fluffing & organizing

by | Aug 20, 2018 | All Things Home, Decorating, Kitchen, My House, Organizing | 25 comments

I usually blog in “real time”, but I did a slew of projects one right after the other over the past few weeks that I missed a few of the smaller things that happened in between the bigger things.  Giving something a total makeover is the flashy part, but sometimes it’s the little details that follow, the fluffing and organizing, that really make the space sing.

After the butler’s pantry makeover, painting the kitchen island, and painting the blue hutch in the dining room, it was time to rearrange some of my ironstone and transferware collection to tidy up these newly-transformed open shelves and to sort through and organize things that were shoved into a cabinet when we moved in.  I’m fine with storing some things to rotate, but I don’t think it does justice to a pretty piece to have it behind closed doors for months or years.  So, I needed to pull it all out and either find a good home for it, a good reason to store it, or add it to a pile of things to sell.

Since I already shared how the other pieces were styled, I thought I would share how the kitchen island turned out.  The other places are more visible, so those were decked out with most of my favorites, leaving a me a lot of random pieces to work with.  I like to group like things together as much as I can and I was able to gather enough pieces to make the styling look intentional.

Here is how it looked before…

…and how it looks after some sorting and fluffing…

I used similar pieces to what was there before, but it looks tidier and more cohesive.

And I’m so glad this ended up being a good spot for my blue onion pieces.  They’ve been in a cabinet since we moved here and I really didn’t want to have to sell them because of my philosophy!

I not only rearranged the open shelving, but organized the cabinets and drawers.  I’m still working through the kitchen, but I got the island and butler’s pantry done.  I love opening a drawer to find it neat and organized.  I am most definitely an “everything in its place” kind of girl.

I meant to take a picture of that today, but I got sidetracked!  Here are a couple of frames from my Instagram Story from a few weeks ago…

And, as it’s often the case, the fluffing and organizing snowballed and I ended up changing up the shelves in the pine hutch and I cleaned out the cabinet, too.  It houses the boy’s art supplies and extra school stuff.  It was basically a furniture representation of me on a video call – presentable up top and not camera-worthy from the waist down.  It was an avalanche waiting to happen as soon as the cabinet doors open.  So, I remedied that, too.

I’m learning that there are different phases of moving into a house.  There is a the dump right when you move in. Then there is an acclimation period, followed by a settling in that is more methodical and based on how you actually live in the space.  I feel like I’m solidly in phase three (in the rooms we live in most, anyway) and I’m thoroughly enjoying it…


  1. Sue

    Your blue onion pieces look perfect there – and your philosophy is a good one as it keeps you from accumulating too much. I have the same philosophy and ask myself questions before buying something – “where will it go and what will it replace, is it worthy of the time I will need to put into it and is it truly unique and truly my style.” This keeps me in check and assures I have only what I love in my home. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you settle into your home as it is a perfect example of how decorating and nesting is an ongoing, evolving process. Your home looks more and more like “you” as time goes on.

  2. Cindy Coghill

    I always enjoy your decor posts and they inspire me to do a little tinkering in my own home. I love seeing you transform you new home.

  3. Toni

    As always I love what you do. I thought I understood the floor plan of your 1st floor, but I see photos and then I realize its not the way I thought. It makes me understand why you focused the way you did and how the rooms relate to each other. Well done!

    • Marian Parsons

      Thanks, Toni! Yes, sometimes I’ll have to do a first floor tour!

  4. amy joanne mogish

    My Mom jokes when I tell her I am organizing….she says ‘you should be organized by now, you have been doing it for 30 years’….funny when you think about it…..I am starting to think it is a second hobby! I love your ‘from the waist down’….to funny! Beautiful inside and out, you and your home!

    • Cindy in Oklahoma

      ha! I wish I’d known how much I love organizing about 30 years ago. I would have tried to make a career of it instead of a hobby! Very few things give me the kind of satisfaction I get when I’m able to get rid of things we no longer use and find just the right place for the things we do. My dad says he and I have Monk personalities, as in the main character of the Monk TV series. I think he’s right. I can barely pass a table in my home without moving even a coaster so it’s more pleasing to my eye. I can’t decide if it’s a curse or a blessing….

      Love the way you fluff, Marian. Everything always looks so pretty after you put your special touch on it.

  5. Elizabeth St

    Your comment about arranging a house to suit the way you ACTUALLY live in it, versus the way you thought you would, is very perceptive. I’m curious: ln what ways do you and your family find yourselves using the house differently than you thought you would?

  6. Addie

    lolololo….”waist down” ….good one!!!!
    How many china cabinets do you own? Living room, dining room, sewing room, art room, office…Oh! my!!! Love them all!!!!
    Wish I had more room for more also….they are so hard to resist. I have 2.

  7. Ellen Shook

    I am like you when it comes to having everything exactly where it belongs! I don’t know how people can live any other way, but some do, quite successfully, I suppose. I agree that it takes a long time to find the best way to live in a house. People who move every couple of years must not mind feeling really unsettled, or maybe it is something else I just don’t understand, either. Different strokes for different folks.

    Your house is really looking great!

  8. Becky Harris Delson

    I’ve never noticed the lids on that wall by the pine hutch before – ironstone, I assume? I am curious if you have the dishes too. Maybe you just picked up the lids on their own? I love that you hung them. Dishes do fine without their lids when the latter are broken or missing, but a pretty lid without its dish? I always feel a bit sad for them when I see them at thrift stores or flea markets. I love that yours are honored for the simple beauties they are.

  9. Lucy Beliveau

    Dear Yvonne!

    Your post is most helpful!! The 3 steps you came up with for moving in to a new home are perfect!! Like you, I am thoroughly enjoying the comfort and organization of step 3! You’re so right to say “Even things behind closed doors should make you smile!” Thanks for validating the fact that I do smile when I open a drawer!!!

    We are so excited about a change you encouraged us to make! The lovely green painted shelves at the end of your kitchen counter actually match the counter!! What a concept!! We have a white cart at the end of a black counter…I should know better!!! Thanks to you, My Friend, the cart is soon to be black!!!

  10. Lucy Beliveau

    Oh!!!! I mean Marian!!! I’m very embarrassed! My secret is out! I like Stone Gable too! Please pardon my pathetic error! I had just written to Yvonne so her name was on my mind, could I just blame it on my afternoon meds? They make me sleepy!😔

  11. PJ

    So much lovely blue and white…Sigh!

  12. Tracy

    Phase 3 is definitely the fun part! The changes you have made in that house are awesome. Besides the major changes-painting, new floors…the little touches that make such a difference, but seem to be the thing that I can never get quite right.

  13. Shirley Housepitality

    I have enjoyed your journey to make your new house a home…I love the quote, “even things behind closed doors should make you smile” … yes indeed! We have sold our home and are starting our journey to build the “right sized” home…in the meantime, we are in a rental house….even though there are many unpacked boxes, I have hung many pieces of artwork and other pretties to complete the rooms to make the house “us” … when asked why did I do that and not just live with the bare minimum…I replied, ” when I enter this home, although temporary, I want to smile when I come through the doors” … thanks for making us smile too Marian!

  14. Barbara Sullivan

    Your kitchen island looked fine before, but now it looks great! More intentional and more pleasing to the eye! Good choices!

  15. Jeanie

    Love the looks of your kitchen island!

  16. Pamela

    Great encouragement!! Your shelves at the Island look great.

  17. Sue

    I love that you re-visited the shelves. So many times we put something somewhere when we move in and leave it there because it worked at one time. I think it helps me to decorate for each season to make me move things around and find a different and possibly better way to display things. In your display – I love the symmetry, various textures, themed items and the blue and white all tying it together. So much prettier to look at. It does make you smile. I think arranging shelves, tablescape or mantles is one of the hardest things to learn. It is definitely an art. Thank you for showing us what a big difference it can make. So pretty!

  18. Kathleen

    A girl after my own heart! Some might think we are a little OC, but your comment, “Even things behind closed doors should make you smile,” explains it well.
    Question: (along the lines of “fluffing” maybe) Do you use a product on your copper? My daughter-in-law used a copper cleaner on her hammered copper farmhouse kitchen sink. I had to laugh (with her) I when I saw a bright, glowing pink sink! Pretty ugly! She didn’t like the non-uniform/splotchy look (patina). Just wondering if you periodically polish your copper? It can get quite dark over time and your pots look just right.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I polish all of my post about once a year and I do use a copper cleaner, but I use it sparingly, so it doesn’t take off all of the patina.

  19. Dawn

    What paint and color did you use on that open-top built-in cabinet at the bottom of your stairs? We live in a century home with one of these that I mistakenly painted to match the molding. Well, it’s still worlds better than it was, but that green is going to change my life. Thank you for spreading the confidence and skills. This is my first visit to your blog and I’m feeling more assured my ideas might just possibly be something I could actually do, once I read/watch the tutorials a few times. I have a lot of sewing and painting in my future. And I have a feeling I’m going to be snooping around your site a lot this next year or so.

  20. Barbara Christensen

    I have always loved your blog and how you “enable” my ironstone addiction, lol. Thank you for the inspiration along the way. I want to tell you about reading your blog on my iPad. Flashing ads jump the page so much I lose my place reading and must scroll looking for the spot I was at. Happens over and over. The arrows at the sides sit over the text as do other things like the sign up box, etc. Many of the ads blend into the format so perfectly they read like they are part of your post. It confuses me no end when you start talking about car insurance, lol. The font is very small and hard to read. Sometimes I get so frustrated, I quit your posts in the middle of reading them. I know that is not your intension and maybe there is something I can do to fix this? I follow you on Feedly. Maybe it is them? I don’t have this problem with any other blog I follow. I apologize for commenting about this and really hope you understand. If you can do anything, can the font be made larger? That would help a lot. Many thanks for listening to me.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, so sorry to hear that! I usually check out my blog on my laptop, so I wasn’t aware of this issue. I will let my ad management company know. Thanks!

  21. Katie Mansfield

    That blue onion is amazing. It definitely deserves to be seen. I am totally tying my napkins and dish towel with baker’s twine. So cute.



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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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