If you live in a small town where everyone knows your name and your business and your monogram and how many wreaths you use to decorate the front door of a gatehouse….

…this story is for you.

When we first moved to the country and bought the farmhouse. everyone immediately made that farmhouse their business.

They would drive by the house slowly and stare, just to make sure they didn’t miss anything.  They’d look at the trails of wallpaper scraps and the new porch and the new front door and the old kitchen cabinets on the lawn and the piles of lumber from all the parts of walls we took down….

….and talk about it over dinner.

And when I went to a party or baseball game or the gas station or the school….someone would inevitably stop me and the question would always be the same.

“What are y’all doing to that farmhouse?”


One day I sat at a church potluck eating fried chicken and coleslaw… as all the farmhouse questions swirled around me.

“What color is the kitchen?”

“Did you take down the wallpaper?”

“What did you do with all the lace curtains?”

“How are you decorating it?”


I took one last bite of chicken and answered all the questions patiently….but when I got to the last question, I paused.

I mean….seriously….my decorating style?  How could I explain it?  Farmhouse meets old stuff I really like meets the window from the side of the road meets amazing fabrics meets an old barn door?

It all might get a little lost in translation.

So I simplified it and said, “It’s kind of like Pottery Barn.”

They nodded at the mention of that great decorating mecca and smiled.

They understood.  Those six words said it all.

Then one lady added, “But there’s not a Pottery Barn around here to shop at?  What do you do?”


“No worries,” I replied.  “There’s Pottery Barn online and the malls in Nashville are only a couple of hours away.  And Pottery Barn ships everywhere….even to the country.”

I thought that was the end of the discussion and turned back to my friend chicken and coleslaw, when all of a sudden I heard a voice from the back of the room.

“Excuse me,” said a man standing near the door.  He grinned a toothy grin at me and said words that sounded like music to my ears, “There’s a Pottery Barn here.  Yes sirree.  We have a Pottery Barn. It’s about twenty minutes away.”


A Pottery Barn?

Was he serious?

There was a Pottery Barn twenty minutes away from here and no one had mentioned it until now?  Why hadn’t anyone told me?  How had I lived here for over a year without the incredible realization that there was a Pottery Barn right around the corner?


“A Pottery Barn,” I squeaked.  “There’s a Pottery Barn close to here?”

“Yep,” he replied.  “Just take the highway and turn left at the light and it’s right next to the jewelers.  You can’t miss it. It’s called the Clay Store…and they have all kinds of pottery.”

I said nothing.

I couldn’t.

And at my expression of utter speechlessness, he warmed to his subject, “You know….if you drive to Nashville you can’t miss all the barns.  Just look beside the road and you’ll see ’em…..

….pottery barn after pottery barn after pottery barn.”

* sigh*

It’s a Christmas miracle.

See….yes KariAnne, there is a pottery barn. 🙂


It’s day ten of the twelve days of Christmas.

And now here’s some more Christmas inspiration from some of my favorite people.

Just click on the links below to take you to the projects.

Inspired by charm thumbnail

Inspired by Charm

Decorating with Christmas Ornaments



Fairy Lights Vignette

funky junk

Funky Junk

Junk for Joy

shanty 2 chic

Shanty 2 Chic

Ornament Stand



Easy Lego Tray

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


  1. Image for Michele Michele

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's beyond cute, haha so funny. Oh, Karianne, how did you seriously not choke on slaw at that point? Awl, sheesh. Hugs of happy.

  2. Image for Joy Arnold Joy Arnold

    So glad I found you! I love your style ...... and Pottery Barn! Looking forward to more of your posts! Thank you! ---Joy

  3. Image for Kascaroe Kascaroe

    You know the beginning of Saturday night Fever when John Travolta is strutting down the street? That's me going into the Pottery Barn. The smell ahhhh.......

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

    I've lived in small and I know what you mean!!! Mr. UPS and Mr. FedEx know our house well. I mean I can shop in my jammies with no make up and a cup of coffee. Have that old credit card or Paypal account handy and that's all it takes. Ecco!! Several days later what you want ends up at the front door. BUT!! There is nothing like actually entering a Pottery Barn store. Oh my!! I could spend hours snooping around and just feeling the decorating vibes! How's the wood project going?? Big Hugs!

  5. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Karianne, Talk about hysterical! God bless him. I live in Northern KY (I moved from Indy 10 years ago) and the PB in Cincinnati seems hours away…and my husband keeps reminding me that,"Yes, Stephanie, IT is only TEN MINUTES away, REALLY…." Love your posts and your humor! Have a great holiday season!

  6. Image for Debra White Debra White

    That was so funny. Love the charming innocence of it. Such a gentleman for trying to be helpful. (Or the impishness of trying to be funny.) Either way it made me laugh. By the way, love the porch Christmas decor. So pretty.

  7. Image for Sherry@Thrift My House Sherry@Thrift My House

    Seriously, that sounds like my family! They have no clue... and we do not have a pottery barn. We do have a cloth barn.... the steak barn... oh and the red barn where large parties are thrown. Yep, I can imagine having a similar conversation. I love it Karianne!

  8. Image for April Hoff April Hoff

    You. make. me. laugh. It's like you speak to my soul...everything from the living in a small town (with NO Pottery Barn in sight) to trying to explain your style to people, to the barns everywhere. I get it. I loved this post! ;)

  9. Image for Terri Terri

    I almost choked on my coffee.. from laughing sooooooo hard!!!!!!!!!!! Really?????? Really?????? Seriously, I think God sets you up .... you know like a movie producer... "Each real life" scene is the stuff that should receive an "Oscar" !!! It's like Downton Abby - you can't wait to see what is going to happen next!!!!! LOLOLOL ( I will absolutely continue to tune in.... love, love Thistle-keeping!!) Merry Christmas to you Karianne and your family!!!

  10. Image for Rachel Rachel

    Girl- I can't help but read this and feel the contempt you have for your town & how you were treated when you arrived. The cynical & condescending way you write about these neighbors of yours makes me wonder what they'd think if they read your blog. I feel like these posts about when you first moved try to make you feel better about yourself and put others down. It seems like the neighbors took more of an interest in the house you bought than getting to know you, that is hard. I can't help but think you're isolating yourself even more by writing about them this way.

    1. Image for Penny Penny

      I don't think you read the same stories that the rest of us read. It's not contempt for her neighbors or making herself feel better! She is telling stories about how she was when she first moved to a small town and how she is now! If you don't like her stories there are plenty of other blogs to read!

    2. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Rachel, I love this town and where we live. No contempt or disparagement meant here.....just a funny thing that happened that made me smile. :) karianne PS And they do all read the blog and cheer me on every step of the way. :)

    3. Image for Sally Rogers Sally Rogers

      Humor. The world needs more of it. Sometimes people really lack it, too. What a boring life. I read nothing of the sort, Karianne. It's like people aren't allowed to find entertainment in the small things anymore lest we all be judged and over analyzed! Rock on, girl.

  11. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    Maybe you should go check it out. I bet they'd have great deals on terra cotta flower pots and you could get a jump on your spring decor from an original barn full of pottery. And even if you didn't, we'd all love to hear how it went. Happy Holidays dear lady! The Other Marian

  12. Image for The Pink Tumbleweed The Pink Tumbleweed

    Oh my goodness, & me both. I live 25 minutes away from the nearest "town" (population 375) and have the same crazy questions and "helpful" hints from the locals. Let's just say the UPS man & I are pretty tight.

  13. Image for Jill Jill

    So funny! Please say you went to the local Pottery Barn and bought a piece for your house! Happy Wednesday! Thanks for starting my day with a laugh!

  14. Image for Naomi Naomi

    Still waiting for you to write a bestseller, Karianne!!! When I get your e-mails, I'm like "I'll go to her site and read. No need to click on the link." Why do I do that??? I get so lost in your stories, as if I'm right there. Sigh. One day...

  15. Image for Peggy Zortman Peggy Zortman

    I am laughing and laughing! We moved home to the small community that we grew up in two years ago to the over hundred year old farm house my beautiful Mom-in-law lived in for 80 years. Change is very slow and sometimes extremely painful. And here on the prairie there are lots of barns but no pottery for 35 miles or more. There is not a lot going on except basketball games, fertilizing and the fact that we moved the kitchen table from one side of the room to the other. Oh my!

  16. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Love Pottery Barn, but not nearly the love I have for your writing. I sure hope your genius rubs off on your children. They too would receive A+'s from this retired language arts teacher. Gatehouse looks so festive.

  17. Image for Lisa K Lisa K

    Karianne, I love your stories about your farmhouse & small town life! I also live in a tiny town in TN, not far from the KY border. We moved here a little over a year ago & we love it. But, we do have to drive an hour to go to Lowes, Kroger, or a small mall; and it's 2 hours to the nearest Pottery Barn! I've spent a lot of time on the road the past few months since we're in the process of building a farmhouse; but it's all so worth it :-)

  18. Image for Linda Linda

    Have to say I miss conversations like this one and the pottery barns one passes traveling on state highways down in TN, my actual home state. :) Blessings, Linda

  19. Image for Jenna Jenna

    My mom calls any place where you can buy pottery, Pottery Barn. Never mind that the place is actually called Pigeon River Pottery. It's all Pottery Barn to her.

  20. Image for Rachel Rachel

    This is just the best!! Having just moved into an old farmhouse in a small community where everybody and their brother has memories of the house we now call our own, this just sounded soo familiar!! It takes a lot of grace and patience to look past the constant inquiries and see the well- meaning of caring people.. For me anyhow. It's so fun to read your blog; I just love coming here! Merry Christmas!

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