to-do-list.

And instead of multi-tasking….you’re extra-tasking.

fall decor dining room

The moral of the story?  The lesson learned right here in the middle of this fall tour?

Multi-tasking is awesome.

But trying to get everything done in double-time can be overwhelming and exhausting.

dining room fall decor

fall decorating in the dining room

So today my friends….take a lesson from someone who almost lost the shirt off her back.

Press the pause button.

Slow down.

Take a break.

Then look around at the beautiful fall leaves outside, smell the crispness in the air, smile at the world, take a sip of coffee and enjoy the sunshine….

….and tackle one thing at a time. 🙂


city farmhouse

And for the next stop on the fall tour… click here to head over to City Farmhouse.

finding home farms

You can also start the tour from the very beginning over at Laura’s by clicking here.

better homes and gardens

And a giant shout out to Better Homes and Gardens for partnering with us.

And this year, we’ve added something extra special. We all want to see YOUR fall decorating ideas.  Want to be featured?  Simply share some of our favorite fall ideas this week on Instagram.  You can find me on Instagram @thistlewood

(if you don’t have an instagram….just e-mail me a picture and I will feature it on my Instagram feed)

Share pictures of your fall decorating on Instagram and use the two hashtags:

#BHGCelebrate for a chance to be featured on BHG’s Instagram


#findingfallhometour for a chance to be featured by me or one of the other bloggers participating on Instagram

Happy fall, ya’ll!

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


  1. Image for Beth Christoff Beth Christoff

    Lesson learned! Had a sewing business for a few years and learned the hard way! Thank goodness that roman shade was for my sunroom - not a client's! Yes, everything that MUST get done, gets done. Have a great single tasking day!

  2. Image for Carol Carol

    Dear sweet friend, You made me smile, and you are a "hoot."(Total complement ) I quit multi-tasking last year because I could not remember what else I needed to finish. Mother told me I would slow down one day. Can you believe she knew? Sending sunshine fom middle TN.

  3. Image for SilvanaJoanne SilvanaJoanne

    Wow Karianne, what a beautiful home you have. I absolutely love the blue and white living room. Where did you get those curtains from? I have to say that the whole house is amazing but that is my favorite space :-) Thank you for sharing your home with us!

  4. Image for Deb Deb

    Beautiful, hysterical, and oh so true! Thanks for sharing your busy schedule story...and just loving all your ideas for fall. May have to steal that idea with the pallet on the porch : )

  5. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Karianne, if anybody can pull it off, you can!! Your house is amazing and you still made us smile. At least it wasn't your finger under the needle.

  6. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    No one does neutral like you and no one tells a story like you! Loved it!! Been there, done that myself but I could never tell about it like you do--lol

  7. Image for Peg Peg

    I'm a summer girl, and it saddens me that it's quickly slipping away! The push to decorate for fall comes all too soon. But you, Ms. Karianne, have struck the perfect balance...a lovely blend of crisp white pumpkins, mixed with amazing texture. Love, love!

  8. Image for Barbie Barbie

    Really funny, actually been there done that!!!! Is your shirt wearable. Your design style is refreshing, love white with accents. Simply Stunning.

  9. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Karianne...."Kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head" ..... my inability to do that is precisely the same with multitasking!! Your home looks beautiful for early fall, so pretty and cozy and welcoming!!

  10. Image for Karen Karen

    Kari Anne, I love reading your posts, with a cup of coffee in hand, the laundry started and maybe some potpourri started on the stove just for good measure. I am notorious for multitasking and you make me grin. (total jealousy here) Believe me, I've burned a few sauces while "quickly" watering the plants on the porch or some other such silly nonsense. I look and look at your rooms and it amazes me, no pet fur rolling around and not a spec of dust! With a long haired German Shepherd and a Rough Collie and two cats the fur becomes part of the decor along with the desert dust that appears 5 minutes after you just finished dusting. Yep, stop and smell the flowers. Pour a glass of sweet tea and sit down on the porch for a few minutes and enjoy the decor of God's beautiful work, look at how the light on the mountain just makes all the rocks and creases pop, how the clouds are all puffy and the pink in the middle and bright gold at the top and all dark at the bottom and could that be rain coming to wet down this dusty landscape? And stop stressing about "the list". Believe me - I have two or three (ok, 5) running lists at a time simply so I don't forget something. One is a future project list, one is a "well this needs to get done, but it doesn't have to be today" list, and then there's the "race to the finish" list of things I feel are the most urgent. But, at the end of the weekend if everything didn't get accomplished I can now stop going into panic mode. I have learned I have to be good to myself. No one is going to die if I don't cut the hole in the bead board for the outlet, the sky won't fall if I don't iron all my kitchen towels. So, my niece needed to have a long distance hug for an hour. My grandbabies needed ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top! Yep, maybe the most important thing I've learned is my "to do" list isn't as important as my "to BE" list. Love you girl! --Karen

  11. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    I always read your posts thinking"wait for it...wait for it..." You didn't disappoint. LOL Thanks for the smile with my coffee this morning. You are inspiring me to get my fall decorating done.

  12. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Well,, I multi-task well. I work in a library and have several things going on at once and helping students as well. I can do it pretty well. I kind of strive on the stress of it. Just wanted to let you know that I love the fall wreath that you made. Love the wood pieces and its unique.

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

    Well Miz Whirling Dervish, I wish I could have seen that! I've tried multi- tasking and I met myself going when I was supposed to be arriving. I didn't want to use the "c" word to that phrase because someone could have thought it was a double entendre. Yes! I am nodding my head in understanding because I've had days like yours and I don't know why we pile so much on ourselves. Do you?? I wish you would have taken a picture of your shirt attached to the sheet. It might have been a new trend -- a sheetshirt. Almost like having a princess train following you. Just add a tiara and have some kind of scepter. Wow!! You'd look great. Just slow down, I know that's hard to do and smell the hot apple cider. Big Hugs!!

  14. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I love the tones you used in your home for fall. It all looks so rustic and calm. The multi-tasking portion...I can totally relate. My mother-in-law recently texted me after I sent her a picture of vintage mirror I've been painting, asking how I find time to get this all done? The truth is, when we try to do too much, something has to be sacrificed. Last night it was emptying the dishwasher and cooking a fresh meal (we had leftovers). Today, it was your shirt. Sometimes I wish I could be a person that has their day mapped out and it all happens so smoothly. But then, creativity would be stifled and really...these incidents are the spice of life. No one says, "I'll never forget the time I accomplished everything on my list in a half an hour less". Boring. You, my friend, are anything but boring. Have a great one!

  15. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Your blog is my happy place! Love your home and your stories! Feel like I am there. Only wish you were here, styling my home! Lol!

  16. Image for Kris Kris Your story reminded me that in my haste to get work done yesterday, I documented on the wrong patient and had to start over. Twice. Multitasking and hurry-hurry are overrated.

  17. Image for Cindy Roth Cindy Roth

    Oh and you folks have to click on the Better Homes link and see the adorable bonfire pile of pumpkins! I am going to splurge on fake pumpkins and do this in my fireplace so I can use it all fall! Here in San Jose, CA they tell us we can't burn real fires all the time (plus fall is too warm for it), so this will be a great way to get the fall feeling in the living room. Check it out!

  18. Image for Mary Ferguson Mary Ferguson

    I think that you got a lot of things completed. Your super woman..... Love the house with all the Fall decorations. Enjoy your week. Mary

  19. Image for Susan Susan

    Awe, as a Mom , Grandmother to 9 and a Business owner I am always trying to multi task.... sometimes it goes amazingly and other times not so much! We need to let our self's off the hook and know that its okay not to complete every job! You are talented beyond words ,you have such a beautiful family and a stunning home! You make me laugh with your sense of humor :)

  20. Image for Siouxzie Q Siouxzie Q

    Your home looks STUNNING. Well done! (Your tale of woe reminds me of last fall, when I made 150 velvet pumpkins [in a weekend] for a friend's shop. Glue guns, phone calls, and deadlines don't play well together.)

  21. Image for Carol@TheRedPaintedCottage Carol@TheRedPaintedCottage

    What a hoot, as always! Seriously, your shirt...that could present a tad of trouble. But I know what you mean about your head spinning with so much to do and everything needing to be done yesterday. I've been on the really fast track since last Thursday and the train isn't slowing down yet. My pumpkins are reproducing themselves as I do everything else except all the pumpkins projects waiting for me. I use to think fall was a busy season when the kids were in school, but I hate to tell you, it's that way for everyone!

  22. Image for Susan Susan

    You are beautiful and so is your home! I swear your home looks like you multitask x 10, 000! Like, who else could make an old bed-spring look like something out of a grand hotel? Only YOU! :)

  23. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    First of all man your blog is really amazing on my computer!!!! I have been trying to use a iPhone since the move and man I have missed seeing this sensational stuff large and in charge for these eyes who are not seeing as good as I did in my 40s. Can't wait to see other ideas! But I have to ask what is that in your wreath? Should know but no clue just that it is so so so pretty. Did I also see hydrangeas? Truly thinking of decorating for fall or even making a wreath from one.. yep you now I am more a Lucy than a Martha or Deen or yes Karianne! But you are rubbing off on me dear heart! Keep sharing!!!!

  24. Image for Lanita Lanita

    Love, Love, Love your fall decorating and your great story - and isn't it the truth? We need to hit the pause button from time to time and slow down..... Your front porch and your fall mantel are gorgeous - oh my goodness!! I've been making pumpkins - sweater, burlap, chenille - you name it! And getting ready to do my fall decorating.... Thanks for sharing yours ~ happy fall! Blessings to you, friend! Lanita

  25. Image for Doreen @ Hymns and Verses Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    That was belly-laugh good! Sounds like the kind of day I had before my fall tour last week! It's just a bit crazy here on those days! You get an A+ for sewing - I took a pass on the sewing! I know my limits!!! Loved every single bit of fall in your pics, but my absolute fave was that wood slice wreath on your front door! I'm guessing that came from the fallen tree!!!! You are amazing!

  26. Image for Terri Terri

    I'm dying over here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (laughing that is!!!!) lololol.... Seriously... I 'bout fell off my chair!!!! I am still laughing every time I think about your shirt .... and the sheet... and!!!!!!!!!! lolololol....... MULTI TASKING IS SOOOOO OVERRATED!! so glad I read your post perfect timing for me ... needed a good laugh~

  27. Image for Mindy Whipple Mindy Whipple

    We really can't do it all can we - at least not all at once! Love your sense of humor and you weave in "the moral of the story" between beautiful fall pictures. Lovely, all of it.

  28. Image for Glitter and Lillies Glitter and Lillies

    Oh my goodness what a fun make all of us feel better knowing we aren't the only one who has "interesting "days. Love all the early fall decor.

  29. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Kari Anne, I don't know how to take your pictures and put them on my Instagram? I loved your tour and all the pictures so would love to share. I also loved the story, just as I love ALL of your stories!!! Happy Fall!!!!! I am on Instagram as szpinky if you can tell me how to share!!

  30. Image for Jenni Farnes Jenni Farnes

    so my fabulously multi-tasking friend...which you did SO WELL didn't. um....can you tell me where you got the metal urns on the porch, that adorable little while multi-drawered cuteness sitting in the midst of everything lovely AND the BINGO pillow? because i truly have lust...a great deal of lust for each and every single one of those things. and i am so afraid you are going to tell me: that you've had them forever, found them by the side of the road, bought the last two of them just yesterday, found them in the cutest antique shop and they are the only ones of their kind or don't even think about lusting after them because they will never be found again. sigh. just give it to me hurts less.

  31. Image for ananda ananda

    totally smitten.... great artists can create magic in the air. you are such an amazing artist karianne, i just love every corner of your home!! xo

  32. Image for Mary Mary

    Ohhhh... How come the dust mop leads to the wash machine which leads to blinds which leads to the dirty car which leads to a royal pain in the neck???? So much to do.. so darn little time. I can identify with ya! Usually a list helps.... but not always! Glad I'm not the only goof ball out there. :)

  33. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    You have a beautiful home, inside and outside. I remember one of my multi-tasking days, when I put eggs in a pot of water, on the stove to cook, and decided to go outside to water the flowers, instead of just standing there waiting for the water to boil. While outside, a neighbor stopped to talk, and then she left, and I thought I'd pick up a few sticks laying on the lawn, and then, oh, I might as well walk to the mailbox and check for mail. No need, to tell you, I suppose, that when I did get back in the house, no water was left in the pot, and the eggs didn't blow up, but they were cracked, black and stinking. I hear about this every now and then, from DH, to remind me to pay attention to one thing at a time. A lesson learned, but now I think its "kinda" funny.

  34. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    A lovely Post. We are still so HOT here, but I made a first attempt to change over to husband just shakes his head(!) But it makes me smile...

  35. Image for Jane Jane

    You tell the most wonderful and poignant tales...only rivaled by your photos and talent in transforming your home into a wonderland. Hooray for did it up good! By the way...I can't sew so I'll never experience this grief! Jane x

  36. Image for Julia - Vintage with Laces Julia - Vintage with Laces

    Hi KariAnne, At least you didn't sew one of your fingers to the ruffles :) . I'm not so good at multi-tasking anymore. The best example is your blog. I almost every time have to go through it twice. Once for the story and then the second time to enjoy the pictures and check out the details. Your fall decorations are fabulous! I especially love all the nature elements and galvanized containers. Aren't the kitties tempted to play with some of your décor pieces?

  37. Image for Velia Velia

    Once again your joyful post has brighten my day. Your creative writing can only be matched by your creativity in decorating your lovely home. Your home is wonderfully deck out for glorious Autumn.

  38. Image for Design Chic Design Chic

    The story of my life, KariAnne, yet I still can't seem to get off the roller coaster. Every day I think, oh I can multi- task, but like, you, I manage to do something that takes twice as long as it should have. Just seeing your beautiful home makes me happy and starts my morning with a little calm…happy Wednesday!

  39. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I love your home!! The porch is wonderful. It's so welcoming! Every room says charming!! I always love visiting your gorgeous home. Thanks for the tour. Kathy

  40. Image for Kaushal Gohil Kaushal Gohil

    This house looks really beautiful. You have taken creativity to different level, simple yet elegant. A treat for my eyes just to look at this pictures. There's a lot of love behind your work, thanks for sharing

  41. Image for Kathi Winter Kathi Winter

    I happened across your blog from looking at living room furniture images. I love your pretty home and the way you decorate. I have always loved white dishes, and I am inspired with how you use them. Sincerely, Kathi

  42. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Slow down and relax. You will be healthier and happier. So will your family. This comes from my voice of experience. (Lesson, sadly learned).

  43. Image for Anne Anne

    KariAnne, I am thrilled that I finally get to see the outside of your beautiful home! WOW it's gorgeous girl! Your home would be a dream home for me! Love your beautiful and simple fall touches. Exquisite sweet friend!

  44. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Love your home! Everything looks fabulous:) I've never heard of "extra-tasking", but it definitely fits the bill for a word in my life all the time! Lol!

  45. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Haha, you're so cute. I try to multitask all the time. Does it work? Sometimes. Thanks for the smile this morning. All your Fall decor looks beautiful. I love your front door wreath....assuming you made it? (My internet has been down so I missed some posts. Trying to catch up but well, it's just another thing to add to my list and you can't multitask reading with anything!) :-) Have a wonderful day! Cecilia

  46. Image for Susan Harper Susan Harper

    Hi Karianne! Such fun to read and look at! DYING to know where those metal containers on your front porch came from! They are so FAB!!!

    1. Image for Susan Susan

      I absolutely love your website and your posts... But I'm wondering why you don't respond to comments and questions? Still a fan... Just a bit disappointed...:(

      1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

        Susan, I'm sorry it comes across that way! I try to e-mail each person individually to answer questions, but I should answer them here, too. The metal urns came from a local shop here in Kentucky! Here's the link to their site: karianne

  47. Image for Erin Erin

    Karianne! You are too much fun. LOVE your fall home tour. LOVE the way you weave your fun stories throughout your posts. LOVE you. :) xo

  48. Image for Zipporah Zipporah

    I usually don't comment, but I just had to say something about your decor. Most neutral color palettes come off quite boring to me. I'm not completely sure how you do it, but you make neutral absolutely stunning. Everything is tastefully done and appears well thought out. Simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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