evolution of my home | part 9 | the boys’ room

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Boy's Bedroom, My House20 Comments

And now it’s time for part nine of my in-depth house tour, showing how our home has evolved over the (almost) nine years we’ve lived in it.  This is how the boys’ room looks today…


We have two boys who are 19 months apart.  They’re now 8 (Marshall) and almost 7 (Calvin, the one with type 1 diabetes).  Yes, we have a lot of wrestling and have had many of trips to the emergency room that have involved staples, stitches and super glue.  They are a huge part of my life, but not a huge part of the blog, since this is a DIY/home blog, not a mommy blog.

But, here they are…



They are getting to the age where they help out with my business a bit more and have some understanding of what I do, though the whole “my mom is Miss Mustard Seed as a job” thing is still a little confusing to them.

They are my hand models for kid craft tutorials I write for for HGTV.com…


…and costume models as well.  Although, sometimes reluctantly.


And they do help me move furniture on occasion.

Their room has always been a tricky one for me.  For the first few years of their lives, they were moved around from the nursery, now Jeff’s office, to what is currently the guest room and then finally into the larger of the two upstairs rooms, which they now share.  I don’t have a “before” picture of this room, but we didn’t make a ton of dramatic changes to this room.  I painted the walls blue, put the trim on the ceiling and changed out the light fixture.  That was pretty much it.

When I moved them into the room, I painted blocks of color on the wall to frame out baby pictures and made curtains.  Their room was furnished mostly with “leftovers” along with a pair of unbunked-bunk beds that my parents bought for us.


I had artwork on the walls, but one night Marshall was convinced that all of it would jump off and fall on him and Calvin, so they took it all down, leaving empty nails and sparse walls.  Calvin, being his own “man”, taped his own art to the wall over his bed.


We kept most of their toys in their room at this time, but when I moved my business into the studio, we were able to move them to the basement, where they have more room to play.


I mentioned the worthless closet in the guest room and the closet in this room is a mirror image and just as worthless.  I love living in an older home, but I must admit that I feel a pang of envy when I see kids’ rooms with great closets.  I’ve always wanted to put a door on it, but it just has a curtain.


The white dresser was in my room when I was a little girl.  My parents bought it at a yard sale for $35 and they have definitely gotten their money’s worth out of it.


This winter, I finally decided to give their room some attention.  The walls were looking a little dingy and I was excited about putting a room together for them with intention.

I painted the walls in a rich blue, Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore.  Yes, it’s a dark color in a small room, but I think it makes the space feel cozy in a good way.  The navy also worked better with the orange-hued pine floors and bright white trim.  It even sets off the mis-matched furniture better.

I also decided to bunk the beds to allow for more floor/play space.


It did open up the room quite a bit, but it didn’t last very long.  The ceilings upstairs are very low.  I am 5’5 and I can reach up and touch them with my hand without stepping on my toes.  The bunk beds fit, but there wasn’t very much clearance for the top bunk, so we unbunked the beds and positioned them to flank the window centered under the sloped ceiling.


It suited the space so much better and looks much more like a room for “big boys.”


The ticking quilts are from Pine Cone Hill, the sheets are from Kohl’s and my mom made the log cabin quilts at the ends of the beds for my brother when he was a boy.  I love that I can use them in this space.


The felt Virginia (UVA) pennant banner belonged to my Opa, who graduated from UVA after serving in WWII.  The old family pictures are all of him and his family.  I painted the tennis sign on an old table leaf with MMS Milk Paint in Lucketts Green, Ironstone and Typewriter.


The old tennis rackets and golf clubs were either found in my Opa’s attic or picked up from antique stores.  The frames are from Target and the globe was $1 at a yard sale.


The pine cabinet was purchased off Craig’s List.  I think it was $35.


I picked up the felt banners in antique stores for $5/each.  I’m still looking for a few more for the other window in the room.


I picked up the pillow made out of a 1947 Gettysburg banner off Etsy.  The wooden rocker belonged to my Oma.  We actually have a picture of her sitting in it as a toddler.


I ordered the monogram pillows off Etsy and the stuffed animals were a souvenir from our trip to the Grand Canyon a few summers ago.

mms-6361 mms-6354 mms-6357

I’m still working on this side of the room.  I’m hoping Jeff can find the time to build some wooden “lockers” for toy, clothes and book storage.



Just to show you it’s a real room, I wanted to give you a peek at how much junk I had to remove from the room for the pictures!  All of the stuff under the beds and piled on the dresser was moved out into the hall, behind the tripod, as I was taking pictures.



I’ll keep you updated as I make some more tweaks in their room, but it’s basically finished.

In case you missed the other parts of the “room evolution” series, here they are…

Part 1 | Living Room


Part 2 | Dining Room


Part 3 | Home Office


Part 4 | Kitchen


Part 5 | Family Room


Part 6 | Master Bedroom

Miss Mustard Seed-28-2

Part 7 | the three bathrooms

MMS bathroom collage

Part 8  | the guest room


There’s still more of the house to tour!  I’ll show the halls and stairwell, the basement (per your request), which includes our laundry area and workshop, the exterior and I’ll even show Jeff’s office.

All of that coming soon…

evolution of my home | part 9 | the boys’ room

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20 Comments on “evolution of my home | part 9 | the boys’ room”

  1. Calvin & Hobbes? Hardy Boys?? Yes!! But what I love most about seeing their room is that they had the FISHER PRICE CASTLE!!! ❤ My parents still have our castle from growing up, and I was just telling Mom this afternoon how awesome I still think it is! You are raising your boys RIGHT!!

  2. The boys room is one of my favorites! I love that you paid tribute to your Opa and used his old UVA school pennant and alma mater colors in their room but what I really love is that your boys share a room. I like to see children who are close in age share a room when they are young. I think it creates a bond between them that last a lifetime. It kind of reminds me of Wally and the Beaver! ha

    BTW…I noticed the drum set in the corner. Hope you have a good set of ear plugs!

  3. I also have 2 boys and figuring out effective toy storage is always a bit of a conundrum for me. We thrifted some lockers, and I still haven’t gotten around to retrofitting them with some shelves. I have come to accept that most days their room is scattered with lego and paper… but they keep busy. Your boys’ room is a great example of style and practicality 🙂 It seems very cozy for them- masculine yet classic. Well done!

  4. I love their room! Don’t know if you are still using a curtain for the closet, but it would look so cute with a barn door there! Of course, I don’t know if you have the room to slide it to the right, but it’s a thought! You could also build a small door with a similar style for the crawl space!

  5. I really like the evolution series because it shows how the home is always changing, improving, etc to meet our needs and likes. It confirms my desire to move furniture, change rooms, tweak until I get it right! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I think you’re right about the navy in this space – it makes it feel cozy, and I love the color, especially with the other bold pops of colors you’ve paired it with. I also really like how you have added the family photographs and some heirloom pieces, helps to make the whole room feels so collected. Love the old pennants!

  7. Hi Marion, wow thanks so much for this series. I love seeing the changes and it’s so helpful to “wrap up” each room. Especially since over the course of your blog it takes awhile to finish each room, I love seeing each room from beginning to end. I can’t wait to see the outside of your house. I’d love to see more of your yard and how it’s coming along!

  8. Marion…lovely, lovely job! Looks like a Pottery Barn shoot! PS that globe looks to be from the 40’s and is worth about 75x what you paid for it at least 🙂

  9. You’ve done so much on your home! I’m very impressed! The boys’ room is inspired! I love that so many things in it have family history. It will mean a lot to the boys as they grow. Keep up the great work — you are so talented.

  10. You made a boy’s room actually look attractive, not an easy accomplishment. I raised three boys and even though I like decorating I could never get the rooms to look this good. Congratulations on the almost impossible.

  11. Love the heirlooms in the boys’ room. Very attractive and so special to see them used not in a closet. Great job as always.

  12. Cute pics of your boys! Thanks for sharing your two precious ones with us. Have you thought about framing out your small closets to look like built-in bookshelves? That would give you more practical storage at little cost and no added footprint to your floor plan. Love this!

  13. Quite cozy looking colors! My boys shared a room growing up, for a while it was 3 in a very small room. It does help them bond I think.

  14. This series has been wonderful. I have enjoyed it so much. Your home has evolved into such a beauty. You should be so proud.

  15. As so many other have commented, I have such pleasure in reading your posts about the evolution of your home. It really helps remind so many of us that “the look” we long for rarely happens overnight and for that reason is so much more special when we feel we have finally arrived at, or are close to, our destination. Do hope you would consider adding this lovely collection of posts to a place on your blog where we can keep accessing them as a happy reminder about the journey, as well as the destination.
    BTW — did you hear the little pang from my heart when I saw the photo of an earlier incarnation of your boys room that showed the bookcase full of the annual Hess trucks/vehicles? They were a happy part of many Christmases for my dear little boys who are still so dear but no longer little.

  16. Congratulations on the look of your home! It’s really hard to keep a house in a good condition, especially when you have two boys. It was really hard for me to keep my home tidy with my little mischievous sister around…I can’t imagine what it would be with boys. Keep up the good work!

  17. I love these posts, please keep sharing! I’m also weirdly excited about seeing your basement. I really like to see how real families make living in their homes work for them. Thanks 🙂

  18. Hi Marion,
    Sweet pictures of the boys and it’s good that they enjoy helping you.
    Good choice on the navy(love navy).The boy’s room looks just right and shows that alot of love & thought went in to it. A suggestion for their closet, would it be possible to leave it open with shelving? And use it to display their treasures/books. We did that in our son’s room and it made a nice additional space for him.
    I love the flow of your home and how peaceful it appears, well done.

    Take Care,


  19. The boys room will take them a long way. The banners are my favorite. My oldest brother’s name is Calvin as well as my son’s middle name….love it

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