Ree Drummond Room Redo

Remember that Long Room at Ree’s house that I blogged about a while back? Well, some fun folks from HGTV recently visited the ranch, and gave it a major makeover. Here’s the room before

And here’s what Cortney and Bob Novogratz whipped up for Ree’s daughters in just under a week…

What a dramatic difference, huh? Ree said her daughters are LOVING it, and joked that she keeps “thinking they’ll come downstairs to eat, but so far there’s been no sign of them“. LOL!

One of my favorite things in the room is the “knitting station” at the end of the long desk…

And speaking of the long desk, that sucker spans almost the entire length of the room! Holy Creative-Stuff-Is-Definitely-About-To-Go-Down-On-That-Thing, Batman!

I love that they used paint-by-number wallpaper, too…

And if the girls decide they don’t want to fill it all in with paint pens, it looks great just the way it is, too! Bonus!

Now that the girls’ room is all gussied up, Ree’s ready to redo the rest of the upstairs. Soooooo, over the next however-many-months (I don’t think there’s any rush and Lord knows she’s a busy lady!) she and I are going to put our heads together to see if we can come up with a plan for all the other areas up there, too!

But since we live 800 miles apart…

We’ll be doing all of our brainstorming via phone and computer. I’m super excited about the opportunity, and I look forward to blogging about the experience along the way, too!

Ree said there’s a bunch of different areas upstairs that need updating, but I thought I’d start by giving her some inspiration in the area they pass through before they reach the top step.

Move your cursor on and off of the photo below to see what I had fun dreaming up for her stairwell this weekend…

(PS- Google Readers will have to click over to our site to view this one in action!)

(Note: My drawing is for inspirational purposes only, and the ideas shown in it are just that. Spontaneous, totally flexible, just-for-fun, ideas. And since this is a just-for-fun photo consultation, and not an actual-and-perfectly-to-scale virtual consultation, I have no idea if any of the ideas or accessories I popped in my drawing would actually work in this space. Or if Marlboro Man even likes the color red. Oh, wait. Of course he likes the color red!)


Here are the still images in case you weren’t able to view the interactive ones above…

I thought it might be kind of neat to use some kind of rope handrail on the left wall. Something extra chunky like this would be really ranch-y:

I love that runner in the photo above, too. Reminds me of an old grain sack!
Here’s some more rope/runner inspiration I found online…

I love the idea of some kind of dark rope-holders brackets, kind of like (but more simple than) the ones in the photo above. Again, seems like they’d fit right in at the ranch.

The runner in the presto change-o pic I put together is from Dash & Albert, but like I said, Ree wouldn’t have to use that exact runner. I just like the idea of a using one because of the softness it would add amongst all those hard surfaces.

I popped in some reclaimed wood steps under the runner in my drawing, because I thought some kind of dark rustic wood would look pretty spiffy. I’m not sure how easy/inexpensive that would be to recreate in real life though. (?) Maybe it would be easier to just do the treads? I’ll have to talk to someone about that if Ree digs the idea. But again, they don’t have to be rustic wood steps. I’m sure those stairs would look absolutely loverly with a fresh coat of stain or paint on them, too!

As for the walls, Ree told me she was open to painting them, so I thought I’d show her what they would look like if they were painted with a color like (but tad warmer than) the one the Novogratz’s used in the girls’ room. But before I put pen to paper cursor to computer, I asked Ree if she was surrrrre she was okay with painting over the existing wood walls. A) because of the whole “paint it vs. don’t paint” debate that always seems to pop up when someone suggests painting natural wood on a public forum (note: design debates give me hives), and B) because I knew those wood walls had been there since Marlboro Man’s parents designed the house back in the 70’s, and I can certainly understand if he’d like to leave them just the way they are.

But Ree said, “No, I think they’re starting to look really tired, and I think paint would help eliminate the splinter factor. (ack!)”

And because she’s always posting such beautiful photography on her site, I thought it might be neat to take advantage of that empty wall space above the handrail by grouping a bunch of Ree’s photos there.


I sent my initial ideas and my presto change-o drawing to Ree on Saturday night, and got two responses back from her yesterday morning…

The first response read, “OH. MY. GOSH. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the second one (which came in a few minutes later) read: “Okay, I’ve recovered now. Wow! I love the light paint—totally transformed it. How fun is this?


Funny how sometimes just a few sweet little sentences can make you exhale SO BIG, isn’t it!?

In other Pioneer Woman related news- Ree’s got a Christmas card-themed Edit THIS! contest going on right now. In a nutshell, to enter the contest you have to do something creative to this photo…

…using Photoshop or some other photo editing software…

I had waaaay too much fun creating this for the contest yesterday…

…and I’m just going to go on record and say that Ree has officially created a kooky-Christmas-card-creatin’ monster. My Max and Kit-Cat photos don’t stand a chance this Christmas.


Join us on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!



Need design inspiration? Need help arranging your furniture?

Check out my e-books!

Hardwood Staining
Space Planning

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. Caitlin says


    Your staircase has inspired my husband and I! We have a similar staircase, a very, very narrow staircase with white chippy shabby chic looking stairs. My husband is a general contractor and has been putting off refinishing the stairs (with a new baby it would be a huge mess!). We have basically ignored them for 7 years. When I showed my husband the photos on your blog, he fell in love with the rope/runner combo. I can’t seem to find any good brackets for the rope….any ideas on where to look for some tasteful hardware? We have black wrought iron fixtures throughout the house. I love the cleat but can’t seem to find other hardware to go with it.

    Wonderful job on the redo!!!

  2. Sue says

    Hi Layla,
    Love following your adventures!

    Re the iron thingy at the bottom of the stairs maybe they have one of their old ranch branding irons that could be recycled? Not sure if they ever dull down from use 😉

  3. Allie says

    Layla I love the Dash and Albert striped runners. I’m wondering if they are stapled right onto the stair or do they have a cushioning foam underneath? Have you seen one done? I’m wondering if the foam would be hard to make it be straight and it might lean toward the stripes being wonky?? Any advice?

  4. says

    How wonderful that Ree’s girls have this amazing space now.. it feels colorful and fun.

    I’m loving the rope ideas you came up with.. gosh I love that red runner on the stairs with your rope handle.. Brilliant I tell ya!! I can see this collaboration is going to be fun, fun fun! :)

  5. Cassidee Drake says

    we live a couple of blocks from the beach and I have thinking of doing rope handrails….or even oars! so happy to see what it would look like! thanks!

  6. allison says

    Do you know where the diamond jute rug runner is from? I have been looking all over for exactly that! Thanks!

  7. MimiG says

    In the girls room – I must say I cannot stand the rug. I would have nightmares if that was in my home. I also preferred the bed to butt against each other as you had suggested, more floor space!
    Love the card you made!
    Happy Turkey Day!

  8. says

    Oh My Gosh, you made me laugh SO hard! I admire your talent with the camera and editing. My blog photo’s totally stink (cell phone camera)…but I will get there one day. I have a friend who has a similar rope “railing” and long work area and her kids LOVE it!! I blogged about it here
    I love your e-magazines too, btw! Look at them over & over!!
    Happy Thanksgiving:) Jodi

  9. says

    I love the looong desk and knitting station, but havevto admit that I liked your presto of the room quite a bit more than the novograts version. there was so much more space and privacy in your version…

  10. Kim says

    AWESOME post! LOVE your stair redo, including the basset hound pillow! How cute is that?!? I can’t believe Ree had the Novagratz’s there, alough I am not crazy about the carpet choice, Too busy for me. I must confess I like your redo better. The long table is great and very practical. So happy for you!

  11. Melanie says

    I too love the rope idea. Due to the safety issues mentioned above made you could wrap it around a small railing because either way it has to stay! I am soo excited that you are going to go get knee deep in Ree’s ranch afterall!! Initially I was anxious to see your presto executed in the girls’ room so this is saweet! CHEERS! You and Ree were the first blogs I found &at first sight fell in love with. Missing out on countless hours of sleep searching through yalls blogs till 3-4-5am. Good thing i took that quarter off at school, lol.

  12. Cece says

    I love what you have suggested. The white paint looks great. My only concern is the runner. With 4 kids, I think it would constantly need adjusting, so no spots would become bunched, and cause an accident. I vote for the rope looking berber in the pic. I love that. I am glad you live near me. I am in GA, and when I win the lotto, you will be my first contact !! Happy Holidays !
    PS-I LOVE your sincere nature when it comes to your clients feelings. So many designers give off the impression “you hired me, it’s my way or the hi-way”. Don’t ever change !

  13. Carolyn says

    Layla ~

    I wish Ree would have chosen your idea for the girls’ room. I can’t stand that floor covering! While the hanging beds are exceedingly clever, they take up lots more room, and the storage space beneath would have been a real “plus.” Love the stairway suggestion!

  14. Robin in Washing says

    I love your work. I love what you did with the stairs. It really did brighten them up. I also liked your redo of the girls room better than the tv people’s–but that’s just me. Both are wonderful, but I liked your layout better. It had more floorspace to do something on and with the final design I have to wonder if those beds are swinging and bumping the wall when they have their earthquakes. Just me thinking.

  15. ColleenBakken says

    Can youPLEASE tell me where the basset hound pillow came from. I NEED one. My best friend OTIS passed away wednesday and I need one to hug NOW. Thanks
    Twigs in the Pines

  16. Kath says

    Oh Layla, the transformation of the stairs is great! I HATE dark areas, and simply cannot live without light so the new-and-improved version is wonderful to me. I am so glad you and Ree are friends, makes it easy for me to switch back and forth!

  17. Tara says

    Love the red stair runner! I don’t have stairs, but do they make area rug sizes – say, maybe for my kitchen? I would L O V E to have rugs!

  18. Debbie says

    Love the stair redo! I am having that same “to paint natural wood or not” debate at my house and have settled on doing a weathered gray stain to meet somewhere in the middle. Thought I’d share.

  19. Krikit says

    I really LUV the painted cedar one with the brightly colored stair runner. Having said that, I would really like to see the top of the stairwell wall (behind the chair) cedar unpainted — it’s natural cedar, just maybe wood cleaned, brightening it a bit.~:0)

  20. Becky says

    Wonderful and beautiful Layla and so inspiring! Thank you for helping Ree – she is so deserving of this. Can’t wait to go on the journey with you all!

  21. SusanH says

    I love the transformation of the dark to light on the walls. The contrast of the walls and the rustic look of the stairs is eye catching. I love Dash and Albert and the colors of the runner – but have you ever walked on a Dash and Albert runner on stairs? My daughter uses one of their rugs in her kitchen and I tend to slip on the surface if I am in a hurry. For colors and washability you can not beat them. Just asking?

  22. Kate says

    Oh my gosh… I recognize that hair on your illustration… it’s ARIEL’S! From the Little Mermaid! :) How fun are you?! Also, love the design inspiration!

  23. says

    Will you and or Ree adopt me. I am just in love with ya both! I adore your design choices and she just cracks me up. I own a hair salon so all I can offer is hair services, but I warn you I come with three kids!

  24. Niki S. says

    I say “if you want a rope, go with the rope”.
    You live in your house and you should get what you want in your house. Just change it out if you decide to sell your house.

    So if PW wants a rope, she should put one it. But I don’t see her doing it if it leads to the girls room.
    But if you fall, your gonna hit the step no matter if you grab a piece of wood or not. It will just help you not hit as hard, maybe?

    Its a code violation to have a chandelier over a tub but so many people have them.