chalkboard farmhouse

Just know that I’m laughing as I write this.

I tried.

I really, really tried.

I tried to be fun and crazy and full of color and mix pink with orange and add giant polka dot rugs and patterned walls.

But it never really seemed to work at the Gatehouse.  I made it into my office space for the blog and set up my computer and desk and fancy calendars from the Target dollar spot and went to work.  And it was okay and fine and the polka dot rug made me smile one day out of the week.

But in the end?

My heart will always belong to farmhouse.


So let’s take a little look back at the beauty salon turned gatehouse turned office.

Here’s the before before.

Where it all started.


And here it is at the height of my color days.

I painted the mid-century sideboard I got at an auction SW Dragon Fruit and added chevron chairs and brightly colored pillows.

And covered the walls in patterned wrapping paper.




Here’s evolution #2.

I painted the walls with chalkboard paint and added more black and white and made some arrows and pink monograms on the cornice boards.


Less pattern.

But that pink?  Just between us it made me squint.

Gatehouse farmhouse

And now?


It’s full of calm and farmhouse and sunshine and neutrals.

I added a sign just in case anyone wondered about the new style.

You Make Me Happy


Simple and more simple.

It’s what my heart was craving.


I made new curtains from the khaki swirl in my fabric line and added the pom pom pillows and sent the chevron chairs to be recovered.

And brought these chairs over from the main house in the meantime.

And I cleaned everything out and purged and donated and let all the extra stuff live a fine life in someone else’s house.

farmhouse style gatehouse

It’s so calm now.

Simple and clean and collected.

I feel like I can breath and concentrate and work and can’t wait to come home.


Even this thistle my sister made for me from book pages can shine.

It’s all by itself with a lamp and pallet wood table made by my brother.

A little farmhouse art installation.

chalkboard farmhouse

Don’t get me wrong.

I love color.  I like pink and orange and blue and polka dots and stripes and checks.

But it’s a little overwhelming to live with them and work with them everyday.


It’s going to be a fun year.

I can’t even wait to show you all the stuff I’ve been working on.

I have three room make-over projects in the works and a bunch of fun projects I’m creating.

But for today?

I’m relaxing with a glass of sweet tea, a little sunshine and a whole lot of farmhouse. 🙂

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  1. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I love the calm version. What does that say about us? Does it mean we are by nature calm? Ha! I know that's not true. Maybe the calmness in interior allows the soul to be creative and the personality to be colorful. Just like you my friend! Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Have loved every evolution!! And I am sure that you will continue to revise and make it wonderful...Enjoy the calm and the sweet tea, my friend for a few moments before you continue the next make over!! love.❤️

  3. Image for Terri Terri

    It speaks "Peace & Calm" ....... I LOVE it!! The "Hot" pinky "DragonFruit" colors were beautiful with those chairs... but ... oh that Farmhouse look!!! NOTHING like it!!!!!! and .... if you keep squinting... you will create wrinkles!!!!!!!! lololol.... Yes I did burst out laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Image for Gail Gail

    I think it is funny how you really can be more creative in a room with less. I think your mind can then open and dream of wonderful things, adding colors and shapes as it goes. Love the material drapes.

  5. Image for Gee Gee

    I luv colours as well. But in my décor I find I must have calm... neutral. Serene makes me not go nuts! This new look is so beautiful and calming!!!

  6. Image for Sunny Sunny

    Please tell me where the drop leaf table with the little drawers in the middle came from. It would be perfect in my craft room!

  7. Image for Char Char

    Where did you get that great little white drop leaf table with the drawers? I've been looking for something like that for my sewing room. Thanks.

  8. Image for Louann Louann

    True to form, it is gorgeous just like you! After 10 years of a tomato red dining room, I was ready for s definate change so . . . . Mind if I inquire as to the wall color and trim color you used? Just had our. dining room walls painted in Greek Villa ( a warm base creamy white ) and one feature wall in Tricorn Blaxk ( with a glaze) all SW paints. We love it! However, there is a catch . . . . Our existing white millwork ( crown and baseboard) has taken on a dirty yellow cast. Want to have it repainted ASAP. I feel it needs to be crisp to pop against the white walls. HELP! If you have a suggestion you would be able to share, we would love to hear your thoughts. As always, I have Thistlewood with my coffee each morning!! Thanks. Wishing you a wonderful weekend from Oahoma City. Louann

  9. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Oh yes, much calmer. I agree that the black/white/vibrant pattern and color were really cute but maybe only in short spans of time. This is much more conducive to creativity, I think. Great job!! Btw, I love the little table with the drop leaves and drawers--perfect for a craft/sewing room! Can I ask where you bought it?

  10. Image for Winnie Winnie

    I just love that fabric from your line, Karianne! I'm a fabric gal ~ that's all there is to it!! And I totally 'get' the peaceful surroundings thing - it looks so inviting now. Nice transformation . . .

  11. Image for Zolane Zolane

    Love the calming. I've tried steering from what I love to branch out a bit and have forced myself to live with it. Two years is about all I can take:) What paint color did you use for your walls, KariAnne? Just beautiful!

  12. Image for Kim Kim

    Love it and totally get where you are coming from. This is why I am toning down the color in my house. I need calm with just a few touches of color. I still have a lot of color left in the farmhouse style guest room and some day that may change, too. For now it works because I don't live in that room.

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    Vibrant colors, for me, are like big cities. Fun to visit but I don't want to live there. That paper thistle? Gorgeous!

  14. Image for jae jae

    I admit, I liked the bright gatehouse look in a " like staying at a resort and I love the bright but I dont want to bring it home" kind of way. The new look is a serene, clean, move in and settle down look. But isnt it fun that we can try new things and then move on? Makes life much more interesting! Love the new look. You rocked it!

  15. Image for lisa at celebrate creativity lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi KariAnne, I love the new look too. I'm a more neutral-colored fan myself. Styles, tastes and color interests are always evolving. Nothing wrong with that. It's fun to see your different approaches to this room. The window treatments (and with your own fabric, oh-la-la) are perfect for the space and influence the calm, more tranquil presentation. Beautiful transformation. Happy weekend to you!

  16. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Love, love, love the transformation and the "new" farmhouse look!! Oh my pretty and so calming. I love all of the textures and farmhouse accessories. Thanks for sharing - can't wait to see the other room transformations and projects! Happy Weekend, Friend!

  17. Image for Lindamarie Branscomb Lindamarie Branscomb

    I love the calm, peaceful beauty of the gate house. I love color also, but as a pop. I've come to accept I want my nest to feel like a hug. The new gatehouse look is a wonderful hug from a true friend. Get job!

  18. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Love the farmhouse look but I must admit when you first revealed that color, I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. And I still love it too

  19. Image for Stacey Stacey

    It wasn't you! And you know who you Are! We can try to change ourselves, go with something new, a bit different, try to be daring or think outside our own box......but if it is forced it is not Right. You Know what is right.......Go with it and be Happy! All looks lovely, I always wondered where all those Hot colors came from.

  20. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne.....that gatehouse was really a WOW, but so chaotic and I did wonder how you ever managed to......... C. O. N. C. E. N. T. R. A. T. E. This is pretty serene though.....would I find you napping instead of working, if I peeked in your window? LOL

  21. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Your new room sings loudly and brightly that it so happy and knows it. So very inviting and inspiring! I'm off after I click the post comment button here to do something creative! You're awesome and wishing you a super grand weekend!!

  22. Image for Michele Michele

    Oh, thank God. (Im smiling, not being mean.) I really didn't relate to that crazy bright look and couldn't believe how before it I was always nodding my head and saying that you were my soul sister in design (nearly everything you touched I said yes yes yes to,) then you bombed us with all that PIZZAZZ AND ZING and I stopped relating even remotely I never could wrap my head around the difference. I even kinda left ya for a long bit till I missed all the other stuff too much and came back knowing there'd be days I'd have to look away and go to a happy place, a little less "loud." : - p So, guess this is a a good lesson in "to one's one self be true," eh? Love this new look - it's wonderful, it seems so much more you. Good job. Let those others go crazy with their color, bleck. Gimme peace, give me calm, give me neutral till the end of my days, least that is how *I* feel. Glad you're back lol. Hugs. Have a great weekend. ♥♥♥ Hugs.

  23. Image for Donnamae Donnamae it looks much more calm...but still filled with personsality! And that thistle really shines! I personally think, chevron is too full of itself! ;)

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

    I know exactly what you mean!! I wrote about this in a post -- that what looks good on someone else doesn't necessarily look good on you. You are bubbly and fun and exciting and that's your color -- that's you. To surround yourself with too much bright hues just kinda clashes with your bright personality. You need the calm neutral to be creative!! I'm still searching for myself -- I know what styles and colors I like but I just am unsure how to proceed. Well, I love your house and your gatehouse -- IT"S YOU!! Hugs!!

  25. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    Love the look. So calm and peaceful. I looked at the pillow tutorial and I would like to make one. Can you tell me what size insert you got for the 18 x 18 and where you find down inserts, as that would be my preference as well. Really enjoy your blog!!! Thanks

  26. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Love, love, love farmhouse! Can't get enough of just neutrals and sweet, simple designs. Adore the new curtains. What a refreshing place to work!

  27. Image for Susan Susan

    I have admired every lovely incarnation of your not only know your way around neutrals, you are also a master at working with colour...everything you have done with the gatehouse has demonstrated your talents perfectly. But yes, I must agree with the general consensus that the current farmhouse look is the most beautiful incarnation yet...anyone would be in absolute heaven spending time in this gorgeous space! Oh, how I sooooooo love your curtains made with your new fabric and I am crushing over your drop-cloth pom-pom pillows which I MUST try making for myself now. The gatehoue is simply stunning, show here, yet again, that no one can match your stylin' ways! Thank you for choosing to share it with us!

  28. Image for Heather C Heather C

    I remember when you showed us the finished product and I thought, yes hot pink, I can dig it. But KariAnne we all evolve and taste change and now you are at a calmer, a more of you know who you are look and everything is a backdrop to the new you and thats not to say next month you won't be herringbone with tweed (personally I'm not seeing it - but), I love to change and you have a lot of space and it's good to shake things up a bit. You go girl.

  29. Image for Jill Jill

    Oh no!!! A colorless home is just so darn boring to me. Room after room after room of beige and grey is not where I want to be. I can't embrace the colors of gray skies and mud and stones. They're just too depressing. It's like living in a place where it's winter all year long. I love your writing and your rustic farmhouse style and I was even OK with all that boring beige because every once in a while the sassier side of you would surface and create some really inspired, fun rooms--like the pink and black gatehouse or your husband's colorful office--and make my heart sing. But instead I'm gasping with disappointment and wondering when this dreaded more-than-decade-long obsession with beige and grey will come to an end and design magazines, interior decorators, manufacturers, retailers, bloggers, and homemakers will welcome color back into their lives. When did color become a bad word? What's wrong with the color of fresh cut grass, pink petunias, blue skies, and sunshine? I know, I'm rambling. Rambling and disappointed, and wishing you would unleash your more daring side.

  30. Image for Terry Moore Terry Moore

    I really feel the way you do about it but don't want it in my face so much. Love each look and it will help those that can't see the finial product in their heads before it's done like we can, but my favorite is the last and current.

  31. Image for Donna Donna

    Wow, liked the first creative but not me. Love the farmhouse style so very much! Love everything you do !!!!! cant wait for whats next!

  32. Image for Sue B. Sue B.

    A calm washed over my eyes just from looking at the first picture to the newly redecorated room. I love calm and especially your way of creating calm.

  33. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    It's your space so it should reflect what you like, and what you find easy and enjoyable to live with...however that being said, I couldn't help but notice how vastly different the two styles/rooms are, from one extreme to the you have different personas in charge, kind of like me! However I handle mine differently. I keep the floors and the walls neutral (oatmeal) as well as the furniture (with a few colored accent pieces) but I bring in lots of color with revolving accents, that get changed with the holidays and seasons so that I don't tire of things and it always looks fresh. I hope you enjoy your "fresh" space!

  34. Image for Marie, The Interior Frugalista Marie, The Interior Frugalista

    Oh, I just loved your happy gatehouse with it's bold and vibrant colors and patterns. I felt sad when I started reading this post and learned it was no longer. Then I kept reading. The farmhouse style really is quite lovely too and yes, MUCH calmer.

  35. Image for Terry Terry

    Every detail of this room is absolutely stunning! I am in love with those throw pillows ... and EVERYTHING else! Well done! I hope you have a great week! If you feel like linking up to one more party I host Making Broken Beautiful every Thursday thru Sunday. It is a furniture and home decor party and I'd be honored if you would come inspire! Smiles! Terry

  36. Image for Debbie from MountainMamaOnline Debbie from MountainMamaOnline

    Don't get me wrong, I love color. But I love it most in accessories....on my mostly neutral backdrop. This way when I need more 'calm' in my life and home I can swap out pillow covers, throws, accessories and back it down a notch. I'm getting to that point's time to bring it into 'spring' mode. Love the changes to the gatehouse...everything you do, although very neutral, is full of warmth and texture, therefore never, ever boring!

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