If you had a gatehouse and you had been working on it for the past month….and the last awning was hung and the new door was in place….

….is it embarrassing if you stood out in front of it and waved?

For at least twenty minutes.

What if people driving by honked….and you started clapping?

Or danced the lawnmower?

Would that be considered over the top?

Too much?

I’m just checking.

Not that anyone around here would do that. ðŸ™‚


But if some one did….it would be because some one couldn’t help it.


All the enthusiasm and joy just kind of bubbled over.

I mean….when you start off with this.


And with a little elbow grease….

…and a little paint….

And the cutest set of striped awnings…..


It turns into this….who wouldn’t dance?

Can you believe it?

It was gray and overcast and raining today…..

….and I was still dancing when I went over this afternoon to take pictures.

painted-concrete-stepsHere’s just a few curb appeal ideas from the gatehouse transformation.

We painted all the concrete on the steps and around the base of the house.

Then we taped off a stripe on the steps with painter’s tape and painted a faux runner on the front.


I painted a welcome mat from IKEA.

I think it was $2.00.


I just printed letters off on the computer and cut them out.

Then I taped the outline of the letters and a border with painter’s tape and spray painted the whole mat.


Then we added these rustic metal numbers and topiary knock-out roses.

The black planters are from Lowe’s for about $9.00.

The black and white striped awnings came from Home Depo and I ordered them online.


I think my favorite addition are the new porch lights from Lamps Plus.

I adore them.

Don’t they look so gatehousey?

They are fun and modern with a classic design that might make a person stand outside a gatehouse and wave and dance the lawnmower.

If they were so inclined.

Good thing I’m way too mature for that. 🙂

Lamps Plus is the official lighting sponsor of the gatehouse and sent me these complimentary porch lights.  

All opinions about lighting and dancing are completely my own.

Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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  1. Image for Donna Donna

    I love how it all comes together. So pretty! The awnings add just the right touch. I don't blame you for dancing. The doormat is such a nice touch too. I can't believe all the things you do Could you tell me about the wreath on the door.?It's so summery looking and gorgeous. What is it made of and where did you find the monogrammed letters?

  2. Image for Susan M. Susan M.

    So dang Ka-Yute and welcoming! You do know that we're all impatiently waiting to see what you dream up for the inside, right?

  3. Image for Amy Seward Amy Seward

    I have been following you for sometime and just haven't left a comment. Usually when I check my email, I scan for a "" email, I open it and I say - O to the M to the Gee! I love all your stuff. I love your writing. I love your addiction to burlap and how you jooge it all up fancy like. I have a baby blog that I do with my sista. Look at it and tell me if one day I can be as cool as you. Honestly, Amy


    omg what a transformation...I love the awnings,the door,the lights and really love the painted runner..oh and I really love the guys are awesome and you deserve to dance!!!!!!! :-)

  5. Image for Mary W Mary W

    It turned out so cute no wonder you were waving and dancing! I love the steps, I might try those on my front steps. I would love to know more about the metal numbers and the wreath too!

  6. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Who wouldn't wave after they breathed new life into a lonely little house? Most excellent. Some happy celebratory dancing is always in order and nothing says happiness like doing the lawn mower in the yard of a house with fresh curb appeal.

  7. Image for Theresa Theresa

    Can I come live there? You have again out done yourself!! The gatehouse is so beautiful. I love the metal numbers and all the monograms and t he awnings (my fav)... so please feel free to dance, cartwheel or sign at the top of your lungs because you deserve it!!! I love reading your posts because you have such a way with words... have you ever thought of writing a book? You probably get that a lot!

  8. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    All I can say is that it's too stinking adore able. The steps are my favorite. The way you pull us all in with your story absolutely cracks me up. The photos are lovely. I am patiently waiting for you to open the door and invite us all in so we can ooooh and aah at all the wonderful ideas you have infused it with.

  9. Image for Beverly Beverly

    It is darling, KariAnne. You guys have pulled it all together perfectly. The new door adds so much, and I do loved those striped awnings. Now, whose job is it to keep the plants watered?

  10. Image for Bekah Bekah

    I am almost ashamed to admit how excited I have been to see some your gatehouse AFTER pictures. Any of them. Any room. Any view. It's been like the blogs I read where people are having babies and I check EVERY DAY to see if that baby has been born yet. Sigh. :) I am IN LOVE with the outside of this. GREAT job. And now I have to paint a runner on my porch steps too.

  11. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Good morning, KariAnne, love this transformation - I can just envision you dancing with glee - it is marvelous to get such a project done and so beautifully! Love it! I hope you have a blessed weekend, Kathy

  12. Image for Joanne Joanne

    I love your style! Your blog always makes me smile. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for the gatehouse.

  13. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You've certainly earned the right to dance! Painting the concrete was sheer putting on a top hat and tails! Looks fantastic....can't wait to see the inside! ;)

  14. Image for Mike (CraftyDad) Mike (CraftyDad)

    Holy transformations, Batman! What a sweet-looking little place. I love it! And, although I'm not one to judge a book by its cover (or a gatehouse by its exterior), I am VERY excited to see what the inside looks like. Who CARES what the neighbors think?. I mean really. You can dance with any lawn care machine or farm implement you want to. And, from the sounds of some of your posts, you've got plenty of those to choose from in your neck of the woods. Woo to the Hoo, lady! Enjoy your weekend. We're headed to the lake for some R&R (and some farmers market and some used book store and some walking along with Matt on the golf course). : - )

  15. Image for Marian Marian

    So girlie, come clean. When does the Gatehouse open as your own little shop? I am sure that's where you are going. Will you be stocking Linda's pillows and mason jars? Marian

  16. Image for Jean Jean

    I thought you meant dancing WITH the lawnmower. I guess I have no idea what the lawnmower dance is! Love what you've done with the place, though!

  17. Image for Tonia R Tonia R

    I would dance. Just looking at the pictures I can't help but grin in amazement over the massive change. I want to live there!

  18. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Beautiful transformation Kari...and you got those awnings from Home Depot??!...they are fabulous and just the perfect compliment to your cute Gatehouse!

  19. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Very Cute! Love It! Is painting concrete hard? We have a little front porch with steps and a sidewalk that I would love to paint. I have been saying this for seven years and still haven't taken the plunge. First I have no clue what color to use and second do I use paint or stain. I know now the design. I love how you painted a runner. It looks great.

  20. Image for Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker

    My husband said that the grey on the bottom makes the house look bigger, and the door is wonderful! The plants are awesome, too! Do you have plans for a flower garden in front?

  21. Image for Jan G. Jan G.

    My bag is packed, i'm ready to move in... just PM me the directions 'k... I have a small garden shed my husband built for me one Christmas in the "shop" at the farm and he really, really surprised me with it; I think it's time to clean it out and pretty it up and bring it in line with your gatehouse...

  22. Image for Regina Regina

    LOVE IT! I say you "happy dance" anywhere you want! :) Hmmmm . . . I'm thinking my front steps need a little something . . . ;)

  23. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    KariAnne, Too busy today to read all the comments so if mine is a duplicate I'm sorry. But I had to tell you, I love the painted concrete and the striped awnings. I hope you are planning on a post about your wreath. So unusual and I love the monogram peeking out. Happy Dance all around. Anna

  24. Image for Karen Karen

    The gatehouse house turned out beautifully. Don't ever get too mature to dance the lawn mower in the rain. :-) *hugs* k

  25. Image for Dawna Dawna

    Are there some inside pictures! Adorable!! We are previous BnB owners,and there is a building that is perfect for another guest house on our new property! Thanks for the inspiration! I think I am ready to get busy with another guest house!!

  26. Image for gena gena

    So, so cute! I know how much I love our little guest house - it's like a doll house that I can fluff and decorate without any serious stuff! Enjoy!!! gena

  27. Image for Mary Feguson Mary Feguson

    How stunning! You are so talented lady - is there anything that you can't do? Everything is perfect and I like the awnings, lights, house numbers and steps that are painted. I am going to have to try that. Thanks again for such a great post. Looking forward to seeing the inside. Have a Happy Weekend. Mary

  28. Image for Lisa Huff Kroll Lisa Huff Kroll

    Karianne, It looks AMAZING!! Wow you are an inspiration!!! Love the mat idea. Love the painted porch. LOVE, Love Love the striped awnings. Bravo, Lisa

  29. Image for karen karen

    Such a transformation! LOVE the awnings, and I'm going to copy your striped runner on my steps! My very favorite are the vintage house numbers. They really are a great detail. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Image for jean jean

    Where do I look for awnings? My bedroom windows face west and there's no shade. The only ones I've found so far are very expensive and somewhat dumpy looking. Love the transformation.

  31. Image for bethanie bethanie

    I'm dying to see the inside~~ and I'm totally stealing the step painting idea. The steps into my basement are boring gray...only you would find a way to cuten them up. I don't think cuten is a word, but you know what I mean!! xoxox

  32. Image for jessica @fourgenerationsoneroof jessica @fourgenerationsoneroof

    Thistle you are cracking me up all the way up here in Boston! I cannot wait to someday come stay in your gatehouse. The striped awnings and the cutest little lights are adorable! Nicely done on the steps as well. You rocked it girl! I had an idea the other day, oh you will think I am out of my mind, sorry.....cannot share here! We will chat :) hehe

  33. Image for Jen (Arriving) Jen (Arriving)

    It looks so GOOD! I was standing out in front of our house for 20 minutes today, but at the other end of the spectrum. trying to figure out how to redo the quickie "landscaping" job. Need to re-use most of the plants, and add more lawn and I just could not wrap my head around it. ❈ ps - sorry no new posts on blog, IG'ing, but have been having fun in our free time instead of blogging, ha!

  34. Image for Angela Angela are WAY too funny for your own good, and I can totally see you out in the yard waving to your little gatehouse like a fool drunk on her own excitement. I LOVE IT! P.S I think I would have paid money to see someone dancing in the yard with a lawnmower! By the way CUTE Gatehouse...well done!

  35. Image for Steph Steph

    Yes, Karianne..... Dance, dance, dance for the beauty you have created and put forth into the world. What you do with actual objects is only a small portion of the energy that comes from it and goes outward to create ripples of beauty!

  36. Image for Doreen@househoneys Doreen@househoneys

    What a sweet space! Love the striped awnings! Who knew HD had these? Not me. Now I have to figure out what the lawn mower dance is...just when I was starting to think I might be just a little cool :/

  37. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Hi, Miz karianne....I have been out of town and missed a few of your posts, so I'm catching up today. Wow, sure am glad I didn't miss this one!!! Absolutely gorgeous....waaah, I want one! Now, instead of wading through all my missed emails (and your next post), I'm racking my brain trying to imagine how I can incorporate this into MY little world. Can't wait to see the rest.

  38. Image for Richella Parham Richella Parham

    Girlfriend, you should be dancing! (Hey, that could be a song. . . "You should be dancin', yeah. . . .") Anyway, I'd certainly be dancing if I'd done that makeover. What used to go on in the beauty shop stage of the Gatehouse can't hold a candle to what's going on these days. I'd say you've given her a perm AND highlights, just without the yucky chemical smell. Honestly, those awnings are so cute. So does the front of the house face west? Or did you just like the awnings because they're adorable? And the stripes on the front steps? Brilliant. Like lipstick. :)

  39. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Oh, it's just beautiful KariAnne! Love everything but I think those stairs are my favorite part! I've been on the hunt for some of those metal letters for our house address sign too!

  40. Image for Diane Diane

    Wow, wow, wow, you sure changed my mind! I never ever saw an awning I liked, I always thought they detracted from the beauty of a home, but boy was I wrong, I love these! And the lights and painted steps are the frosting on the cake! Just an amazing transformation! ~Diane

  41. Image for Becah Becah

    Please post in a few weeks on how well your Ikea rug has held up. I tried the same thing on one of their mats-though I think perhaps it was their bristly-style one, and just a few short weeks later all my stenciling was gone :( I live in Arizona though and the sun just beat the heck out of the mat. It fell apart in 6 months.

  42. Image for Pinky Pinky

    I am dancing a happy dance and it isn't even my gatehouse!!!!!!!!!!! It looks awesome! LOVE the awnings and lights. The welcome mat is fantastic. You are amazing. I always say that don't I????? XO

  43. Image for Cathy Cathy

    I love this! Adorable! I want to live there! I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! I would be honored if you join us and follow to stay connected Have a wonderful week! Hugs, Cathy

  44. Image for Dotte Dotte

    Wow! To cute.... Don't know how I missed this post but it turned out fabulously. Love the whole package, just wondering about the house #'s though, did they come that way or did you have to do anything to them?? I don't think I've seen them at my Lowe's... Keep up the great work, and passing on the awesome inspiration!!!!

  45. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    Just ran across this post this morning! Going to spend the remainder of my time before my boys wake up drooling over your blog!! Girl, I'd be doing cartwheels outside! It's STUNNING!!!!! :-)

  46. Image for Janice Vincent Janice Vincent

    I've looked and looked and could not find where any of the above questions were answered. Am I missing something? Thanks....

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