If you’ve ever wondered if I read all the comments on this blog?

I do.

Every. Single. One.

There is gold in those comments.


It’s like having an army of decorators helping you plan out your design.

If you’ve ever commented here—I just wanted to say thank you.

It means the world to me.

And my family room.

Because sometimes a comment makes all the difference.

Here’s the before on the family room.

It is a work in progress.

Always and forever.

All the rooms in this house are.  If it isn’t nailed down, it’s probably going to be re-decorated.

And even nails are subject to change.

Someone commented that I needed a little greenery.

Brilliant idea.

Here’s after I added a little greenery and some baskets.

Then another friend commented that they thought the lamps blocked the pictures.

Brilliant idea number two.

What is that random wire thing behind the couch, someone else commented?

Great insight.

Here’s the same view of the space with only six pictures instead of eight.

It allowed me to move the lamps over.

There are two small tables behind the couch that the lamps are sitting on.

(total aside:  that’s for the commenter who asked me if those were floor lamps).

Someone else commented (it may or may not have been my mother) that there was too much blank space to the left of the seating area.

Brilliant idea number three.

Enter this piece.

It came from this amazing shop downtown called Dumpster Diva.

She has the finds of the century.

I brought a dresser in to her to have her refinish with a new stain and saw this piece.

I bought it.

I had to.

I always listen to my mother.

It came painted this color–kind of a creamy oatmeal.

I just added a few books and a little blue and white.

It’s the perfect place to hold cards and games next to the card playing table on the left.

I brought this rug in from the dining room and switched out the gray one that was there to bring in a little more color.

I’m planning on adding blue and white roman shades to the window between the built-ins and on the french doors on the opposite side of the room.

Here’s the view of the room into the kitchen.

This rug is seriously so pretty.

Here’s a close-up.

It’s a darker navy with a layered pattern of cream and khaki.

I commented to myself that the artwork over the couch was too dark for the room, so I made the artwork over the couch for free.

Brilliant idea number four.

It’s just pressed leaves from the yard on thick foam core board.

I used the existing frames that were already there.

It’s getting closer to cute.


I still need a few more things for the space.

And it’s all due to you and your comments.

Keep them coming.

I love hearing your voice and your talent and your ideas and your suggestions.

Together we decorate. 🙂

PS  If you are looking for any sources of things in this space—you can find them over on my Shop My House page.

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


    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Pam, It's such an easy idea! Just make sure they are dried so they don't "weep" in place. And use thick foam core the depth of the frame! Happy day friend! karianne

  1. Image for Kaheidinger Kaheidinger

    Love all the changes! Brilliant idea to delete some frames so the lamps aren't blocking them. And I love the bright green in the frames they pop better. Love it all!

  2. Image for Lynda Lynda

    The room looks stunning! It is amazing what a little color and greenery can do. I love the farmhouse look but still like a pop of color in a room. Otherwise, I think it looks too plain and drab. Great job so far!

  3. Image for Loryl Loryl

    I 💕💕💕 that you added some blue to this space! And the hutch is perfect for storing games and cards- such a rock star decision!! And the greeenery just makes it look fresh and summery. Win, Win, Win ☺️

  4. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I love all of the changes! The room looks so happy :) Thanks for sharing the comments and the step-by-step photos with applied changes. Happy decorating!!!

  5. Image for Jeannine Garner Jeannine Garner

    I LOVE the room! Are the plants on the coffee table real? I have been looking for some non real plants to go on my back porch.

  6. Image for Renae Renae

    So if it were me...I'd find a way to add trim to the bookcases (where they meet the ceiling). Other than that, I LOVE the additions you've made...I now wish I had a blog so people could comment on my struggles. Maybe you could start a feature? Once a week you post someone's "help me" area and your beautiful readers comment. :) Thanks for keeping it real 100% of the time!

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Renae, You TOTALLY READ MY MIND!!!!!!!!! I'm having my husband add it---kind of continuing the trim that's already there! See what I mean about brilliant comments! Happy day friend! karianne

      1. Image for Tori Tori

        Yay!!! That was my thought too! I noticed there seems to be a vent over the far right bookcase, so didn't know if it would be blocked with adding crown moulding to the top. If so, maybe move it out in front? Whatever, to get that moulding up! It will make the bookcases look much more substantial and built-in. :D Each touch you added made the room come a little more alive. I love to see rooms in progress! We cant all just go redo everything at one time. It's encouraging to see how each addition (&subtraction!) make a difference. You go, girl!

  7. Image for Dianne Dianne

    This room has come a long way, thanks to you and your readers. All the new details are perfect. I especially love that I can see the picture grouping so much better now. Are those ferns totally dried before framing so they don’t ‘weep’ on the glass? Do you insist everyone take their shoes off? Those gorgeous rugs would be hard to keep clean otherwise?

  8. Image for Cynthia L Rogers Cynthia L Rogers

    You are right - brainstorming or networking with decorating ideas is sometimes all it takes. I was bound and determined to hide my annoying horsehair plaster with wallpaper - which I love by the way - until the designer in the wallpaper/paint store said, simply and with conviction "Oh, I have horsehair plaster and I have embraced it all! We paint the walls with a flat finish and use the same paint for the ceiling, which helps hide imperfections." It was transforming, a pivotal moment in renovating our home for sure, and now? I love mine too. EMBRACE!!

  9. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    It looks fab-a-lous!! You are so awesome to listen to your followers. That's just one of the things I love about you.

  10. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Karianne, I love all the changes you have made. The room has more personality now. The new hutch is gorgeous and perfect for your storage needs. Can you do a diy on how you pressed the leaves for your pictures? Also are they permanent or do they disintegrate over time? I’m looking forward to seeing your window coverings. Each thing you add to the room brings another layer of perfection! I can’t believe all you have accomplished since moving in!!!

  11. Image for Andrea Andrea

    It's interesting when you stop to look at all the details. For instance, I tried covering my books with the fake tree wrapping paper like you showed us previously but then I had a hard time finding my books. (I didn't put the labels on the spine). But I love how you just turned your books around so the spine isn't showing and the whites of the inside pages are. What a great tip. I would not have seen it with out your closer look at this room!

  12. Image for Ann Newton Ann Newton

    Wow! The room looks seriously way better. The green leaves prints were the crowning touch! Love your mothers idea of the cabinet too and so useful. I have inexpensive rugs that clean up way better than their expensive counterparts when dogs (2) are involved. Also the guilt is not so great when you want to change them out! Great job!

  13. Image for Kim SV Kim SV

    Love what you have done. Very bright and inviting. What’s the color on your walls? Thinking that might be good for basement remodel we are doing

  14. Image for Peggy Z Peggy Z

    This room is a rock star. Just a few changes made it shine. I love the adddtions of the blue and green, especially the blue. Magazine ready! You are a very talented lady. My living room/family room wants to be just like this when it grows up.

  15. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Love ALL your changes! And, thank you, for taking the time to read all of our comments. You have inspired me this morning... :-) think I'm gonna walk around my house and see what I need to do next!

  16. Image for RW RW

    Many of the rest of us need comments, too. I would love the idea of featuring a reader every now and then on a different section of the blog, so everyone can give comments and suggestions! I realize this may not be what your blog was intended to be. Sigh. I guess you'd also get overwhelmed with awful photos from those of us needing help, whee!!...

  17. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Wow, love the changes and the way you showed us all of them! The hutch is fabulous! What a great find. May try your leaf idea, they look great over the sofa. Keep up the fun posts. Love your blog and style of decorating! Thx for sharing.

  18. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    You, KariAnne have found the true source of advice, your faithful followers! You listen and decide if it is right for your space. Great room again! Love your changes, your house has more joy to add to our lives. Living through your great ideas and enjoying your progress to amazing!

  19. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    I love all the changes. Everything looks amazing. This is such a great size room and you have it decorated so beautifully.

  20. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Love it, girlfriend!! I'm looking to change up my living room. I'm stuck in the green/gold/red phase, and with a gold tile fireplace (circa 1916), I'm thinking more blue and getting rid of the green and red. I'm also thinking of devoting one blog a week to HOME stuff, and maybe I'll get some great advice, too! Thanks for being so inspiring! :)

  21. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I am about to be descended upon by more family. Not complaining! But it means I may or may not have opportunity to comment or even see the posts as the signal where we're going is sparse. Reading your posts will be something to look forward to when I say my tearful "See you next year"s to my last visitors for the summer. I'm so glad (but not surprised) that you read every single comment and appreciate them all so I want YOU to know just how grateful I am to have found Thistlewood Farms so many years ago and what a blessing you and your blog have been in my life. <3

  22. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    So funny... I thought the room was so pretty to begin with (although I would have agreed with your mom about the space on the left, but figured you weren't done yet... and you weren't! ;-) ) But now... Now the space is lovely. The roman shades will be beautiful, too, I'm sure. And those "free prints"... gorgeous! You think they will stay green? (Wondering if you did a little sumpin'-sumpin' to them to keep the fresh looking for the long run). Love that new hutch, too! You are blessed with such a talent, KariAnne!

  23. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Oh and one more thing... Because of you I tackled and conquered painting some unloved pieces of my furniture. I also found some gems in local thrift shops that got painted too. In the past, I would have made due with what I had or bought a piece pre-finished (and would have spent a lot more to boot!). Not only that, I quit using my wall over my sewing machine as a peg board (I bought an actual pegboard haha) AND have plans to convert my office armoire into a sewing cabinet. There's plenty of room in it for all my sewing projects. You're my decorating guru!

  24. Image for Valerie Reynolds Valerie Reynolds

    Wow...you just took that room up a whole notch...well quite a few notches!!! Amazing what greenery does to a room!

  25. Image for Judy MacDonald Judy MacDonald

    It looks amazing. Sometimes we get so used to the way things are that we need someone else to look with fresh eyes.

  26. Image for Pat Pat

    That rug is gorgeous, and love those leaf prints, you are one clever lady. Your house is looking so beautifully comfortable! Pat

  27. Image for Linda Linda

    Whoa! Amazing what a few simple changes can make! And that rug in there looks spectacular. Getting close to perfection. (Total aside...I bought a new chair and sofa for my living room Saturday! Yay me!) Have a great day!

  28. Image for PJ PJ

    I love the step-by-step evolution of the room. What a warm welcoming space it is! It gives me hope and lots of ideas for my own space.

  29. Image for Susan Ronnfeldt Susan Ronnfeldt

    SERIOUSLY!! It looks like a totally different room. I LOVE it! I liked it before, but now it has so much personality! Fabulous! Great job, putting all those comments into action!

  30. Image for Annn C Annn C

    Ok so this room isn’t the Room you just put new curtains in. Right? But the sofas and chairs look familiar/similar. Can we see the two rooms side by side? Love your taste and that you share so much. When I don’t have time to sit and read for long I make a point of enjoying your blog every afternoon.

  31. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    There's a song from the 50's that says "Little Things Mean A Lot". And is that so true. Removing two of the pictures and replacing the six that remained with green and white makes a world of difference. And trading out the rug, which is gorgeous , makes a big statement. I could cook up a storm in your kitchen with that room as my view. You have an eye for goodies found in out if the way places and good reused stores. Love your post and your stories.

  32. Image for Joan Sommerfield Joan Sommerfield

    Well, you have made a lot of good progress, however for me, to finish it off and anchor the room it needs a touch of a warm color. Yellow, red, cantaloupe.. or...whatever suits you. By just using a few bits of any one of these it would also be easy to change them out as the seasons change. Always fun to read your posts 💕

  33. Image for Susan Susan

    LOVE the pressed greenery idea! I may or may not be stealing that for behind my sofa. I'm looking at my room and it needs a little greenery, too!

  34. Image for Elaine Elaine

    It looks WONDERFUL!!! I love it all😊😊 I do however have a comment, shoot me down in flames if you want to Karianne. I adore every bit of your wonderful home but, it has struck me that, there is no sign of the family who live there on the pictures you post, is this intentional? No pictures of your loved ones, no graduation photos, no great grandma or grandpa, no drawings or art your children may have drawn etc etc. While it looks picture perfect for us to see, it can look a bit soulness. Have you ever thought of introducing a family tree on a wall somewhere in your home with family pictures? Or something to show who lives there. Again, I do adore your "look" because I have introduced some of your ideas in my own home. this is not a criticism, just an observation and question. Luv and hugs x

  35. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I love love your new china cabinet you got for your blank wall. The detail is amazing!!! I love the rest of the room too😀😮

  36. Image for JoGal JoGal

    Thank you for photographing the room from all angles. It gives us, the reader, a better 3-dimensional view of your lovely room!!!

  37. Image for Crystal Crystal

    What a major difference a "few tweaks" make to the over-all feel of a space! Love, LOVE and ADORE the new botanical art. If it's Free...it's for me! :) (besides it looks so good there) The new hutch fills that space without feeling heavy and moving that rug was genius, just the right amount of color. Love the new (old) direction you're taking by going back a bit in time and adding blue. It works in this house. And greenery for the win. Thank you as always, for taking us along for your ride.

  38. Image for Pam Pam

    Absolutely beautiful. Watch out. We might all be sending photos of rooms and asking for readers comments. Let me know when you want my first ones. 😉

  39. Image for Edie Edie

    I really enjoy reading your posts and seeing your beautiful home. It looks so inviting. Have a great afternoon. Happy July 4th early.

  40. Image for Mary Mary

    Love the addition of color in your spaces. The new cabinet is a beauty. As I look at it it close, I’m wondering if a tray or something would add to the vignette. Something feels a tad sparse or lonely. I use a lot of trays when working with clients. I prop them as well as fill. Love the magic of trays! I also use greens to add texture and that extra pop of fresh color. I’m very particular about the quality of my greens. I want them to look like the real deal. Your room is beautiful...very inviting...we could have tea...no “sweet” tea though😉!

  41. Image for Nita Nita

    Brilliant moves! I love everything you've done and it looks so much better. Isn't it funny how just a few changes make a room look different?

  42. Image for Lorri RAUSCHER Lorri RAUSCHER

    Hi Karianne...I love the progress of yr room..it gets better and better with each revision.😆 That box on top of the Hutch ..does it open? If it does....wouldnt some fresh/dried hydragenas look nice in them? Just a little pip of color way up there.. Love yr blue accents...😊

  43. Image for Gail Gail

    It is amazing what a single comment can do. A number of years ago I used an online design service. The result was really not my style (furniture, lighting, etc.) but they did happen to suggest that I change the color to a soft blue. At first I wasn't thinking of that at all but the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. I finally painted my bedroom (which had been a pale green) a fabulous blue (Benjamin Moore Tranquility) and I have been IN LOVE with it ever since. Even though I didn't use any other suggestions the one comment to repaint was worth the amount of the design session. And I have built off that one change. You just never know!!!

  44. Image for Lynne Lynne

    Love to see how your family room is evolving! It is so beautiful! I’m inspired to try your idea of pressed leaves for wall art. What a great idea for adding greenery!

  45. Image for Terry Terry

    Please don’t overdo the blue & white! Your home had so much of your personality before & I feel like it’s losing that and just becoming the blue & White House we have all seen a million times in a million houses in a million magazines. I loved your style & found so much inspiration in it. It’s what drew me & I think a lot of others to your blog!

  46. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    This has always been my fave room in your house! I don't know if it's the sunkeness (is that a word?) or the ceiling height or the back doors or the mantel or the table in front of the doors or the built-in shelves... Not sure, but I adore it and adore it even more now! Moms sometimes have the best advice - sometimes.

  47. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Hey, girl! LOVELY adds and changes! I had to stop reading comments and come “add my two cents” ... ! Years ago I purchased some framed (sandwiched between glass) fern fronds (from Pottery Barn, if I recall)! They were nice and green, but over time, turned light brown. Not sure if you treated yours, but if not, they may transition into Fall Decor too as time passes! Either way, I always love your decorating ideas, especially something as economical as these! Just for me, I like the blues you’ve used now, but I was in total love with your all white decor. I know we must eventually change ... but I *think* I could live with white (and natural wood) forever! Loving the ongoing transformation of your new home ... 😘

  48. Image for Susie Susie

    Your pressed leaves are so pretty . I love the color it brought to the room! It gives me an idea for my family room

  49. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I think you should paint a red accent wall...JUST KIDDING! HAHAHAHA!!! Seriously though, this is such a great example of how we all can help each other, everyone could use a second set of eyes! It's hard to see differently when we live in the space every day sometimes. It is really neat how you showed a real small change that was suggested in each picture that made a HUGE impact! The room looks gorgeous! Thanks for posting that!

  50. Image for Tracie Tracie

    Love, love the new rug in there. Really brightens up the room. :) so that's what the other side of the room looks like! I don't think I have ever seen it before. The plants are so nice too. I'm trying not to kill the live plants I have added to my home. Not sure how that is going yet, haha. And for the record, I like "that wire thing behind the couch" - Thank you for taking us on your journey.

  51. Image for Susan J. Sias Susan J. Sias

    Love this story!! Really would like to try to make the leave press hangings! Do you have a tutorial? That might be fabulous for a lot of commenters here my dear!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful room with all of us!! Have a lovely day!!

  52. Image for Dewena Dewena

    I don't often comment but I enjoy each post, love seeing what you accomplish. Maybe that's a little bit like watching PBS every Sunday night and not contributing any money? I'll try to do better but just wanted you to know that I love visiting because you're such an enthusiastic person and because there is so much beauty here.

  53. Image for Lindy Lindy

    I do adore your style and I wait for each email so I can see it because white will never work with the crew I have so I leave white to my dreams and just watch yours from afar! I thought it was just the fact that I cannot design for the life of me that the space to the left of art was so big and so empty to my eye, personally, I am so damn glad that it was your mom who said something and not I, bwahahahah. It means that I did not get banished, hehehe regards, Lindy

  54. Image for Cheryl W. Cheryl W.

    The changes you made are excellent! The room went from good to even better. How about a basket (or something else in the brown family) above the hutch to add a little warmth to the corner? The white box on top seems a little lost.

  55. Image for Debra B Milam Debra B Milam

    KariAnne when I read this I immediately thought of you! I am sure you will understand why! Sorry I couldn't get the picture of the croc to post, but he really isn't the point of the story anyway. This 28-foot crocodile was shot and killed in Queensland in 1957 by a female croc hunter! Krystina Pawlowski was a Polish immigrant who moved to Australia and earned a reputation as an accomplished crocodile hunter. The local media loved the pretty blonde who wore outback khakis and bright, red lipstick. Krystina Pawlowski gained national attention when she shot and killed this monster crocodile with a single shot, earning her the nickname One Shot. The massive size of this crocodile attracted world-wide attention. A beast of this size is uncommon in Queensland. In fact, this kill earned Pawlowski a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  56. Image for Joanie Joanie

    I love the after!!! I liked the before, but once you added the hutch, I felt inspired. The room is beautiful, pulled together, and so inviting, which is a hard combination to get right but you nailed it!

  57. Image for Karen Karen

    Even the nails are subject to change....oh how I love your stories. You have a beautiful home and I so love that you share it with all of us!! So how do I press leaves to make the leaf pictures....I think autumn leaves would be "amazing" Karen

  58. Image for Billur Billur

    My goodness! It is SO much fun to follow your "work in progress". It is absolutely wonderful to see how it is becoming glorious. I too have added some serious greenery to my living room! What a difference! Instant gratification.Now I am thinking (yearning) to paint everything WHITE! Oh oh! I know now I am in trouble.

  59. Image for Pamela Griner Pamela Griner

    Love it...but I especially love that you are sharing the process. Very helpful to see the before/after adding/removing, etc.


    Thanks for always sharing your beautiful home with us, KariAnne! You have made so much progress in the time you have been living there! Just love your use of blue and white! Enjoy your week-end! Blessings!

  61. Image for Carol Carol

    I hate to agree with everyone, but it looks so much better, Karianne! :) It's amazing how little changes can make a huge impact! I tried looking for the blue rug you added to this room, but having issues finding it. I think it might make a great runner in our entry way, but I need approx. 2.5 x 9 or 10 feet.

  62. Image for Bridgitte Bridgitte

    😍 Beautiful room & I LOVE the way you've shown the changes!!! My only additional suggestion is a couple of the IKEA plants on the bookshelves to bring it all together ❤️

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