This is a story about decorating and learning and trash to treasuring and discovering amazing that’s worthy of the Hallmark channel.

It has all the things.



Fall days.



And of course…

….a happily-ever-after.


Are you ready for a little tale of life and love and obstacles and things that were broken and destined for the trash pile and yet somehow, someway they learned to love again?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

Several months ago the ladder that pulls down to our attic broke.  It was already a little precarious to start with.  When you pulled it down it would kind of limp to one side and the other part wouldn’t match up and then you’d push the two parts together and grab the metal handle and say your prayers and start the climb.

And then?

One day I reached up to pull down the ladder and it swung to one side.  I valiantly tried to put it back in place, but it wouldn’t fit.  When my husband came home, he looked at it precariously hanging in place.  Then he reached up and removed the final two bolts holding it in place.

And with a creak and a snap.

The ladder was no more.

Some people that live in other houses would have immediately replaced it.

Or called handyman’s r us and had it fixed.

But us?

We carried the ladder outside and put it by the side of the house next to the pile of trash that heads to the dump every month.

And decided going into attics was totally overrated.

(total story aside:  We actually have made one trip to the attic for fall decorations that involved huffing and puffing and eye rolls and me pleading for my pumpkins and my husband lugging a giant extension ladder up the stairs and getting into the attic that way.)

But I digress.

And there the ladder sat.


In the rain and the mist and the dirt and the hot sun and the wind.

Hour after hour.

Day after day.

Week after week.


Just like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.




All that weathering?  All that sun?  All that rain?  All that dirt?

It worked wonders and just like the girl in the Hallmark movie who got a new haircut and took off her glasses and went shopping with her best friend at a boutique where all the clothes were cute…

…the ladder transformed itself into something that looks like the pilgrims carried it off the Mayflower.

One day I was walking back from the car and saw the edge of the wood peeking out from behind the house.

What is THAT? I asked myself.

I turned the corner and saw the ladder and fell in love and gave it a hug and asked where it had been all my life and did it want to come inside and have coffee in the living room.

It bashfully said yes.

And that it had been waiting for me to notice it and that coffee sounded wonderful.

I cleaned it off and wiped it down and brought it inside and placed against the wall and gave it a blanket.

And now?

It keeps me company.

And looks so cute.

And watches all the Hallmark movies with me.

I know, right?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

The total irony of that statement isn’t lost on me either. 🙂

PS  When Whitney stopped by the other day to bring me those adorable sweater pumpkins?

She brought this cute box that she made.

Isn’t it cute?

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


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Mu husband's grandpa made him a ladder to climb in and out of trees with because he wasn't tall enough to follow his big brother into the tree.....somewhere along a move, we lost that ladder. How I wish I could find it and bring it into grandpa's house (that we are moving into soon)~ full circle, just like your ladder! And, thanks for the idea (if I ever see a discarded ladder somewhere!!! ) Love.It.

  2. Image for Deanna Day Young Deanna Day Young

    How awesome!! It's just like with people that we sometimes push to the side. One day, we realize they have something special and we need to say we are sorry, cover them with a blanket of love and invite them to sit down, have coffee and watch a Hallmark movie! I love your site! You are amazing!

  3. Image for Missy Missy

    I just love your blog! You have been blessed with a wonderful writing talent. I smile every time I read them! Keep being amazing and sharing your beautiful home :)

  4. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Awesome! And yes, climbing into attics is highly over-rated. We have about an 18-inch square to climb up into ours, so we don't use it for storage - that's what the basement (loosely called because it's more of a cellar) is for! LOL! Happy Fall!!

  5. Image for Pam Pam

    You should teach a creative writing class because you are the best! The ladder looks great! What took you so long to notice him?

  6. Image for Minnie Minnie

    Oh my stars! That is the cutest! And you must tell the VERY BEST BED TIME STORIES IN THE LAND!!! Blessings to you! Minnie

  7. Image for beverlee lyons beverlee lyons

    your family!!! I love their style and everything they do. I love the ladder and all the rest, but the box was my take away from your post. I am so happy to watch your success, many blessings!

  8. Image for Deb Deb

    Karianne~ I just love you, girl. You make my heart smile so many times when I get your posts. Today I seriously needed a smile. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the BEST!!!!! ((Hugs)) Deb :-) :-) :-)

  9. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    I just needed a "moment" this morning with my coffee. You provided that and a smile with your post today. Your writing is like a warm afghan around my shoulders sometimes. It also reminds me that I need to get all the stuff out of my attic before my ladder breaks! lol Have an awesome fall day friend!

  10. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love stories like this and Hallmark movies and happily-ever-afters. I might be personally involved in one of those happily-ever-afters right now and feeling like a trash-to-treasure myself, which is why I haven't been that available lately. Perfect timing for this story! Thank you!!

  11. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    Perfectly imperfect. Love the peaking around the corner and "what is that" story. Went for a walk the other day and came home with all kinds of berries, rose hips and leaves from beside the path to make Fall arrangements and they are lovely. See what peaking out from around the corner can do when you are just taking a walk?

  12. Image for Carol Carol

    I like the photos where you focus in on an object and the rest of the photo is fuzzy and unfocused, but once in a while I’d like to see everything in focus! Like in this post you talk about the ladder but I never get to see it totally and how it fits into the room! It’s not the center of attention , something else is! I mean, couldn’t we at least see one picture of it in total? As the main event? I love your blog and your humor and have followed you for years. Love your stories! Sometimes tho, I’d love to see the “total picture”!

  13. Image for Heather Anne Heather Anne

    I'm so glad you gave it a blanket … I saw a pull down attic ladder at Habitat and thought it might have to come home with me … but someone else snatched it up first! Hopefully they gave theirs a nice blanket too! I've been searching for a link to your couches in this room and cannot seem to find one - can you please share the source? We are in desperate need of more comfortable seating! Thanks!

  14. Image for Kristin Kristin

    Oh my goodness, reading that post felt like both my imagination and my heart got a hug. I love your ladder's Hallmark story! And now I can't wait for the Hallmark Christmas movies to start up!

  15. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    Love the ladder and all the Hallmark movies! My daughter makes ladders for blankets and sold so many. You had a great idea with using what was available.

  16. Image for Brooke D. Brooke D.

    I have an old ladder that I would love to use like this! But it's a bit on the short side, Did you prop your ladder up on anything or have any suggestions how to make it tall enough to lean onto the wall and put blankets on it? Thanks!!

  17. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    KariAnne, you make me smile! Aren't husbands great who do brave and loving things that touch our crazy decorating hearts?; This ladder tried it's very best to weather and patina just right to be brought into light. It looks charming and has so many possibilities in so many places for so many reasons. Yeah! We received an old picnic table that was rebirthed too. It was one of those typical red wood tables with the crisscross legs and matching benches. I used to eat at it with my boyfriend, now husband, and his family. There was many a grilled hamburger eaten at that table. But years of out door exposure made it look old and well, ugly. Until one day like you, I saw it at my inlaws home and had an ah ha moment! It now is the perfect reclaimed grey wood which my dear husband took all apart and made into a longer Italian style farm table. We added cafe chairs and alfresco dining under the pergola! Dreamy.

  18. Image for Julie Briones Julie Briones

    I need me a cute ladder that will watch Hallmark movies with me! Seriously! I know EXACTLY where it needs to go, too! Actually, I know THREE exactlys where it should go! And, I'm thinking, I'm my sister's Whitney. She's bought the fabric, and now I'm making some warm colored velvet pumpkins. Good thing I've done all the bumps-in-the-road already! I know you know what I'm talkin' about! ;-) Hugs, sweet friend!

  19. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    I don't know why but I laughed my way through this whole story! I laughed at I guess oh my gosh I'm going to start crying what's wrong with me? I think I feel like that ladder! It's just so like you to see the beauty in that piece and bring it in and give it a whole new life and personify it! I love the letter it looks amazing and so does that blanket, and I guess I can't help but think I'm a bit like that ladder sometimes you feel like your usefulness is finito, Your role changes as you get a little bit older and your kiddo grows up and things are just different, and you lose a little bit of your identity and feel a whole lot more weathered but the Lord sees my value and he brings me inside and wraps me in his love and allows me to have new purposes. You always get to my heart! You make me laugh you make me cry and you make see myself in a weathered ladder!

  20. Image for PJ PJ

    KariAnne, yet again you have shared a great story of repurposing something that was headed for the trash! By the way, here at the farmhouse we have multiple attics: one with a walk through door, one with a tiny hatch, and one with pull-down stairs that require moving the guest bed to access. You can guess in which attic I store things. Wishing you and amazing day!

  21. Image for Lourdes Lourdes

    Makes me want to pull my attic ladder out - we never go up there since we don't store anything up there. I may just have to do a lot of praying to convince my husband to let me do it! LOL :-) This is truly a Hallmark moment story! Enjoy your ladder, it's beautiful!

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