farmhouse kitchen apples

When you write a blog and you style your kitchen with apples and random metal trays and there are wire cloches and stacks of plates and bird’s nests everywhere, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes.

I get it.

I understand.

The plates used to be in one place and now they are in a basket.  You reach for a cutting board and discover it has four new friends.  There are leather sleeves on the mason jars and the measuring cups are having a getting-ready-to-bake convention half-way across the room.

My husband has a name for this.

It’s called freshy decorating.

kitchen farmhouse style

I’m not sure exactly where he came up with that term.  It just showed up one day.  Actually I think the exact quote was, “Why do we have to have so much freshy decorating around here?”


Freshy decorating?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that referred to on HGTV before.

And I’m pretty sure there’s not a DIY Network show called “Freshy Decorators and the Houses That Love Them.”

farmhouse kitchen organization

When he first said it, I remember staring at him blankly.

Willing him to go on.

Willing him to explain the almost unexplainable, yet oddly almost understandable term, “freshy decorating.”

kitchen organization ideas

“Can you explain it to me?” I asked him.

He just stared back at me and shrugged and said, “You know.  It’s like when the decorating takes over the house.  When there’s freshy stuff everywhere.”

Then he paused and stated with great dramatic emphasis:

“Seriously.  It’s like nothing ever stays in the same place.  I can’t ever find anything.  And it’s all…well…it’s all so freshy.”


I see.

That’s what freshy decorating is.

farmhouse kitchen picture

And after that discussion I tried to unfreshy everything when I could.

When I remembered.

When I thought of it.

But sometimes when you least expect it, a little freshy shows up.

The other day I walked into the kitchen to find him searching frantically for a utensil.

He had a bowl of Cheerios and milk in his hand and he couldn’t find a spoon.

I simply walked across the room to the metal cart with the mason jars holding the silverware and pointed.

kitchen organization utensils

“Here they are,” I said. “See, I put them right next to the bowls.  I even labeled them with the cutest chalkboard labels.”

He sighed the sigh of someone with a bowl of Cheerios who is married to a blogger with never-ending brilliant ideas.

“What was I thinking.”  he said.  “Of course they’re over here.”

And then he paused and smiled, “They had to go all freshy with the knives and forks.”

Shhhh….don’t tell him, but I just moved the plates, too. 🙂

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  1. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    I love "freshy decorating". I am definitely guilty of this. My husband empties the dishwasher and I have told him if he does not know where something goes to leave it on the drying mat on the counter. Many times I notice that there are half the items from the dishwasher left out because he is not sure where I put them now. My response is that it keeps things life interesting!

  2. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I love seeing the photos of your kitchen through your new camera lens. It is like putting puzzle pieces together to see the whole picture. You must be so excited with the results.

  3. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    OH, Miz karianne......YOU are the most "freshy" thing I know! It must be exhausting to try to keep up with you! Heck! It must be exhausting BEING YOU!! Okay, now you must excuse me while I go give a love tap to my silverware drawer for having the fortitude to stay put in it's place....LOL And then I'll make a cup of hot tea, sit and relax a spell while I contemplate how I desperately need to freshy up my living space.....

  4. Image for Susan Susan

    Oh.MY.Goodness. You are married to a Saint, because I could not even begin to think what would have happened in our house if I had moved things around with my late husband, especially if I had moved the silverware. Enough said.

  5. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    So funny! I've made some freshy changes in the kitchen myself this year...I want it to be decorative, but more functional, too. Since it's not a big space, I want it to be beautifully useful. Your kitchen/dining room is really gorgeous...and it looks so organized, too!

  6. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Oh I love this! Love, love, love your kitchen as always. Don't think I didn't notice the wide angle shot with that new lens. My husband likes to continually ask, "Is this going on the blog?" Except, now he does it whenever I'm doing anything...placing the laundry basket on the bed filled with clothes that need folding...putting the towels up on the shelf in the bathroom...setting the table for dinner...plunging the toilet (sad...but true). Poor men married to bloggers. I tell him he has the pleasure of living in my world. :) Have a great day friend! Nancy

  7. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Yes. Freshy. It's a cute word and all and I'm guessing it might just take on a life of its own in the world of decorating and he's such a great guy for being OK with not seeing the spoons right away, even though they were right next to the bowls...but, Karianne, I just get past that gorgeous farmhouse of yours! And it's so much fun to see all the projects come together in one shot!! Beautiful. And freshy. ;-)

  8. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    My husband calls it playing house. I love moving things around for a "new look" but it drives him crazy. Loved seeing your kitchen. Thank you.

  9. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Finally! I can explain to my husband my decorating REarranging. I love my "freshy" decorating. Your post made me laugh out loud! I love your blog! One of my favorites.

  10. Image for Mary booth Mary booth

    I love your freshy ideas. I love reading your blog and all of your white throughout! I've "stolen" so many ideas! We both collect milk glass!! Your my fav blogger!!

  11. Image for Linda Linda

    Hilarious! I cleaned house one weekend when my husband was gone for business and rearranged the living room. He arrived home after dark, walked into the room and fell over a chair! My bad. I was being "freshy" and didn't even know it. ;-) Loved your post. Have a happy day.

  12. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    My husband can't get anything in the right place even if it has been there for five years! Oh well, he has some superlative traits too. We will keep him

  13. Image for Shelley Summerville Shelley Summerville

    Cracking up- I can completely picture my husband doing that! Haha! Ok, and can you please help me redesign my kitchen? Yours is amazing. It just confirms to me how much I love the bright white and the different shades of white you use are stunning. You have such a beautiful gift- thank you for sharing it with us each day! I'm getting ready to redo our ugly kitchen- hopefully in about 10 months- trying to start getting ideas and information. I think it would be so fun for your blog to have you come and do a renovation with me!! Thistlewood Farm tackles SummerVilla Farm's kitchen! I tried with Joanna and Chip- no such luck, can't blame me for trying again, can you? :)

  14. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Hahaha! Love it!! I had to quit moving furniture so often because of my husband's falling over things in the dark!! I must have been a bit freshy and didn't know it!!

  15. Image for laura{not a trophy wife} laura{not a trophy wife}

    Too funny! My {first} husband is exasperated on any given day because I spend a late night "organizing" and coming up with new phrases like "breakfast station." I recognize that tray of utensils! I am OCD about moving stuff around! love it! laura

  16. Image for Linda J Linda J

    I'm not married anymore. My ex would only say "Here she goes again." when the redo would start. Though not related, I'm not too awful freshy anymore either. Now I forget where I put things!!!! lol

  17. Image for gail gail

    Men! heheheh your kitchen is soooo beautiful and bright! Mine is so dark and gloomy. :( You've done such a great job making it "freshy" gail

  18. Image for Sherry Sherry

    You just keep right on freshy decorating. We love it! We understand it completely. If you stopped, it would take the freshy out of life. And who wants to live a stale life?! Sherry

  19. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Ha!!! Hilarious! But I bet Mr. Thistlewood is a real trooper! My attempts at creating a lifestyle blog also get the "freshy" goes something like this, "Oh, so we're eating here for a post...hurry up please, my steak is getting cold!" Ah, my love. :)

  20. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Good Morning! I love your kitchen and house. I could live there. By the way, you have an apple that needs to be eaten. Your blog is the first thing I look at before beginning my day. It just makes me happy. Stephanie

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Ha. I noticed the apple too, and thought, hmm, time to bake! Your husband is blessed with patience. Mine would kill me if I moved things as frequently as you do ... although when he empties the dishwasher (bless his little heart), I always feel like I am on a search and rescue mission for all my kitchen goods. Wondering if it's part of the Y chromosome to put the biggest mixing bowl on TOP of all the smaller bowls ... good thing I love him! ;)

  21. Image for Pam Pam

    You labeled them!!! How can he miss them if they have a cute chalkboard label on them? I wonder what he thinks about your linen bags hanging from the glass drying rack :)

  22. Image for Jean McGee Jean McGee

    The last three lines were a laugh - out - loud. Thanks for the laugh this early in the day. My husband had to pretty much take over "kitchen duties".....There are many times I cannot find I stand there and ask myself: "Now where would he put it (that makes no sense to me)?" :) His favorite cutting board stays out on the counter. When I do put it away - where it belongs, he asks me WHERE is my cutting board? :) :) I sooooooooooooo enjoy you and your blog and your home. Jean McGee

  23. Image for Gail Gail

    My husband tell everyone that he has to put the lights on when he comes home because he never knows where the furniture is going to be. He has fallen on his rump quite a few times.. ha ha

  24. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

    Lol! I freshy things all the time to the eternal and never ending consternation of my husband and daughter! They appear to take it as a personal affront. My son, on the other hand, treats these frequent bouts of freshy as if they are a challenge or a game to be won. I'll walk into the kitchen (bath, laundry, living room) to find him doing a slow, 360 degree turn with a look of fierce concentration on his face. He'll throw up a hand in a " Stop! in the name of love!" gesture and say "Don't tell me!" as he takes a visual inventory of the room. If he finds the.....whatever it is.....he grins gleefully and does a little gig. If he has to admit defeat, he's bummed out. He isn't defeated often. Kind of scary how much he can think like me. It seems that he really enjoys the "If I were Mama, where would I have moved it to THIS time" game. The other two enjoy the game......well, not so much. Lots of exasperated sighs and scowling faces from those two. Funny thing though......most of my urge to freshy comes from trying to find the best way to organize things. I'm pretty sure that there is a perfect system out there somewhere and the entire universe is conspiring against me to keep me from finding it! The search continues!

  25. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    This is too funny! I just can't rearrange things in my kitchen, and get all freshy! I wouldn't be able to find anything! I once found my hubby, dear man that he is, when he was newly retired...he was rearranging my kitchen! I said would you like it if I rearranged all your tools for you? He never touched it ever again! it! ;)

  26. Image for Susan Susan

    haha...methinks your hubby is unwittingly starting a trend here...everyone's going to be talking about "freshy decorating" about a huge backfire...he's going to do some major facepalms when he finds this out! You are really working that new camera lens! Gosh, your kitchen is sooooooo beautiful!

  27. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Your husband says "freshy" decorating. My husband says he's "death" in one ear and when I try to correct him and say you mean deaf, he says yeah, death. I want to scream. Lol

  28. Image for Shawn Shawn

    Karianne, once again you had me laughing right out loud. Thank you for that, and your husband for that fresh new term, freshy decorating. Pretty sure my husband is another one who can identify. He came home recently, noticed the new drapes in the master bedroom and asked, "Oh new drapes - because it's Sunday?" I just nodded. Freshy.

  29. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    This post was so cute! Your kitchen is beautiful, and it looks so freshy. (I mean that in a very good way) I tend to freshy up my art/craft/library studio often, only to search hours sometimes, because I don't recall where I put something. So,I can sympathize with your husband. But if freshy decorating means we are making the room look even better than it was ,I'm all for that!!! I'll have to start putting labels on stuff, like you have, maybe I could use arrows pointing to things too. Good idea!

  30. Image for Stacey Stacey

    He makes up words to describe what's happening at the moment and I'm pretty sure that's a sign of brilliance. :) I took the jar of utensils off our counter 4 months ago and my husband still hasn't recovered. He has to look in the drawer now! Of all things.

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

    I think I understand -- only my Honey does it to me under the guise of organization. I can never find anything -- I threaten to attack his garage and tools but he still keeps doing it. This really keeps me on my toes. But I do have a question -- what is "never-dnding brilliant ideas" because I think I might be afflicted with that too :-( Big hugs to you in your freshy decorated house.

  32. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Oh my goodness...that's SO funny!! Husbands have that way about them sometimes, don't they!!? That's what we love about them.... Thanks for sharing - that made my day!

  33. Image for sandi magle sandi magle

    LOL, my hubby can't find the things that have been in the same place since 1984....? what would happen if I moved ANYTHING??? Freshy---too funny. Perhaps we need to cut it back a bit...ya think, lol. Sandi

  34. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Perhaps you should consider buying a second set of "decorative" utensils (you could "thrift" some) and leave the everyday silverware in a drawer where he can find it? That's what I would do...because I need hubby's help for my various projects, and he's not always enthusiastic, (because like you, I have more ideas than I can possibly implement) so I don't want to aggravate good ole handyman hubby, ha, ha, ha. Just sayin. I'm a creature of habit, about some the corner cabinet in my kitchen, which is where one can always find a glass,...or the cabinet next to the stove, which is where I keep the plates, and serving bowls for convenience sake...also the silverware drawer, but the other things are apt to move on a whim, or as life's needs demand. For instance, I moved a set of polka dotted juice glasses down several shelves to be more accessible, when I disvovered that my granddaughter was climbing onto the counter in order to reach the "pretties" that she could see on the top shelf. When it comes to decorative items, I'm always moving things around, and changing them with the seasons and holidays. I thought I was going to leave all my Valentine decor up until the end of February, but today I found myself decorating for Spring and Easter. It's 75 degrees here. Beautiful weather! BTW: I'm enjoying the full pictures of your kitchen, and I have a better understanding of the orientation of it now. I still love your recipe plate rack!

  35. Image for Barbara Mawdsley Barbara Mawdsley

    We got a new fridge two weeks ago. The configuration is nothing like our old one. I spent one morning getting everything arranged and labeled. He didn't "notice" the labels and just started putting things in anywhere. I see, now, that certain things gravitate to certain shelves so I am now rearranging the labels. Some things you just can't fight. His redeeming traits include doing the dishes by hand and fixing my computer. I am from the generation that kept your furniture forever. We are fortunate to have hardwood floors from the 1970's and the same braided wool rug from about 1972.

  36. Image for Heather Heather

    I can relate. My hubby does the same thing. He also knows when I'm about to blog about or share a space on social media because the room gets an extra dose of cleaning. :)

  37. Image for Becky Becky

    LOL!!! I don't have a blog and I STILL do it! My husband goes through the same thing on a daily basis. He tries so hard to pay attention! When he comes home from work, he usually spends a minute or 2 looking around to see whats changed. He'll think he has me, when he says, "Oh! I like that." Then I feel bad when I have to tell him its been there for 2 months. I give him an E for effort, but don't ask him where anything is. :)

  38. Image for Jane Jane

    You are so cute and I think your guy totally 'gets' you. My man can't find anything in the kitchen even though it's never moved in 25 years!! Thanks for your are a busy gal but so thoughtful! :) Jane

  39. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I love your kitchen! It's so darn cute!! I'm always changing things too. My husband never knows what to expect. If i could only stay out of the thrift stores, but i can't. I think stuff is going to keep changing :))) Kathy

  40. Image for Linda Linda

    What a fun term for an oh so common occurrence in my home, yours and I am sure many others as we feed our creative make our home even better bug! Your husband is a good sport. Mine is too with all the rearranging! Linda

  41. Image for Lourdes Garcia Lourdes Garcia

    Love the barn door idea and those pretty trees from Hobby Lobby. Thanks for the tip of using wood blocks to add height... Running down to look thru hubby's pile of scrap wood! Your house is beautiful! Loving the pics with ur new camera lense!

  42. Image for Christine Christine

    I was reading, reading, then burst out laughing when you confessed you moved the plates. He's going to start thinking it's an evil plot. Have you considered moving his socks?

  43. Image for Debbie from MountainMamaOnline Debbie from MountainMamaOnline

    You're such a riot and I always laugh out loud when I'm reading your posts!! Your poor hubby and kids - I'm sure they get a little frustrated at times living with an incredible decorating genius such as yourself!! But oh well, that's the price they have to pay for living with greatness!! :)

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