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small moments


One of the things that makes a house special is the little personal touches or small moments you create.  It’s simple things that invite a person to lean in closer, to explore the space.  The furniture arrangement and wall color and all of that are very important, but it’s the small moments that make the house scream (or whisper) “you.”  It’s where your personality shows through.  It’s what makes a home fun to look at and photograph…

…it’s some bundled books with frayed pages…

….a stack of wrinkled linen napkins…

…a skeleton key hanging from a ribbon…

…textures and contrasts that make you stop and appreciate the simplicity and beauty of a starfish perched on some moss…

…a well worn broom hung on a hall closet door knob…

…some gum balls peaking out from a smooth shell…

…and a spotted feather in a tarnished sugar bowl.

These are the things that make your room stand apart from the buy-every-piece-out-of-a-catalog-or-from-the-furniture-store kind of rooms.  What kind of small moments have you created in your house?

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  1. Ingrid says:

    What beautiful vignettes! I especially love the linen napkins – so lovely.

  2. I agree with you – it’s the little things that can set it apart from all the others and make it your own. I love working with my vignettes, changing them seasonally and all the times in between just because I want to and I love decor. Your photos are always such great inspiration – thanks for sharing:)

  3. Debbie says:

    I’d be weary of sending all that information to an anonymous gmail address. If it was *really* for a national network, don’t you think they’d have a network address? You don’t apply for survivor, biggest loser, and/or other HGTV type shows to a gmail address. You send it to the network directly. I see these all the time with various themes… I just don’t trust them.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      That’s a really good point. I get so many promotions and things through my e-mail and I took this one at face value. I deleted it. Thanks for giving me another perspective on it.

      • Debbie says:

        You are very welcome! I’ve seen them on cruise and fitness forums as well and they just scream “identity theft” to me. Better to be safe than sorry!

  4. Marian, divine details around your home. Just letting you know while I was reading this on my phone I had a pop up appear about 5 times and it tookme to another page that id have to shut down. saying I was a winner for something. Made it really hard to read your post . Never had that happen on other blogs so just thought you should know, not complaining;)
    Cheers Fiona

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Hmm…thanks for letting me know! I’m not sure what that is. I don’t have any pop-up ads and certainly not one that should show up five times. That’s annoying!!

  5. I love the simple things you’ve shown that really make a house a home. You’ve given us some great ideas.

  6. Love your small moments! I need to work on creating more of these in my own home.

  7. No problem iT’S not happening now, anyway your styling and photography is beautiful, I used your lens advice to buy a new one for my camera. Got a macro 60mm f2. Loving what it does, thanks for being so generous with your knowledge. That in itself is a gift!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Oh, isn’t that lens awesome? I don’t use it a lot, but anytime I need a great closeup, that’s the one I reach for. I love that I can get super close.

  8. You have such a great eye! So inspiring! Thank you for sharing with us!

  9. Patty Page says:

    I have a bunch of letter cubes from old games that I keep in a glass jar on a shelf in the living room. We like to spell words or phrases to go with different occasions and seasons. Sometimes my kids surprise me and write something funny with them.

  10. A dear friend of mine has always called those little decor statements, “moments” as well. I think that was the single most helpful thing I’ve learned in decorating. If I create a few “moments” then my room/home looks thoughtfully put together, and more importantly it makes my heart glad.

    Marian…you create the most beautiful moments. Hope your day is like you…extraordinary in every way!

  11. Thanks for the tips…looks great

  12. Love your blog and use it all the time for inspiration. I do use small moments around my house and I love the comments people make when they come into my home. I was especially thrilled when one lady came out of my bathroom at a party I was giving and said really loudly, “Have you seen her bathroom?” She loved it.

  13. love the mix of nature. enjoy the less is more and the personal touches..makes a home

  14. You are so inspiring, I love your pictures, they are wonderful. I hope someday to make my home as lovely as yours.

  15. I have to admit my home will never look like a cookie cutter home because of my “eclectic” style. In our home you will find small boxes & containers from all over the world, each one sent home during a time when my husband was deployed to faraway lands. From the camel bone oval to the hand carved teak boxes to the black enameled with mother of pearl inlays… each a treasure because I know my sweet husband was thinking of me while he was far away. We also have bits and pieces of our childhood scattered throughout in the form of crazy ceramics created by aunts during the heyday of greenware crafting during the 60’s. Our home is truly a treasure trove of individuality!

  16. I love this post!! It made me smile just thinking of all the small moments in my house that I’ve made! Like the ivy trailing out of a patinated copper urn which sits on top of some old books with an old red kitchen scale sitting next to it for company, or the two copper molds I have sitting next to a Scandinavian-inspired cross stitch sampler I stitched myself, and the old wooden clothes hanger perched above the hall closet . To me, it’s these little things that make me fall in love with my home every time I walk in the door. :) Thank you Marian for inspiring me everyday!

  17. Ha!….at the moment it is the hint of red from a pair of striped boxer shorts peaking out from the laundry hamper and the quaint hint of dust on my silver pitcher. You get the idea ;->

    I loved your photos!

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  18. vignettes. small moments. staging. simple statements. it’s goes by a lot of names, but for me it’s just plain ole “justifying” my never ending desire to bring home quirky items and sneak them into my decor. it’s the most wonderful past time, like playing in a real sized doll house everyday. it’s even rubbed off on my husband and he’s now picking up oddities and bringing them home to me. i’ve even found myself creating little vignettes when visiting family. they just smile and let me be, then they probably put it all back when I leave.

  19. Beautiful moments and vignettes. I especially love the feather in the tarnished cup and the starfish on the moss – I LOVE starfish!

  20. Denise says:

    I do not realize until I read your post . Agree with you. I do have at my homeplace. The photos are so beautiful.

  21. Carol says:

    I have a little bowl of green glass chunks (from the site of an old glass factory in my hometown) topped with a heart shaped rock found on the beach the first mothers day after my mom died. It’s actually next to a carved marble book that my great-grandfather made for my great-grandmother. You’re so right.

  22. mary eguia says:

    I have a rock collection from a trip back home to Connecticut. My Dad loved to take drives and we always found something in nature that was beautiful. Arrowheads,old glass bottles,garnetts, and rocks.I love them .He even bought a rock tumbler to make them smooth. My Dad passed away when I was 9,so the rocks have a lot of meaning. I have been redecorating my front room and came across a bag full of them.I will have a proper place for them.Thanks for the post. Perfect timing. i found a large chandelier ,it looks like a big glass bowl. I turned it upside down and I am going to fill it with shells we have collected from the beach.

  23. Oh my goodness. I love those small moments in my house that make me so very happy, that I’m certain everyone else either doesn’t notice or takes for granted. Sometimes I stand at the entry of a room (of the house I’ve lived 14 years in), take it all in and just smile. Those little things keep me in love with our home. Thank you MMS for reminding me of them. Robyn

  24. I took a quick look around and my favorite small moment is a little hand scribbled note from my youngest child (Cameron) when he was in first grade. It was the first time he wrote a note to me and it says “I love you Mom.” I have it attached to my bill holder with a wooden clothes pin that I stamped some illegible French script on, which is on my messy desk and it makes me smile every single day.

  25. I love, love, love the books. There is something so simple about wrapping them in string, but it makes them look so much classier than just books sitting in a pile. I also love the feather in the cup – again, so simple but a big impact.

  26. Wanted to tell you that my husband grew up in Leesburg. His dad was a minister and we visited your beautiful area when our kids were little. It ‘s important to me to have personality in my home.

  27. Your photography is simply lovely! {especially since the only “vignette” I can see from where I’m sitting is a Starbucks cup on top of my son’s homework!} Thanks for the eye candy, you always bring it! :-)

  28. Great ideas. Thanks for the lovely pics.

  29. Hi, Marian!
    I love your small moments. I have a hard time putting things together, besides the obvious, you know?
    I am learning lots from you.
    Next you should share with us how do you DO IT ALL??? Like time management 101!!!

  30. Nice post and great photos! I love gathering collections around a color or a theme to make my small moments vignettes.

  31. I couldn’t agree more! Love your style as always, Marian.

  32. I am amazed at how I can get lost in creating those “small moments” — some are more successful than others. 😉 I “played” with succulents yesterday and wrote a post about them.

    I enjoyed feasting my eyes on your “small moments.”

    All the best!

  33. Mine are the seashells, rocks and sands that I have collected from the beaches of my life. I have them in containers, jars and on my shelfs where I can see them. I loved this post. Di

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