The challenge of decorating a craftsman style bungalow


I will fully admit – when I read blogs, I often find my self envious of the wide open space and the pristine white woodwork found in the majority of homes that bloggers live in. Its hard, y’all, to find inspiration for decorating a house that has actual real stained wood for woodwork when you look on Pinterest.

When we first moved into our 1920’s bungalow, I thought we had to buy furniture to go along with the craftsman style of the home.  Fast forward a few years later, and I was finding myself not really loving all that freaking wood and all those lines. Yawn. I wanted a little change.

It started slowly, and we’re still not there. But I am finding that yes, I can decorate around all that (non-negotiable to paint) wood.

I started by putting together a little inspiration board. We chose to have the sunroom, living room and dining room all painted Divine White by Sherwin Williams. A HUGE change from the orange, honey, and green they once were! My husband was shocked and hated it. He said it looked sterile and institutional. I said, “bear with me. I have a vision.”

In came the rug from Rugs USA. It added a fun pop of color into the room.

gallery wall @houseoftubers


Then I had Alyson come over and help me arrange some fun, colorful artwork on the living room wall.
(Salty Bison | Yellow Heart Art | Pagekuepperphotography | vintage map of the city where we were engaged | Katie Daisy )


I had seen a display of antlers similar to this on April’s blog. When I suggested it to my husband, he was GIDDY. He never thought in a million years that I’d allow his deer antlers on the wall in our home!
(frame: flea market | fabric: Drawstring Studio )


But what really sold my husband on the whole transformation was these curtains.

made-by-drawstringI was in a pickle. I had to work with the fabric on these chairs, which I had recently recovered.

I had no idea what to choose for curtain material, but I wanted something that would bring warmth and color into the room. I emailed Danielle of Drawstring Studio and showed her my wall color and my chair fabric and asked for serious help. She came back with 3 choices that were frankly, all fabulous. Once I gave her the thumbs up on this gold-grey fabric, she whipped them out in no time flat and they look awesome. Love. Love. Love.
And my husband said, “I doubted you, but this brought it all together. It looks great.” Well, he does have Danielle to thank for that.dining-room-curtains-by-drawstring

And just so the rest of the transformation isn’t left out and so I can show that we still have some left to go….
This is the sunroom area where you enter the house. Its a useless space that I am trying to figure out what to do with.
I’d love to get rid of this desk and find a chair and a tall dresser (to house all mittens and hats and whatnot) and move the message board somewhere else. But the chair has to be just right because of all the doorways.In the meantime, I spraypainted this lamp and recovered the shade with some fabric I got from Drawstring Studio.

Here’s the awesome fake fireplace. Ha. We have every intention of installing a gas one. Someday. And fixing the hearth. But first, I need to lighten up the backs of those bookcases with some paint!

Is there some feature about your house that you’d change?
Have you ever had custom curtains made?
Drop me a comment – i’d love to know!

 photo newblogsignature_zps266b4b3e.jpg


  • Trish

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new rug!! I wasn’t sure about you painting the walls the white, either (because I loved the colors you had) but I will admit that it does look better now. Love the curtains, too. I need to have her help me, too.

    • Karri

      Thanks! She has an eye for fabric mixing for sure. I love the fabrics she pairs together when she does nurseries and whatnot.

  • Neil Brace

    Can you take the shelves out of the bookcases and put fabric or wall covering (tacked) on the back wall?

  • jess @ if only they would nap

    love what you’ve done in your space, karri! looks great. the curtains were a great addition. 🙂

  • Cristin

    Try foamboard cut to size in the backs of the bookshelves instead of painting–you can paint the board instead (SO much easier to do without making a mess) or “upholster” it with great fabric or decorative paper. It maintains the original features that buyers will want whenever you need to please a buyer, and gives you awesome flexibility, too.

    The curtains are gorg! Love your pattern mixing, it lends a lot of depth and heads off samey-ness.

    • Karri

      Thanks, Cristin!
      We aren’t selling anytime in the next 8 years, so I am not too worried. And the shelves actually come out (all of that was painted when we bought the place), so fabric would be easy to do. And sadly, the back of the bookcase is a cheap wood. So while its not fabulous, at least I can play with it and not feel bad about painting over it!

  • Erin

    I linked here from Drawstring Studio’s post. Her curtains are fabulous and look great in your space! Have you considered using fabric instead of paint for the backs of your living room bookcases? A cornstarch + water mixture makes for a durable yet easy to remove fabric wallpaper “glue” without damaging the wood beneath. You have a lovely home!

    • Karri

      I have considered fabric (i just need something not busy)! I did that in our bedroom on a nightstand, but I used spray adhesive. i didn’t know that about the cornstarch and water. Fabulous!!

      • Neil Brace

        Don’t worry about it being busy – too much. It’s in a darker space and will be somewhat covered by items on the shelves. It needs to have interest.

  • heather

    I love it!!! I can’t paint our dining and living a color (which I tend to do in other rooms of the house) due to the texture. But…I’ve found I like the rooms a lot more if I add pops of color all around. Otherwise, it just gets too boring. Next chance for fun color…redoing my dining room chairs! Just need to figure out a fabric that won’t stain too badly from my crazy kids and their spills.
    heather recently posted..Father’s Day FishingMy Profile

    • Karri

      I bought sunbrella. Its outdoor fabric, so its stainproof, waterproof, mildew proof, etc. i figure it will hold up till I buy a new set! Ha!!
      I think you have the same wall texture we have, BTW? like a spanish plastery texture?

  • Priscilla - The Stylish Gimp

    Have you seen the trick to wrap/paint cardboard instead of the the wood and place it in the back of your bookcase?
    Priscilla – The Stylish Gimp recently posted..What I learned at AdventureCon and SeaworldMy Profile

    • Karri

      no- i have not. not worried about painting the wood, though. its inexpensive wood backing the shelves and the shelves come out.

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