Last night at 8:30 the doorbell rang.

I wish I could tell you I was doing something so exciting that I barely had time to answer the door.

But I wasn’t.

I was sitting in my living room with a messy bun without any make-up, wearing yoga pants, eating Triscuits and watching Family Feud.

You know you lead an exciting life when you get the top answer to the question a hundred people were surveyed about…

…and you high-five the dog.

I was so excited when the doorbell rang that I ran from the back of the house and almost tripped over the rug trying to get to the door with my bare feet pitter-pattering and my messy bun flying.  As I flew through the front room and held on to the striped chair on the left to get to the doorbell—two things went through my mind.

1. I was so thankful I had gotten a pedicure.

2. I was so thankful I just shopped my house.

That’s the thing about houses.

They can get a little stale.

My father once told me that if you always do what you always did—you’ll always get what you always got.

I think he said it with better verb tenses, but you get the general idea. I don’t have big budget to decorate my house.  I have children in college on meal plans who live in dorms and occasionally ask me for gas money.  So I get creative and move everything around to make it look like I’m always bringing new things in.

Which I am.

Except they came from the attic or the closet or other rooms in the house.

Here are some of my best shopping tips for when your budget is tight and your house is full.


1. Pull all the dishes out of the cupboard and decorate with them.  Don’t be dish shy.  Put them in your hutch or stack them on your counter or fill a bowl with fruit and put it on the kitchen island.

2. Hang plates from your cabinet on your wall.

3. Add a new basket from another room and fill it with craft paper.

4. Pull out small vases or cups and fill them with fresh greenery from the yard (or Trader Joe’s for $2.99).

Family room

1. Switch out the pillows.  Find pillows from another room and introduce them to some new friends.

2. Switch out lamps—or even just the shades.

3. Layer a rug on top of the rug you have.  Here’s an example of a room where I did this.

4. Rework the vignette on your coffee table.

5. Create a side table with books.

6. Take everything off your bookcase and re-stack it.


1. Find a flat basket and stack it with books and office supplies.

2. Move a side table from another room.

3. Display your office supplies in an organizer.  They are so much easier to find.

4.  Bring in a dresser from another room in the house.

5. Switch out baskets from other rooms, too and put pillows and blankets in them for fall.


1. Change out the art work on the wall.

2. Bring in a watering can from outside and fill with fresh flowers.

3.  Add a basket at the top of the stairs for last minute items that need to travel from one floor to another.

4.  Add a bench.

Never underestimate the power of a good shopping trip.

Look at things with a new eye.

Reimagine them.

Repurpose them.

And then when that doorbell rings?  Your house will be ready.

Just watch out for Triscuit breath.

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


  1. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    Triscuit breath? You’re too much! As I said before, I LOVE your voice. So real. So YOU! And I can just see you running barefoot with a new pedicure and messy bun flying! 😊

  2. Image for Deb Deb

    Girl, you are toooo much! :-) Love all of your ideas. Hey, there are many times when I meet people at the door in my absolute favorite gray sweater, winter or summer, and Doritos know that lovely shade of orange that makes them irresistible. Yes! That's how I do life in Virginia. :-) :-) Deb :-) :-)

  3. Image for Laurin Magill Laurin Magill

    You have probably answered these questions a million times, but here goes: (1) are you cabinets white or are they an off white that looks white? (2) what material is on the top of your island? Is that granite or marble? I love the butcher block with the wheels, did you DIY that? Okay sorry too many questions!!!!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Laurin, LOL! There's never too many questions. 1. The cabinets are painted SW Extra White. 2. It's marble. 3. Yes! I DIY'd it and here's the link to the butcher block project: Happy day friend! karianne

  4. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    Yeah well, Can I come shop your house and you can come shop mine? I bet I'd get the better end of that big ol' stick! Great tips and shopped my house yesterday! It was my turn to host our Women's Bible Study group today. I love doing that. :)

  5. Image for Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows

    Having my son's college graduation party this weekend, KariAnne. I've got some house shopping to do!

  6. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    Everything is looking so put together and cozy in your home 💜. I love to do a major switch around, especially from Summer to Fall.

  7. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Do you have an area in your site where you tell what colors you use and materials? I have a classic colonial that has white wood work down stairs and wood upstairs. (This was done because in Colonial times paint was expensive). When we built I thought it was a great idea and now not so much☹️. I’m going to repaint and love your colors.

  8. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    I love to shop my house! Just did it a few minutes ago! It is the easiest way to make a quick change!!! Thanks for the ideas!!

  9. Image for Connie Connie

    Your sunny disposition comes through in your writing which is always a treat to read. Every girl would want you for a bestie!

  10. Image for Jan Jan

    Hey pretty lady. Where did you get the beautiful blue, multi colored picture above the fireplace? Just what I’m looking for! Keep shopping, the bargains are fabulous!

  11. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I have done this for years and it never ceases to amaze me! Just when I think I've found the perfect place for something and that it should live there forever, one day I'll decide I've found another place even more perfect for it Or I'll see something on TV that strikes a chord and think, "Oh my gosh, those two things would work so perfectly together!" Or here's a fun one: shop your sister's house. Once in a while we even shop each other's closets. Not so much anymore since she's in San Antonio and I'm in Colorado Springs but even once in while is awesome!

  12. Image for linda linda

    I'm stuck on they only occasionally ask for gas money.... Needed a little inspiration / reminder to shop my house. With both girls being gone this fall, I need some refreshing around here!

  13. Image for PJ PJ

    The smallest changes can make such a big difference. P.S. By 8:30 I would be in my jammies! Have a fun day, KariAnne.

  14. Image for Peg Peg

    I adore that quote from your dad! I think it should be the title of your next book!! Loving the new/old house!!! xoxo

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