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After a whirlwind week of activities and festivities, we dropped my parents off at the airport this afternoon.   We got so much accomplished, it’s amazing.  I started getting a little teary-eyed today when I saw so many projects complete.  I know that’s silly, but some of them have been five years in the making and now they’re almost done.

Before I show some progress on the house, I’ll share my latest French chair makeover.  I’m really missing working on furniture, but I have a few pieces I’m going to work on in a few days.  It was nice to get this chair finally finished.  I’ve had it since June, painted it in July, upholstered it sometime in the fall and I finally made the cushion cover and put on the trim this week.  Here’s how it started…

It wasn’t bad, but it was just a little dated and tired.  Here’s what it looks like now…



It’s painted in ASCP Old White (with no wax) and upholstered in a hemp potato sack from Poland.  One of my readers sent me a bunch of them and they are beautiful for upholstery.  It’s trimmed out in cream gimp.


It’s perfect in an awkward corner in our home office and can easily be pulled over to the desk.

My dad installed a chandelier in my downstairs hall and my mom and I hung Adelle the cow on the blank wall.


…and we made some great progress on the office built-ins today…


I can see the finish line!

…and, miracle of all miracles, we have a functioning sink in our half bathroom!!  We were going to do it ourselves, but it was a complicated installation, so we broke down and called a plumber.  It was a tricky job for him, an expert, so it was the right call to get a pro.



We haven’t had a sink in there since the spring, so it was surreal seeing water come out of the tap.  I think I heard an angelic choir…


It just doesn’t take much to make me giddy.

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    1. Jessica

      The progress was amazing!! You’ll really get a lot done when your parents move closer!!! How exciting! I can’t wait to see the finished bathroom and the office!


    2. Cindy

      Oh joy!, The bathroom is finally getting finished, and it’s looking wonderful! Isn’t it nice how things are coming together, it always feels so good when the chaos starts to clear and projects are finally near the end… Sigh… wonderful! No wonder you got teary eyed… it’s such a relief and it’s makes one feel pulled back together in one piece! Now you can start to move on with your creative stuff, without all those other things to do whirling around in your head! I like the way your family does “stuff” and projects when ya’ll get together … that’s cool, ,and fun! Your house is looking soooooo good too…


    3. Lynn Ehrlich

      Hello! Why didn’t you use wax on the chair? You are the expert and I am trying to learn different techniques. PS I am so happy to see non Christmas decor/ posts. Your house looks great.


    4. Kariann


    5. Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute.

      Okay, so your little bathroom had me at hello.

      In love with it so far. Those floors. Dreamy with a capital D.

      But I have to ask, where oh where did you get those wire baskets on the walls?? I’ve seen some in shiny chrome but the finish on those would be just perfect in our little nursery.


      • Tonya

        I was wondering the same thing! I LOVE the baskets!

        • Erin Joseph

          Me too! Would love to get some for my half bath!

    6. Mary

      Congrats on getting all those projects complete! I know the feeling of waiting for things to get done! I’ve been waiting for shelves in my linen closet for 4 years and I would be tickled pink to have them finished!

      Sounds like you had a lovely visit with your parents!

      Happy New Year!

    7. senses of soul

      greeting from Malaysia =)

    8. gina

      That chair is beautiful!!!

    9. Sherri

      That chair turned out awesome! I’m so glad you now have water!

    10. Denise

      I love the chair makeover!! I’ve been seeing a pair of square back, orange upholstered chairs similar to this, and I think I may bite the bullet and get them. Did your upholsterer do them or did you? Hoping I won’t be getting in over my head??!

    11. Rebecca of Beck's Chic Life

      The chair is beautiful! I love it! And I am really digging the built-ins! They look great!

    12. JoAnn

      The chair is amazing! I have been looking and looking for a chair like that and can never seem to find one.

    13. Janet Lawson

      The chair re-do looks great..I also like the metal baskets on your bathroom walls..

    14. Pumpkin Pie Painter

      No water in any bathroom with a house with kids is due cause for giddiness…and angelic choruses!!! 🙂 And the progress on everything must be so satisfying!! Do you loan out your parents? 🙂

    15. Tina

      Great progress was made this year, Marian! In every way…congrats on your success. It’s been a pleasure to watch and learn from you. I’m so happy that you have enjoyed some time for your home after bringing such happy inspiration into mine!
      Wishing you a happy and healthy 2012 and much continued success~

    16. Jen

      LOVE the chair and LOVE those darling baskets on the wall! Brilliant idea for storing extra TP. Sooo going to copy this in my bathroom. You are so amazing as always!


    17. SueAnn

      Love the chair!!! And the chandy and pic are perfect in that hallway!!
      A sink!! I think I heard the choir as well!!!
      You have been busy girl…way to go
      Hugs and Happy New Year

    18. Rhonda

      How awesome that you were able to cross so many things off your list of things to do!

      I love the chair – have been scouring Craigslist incessantly looking for one similar for my bedroom. One of these days I’ll find one!

    19. Tonia

      I know what you mean about getting projects done that have been lingering around for some time. The chair turned out beautifully.

    20. Beth Marohn

      Every project is coming along beautifully! You must be feeling like you can see the light at the end of the tunnel on the long time projects, for sure! The chair is so pretty and love the shade of the sacks you used. How cool!

    21. Gerrie Wydeven

      It looks lovely. I have same question as someone else – I am new using ASCP and thought waxing was a must – does the finish last well enough without waxing??

    22. Laura

      Love the chair! You have been a inspiration to me in my upholstery. I have done several things from slipcovers to french chairs. One project I tackled was a french inspired sofa and chair. Now I sits quietly at a consignment shoppe waiting on a home. If you ever get down close the Tennessee Georgia line and are interested I would love to sell it to you! I don’t know what possed me to do it except I love this blog! It is painted in ASCP Paris Grey and distresssed and draped with dropcloths! Sadly it will not go in my house and I have had no choice but to put it on consigment. Check out my pics…

    23. Melodye

      Marian, Merry Christmas and I love your chair, chandelier, cow, built-ins… everything! I am so glad you are moving into the new year with a full head of steam. Happy New Year too (if I don’t check in before then).


    24. Fiona

      Lovely job, Marian. And a great spot for it also. great that your folks are moving closer soon. Lucky to have such helpful and active parents ( and grandparents for your kids!)
      cheers Fiona

    25. Terry Moore

      Wowee, love all the new changes going on. And adore the chair.

    26. Bev

      It’s funny how home DIY projects can get pushed off and pushed off again. We have been living in our “starter home” for about 24 years now, during which time we have completely transformed the place…all except for the upstairs bathroom, that is. We created a space for a new full bath up there when we added on 15 years ago. Well, the space is still there, but no bathroom. My hubby has promised to tackle it this winter, and I plan to hold his feet to the fire until he makes good on that. Our daughter got engaged on Christmas Day (wedding in July), so having that bathroom up and running for company this summer will be crucial. My husband works best with a deadline, so hopefully a complete and functional bath is in the near future. I’ve had all the accessories and decor in a box for a long time now, just waiting… waiting… I’ll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed!
      Thanks for all your inspiration, Marian!

    27. Leighann

      Marian, these projects are so beautiful. The chair is my favorite you’ve done So far. Happy new year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 holds for you.

    28. melissa320sycamore

      It’s always so fun when parents come but sad when they leave. Look at all that you got done! The bathroom is looking gorgeous! Happy New Year, Marian!!

    29. susan

      Ooh, love the hall bath, and I would have never thought of the locker baskets for toilitries…so stealing that idea. Your office is coming along nicely, have you posted before pics? Maybe I missed them. Coveting the chair….but as a pink addict i would have probably left the velvet on and painted the base. Thank you for giving me some ideas for the coming years projects.

    30. Shaunna

      Bathroom looks awesome & you know I love that chair!!

    31. Mrs. Owens

      What are those baskets called and where can they be found? We have a pedestal sink in our tiny master bath and I have been trying to find a way to put my make up and such on the wall for a while these would be great and provide an alternative to counter space. I really love your ideas.

    32. Danielle

      Wow! You have been so busy this week. I LOVE your chair. So, so, so beautiful. Was it hard to recover? My parents have chairs that have those same nails in them and wondered how hard it would be to do this. I’ve never re- upholstered anything before. Also, love your baskets in your bathroom. Our bathroom aslo has a pedestal sink and no storage. Thought it was a neat idea. Very cool.

    33. katieQ

      I’m happy you are finishing the year in style. Getting so much done bodes well for the new year. A sink with running water is definitely a reason to celebrate.

    34. SheilaG

      I love that you can do projects with your family- such great memories! Your office is looking so good and so is the bathroom. Yay for running water! And I love the chair, my favorite style. 🙂

    35. Erin of Salvaged Whimsy

      everything looks beautiful….but I’m totally in love with your bathroom floors. All the best to you and your family in 2012.

    36. Arlene Marie

      Just perfection. Lovely work on the both room. You inspire me!

    37. Tanya

      What? No wax? Over chalk paint? But I thought you HAD to use wax over chalk paint to keep it from unpainting itself. Did you have to cure it for a while? Is it really permanent? Oh, please share!

      And this may be the first time I’ve commented on your blog, so let me just add that you are an amazing woman, and quite an inspiration. Thank you.

    38. Susan


      You have been one of my favorite “finds” of 2011! I am inspired by your creativity and energy! I so look forward to all your posts in 2012, blessings to you and your family!

      Susan Poirier

    39. Jenny

      Every time I see your bathroom floor tile I foam a little in the corners of my mouth!

      Glad your bathroom is almost complete. I have had plumbing issues in our kitchen many times and have been without a kitchen sink sometimes for up to a week and let me just say, it is misery.

      Also, is there a story to the “tourists” sign in your office??

      Happy New Year!!


    40. Angie

      I love the chair but have a slightly unrelated question. Just wondering what your paint colour is in that room?

      I’ve just recently found your blog and love it. I can’t wait to buy some of your milk paint:)


      • Miss Mustard Seed

        It’s Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.

    41. Linda French

      Love the chair. I have the before and now I think I will paint it! You make me brave! Just found you last week and am so enjoying your blog. I keep replying to old posts! Do you see new comments to old posts? Just saw that you have a Raleigh connection. I live in Ral. See you at the Fairgrounds Flea!


    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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