Random thoughts on a trying to be sunny Monday morning:

1.  Did you watch the Trading Spaces premier?


I need to discuss.  If you didn’t watch it yet it’s important to note that because of inflation, the designers are now given $2000 instead of $1000—and I have to say this.  As someone who tries to cut design corners and decorate a room for less—I was disappointed.  I think $2000 is a lot of money—especially if you shop thrift stores and the side of the road.  I just wanted them to do more with that money.

2.  I also went to go see “I Can Only Imagine” this weekend.  BEST MOVIE EVER.  I don’t want to give away any spoilers if you haven’t seen it yet.

But there is a scene where Dennis Quaid will break your heart.

My eyes are still crying.

3.  I can’t wait to show you the changes in the office.  Spoiler alert.  We added curtains.

4.  I went junk store shopping with a friend and you’ll never believe what I found.

The inside of a piano.

It’s going on the wall.  Details to come.

And now?

Let’s see what the internet has been up to.

It’s been a good week.

Last week I went to lunch with my new friend Amy.

She is funny and witty and brilliant and amazing and she inspires me every day.

This is her new kitchen.

And here’s what she cooks in it.

13 DIY projects inspired by Fixer Upper.

Yes, please.

She had me at this wood bead project from a thrift store bracelet.

Loved this post about tips for using real plants.

I need more real plants in my life.

Tips and plants found here.

And this sweet home tour.

I love those chairs—they make me think of spring.

See the rest of the tour here.


And in random news this week:

List of best period drama miniseries

Things you might forget to clean

14 items you might not think to buy from IKEA

This before and after bathroom (especially that tile wall)

This adorable DIY

All about lavender

This outdoor space

This adorable sewing station (it’s about five pics down)

Love this settee idea in this before and after kitchen

This bedroom built-in (second pic down)

And this.

This makes me sad and happy all at the same time.

It’s the end of an era.


One more for the road.

And just in case  you were wondering what I was going to do with my piano keys?

I was inspired by the piano art from this house tour.

Happy Monday to you. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Thank you so much for pointing out how $2000 is like a treasure chest full of money. I could rock a room with that much. I'm sad too about Fixer Upper. ;( Onward and Upward.

  2. Image for Teresea Teresea

    Yep, Watched Trading Spaces. Felt the same way. Probably won't continue to watch. I did watch Nate and Jeremiah after. Much better design abilities. Also, saw I Can Only Imagine. Very good movie!

  3. Image for Renae Renae

    I was disappointed in the new Trading Spaces show. With Doug and Hildi as the designers, I am left remembering why I stopped watching it in the first place. $2000 is, to me, a LOT of money to do a room on. I mean, people don't want or need some "wow!" designer impact to be happy. I'm guessing so many of the people on there just want a set of fresh eyes on their room's problems, new paint, and some creative touches to make it feel like a "new" room! I am hopeful that we'll get some of that from Vern, Genevieve, Laurie and Sabrina Soto. I feel like those four will balance out the bad.

    1. Image for Jenifer Scherlin Jenifer Scherlin

      Renae, I so agree! The silly, outlandish designs are just a waste of time and money! I want to see the great ideas and pretty outcomes from those designers that are REAL designers - not just television 'personalities'! I have watched only the first half of Nate and Jeremiah and it is wonderful! Can't wait to finish this episode!!!

  4. Image for Rowena Rowena

    I haven't watched it but I do agree that $2000 is alot to redo rooms but I know even some of the lumber etc has gone up if they make items as before. Frank Belic is very talented and I have known him the last several years. Very interesting to talk to. I have several of his rug hooking pins and one painting. I hope it goes over. I have to watch it for sure.

  5. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    I'm in too...$2000 on one room...that is more than I'd care to spend...missed the new Trading Spaces...maybe that's not a bad thing. Love your design inspirations.

  6. Image for Arli Arli

    I was so excited to see the “new” TradingSpaces episode, but SOOOOOO disappointed with the results. Hildi’s design was as crazy as ever, and Doug’s wall treatment and finished room wasn’t inspiring either. When the show first came on the air, I think it as the only “ design” show and before HGTV. But design shows, together with blogs, Pinterest, etc. have come a long way to show how to decorate a room BEAUTIFULLY for $2000, and not have to do zany, ugly things...even if to make a TV show more interesting. .The viewing public has been educated and has become more sophisticated since this show went off the air ten years ago, but apparently the producers and designers of Trading Spaces didn’t get the memo. If the rest of the episodes are as bad as the first, this show will not last long at all.

  7. Image for Peg Peg

    I was also disappointed in Trading Spaces--was hoping the designers wouldn't do such kooky things, but it appears to be more of the same, and $2,000 worth of it at that. Love what you've brought to us today!! xoxo

  8. Image for Celeste Celeste

    I totally agree about Trading Spaces. Since they were last on the air, the public has become a lot more savvy about home decorating. They seem to think they can still just paint the walls an outlandish color and build a few boxes and that will pass as design. Sorry we're not falling for it any more. Especially not after the inspiration we get from blogs like yours and several others. They better step it up!

  9. Image for Gina Gina

    Trading Spaces isn't really a design show. It's more of an entertainment show. That disappoints me because I really want to be inspired and walk away with a feel-good mood because a designer made a homeowner enjoy their house more. I literally fell asleep right before the reveal but I didn't even need to see it because it obviously wasn't going to turn out well. As far as the new Diner, I can totally understand not wanting to forget the old memories. I hate that my town keeps growing. I've lived here almost all my life and have seen so many changes. I'm sure the new Diner will bring many new memories to a whole new generation. I think it's wonderful that they got to save it.

  10. Image for Cindy in NC Cindy in NC

    Watching Trading Spaces now...remember why I didn't watch it way back when. They act like they are just out for the shock value. Waste of good designers.

  11. Image for Terry Terry

    Also saw Trading Spaces - such fun! I actually GOT Hildi's design. It looked like ice shards and cold blue sky, thin yellow sun - really thought it was innovative. First time I can say that with Hildi! Can't wait to see what the other designers will bring to the table. (I love Frank)

  12. Image for Sharon Sharon

    When I watch Trading Spaces, my only comment is "What are they thinking?" They are suppose to make the people happy not make some crazy statement. I was watching the old one where she put straw on the walls. WHAT??? With little kids. One of the ugliest things I have ever seen and she thought they would like it. I probably will not watch the new one. And, don't get made, but I am over Fixer Upper. Kinda of always the same design, but it will be on reruns forever, so if I do want to watch, no problem.

  13. Image for Roz Roz

    I completely agree with you on Trading Spaces, KariAnne. I had hoped Doug & Hildi had matured in design choices, much as we have, over these past 10 years. And, more than that, I was hoping the producers would recognize the great opportunity they have for TEACHING us great design elements while 'we' are Trading Spaces with/for our friends/relative's. Sadly, they missed the mark on this first episode, but I'm still hopeful with the remaining designers. Sabrina Soto had a wonderful show of her own (on a budget)! Saw I CAN ONLY IMAGINE...glorious! LOVED the blog today!

  14. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    It's been a Monday, all day. I clicked to see the piano art tour, and kept thinking, "gee, this looks familiar." I remembered the fabulous corbels, and the big glass decor thingy....Then, DUH, I looked at the URL and (finally) noticed it was one of your posts from a while back. At least I'm not going (completely) crazy.

  15. Image for Sandi Sandi

    I never used to watch Trading Spaces and probably watched one and didn't want to waste my time with it back then. It was so hyped I thought I'd give it a chance again. The designers seem to know nothing and didn't care about what their clients wanted. I agree, its not a design show at all. Perhaps Sabrina Soto will bring something valuable to it.....good design! It's sad to see Fixer Upper go, but I agree with one of the comments above, it all starting looking the same. Nothing is forever, so hopefully we'll be treated with new good shows!

  16. Image for Erin Erin

    I think we could all do a room for $2000, especially a small bedroom. And I seriously believe that all of Hildi's taste is in her mouth! Ugg! And didn't Doug sound rather smug that "everyone thinks they are a designer now." But I'm looking forward to next week because I could watch Carter Osterhouse peel potatoes! Hope your watching the new Howards End miniseries on STARZ too!

  17. Image for Rebecca M Rebecca M

    Yes, I too was disappointed in the new trading spaces! Why Hilde was allowed back on the show I’ll never understand after she did that disgusting straw on the walls with small children in the house? !! Their designs are so awful and they never consider allergies when designing! All the designer’s choices seem so bizarre. How do you keep burlap on a wall clean and dust free? Vacuum your WALLS everyday? I was hoping for better things but I’m afraid it’s more dreadful design. Really, with $2000.00 that’s the best they can do? Hilde’s design Last night was just as atrocious as anything I’ve seen on that show. She ruins people’s homes. But, Carrie Anne I really enjoy your blog and your decorating choices and design. Keep up the great work! P.S. sorry for the rant but it felt good! Can you believe Hilde covered up those sweet fireplace windows? That woman shouldn’t be allowed the title of designer. Just saying.

  18. Image for Rebecca M Rebecca M

    Sorry about the misspelling of your name. Auto correct didn’t like your spelling I guess. But I do, Karianne!

  19. Image for Renee Renee

    I was disappointed in Trading Spaces. Both rooms were a hot mess. The burlap walls looked dated and the art above the bed didn’t go with the room. It didn’t looked tropical or shout out Spa Hotel bedroom to me. They already had a really nice headboard they could have chalk painted in a pretty soft blue to give it a Spa feeling. The brown paint on the ceiling was poorly painted and sloppy. Hildi’s Room was a double hot mess. They painted triangles were messy and uneven. I think they have to have someone go back and fix some of it because it looked slightly less bad in the reveal. One painted wall carefully executed could have been cool, but it was all too much. The Murphy bed looked like it weighed A TON to push up. I’m hoping the other designers do a better job. I always liked Frank and Vern’s work. I don’t see where they spent $2000.

  20. Image for Polly Polly

    Real piano keys?? I am so jealous, can't really say I like the way they were displayed but such a great idea!

  21. Image for Sue Sue

    I did watch Trading Spaces; what I could do with $2000 AND a carpenter. P.S. it wouldn’t involve burlap or triangles.

  22. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I wish Texas was closer to Kansas City, I know we could be such good friends! I would be your "older" friend that would meet you for a shopping spree at all the good shops in the West Bottoms on First Friday Weekends. Over lunch from one of the many food trucks you would tell me all about how your kids are doing ,and because I am a retired high school guidance counselor I would always know and understand just what you were talking about. I'd give you suggestions on when they should take ACT's, start looking at colleges, applying for scholarships and all that fun stuff. Sorry just want you to know I love your blog and if you are ever in Kansas City on a First Friday Weekend, boy could I show you some great shops in the West Bottoms!!

  23. Image for Susan Susan

    I watched it as well and sat there thinking about what I could do with $2000- I would love to see an accounting of the money and where it is spent. Paint and burlap is not expensive so where did all the money go in those tiny bedrooms!? So disappointed that they continue to feature Hildi and Doug- I realize shock value gets ratings but is it worth turning off so many people after the first show?? From the comments I am reading on social media, a huge percentage of viewers were totally disappointed. TLC needs to look to Fixer Upper and see why it was such a block buster show- because the designs are simple, the style was relatable and Chip and Joanna are simply so nice.

  24. Image for Joan Moore Joan Moore

    I Can Only Imagine was wonderful. The song has even MORE meaning than ever now! Enjoy your blog so much, I know we could be great friends!!!

  25. Image for Renata Renata

    Trading spaces was AWFUL! I watched the old shows when they first aired and Will not watch any more of that show. What a shame it could have been a lot better! Homeowners knew more than the designers did.

  26. Image for Pam Clark Pam Clark

    I agree! I removed Trading Spaces from the dvr after the premier. Nobody wants to see tacky junk. Pinterest and blogs like Thistlewood Farms have elevated our standards for design, decor, etc. a Thank you Kari Anne!

  27. Image for Terri Terri

    I went to see I Can Only Imagine just a few days ago as well.... Amazing & beautiful story !! Mercy Me is one talented group that I have enjoyed for many years.... Dennis Quaid has always been a fav ... but wow.... and just found a new blogger who has a "shoppe" in your neck of the woods.... Lost and found decor!!! Very talented chic... like someone else I know!!! And allll these remarks makes me glad that I missed Trading Spaces..... :(......

  28. Image for Teresa Steadman Teresa Steadman

    Where did you find the beautiful silk eucalyptus in your bottle? It is beautiful and looks so natural. Love your blog!

  29. Image for Trish Rissman Trish Rissman

    So glad I ran into you at Starwood Cafe! YOU are a rockstar in my book and I am so happy that we have you in McK now! I agree with others that Trading Spaces missed the mark. Also agree that the movie “I Can Only Imagine” is incredible! Dennis Quaid was superb! Welcome back home!♥️

  30. Image for Laurie Laurie

    I found my people. I had the same feelings about Trading Spaces. So much has changed in the last 10 years, and with $2000, I expected so much more than sloppily put together furniture, tacky art, and crap on the walls. Instead of the spectacle (straw on the walls! bad design to get a reaction!), I would have loved to see someone take that money and show what anyone can do on a budget. I can name a pile of design bloggers who could have done a better room than what either of these 'professionals' did. Heck, I'm just someone with a passing interest in design and I think *I* could have done a better job with that kind of money and free labour.. The expectation in the tv design realm is just sooooo much higher than it was a decade ago and now that we've passed the nostalgia, they'll need to get with the times or prepare for a quick end.

  31. Image for Mindy Mindy

    I was so disappointed in Trading Spaces. I guess I somehow thought they would do an updated (read: thoughtful design, thoughtful decorators) version. Sadly, no. I am a fan of Genevieve and may watch for her episodes. Both rooms just needed decorating without any construction and that money could have went such a long way. I really admired the brave homeowner who just kept saying she appreciated how much work went into the project but I know her heart was breaking. Shall we start a Go Fund Me to get her a real make-over? And I can only imagine WAS a great movie. Even though I could see it coming I had no idea of the Amy Grant connection and it really touched my heart that she would give up the song. Says a lot about her. Loved the redemptive story of the movie and the grace showed to his father.

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