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#014: Defining your decor style + pushing past perfection to get doing with KariAnne Wood

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What does it take to create a beautiful home you love and what might be holding you back? Whether its the fact that you haven't defined your style, being paralyzed by perfection, or not giving yourself permission to love your home.

Five-time author and award-winning blogger, KariAnne Wood offers encouragement, insight, and some of her best tips.

You can download this episode from Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and Spotify – or listen to it below!

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CHATTING WITH...

KariAnne Wood writes the award-winning lifestyle blog, Thistlewood Farms from her historic home in Dallas, Texas. Thistlewood Farms was awarded Country Living Decorating blog of the year as well as named one of the top 10 decorating blogs by Better Homes and Gardens. KariAnne has freelanced for several national decorating magazines, such as Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, Country Woman Magazine and Flea Market Style.

get in touch

Instagram: @thistlewood // Website / Blog 

 things to check out:

Karianne's DIY Twig pumpkin

 

 her dining room transformation

 

karianne's books:  So Close to Amazing // The DIY Home Planner // You’ve Got This! (Because God's Got You) // The DIY Style Finder // But Where Do I Put the Couch?

 

let's talk about it!

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#OBSESSED

what i'm loving this week

"But Where do I put the couch?" — I LOVE how insightful and approachable this book is!

Based on real-world questions from the everyday person trying to create a gorgeous house, this book is an AMAZING resource for learning design basics and how to create a gorgeous home.

Plus all the photos are too beautiful! #inspogoals

WAIT, WHAT?!

stuff we just need to talk about

Tree Skirt #glowup: Tree skirts were originally to prevent fires?!

Back in the day when Christmas trees were lit with real candles, a tree skirt was there to catch the dripping wax and pine needles. They weren't intended to be cute.

As trees transitioned to having tree stands or legs for faux trees — and were decorated with lights instead of open flames — the skirt transitioned to a decor element to cover the stand / legs and it got cute.

let's talk about it!

Did you know this!? Any thoughts or fun stories about tree skirts?

Leave a comment below or use #MakeSpacePodcast to share your response on social media

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EP 14 TRANSCRIPT

...just in case you wanna read

Cara: 00:00 You listening to the MakeSpace podcast, episode number 14.

INTRO: 00:23 Welcome to make space a home design show made to inspire you to create spaces you truly feel at home. In Cara Newhart sits down with amazingly brilliant guests for conversations that dive deeper than pin worthy rooms. To tease out the essentials of creating spaces that feed your soul and inspire your creativity from home design strategies to decor, advice to interior design, tips and tricks. These conversations help you dream up a beautifully lived in home. Cara is the designer and chief creative enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. Her work has been featured in print publications like PEOPLE Style Watch and Denver style magazine. As an influencer, Cara has collaborated with brands like Amazon, H & M, Twitter and Thrillist. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.

Cara: 01:21 [singing] Happy Wednesday! Um, you guys, I am just still smiling so big because this whole episode just filled me with joy. Um, today I'm sitting down with KariAnne wood who is just one of the most joyful and amazing people that I've ever met. She writes the award winning lifestyle blog. This'll would farms from her historic home in Dallas, Texas. This'll wood farms, was awarded country living decorating blog of the year as well as named one of the top 10 decorating blogs by better homes and gardens. KariAnne has freelanced for several national decorating magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, Country Women Magazine and Flea Market Style. She's also an incredible author with a passion for storytelling. And in this episode we not only dive into decorating tips and DIY tips and really how to find your style, but we also talk about all of her different books and where you can find them because they are jam packed with such great advice and really, really good guidance for you as you are on your home decor and DIY journey. So let's get to it and jump into this interview.

KariAnne: 02:41 Hi!

Cara: 02:42 Hello. Hello. Oh my goodness. I am very, very excited to have you on because you are just the most positive person and you have such amazing tips for style and for really creating a house you love. So thank you so much for coming on as a guest today.

KariAnne: 03:00 Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to talk to everybody.

Cara: 03:03 Oh yes. So I got to meet you at the Haven conference and just after chatting a few times, I kind of began to realize that I think you're like one of the most joyful people I know. Like every time I saw you, you were laughing, you were smiling. And um, it was just really encouraging because it kind of made me realize like your approach when it comes to design [inaudible] is really laid back. But also you have this gorgeous home. And so the fact that you can have both and you don't have to be serious or stuffy about design is just so, so encouraging. So can you share a little bit about your journey of how you got into home design and then also about becoming an author and blogger?

KariAnne: 03:45 Sure. Okay. So it, my journey kind of started about 10 years ago. Um, my husband and I decided to go on an adventure. And so we took our four children and we jumped from McKinney, Texas, which is part outside of Dallas, air, DFW, Fort worth area and where there are like restaurants and fair like target and all kinds of amazing shops and theater, the movies. And we jumped from there to the middle of nowhere in Kentucky, literally in the entire County that we lived in. Yeah. Not the city, the County, there were no stoplights target, like I had to cross state lines like you have to go to target. And so it was, it was definitely an adventure and it was an amazing journey. And we bought an old farmhouse that was over a hundred years old and we started the journey of remodeling it and we were all, we were finished and everything was, well, you're never really finished.

KariAnne: 04:52 But we were close to finished and I wanted to share with people and I was kind of lonely. You know, I had moved there from out of town and I, I didn't know that people were amazing and they were wonderful. But you know, I just wanted to share, start sharing my journey. So I thought I'm going to start a blog. So hence Thistlewood Farms was born and I got online and found the most amazing, a group of creative, incredible, awesome women who were just like me who wanted to decorate and design their homes in shop people's trash and shop at yard sales and, and do all this amazing stuff. And um, along the way I have had a couple of fabric lines and I have two product lines. They're in stores right now and I have a, my fifth book just launched last week. So yeah, it's been an amazing, incredible journey. And that's, I think the brilliance of the online world is you never know who's, you never know who, who you can connect with and especially, you never know who you can encourage. Yeah,

Cara: 06:04 I love that so much. I feel like, cause I started my blog as a new mom when I was, you know, in the city, but totally alone in my own house. And being able to find that community, there's just nothing like it. And once you really get plugged in and really get, it's about that. It's not just sharing pretty things, it's about people and community then that's really it. For sure.

KariAnne: 06:24 Yes. You know, it's interesting too, you know, you said about joy, I wrote a post on my blog one time and I said, y'all, I have so much joy today. I don't even know. I mean it doesn't take a lot for me to get joy like Coke, you know, McDonald's or like the Downton Abbey movie, or little just cooler weather in Texas. So it doesn't take a lot to mush me over to the joy category. But I said, y'all have so much joy today. I want to give you some joy. It's like I'm extra. So I'm going to give you something. So in the comments, I want you to tell me something that you do that you're incredible at. Like, are you the Hulu champion? Like, do you know, do you bake the best Apple pie? Like it is. I want you to leave it in the comments and I said, and then I'm going to tell you how amazing you are. And then that will give you join. So all these people who are like, Hey, I can really, you know, play tic-tac-toe, or like, I really, you know, I have amazing hands. You know, it was like you're the best, you're the best in North America. You're incredible. You know, and along the way, something amazing happened because I figured something out. You cannot give joy away like you can because it comes back triple. I'm trying to give this away. And then the people were like, no, you're amazing.

KariAnne: 07:49 Um, I, that's, I just think a thing to live with in life is that if you want joy, give joy away and it will come back to you double.

Cara: 07:57 Oh, that's so good. Such good. Such a good approach no matter what you're doing, whether it's your house or just living for sure. But, um, I love how that comes through in your books too. Just your, your joyful approach. Like, I feel like a lot of information out there is telling people maybe they have to have a clear style to create a house that works. I know that I talk to my followers and listeners all the time and they're struggling and telling me, I just don't know what my aesthetic is. I love everything. Um, I know that you're a proponent of not letting design styles really define you.

KariAnne: 08:31 so — and really just to let them inspire you instead of making you feel it was directed. What's your advice for someone stressing about defining their style? I know you do have a whole book about it.

KariAnne: 08:44 I do. I have an amazing book on how to find your style. But the secret kind of the book spoiler is that at the end of the day, your style is truly your own and it's things that you love in your house. So for example, I'm talking to you right now and I'm looking across my office and there is a pumpkin that I made out of twigs from the backyard. Like I went on site and there is actually, we can put this in the show notes. There's a whole DIY on this, on the blog, but it's a pumpkin. So I found this kind of random piece of wood. I think I got it out of the trash or from the side of the road or something. And I took some twigs and I drew an outline of the pumpkin and then I glued the twigs into the shape of a pocket.

KariAnne: 09:26 Huh. And I have pulled that thing out. I think I made it maybe five years ago. Every year I pull it out and I sort through my fault, like, okay, I don't think this is cute anymore. Like: you're going fall decor. But, and the pumpkin makes the cut every year it makes the cut. And the reason why is because it's something that I created and it's something that I love. And every time I pull it out, it makes me happy. And I think perhaps that's the best tip that we can give ourselves is permission to love our houses. Because there's a whole world of people out there and they're all telling you like, well, you need to only have grey rugs should your walls like khaki or [inaudible]. Well no one has purple ceilings, you know, I mean, Oh that would be terrible, you know?

KariAnne: 10:13 But in reality like it like if you like it and it speaks to you, then you know what, if you create a home full of things that you love, something amazing happens along the way. You end up loving your home. And I think that's the best tip is because don't listen to all the people telling you do this or do this or you feel inferior. Like you own it. If you want to go and make a pumpkin out of twigs from your backyard, like you go girl, like you put it out every fall and let it make you so happy every year.

Cara: 10:46 That is such an amazing perspective and I think it's why like I'm so passionate about sharing DIY with people because in a way DIY is kind of an escape from the rules because even if two people are making the same project, like it's going to come out totally different. So getting to create something you really love and do it exactly how you want it is like well freeing and so fun.

KariAnne: 11:08 Exactly. There's, that's so true. Like if you wanted to make an acorn, like you go for it. You don't have to make it — you don't have to make a pumpkin.

Cara: 11:16 So I know something that was a focus in one of your more recent books is how perfection is overemphasized and underrated. And I think this comes along with like the Pinterest culture of like looking at perfection and being inspired. And then I never really getting started because we were afraid we won't be perfect or good enough. Um, can you talk a little about what this means when it comes to your home?

KariAnne: 11:40 I think that is so true because I call it that. I think I heard this term, it's not my term, but I heard it somewhere, the paralysis of perfection. So here's what happens so many times in our spaces. So you're looking at your living room and you go, I really, I feel like I should, I should change out the rug in this room. And you look around and then you think, but if I change out the rug, I'm going to take down the paint color and if I change the paint color, then maybe I have to paint the trim and then, Oh gosh, I'll probably need new curtains. And like I need new curtains. Like what about the pillows? Like they won't match anymore. And then you get so overwhelmed by all the decisions that you have to make and that you just say, well I'll do it later.

KariAnne: 12:19 Yes, yes. And you're so focused on the room being perfect that you lose sight. It's like you lose sight of the forest for the trees. Like in other words, your goal is to have a room that you love. So if you want a new rug, I say go out, find a rug and rugs or an easy like the rugs. When I remember when I first started decorating, they were so expensive and now they have amazing inexpensive rugs like eight by 10 rug. You can get it for, you know, under easily under $200. There's a lot of amazing options. There's actually this incredible blue and white rug that I found on Wayfair that is like when I put on Instagram, everyone's like, yeah.

KariAnne: 13:01 Um, but yeah, I think that like you change out the rug in the room. It didn't live with your room. Like you don't have to do it all today and it doesn't all have to be perfect. Like change out the rug, live with it and maybe the stuff that you have will already go with it. But make a decision, I think make a decision and take a baby step whenever that first baby step is, find something in the room that you want to change. Now in addition to runs, I think one of the easiest, most inexpensive things you can do is to paint a room like paint I think is your best friend. And um, I have some of my, some of my best friends or paint colors like Sherwin Williams, Mindful Gray, like life was complete when I found that color or I'm really good.

KariAnne: 13:44 White is Sherwin Williams — Alabaster. Like that's another, a really good, Khaki is Sherwin Williams Sandbar that I'm looking at right now. There's a lot of really um, fun pink colors and you could change the room almost overnight by giving it a new look like, and we can put this in the show notes. I just took my dining room from like calm, relaxing. The walls were white. Everything was kind of neutral to like, Oh, I couldn't make, I love it changed up the entire space. I didn't have to change that many things in the room to make it, I really just changed the pink color. You can see the before and after it. It's incredible the difference. Just a little bit of paint will make, I love that so much because first of all it's an inexpensive way to feel like your house is always fresh, but also just the approach of design that you talking about where it's like one thing at a time and you know, having like a almost collected look, we're over time, your styles growing and becoming more clear and more defined and you can change it at any time versus traditional interior design looks like let's redo the entire room, make it all look at once and then do a reveal.

KariAnne: 15:00 I think that's too strong. It's too stressful for me. So I can't imagine somebody that doesn't, right. A decorating blog and decorate all the time. Like I get stressed out when I think of [inaudible], you know, redoing an entire room top to bottom. Yes. It sounds like super overwhelmed. Totally does. Oh my goodness. And I write books about it. Oh my gosh. Too funny. So the other weird, funny thing about pursuing perfectionism is I feel like it's also expensive because there's always something new to buy or something you have to replace to make it look perfect. Can you talk about like the value of designing your home on a budget and why? You know, it doesn't have to be super expensive to be amazing. You know, I started when I very first got my first house, I started designing it on a budget because that's what I had.

KariAnne: 15:50 I had like, well I had no money actually. So I, you know, I could take $20 and make it last for like years, you know, and I shopped yard sales and thrift stores and, and I figured out all these creative amazing ways am I actually have a series on my blog of 30 ways to decorate your house for free, like changing things out for free. And I did that out of necessity. Well now you know, I, I've grown up a little bit and now I have a little bit more income and I can maybe afford to splurge a little bit, but I still don't. Yeah, let me think. The joy is in the hunt and a yards. Oh my gosh. When you see that sign and it says motif fee, so it's like you're like, Oh well if one family's junk is amazing, then low time, let it be way better.

KariAnne: 16:52 You know? And so that there is just no thrill like that. I mean to go and find something that somebody else paid maybe, I don't know, $500 for and they're selling at a yard sale for like $10 to take that to your home and transform it to match your decor. [inaudible] is an amazing thing. So I'm a big believer in decorating on a budget. I think shopping thrift stores and yard sales and where I live, people, I'm just put stuff out by the side of the road and you're like, ah, Hey, way to go. So yeah, it's, I just think that's probably one of the best. And the best tips I think for transforming things are number one, paint is a good friend, which we've already discussed. Number two, I think sometimes taking something and looking at it and an unusual way, like taking drawers and putting them on the wall and yeah, and you know, creating shadow boxes out of them or taking an old window and just hanging on the wall and putting a reef on it or something that lived another life doing something else.

KariAnne: 17:56 And now you're like, hello friend. You know, it's, it's a, um, it's time to live in another chapter in a new way. That is so good. And I feel like kind of what's emerging for me as I think about this is like the fact that when people say like, Oh, I don't have enough money to have a beautiful house, it's not really like your focus is just kind of in the wrong place. You need to focus more on the creativity and being imaginative versus like what you can go, you know, from the store kind of deal. I do agree and I think the world right now tells us sometimes like, Hey, you know, by this latest and greatest thing or, or by this or, and I mean, I get that. I like to shop as much as the next person, but I also think sometimes anybody can just go to the store and buy stuff.

KariAnne: 18:41 It's the extra ordinary home that find something, a treasure and makes it into something that's uniquely their own. That's so, so beautiful. Such a good nugget there. Oh, words of design wisdom really, really is. Especially for someone that's, I've been at it awhile and and feeling stuck or someone that's just starting and don't, doesn't really know. You know, where to pull in on things sometimes. You know what? I really did this care. I did it out of almost necessity because I have four children and people come to my house and I want them to feel comfortable. I want to feel like if they bump into something and it breaks, like who cares? It came from a yard sale. Like I don't want them. Do you feel like you can't put your feet up or you can't put the cup on a coffee table or, I just create things that I feel super comfortable because I want people that come to the home to feel comfortable.

KariAnne: 19:34 And if something were, I don't think knock over a table and it breaks. I mean there's always another no $20 table right down the road, multifamily yard sale. So even though my house looks fancy, literally everything in here, either somebody gave me or I found it by the side of the road or I found it or my mom gave it to me when she gets tired of stuff, you know, I mean, so I just don't, I don't ever want people to feel where you just couldn't come in my home, kick your shoes off and just, you know, pull up a chair with a glass of sweet tea. I want them to feel super cozy. Yeah. And that's the best, really the best thing. Cause I think when we look at inspiration photos or kind of styled photos, we forget that like the house is made to be lived in.

KariAnne: 20:19 And it only looked back for a second when they took the book. But you gotta you gotta get cozy. Yes, exactly. So I think we have to dive into all your books because I've kind of mentioned a couple of them, but seriously, so amazing. I think I own like three out of, is it far you like Columbia on Carianne? Is that what you calm down with your books? Like Oh right, no I love it so much and just tell that like writing and, and kind of teaching through writing is your passion and you are so good at it. Um, cause you know, some are like write a book, write a memoir and they're kind of done. But Oh no, I have way too much to say that problem. Like I'm actually trying to get better at listening. See listening attentively instead of like I, all these thoughts are going through my head when you say something like Carianne be a good listener.

KariAnne: 21:14 Oh, I love it. I love it so much. So let's first start, well we'll get to your most recent book, but let's start with your favorite one. Do you have a favorite one that I just don't ask? I love children. Like I love them all for different reasons. I wrote them kind of at different stages of my life. And so my very first book, which is called so close to amazing, which is actually a memoir and it's got a lot of faith in it and it's got a lot of, you know, jumping and why we jumped and how we really followed our heart and some of the struggles. Like I'm straight ups share my struggles. I struggle with weight. I struggle with chocolate chip cookies. I actually put in my Instagram stories last night, a picture of this plate of cupcakes. And I said, y'all, it's 10 17 at night. Should I eat this?

KariAnne: 22:09 I wouldn't even have ask anyone. I would be more voting. And just for the record, it was like 97% said yes please. Kind of friends in life because I've got really good readers on it. But, um, but yes, that book is amazing and it, it just Chronicles really my journey and my heart. And I got to tell so many of my stories because at my heart, at the end of the day, when you peel everything else away from me, I am a storyteller. I love to tell stories and [inaudible] I just love teaching through stories. And so the second book is the DIY planner. And it is all about, it's, it's meant to be given to someone who, you know, it makes it great gift for a brand new bride and groom. It makes a beautiful gift for a new homeowner. It's someone who, if you want to take your house from zero to like 60, it gives you all of the details, like how high to hang your chandelier and how high to like, um, you know, or what a rug should look like in a room that all of the decorating rules.

KariAnne: 23:16 And then I say, let's just break these rules. It do what we want to do, but that looks amazing. And then the third book is actually devotional and it's called, you've got this because God's got you. And it's all about, it's actual stories. It's stories of, okay, Oh gosh, times I've stepped in dog poop or um, you know, in the life lesson in that. And, um, just so many have kind of things where I've a wrong step in life and just what I've learned from them and it's, it's meant to encourage. So it's an amazing book for anybody who really just needs to be lifted up. Yeah, it's a, it's the cutest, a little book. It fits perfectly in your purse. Um, sometimes I kind of think that's my favorite but don't tell the others.

KariAnne: 24:06 But um, and then the fourth book is I'm the DIY style funder and it's the one we referenced earlier and it's all about how to find your style. And then the most recent book, which is actually my current favorite. Okay. So other books. This one actually is my favorite right now because it's the newest one. Um, and it's called, but where do I put the couch and it's 101 questions from readers. So another blogger and Melissa from the inspired room. And I ask all of our readers like, send us your questions. Like what questions do you have in, Oh my gosh, the questions that we got. Like you would not even believe I had no idea. There were so many decorating questions in this on this earth and we picked the hundred best ones. But then one of the most popular questions is where do I put my couch?

KariAnne: 24:55 Like where ruined I like out. So that's where the title of the book came from. But it's such a fun read and I'm getting all kinds of messages and DMS of people saying, Oh, I'm on page, I'm on page like 142 and I love how you referenced this project and you know, and, and you're so inspiring on this and I want to like learn how to paint this way. And you know, it's just an amazing, amazing thing to have your words reach out and really inspire people. Yes. Oh my goodness. That's totally my favorite book too. And it was hilarious because when I met you at Haven, you had a different book that you were doing signings for and I thought that was your most recent. And then I go to home goods, I saw the book, the, and the title caught my eye and I was like Kariana I love her.

KariAnne: 25:42 But, no, that's actually one of my proudest moments is when the book was in home goods. Because I mean, come on girl, like home goods, that's, that's the place. I mean, that's where you can find some amazing home decor. And so when it showed up there, I was so proud the, my book in home goods. So yeah. But what I really love about it is it feels so attainable. Like it doesn't feel like some, like very serious designers just here to give you the rules. It's just very like, I dunno, it just makes it feel like I could totally designed my own house and do it beautifully. And you know, it's not that hard. Like it's very, very encouraging in that way. So yeah, I think it's all bad. I think it's, I think you, you've surmise the book exactly right. Like I think it's all about baby steps, like taking small steps that eventually add up to a big difference. Yes. Yeah. And that's something when you know, when followers or listeners

Cara: 26:44 are always like, how did you make that? Like, I could never do that, which is a phrase I hate. But yeah, it's just like my journey started longer ago than yours. Like you can totally get here. But there was a point where I [inaudible] I was afraid to use a saw and I'd go to home Depot and like beg the guy to break the rules and cut it smaller than 12 I just moved in an eight inch piece. Like so you know, I think sharing that, the fact that it's a journey and, and that's what that book really kind of showcased really, really well was just like let's ask one question at a time and that's how you learn. Like who wanted the time.

KariAnne: 27:19 I love that and I love you. I love your story too. I think that's so inspiring. I think you're such an inspiration to women everywhere because here you are with a podcast now. I mean that's something I'm like [inaudible] anybody that has a podcast, I'm super impressed and think they're a giant big deal because I couldn't figure that all out.

Cara: 27:37 I am not that smart. I see my flaws that I need to go talk to people more. I'd be more than happy to like sit in the closet and like work on stuff behind the computer all day, you know, different strings. But yeah, the podcast is really here to help everyday women feel empowered to tackle those big projects and not be intimidated. So is [inaudible] are there any advice you'd give her in terms of how to feel confident about her style and kind of curate the space that she really loves?

KariAnne: 28:07 I think that we discussed so many things. We discussed the prowess of perfection today. We've discussed just embracing the home that you love. But I think if I could just sum all of that up into one phrase. Yeah. It's almost like if, if I was sitting at my house right now and hopefully I'd have a really good cup of coffee or diet Coke or something, um, or maybe a cup game and I could encourage, um, that, that woman or man that's listening to this, I would say you can do it. I know that. So oversimplifying it, but sometimes it's just someone giving you permission to those changes because you got this friend, like you truly have. This, I know you're probably thinking, I can't pick out a pink color and you know what you can, I know you're thinking like I probably can't go find something cute at a yard sale. Oh wait. Oh you can. You can. And you're probably thinking I cannot, no, I can never figure out where to put my couch. Like yes you can. Like you can do it and don't let anyone take that away from you that you can't, like don't let anyone tell you that or make you feel small or make you feel less than because truly you can do this.

Cara: 29:31 I love that. And don't let yourself tell you that either. Like

KariAnne: 29:34 exactly like

Cara: 29:36 get out of the way. Like get out of the way. Yeah. So

KariAnne: 29:42 something that is kind of more new to me because when I first started out I was actually in fashion and a fashion blogger of all things, which is very bad. That's totally a wrong fit. And coming over to the DIY and home space, like the sense of community is next level. It's just like so many like minded people that are very creative and just like whatever you do is going to be totally different than what I'm going to do. So like we're not competing, we're like best friends. Um, can you talk about like the role of community in your journey? Like as a blogger but also just for the everyday woman who is decorating our home and trying to do it. Okay. I think I'm going to tell a story to illustrate this point. Yeah, actually shocked. Okay. Act shocked and I'm telling you, but when I started my blog, I was going to write a fancy blog like super decorator, you know, like with all kinds of rules and things like why you should only have neutrals and your Christmas, like why you should never have painted paneling in your house.

KariAnne: 30:46 You know, all kinds of like, he's amazing wa words of wisdom from like Mount Zion, looking down on people below, you know, and I could not take pictures at all. I had like a camera, those yellow cameras that used to like throw away after you took them to Walgreens. So I hire a photographer to come out to my house and he came out to the house and he took all of these. It was right around Christmas time. He took these amazing, incredible, awesome, um, pictures of the house and he sent me the, um, files on the computer and I remember pulling them up going, Oh, Oh, like wait until the world sees this. Like, are you kidding me? This is my gift to the universities. So I go to write my very first blog post and I upload the photographs and I put them in and it was going to be of my front room at the farmhouse, which was kind of like, I guess it wouldn't down, was probably used as a library.

KariAnne: 31:43 And it had, and the title of the post was going to be how to use neutrals in your Chris listicle eye. So I pull up the pictures and I start typing and I'm like, and anyway, and you should always do this and you should do this. We should just, and then I looked at the photograph, I in my brilliant decorating wisdom had totally forgot to put like a tree skirt under the Walmart tree. And we had these plastic feet like with a wide angle where like it looked like they were like taking over the living room. And I look, I'm like, how did I miss that? I'm like, Oh, how embarrassing. This is so embarrassing. And so I thought, I can't, I can't write a theory and see blog. I can't even put my tree skirt on for heaven sakes. And I literally, my first blog posts, you can go back and look at it and it's like, hi guys, my name is Carianne and I do not put my tree skirt on. Like, look, I forgot.

KariAnne: 32:52 It turns out that there's a whole giant community out there of people that forget their tray skirt too. Or like, the other thing I had done is I had left my white pumpkins in the Hutch next to like, you know, the nativity set because they were white. I, they kind of mint, they were stuck in amongst them, um, suck in. And amongst them like other decor. And I didn't really see them until the picture showed up and I was like, Ooh, fall and Christmas all in one. It's like, this is amazing. But I learned something amazing that day because it was almost like people were so happy that somebody else went first. Somebody else said, Hey guys, I'm going to be authentic and it'd be real because I want to be part of this community and I want to encourage you and I am so far from being perfect you, your head would spin.

KariAnne: 33:46 I forget my tree skirts. I put pumpkin's Nick next and activities and the community that came out and surrounded me because of that. It was so incredible and they lifted me up and they were all trying to make me feel better. Like, Hey, like it's fine if you forget that tree skirt and just put a quilt under there, you know, like, and I think that that community still exists today. It's like been with me through my whole blogging journey and I feel like when I meet someone who reads my blog, it's like weird. Literally BFFs because Oh, like the same stuff and none of us are perfect or trying to pretend to be perfect. Yes. Oh my goodness. The trying to pretend to be perfect thing. It's just another level of exhausting and I just want to save everyone I can from that trap because that's a whole different, yes.

KariAnne: 34:36 The whole nother podcast. It is it really back now be another guest and we'll talk on that. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Oh my gosh, this was so good. I feel like really, well. I feel personally very encouraged, but I know the listeners are also going to take a lot from this in terms of like, no, yeah. It not being that intimidating and not seeming so challenging to just dive in and get started and be unafraid to make mistakes because that's how you get the space you're really like, it's like trial and error and getting started. Really. Yeah. It's just do it, like just take that first step. Like if you're listening to this podcast today and you're like, and you're sitting in your living room listening to it and you're looking around like, I think I really need to fill in the blank. I really need to get new curtains.

KariAnne: 35:22 I really need to paint that table. I really need to um, change out the pillows on my couch. Like you got this. Like you can do it, but you have to take that first step. And I think the first step is where it all begins and it's like you take the first step and you realize, wait, that wasn't too bad. I did not like, I'm good. And then you need to get some peeps and like show them all your pillows or whatever you done shouting out to the world. Like I tell random people in Walmart all the time, like, by the way, I just paid my dining room and it is like incredible. Like it's there. Like okay, please pass the sweet potatoes over there.

KariAnne: 36:01 But that's the thing, when you're passionate about it, it just spills over. Like wherever you are and you totally have that going on. I got something going on. Um, so just to wrap up because everyone really needs to get on board with what you have going on. Where can everyone find you online. Okay. They can find [email protected] and they can find me on Instagram at [inaudible]. They can also find me on Facebook under thistle wood farms and um, I have Oh really fun email that goes out that they can sign up for on the blog. The books are all over anywhere. Books are sold. In addition, they're on Amazon and you can also, there's links to them on my blog under my book page. Yeah. And I'll for sure link all those in the show notes just to make it easy. Um, and then besides your most recent book, is there anything else cool or special we need to know about?

KariAnne: 36:57 Um, no, except I'm getting ready to decorate for Christmas and I'm going to remember my tree skirt. I've got an amazing dress. I can't wait to see it. So I run, hop over to Instagram. Do you ever follow because your account is literally gorgeous and inspirational and attainable. That's the best part is it's not the stories. Like I got to keep it real in the stories. Like the day I was at trader Joe's buying flowers and like I'm in the, I don't think you've ever seen someone get so excited about, um, they had it kind of like straw grasses there today. And I literally, if he needs some joy, go, go, go, listen to me talk about this stronger. But that's, I feel like every, every day there's something different that you are like so excited about. You smile. Like I love watching her there. It's always something going on for sure. A lot of fun. Yes. Well thank you so much for your time and for sharing all your insight and all your amazing advice. Thank you. And have a day as amazing as y'all are. Okay. Yes. Oh, thank you.

#OBSESSED: 38:07 Hashtag, Obsessed.

Cara: 38:10 So what I am obsessed with this week, surprise is KariAnne's book, But Where Do I Put the Couch? Um, this is the one we talked about in the episode that has answers to 101 real world decorating questions. She's really an amazing author. So all of her books are excellent. This

Cara: 38:36 one really stands out as the first one I would recommend. Um, especially if you are an everyday girl who wants to decorate your house, you want it to look gorgeous and opulent but you don't really know like the rules of design and all the official nitty-gritty kind of stuff. So cause like the regular process of an interior designer is like you learn all the rules, you learn how to style an entire room for a client and that kind of knowledge just doesn't work as much in your own house when it's like you want to build it over time and you don't necessarily have to follow all the rules because you don't care to stay true to like traditional design, if that makes sense. So the reason I like this book is because you can either read it straight through and just learn a ton about design by hearing their answers to all these different questions that like real people have asked.

Cara: 39:30 Or you can use it like a resource. So when you have a question you can like look it up and see, um, and get kind of like tips and advice for exactly what you need to know versus like endless Google searching and potentially being bombarded with rules of design. When you're like Googling home decor things, there's a lot of people telling you what you should do. Um, and this is really approachable. It's really usable as a resource. And so that's why I'm really, really loving it. Plus I just love KariAnne's writing style. I love how genuine it is and how much she truly does want to teach and help. And that's not something you can just find anywhere. So that is what I am loving this week. It is amazing. Go snug a copy off Amazon. I think it's like $28 maybe even on sale right now. So yeah, I will link it in the show notes, but you definitely need to go grab a copy.

WAIT, WHAT?: 40:24 Wait, what?

Cara: 40:33 So my wait what for this week is actually a fun tree skirt fact. I'm, I love Carianne tree skirt fail story. So such a good opportunity to talk about Christmas way before we need to, um, not even close yet, but who cares? So tree skirts actually originated as a functional situation. Um, trees used to be decorated with actual candles. So a tree skirt was invented to go around the base of the tree to collect the wax from the candles and then also the fallen needles. So they weren't really decorative at all. They were basically, um, there to keep things from catching on fire, which is like a great purpose. So then basically as we moved to having a tree stand with both real trees and then like the legs, four fold trees, um, people didn't like the way they looked. So they kind of gave tree skirts a makeover and they became like a piece of fabric that was more decorative, would cover up the stand and also collect wax.

Cara: 41:40 And then now we just use them solely as a decoration to cover up the stand. So fun fact about tree skirts. If you didn't know which I did not, I thought they were always just decorative, but yeah, at one point they were to prevent fire so you can totally skip the true skirt unless you're going to use real candles like a crazy person. And then you need one for the wax. I will see you guys next week. I have another super, super amazing guest coming up and an upcoming interview with a star who has her own HGTV show. She's one of my very favorite designers and I'm very giddy about the fact that she gets to come on the podcast. So if you are not a subscriber, hit subscribe because in about two weeks you're going to find out who it is and the interview is going to be amazing. See you soon.

OUTRO: 42:32 Love this episode? Leave a comment on the blog post or use make space podcast to share your thoughts. If this is your first time listening in, be sure to hit that subscribe button so you can stay updated with the newest episodes. If you're a subscriber and you love the show, be sure to rate, review or screenshot and share your favorite episode on social.

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NEVER SKIP BRUNCH by Cara Newhart

I'm Cara, the designer & Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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