decorating dilemma update | sarah’s fireside room

by | Apr 11, 2016 | All Things Home, Decorating, decorating dilemmas | 34 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.


  1. k

    wow…amazing…love love love what sarah has done!

  2. Terri

    Very pretty!

  3. Katie

    Very inspiring! I have a hard time being patient too. Looks great!

  4. susan

    So pretty! I’ll head over to her blog!

  5. PJ Bronson

    Is it possible to slip cover a leather wingback chair, or will the slip just slide around on it?

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      I would think you could do it if you make it fit really well. I went slow and made mine as tight as possible. Everything fits like a glove.

  6. Ashlea

    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.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      Yay! I love your comment and I’m so excited for your progress, I can tell you are putting such love into your home.

  7. Susan

    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!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      Haha, maybe I’m crazy! Well, stubborn, at least! Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement, they mean so much!

  8. Krista

    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.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      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.

  9. Tanya Hulbert

    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!

  10. Marty

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

  11. Cindy

    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!


    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      What a beautiful story, I love how something so frustrating was really a blessing in disguise for you!

  12. Alicia

    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.

  13. Melissa from Hey,Girlfriend.Net

    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!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly

      I knew you would understand that picture, Melissa. It took my breath away when I saw it and transported me right back to our childhood days.

  14. Jessica @ Petal + Ply

    They’re doing a lovely job. All the changes really bring the space together!

  15. Jean

    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.

  16. Terry

    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)

  17. Marcia

    Loved the slip covers and the button detail!!
    All beautiful!
    kisses ML

  18. Liz

    Well done Sarah! The slipcovers are beautiful.

  19. Cindy in Oklahoma

    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.

  20. Stephenie Klingler

    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!

  21. Jessica

    Sarah your room transformation is stunning!!! Those slipcovers are dreamy. It was so exciting to see your room here today.

  22. Mary Lopez

    I love the detail of the bead board wall paper!!! Now to look for some for a project!

  23. Lauren

    Looks lovely!!!! Love that trim around the door 🙂

    Can’t wait to see that brick up!

    Lauren | Lovely Decor


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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