My House!

News alert!  News alert!  Kay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic.  Interesting-ish fact announcement!  Interesting-ish fact announcement!

If you’ve been sitting at home upset, fretting, weeping uncontrollably because you couldn’t see my house in Style at Home  … fret no more.   The stylish folks at Style at Home Magazine have released the article that features my  semi-stylish house on-line.
My feature is the “One-Month Makeover – Century Cottage Goes Glam”.  ‘Cause I made over my house in a month.   Cause I’m weird.

You don’t get the whole written article.  You only get part of the writing but alllll of the pictures.  But let’s face it, how many people actually read decorating magazines?  You look at decorating magazines and read your horoscope.  Duh.   Unless you’re me.   I actually read decorating magazines.  Again, that’s that aforementioned “weirdness” popping up.

Now before I give you the link … before I invite you into my house … there are a few rules.

1.  Please wipe your feet.

2.  Please don’t try to pet the cat.  She’s surprisingly aggressive for a spoiled Siamese who was potty trained too early.

3.  Please don’t mention my kitchen floor.  I hate my kitchen floor.  The kitchen floor doesn’t exist.  Got it?

O.K.  having said that, I’d like to welcome you all to my home!  Come on in and please … stay a while.    After you look at my house in Style at Home , come  back to read some insider information about every photo!   (Scroll down after you’ve seen the pictures)

Click here … to see my house in Style at Home on-line, then come back for some stories!


The stuff you didn’t get to hear about in the magazine …

Photo #1 – Me in my foyer.  I’m laughing hysterically (which results in chipmunk cheeks) at something my niece said.  It’s an inside joke which you won’t think is funny at all but it involves  pee pee.  Classy, eh? And grown up!


Photo #2 – My Foyer.  It took me months and MONTHS to get my bookcases looking good.  If your bookcases don’t look this good, don’t give up.  Just keep playing with them until they feel right.  Leaning beside my chair is one of my most prized possessions. A set list I got signed at a Ramones concert.


Photo #3 – Margaret. Margaret is the massive oil painting in my dining room. When my father died of lung cancer 10 years ago, my mother gave my sisters and I some money. Her only stipulation was that we spend the money on a piece of art. I bought Margaret. I will never, ever get rid of Margaret.


Photo #4 – My dining room. Lord I love my dining room. You may notice, the star of the show is my Dollar Store Garbage Bag Table runner.   Again with the classy.


Photo #5 – My kitchen. Kay, um … here’s a real confession. That kitchen table? The tulip table? I don’t own it. It ain’t mine. My niece owns it. I have been looking and looking at flea markets and on Kijiji for the same one for AGESSSSSS but could never find one. Since it’s the one I WANT in my kitchen, and will eventually be the one I HAVE in my kitchen, I figured a little borrowing would do just fine. Do you feel cheated? Suck it. As far as I’m concerned THAT’S MY TABLE. It’s just a matter of finding it for the right price and buying it. Or stealing it. Whichever seems easier. Oh! And that white brick wall was natural brick until about 3 days before the crew arrived to photograph my house. I highly recommend painting ugly brick walls.


Photo #6 – My Living Room.  The huge mirror? I got it at a garage sale for $7. I almost didn’t buy it because I don’t like to spend any more than $5 for a garage sale item. That end table? The chopping block looking one? It actually is a chopping block. I made it. And in a couple of weeks I’ll show you how to make one too.


Photo #7 – My fireplace.  The filigree vase on the left-hand side of the fireplace mantle was brought to my house by the prop stylist. I bought it as a memento of the event. It cost $89. The wooden bowl in the far upper left corner of the bookshelf is an antique camel milking bowl from Saudi Arabia!  Saudi Arabian antiques are kindda rare outside of Saudi Arabia what with people not being allowed to visit the country without an invitation by a resident.  My sister (who is an actual interior decorator … unlike me) spent last summer in Saudi Arabia decorating the house of a Saudi Arabian princess.  She brought me back the bowl.


Photo #8 – My boudoir.  I don’t own the 2 green pillows on the bed. One is patterned, the other one is a beautiful green velvet. The prop stylist brought them to add a little colour to my bed. I loved them so much I thought I’d ask how much they were to buy. The velvet was somewhere just over $400. I did not purchase the pillow. I am currently on the lookout for a green velvet pillow pricing in at just a titch under $400.


Photo #9 – My bathroom.  The bathroom is the only room in the house that isn’t painted white. It is a mixture of white and Benjamin Moore Bar Harbor Beige. When I first moved into the house the bathroom had a wood toilet seat. Blech. Double blech.


All photos by Donna Griffith by way of Style at Home.


Okey doke … don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!   Thanks for comin’ by and please leave all hostess gifts by the door. Unless you have a white tulip table, in which case you can leave it in the kitchen.

You might also be interested in:

Style at Home Series Pt. I   –   “Oh Dear, I’m About to get Shot

Style at Home Series Pt. II –   “Getting My House Magazine Ready

Style at Home Series Pt. III –   “I’m Magazine Ready, I swear

Style at Home Series Pt. IV –   “The Art of Having Your House Photographed for a Magazine


  1. Sharon says:

    Hi Karen
    I just subscribed. I enjoy reading your blog…. you’re funny & refreshing. Almost everything in my home is secondhand. I’m from Winnipeg and have a few spots I check out every few weeks for great cheap stuff. I am new to blogging and am starting to post my frugal finds & DIY’s. Can’t wait for your next post. So glad I stumbled on your site.

  2. Madeline says:

    Can I get your blog posts on a regular basis thru email?

  3. Jody says:

    Love Margaret. Do you ever wonder who she really was? Who was the artist who painted her.

  4. Mari says:

    P.S.S. I am terribly sorry to hear about your father. Both of my parents have passed, so I understand how hard it is to lose someone you love. What a beautiful way to remember him though.

  5. Mari says:

    I am completely and utterly obsessed with your interior sensibilities! Thank you so much for sharing these images with us. May I ask where you got small gold mirrors above your bed? (P.S. I absolutely adored your story about Margaret).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mari – Those small gold mirrors above the bed are actually from garage sales! They’re old and were relatively popular at the time. So they’re the kind of things you can scour garage sales, flea markets and antique stores for. I think I paid $2 each. :) But that WAS from a garage sale so … ~ karen!

  6. Nastashia says:


    Where did you get your Mongolian Lamb Fur Chair or did you make it???

  7. Leta says:

    I absolutely love your bookcases. Where did you get them, or did you make them?

  8. Ceres Ribeiro says:

    Love, love, love your house!!! Absolutely stunning!!! Thank you for sharing…. I’m looking for a sideboard like that. Do you mind sharing where is from? Thanks!!!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ceres – Thanks! I actually got my sideboard from Structube. They still carry it, but it’s a smaller version. I think Ikea carries a similar one. ~ karen!

  9. Where do you get your antiques? They are so gorgeous and still look very current with your mix of modern styling. Lovely!

    P.S. I didn’t think you could get any cooler, but the Ramones? Seriously? Very cool!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sara – I get most of my antiques from garage sales or auctions. Sometimes flea markets and only if I’m looking for something exceptional an actual antique store. I have one dealer in particular I trust completely. ~ karen!

  10. Kay says:

    the dining room table is like the one my mom had when I was growing up. Loved the table and chairs and wished we still had it One of the ladies she used to babysit for worked for the company that made them we also had desk chairs(they were orange) in the same style and that turned around and around and as kids loved those too. Makes you wonder where they all went because they were indestructible.

  11. Liz says:

    Love your home. Like its owner it has a lot of soul. By the way, I can make a green velvet pillow for less than $400.00. It could be the start of an amazing Etsy store.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Liz. But I don’t know … green velvet pillows are awfully expensive. I mean there’s the velvet … and the foam or feathers. I don’t think you could make it for less than …. $1,000. ~ karen

  12. mia pratt says:

    Class act Karen – maestro of textures, colors, ideas and styles perfectly woven together to create the perfect song of you. I can decorate vicariously through you since I am only renting here in Mexico<:} Super job, you rock! Mia

  13. Linda Laurin says:

    Great job! I will definitely have to stay tuned. Maybe they can give you your own spot on HGTV! We need some new talent! Still love to watch the old gang but some newcomers would be nice.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Linda! But .. I’ve done my time in television. I’m officially retired from it. For the most part. :) ~ karen

  14. jonelle says:

    First of all, I’m an old bag, and I LUV looking at Pinterest, and NOW I found your faaaab-u-lous info. I love your style. It’s young, and hip, and just feels so good to look at.
    Thanks for sharing…I look forward to more sensational ideas.

    • Karen says:

      Well thanks you old bag, LOL. I’m feeling quite the old bag myself today. Glad you found my site. Welcome! ~ karen

  15. Lisa says:

    Can you let me know where you purchased your sectional sofa? Thanks!

  16. Holly says:

    Great house! I tried to not look at the kitchen floor but it was real hard not too.

    I have bought really beautiful velvet on Ebay and I make my own pillow covers (look for velvet remnants at fabric stores or some item of clothing in Value Village). You can get feather-filled pillows at Homesense on sale cheap and just take their cover off (hopefully it has a zipper to remove the cover) and make your own. Very easy. I change my slipcovers with the seasons. It gives a whole new look to a room.

  17. caroline says:

    Karen you have a great sense for home decor !

  18. diane ground says:

    Love your blog. Looking forward to receiving your emails.

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