If you have been out of the country or planning a wedding or been generally busy with your own life or if this is your first time here….

…let me Reader’s Digest the past few weeks.

We moved to Texas.  You can read about the move here.

We bought my childhood home.  You can read about it here.

I asked for opinions on paint and you helped and were incredible and amazing and we changed the color of the house after 75 years.  You can see the exterior before and after and the new paint color here.


That is A LOT.

I know.  I get it.  I understand.  I am almost tired just typing it all.

I was going to rest and press pause and pour a glass of sweet tea on the new back porch.

But then?

The kitchen patiently explained to me that it needed to be renovated.

Here are the kitchen plans and where we are in the kitchen progress.

I thought it might be easier to start with a before drawing.

This is where we started.

When I was growing up here, the kitchen was one large room with a table on the wall next to the hallway.

Somewhere along the way, part of the kitchen was carved out to create a butler’s pantry.  I love the idea of the butler’s pantry, but it didn’t really leave anywhere to eat in the kitchen.  There was a large kitchen island with seating, but it’s limited.  There were also cabinets along the wall with open shelving next to the sink.  The refrigerator was on the wall between the kitchen and the butler’s pantry.  Adjacent to the kitchen was a large downstairs bath with a tub that had open doors at each end.

Here were the goals for the renovation:

1.  A place to eat in the kitchen

2.  A place to put the refrigerator

3.  New upper cabinets for storage

Keeping those goals in mind, here is the new footprint for the kitchen.

The wall was removed.

We re-used the cabinets from the butler’s pantry in the kitchen.  The lower cabinets were used to construct the bar.  The upper cabinets (which have glass fronts) are moving to the wall with the sink.  The gray hutch from Thistlewood will go on the far wall.  The bar will have seating for four stools and there’s also room for a small table placed against the wall instead of the hutch if I want to change things up a little bit.  We are also keeping the seating on the end of the island.

The refrigerator moved across the room to a space carved out from the bathroom.  We took out the tub and added a shower and used part of the space for a new pantry area.

Here are pictures of the progress.

Here’s the angle looking to the staircase.

You can see the wall is removed and that far wall is where the hutch will go.

The swinging door leads to the dining room.

Here’s another angle looking into the family room.

See the cabinet on the floor with the glass front?

Those are the cabinets from the butler’s pantry going on either side of the sink and the stove.  Right now the interior of the cabinets are painted turquoise (the color of the island).  All the cabinets are being painted white.

Here’s an idea of what the bar will look like.

These cabinets will actually be farther apart and have a small shelf unit built between them to extend the bar.

Plywood will go on the back side and the countertops will extend over the back of the cabinets for extra seating.

Here are close-ups of the walls where the upper cabinets go.

There will be one on either side of the sink and one on the other side of the stove.

The current countertops are butcher block (you can see the example here).

The starfish came with the house—free of charge. 🙂

Here’s the before and after new area for the refrigerator.

It has drywall right now.

There will be molding that matches the doorways around the opening.

Here’s the before where they removed the wall.

See that stenciling?

That is vintage my mom.

She almost cried when she saw it.  I think she stenciled that when I was in high school.  The wallpaper on the ceiling was from the butler’s pantry area.

And when they removed the wall, they found this flooring.

The kitchen has wood floors now, but this is the original linoleum.

Can you even?

I almost hugged it when I saw it.  We have an amazing relationship–this floor and I.  This is the floor I ate breakfast on every morning.  The book I just wrote, So Close To Amazing, starts off with me sitting at a table in this kitchen, right here, right where the wall was torn down, right on these exact floors with these words:

“I still remember the exact minute I decided I was going to be amazing.

It was the Sunday morning I debuted my very own fashion masterpiece.
I tromped downstairs for breakfast, valiantly trying to tame my
Flock-of-Seagulls hair. With remnants of yesterday’s blue eyeshadow
still dotting my eyelids, I walked into the room wearing a Shaun
Cassidy T-shirt, sweatpants, and a bright orange scrunchie.

I was sixteen and ready to take on the world and a few ancillary
planets. Plopping into the nearest chair, I rubbed the sleep (along
with bits of eyeshadow) from my eyes and poured myself a bowl of
the breakfast of champions: Lucky Charms. Crunch went the hearts
and stars and tiny marshmallows, when suddenly, mid-spoonful, my
eyes burst open in delight.

Today was Sunday.
Today was church.
Today was the day I planned to introduce the perfect outfit to my
little corner of Texas.”

(You can read the rest of the story and the first chapter for FREE here)

PS  I’ll be back with finishes and paint colors and light fixtures and bar stools.

I think you may be surprised.

It’s kind of farmhouse—but sprinkled with karianne.

I’ll give you a hint.  Here are the countertops. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Terie Terie

    SO exciting! It will be a truly wonderful place for your children to create a legacy of family memories! 😍😍😍

  2. Image for Kimberly Kimberly

    I am sure it will be AMAZING. I often think of my childhood home and even of purchasing it. The second occupant recently passed away and she was 105 or 106! So fun for you to discover your mom's stenciling. I can't wait to see the final product.

  3. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne....EVERYTHING you do is "sprinkled with karianne"! I know how happy your heart must be, with every little piece uncovered here and there, it's like discovering your childhood all over again. I hope you save that particular piece of stenciling for your Mom.... Can hardly wait to see the next chapter in this saga.....muah, little one.

  4. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Okay- disclosure on a rainy Monday~ when I first looked at the picture of the 'after' (I look at pictures first and read second!) I wondered, "why would they put the refrigerator next to the shower???"....see? it does pay to READ and THEN look at pictures. Love the stencil, the original linoleum, the story that goes with it and the new story that is unfolding. And, I'm sure once you move the refrigerator away from the shower, your kitchen will be "KariAnne in all her glory!" :)

  5. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Can't wait to see it all finished! Each room boasting KariAnne's special touch! Love it! Enjoy it all! 🤣

  6. Image for Stace Stace

    Oh my, I am glad for this post! Yes, I have been planning my daughter's wedding. I'm glad that was one of the excuses. I looked at site and thought "What in the world? She loves that home!" Thank you for the links to find out what happened. I'm the child that never moved away, I understand the needs of family. Blessings to you always. Thank you for your uplifting posts.

  7. Image for Laura A Laura A

    You are absolutely the best. It is a blessing that you share your life with us. I can't wait to see the magic you create. Thank you!

  8. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    I'm glad you have vision! You remind me of my mother. She always had the best ideas architecturally and my Dad could bring them to fruition single-handedly...with no blueprints! I, on the other hand, have to do it before I can see it. Monkey do, monkey finally see is my motto! Best of luck. Can't wait for the big reveal!

  9. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh my goodness! I am so excited to see it all come together! I love the new plan. It sounds, well, amazing! Haha, I think this house had the same linoleum when we bought it. 😊How fun to get to redo your childhood home. So happy for you! Hugs, Cecilia PS The wedding went great!

  10. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    Everything is beautifully coming together. How sweet to find layers of the past. Hmmm, what can be done with the 80's vintage decor or how could that be repurposed somehow to keep those memories alive....but updated? 😉 You've got me thinking!

  11. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    No more laminate? Or are you going laminate that LOOKS like marble? Ooooo, can't wait to see! Question... That 'build-out' between the window and the fan/stove cover... what is behind that (I'm assuming it is something important)? Will it be taken out, or built around? (I noticed the open shelving was built around it.)

  12. Image for Sue Sondker Sue Sondker

    I thought of you while reading my scripture lesson. It said you can JUMP from standing position but when you get momentum you can JUMP further. You have to move back to get momentum for that big JUMP. You did it. So proud of you! Sue

  13. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    So glad that you are putting your personal "stamp" on the old homestead! It makes for the best of both world's. I can't wait to see the "finished" project (who am I kidding? In your home there will never be a "finished" project!!). And we love that about you!!!

  14. Image for Celeste Thomas Celeste Thomas

    So fun meeting you and chatting at the Baylor game (big thanks to Kathy)! I'm so happy I have now discovered your blog (which is amazing by the way). I can't wait to follow along!

  15. Image for Rachel Rachel

    KariAnne, what a beautiful wonderful emotional bittersweet story mixed with a nice glass of sweet tea and hard work. Its gonna be goooorrrrggeeeeous!!!

  16. Image for Jeannie McBride Jeannie McBride

    I'm amazed at how quickly you get things done. Can't wait to see the finished kitchen ,,, & all the new projects. Love all your stories.

  17. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    Excited to see it all. Love the counter tops!! I just love Texas. We moved from there to Oregon 14 years ago. We lived in Amarillo 15 years and have sweet friends from there and lots of wonderful memories.

  18. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    OK, I'm drooling over your countertop material. Positively drooling. Or maybe it's the K-cup Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Latte. I'll blame them both. Oh, KariAnne, I miss you, but I'm so glad you are where I can still visit with you across the miles! I had big plans, girlfriend, to shop Hobby Lobby with you. I don't run BECAUSE I fall down, so I could have been the "voice of reason." I wanted to have you at my library for a book signing - but I did see where you're down to be at the Kentucky Book Fair. Maybe I'll see you at a book event one of these days! Change is everywhere, and God is in control. I'm so excited for your opportunity to move home. Home is a special place, I know. The farm where my mother grew up is also the farm where I grew up, and would you believe my maternal grandfather bought it from a great-uncle of my DAD's? And now it's not in the family, and that makes me sad. Who knows? Maybe someday! Hugs to you, Superstar!


    KariAnne, your kitchen is going to be beautiful! Love your new plans. Have a great week! Blessings!

  20. Image for Kris Kris

    Yes, your kitchen plans look fantastic ... but can we talk? Shaun Cassidy? Really?????????? Parker Stevenson was the true hottie!

  21. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I so wish I had the funds to buy my grandparents farm and fix the house and acreage, but it was not to be. I see your renovation and think oh what I could have done and let the family still come and visit. But I must grow up and realize not all of us are as lucky as you. Keep posting as we live our dreams through your eyes!!!

  22. Image for Dorothy Lee Dorothy Lee

    I love what you have done so far. When you get a chance, could you do a column on choosing light fixtures that don't cost $500 to $ 1000. 00 per fixture? Thanks

  23. Image for Paula Paula

    It is looking fabulous! I love the exterior paint color and the story about the walls your mother stenciled and the linoleum! The pantry, you won't regret. Hugs to you all, Can't wait to see the finished kitchen!

  24. Image for michele@hellolovelystudio michele@hellolovelystudio

    I'm intrigued! And charmed. And so looking forward to joining you on the journey. What a poignant story unfolding for you. What blessings must be on their way! :) Also. I saw Flock of Seagulls open for the Gogos in the early 80s. None of the concertgoers were as high as my hair. :)

  25. Image for Connie Connie

    I can only imagine what your mother thinks of you being able to move back to the home you were raised and remodeling with your unique and clever way of decorating. It must be a childhood dream come true. God has Blessed you and your family so much and I am very happy for all of you. Can't wait to read the next post. and see what you have planned. PS: I bought your book for my daughter for Christmas but I had to read it first. LOL It was wonderful.

  26. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    I was so hoping Carrera was involved. This is gonna be such an awesome kitchen! And just for the record, I know it's not your thing, but I love the teal on the island. I might have to steal that color. How odd and interesting to redo a kitchen from your childhood. But it's nice that you are already friends. Have you thought about maybe making the door to the dining room a Dutch door? Yay kitchen, The Other Marian

  27. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Reading your blog has me thinking how weirdly strange it would be to move back into my childhood home - which I have seen online has been updated in an extremely modern style!! Can't wait to keep reading and see what you do next!

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