layering for winter & DIY book lover’s giveaway

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Holiday327 Comments

I was planning to get this post up sooner, but today ended up being busy!!  I did some work this morning, ran a few errands, went to PT for my shoulder (I can put on eyeliner again), had a meeting, did a few photoshoots and editing, then Marshall wanted to make chicken pot pie when he got home from school, and here we are.  Pot pie made and eaten, Jeff and Calvin are out about Rochester delivering hot chocolate and doughnuts to Salvation Army bell-ringers and I have a few quiet moments to write.

When I think about winter decorating, I think about layers.  Of course, there is the obvious…layering throws on a sofa, more blankets on a bed, a textural throw pillow on a side chair.  But, I also think about layering when putting together vignettes.  The layers add a hominess, a visual warmth if that makes sense.  A single item can look clean and airy, which is perfect for summer.  Multiple items, layered and nestled, speak to bundling up when the temperature drops.  It just works.

Last year, for our kitchen table, I layered an ironstone tureen nestled in greens and pinecones on top of an ironstone platter on a silver tray on a breadboard.  Lots of layering happening as well as a play on materials, textures, and finishes.

I learned that I can’t put an arrangement of faux greens tucked into place on the table, because Esmé will pull put the sprigs one-by-one and make her own arrangement.  She doesn’t like things clustered.  She wants the spread-out, wild, effortless look.  She wants the someone-just-threw-a-bunch-of-sprigs-around-the-room look.  We do not see eye-to-eye on this matter.  But, since she’s more persistent than I am, I am waving the white flag and doing something else.

So, this year, I started with the same silver tray and used it to gather a grouping of smaller items that I already had.  One practical advantage of putting a centerpiece on a tray is that it’s easy to scoot for meals, homework, and board games.  Jeff and the boys sometimes grow impatient when my decor is in the way, so I try to make it as easy to move as possible!

I layered two small ironstone bowls in a footed compote and filled it with some nuts.  (Oddly enough, the cats haven’t played with those!)

I also added a candle and another ironstone bowl filled with small candles.

Layering the bowls in the compote added a little more height and it just looks more interesting to my design eye.

I put a faux sage plant in an ironstone pot on top of the wood base for a cloche.  The Ikea plant is just a placeholder for a gingerbread house or a cat-safe wintry plant.

It’s layered, it’s simple, it looks wintry, and it was using things I had on hand.  I’m sure it’ll evolve as we get deeper into the winter months, but it’s a nice starting point.

And now to the giveaway!  Jen from Girl in the Garage brought together a group of bloggers/authors for a big home & DIY-lover’s book giveaway!


One lucky winner will receive all 6 of these popular DIY & decorating books!  This is a great collection!  I’ve read all of them except The Gift of Gathering, but I love Bre’s work, so I’m sure the book is beautiful and I’ll be adding it to my collection!  Here are the books the winner will receive…

1. But Where Do I Put the Couch? & Answers to 100 Other Home Decorating Questions, by KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms and Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room
2. French Vintage Decor: Easy & Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home, by Jamie Lundstrom of So Much Better With Age
3. The Home Design Doodle Book: Unleash Your Inner Designer, by Marian Parsons of Miss Mustard Seed
4. The Gift of Gathering: Beautiful Tablescapes to Welcome and Celebrate Your Friends and Family, by Bre Doucette of Rooms for Rent blog
5. Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Decor, by Jennifer Rizzo of
6. Amazing Furniture Makeovers: Easy DIY Projects to Transform Thrifted Finds into Beautiful Custom Pieces, by Jen Crider of Girl in the Garage

Follow the directions to enter below. Giveaway open to US and Canada through Dec. 7, 2019.

Good luck!

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layering for winter & DIY book lover’s giveaway

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327 Comments on “layering for winter & DIY book lover’s giveaway”

  1. I live in Ontario, Canada where we experience very cold winters. I try to do lots of layering as well, it feels more like a cocoon in winter. I moved into a newly built home one week ago and i know those books would come in handy as I try to organize my decorating thoughts. Thank you for the opportunity to submit my name!

  2. I told myself that my financial situation and a broken wrist would not stop me from fulfilling my dream of making over my home. These books are perfect to provide me with ideas to do that. Thank you Miss Mustard Seed for giving me the confidence that I can do it and not to give up on my dreams.

  3. I seem to be stuck in a decorating rut. These books will give me some ideas and inspiration to get unstuck!

  4. Marian, I am unable to bring up any of the entries from the giveaway. Any idea why that would be other than the fact that my computer is rather ancient? I’m bummed.

  5. Nesting after downsizing. We moved to a much smaller townhouse with a rectangular living room and we are still tying to figure out the best layout of furniture for the space. Looking for inspiration for every day living.

  6. Love the layered look with soft blues, greens, and whites. Makes me think of a fresh winter snowfall.

  7. While I layer my winter home with throws and rugs and blankets I never considered the visual layering of my vignettes! Thank you one more great idea-I know if I win the books there will be such riches and many more great ideas to come!

  8. I’m hoping to win to find beauty and inspiration for our home and to share with my daughters and daughters-in-law, so that we can make our homes more inviting to open the door for company and more comforting for our families. And for us to enjoy the fun of creating at home.

  9. We have lived in our house since 2005 and still doesn’t feel like our ‘Home’. We don’t have a budget for renovations, but we do have beautiful antiques to paint, a sturdy couch to re-cover, wall art to put up, etc. Inspiration is what we need and the collection of books might just do the trick. God Bless!

  10. These books would be awesome to have. I’d share them with my daughter’s. I love to paint furniture!

  11. Very generous giveaway! I would be thrilled to own any one of those books. I’m currently having a couch dilemma, so the first book would be first read. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  12. I love painting furniture and architectural salvaged pieces. I would love to learn more about ways to achieve textured finishes.

  13. It’s always a constant struggle to take my huge stash of traditional collections from living in a house to adapting to decorating a newer condo (it’s been 15 years :). I’m also trying to pare down my stuff b/c I realize my kids will have to deal with it all someday. I think the initial problem is I haven’t settled on what my new look really is & I still want to use some of my old things. I’ve always loved all the old historical houses & yet I live in an uninspired condo. I like shaker, & french country, traditional, old farmhouse – not everything white though, & antiques. I really need those books….

  14. I tried leaving a posting on the inset boxes, and nothing worked, hope this is the correct place, would love to have some beautiful ideas for living in a double wide mobile home for 6 months of the year in a sunny location…Florida.
    I’m sure one of those books would help direct the “small” home decorator….thanks for the chance to enter, and am still enjoying your blog, (don’t instagram really) and details of your Eurpoean trip! Merry Christmas Too!

  15. An old quirky house is always in need of inspiration and these would be fun to share with my design savvy sister-in-law who is recovering on a tough health journey

  16. Not sure if this is how to enter the give-away I tried everything else. I just plain ole’ need some new inspiration. I live in a 1895 large Victorian, but decorate in a farmhouse style (not all white). I feel kind of stuck because I have to work with the beautiful but darker woodwork. Everyone loves my decor, but I need some tweaking. I would love to spend the winter getting inspired by these beautiful books. ♥

  17. I live in an older house with smaller rooms and I have trouble finding places to display my things. I don’t have a fireplace with a mantle or a coffee table and it seems like once you put a lamp on an end table, there isn’t room for much else. I like my ‘things’ and I want to see them every day but I’ve gotten in the rut of only having a few things out and the rest packed away.

  18. I do love furniture make- overs! After 50 years of marriage, I don’t need to do this but I LOVE to do this. All of these books strike a chord for me.

  19. We recently moved into a house that is completely different from our previous home and I need some inspiration for decor and furniture makeovers. These books would be very helpful!

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