foyer refresh & slate update

by | Jan 20, 2020 | All Things Home, Antiques, Decorating, My House | 32 comments

Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to share that Mustard Seed Mentoring is now open to new members!  You can get all of the details on group and one-on-one mentoring HERE.  I am offering an early bird gift to those who JOIN TODAY – a pocket-sized version of my favorite journal/notebook.  It’s the one I use every single day for notes, sketches, and journaling.  It’s a leather notebook that can hold three inserts, which can be changed out when they are full.  It’s just a little bonus from me.

I’ll be sending out e-mails about Mustard Seed Mentoring this week and if you are not starting/running a creative business, you can opt-out of those specific e-mails at the bottom of each e-mail.  Opting out will not unsubscribe you from my blog feed.  I want to let people know about it, but only the people who need it and are interested!

Now, let’s talk about slate floors and refreshing a small space!

Towards the tail end of my recovery from shoulder surgery, I started feeling a desire to move things around, organize spaces, and give our house an overall refresh.  Not an overhaul…just a little refresh.  Things that are free and just involve tweaking, rethinking, and experimenting.  Now that we’ve lived in this house for 2.5 years, I have a very good feel for how we use each space, what works well, and what doesn’t.

I am hoping to tackle some big projects soon, like starching the fabric to the walls in the sewing room and building a shelf for my studio, but time has been a little too tight to start one of those.  What I have been doing is working on one small area here and there as I find the time.  It’s been therapeutic and fun to see small changes make a big difference.

One of the areas I wanted to refresh was the foyer.  As I was making some small changes in the living room after we took down the tree and brought in a new sectional, I decided to try to change things up.  Instead of replacing the ironstone tureens on the dresser by the built-ins, I brought in the hand-painted rocking horse from the foyer.  I loved it there, but I felt like the foyer would benefit from some greenery.

The jury is still out on the horse, but I’m waiting to make a decision…  I’ve been hunting for a wood-framed mirror to hang in that spot for at least a year and I just haven’t found anything that’s just right yet.  I think a mirror will add some color (from reflecting the curtains and window) and some warmth from the frame.  For now, it’s fine.

I then took a plant and basket from my office and put it on top of our backpack/shoe cabinet.  I love the addition of the greenery.  I’m planning to put that plant back in my office, but get a similar one and put it in a shorter pot (so there is more height variation between the basket and the plant.)

I’m going to hit a few secondhand shops this week to see if I can find a mirror and something to replace the basket in my office.

I just love playing with the little details, trying to figure out the perfect thing for that spot.

While we’re talking about the foyer, I wanted to share an update on the Montauk Blue Slate we installed last year.  We absolutely love it and it has proven to be very durable.  It’s cleaned up well with a steam mop, doesn’t show dirt & snowy footprints, and has held up to all sorts of scratches and dings.

Not long after we had it installed, we had a desk and bookcase delivered for my office.  The delivery men dragged a palette across the floor, not realizing there were large staples sticking out of the bottom, scratching the slate.  I watched it happen, cringing.  As soon as they were occupied with another task, I crouched down and rubbed my finger over the scratches.  They were superficial and wiped right out.

It is a beautiful floor and I’m so glad we made that upgrade to the foyer.  (There were 18×18″ beige ceramic tiles in there before.)  We even had some leftovers tiles and I think we have enough to use them in the boy’s bathroom.  We’re not planning to do that project anytime soon, but someday.  They’re stacked in the garage waiting for that time.


  1. Suzanne

    I was just looking at your Home Tour, and it is fun to see the changes. I love every single thing you do.

  2. Kim

    Your house transformation is just wonderful, and I enjoy reading about and seeing each new refurbishment.

  3. Jeanine

    Looks great, and I love your little photo bomber! It made me think (and laugh) about the time your husband photo bombed a bunch of your pictures when you were at a festival or something like that. You should have throw back Thursday sometime and show that post again. It was so funny!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh my gosh, thanks for the reminder. Yes, that was so funny. I had dozens of pictures of his head just barely showing behind some shoppers. It was a riot.

  4. Graham

    Is there an outlet in the foyer behind the piece you put there? Did you by any chance consider putting the smaller chest there with a lamp and plant on it. I know it’s been done a million times, but it always seems so homey to me and the new piece takes up a lot of visual space. Of course I don’t know the dimensions in question so I may be way off base. Whatever you do always looks lovely so just ignore me.

    • Marian Parsons

      I agree that a lamp on a table in the foyer always looks so welcoming and homey. I have tried a small piece there and it looks like but we really need the function of a larger cabinet for shoes, backpacks, hats, gloves, etc.

  5. Tracey

    I love the new tweaks! Not sure what your time table is for the new plant, but you can snip a few of the tendrils from your office plant and plop them in water. Within a short time, you will get some roots growing in the water and you can re pot those in a smaller planter. Just an idea if you didn’t know about that little trick. It won’t be as full at that one right away, but it is free! That type of plant is nice and hardy and tolerates lots of neglect…I should know. 🙂

  6. Kathie B

    I think the basket and plant look amazing in the foyer. I love, love, love the horse in that spot and I love the idea of mirror behind it. The slate was a beautiful choice and its so pleasing that it is durable as well. Your home is so cohesive and welcoming. I’m pleased your shoulder is on the mend. My husband had shoulder surgery in late November and your progress inspires him.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I feel for him! In my case, it got better every day once I got out of the sling and started doing PT. I don’t have pain and can already do a lot more than I could before the surgery. I am working on building strength, but it’ll get there!

  7. Cynthia

    Your home is truly inspirational! Maybe you could stack some books under the crock to raise the plant up to be taller than the basket?

  8. Jennifer Erickson

    Target has a beautiful French Country Mirror, 42” x 30”, $70. It’s new, and I know you like older things, but the style MSU work for you. The quality is really good, and it’s very beautiful, well made with the wood on the frame.

  9. Jeanine

    This is such a warm greeting in your foyer. Thanks for the update about the wear and hold up for the tile. I will tuck that little bit of info into my file for a later project on our little cabin. Good to know!

  10. Jill Miglin

    Love the foyer. If you can’t find “the” perfect mirror, you can do what I’ve done in several areas of my home. A small gallery wall of mirrors. Just sayin”.

  11. Mary S

    I love the foyer… baskets and plants work so well together. And, if your family wants to be rid of that HORSE, I’LL GLADLY TAKE IT OFF YOUR HANDS. REALLY!!!! I LOVE IT!!

  12. Judi Yingling

    I love rearranging my baskets, plants and such around the house. It sort of makes it feel like I bought something new. Although it’s the same old stuff, just in a new location. I love the rocking horse….I just think it’s lost in front of the dishes. I’m not sure if I’m looking at the dishes or the horse. I love the wall of plates and the horse….but, for me they get lost together. Love the couch, I wasn’t sure the big plaid would work either, but I love it.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, I agree about the plates. I’m hoping to find a mirror to hang there.

  13. L. Thompson

    Sometime would you explain the way you painted and distressed the horse. I remember when you got but I have forgotten the colors used and how you got the chippy look. I have one I would like to experiment creating a similar look.

      • Lee

        As usual, I love everything you do!! I am hoping to get a similar look on a wooden box.
        I went to the link and enjoyed that post as well; however the links showing first and second paint coat applications does not work.

  14. Gloria Elswood

    I love the photo on Instagram of you painting (I really love the comment made “are sitting on paper towels”) I laughed so hard. Anyway where did you get your paint pallet. I have been looking for one but they are all so small.

    • Marian Parsons

      That was funny! It does look a little like that, but they were in the cart behind me. 🙂 The paint palette is from Jessica Henry.

  15. Teresa

    Do you know if the family you bought your house from follow your blog or have seen the changes you have made to the house?

    • Marian Parsons

      No, I don’t. They had moved out of the country and the house had been vacant for a year, so we never met them.

  16. PJ

    Your foyer is lovely. Does the slate get slippery on snowy days? I am considering slate for my mudroom and my laundry room. Thank you!

    • Marian Parsons

      No, it doesn’t get slippery at all.

  17. Laurice

    It is so fun following your journey and sharing of great ideas. I live in Rochester also and have a small (11.5″ x 17.5″) antique mirror looking for a new home. It’s not big enough for the space you’re looking for but if you might be interested for another spot email me and I will send a picture.

  18. Kim

    If you insist in moving the rocking horse (sigh, I love him) I’m thinking bigger plant, no basket.

  19. Gail Yakos

    Sebastian is always on duty. What a nice dog! Love how he is included in the family decor.

  20. Melissa

    Love your new blue look! What color gray paint did you use in your foyer? Its really pretty and loots great with the white trim…so clean and fresh.

  21. Madeline Menendez

    My eldest son keeps suggesting I get a dog because he needs his personal time and the youngest has no interest in mom any longer except when he needs something and he’s still at home. I think it’s time to reinvent myself once again. This time I’d love to get back into making and selling things like I did when I decided going the single route and raise my two sons about 22 yrs ago. Your Mustard Seed Mentoring program may be the perfect match Marion. Gonna join and put the rest in God’s hands and hopefully use mine more and bug my grown boys less. LOL

  22. Ashlea Kooman

    I love seeing the updates in your home. I’ve noticed most of your pieces these days are natural wood, as opposed to painted- and I have to say I like them very much 🙂 I always like the painted too- but I feel like the warmth of the natural wood is just the right touch with all of your pretty blue and white fabrics and cool walls.

  23. kathleen cox

    Do yo think a pop of color –such as the sew over this– lisa comfort– uses Wallpaper on the stairs!!! IT WOULD bE awesome. check her out ya’all,


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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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