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“spackle dries in three minutes…”


Jeff and I got more of the family room wainscoting done last week and I got things cleaned up and “done” along that wall yesterday.  Here’s how it’s looking…


This is where we were in December…one curtain panel (the other was on the way), the French daybed wasn’t upholstered, etc…


And here’s where we are today…


With the wainscoting done, I started to play around with wall art options in my head.  Do I want to leave the walls blank?  Hang something above?  Below?  I finally settled on a row of ironstone platters on each side of the window, above AND below the trim detail.  About halfway through putting nails in the wall and stepping back, I wasn’t sure if I liked it.

Then I heard my dear friend Shaunna’s voice in my head.  “I mean, spackle dries in three minutes, y’all.”

When she visited me a few weeks ago, we got into a conversation about people who agonize over where to hang a picture.  Both of us, given that we’re basically twins, just hang something up and see how it looks.  It means our walls look like swiss cheese and we used a lot of toothpaste to fill holes in our first apartments walls…  It’s just not a big deal, though.  It’s an area of decorating where you can experiment.  Try it out.  Change what you don’t like.  Keep what you do.  And use a lot of spackle along the way.

So, I plowed ahead with the idea…


I’m sooooo in love with the wainscoting.  It is adding so much depth and detail to the room.  It also seems to make the room cozier.  Since it’s long, narrow and pretty large, that’s a big plus.



On one side of the French daybed, I have a step stool I found at a local antique mall.  It’s the perfect size for the space and provides a spot to sit a drink.


I topped it off with an artificial plant I bought at Ikea and put in a stone pot from Hobby Lobby.


The other side has the nesting tables I got from Pottery Barn (for the design challenge I participated in) and a child’s chair.  While I like the nesting tables, they are a bit modern for me, so I’m on the hunt for an antique to fit there.



I decided to replace the brown “bird” pillows with simple white linen ones.  The blues in that fabric had a bit too much green in it and it wasn’t quite working for me.  I think I’ve found another carmel colored toile that will work better for pillows to tie into the sofa.



We spend most of our time in the family room, so I’m really enjoying working on the space to make it more our style.

The wall with the TV is next…

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  1. Denise says:

    Love your wainscoting. I have been collecting pictures over the last year because I want the perfect wainscoting in my family room- and yours is it! Would love your husbands notes on what he used!! :)

    • Arleen says:

      Hi, Im not liking the plates either. Sorry. Now if you want to talk about holes in the walls that’s something I’ve done. I had a 9×12 entrance hall and I had so many old family pictures (1910 to 1950’s) They were very small to very large. I hung over 80 pictures on the wall. it was great! When we moved we just filled the holes. No big deal. It was worth it!! (Don’t ask how much the frames cost! That’s another story)

  2. I love how the wainscoting turned out! It does add character to the room.
    Waiting with baited breath to see what you do with the “TV wall”…

  3. Patty says:

    Love the family room. Not crazy about how the plates look. Can you tell me what the name of the blue color is on the walls? Thanks

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore. This is my favorite wall color in the whole house.

  4. I LOVE it all. The wainscoting is stunning!

  5. Sharon F. says:

    You are definitely one talented lady. Thanks for reminding us about how easy it is to repair those tiny little holes from pictures. It just makes sense and I feel much more comfortable to go ahead with my projects. I love how your room pulls together so beautifully and I love following you through your projects!

  6. P.A.T. says:

    Dear Miss Mustard Seed, I don’t care which way you hang the platters (although your post helps me envision how I might hang mine in a similar situation). What I really love is the way you allow this conversation to evolve without defensiveness. Discourse that is polite is invigorating, refreshing, and illuminating! Although the style of our house is a little different than yours, I love your blog because your voice is so open and authentic. I get new ideas all the time and I respect your presentation (word and photo) all the more. Thank you for your many talents, not the least of which is accepting differing opinions with grace.

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Thanks, PAT! I’ve learned to not take whether people like my decorating or not personally. I’m not 100% sure that I like the plates like that either, but that was the point of the post. It’s just a little nail hole, so I can live with it for a while and change things when I make up my mind on the matter. :)

  7. MaryS says:

    L O V E, L O V E it!!! I’m so jealous! I think I can do this, just deciding where to start would be the issue. Looking forward to some “instructions” from your hubby… what size wood to use, etc.

  8. P.A.T., I could not agree more. Thank you for so eloquently putting words to the reactions I’ve had following Marion’s journey . Marion, it’s been a true joy and education! Thank You for sharing !

  9. Ellen says:

    LOVE the Wainscoating… Question is… What height is it placed? Also noticing that the upper horizontal is wider than the lower horizontal. What 2 widths did you use and at what heights were they both placed? It turned out so natural and comfortable feeling. I‘m assuming the height of the ceiling is 8 foot. VERY curious of those other details… It’s All the Difference!

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      Ellen, we’re going to do a post all about this. Basically, though, we took inspiration from the inn we stayed at in Charlottesville, VA and then designed something that would work for our room’s ceiling height, which is 8′ at the lowest point. We also knew we wanted to top panel to be a perfect square, so we played with those dimensions and the board thicknesses until it looked just right. We’ll share all of the details soon!

  10. Marian: I love the idea of the ironstone platters at the sides of the windows…but, may I say this…would they work if you centered the two lower ones on each side so they are framed by the crosspieces and verticals? Surely I am not being critical but why don’t you give it a try.
    Let me know if it works…I just am not crazy about the horizontal boards being partially covered. Love ya, you know that..

  11. I’d like to know more about that beautiful pillow with the gingham trim! Great room!

  12. I am agreeing with the others and you in that I’m not sure the platters work. Too little color maybe? Do you have any transferware? That might be just enough of a pop of color to make it work. Just an idea….. I’m sure you will come up with the perfect solution. You always do! <3

  13. Tere Flores says:

    Love the color flow. The placement of the platters in a vertical way is a little off. Did you try horizontally above the wainscoting like the very first top plate all the way around the room? Personally I LOVE decorating with plates creating borders with them. Just to give you an idea in my kitchen and dinning rm. I’ve used plates with rooster & chicken prints, In my bed rm. vintage plates with floral and chintz prints in pastels colors. My guest BR blue and white plates. And I’ve started collecting white platters to do a border in my living rm. My house is a vintage craftsman bungalow built in 1925 that I LUV LUV LUV.

  14. Looks great.Love the Ironstone platters on the wall…just make sure they’re nailed in well. With the front door opening and closing (my little boys like to slam doors) you don’t want to have them rattle lose. Thank you for all your sharing of your talents! Sue in Mesa, AZ.

  15. Linda Z says:

    The wainscoting came out so beautifully!! Adds such great character! :)

    I’d been wondering where those PB nesting tables went! I wish I could take them off your hands when you replace them. I’ve been checking Craigslist for ages to find a pair in my area! :)

  16. Barbara Bussey says:

    Love it all!! Plates, paneling!!! And colors!

  17. Linda Weeks says:

    Yep, I concur with the ladies who said that somehow the platters don’t quite do it. But isn’t it fun giving these items a special spot, and when you do find the exact place for them, there isn’t any question, it’s a Eureka moment!

  18. Linda Weeks says:

    just had a thought – what about limiting the platter arrangement to ABove the wainscoting? and go around the rest of the room like that? jus’ sayin’!

  19. Jackie says:

    Your walls are such a lovely shade of blue. What brand/color is that?

  20. I love you and your plates and it is irrevocably true that spackle does, in fact, dry in 3 minutes. May the plate hanging experiment continue. Amen.

  21. I love this room! How adorable is the covering you used for your daybed, and your wall color, love it!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful ideas!

  22. Leigh says:

    The room looks great!….if you didn’t hang the plates you would have never known how they looked…mind you this is comming from someone with many holes in their wall..some covered…who really looks that close!

  23. maria says:

    I usually don’t like tons of plates on the wall at all but I happen to like how it looks for you! Go figure, since so many people don’t seem to! I think it adds an extra layer of texture without taking over since they are white or creme in color!! Love what you are doing here!! Thinking I might do maybe half of what you did on that wall and do a sort of chair rail midway then painting it white along with the wall below it, with a different color on top!! Your blue is definitely nice!! You are my favorite decorative blog – soooo inspirational on so many levels!!

  24. I suspected that a tutorial/post will be forthcoming on the wainscoting(-why do I feel like there should be 2 t’s in that word?) ! Yay! I will be waiting for that.

    I love taking the risks and letting the changes sit a while…not knowing if I like it or not…time will tell. Yes it stays or no, it goes. And finding a new replacement for the items is fun fun fun! thanks for all of the wonderful ideas Marian…you are surely the Queen!

    Haha, I can hear Shaunna…really Ya’ll…3 minutes!

  25. I love all you do, but I really don’t like the plates on the wainscoting because it is beautiful as is and this takes away from it…what if you hang the platters above the wainscoting in a row?
    Hugs, and keep up the great work. ~Di

  26. Barbie says:

    The plates? Different and groovy!

  27. Lauren says:

    Hi. I love your ideas! I’m in the process of redoing my kitchen like yours. I love the glass slipper color, but I’m having a hard time swallowing the 62 dollar a gallon B.M. Aura price. Do you think the Sherwin Williams Duration brand would work just as well, or is the Aura paint that amazing? Thanks!

  28. wow!!!! beautiful pillow with the gingham trim! Great room!. nice work

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