farmhouse kitchen organization

The other day I posted pictures of my kitchen.

The sun was shining and I got a new lens and I wanted to tell a story about freshy decorating, so I just picked up the camera and started snapping away.

I think I straightened a few things and folded the towels and did the dishes, but I didn’t really change much before I took these pictures.

That day was just me and my kitchen and some sunshine.

kitchen farmhouse style

And just between us, when I finished taking the pictures and editing them, I was so all about the kitchen.

It’s nothing fancy, really.  Those metal bowls came from Wal-Mart and I have laminate counter tops and white appliances and a hutch came from someone’s garage and an island from IKEA.

And the kitchen table came from a yard sale with one of the best negotiation stories ever.

kitchen organization ideas

But in the pictures I was editing?

It looked fancy.

And high end.

And farmhouse.

Kind of like Little House on the Prairie meets the Real Housewives of Kentucky.


And I was so all about it, that laminate counter, white appliance, yard sale finding table of mine.

You could hold your own at a fancy kitchen convention, I told it.

Mentally I patted it on the back and high-fived it and gave it a hug.

farmhouse kitchen apples

And so I wrote my story and edited my pictures and posted the post on the blog.

Then I went about the rest of the day.  I worked online and went to the grocery store and cheered at a basketball game and bought paper plates for a school project from the dollar store.

And that night when I got home I was reading the post again and noticed this.

Can you see it?

Oh no.

Look at the apples.


What was I thinking with that smashed in, sunken, mashy-looking apple?


Here’s another picture just in case you wanted a close-up.

I looked away.

Then I looked again.

And all that kitchen amazingness faded away as a I stared at that apple.  In that moment, my kitchen didn’t look fancy anymore.  It looked kind of pitiful to me.  My heart sunk and I went all tunnel vision with the mushy produce on the table.

Why is that?

Why do we sometimes focus on the one tiny imperfection when there is so much good around us?

Why do we concentrate on what is wrong instead of what is right?

Why do we let one rotten apple spoil the bunch?


farmhouse white roses

I almost edited the photo to edit out the rotten part of the apple.

But in the end, I left it.

I want to remind myself that my kitchen is so much more than mushy apples.

It’s incredible and wonderful and thrifty and loved.

And it’s not going to let a little produce define who it is.


It’s going to remove the mushy part, focus on simply being amazing….

….and make a little apple pie. 🙂

PS  I have the BEST crust in the entire world that’s so easy to make if you want to make a pie out of your apples, too.

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  1. Image for Ana Maria Ana Maria

    Your kitchen is beautiful! I applaud you for having white appliances! Your kitchen and your house are special because they reflect YOUR taste, definitely not cookie cutter. Keep on keeping it real!

  2. Image for Missy Missy

    HAHAHAHA! I did not notice the apple until you pointed it out. I was too busy coveting the hutch and thinking about the wonderful edge on the white, round tray.

  3. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    You were the only one who probably noticed. Typical. I am the same way. I can focus on one little flaw and it can drive me crazy. Definitely trying to go with the flow more. I will let you know if it ever works! Thanks for the pie crust recipe. Looks like a keeper.

  4. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    First off I want to thank your for the pictures of your We are redoing our kitchen and I'm on a hunt for ideas and of course your kitchen is a treasure chest of fresh ideas. I love the fact that it's not huge and over done. It's on the smaller side and has a soul that gets lost in over sized kitchens.

  5. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I have white appliances too! So much easier to keep looking clean than stainless or black. Your kitchen is beautiful...rotten apple and all. ;-) I never noticed your counters were Formica. Never would if you hadn't pointed it out! There's a whole lot of gorgeous going on in that kitchen! PS The pie crust recipe sounds yummy! Butter makes everything better, right?

  6. Image for Peg Peg

    I think if we took a poll, hardly anyone would have noticed that silly old apple! I simply adore your kitchen, bad apple and all!! Love, love!! : )

  7. Image for Holly McCall {McCall Manor} Holly McCall {McCall Manor}

    Bhahahahahahaha! I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I love that you ended up not editing the photos. I read the 'freshy decorating' post and drooled over your kitchen and NEVER NOTICED THE APPLES! When I was growing up and would worry about small details my grandmother would say "It'll never be noticed on a galloping horse and that it the only kind of horse you ride." Keep galloping Karinne and no one will notice the apples!

  8. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Oh I can just hear Donny Osmond and his brothers from back in my day lending some advice in there song... One Bad Apple Don't Spoil The Whole Bunch Girl!!! Here ya go... I'll be singing this all day...thanks to you! :)

  9. Image for Leslie Leslie

    We all have that one mushy apple that threatens to spoil the rest! So glad you made apple pie out of it. Just between you and me...the Pillsbury ready made pie crust is much easier...Don't tell anyone! hahaha! and Love! Love! Love! your kitchen! It's winning the best kitchen award right now!

  10. Image for Sharon S Sharon S

    Hah, that is funny because that was the first thing that really stuck in my head from that post because your photos are always "picture" perfect. Too funny, you're human....

  11. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    This is a great post and thought for the day! That apple is keeping it real for all of us...we all have those (or rotten bananas) in our kitchens occasionally. Love this post, your new lens, your kitchen, AND your attitude. And thanks to Holly for that fabulous quote. I'm writing that one down. It's a keeper! Have a blessed day!

  12. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    And so is life. We can either focus on what is good and be happy or focus on the negative and be miserable. The world would be a much nicer place if everyone could focus more on the good and less on the bad apple in the bunch. LOVE your optimistic look at life. I love the farmhouse too.

  13. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    I'm glad you didn't edit it out. Things don't have to be perfect in order to be good. I used to play the piano when I was young and I was good. Good enough that my teacher wanted to groom me to be a concert pianist. But there was one problem. I thought I had to be perfect. So much so that when it came time to perform I would freeze because I was afraid I might make a mistake. Every single time. Not once did I perform for an audience. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for leaving the apple, Karianne, and for reminding us that things don't have to be perfect to be good. And, by the way, I never noticed it until you pointed it out ;-)

  14. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    I didn't even notice it! To be honest, I glance at the pictures...but your writing captures my attention and that's what I remember. I love your kitchen. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Your home's heart is fresh and clean. I'm happy the apple didn't ruin it for you. Just for know, historically the apple has been depicted as a symbol of darkness. Adam and Eve (although apple isn't in the Bible), Snow White etc...Now look at the back of your phone... I still love my i-Phone. :) Have a good day.

  15. Image for Susan Susan

    I am so happy that you are so NORMAL. One little old apple makes you look like a happy lady and that life really does go on--even with a bad apple or two. So glad you have Formica countertops--a huge opinionated discussion at this house when we remodeled the kitchen. Mommsie won--I have Formica, it is doing just fine. And we all congregate in the kitchen as much as we can. You go girl!

  16. Image for MAH MAH

    You are a hoot! Love the new camera lens, it picks up all the good and the bad if there is any, BUT that is life and I for one love the rotten apple. It let's me know you are really human, really not superwoman, like we think you are. You are a rockstar for sure, rotten apple and all. Love you.

  17. Image for AnnMarie AnnMarie

    Truthfully, I never even noticed the apples at all, period, let along the one mushy apple. Your kitchen is gorgeous and lovely, and thank you so much for this post! It's a very timely reminder.

  18. Image for Velia Velia

    Your home is so lovely, with the white appliances, laminated counters and mushy apples. You inspire me by being your own person and finding the positive and humor in life, even when given rotten apples. For the record I too have white appliances and laminated counters; it is what transpires in the kitchen which is important.

  19. Image for Winnie Winnie

    Beautiful, Karianne. You make me miss my antiqueing and "find" days in Bucks County, PA, and the East in general. I am so grateful I lived there and we had so much fun on the weekends doing what we loved!

  20. Image for Barb Barb

    Thanks Kari, I needed that today. Good to readjust our lens and refocus on the big picture. Studying the Armor of God with Priscilla Shirer and I am being shown how we can be lead to see things not as God sees them; we can be deceived in seeing or believing we are a sum of our imperfections. Your post was so timely! Love it! Love you! YOu'll always be fancy in my eyes!!

  21. Image for Wendy Wendy

    Hi, So, you are right the kitchen looks amazing. Sometimes when I read blogs I think how can these people seem so perfect but than I think this must be staged. What the mushy apple does is say this is real and guess what "we all have mushy apples in our lives". Here is to keeping it REAL!!!!

  22. Image for Terri Terri

    lololol... choking on my breakfast bar!!!! Laughing so hard!!!!!!!!!! Your "Lead Story Lines" which always are taking us somewhere GOOD.... crack me up... Every Single Time!!!!!! BUT... oh the truth in this post!!!!!!!!!!! :) .... the kitchen is GORGEOUS.... the one apple adds "Character" ... :)

  23. Image for katzcradul katzcradul

    Subscribers to my Youtube channel always comment about how real I am. I never edit out my mistakes. I laugh, acknowledge them, and then move one. They say it makes me real and approachable. I love people like you who are authentic too. If we're honest, we'd all have to admit we've had a rotten apple in our apple bowl! ; )

  24. Image for Tish Tish

    So sweet:) Your creativity is amazing and I just think you have "it" altogether. You are so right - we always need to find the best in everything and everyone. Amazing how all the good apples made the mushy one look better too:)

  25. Image for Tracey B Tracey B

    Your beautiful words never fail to draw me in Karianne. That one mushy apple is in good company with my 3 spotty bananas , which reminds me, why will my children only eat perfectly yellow bananas - I think they taste so much better when the skin gets get a few brown blemishes!

  26. Image for Mary Mary

    That little bruised apple is about life. If all were perfect we would be living in an artificial world. That little apple keeps us grounded and know that the world isn't a perfect place - I pefer it that way. We can open any design catalog and see models with perfect hair and nails and make-up and I say to myself that wouldn't work for me. So, I'm glad you left that little apple right where it belonged - with his other apple friends. :)

  27. Image for Jayne McLeod Jayne McLeod

    YOU are such a delight .... what a beautiful RED those apples are !!! .... and what a lovely kitchen you have. Jayne

  28. Image for Carol Carol

    Your kitchen is you. Special, down to earth and to your liking. You are a good mother, wife and child of God. I live in a house that was built in 1859 and when we moved in it looked like one of the fixer up houses. Now it is comfortable and we love it. I loved what your daughter said about her bed. what a great compliment to you. Have a wonderful day,

  29. Image for Kim Kim

    Thanks for the reminder. The other day my husband complimented me on my shoes and asked if they were new. Did I focus on the compliment or the fact that I've had them for years and wear them all the time? Next time I'll smile sweetly and say thank you.

  30. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I did the same thing the other day for my last post. I took my pictures and was looking at them and noticed that the vacuum is visable in one picture. I didn't take it out or take a new picture, I just left it. This is real life. I love your kitchen and we all have mushy apples sometimes:):)

  31. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    KariAnne, I noticed the apple the other day... but all I thought as, 'ah, she's just like me... she has mushy fruit sometimes too..." and it made me love you all the more! Your photos are beautiful!

  32. Image for Lela Lela

    Karianne, please tell me there is a tutorial somewhere on this awesome blog for that wall plate rack with the recipe behind it. I am swooning over it!

  33. Image for Kathy Kathy

    All I saw was a whole lot of beautiful. Love your unique kitchen, not cookie cutter like everyone else but oh so wonderful.

  34. Image for Benita Benita

    Great post...and I didn't even notice the bashed, mushy apple until you pointed it out.....LOL. We are all our own worst critics...while everyone else sees the beauty, we focus on the mole. :-) Hugs!

  35. Image for Kitty Kitty

    This may be a repeat of what someone else shared. The apple in your post was the *Persian Flaw*. The ancient Persian rug makers believed that "perfection" was reserved for God alone. To show their humility and respect they deliberately put a "mistake" somewhere in their rug pattern. Strangely, the Navajo Indians did the same with their rugs and blankets. Our family gets a kick out of labeling our "oops" moments as Persian Flaws.

  36. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    Hey that just shows you are normal!!! Really your pictures are like awesome and so perfect and you would never know that you live their and have kids. So you are excused to have one rotten apple. Your floors and everything is perfect. Love your kitchen and basically your whole house!!! I live by myself now and mine isn't as spotless as yours…just saying !!!!

  37. Image for PC PC

    I think your kitchen is great. White goes with everything and I am way too messy for a fancy-dancy kitchen. There may be dog toys, magazines, a tablet, and coffee cups present most days. Cut the bad spot out of that apple and roll on.

  38. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh no, I hope I didn't make you self-conscious with my comment about needing to bake the apple--I'm on the constant lookout for food that needs to be eaten before it goes bad. A mushy apple makes a kitchen better, in my opinion, because while it's nice to look at pretty kitchens, it's even better to make tasty food in them. And for what it's worth ... we re-did our kitchen 2 years ago--I kept our white appliances because they still worked and I didn't want to spend the additional money to replace them, and also because I think, in my small kitchen, the white cabinets and the white appliances blend in better together. We used beaded board for our backsplash--inexpensive and LOVE how it looks--and laminate countertops (we got higher-end ones and spent a little more for them to have a pretty edge). I am (ahem) old enough to have seen a lot of decorating trends come and go. If I want to replace these in 20 years to update our kitchen, I won't feel bad about having spent a lot of money on them the first time around. I love how you make your home look high-end on a budget and I am trying to do the same thing here. :)

  39. Image for Shonee Shonee

    The funny thing is I didn't even notice the mushy apple. Most people probably didn't notice it. I totally understand how one little thing can ruin the whole day. It's best to just let it go! Thanks! Shonee

  40. Image for Lucie Lucie

    Karianne As we say in Scotland "you are a tonic". I love reading your blog but this one made me laugh out loud. Keep doing what you are doing, I look forward to the next post.

  41. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I did notice the smooshed apple in the first go-round. And you know what? It took the pressure off and made me feel like maybe I could possibly achieve the look I want to try for. It encouraged me that I don't have to do it perfectly after-all! So...thank you for the imperfect apple! Now I'm ready to begin.

  42. Image for Trine Trine

    This is such a cool post. I think the apple story totally makes this post so much more interesting. Much more human and inspiring. ...and the kitchen... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.... Greetings Trine

  43. Image for Brandy Low Brandy Low

    I love you Karianne!!! I truly mean that! I love you!! When I am having a rotten day and am focused and overwhelmed by my disorganized, dirty, broken down house you help me see things from a very different perspective and it changes my whole day... and my mind and my heart!!!! It gives me hope to try harder. To be willing to work diligently and dig through the mess to bring out the pretty, the loved and the cherished things I SO easily overlook! Thank you for being real and for helping me in such a powerful way!! I needed this today.

  44. Image for Debra Debra

    From a white-appliance, laminate counter sister who adores her own humble kitchen, we make our own happiness. Thanks for putting a daily smile on my face.

  45. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi KariAnne, "one bad apple don't stop no show". Is that how the grammatically incorrect saying goes? Or does the saying have to do with a monkey? Well, whatever the say... it applies to apples too-lol. Honestly, I never even noticed the bad apple until you said so. I was too busy soaking up all the pictures of your glorious kitchen. Your kitchen is definitely my favorite room in your house. Beautiful photos and I'm loving the new lens. Have a nice rest of the week.

  46. Image for Debbie W Debbie W

    First can I say that I am LOVING your new lens and how much of your amazing home it shows!! Since I started following your blog, I have been trying to picture it as a whole... wanting more and now I have it! And of course what a great story. A great reminder that when life gives you lemons, you can always make lemonade!

  47. Image for Michele Michele

    BRAVO!!!! I LOVE this post. It is so real. Which is why I love your blog. Quite frankly, I'm really tired of all the perfection we see all over pinterest and in magazines and...well, you get the point! I live in my house. It's a reality that it isn't perfect. I'm not going to photograph the mess and dirty floors, but I'm going to be honest with myself that it is impossible to be perfect. None of us are, and that's what makes us special. I love the apples. Especially the bruised and rotting one. ;)

  48. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Oh my! That is why you are the detail person and I am not. I never saw that Apple spoilin' away to ruin your day. Please don't let it, but I'm glad you keep it real even in the details. I love, love your glam kitchen!

  49. Image for Dale Deacon Dale Deacon

    Kitchen is darn inspiring. I did see the apple and it made me smile. It happens to all of us, a apple that gets shuffled and ignored. However your kitchen, bright, sunny, warm, inviting and dreamy. There is no way others can ignore that lovely kitchen!

  50. Image for Michele Riggsbee Michele Riggsbee

    This is why I so love your are honest and human just like the rest of us. I noticed it the other day and just thought you had meant to do it! Thanks for being you, Kari Anne!

  51. Image for Terri @ Designing Wilder Terri @ Designing Wilder

    What a hoot!!! I always notice those things after the fact also! I am sooooo glad you made the choice not to let it bother you! It is an amazing gift to have learned how to take a breath and find a way to look on the bright side! You're the best!

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

    Well you and the apple made my day!! I would have never noticed it if you hadn't had a neon sign and pointed to it. Okay, you didn't quite have a neon sign but I as smiling and reading and thinking of how much I'd like my kitchen to be like that when you snapped me back and brought me to earth. Now -- I think the best part would have been if a little teeny tiny worm would have been poking his head out. Perhaps with sunglasses on. Any critter in your house would have to have a little "tude" as in at-ti-tude!! He'd be grinning and posing for your shot. Yes, indeed that would have been a real hoot. That's Hoosier for really funny. Hope your weather is warming up. Sending hugs.

  53. Image for Judy H. Judy H.

    Could a kitchen be more perfect, more beautiful, more cozy, more fresh than yours? Absolutely not! I love it! would not be nearly so adorable without the smushed apple!

  54. Image for BethF BethF

    Sometimes I feel like that about my whole house. The couch that I found on the side of the road that was my prize find and now needs a good recover, the living room has its woes, the dining room has a hutch that sorely needs a base, and on and on and on. It's become a daily struggle to keep my spirit or just give up and let the house fend for itself! Real decisions.

  55. Image for Carmen Carmen

    Never noticed the apple-how could I-you're kitchen looks great! Had to chuckle though, just threw away a shriveling apple today that's been sitting on my desk all week-it happens! Can you share what your countertop color is called? I love good looking, thrifty decorating. I really don't want to spend big money on new countertops but my old white ones really need to go!

  56. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    What apple??? Oh, the one you just pointed out? Never saw it before, too busy looking at everything else I guess. You have a beautiful kitchen..

  57. Image for Michele @ The Vintage Vixen Michele @ The Vintage Vixen

    I love your kitchen, especially the floors (sa-wooooon), & I doubt I would have even noticed the slightly bruised apple had you not taken such a pretty close up picture of it!!! LOL It is a shame but a part of human nature that we focus on what's wrong or what's missing instead of what is right and what we have. Many years ago I saw Dennis Prager on a talk show talking about "the missing tile" syndrome. It really spoke to me. I try to keep it in check in my own life but it is difficult to do. I guess we do all have one. Here's the link if you are interested: Have a great weekend!!!

  58. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    The day you posted, as I read you story and drooled over your beautiful photos, I never even noticed that mushy apple! Besides, 99% perfection is close enough.

  59. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    You couldn't be more right.....that's the human nature side of us - that looks for the imperfections, that notices things out of place, that looks for what's wrong or what's not good enough - instead of being happy and thankful and feeling blessed with what's around that amazingly beautiful kitchen!! Thank you for the reminder....I'm looking at my own kitchen a little differently today. Happy Friday!

  60. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    That's life. Imperfect. No matter how hard we try. I have perfectionist tendencies, so that one apple would've bothered me too...but I love that you didn't photoshop it, and instead, used it as inspiration for a funny post...and I love that you shared your reaction! How you reacted reveals a lot about you, and makes us love you even more! I was reading through the comments, and I think only one person said that they'd noticed...because we were all dazzled by other details. I was looking at the recipe board, and silently feeling glad that you'd moved the rustic ladder so that I could see it better...and I was appreciating your new camera lens, which has finally given me a proper orientation of your kitchen, as it relates to the adjoining rooms. And, like another reader mentioned, I was noticing the lacey edge of the tray, and noting how it reminded me of one that my mother has in her home (but hers is white). A long time ago, when I had a toddler at home making messes, and my house seemed perpetually dirty to me, my sis-in-law taught me a lesson, by telling me that she would never have noticed "the mess," if I hadn't pointed it out to her. (Most of us would never have noticed the mushy apple.) Now I clamp down on my tongue (that wants to betray me) even while my furtive eyes are darting around. Oh, and I have white appliances too, which I love, because white is a classic...and I also have laminated counters, which I really don't mind. Give your kitchen a warm smile and a hug for me!

  61. Image for erin @ dfmi designs erin @ dfmi designs

    I have been having this realization lately as well and the person who inadvertently pointed it out was my 7 year old. Last week she said that it was the best to be an adult because they get what they want. I scoffed saying that it's not true. Thinking to myself that I wanted to be way more successful and financially stable by now. She replied that I had wanted to have both her and he brother and that I got them. At that moment, my heart melted. I haven't been nearly as thankful for all I do have. I realized I needed to have a little more appreciation for her view point and maybe I wouldn't feel so stressed all the time. Good for you for not editing out that apple. It didn't take away from the kitchen, it just made it REAL.

  62. Image for Julie Julie

    Keeping up with the illusion of perfection is exhausting. How refreshing to see reality in a blog photo ;) I love your laminate/garage sale/IKEA/Walmart kitchen!

  63. Image for Teresa B Teresa B

    I noticed the apple but I wasn't going to say anything ;) I mean who am I to say anything when most of the time I have a rotten banana or two on my countertop. And I hear white appliances are coming back so you're already ahead!

  64. Image for Libby Jo Libby Jo

    Karianne: This post was on my birthday. Here's something I have learned: Perfection is found only in nature. Those apples began as delicate, fragrant flowers, then fruit buds, then wonderful fruit and by the time they arrived at your house, they were ready to be devoured, or made into pie, which is even better! High standards and lofty goals keep us moving, motivated and evolving. Nature keeps us grounded as we are just little blemishes in the much bigger picture! You go, girl. Love your "zing" and your blog!

  65. Image for Jessica Jessica

    I love everything about this! The truth is we should see the best in what we have instead of focusing on the imperfections we feel we need to point out. I love your kitchen and am envious of how open and white it is! One day my house will feel as magical as yours, but for now, I have to add the sparkle myself!

  66. Image for Jane Jane

    Good for you! I have to say though that many readers don't even notice the little imperfections unless we point them out. I try very hard to set a good scene but there is usually something out of place. It happens. Move on. And for you, to apple pie!! :) I love that although you point out that your kitchen has very few 'high end' things, the originality and creative way you have perfected a warm, cozy and family friendly space makes me totally overlook anything others may think of as outdated or not on trend. Pat yourself on the back, girl!!! Jane x

  67. Image for Sheryl Sheryl

    I wish that you could show this blog to all of the teenage girls in the world so they can think about this truth every time they feel not good enough. Not skinny enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough etc. It is a lesson we all need to learn over and over again. BTW, even with formica counter tops, Your kitchen is one of the best! I've seen expensive ones that didn't have the great style of yours. I feel that when we actually design and create the room ourselves that you get a better product and it gives the room soul!

  68. Image for Terie Terie

    Real Housewives of Kentucky? Please tell me that you are taking applications! Love the kitchen pictures !!, it is a reminder of how beautiful "real" kitchens can look!

  69. Image for KATHY B. KATHY B.

    You have such a beautiful house! I did not even notice the one bad apple!..Thanks to the reader who posted Donny Osmond Song!

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