The modern vanity that amazingly became so much more

Salvaged farmhouse bathroom makeover with ladder towel bar |
Do you make lots of mistakes?

Get ready to laugh AND feel good about it!

Because the blogging world’s greatest storyteller just wrote a feel good story book that celebrates the blunders in life!

So Close To Amazing - a book that celebrates the mishaps in your life. Read the book review and a blundering story of my own on

I’m referring to KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms and her new book, So Close To Amazing.


Click to Shop on Amazon (affiliate link) HERE

Visit the original about-us book page HERE

Have you read KariAnne’s blog? Beware… her stories will glue your eyes to those pages for hours.

And in true KariAnne style, her book does the same. It’s her story, filled to the brim with easy read hilarious constant mishaps.

Are mistakes funny? I never use to think so! But she’ll change your mind. This book had me laughing out loud… and actually appreciating my next blunder!

You’ll also be happy to know that off topic ramblings actually have a name. They are apparently called Total Asides. Huh! This book appears to be extremely educational too.

So Close To Amazing, a book review by KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms on celebrating you just the way you are!

So Close To Amazing, a book review by KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms on celebrating you just the way you are!

So Close To Amazing, a book review by KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms on celebrating you just the way you are!
So it came as NO surprise whatsoever that her book, filled with her hilarious stories gone wrong along with some pretty fun DIY tutorials along with Total Asides that have you heading north, south, east AND west… had me gasping for air.

It is funny! But you’ll also learn just how so close to amazing those blunders are. This book encourages you to celebrate you just the way you are.

So when KariAnne asked if I’d like to read / review her book, then share one of my own stories, well…

Total aside: a total lie

Perfection is so overrated anyway. So a big fat YES here!

So… let’s roll with a story on a seemingly simple DIY that took a few hundred amazing U turns South… 

– – – – – – – – 

The modern bathroom vanity that became so much more

I remember this project like it was yesterday.

I was sent a brand new vanity as part of a sponsored post, challenging me to marry it with my rustic style.

My stomach flipped. In all seriousness, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. But I desired a more productive vanity than what I had.

Bathroom with ladder towel holder |

The pedestal was cute and didn’t eat up a ton of space in my smallish bathroom. However, when your only place to put the flat iron is on the floor… yeah.

So when this challenge came up, I jumped on it. I chose the vanity I felt I could work with, crossed my fingers a little too tight, and hoped I could make my sponsor proud.

setting up a bathroom by dry fitting new vanity parts |

Once the vanity landed on my doorstep, I was hesitatingly giddy. It was modern alright.

So I played the visual game of dry fitting stuff together to get a handle on where I’d take it.

That’s when I started feeling deflated. I felt I could maybe do the vanity part ok, but I just didn’t love the rest of the room.

I mean, a popcorn ceiling and very boring window for a start. Bleh.

So I did the ultimate and most craziest thing I ever did. I decided to make over EVERY thing I didn’t like.

ie: Doing things i’ve never done before… within a tight timeline… and limited budget.

What could possibly go wrong?

How to build a farmhouse window |
First up, that boring window moulding had to go. I grew up in a farmhouse and by golly I wanted a taste of that back, even if it was just one window!

So I looked online and wasn’t prepared for all those fancy miter cuts and expensive wood pieces.

But when my eyes fell on a simpler style that utilized stock lumber and straight cuts, I could do that!

Well, it had been awhile since working with the air gun. First I had to figure it all out again. Patchoo patchoo patchoo! Jamming gun. Splitting wood. Not fitting. Recutting. LOTS of caulking.

I remember sitting on the ground looking at all the strewn wood pieces. “Well, if I turn it just so, it’ll hide that nail and cracked warped board…”

I left the nail and warped board in the picture. Whatev.

Let’s just say, it’s a good thing I had a sense of humour.

How to build an easy farmhouse window with stock lumber and straight cuts |
How to create a farmhouse window HERE

Because I eventually ended up with this! My little one room farmhouse was officially started…

p.s. the 2nd time around a door was an absolute breeze! Will share soon!

Encouraged, I kept going.

How to plank a popcorn ceiling and create a boarded wall |
Next, that popcorn ceiling HAAAAD to go.

Total aside: where popcorn really belongs

Every day I looked at it and turned away, much like experiencing burning retinas while staring at an ugly Christmas sweater.

Being that I had never planked a ceiling before on my own, NO PROBLEM. Let the late night pizza dinners begin… 

So, I was gonna be really smart and paint in between each board. Because we all know eventually wood shifts and I didn’t want gaps like some of my other ceilings got over time.

Well, do you know what happens when you paint tongue and grooves? They get thicker with paint. Which really means, none of them would join.


One more pizza dinner and a sharp exacto blade later I cut off all those paint globs and gotter done!

p.s. And thank goodness for caulking.

How to plank a popcorn ceiling |
How to plank a popcorn ceiling HERE

And the result… swoon!

I may have sweat buckets and lost a few years off my life, but by golly that ceiling ended in perfection.

How to plank a popcorn ceiling and create a boarded wall |
Next up, I needed more towel hanging options.

I loved the board and batten look, so I went with that at first. 

But then I just felt the pull to do something a little different. Putting one board on an angle on top of it all… would that work?

How to create a boarded towel hanging wall |
How to create a boarded attic wall treatment HERE

Well, yes, design wise, it worked wonderfully! It ended up resembling an attic wall of sorts.
Total aside: on miter cuts
However… to some of us, miter joins will never be our BFF. Never. We’ll just leave it at that.

And now for some REAL drama… are you ready?

Because of all the extra work I put into the bathroom, I was running super late for my sponsored post deadline. I needed to shoot THAT day before the sun went down because the post was to go up the next AM.

What’s another pizza at this point?

So I touched up the last bit of paint, then before it was even dry, quickly set up my camera on the tripod inside the tub due to my tiny awkward bathroom, when…

CLUNK! <— pretend that word is screaming at you.

Total aside: on bathtub curves

All I could do is stare in total silence. My camera and tripod were laying on the floor. Face down. The TILE floor.

I already knew. Picking it up, I flicked the switch on. Radio silence.

So let me get this straight. I finally got sent a really NICE product to work with, AND I pulled out all the stops to make it sing, but I can’t share the finished result…

After a small (big) vertigo (not really but could have been) experience, a wicked smile grew on my face like I was the Grinch on Christmas Eve.

I yelled at the boy to “get in the truck cuz we’re going OUT to eat!” (and I’m getting a camera while you chew)… and off we went.

Two months prior I had been dreaming of upgrading to a full frame camera. But for thousands of dollars more, I wasn’t ready to pull the plug on a camera that still worked for free.

My Nikon camera and other camera gear I love |
he camera equipment I use

Pretty sure that’s why credit cards were made. So I bought my dream set up within 30 minutes (my kid didn’t even have time to complain), then sped home.

To a dark bathroom. The sun had vanished by that time. NOOOO! But I had to try. I had no choice.

No manuals were harmed in the shooting of this camera. Because they didn’t even get opened. The camera got plunked on the new tripod and I started snapping in minutes.

Bathroom before |

Salvaged farmhouse bathroom makeover with ladder towel bar |

Salvaged farmhouse bathroom makeover with vintage farmhouse window |
Farmhouse Bathroom Reveal HERE

Well, I was stunned. This room was DARK! But that new improved camera showed me a thing or three!

Full frames are amazing for low light interiors which had become a common problem with my old camera. So honestly? After I saw these photos, I was all like ‘funeral at 2:00, party at 2:01!’ No regrets whatsoever!

Total aside: on bathtub curves

The post ended up being a success, thanks to all the pain and suffering extras that were done with the room.

But I myself became the biggest winner of all. Because…

I got a pretty cool vanity I fell hard for.

I got a new bathroom I LOVED every square inch of.

I learned so many new skills!

I had a farmhouse window! Therefore, a farmhouse really…


I even got my dream camera!

But can you handle even one other REALLY GOOD THING?

It’s a doozy…

Funky Junk Interiors in Country Woman Magazine |
This just in…

The good folks at Country Woman Magazine loved the outcome so much, they printed it in their Aug Sept 2017 edition!

Funky Junk Interiors' salvaged farmhouse bathroom feature in Country Woman Magazine |
Funky Junk Interiors' salvaged farmhouse bathroom feature in Country Woman Magazine |

So often as a blogger of DIY projects, I showcase finished results appearing to be effortlessly whipped out in minutes like on TV. But that is NEVER the case.

Things go wrong for me all the live long day. And sometimes I can really feel the defeat monster.

Well, things are about to change. This little KariAnne-in-your-pocket book will leave you pondering what else you can MAKE go wrong… because, where’s the humour in everything gone right anyway?

So Close To Amazing - a book that celebrates the mishaps in your life. Read the book review and a blundering story of my own on

So Close To Amazing, a book review by KariAnne of Thistlewood Farms on celebrating you just the way you are!

You can order / read a little bit of So Close To Amazing on Amazon HERE. (affiliate link)

Thanks KariAnne, for being so blunderfully amazing!
Care to share your own story of something gone so comically wrong, it couldn’t help but become a right? I’d love to hear it!

Disclosure: I was gifted this book, and honestly enjoyed the upbeat writing so much! Therapy if you will. Highly recommend. While I was not compensated for anything in this post, it does contain Amazon affiliate links.

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15 thoughts on “The modern vanity that amazingly became so much more

  1. Oh dear you made me laugh when your poor camera fell over. I’m sorry but it was one of those shocked, kinda of horse neighing, laughs that just pops out. Good thing my coffee was finished else my laptop may have suffered a similar fate. I’ve heard so many amazing things about KariAnne’s book. Everyone is raving about it. I do believe that mine is finally on it’s way – the postal services here in South Africa are a bit slow – and I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it. Thanks for the unexpected laugh and congrats on your feature in Country Woman. That’s just awesome

  2. Love the bathroom vanity! Such a unique idea to use the license plates. And the mirror with the rulers surrounding it is great! The book by KariAnne also looks like it would be a fun read!

  3. I loved your “farmhouse” window so much, I made my husband beef mine up in our bathrooms too. He loved it that there were NO miter cuts, which meant I didn’t have to listen to man swearing in the process! Haha I remember telling him that it doesn’t need to be perfect – perfect is overrated. Hmmm, maybe I should buy him Kari-Anne’s book to read (or at least that’s the excuse I’ll use to buy it :))

  4. At the time, when strong saturated colors were popular, i was painting my dining room a pumpkin gold color and my living room amazing deep red! We had several pets. And you know how well pets like to keep you company when you DIY. Cats curl under your ladder which you have to move every 2 minutes. The dogs have to plop in the space you want to move your paint bucket to next. I had just finished painting close to the floor, a correctly sized area, 3ft by 3ft, I let my long hair Corgis in the house and go to the bathroom. I come back into my living room and see that my female long hair Corgi has laid down next to my freshly painted, amazing deep red, 3ft by 3ft area of wall. A whole half of my long hair Corgi is an amazing deep red!!! OMG! I Scream! And all the animals shoot straight up and scatter like que balls! Dogs! Cats! Ladder leaning ! Paint bucket tipping, paint brush flying! The pets disappear from the living room. The red Corgi leaves a trail lightly brushed amazing red paint on everything she bumps into, which was minimal. Some trim. A couple of chairs. Some on the floor. Thankfully no carpet. The ladder and paint bucket right themselves and the brush landed on the drop cloth. Whew! I bathed the dog and removed most of the paint. She remained half pinkish for a Long time.

  5. Great post Donna. I remember when you redid the room. Loved it then love it now. I adore the cover of that book. KA is an amazing story teller. Thanks for the review.

  6. I have to say your bathroom is my favorite bathroom of all time! They can have all those opulent rooms big enough to have a fancy dress ball in. I mean really. Always makes me wonder what the heck they do in there any way. I think I wrote you before about your bathroom and told you that I would live in there. Still true! Best room ever.

  7. WOW beautiful, well done Donna. Congrats on another magazine article. I have to stay when I read about your camera hitting the tile I held my breath. Glad you have the full frame you wanted and needed. ISO range is wonderful.

  8. Donna, you can be so proud of yourself for creating this fantastic bathroom and for not giving up when not everything went smoothly. I love every detail of your bathroom and could move right in. 🙂 Congratulations on the magazine feature! It’s so very well deserved!!!

  9. Congratulations on your post in Country Woman! I remember you blogging about this bathroom. Now we have moved into another home (much older and needing some TLC) it’s time to revisit some of your DIY projects.
    Love reading your review of Karianne’s book – you both are amazing!!

  10. YOU ARE AMAZING! I love this post—and my favorite thing is your total asides!!!! You should write a book. 🙂

    Thank you so much friend for the beautiful post!

  11. i’ve always loved your bathroom makeover! funny how one too many pizza slices can be a good thing! congrats on the feature and i think you should write a book, xo

  12. Love this post. And your bathroom. I think it’s my favorite room. And I am inspired. I am always having to redo and relearn all the live long day in many facets of this life and if that’s the case, Well bring it on! And one of these live long days I am going to make a board and batten wall! I am learning if you have the right tools it makes all the difference. Thanks so much for your teachings.

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