A couple of weeks ago we were cleaning out the attic.

Because we are super-exciting and cutting edge and live a jet-set lifestyle….

….this is what we do for fun.

It’s actually an adventure up there.  Treasures that you forgot about hidden away in the eves and forgotten pieces of junk just waiting for a project.  You never know what you’ll find.

This time was no exception.

There, in between a 10-foot wood map of Kentucky and tiny ballerina dresses and and my Dear Abby mirror sat this.


A tiny wooden chair from a time when tiny people still wore those ballerina skirts and had tea parties.  This was the chair from the twins’ preschool classroom.  The preschool sold them off when new plastic ones arrived and I took four home with me.

It was a little rough and chipped and craft paint splattered.

Along the way someone had added a few stickers for decoration.


Here’s a close up of the archeological remnant from our sticker days.

Apparently we were really into encouragement.

And hula hooping dogs.


I smiled and turned away and starting filling boxes from the attic to donate when I spun around and looked at those chairs again.

They smiled back at me.

They knew what was coming.


They knew I had a blank wall in the gate house that I had been looking to fill.

I could have added a picture.

Or a mirror.

Or a gallery wall.


But why?

Why settle for ordinary or sufficient or regular?

Why be like everyone else when you have four chairs sitting up in your attic just waiting to be painted.


I took them downstairs and we cleaned them off and sanded them up and spray painted them in different colors of blue.

And hung them on the wall in the gatehouse.

Then I added some pumpkins in this tool box from my friend Susie who has a story that made my heart break.


I was so excited about how everything turned out and I called the twins over to show them their old chairs partying it up in 2016.

They looked at the chairs and looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

“Mom,” they giggled. “They’re cute, but you are so silly.  Everyone knows chairs don’t go on the wall.”

I smiled and told them of course I knew that, but there are times when it’s really hard to keep a good chair down.

They laughed, grabbed their phones and walked out the door and down the steps of the gatehouse.  Then, just as I was about to close the door,  I overheard one twin say to her sister, “Aren’t you glad Mom isn’t like anyone else?”

Those funny, sweet, encouraging daughters of mine got it.

They understood.

They gave me the thumbs up.

I’m so happy those stickers are still working. 🙂


PS  In super exciting news they are coming to film a commercial here today at the house for Window World!

And if you live in or around Kearney, Nebraska, I’ll be there on Thursday.  Be sure and stop by, I’d love to meet you!

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Jaime Jaime

    Precious post. As soon as I saw the first photo, I thought "Oh! Chairs on the wall! I get to see more about KariAnne's gatehouse!" I think it's soooo fun that you have a gatehouse :D Happy Monday to you!

  2. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Love those little chairs. Have a wonderful time in Nebraska! I'm sure you will come back with much inspiration...and memories that will make our day. Safe travels, friend!

  3. Image for Karina Karina

    I have one of those little wooden chairs and love it!! What a great idea hanging them on the wall. That right there is why I love your many fun ideas and you think outside the box. Who wants a wall full of pictures when you can have cute little chairs! Are you planning on coming to Nashville, TN anytime soon to visit a fabric store?

  4. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I love the little chairs on the wall. But you missed your chance at an "educational moment". The Quakers hung chairs on walls to keep the floor clear. Much easier to clean too. They had pegs along all their walls and hung most things. Just my tidbit of info from history trips. What a useful display too. Doesn't everyone need an extra shelf here and there? Love your girls. Glad they appreciate you.

  5. Image for Ellen Ellen

    Don't you just love those old wood schoolhouse chairs? My Son made a table for my Grandson by taking the base of a stool and constructing a top onto that. Then he stripped two schoolhouse chairs and refinished all three pieces to match, rustic and perfect in my living room. I also have an old schoolhouse desk with chair and a chair with desk top attached. You did an amazing refinish on your chairs and the creative display is so YOU!! Love it! Your daughters are so clever, just like their Mom. Thank-you for a lovely Monday morning post. P.S. I so missed Thistlekeeping on Saturday and kept checking until I remembered that you were at Chapel Hill. Hope is went well.

  6. Image for Karen Karen

    Karianne, please tell me what became of the stickers? Did you paint over them, or remove them or possibly left the tops unpainted? I would not have been able to give up the stickers! Thanks for this fun adventure!

  7. Image for Michele Michele

    I love this story so much. The keeping of the chairs and your fearlessness in painting them! I would have spent so much time arguing with myself about doing it (only because they are sentimental pieces, and should you, or shouldn't you?) that I would have given up and put them away. And you gave them life with such vitality and have them on display. I love this!!! Keeping the past and keeping it relevant. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  8. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    I have a thing for little chairs and think they shine up on that wall...and they are right at hand if you need to pull them down and use them. Your daughters are really sweet! PS I love the look of orange pumpkins against that blue paint...

  9. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Yes ma'am! They look adorable on the wall (makes me wish I still had my kids' chairs!). And your twins are right -- you are a one-of-a-kind trend setter, not afraid to look outside the box ;-) So happy for you, my friend, and the exciting life you've created for yourself (yes, even rummaging through the attic!) and all the wonderful things happening for you. You are an inspiration to all of us in so many ways!!

  10. Image for Linda Meents Linda Meents

    Your daughters are so right and I'm so happy to follow you. . .one extraordinary person! I love the chairs!

  11. Image for june june

    My boys tell me all the time I'm one in a million:) I'm happy they see humor in who I am. Oh the stories our kids will have for their kids. I love the chairs...what a fun way to display and a memory or two to go along with it. Have fun in Kearny. I was just in Lincoln NE seeing my kids a week ago...both in grad school at UNL. I wish it was this coming weekend...I would have come down early just to see you:) If you get to Lincoln you MUST stop at Lemars Bakery. The best out there!!!

  12. Image for Janis Janis

    I also have 4 children, 2 girls and twin boys (now 41). My 4 have given me 16 grandchildren, ages 4-18. I rarely respond, but I love your blog. It is the first one I read every day. As a just-retired English teacher, I appreciate your writing talent as well as your emphasis on family and faith.

  13. Image for Claudine Claudine

    KariAnne! You are so cute!!! Yes, I am so glad your daughters love that you are not like anyone else!!! This post prompted me to say this: one day we will meet, and I will be so excited I want to hold hamds with you and jump up and down!!! Like kids coming back to school from vacation and meeting old friends! Hugs, darling!

  14. Image for Susan Susan

    Those wee chairs have never looked happier, I bet! I LOVE that you found a way to take items which are sentimental from years past that you no longer use, beautify them, and display them proudly! In this way, you can always keep the memories attached to those chairs close at hand. And, I must say, they look absolutely stunning on your gatehouse wall! This is sooooo much more unexpected to the eye, but such a visual treat! And I agree wholeheartedly with your baby girls...I'm glad you aren't like anyone else, too! Happy day, Rock Star! :)

  15. Image for Sheila F Sheila F

    Smiles-Tears-Thankfulness: Smiles- My daughters, (now grown with families of their own), each had wooden twin bed sets. They used their headboards to display EVERY sticker they could get their hands on... for YEARS! Each sticker, or groups of stickers, held memories. Needless to say, by the time they outgrew those beds... there was barely any wood showing. It was ALL stickers! They agreed to give their precious "memory" beds to a falmily in our church. A family with TEN children! The lucky recipients of those tricked out sticker beds were over the moon with delight! New memories were in the making! Tears- For your friend Susie and the devastation that she, her family, and her community are experiencing. Thankfulness- For stories that remind us that we have MUCH to be thankful for. Blessed day to you and yours! ❤️

  16. Image for Dale Deacon Dale Deacon

    Great idea and love having items with family history hanging around, and unexpected as wall decor. What I truly love is your daughter's comment as they were leaving. They realize their red lipstick, curly haired, with the memorable smile, quirky humor, talented mom is a priceless treasure, accepted and loved. Congrats!

  17. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

    I have two Queen Anne dining room chairs hanging in my garden room. I bought them for extra seating but have only taken them down once for a large gathering. And then they were too difficult to rehang. So now they are just sculpture. Love your little chairs.

  18. Image for Kris Kris

    I never like to do things just because "that's the way everyone does it", either. That's probably why I like you. Those chairs need to stay on the wall! :)

  19. Image for Loryl Loryl

    Ah, those sweet chairs remind me of my time in the preschool classroom. So sturdy and cute. Love how they look on your wall.

  20. Image for Randi Randi

    Oh gosh, my girls collected stickers by the dozen. We had so many it was ridiculous! The chairs are lovely and what a perfect way to preserve a memory!

  21. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Love the sweet story and I'm glad you found such a great use for those chairs! They are too cute to be stuck up in the's nice when our children give us a thumbs up! Whee! A commercial. At your house! Wow! Congrats!

  22. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Hey, did you see the idea on Pinterest to use these chairs on the wall like this as a closet? Hang your clothes off the rungs and then use the seats for the "shelf" that is near the top of the closet. I wish I were so creative like that. You are an inspiration to us all and I am so glad you are not like anyone else either!

  23. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Chairs on the wall will be all the rage now!!! What a great story. Your girls are adorable. My daughter covered the side of her nightstand (closest to her bed) with stickers. Now I wish we still had it....for HER daughter!

  24. Image for Raquel Raquel

    LOL! My first thought was "Oh, Kari's put chair stickers on her wall," and I thought they looked awesome. But no, you had to hang the real thing up there!

  25. Image for Sue Sue

    Karianne,your the only friend that has a gatehouse. Your the only friend that has chairs on the wall. Your the only friend that has a book being published. Your a one and only amazing friend to all your fans.

  26. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Love those chairs and their new "home" on the gatehouse clever! I know they bring back good memories and will now be a great reminder of those memories. They look pretty cute "sporting" pumpkins, too! :) Thanks for sharing.....

  27. Image for Joyce P Wright Joyce P Wright

    So wonderful to read your delightful stories & see pictures! Hope all is well with your family (loving school & making new friends). I feel privileged to have met you & the girls! Keep up the good work & hugs to you & the twins!?

  28. Image for Kimberly Bruhn Kimberly Bruhn

    You know how you do something kind of quirky and wait, wait, wait for confirmation that it's "cool" or "clever?" Well, you just made my confirmation day (without the white dress)! I know it's a bulky, weird habit but I have been collecting children's chairs for years. I have maybe a dozen (or more, gulp). About 5 years ago I decided to figure out how to hang 7 of them on my family room wall...sort of like decorative shelves. My kids made such fun of my "chair wall" that when I painted about a year ago (a nice change to gray from Tuscan gold with barn-red accent wall) I decided I could remove those chairs and do something else. I know I took a picture of this weirdness so when I find it I will share it with you, my "chairs on the wall club," friend!

  29. Image for Maria Maria

    Hula hooping dog stickers;) Not often you read a story about that. I'm so glad you decorate so creatively. It always brings a smile to everyones face. And your hula hooping dog encouragement stickers must have worked, your daughters seem so fun. Or maybe you are just a really great mom;)

  30. Image for Funky Junk Interiors - Donna Funky Junk Interiors - Donna

    So, where were you when I had all those chairs in my storage, to the point of me giving them away? Do you have a 911 Call Junk number avail? I LOVE this look! Featured you this weekend's DIY Salvaged Junk 350. Thanks for linking up!

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