living room Remember the first time you watched Star Wars?

(total aside:  me either….I had to look up all these Star Wars details to make my point).

Remember Luke and Leia and Darth Vader and Han Solo and Chewbacca and C3PO  and R2-D2?

(case in point….my husband pointed out that I had neglected to capitalize the names of the robots.  Who knew?)

And you cheered them on and watched them fight against the empire and train to be Jedi knights and destroy the enemy and let the force be with them.

Then three Star Wars movies later…..

… find out all about the beginning.

This post is exactly like that…..

….except without Yoda. 🙂

mirror and side lamps

Because this is the house we lived in before we moved to Thistlewood.

This is our beginning.

And the best part?

The house is only part of the story of our jump from the city to the country.


Now before I begin… disclaimer.

The house looked absolutely, positively, not-even-a-little-bit, not even remotely… this.

I wish I could tell you it did.  I love every tiny detail of this incredible transformation.

These pictures were taken last weekend when we went back to visit.

You see….this is what it looks like now.  Why?  Because the couple that bought the house is amazing.

And I’m not overstating it. Not even a little.

vintage books

They took a house with wonderful bones and a lifetime of love…..

….and transformed it into something that looks like it leapt from the pages of Country Living.

Kind of like when you are watching the Today show and they find the one girl in the audience with amazing bone structure and perfectly smooth skin and hair that just needs a little conditioning and then they take her to the studio and four hours later……she walks out looking like a supermodel.

She was pretty all along.

It just took an expert to truly make her beautiful.

living space

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

I’m already on to the next chapter…..

…..without even starting you out at the beginning.

(total aside:  you may have to read the post twice…..a good story with all these pictures can really be distracting). 🙂

kitchen   kitchen cabinetsOur story begins almost eight years ago.  

I lived in this very house with my husband and four children and occasionally (very, very occasionally) cooked in this very kitchen (that I only wished looked like this at the time).

Our lives were full and busy and my husband worked downtown with an hour and a half commute each way.

It was a full life….but we felt like we were being pulled in so many directions with so many different activities….

…..that we simply passed each other (right there at that back door)…..coming and going.

kitchen sink

kitchen pantry

And sometimes late at night when we both arrived home after a long day…..

….we would dream.

We would tell each other how wonderful it would be to live in a place where the pace was slower.

Where the commute was a five-minute trip down a winding country road and we could grow our own vegetables and bake bread every day (I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the one who mentioned that) and raise chickens and our children could run on acres and acres of green grass with a creek and a pond.

bread boards

kitchen eating area

But that’s all it was. Talk. Lots and lots and lots of talk. Sprinkled with dreams and hopes and plans.

dining room

And then one day we were sitting in church listening to the pastor and his message. He talked about praying and following your heart where you felt God was leading you and listening to that still small voice that circled round and round in your head.

And taking a leap of faith…..

….and jumping.


dining room chair

To this day….I’m not sure if he meant actual jumping… in leaving behind everything that you know and taking a step into the great unknown.

But I remember sitting in that service and looking at my husband with round wide eyes full of questions.

Was he hearing the same thing as I was?

What did he think? Instead of simply talking and planning and dreaming…..could we actually, really, truly….


rustic bedroom side

Now if you read this blog….you’ve heard this part of the story before.

You’ve heard about the jump in vague terms and it seems like we clicked our heels and nodded twice and a farmhouse in the middle of Kentucky appeared.

Almost. 🙂

But there’s so much more to the story.


rustic bedroom

There’s the hows.

And the details.

And all-the-behind the scenes of our jump.

And an amazing couple that drove by this very window over seven years ago….

…..and simply knocked at our door.

But that my friends….is the rest of the story and it’s (of course it is)…..

….to be continued. 🙂

PS  I’m posting the rest of the pictures of the house and the rest of the story on Wednesday (I was too wordy and the house was too wonderful for just one post).

PPS  May the force be with you.

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  1. Image for James James

    Sweetie, they were fighting against the empire, not for it. (are you sure that your husband proofread this) Loved the tour anyway, hehe......

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      I laughed so hard when I read your comment. Of course. Of course I totally got the analogy wrong. :) I fixed it and thanks for the heads up. Have a great day friend! karianne

  2. Image for Nancy Nancy

    You are such a gifted writer/story teller that I often get so caught up in your narrative that I miss some of the pictures. That's OK though, as I usually flag your posts so that I can go back and read them again. Thanks for taking us on your journey with you.

  3. Image for Marmar Marmar

    I'm hooked. And you are so right about good bones. That house looks like it would be fab even if completely empty with peeling wallpaper and flaking paint.

  4. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    Oh…. I can't wait to see the rest of the house and hear the story! Chapter one has been riveting ( and beautiful!) and since we know the Thistlewonderful end… well, now I want all the middle bits!! Love that they just knocked on your door!!!… I may have a story of my own in that vein next week ( fingers crossed!!)

  5. Image for Lori Ellison Lori Ellison

    That was a it that you went back and found your old house so beautifully taken care of. Can hardly wait for the rest of the story!!

  6. Image for Robin Robin

    Went back through these gorgeous inspiring photos twice and just hung on your every word...I'm hooked and I want to know dear friend, all the details of your jump. Just in day...I might want to jump too---sending so much love xo

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

    I feel as if I could just HUG you!! The house is wonderful -- it would have to be to have housed such a wonderful family as "The Woods" And what amazes me is when you tell a story -- not matter how circuitous it is -- I can follow perfectly and know somehow where you're going. And if the making bread idea wasn't you're own -- I can't see you chasing chickens either-- but if you did you'd look mahvelous!! Red lipstick and all -- just don't wear your fashionable flip flops!. I can't wait to read part deux of the story and will there be a part trois? And last but not least -- if you lived close by I would love to supply you with bread. My hubby and I hurry and make our bread and freeze it before we tear into it -- then we cart it all up to our kids. Have a wonderful day you Rock Start!! Big Hugs!

  8. Image for Erin Erin

    Waiting to find out that this house belongs to some famous designer or blogger or Carrie Fisher. Really amazing. Can’t wait til Wednesday.

  9. Image for Mimi Mimi

    I got up extra early today so I could read your post and re-read it without being late to work. :-) If I hurry, I can still pick out fabulous earrings and just the right shade of lipstick... I LOVE that ceiling in the kitchen...WOW! Such a pretty home...but somehow it didn't quite go with the Star Wars theme playing in my head...da DUM da da da dah DUM da da da dah DUM da da da DUH...

  10. Image for brandy brandy

    Oh my goodness!!! This house is beyond fantastic. Perfectly mixed decor and I can not wait until Wednesday to see the rest. Thank for sharing.

  11. Image for Cindy Barganier Cindy Barganier

    I am swooning. They did a fantastic job. Every corner seems to have something special to examine. Isn't it fun to visit former houses and see what new clothes they are wearing? We just sold our home -fully furnished- so I am frantically flipping pages in my proverbial mind to decide what I want to look like next time. :) Chapel Market-- brain storming session. Be there or be square. xoxo

  12. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing your life, your photos and beautiful style. Looking forward to Chapter Two on Wednesday :)

  13. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Wow, beautiful house, way cool story! Can't wait to read the rest. And I can't believe they came up and knocked on your door! I'm so ready for our leap of faith...Mr. B isn't quite there. Sigh.

  14. Image for Betsy@coastal-colors Betsy@coastal-colors

    Karianne, I love this home! What a beauty! There is something to see in every corner! Thank you for sharing it! I can't wait to see more!

  15. Image for jennifer farnes jennifer farnes

    i am gobsmacked. this truly is the house of my dreams. wow. aren't you so happy that they did this with a part of your life, your memories? some people aren't so lucky when they leave a home they've loved and cherished and lived in and love in.....and someone doesn't love it quite the same way you did. you have to be jumping for joy at what they did to a part of your history. and then let you come back to photograph it! and yeah....i'm looking forward to the sequel. i have to wipe the drool from my chin now....

  16. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    *total aside...but I always go over your posts to read...and one to really look at the pics! How wonderful that you are finally sharing some of the details...I've always been curious! Your old house is gorgeous...they did a fantastic job! ;)

  17. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Wow! What an amazing house! The first photo made me think that you totally changed your look and did a new paint treatment on your walls. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story. That's just what a good storyteller does, leaves you hanging so you'll come back for more!

  18. Image for Melanie @ The Painted Chandelier Melanie @ The Painted Chandelier

    KariAnne! Love the house, but I love and adore your storytelling above all! What a treat to see visual beauty and then read your lovely writing at the same time. My paternal Grandmother was a wonderful storyteller and writer, so I love it! Thanks for the Monday inspiration, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the story!

  19. Image for Megan W. Megan W.

    I wish you wrote books when I was a little girl......I feel you are robbing the children of this world by not writing a book, a picture book....come on girl....ya can sleep when your dead! Your posts are some of the brightest parts of my day, and that my dear is a priceless gift you give to the world...God is so good.

  20. Image for Cynthia @her lovely nest Cynthia @her lovely nest

    wow Karianne you're so right that house is stunning. I know you said it never looked like that when you lived there but it actually does remind me of you. I am so crushing on that kitchen! truly wonderful pictures, looking forward to the rest of them.

  21. Image for Anna Anna

    The house is gorgeous! I'm sure she was nervous having you there and wanted to make everything perfect. :) I love your story and that you guys took a leap of faith, I think about it every now and then, it's so inspiring! And because you were obedient, look at all the AMAZING things God has done! Anna :)

  22. Image for Sharon Sharon

    Great story, great house!! Love it all! Could you talk about the paint technique in the livingroom, it's lovely. Thank you!

  23. Image for Pinky at Designs by Pinky Pinky at Designs by Pinky

    LORDY!!!!!!!!!!!! I love and adore your Thistlewood home and this home, your old house is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may have to read this post several times! I can't wait to see the rest of the pictut=res too! Every detail is gorgeous but I am SURE it was just as beautiful when YOU lived tyhere. You are, after all, A ROCK STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO

  24. Image for Andrea Andrea

    well, what a pretty home. but I am so glad you jumped!!!! (by the are quite the story teller...can't wait to hear /see more!

  25. Image for Tina Tina

    How beautiful! Love the story, but I too heard the Star Wars theme playing in my head ... :) Waiting patiently for Wednesday!

  26. Image for Jane Jane

    I don't know how you could have left this gorgeous home...but we all know, you went on the bigger and greater things!! I am so excited to hear the rest of the story! Jane xx

  27. Image for Sandy Gooselaw Sandy Gooselaw

    I was introduced to your blog by a friend. I love it Karianne! As women we all have stories to tell and I believe we inspire each other with our personal stories. You are a gifted writer and have a unique gift of painting pictures with your words + humor. I check out your new post every morning and walk away motivated to do something new. I'm excited for Wed. and your next post of "The House Before Thistlewood". I loved when you talked about daring to "jump". Fear + Courage + Faith usually takes us where we're suppose to be. There's a quote I love, "Leap, and the net will appear". Thank you for sharing your life and who you are! :)

  28. Image for Trina @ afewmineradjustments Trina @ afewmineradjustments

    Love this story. Can't wait to read the next part! How lovely that you got to back and visit. I saw our first house on a realtor's listing last spring and they ruined a lot of the upgrades that we did. I wouldn't want to see it in person {sniff sniff}. xoxo, Trina

  29. Image for Anne@DesignDreams Anne@DesignDreams

    Good lord... I thought your current house was perfection. I am in love with this place and all your touches. Why don't you fly up here & help me decorate MY house. I dream of having a design sense like yours... Delightful work KariAnne. xoxox

  30. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    You are right! Country Living for sure! What a gorgeous decorator!!!! And home! You pick homes that love back!!! BTW the first time I saw Star Wars I went on a blind date with a pro baseball player. I am keeping his name private because he was soooooo full of himself. Just think Pitcher with the Phillies!

  31. Image for Lauren @ Bless'er House Lauren @ Bless'er House

    I'm basically hugging my computer screen right now. I love this so much- the house, the story, the sermon in the middle (that I especially needed to hear today). Makes me love this blog even more...and I didn't know that was possible. Can't wait to read Wednesday's!

  32. Image for Dore @ BurlapLuxe Dore @ BurlapLuxe

    Oh my!! What a wonderful home tour, one of the best, I will so be back to follow up with you and all you inspire. Love the vintage iron bed, so farmhouse prairie style. I too have iron beds and often feel the need for one or two more. Thank you for sharing. Xx Dore

  33. Image for Carol Holmes Carol Holmes

    I love our post!!!! Faith is everything. I used to tell my kids that when they were ready to jump, "Jump Froggy Jump!!"

  34. Image for Kristen Kristen

    OOOHHHH I can't wait. There are days I feel exactly the same way! Ready to leave the hustle and bustle and go somewhere more quiet.

  35. Image for Linda Linda

    This place is a stunner! Funny how this post kind of reflected our journey from dreams through many moves to our own historical farmhouse. Reading the old magazine, "Colonial Homes" and dreaming of a historical home. Some dreams do come true! Glad you did follow your dream.

  36. Image for Sharon B. Sharon B.

    Oh wow, just gorgeous! How fun it must have been to go back and revisit where you once lived and to see all the changes made and I love how you tell the story. Looking forward to part 2! And may the force be with you too. :)

  37. Image for Loretta Loretta

    I would love to know more about the gorgeous gorgeous floors... Did you do them yourselves? What are they made out of? Love Love them.. also... any problems with wood in the kitchen?? I know you rarely, rarely cook lol

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