decorating dilemma update | sarah’s fireside room

Marian Parsonsdecorating dilemmas34 Comments

Do you remember Sarah’s fireplace room?  We talked about it originally back in August and then I gave you an update on her progress in December.  Last week, she checked in with me again to share their progress.

Like most real, non-TV makeovers, Sarah is working on the makeover project-by-project, slowly over time, as life and budget allows.  In her e-mail to me, she shared this, “…sometimes I feel like everyone else is flying past us. We do everything ourselves and usually get our materials second hand. I read a couple of weeks ago that it took you seven years to get your kitchen the way it is and I got teary eyed. I understand that endurance.”

It does sometime get tiring when a makeover is a marathon and you wish you could just beam yourself to the finished room…sit in it and have your tea and enjoy the glorious done-ness of it all.  I have personally found that when I am patient with a makeover and allow it to develop over time, I get a much better result than if I try to force it.  That’s when choices that I often regret happen!

Anyway, back to Sarah’s room.  When she first sent pictures of her room along, asking for some help, there were many things going for it, but it felt a little disjointed and there were a lot of “default choices” in the room.

Sarah painted the two rooms in a soft white to unify the spaces…


The kitchen was a rust color, which was pretty, but it didn’t really connect with anything else going on in the space…


They also trimmed out the doors in a “farmhouse style trim”.


I love the new arrangement on the sideboard, too.


They built and installed butcher block counters (finished in MMSMP Hemp Oil) and added that great little built-in shelf under the counter.


It’s backed with some scraps of bead board wall paper!  Clever.


Sarah also made slipcovers for the wing chairs out of antique hemp sheets.  She used my five part slipcover tutorial as a jumping off point and made adjustments, so they would work on her recliners.  If you’re interested to see how she made the slips work on the recliners, you can read her blog post about it HERE.


Slipcovers are magical.  There was nothing wrong with these chairs, but the fabric just didn’t fit the direction Sarah was going.  They retain all of their comfort and function, but now they fit the design.  Magical.


She finished them with buttons along the back, which look so beautiful.  Like “vintage pajamas”,  Sarah put it.


That blue monogram and the nubbiness of the fabric are both perfection in my eyes.


They still have more on the to-do list, like brick veneer to back the wood stove, a newel post makeover, and she selected this print, found on eBay, to hang once the brick wall is installed…


You know I approve of the cows!

I’m sure Sarah will share the room with me when it’s completed, but if you want to follow each step, you can do so on her new blog, She Holds Dearly.

decorating dilemma update | sarah’s fireside room

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34 Comments on “decorating dilemma update | sarah’s fireside room”

  1. I love how this space is coming along! Just lovely. It motivates me to get out my paint brush and sewing machine… little by little, one step at a time. We have been working on our farmhouse and addition for almost 3 years. Oh my goodness- sometimes I just want it to be DONE! but, we are learning how we live in the space, and trying to be smart about our changes.

  2. Lovely! When it’s your project, it’s easy to focus on what’s left to be done, but I hope Sarah sees our comments and feels great about her progress so far. Slipcovering recliners!?….she is braver than I. Nice job!

  3. Sarah is doing an amazing job. It looks beautiful! i completely understand when she said that she feels like everyone else is flying by her. Room renovations/make overs take a lot of time and money for us “regular” folks. 🙂 It can be discouraging. I agree with and have learned from your advice on that. Taking our time and not forcing decisions is the way to get the look we want.

    1. Thank you , Krista, homes are such a labor of love. While we are working so hard, we are being changed just as much as the house is. Don’t lose your joy in the process and I will remind myself the same thing.

  4. What a collection of photos to look back upon and see the progress being made. Sarah and her husband make such a beautiful team. That really is an amazing amount of work since the last update. I hope she feels wonderful about that! Gorgeous work!

  5. Love what she has done!!! Chairs are fabulous!! I have my husbands wing back recliner to slipcover and this has totally inspired me!!

  6. It looks great! I love the little dark blue chairs, and the slipcovers are wonderful! She really did a great job on those. I sure do know how she feels though. I see people hiring contractors to take care of everything, while i just plod along trying to get things done on a budget or watching for thrift store finds. It just does take time, but then sometimes doing it that way can make you think of creative ideas that you never would have if you had all the money in the world. That’s why i started painting, because i found a print that i wanted that was too expensive, so i tried to paint something similar myself, and it actually worked!


  7. It is coming along beautifully! I follow Sarah on IG & have been looking at her blog-I kept thinking her gorgeous space looked I know why!! and I have to agree with Marian that I tend to regret choices when I go for instant gratification vs taking my time to find exactly what I want. Plus I think when it’s our own homes it’s hard to see just how much we have actually accomplished instead of only seeing what still needs to be done. I found one of your older post Marian on loving the home you have & that was a huge help- I took your advice & for a while every time I walked in a room instead of focusing on what still needed doing I had to force myself to find at least one thing I loved about it. Now I do it without even making myself!
    Good luck Sarah & you have a beautiful home that I can’t wait to watch as you make it your own.

  8. What a nice surprise to open my email today and see a follow up on my sister’s home! The accessory vignettes are wonderfully balanced and I love the new endcap shelving with the beadboard wallpaper backing, what a great idea! The butcher block countertop, finished in MMS Hemp Oil, looks rich and the slipcovers are charming and lovely! I know why Sarah chose the cow picture, our dad is a cattle farmer and she was raised on a farm. Sarah, it’s so much fun to follow your journey!

  9. Love everything, esp. the monogram on the hemp sheet slipcover and the cows. I am now going to try a slipcover as well. Signed up for the blog, now I’ll have two great mails to read.

  10. I just want to say you are awesome to promote your friend this way! She is super talented indeed! I featured these slipcovers on my blog last week they are so pretty! Way to lift her up 🙂
    Bless your heart!
    The Curator’s Collection & Making Broken Beautiful (Thursday)

  11. Those recliners! You did such a great job!

    My mom and I used to joke that even we could look like a movie star if we had enough money…. The same is true with our homes. People who have no budget concerns may have beautiful homes, but in the scheme of things… in my opinion… it’s those who make a beautiful space on a tight budget that blow me away. And you are another blogger blowing me away, Sarah… so pretty.

  12. Lots of lovely going on. Very nice job on those slipcovers! And the little shelf under the cabinet is a great idea.

    I did notice that the grouping of pictures behind the right side recliner looks too beavy and crowded. That said, it IS her home, and if she is comfortable with it, that’s all that matters.

    Nice job on the project Sarah!

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