2014 Home Changes

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Decorating, My House40 Comments

As 2014 is winding down, I’ve been thinking about everything that’s happened over the past year.  I started looking through posts and pictures and enjoyed seeing all of the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been and the projects that were completed.  I figured I’d write a few posts sharing the highlights…my favorites and your favorites.  Let’s start with my house.

What struck me as I looked back over pictures is how much has stayed the same.  The master bedroom and bathroom, half bath, kitchen, home office, upstairs bath and family room have stayed pretty much the same.  For the most part.  I’ve made tweaks and moved some furniture and things around, but nothing has been dramatically changed.

Here are the things that have changed –

This is how the living room looked in January…


…and in December.

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The dining room in January…


…and December.

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I’m planning to put a rug back in the dining room and I’m still figuring out how I want to finish the floors.

The boy’s room has been untouched since they were toddlers, so I figured it was time to give their space some attention.  Here’s how it looked in January…


…and December.


Their room is almost done and I’ll be sharing a full reveal soon.

The guest room probably had the most upheaval next to the living room.  I changed everything around once…painted the walls, painted a Bavarian-style bed, put up new curtains, etc…


…and then I had the opportunity to get a queen-sized mattress and, for the sake of our guests, I jumped at that chance.  It meant selling my Bavarian bed…


…but I was able to bring in color through the bedding and maintain the feel I was initially working towards in the room.


As I said, the family room has remained mostly the same, but we did add wainscoting


…and I swapped out the pillows.

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The master bedroom also stayed the same, but I swapped out a wardrobe I’ve had for a few years with this break-down antique French wardrobe, an epic Craig’s List find

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I changed out some rugs, painted things and moved around furniture, but my house has probably changed the least in 2014 than it has in previous years.  I think I’m finally settling into my style and, with the studio space, I don’t feel like my home needs to always be my subject.

I have a few projects on the home to-do list for 2015.  Most of it involves fresh coats of paint, organizing, curtains and some finishing touches.  I think the room that required the most work is the upstairs bath and I’m hoping to get to that sometime this year, but we’re not in a big rush.  Oh, and I need to put a finish on the floors.  I guess that would fit in the “major” category, too!

Heres to happy nesting in 2015!Miss Mustard Seed-3417

2014 Home Changes

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40 Comments on “2014 Home Changes”

    1. I really enjoy your blog and products, but I loved your living room before pics so much better.

    2. Why? The trim around the windows is lovely, so why hide it. Living rooms and dining rooms don’t always need window coverings. I like the new look and she obviously does too.

  1. I’ve lived in this house for 15 years…I’m perfectly happy without window coverings. I put up temporary blinds in the summer to block out the sun and I have curtains on a few but they are only there to block the sun on the hottest days. I live at the end of a cul-de-sac…if you can see in my windows you are somewhere you probably shouldn’t be 😉

  2. If I had to vote on my favorite home project you did in 2014 then it would be the wainscoting in your family room. That really turned out beautiful! I also love all the changes you made to the guest bedroom and the boys bedroom.

    You mentioned that curtains were on your to-do list for 2015. Is that for the living/dining rooms? I know there have been mixed reviews since you went with a “no window treatment” change in those rooms.

  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your buffalo check seating and your new pillow covers. Gorgeous! You have had quite a year! Congrats!

  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your buffalo check seating and your new pillow covers. Gorgeous! You have had quite a year! Congrats!
    PS- love your buffalo check drapes, too! Soooooo pretty!

  5. I think everything looks great in the more recent pics. It all looks more pared down, less “heavy”, and more light, clean, and fresh. I have always enjoyed your styling in your home, but I think it looks great in this light and pared down approach. Really beautiful. I am also working on “details” and getting things “finished” looking.

  6. I was just thinking about how bright and open your rooms look without curtains, and how much I LOVE it. I recently decided to take down my curtains (after fifteen years in my home with many different curtains) and I love it this way at my house, too. I like being able to see and appreciate the pretty architectural trim (bullseye corners at the tops of each window). I got to thinking that it was silly of us to add these extra details on the windows if we were just going to cover them with curtains…I now have bamboo Roman shades for texture and privacy, and I get to look at the pretty trim, too. Problem solved!
    I love seeing your home and projects and look forward to seeing what you do in 2015!

  7. I think my favorite is your living room change. It looks so peaceful and calming. Don’t think it can get much better! Happy new year. I’m looking forward to seeing your style continue to evolve this next year.

  8. Marian, at the risk of of awakening the wrath of your fan club I just have to comment. Your blog used to represent interesting refinished furniture pieces and challenging upholstery projects. It has declined into simple crafts that a third grader could do and self congratulatory remarks on your own accomplishments. Earlier this week you discussed how your assistant placed a bunch of roses in a cup and that was impressive. I realize that when you attached yourself to one product line, the Milk Paint, you severely limited yourself. You don’t have the opportunity to use all the different paints and finishes there are on the market today. But in order to stay relevant there has to be stimulating content. I don’t care about your weight, crafts or selfies. I long for really informative and instructional posts. What about a feature with “upscale eye candy” that can be replicated on tight budgets. I keep coming back because this was an intriguing venue for creative people. This is intended to be honest feedback. I expect the usuals to jump down my throat, but I believe what I said bears some reflection. We all experience burnout – I hope that is what is going on

  9. I love the rooms without curtains, it looks so white and airy. I always liked your curtains but seeing the rooms without they seem way to busy now.

  10. Dear MMS, You had a great year and have so much to be proud of. I love your look as it evolves and yet there is a feeling you evoke that remains the same through the changes. Beautiful! Hugs, Anne Boykin

  11. Patricia,
    You’re not incurring my wrath, nor am I going to jump down your throat. I am however puzzled as to why if you no longer enjoy the free content on this blog you don’t simply just find a blog that better suits your needs? I believe that when someone is willing to put their lives out there for others to see it isn’t for us to criticize. This material that Marian creates on a regular basis is a gift, something we don’t pay for. Just as in the old days of television, if you don’t like the program, change the channel. The internet is a big place, I truly hope you find what you’re looking for-or become inspired to create it yourself.
    Warm regards.

    1. Well said Beth, I couldn’t agree more. I love this blog for the diversity of topics that Marion writes about. Some articles resonate more than others, of course,because of personal interests but on a whole there are many that I bookmark and return to often and I always look forward to opening a new post.

      Marion please keep sharing your thoughts, projects and experiences. This is so much more than just a decorating blog. And I do LOVE your decorating!!! All the best for 2015.

  12. Everything looks light & airy. Loved your beautiful home before and love it even more now! Happy New Year and continued blessings to you and your family!

  13. I like your style and learn just looking at your pictures. I find your blog to show you are a real person with issues just like mine. I think you have class and a great eye for decorating. I don’t mind that you don’t show me how to make crafts. I look at your accessories and figure it out. Remember you can’t please all the people all the time. I wish you a happy, healthy New Year!

  14. I love your floors this color. The best of all I have seen. and I love your windows not covered, but understand the need for covering. Maybe something neutral like the rugs? I have almost the same colors, with the exception of the large prints. Most calming and fun for us.
    If someone doesn’t like/approve of your way of writing your blog, there are other alternatives.
    I love seeing the change in your home and in you. A lot of us do care.

  15. I really enjoy your blog and products, but I loved your living room before pics so much better.

  16. Happy New Year Marian (aka Little MIss Mustard Seed~as I call you : )

    I am one of your “usuals” and as you have already guessed, I love every direction you go~ That’s what makes your blog so fun and interesting. I haven’t even an urge to paint furniture~ and I’ve seen many things you’ve done, done in different ways by others, and isn’t that what makes the world go ’round? Your “before” rooms are beautiful and your “now” room are just as pretty~ one theme presides and that’s the feelig of “home.” I love the crisp clean colors and lines you chose. Curtains or no curtains, tomato, tomatoe… I have appointed myself your mother bear~ and I want you to know we love you, and care about you, and yes, even your sons, weight, parents… well you get the idea!

    Think it over (in your classy way), take what you need, and “Let it Go.”

    God bless you sweetie pie,

  17. As I was looking at the pictures of the rooms, it seems to me that you may have adapted the less is more design. Or maybe alot of items have been moved to the new studio. It just feels to me that you can see the spaces with some of the furniture moved out. I love both looks that you have had, it gives me great ideas. I hope that you, along with all of your family receive all the blessings and grace in 2015 that you so deserve.

    Happy New Year.

  18. Fell into your blog a year ago and fascinated with the spareness and femininity of mostly white with a little blue Scandinavian decorating, which I had never seen before. Since I live in Texas, we are the supreme cliche you think of. Land, logs, leather, stars, horse and cattle stuff – which can be very $, by the way! To see your decorating was a fresh breeze blowing through my mind. And learning about chalk and milk paint all year, plus your slipcover tutorial, was worth everything to me. So thank you for that. Keep on keeping on, and I will tune in every day. I feel you are growing your business and feel somewhat scattered still, but you will get it together in a superb way with your family’s support – which I think is awesome, by the way. Power on!

  19. Just because there is a blank box at the end of a blog, doesn’t mean that you are required to offer “honest feedback”. Kind of like shaking hands with the minister after church on Sunday—You wouldn’t tell him that his grammar needs work, or that his shoes need polishing or that his message topic wasn’t relevant to you. You just shake his hand and smile and be grateful that he heeded the call. But if those unshined shoes bother you so much that you lose all hope of ever enjoying another service, then you quietly move along to join another congregation. Same thing here.

  20. I think what Patricia was trying to convey was that Marions blog is no longer what it used to be. And she (and I) liked it better before (going back 2-3 years). That’s all. It’s obvious Marion has went off in a different direction. Her prerogative. But to criticize her comment and basically tell her to look elsewhere is a bit harsh. I’m sure we are not the only two people who visit feel this way. The reason I keep coming back is I’m hoping maybe I’ll get a glimpse of the way things used to be. I have to agree with what most of what Patricia says. Sorry. I still like reading some of Marion’s posts and that’s why I still visit. I still like to look at the Friday link party because Marion is one of the few who don’t allow recipes and crafts. I’m glad she has such ardent fans. And I’m glad she’s doing well. I remember when she was “just a blogger”! She’s grown and I think it’s wonderful. But some of us just remember the “simple” down to earth Marion who shared her love of furniture refinishing with the rest of us. That’s all. Neither good nor bad. It’s just our opinion. Leave it to ourselves you say??? Well, if you don’t want to every single person to continually fawn over every single detail you do, then don’t leave an open comment section!! Please take the good with bad and learn from it.

  21. I just noticed on the main page of Pinterest that there are 30 Billion + pins to explore —-so many choices of how to spend our time
    ; I love this blog, it is one of my favorites – keep up the good work 🙂

  22. Thanks Beth for that reflection on my comment and you are pretty much spot on. It is so interesting to me that several people seem to think I deserve a moral scolding for my honest opinion – even a reference to church on Sunday. Just because their is a blank box I am not required to offer honest feedback. No, I’m not required, but it certainly is my option. This isn’t just a blog or a diary. This is a business. I have invested a sizable amount in the products that drive this little forum and was hungry for more of what it used to be. Plain and simple. The unkind responses say a lot about the followers. I have been disenchanted for a long time and Beth is correct. I keep coming back to peek in hoping to see lovely creations. Marian, you hit a special place in me and helped me define my own style. What I said was not personal in any way. It was a statement of what content I am looking for. The same way I would share with my local food market if they stopped selling my favorite brand. Have any of you ever written a “letter to the editor” or engaged in a discussion where there was a controversial element? I don’t think the proprietor of this blog needs this reaction at all. Professionals welcome constructive feedback. The snarky remarks toward me detract from the message which was you are talented and capable. I enjoyed the little niche’ you created while it lasted. Thank you.

    1. Thank-you Patricia. You hit the nail on the head. I too have purchased her items. I think I have every right to voice my opinion be it good or bad. That’s what comment sections are for. Marian (sorry for the name misspelling on my earlier post) would be remiss as a blogger and business owner to only take the good. I’ve noticed that people who comment on blogs are so afraid to say anything negative for fear of being reprimanded! How dare you not say something nice! Go somewhere else, like the 30 billion pins to explore! Seriously?? I don’t think we are being rude. It’s constructive criticism. Not everyone who visits has to leave a sycophant-type response! Very annoying.

  23. I love the new and improved living room. I LOVE the new blue hutch and the lighter pieces of furniture that you have placed in it. It’s very warm and inviting!

  24. I LOVE all that you have done before and after…each having a lovely style and comfort.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to me! I feel through your book, blog, and attitude decorating, I have become less of a perfectionist and more free to attempt projects I felt too scared to fail at in the past. Inspired by you, I have more of a “Let’s do it!” attitude.

    By the way, I have used your Milk Paint {Typewriter, distressed, and Hemp Oil} for the first time last month! My first project was a king size four poster bed (This was part of that “Let’s do it” attitude!!!). What a transformation! The “new” bed graces a rustic pine cabin master bedroom. I absolutely LOVED working with your paint. It is my all time favorite now!

    Next on the list: an armoire for my own “Space to Create” in shutter gray <3

    Thank you! Blessings in the New Year to you and your family!

  25. Sure don’t understand Blogger-bashing.

    “Stop making people feel bad for liking things that make them happy.” ~Hplyrikz.com

  26. Happy New Year MMS!! I enjoy reading your blog regularly. You have sparked my imagination, allowed me a place to dream and helped me turn my blah kitchen table into awesome with the help of your milk paint and videos. Happy painting and decorating in 2015

  27. I am sick over the Artissimo curtains 🙁 I have been scouring the internet all year trying to find that fabric on sale and it never is. Of course, your new look is beautiful, but OH how I LOVE that fabric!

    1. The Artissimo curtains are the ones in my bedroom. Is that the fabric you’re looking for or the Tucker Resist Chambray curtains that were in the living and dining room?

      1. Marian- Now that you mention it, the Kauffman Artissimo is in your bedroom and bathroom. I was just obsessed and wanted it everywhere in MY home. I do have a couple yards of the chambray and may just get some more of that until my Artissimo goes on sale…sigh…one of these days! I adore your website and thank you for all the beautiful inspiration. Looking forward to 2015 and the new ideas you will come up with. -Tracy

        1. I bought it online from JoAnn Fabrics and I used one of their coupons. I think it may have been discounted as well, but I’m not 100% sure.

  28. Wondering where you ended up using the victorian cabinet shown in your Jan “before” living room re-do?! I have the exact same cabinet .. Loved it with the white ironstone collectables. Where is it now … And what is it being used for? Looking for some ideas as to where/how I might use mine. Also … Any suggestions as to how to clean it up? Polish? Thx!

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