vintage decorating

About seven years ago we took the leap and moved from a very large metroplex to the country.

We closed our eyes….took a deep breath….

….and jumped.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Or just wait for the book. 🙂

I get asked all the time if it was easy to jump to the country and why we did it and if it was challenging to adjust and how we supported ourselves….

….and were we able to survive without a Target?

decorating with vintage finds how to

And the answers are….we bought a local business and we wanted our children to have space to run and breathe and Target can be a little overrated sometimes (except for that $1 aisle)….

….and yes….it was tough.

We lived in a rental house for about a year and waited to see if we made the right decision and spent hours looking at houses and property and trying to decide if we wanted to build.

And then one day…..we found the farmhouse.

And we knew we were home.

how to decorate with vintage finds

And after we bought the farmhouse…..for almost two years…..

…..we were the talk of the county.

They drove by every day to see the kitchen sink in the driveway and watched as the walls came down and discussed the new porch….

….and stared in disbelief at the piles of flooring and wallpaper scraps that covered the side yard.

And when they saw me….they would grin and pull me to the side and in low tones ask:

“Why is there a door in your window on the second floor?”

“Did you get rid of that kitchen stove?”

“Are you painting the woodwork?”

“What are you doing with those windows?”

And on and on and on.

arrow bookends vintage decor

And one day we were finished.

Well….truly….just between us… a person who buys an old farmhouse ever really finished?  I mean….we had come to a stopping point.

And one day one of my friends stopped by.

I think the county appointed her.

She brought a casserole and a big opinion.

vintage finds decorating

She promptly put the casserole on the stove and then walked from room to room.

And looked at that old remodeled farmhouse up and down and sideways.

She noticed the refinished pine floors and the freshly painted molding and the missing walls and all my furniture I had found by the side of the road and in the trash and at every yard sale from here to Tennessee.

decorating your space with vintage finds

And when she was finished…..she turned to me and smiled.

“I love what you’ve done with the house,” she said.  “It’s so bright and light and cheery.”

I smiled with relief.

My farmhouse and I had passed the test.

And then she leaned in and whispered conspiratorilly, “Girl….I have to tell you.  When you moved here and bought the farmhouse and started re-doing everything and all those kitchen cabinets were sitting in your front yard…..we all thought you were something.”

She sighed and continued, “You know….we all thought you moving from the city and all… were going to be so stuck up.

And full of yourself with all your new stuff.

But girl….you know what….we got it wrong…..

….you ain’t got a stick of new furniture in this whole house.”

And that….rock stars…..

… how to jump. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Crystal @MyBlissfulSpace Crystal @MyBlissfulSpace

    Love the distressed milking stool and the terra cotta heart plate and the robin egg colander and the mason jar straw holder lids...and I'm sure I could find so much more!!!

  2. Image for Shar Shar

    Love the room. This is the look I'm going for in my son's room--problem is finishing it before he leaves for college! Thanks for the link-that will help. :)

  3. Image for Janice Stewart Janice Stewart

    Thank you for sharing your source. Can't wait to check out their site. We are moving to a small town and yes the neighbors and town keep talking about us. Lots of drive and opinions.

  4. Image for Susan M. Susan M.

    So many goodies to look at! The green garden basket is kind of calling my name. Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. Image for Renae Reis Renae Reis

    I'd buy those arrows! I was so jealous when I saw them but when it turns out that I CAN buy them I was ecstatic!! My kitchen is white with accents of red and turquoise.

  6. Image for kelly kelly

    Big old house in a small rural town... not done, not even close and the locals drive by and shake their heads.

  7. Image for Sheila Moore Sheila Moore

    I do a lot of baking for family and friends and I never have enough stands to put things on. I would definitely get one of the dessert stands for my kitchen. Love your blog and all your stories give me a chuckle or two when I read them.

  8. Image for Heather Heather

    I have no idea what I would buy- probably something for my son's room (he's almost 19 months old). Something quirky and catchy and cute. I'm fairly easy to please so I'm sure that picking something out would be a breeze! ;)

  9. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    I can just picture all the locals watching you transform the farmhouse… It must have been a hoot! You have done such a wonderful job layering old and new… creating an eclectic collected home filled with stories and beauty. Can't wait for the book! There is a book coming right… you wouldn't just tease would you!?! :)

  10. Image for amy watson amy watson

    I love those arrows, and your home is one of my very favorites ever, in the history of ever, l am leaving here and going to check out Painted Fox.....l don't have anything new in my house either, we just recently bought a new leather sofa, but everything else is 30 years of marriage adding as we went along, that is the best way... l am waiting patiently to get my old farmhouse one day, l already have all the "old" stuff to put in it...:)

  11. Image for Lisa Howard Lisa Howard

    Several items are already in my cart! Love your story always! In love with your style... who wouldn't be? Now a fan of Painted Fox! P.S. Looking forward to meeting you at Becoming in a few days!

  12. Image for BrocanteuseRose BrocanteuseRose

    I just mentally spent about a million dollars, and decorated a 80 room mansion. :) Good thing I'm not a millionaire, and I don't own a mansion. I LOVE the Hannah duvet, berry basket hanging light, turtle soap dish (Christmas gift for my bestie), metal drying racks in both colors, and can I just say how fancy I would be with that embossed butter dish?!! So fancy!!! lol

  13. Image for Mary Alice Kenley Mary Alice Kenley

    I love this post. When we "jumped" from Birmingham to the tiny lakeside community of Cropwell, AL, I was lobbying Congress and two state legislatures, so I was gone all of the time. My husband, who was in his one-year retirement from private education, was busy the whole time. We had the same raised eyebrows and "who are yall" stares. We had planned to do something like an open house when we finished, but we didn't do it for two reasons: #1. We have learned that "finished" is a very vague term; and #2. We were concerned the people would think we were "all that and a bag of chips." Now that I'm retired and he's gone back to work, we are more casual about things. When we do something and a neighbor wants to see it, we just say, "Well, come on in." After their peek and approval, we have sweet tea on the porch and they go their way, wondering what's next at what we love to call Kenley Cove!

  14. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I, too, love the Arrow Bookends. I also love the Darla Ink Bottles. And, I love your blog--thanks for your commitment to connect :)

  15. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    I love everything. I would select the Emma Matlasse Quilt first. Love your blog and was surprised to see a giveaway. I have made jumps in my life, however, I have never done as much to a house as you have. Blessings

  16. Image for Val Val

    Hi KariAnne, We made the jump eleven years ago, and have never looked back. I love all the pretty and vintage touches you have around your home. It's just beautiful. Thanks for sharing your article, and I hope you really are writing a book! Val

  17. Image for cheapdiva cheapdiva

    Would wait for a rainy, fall day before I'd make a purchase. One of those days spent looking for an hour or so! I would love to be out in a small town where neighbors get to know and help each other. We're in a big city and my husband won't consider living anywhere with out at least half a million people.

  18. Image for Pam Smith Pam Smith

    My husband and I just had a conversation about the newest thing I. Our home. We finally decided it was the washing machine :). I Like old and used and well-loved! Thanks for the new website to check out. I know it will be a great one to dream and plan with!

  19. Image for Vicki Vicki

    I love this story! Just went on the site and such neat things. Things for telling us about it. Also, I'm from Lexington - where in the world did you get that map????

  20. Image for Jill Jill

    I just jumped, too. Moving fron a typical suburban neighborhood to a farm today, so the timing of your post is perfect, Karianne. I love the painted fox. Thanks for pointing me in their direction. If I am chosen the winner I would choose the painted pewter jewelry dish. The little yellow bird is do perfect.

  21. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Oh my I needed this as we just closed on a house (older but not quite as old as yours) even though others have been told we were building! I am moving back to my hometown so I do feel a bit like Melanie in Sweet Home Alabama.. but the pretty house is going to be mine unlike her. But i still feel like I need to be the tour guide or maid. No one has lived in this house except for one family. It was not for sale.. my husband just called and asked. So yes we are jumping too!!! Exciting but scary as well. Bless you for sharing.

  22. Image for Melissa Melissa

    All of their stuff is awesome! How did I not know about this site before??!! I would buy the reclaimed arrows, all of the lanterns, the classic stanley creamery jugs and soo much more!!

  23. Image for Karen G. Karen G.

    What a wonderful story! I want to take the jump too - planning starts NOW! Thank you for sharing the Painted Fox with us - I foresee going into debt with them very soon! First up will be the awesome recycled canvas USA map!

  24. Image for Patty Morris Patty Morris

    I loved reading the story about how you moved from the city to the country. I think that was a great move. I have always lived in the country and love it.

  25. Image for Sandra Sandra

    We the City, but have retained our love of Vintage and Re-Purposed everything! I love your Blog and thank you for introducing Painted Fox!!

  26. Image for Cindi T. Cindi T.

    Love your house and story. And now the Painted Fox! I would love the Songbird Dessert Stand and lots of other things. :-)

  27. Image for Tammy C Tammy C

    I love this site! So much to choose from....but one of my absolute favorites is the Vintage Reproduction Pedal Can. LOVE it! Thank you!

  28. Image for Karen Karen

    I love those red arrow bookends! I was on their site this morning and am thinking about buying their cotton looks awesome! Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. Image for Sandy R Sandy R

    KariAnne, your life stories are so awesome! I'm glad y'all fit right in with the other members of your "new" county. Keep up the fab stories!

  30. Image for Maaike Maaike

    What a great giveaways! I'm loving the vintage-inspired dog treat tin, and Lucille the barn cat, and the rooster container. (What can I say, I love animals!). Also, I would love to read a book you've written. :)

  31. Image for Coleen Coleen

    There isn't a single room/post you do that I don't like. It makes me want to buy an old farmhouse and have you redo it for me! ;) I've been eyeing those bookends for awhile. Of course you make them look so darn adorable!

  32. Image for Mary Stewart Mary Stewart

    I always enjoy looking at your house! I would really love to get a set of paper weights or a Lavender Wreath for my kitchen wall. The Painted Fox has some really cute items!

  33. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    It's always nice to have vintage! Hope you do write a book someday...I'll want my copy autographed though! ;)

  34. Image for Erin Erin

    So many cute things. I would love the reclaimed wood dog or the dog doorstops. Maybe the white ceramic leaf bowls, and definitely the "feed me" dish towels.

  35. Image for carol p. carol p.

    Anything with birds:) Like the painted pewter jewelry dish and the metal letter holder. And yes, I am waiting for a book from you!

  36. Image for Beth Tebaldi Beth Tebaldi

    I would buy their hanging baskets! I KNEW that a decor steal and other sister company HAD to have places where they shop for us! I've found one, and now this site. This site is AWESOME! You made my day! Thanks!!

  37. Image for Sandy Sandy

    You are the official Rock Star. My husband showed me an article in our Sunday magazine which is part of our newspaper and said, "Your friend from Thistlewood is in this article. I know you would want to read it." He knows I adore your writings. You had two comments about rearranging what one has and giving things a new purpose. I envy your neighbors. They are so fortunate to have you in the country.

  38. Image for Kristie Kristie

    Thanks for the new place to shop. I've never heard of the Painted Fox. I'd buy something to accent our farmhouse kitchen.

  39. Image for Jane Jane

    Love this story, my friend. I couldn't wait for the giveaway, I ran over and found three things I had to order!! lol! Thanks!!!!!!! Jane xx

  40. Image for Pat Pat

    How can one choose just 1 item? :) So many treasures ~ I do love the Countryside Classic dishes and bake ware! I also like the stands...could be used for cakes, cookies, whatever. Your home is incredibly beautiful! You have such vision and talent ~ xo Pat

  41. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, I fell in love with all the bedding! Those bed skirts are very pretty! I laughed when you said everyone was watching you throw sinks, etc out on the lawn. She thing here, we have a lot of people watching us like hawks as to what we're doing around this house but it's fun! Christine

  42. Image for Donna in KY Donna in KY

    Love your story, and glad you love living in the country and in KY too. No better place to be in my humble opinion. Thanks for sharing your wonderful stories with us, Donna in KY

  43. Image for Cindy Jones Cindy Jones

    I love all things about mason jars especially the frog lids, the lid coaster and the soap pumps. This site has a wide variety of country accessories. Love it!

  44. Image for Brenlee @ Simply Put Sincerely Us Brenlee @ Simply Put Sincerely Us

    Love, love, LOVE your story! My husband and I bought an old farm-house style house a few years ago and have been living in renovations ever since. Your home has inspired me! Can't wait to follow your story.

  45. Image for Lynne Lynne

    Girl- you are such a great story teller! I'd be first in line to buy your book! I love those arrow bookends! I want some now!:-)

  46. Image for Patty Patty

    We live approximately 1 hour outside of NYC in CT. It is a wonderful Town but it is sssssoooooo expensive that we really can't afford to live here anymore. My husband and I are both retired so we don't have to buy a business but I want to find a nice small town, possibly in VA. We are older than you so I'm not sure about renovations. We are living through this now and it is driving me nuts. I hope someday I can write something like you just did.

  47. Image for SammaMichelle SammaMichelle

    I just wanted to say that I did all the things you asked to get more entries but I didn't want to....after all the more I tell everyone else about it the less my chance is to win!!! hahaha :-)

  48. Image for Mary from Virginia Mary from Virginia

    WOW, lots of choices! I think I would probably go with the watering can, or green garden carrier. Love your story, and your town is lucky to have YOU.

  49. Image for PC PC

    As a native Western Kentuckian, we are glad y'all jumped. You are right - having the room for the family to run around and bringing that house back to a better life is worth it

  50. Image for Vicki Crowe Vicki Crowe

    Do you have a pattern or a site on your reclaimed wood whale? We just visited New England and I would love one!

  51. Image for Evie Ester Evie Ester

    What a treasure you are!!!!! Thank You for all your inspiration and all your curb side finds;) I loved the sunflower wreath and all the countryside neutrals.

  52. Image for Lisa Lisa

    As one who speaks from a similar experience...there is nothing more gratifying than taking one's time to land in the perfect spot. Even more gratifying to take one's time settling in. Point being....march to the beat of your own inner drummer. Rock on and enjoy the beat :-) Fondly-Lisa

  53. Image for debbie debbie

    I always feel like you are talking directly to me, especially today. And I noticed that read arrow immediately and fell in love. Love your story....

  54. Image for tips to sell your house quickly tips to sell your house quickly

    It's enormous that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

  55. Image for Gwen Gwen

    Yes you have excellent taste!!! The first thing to catch my eye in photo was actually the arrow bookends!! And they do look very unusual and vintage. A cheerful post!!!

  56. Image for Pam M Pam M

    Girl, I am SO glad you shared this shop! It's new to me, but I am in love! It would be so hard to choose what I would buy. I love the metal drying racks, iron scale, Parisienne footed bowl and tons more. :-)

  57. Image for Edwina Edwina

    Thank you for this giveaway-so many great choices! I love the wire wall shelf...the zinc garland banner...the cotton wreath....sigh.

  58. Image for Linda Linda

    When a jump is right it is like soaring! An old house is never done! Still working on our 200 year place. Always something between life to do around here. Love your place too.

  59. Image for Robin W. Robin W.

    What would I buy??? I would buy it all!!! Love the glass orbs on the metal stands!! Love the arrow bookends. Love all of the lighting!!! An amazing webstore - thanks for pointing me in their direction!!!

  60. Image for Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle

    Fourteen years ago, Hubs and I built a new house. We planned, we worked with the builder and customized, I decorated. We moved in and after four years we realized . . . even with all our efforts, it just didn't FEEL RIGHT. We kept working at it and then one day, a realtor friend of ours had us take a ride to look at a new little house . . . just for fun, mind you! It was an early spring day and chilly, so we shut the door as we entered. Hubs was behind me and I heard him say "Oh, yah . . . I think we need to buy this." I turned to joke with him but saw he was serious. We did look at the place, then we DID buy it. Signed papers to sell our home and buy that one (on contingency of sale) and went home to get everything "Sale Ready"! PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE NUTS . . . but we didn't care. We just knew it was the right thing to do. The other house sold in just two days (in a very bad market too), to the first person who it. We closed two months later and moved into our new rambler . . . because it just FELT RIGHT, like OUR home. Ten years later . . . it still does!

  61. Image for Karie Gallegos Karie Gallegos

    Oh my goodness how can you possibly just pick one thing! I love the owl salt and pepper, the rustic bottle dryer, all the beautiful dish towels. It would be and was hard to pick one thing! Great giveaway!

  62. Image for kipper kipper

    The arrows! I love bringing new stuff into the house and people thinking the items are antique or vintage. Maybe it is because most of the furnishings are.

  63. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    I too would love to read your book, whenever it comes out! And if I were to win the $50 gift certificate, the first thing I'd buy is the ceramic owl salt and pepper shakers, and I'd still have money left over to spend on something else. Their stuff reminds me so much of your style!

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