When I was growing up, we called this the stink room.

It was a workshop we accessed through a door in the laundry room.  There was a jumble of mismatched furniture and giant marble machines and a maze of unfinished projects.  The room was a little musty and workshop smelling and wood smelling and old furniture smelling.

I loved that room.

It was tucked away at the back of the house and late at night after everyone went to bed and the house was quiet, I would snuggle on those couches and make out with my future husband.

I know, right?

You probably didn’t think I was going there.

Making out in a stink room.

Are you sure you still want to be friends? 🙂

The room is part of the house now.

A long time ago before smart phones and Alexa, my mother made the brilliant decision to open up the space between the stink room and the kitchen.

After we bought the house, we just introduced the room to 2018.

We took out the laminate floor and added new wood floor that matches the kitchen.

The walls are painted SW Mindful Gray and we took out the drooping paneling on the ceiling and replaced it with drywall and new lighting.

This is the view of the room from the kitchen.

You can see how the rooms flow together in this kitchen picture.

There are built-ins on one wall with a television.

And french doors that lead outside on the other wall.

And then?

There was this wall.

A big blank wall without any windows or architectural features.

Just big and blank and getting blanker by the minute.

I tried everything to fill this space.  I went to every Target in a 10-mile radius and bought these wood architectural pieces and filled up the wall.

Too much.

I found this wood gate that I painted and tried to make look old with a paint finish.

Too little.

Plates?  Not right.  A bicycle on the wall like Joanna Gaines hung up in an office?  Too athletic.  A giant piece of artwork?  Too expensive.

And then I found these frames at IKEA.

Simple lines.  A little metallic glow.  Super inexpensive for the size (16″ x 20″).

I bought eight of them and left the mat and cut out pages from an old encyclopedia and mounted them on the plain frame back with double-stick tape.

Then we hung the frames on the wall to fill it up.

Here’s a close-up of one of the pages.

It’s a drawing of the inside of a turbine engine.

And that brown part?  It’s just the back of the frame.

A blank wall fixed for just the cost of the frames.

Everything else was free.

And now?

That stick room?

It isn’t stinky anymore. 🙂

PS  My husband STILL calls it the stink room.  I can’t even.

PPS  If you were worried about the vase to the left in the third picture.  Rest assured.  It’s about to be filled with greenery and branches.

All thanks to all of you and your AMAZING suggestions.

I adore you.

Now go take on the day.

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


    1. Image for Tish Tish

      So beautiful! Are your kitchen walls Mindful Gray also? If not would you share the color? I’m needing to change it up in my home a little☺️ Thanks

  1. Image for Terri Terri

    Gorgeous!!! Of course !!!! :) ... but I have way more exciting news !!!! Guess what I got in the mail yesterday !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES INDEED!!!!!Received my pre-order in the mail yesterday !!! Started flipping thru the pages last night.... BUT that was just because I was so excited!!! I will begin with chapter one and take my time !!! lololol...... but seriously though.... that Introduction ?????????? :) :) :)

  2. Image for Rachel Rachel

    Oh KariAnne, What an absolutely splendid solution! How wonderful to have and old stink room with great memories that came full circle for your family. I hope with all the adventures of this last year, that your heart is filled to over lowing with delight!!! Your home is beautiful!

    1. Image for Rachel Rachel

      WELL...I TRIED to fix the typos! I'm not sure what an over lowing heart is, buuuuuttt overflowing is what I meant!! haha THEN the and instead of an. Oh well, ttfn

  3. Image for Jessica Lardinais Jessica Lardinais

    Question...what is the theory on putting the 2 floor lamps behind the couch rather than next to each side of the couch? I'm curious because it covers up some of the wall decor and I've always put lamps to the side of a couch or chair. Is this a new trend? Personal preference? Hiding cords? Creating symmetry? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Jessica, LOL! I wish I had an amazing trend-setting answer. :) Those are table lamps on a table behind the sofa! I just liked the look of them up there and I didn't have two side tables, so I put them behind the couch. :) Happy day friend! karianne

      1. Image for Jessica Lardinais Jessica Lardinais

        Well, that makes total sense that they are table lamps on a table behind the couch! Great answer! :) I am big on covering up cords anywhere I can (could someone please invent cordless electricity?!!!) ...so I like the idea of putting them behind. Thanks for being your fabulous you!

        1. Image for Kristy Miklas Kristy Miklas

          I was wondering the same thing. I don't like the look of the lamps there either and feels it impedes the view of the frames. I would like to see them moved to the sides.

          1. Image for Cathy Cathy

            I thought the same. But now I understand why. Are side tables in your future? That would let the wall be the focal point then, IMHO.

  4. Image for Teresa G Teresa G

    I got mine, too!! It is my birthday present to myself! I can hardly wait to dive in. Love the artwork! I'm almost afraid to "mess it up!"" Oh, and I love the frames, too. Nothing like a little Ikea inspiration!

  5. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Just lovely in your home. At my house the pics would look like a drunk hung them. Enjoy! PS Where can I buy the CAN I HAVE THIS DANCE wall art?

  6. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Looks fabulous- and that is no stink room anymore! I do something similar with the pictures but I change them out seasonally since all it costs is the paper and ink on my printer. :)

  7. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I LOVE IT. I'm heading to Paducah's Hobby Lobby today, hoping to pick up a few items . . . I'm hoping for a grand sale, KariAnne-style! :) Love you, Rock Star!

  8. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    Stink room? I think we aren't getting all the details. Your description sounds like that magic room we all have in our houses, accessible via doors that appear only in our dreams, where we enter and hit our heads with the palms of our hands and say, Oh right, THAT room! I forgot all about it! And now I am going to turn it into something special! The wall looks great. And unique! I keep meaning to do something similar with some old sheet music, where some of the sheets are missing--turn the remainders into art.

  9. Image for judy judy

    Karianne ...Once again, the room looks GREAT. It's so welcoming! I have a quick comment about hanging multi pictures in even rows. In the past, I have placed a very large piece of paper on the floor and initially measured and placed the art work on the paper and marked where each hanger will go. Then I taped it on the wall and hammered in the hangers following the template. I was wondering if you had a better method or measured each individually and then hung?

  10. Image for DeAnna DeAnna

    I sat down and read the WHOLE book yesterday after the mail came. The intro is my favorite part! I really got it for my daughter who just moved to a new-to-her home. She told me to hurry! Love the frames and what you put inside them!

  11. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I love the stink room! (I think I would have even liked it in its former life). What a great solution to a blank wall too. IKEA has some of the best things that don't break the bank! Laughing about y'all making out in a room called "stink". LOL.

  12. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    Lovely. What can you do with a blank wall and french door? It is my dream to have just that and in a difference state that is warm most of the year where there would be French doors in most rooms and more than one in many of them. Even the bath room. My imagination works overtime and so does yours. That's why I love love love your blog. I love using large antique mirrors, some barely able to see in the mirrow and some of the frame missing behind sofas with a sofa table sitting behind the sofa and the mirror reflection the light from the lamps I place on the sofa table. I find gorgeous antique ones in consignment shops here. Isn't it so exciting to walk up on a wonderful find that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

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

    I can't believe you've done as much as you have. The house is looking great!! And I'm so excited I got your book yesterday. That is going to be my decorating bible when we find our new home. I can't wait. Sending huge hugs!! And you have to change the name of the room to spectacular room - stink no longer fits.

  14. Image for Susan Susan

    Love the room and the flow! You may not have considered that your mother knocked down that wall to keep a closer eye on her daughter!!! Enjoy your new old house!

  15. Image for Erin Erin

    Just had to tell you I received the best Amazon Valentine's Day delivery yesterday. Your New Book!! Even better than reading Charlotte Bronte on Valentines Day! When will we be able to access your video you mentioned a while back?

  16. Image for Theresa Theresa

    The Stink Room! Ha! That reminds me of a tray my mother always used years ago to bring us kids breakfast in bed when we were sick. I lovingly named it, of course, 'the sick tray.' Fast forward many years later when I offered it in a garage sale my sister and I were hosting. Whenever a customer would pick up and admire the tray, I would share the history of "the sick tray." It never sold. Can you imagine?? My sister suggested I quit sharing TMI. Maybe I just wasn't quite ready to part with it.

  17. Image for jillian jillian

    This is a very pretty room. We need to come up with a new name, sorry that one makes my skin crawl. Maybe your readers can help. We can call it the new name until, with positive reinforcement, (more making out, ? hee hee) your hubby will call it the new name.

  18. Image for Kris Kris

    Making out in the stink room???? Hmmmm. Not quite sure what to say. :) Anyway, if you ever find yourself confronted with a narrow hallway leading to bedrooms and bathrooms and have brilliant solutions for making the space pretty, I"d be all eyes and ears.

  19. Image for Katie Heidinger Katie Heidinger

    Stink room.....make out room....I love it, you are so funny!! The room is beautiful! I love your creativeness in decorating. I love how you wait until you find something affordable and put your Karianne spin on it!!!!

  20. Image for sherry sherry

    I love your posts, they are a lovely way to start a day. Continue having fun redoing your former home. The pictures look great and I love nearly free!

  21. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I think your husband still calls it the stink room for sentimental reasons ;-) Love the way you filled the wall and, even more, that it was mostly free. That's awesome!

  22. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    A wonderful room. I love those frames! I have copyrighted patent drawings/blueprints that were my husband’s dad’s and grandfather’s that are amazing and would be great in a grouping like that. Thanks for the inspiration, friend.

  23. Image for Lourdes A Lourdes A

    Thank Stink room is Stinking Cute! :-) You did a beautiful job! And guess what? I got THE DIY HOME PLANNER last night!!!! I saw the UPS truck driving down the block and I sent a little prayer that it was your book! Yay! I am so super excited! I can't wait - the timing is perfect since my husband is almost done renovating our entry foyer and his home office! He's refinished the hard wood floors, added high hats to his office and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Pale Oak, next up- he's going to add molding/trim to the windows./doors, ceilings and floors and then I can plan and decorate using YOUR BOOK!!! I am just giddy with joy! Thank you for such an amazing book! Have a great day!

  24. Image for Patti Patti

    The Mindful Gray looks so great in that room. I’d like to paint my condo kitchen cabinets in a light gray but I need it to be a warm shade as very little natural light. Anyone painted cabinets in this color? My walls are Revere Pewter so don’t know if I should paint cabinets the same? Help!!!

  25. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I love this post and frames. I hope to use as a seasonal picture changing photo walls. If the frames are easy to open in the book. Love the stink make out room. Girl we are sisters will share my story sometime. Hope to see you at the KY event. Love how you went home and are coming full circle. Still miss knowing you are in KY but you are right where God wants and needs you to be. Oh too funny sorry to jack rabbit but Cameron has been covering Livingston for different newspapers and loves the program and coach. Thrilled his soul that they twittered a welcome to their game when they spotted him. He's coming in from college to see them Friday night! Hope that's ok I shared here. If not forgive me.

  26. Image for Paula Foelker Paula Foelker

    Love, love, love the stink room! Especially the seating. May I ask where you found it? Anticipating more of your posts on decorating the "new" house!

  27. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    I bought white frames from Michael’s and put Christmas die cuts in them. And yes, after I had them hung for the holidays I went into IKEA just browsing and saw the frames. Oh my, I was so irritated at myself for not thinking to check there first. I don’t think I will forget them next time I need frames. I just love Ikea!! My favorite place for pillow covers and inserts. So easy to change up for seasons and holidays. I’m seriously thinking of stenciling on some. Yes I might try that. By the way, I love your repurposed stink room!!

    1. Image for Nancy Nancy

      I was wandering about the plants in the galvanized buckets. Are they real and what kind are they? Love your house, and love your blog.

  28. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Perfect in every way. I loooove your sofas and chairs. I mean like ‘banana split from Dairy Queen’ kind of love. You must be pinching yourself every day.

  29. Image for Cathy Cathy

    Looks fantastic but just wondering what happened to that great window made into a chalk board you had at the farmhouse? It was a great large piece also!


    Love how you have decorated that room, KariAnne! It's lovely! The artwork in the IKEA frames is so unique! You have such great ideas! Enjoy that new room! Blessings!

  31. Image for Brenda Farris Brenda Farris

    Beautiful. But please...take time to still make out in that room with your husband.. Don't ever lose sight of that! :)

  32. Image for Carolyn Palmer Carolyn Palmer

    Marianne, I love your decorating and especially this room. It’s probably just me but the birdcage is distracting against the wonderful pics. Also I think the lamps should be on the sides of your sofa to expand your vignette. Just my opinion—I love this room. You are so clever to find such inexpensive solutions to problems. I have to decorate on the cheap.

  33. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    You'll have to start calling it the "stinkin' cute" room, maybe the hubby will catch on...or the make-out room, lol.....then again...no, you have teenagers in the house!! It looks really cute, love it. So, how many square feet is the new/old house?

  34. Image for Cheryl Foley Cheryl Foley

    What a wonderful room, and the vignette behind your sofa is perfect just the way it is. I wouldn't change a thing!

  35. Image for Theresa Theresa

    Love how this gallery wall is styled. Thanks for sharing at the inspiration spotlight party @DearCreatives pinned and sharing.

  36. Image for Tammy Tammy

    KariAnne, I have some black botanicals that I want to frame , but was thinking that I would have to have mats cut .... but maybe not! I love the idea of leaving the brown backing. Thanks for the idea! I also LOVE the blank wall now!

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