The Toughest Boss I’ve Ever Had

This self-employed, own-your-own-business thing is quite an education, I must tell you.  I know what it was like to work for “the man.”  For about a decade I worked as a school psychologist with specific duties, a set schedule, and regular work hours.  


cartoon-11102.gif source


While I continued down that career path, I was experiencing a desire to explore the creative part of myself and a growing drive to create beauty in the world wherever I could manage to do so.   I especially loved finding beauty in the cast-off, the wretched, and in the most unexpected places.  And so began my journey in the world of design and color.



It’s not as easy as it looks on Nintendo DS . . .  


When I decided to pursue my passion for interior design and color, I thought I would be liberating myself:  setting my own hours, being my own boss, etc.  What I didn’t realize is what a tyrant I would be as my own boss!  


I am my own biggest personal problem at work 


So here I am, about a decade later with a packed-tight schedule of ongoing design projects (I still cannot believe that people are willing to wait over three months to get an initial consultation with me, really??)  I am this-close to completing my first book:   a textbook about my method of what I call “Psychological Home Staging” – but I keep getting hung up on the tiniest of things.  Like just-the-right-illustration, or one more example of  arranging furniture around that naughty corner fireplace.  

corner fireplace

arranging furniture around that tricky corner fireplace


When I decided a few months back that I wanted/needed to offer a class on furniture and decor arrangement,  I got so excited about it that the home staging book was temporarily put on the back-burner.  So that’s where I am.  The staging book is near completion – but not at perfection, so I am not rushing it.   

Chapter 2 Staging Book artwork from my upcoming book on Home Staging


Right now, I’m busy preparing my presentation for the upcoming class (May 9) that I am offering at Merridian Home Furnishings here in Nashville, and I know that it will transform the way you arrange and decorate your home!  Class members will learn how to create balance and harmony with what they already own, and figure out exactly what else they need so that they make wise decisions are in the retail setting.  This is also a great class for home stagers, since furniture arranging is the most important skill in that field!

merridian home furnishings


At this point, there are about a dozen seats still available for my Furniture Arrangement Workshop.   Those who attend will have a fun evening full of exclusive design secrets, prizes, and of course, food and drink.  I promise to share important information that will enable you to make your house into a home that not only shelters, but nurtures you and your family for years to come. 

Sign up here or click on the big button on the top right side of the blog before the class is full – I can’t wait to meet you there!

If you aren’t local and would like to learn how to choose the right paint colors for your home, you can buy my Color Workshop Video to view online today. 




  1. ange

    I’m so looking forward to your book but I can definitely understand wanting everything just right. I will wait patiently. So wish I could attend your class in May. Still trying to convince the family to move to Tennessee.

  2. Chez

    I will be one of the first ones in line for your book! I just finished your color workshop videos and LOVED them! To anyone wanting help with paint colors – the videos will truly teach you so much. Two requests for the book: 1) how to arrange furniture around a monstrous non-symmetrical/off-center fireplace, and 2) how to reface (and with what material) an old ugly brick fireplace that has already been painted white. I’d also love to buy a book from you about how to transition into a design career! Continued luck to you – you are such a talent, and I’m so glad that I found you!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you so much, Chez! I’m glad you liked the videos 🙂

  3. Jenna,

    Wow, a book, you go girl – how exciting. And I know what you mean about being your own boss. It’s great, but completely more involved than I ever thought would be. You have done so much and have amazing things coming your way. So happy for you. xo Jenna

  4. Jil McDonald, Reflections Interior Designs

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m working till 11pm most nights and weekends too – which I shouldn’t, but as I too am a perfectionist, I can’t do ‘ good enough’ design.
    3 cheers to you for being such a great designer, and now a teacher. You bring so much light and life to your client’s world. xo jil

  5. Brenda

    I am going to have to get those videos! Thanks for all the info you have given already and look forward to many more ideas… yours is the first email I open! Brenda

  6. GIna

    Kristie, I can’t wait for your book! My heart goes pitter-patter every time I see a post from The Decorologist in my inbox! I would LOVE to join your upcoming workshop, as I admire your knowledge and style immensely! I hope you will consider offering it on-line too, like your color workshop I loved so much. I’m currently launching my own business, and think of you and Maria Killam as my mentors! Keep up the good work!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thank you so much, Gina! That means a lot to me for you to say – I LOVE to teach other people how to do this stuff. I simply can’t do it for everyone myself, but I can certainly teach others how to reach out and transform other spaces in other places 🙂

  7. Kelly

    I am just so happy for you Kristie! You are a Type A personality, the same as I, which makes us perfectionists but that is why you are so good at what you do. Enjoy each step superstar and try not to stress about the little things.


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