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.


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  1. says

    Wow – the room came out so great! Love those hanging beds and that long desk. And I really hope she does paint that wood – it would lighten it up so much!

  2. says

    I know the rope looks great as a handrail, but please be aware that it is not safe. My husband is a home inspector, and would flag such a railing as a “life safety hazard.” Railings on stairs should be “graspable and stable.” Please check your local building code before using such a non-standard material!

      • Kathleen K says

        What about getting a wood rail that has been carved to look like twisted rope? I LOVE the rope look, but agree with the safety factor, especially for the young and elderly (and accident prone)

        • Marie M.C. says

          Do not use a rope on a staircase! Please! Rope is used on boats for grabbing because wood when wet becomes slippery. Used in the house is a very bad idea. You’re get rope burns, rope splinters. Just unsafe. Sorry. Looks cute BUT . . . You are a wonderful designer, wonderful. Know you can find an alternate solution — just as clever. Love the rest of the design. Love your house!

          • miss hiss says

            But … but … there are NO railings on the stairs at the moment! How is that less safe than a rope rail? Frankly, I’m surprised Drummonds and Bassett Hounds aren’t falling down the stairs every day on top of each other, like Keystone Kops or Stooges! It seems to me that the girls could macrame a railing out of their knitting wool and it would still be less hazardous than nothing at all.

    • Liz says

      I love the rope look since I am a sailor, but how about a compromise – the rope on one side and a wood one on the other. You could use the same brackets as shown on the last pic on both sides.

      While codes may require “hard rails”, a combo may be the best. If I needed it, I would hold onto the hard rail, but if I was falling, I would grab towards the soft rail (with a good amount of give) to break my fall and avoid falling all the way down the stairs. Just an idea – I’m not sure if it would work.

      Also a low level group of lights would be great along the base of the steps to show the way.

  3. says

    The makeover looks amazing- would have LOVED a room like that when my sister and I were growing up. Shoot, I’d love it now. Your presto change-o is great, love the lighter walls and the runner. As for the picture edit, even if I had photoshop, I couldn’t top yours- perfect! :)

  4. says

    What?! I won?! That’s crazy. I actually plan to give the rug to a friend because she’s the one who alerted me to your giveaway and she played around with where she’d put the rug in her house if she won all weekend. How could I deny her of that?!

    By the way, I love the rope! I love what you did with it and also the inspiration photos.

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks again!!

  5. says

    Oh, how fun, Layla!! I love what you did to her stairs and I can imagine that she is over the moon about the new look. What a fun project to take on. Ya’ll will have a blast. Love the photoshopped Charlie & Ree too. Hope you and Kev have a great Thanksgiving, friend! xoxo

  6. says

    Wow… this is like A-may-zing – my two fav blogs teaming it up! I love Pioneer Woman and also played with that photo this weekend – mine was super “punny” Love your ideas — I love the rope and the burlap stair runner… but I am just curious as to how likely those stair runners stay in place?!

  7. becky up a hill says

    So happy for you! Painting those wood paneled walls is like getting new windows! You’ve totally brought more light and beauty into a staircase. You are going to do an amazing job. Look forward to new ideas you can share. p.s. just painted my golden oak dinning room table in my dinky kitchen
    creamy white.

  8. says

    I choked on my coffee when I scrolled down and saw your Christmas Card edit. haha! Thanks for making me laugh out loud! LOVE IT.

    ….but seriously! Layla! That Presto is unbelievable!!! I think I’m going to have to clean out my partially re-done basement and send it over to you and keep my fingers crossed that it’s selected. The previous owners paneled the upper half of the walls with really wide planked boards. I’m afraid to paint them, but their knotty pine redness just isn’t doing it for me…. especially with the red terra cotta tile and red ceiling. Gasp. Yes. Red ceiling. I couldn’t handle that so I’ve primered it with Kilz… just debating on what to do now. Eeeek.

    Thanks for all you do! …and for making me spit out my coffee. :-)


  9. says

    I love your ideas. The rope railing is perfect. I especially love the dark wood planking on the stairs with the runner. Your changes give the small space such big character.

  10. says

    Oh my goodness. I LOVE the girls room – that crafting area is amazing – what a table! The hanging beds – the colors – and of course that wallpaper – too adorable!!!

  11. Tracey says

    a.) Love the rope handrail! b.) Love Danielle’s response, “What?! I won?!” LOL – Awesome! and c.) My fave part of the presto (I’m not sure anyone else noticed) is the basset hound pillow on the chair! So cute and so Charlie/Walter! ;D

    • Layla says

      Ok Tracey…you should definitely win some type of prize for spotting that! Drop me a line and tell me your mailing address!!!!!!!!!! :-D

  12. LindaM says

    YES YES YES to the white with the red striped runner. Only thing – can you use a good scrubbable paint? With kids going up and down, there is sure to be smudgies and handprints traveling up the staircase!

    Layla, come to my house. I need so much help, LOL!

  13. Katie says

    Layla, I love that Christmas Card with Ree and the dogs. I think it is just precious. Who but you could come up with that idea. Have a Happy Thanksgiving with your Mom and we will see Kevin and you on Friday.

  14. Lynn says

    ” … Or if Marlboro Man even likes the color red. Oh, wait. Of course he likes the color red!)”

    That caricature of MM and Ree is THE cutest!

  15. says

    Wow, tons of good stuff today, Layla!! Love the girls’ room transformation and your presto? Mar.Vel.Ous. Just sayin’… glad Ree loved it, ‘cuz I would’ve questioned her sanity if not! Happy Monday!

  16. Tiff says

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. transformation Layla. Can’t wait to see it in reality (I know it probably won’t be identical, and that makes for another surprise later on!).
    Also love your take on the Charlie pic. Nicely done.
    You are one seriously gifted woman! I’m glad God made people like you :)

    • Layla says

      Hey Tiff! You are SO sweet to leave such a kind comment for me! I’m sending you a great big e-hug through the computer right now! :-D

    • Layla says

      Ess! I always smile so big when I see that you’ve stopped by our little wedge of the web! Thank you for the sweet words…I appreciate them so much! :-D
      (PS- Sitting in the reading room right now typing this, and I’ve got the tricycle card you gave me hanging from the ladder next to me.) ;-)

  17. says

    I LOVE the creative desk space! Our dining room is a make-shift craft space for the kids, and it’s used DAILY! We have 2 children currently and are expecting 1 or 2 children (0-4 years old) through adoption from Ehiopia, so I spend a lot of time staring at rooms trying to figure out how best to arrange and organize things. I’m hoping to create calm, but fun craft and play spaces! Thanks for all the ideas!

  18. Janita says

    Love the redone room, especially the hanging beds. I hope my teenager doesn’t see it, or we’ll be redoing her room. Again.

    Will you share the source for the paint by number wallpaper? I searched a bit but found more borders than full rolls. Thanks!

    • Layla says

      Hey Janita! I’m not sure of the wallpaper source, but I bet if you tweet the Novogratz’s they’d be able to tell you! :-D

  19. WenDee says

    wow–i love the stairs area–especailly love the rope idea!!! your so super talented!!! cant wait to c what you and ree come up with for the rest of the upstairs!!! woohoo!!

    • Layla says

      Thank you Jennifer! :-D I loved working with that pic and I’m having to resist the urge to put another one together today- LOL! :-D

  20. Laura says

    I think the rope needs to be stiffer to be ranchy…like maybe rawhide. What you show is more nautical. And although I like the iron rope holders a.k.a brackets…I think it would be more ranchy to use hondas (pronounced hon-du’s) which are the loops used to feed the rope back through in order to make the loop in the rope. Now THAT would be “ranchy”!

    • Layla says

      Hi Laura!
      Yeah, that’s why I put the disclaimer below each one of my presto change-o pics. None of the ideas are set-in-stone, they’re just there to (hopefully!) get those creative gears a’turnin! :-D But I do think a “regular style” (yet super chunky) rope would look sort of like a lasso though! ;-)

      • Laura says

        Seriously LOVE the new look though…just thought you were trying for a bit more western… I saw the Charlie pillow and love the white walls and red with the distressed wood, both the stairs and the banister. :)

        • Layla says

          I’m not sure how “western” Ree wants to go, to be honest. I’ll have to ask her about that the next time we speak! :-)

          • Liz says

            Contrary to the idea that OK is a dry state (well, some counties are still “dry”, liquor-wise”) – we do have great lakes for sailing and boating and some really great wind for sailing…so a nautical theme is ok by me…

            For me, it would be more of a feel thing – how the rope feels as a handrail. You show a brown, rough rope. Sailors use a different line – smoother, white with color strands to tell the crew what’s the purpose of the line (halyard, sheet, etc). I would go with the white soft line vs. the harder, rougher brown rope.

  21. Laura says

    oh BTW…I love the painted wall stairway you have dreamed up as well as the room! Love the long desk and the chain beds! Heaven!

  22. Kim in MD says

    I love, love, love it! You and Kevin are amazing, Layla! AMAZING! I really love the lighter paint color in the staircase- it just really opens up the space and makes it feel modern and up-to-date! :-)

  23. says

    I really love the runner. It brings some much needed color to the stairwell, and the whole design lightens and brightens it right up. Great job. And your Christmas card was hilarious! (Annnnnd… the girls’ room by the Novogratz clan.. totally amazing. I love how they styled the desk!)

  24. says

    We have a rope railing on our back steps which are narrower than normal steps and it’s a great space saver. My big question is: how do I get Courtney and Bob to do my house? :).

  25. says

    I’m So thrilled to hear that you are on board for the rest of PW’s redo projects as I’m sorry, but I liked your plan for the girl’s room so very much better than what the nice hgtv people came up with. You are wonderful, Layla – have so much fun!

    • Layla says

      Should be a real good time, Cailan! I look forward to sharing the process here on the ol’ blog, too! :-D

  26. Lorinda says

    Hey Layla,

    Just wanted to offer any help for your “Ree” project. I’m only about 1 1/2 hours from her, and would be happy to help from this neck of the woods. Totally non-gratis, just offering. Love all your ideas…can wait to see it all come together. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Layla says

      Well thank you, Lorinda!
      I will definitely keep you posted…I’m hoping to make a trip out there to get my hands dirty before this whole series is over too! :-D

  27. says

    Wow! Love it! Just beautiful! The rope idea is brilliant and the lighter white paint on the paneling is divine. How much fun you must be having!

  28. says

    That is EXACTLY how I’ve been imagining my stairs in my head but I had never seen them done like that….until a few weeks ago when I saw the ones in your pic on Pinterest….boom! A little sanding, a little hammer/chain banging, a little steel wool & vinegar distressing…ta da!! (At least I hope ‘ta da’)

    Not sure when I’ll tackle that project but I’ll let you know how it turns out when I do!

  29. says

    Amazing what you can do with a can (or two) of white paint and a length of rope! Very nice, indeed, Layla!

    You are amazing!


  30. says

    I am a Ree fan to the nth degree! I love your idea of lightening up the staircase. One concern is how to clean the rope after months or a year of hands going up and down the steps. There are some parts of the girls’ room that I like, but some… not so much. While the swinging beds are different, my first thought was “what if the child is sick?”. One little movement on the bed and being sick can put a whole different spin on the illness. I also questioned the storage space in the room. There is only one closet in the picture. Granted they are farm-living and maybe might not be clothes loving teens, but I think more storage would have been a concern. Maybe there are lots of drawers for storage under the desk, but did show.
    Have fun with the decorating. I know Ree will be so much fun to work with.

  31. says

    Wow, what an amaing re-do! Love the rope accents and painting the walls white! If you need some help when you’re out at the ranch, let me know, I’d be glad to come help!

  32. says

    Wow! Amazing! I love what you did with that staircase. I think it will be perfect.
    And you get to work with Ree? Even more amazing! Have fun! :)

  33. 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!!!

  34. 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 ;)

  35. 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?

  36. 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! :)

  37. 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!

  38. allison says

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

  39. 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!

  40. 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…

  41. 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!

  42. 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.

  43. 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 !

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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!

  48. 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!

  49. 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.

  50. 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)

  51. 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!

  52. 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?

  53. 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!

  54. 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!

  55. 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.

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