my new creative workspace

Marian ParsonsBefore and Afters, Decorating, Furniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Organizing, Room Makeovers, Running a Business42 Comments

Yesterday, I was a determined woman.  Despite the gloomy weather, I was in the mood to organize, purge, and get my creative space put together.

We have organized and cleaned out the studio here and there, but we haven’t picked through each bin and each drawer, keeping only the things that are really used.  It was time.  It was long past time.

Kriste and I worked together, emptying out the contents of bins, drawers, cabinets, and cubbies, and grouped like things together, so we could actually see everything and make more informed decisions about what to get rid of and where a group of items should be stored. We found all sorts of fun and useful stuff that I entirely forgot I had and we also found eight trash bags full of completely superfluous stuff that I gleefully hauled to the dumpster.  (We also found some things that other people might want that we’ll list in the online shop in “craft lots”.)

Piles of stuff were spread all over the work tables and the floor, so it was definitely a things-look-worse-before-they-look-better situation.  Kriste continued with the bin-fetching and sorting into piles while I picked through the piles to purge and put the things I wanted to keep in their new home.

By the time it was all finished, we had about ten empty bins, the remaining bins were organized and put back in the closet, and the rest was neatly put away in my new work area.

So, enough about the process.  Here’s my little creative corner…




Let’s talk about the desk, first.  Kriste and I tag-teamed this one and painted it in MMSMP Grain Sack with a Tough Coat finish.


I used Hemp Oil on the top and drawer handles, though, to bring out the richness of the wood.


It is such a great work surface and provides loads of storage.  With all of the purging, though, most of the drawers are pretty sparsely populated.  It’s funny, I like nice storage pieces, but I would prefer to have them mostly empty!  Anyone else like that or am I alone in my craziness?!



The slide-out work surfaces are pretty awesome and they look even better now that they have been hydrated with some Hemp Oil.


I’m sure you noticed I found a spot for the pine cupboard!


I was using a smaller cabinet, but the scale looked odd next to the desk and the depth of it wasn’t very functional.  It wouldn’t fit some of the larger pieces I wanted to store, like canvases, my light pad, archival boxes, etc.  I scooted this one over in one of those let’s-just-try-it moments and, when I stood back, I knew it was perfect.  I was giddy as I loaded the lower cabinet and everything fit perfectly.


I put bottles, books, and some decorative pieces in the upper part of the hutch.


Did you notice my scissor art?  I thought they filled that skinny wall space perfectly and were some of the fun surprises I found while sorting.


The art cabinet drawers and labeled and loaded with art supplies now.



Words cannot express how much I love this piece!



I still need to get some small bins to keep little items from shifting as the drawers are opened and closed.  It is such an awesome cabinet, though, and everything fit in it so perfectly.  I even have a few empty drawers in case I pick up any new artistic hobbies.


I worked in the space today and it was such a delight.  A creative space needs to feel good, so it can foster creativity and productivity.  This space is set up nicely to do both.

There’s still some more organizing and purging to do in the studio, but this was a huge accomplishment.

You can find more information on the pieces I used in my creative corner in the links below…

before of the desk

the $100 craigslist drafting table

the antique pine hutch

the drafting light

the art cabinet before

how I made the decision to paint the art cabinet

process of painting the art cabinet

the art cabinet reveal

upholstering the back of the desk chair

my new creative workspace

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42 Comments on “my new creative workspace”

  1. Marian,
    Love this space! The combination of white and natural wood is fresh looking without being sterile. I would love to find a cabinet with all the drawers like yours. The drafting table makes me happy every time I see it.

    Merry Christmas,

  2. The space speaks so much to you! I am certain we will see many newly created ideas from you born from this corner. I love the calm and “come create here” feel the space exhibits. May I be so bold to make one suggestion? I see a rug pulling the pieces together in a blue tone that we see in your home decor. Do you see it too?!

  3. This is beautiful, Marian! The scissor art was one of the first things I noticed. Empty drawers are something I love too! Gives you a feeling of peacefulness and leaves room for other wonderful things to stay in the futuire. Inspirational too! Now I need to tackle my own creative space :/

  4. I love how a few pairs of scissors can make such a statement when displayed in such a way. They bring architectural beauty to the space…they are perfect there. It is nice to know someone else sees things similarly to the way I do! My husband sometimes shakes his head at my ideas, but when I carry them out he has to admit it works….this is one of those ideas…if I had told him I was going to hang 4 pairs of scissors on the wall and it would be beautiful…..
    But then look how perfect it is!
    Love your creative spirit!!

  5. I envy your space–I used to have a craft room that I loved but downsizing….now I have a secretary desk in my bedroom. Still, I never stop making things!

    (I feel like I should point out that much as I like your office chair on wheels, it is not really as safe as modern chairs with 5 legs. Four-legged mobile office chairs have a danger of tipping over easily. Just letting you know for your own safety and others (children) who might climb up there.)

    1. Bee is right, Marion. I’be tipped over in a four legged chair…ouch! But it is a beautiful chair!

  6. I love that you have that little “twine” label and a drawer full of exactly that. Have you ever seen a picture of the giant drawer cabinet in Genevieve Gorder’s living room? Her style is very different from yours of course, but the whimsy is the same. She has one drawer labeled “eggs and acorns” and, sure enough, that’s what’s inside. Both of you make me smile.

  7. I have been doing a purge through our home and I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one where it gets worse (messy mountains of things everywhere) before it gets better and organized. Whew! Such a task but so rewarding when you are done.

    Such a fabulously cozy and tranquil spot you’ve made to work! Love the mix of woods and paint. So pretty! And the scissor art is so fun! Looks perfect in the spot!

  8. empty drawers are my luxury. Don’t have any right now, but that is what makes me happy. I love it all. it is perfect.
    I love it when I get to the messy part, because I know the best is about to happen….and been talking myself into my closet for a couple of weeks……
    everything looks perfect!
    Being a sewer, a former quilter, I have a thing about scissors…., too.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Marian!
    It’s absolutely beautifully done, I love everything about it!!!! ….<3
    What a beautiful place to work. You as an artist, entrepreneur, always creating, wellll, you need that, and you deserve it! The creative juices will be a thousand times clearer and stronger in that organized beautiful corner!!!!
    We're working on our studio/storage building also, and I must say you inspire inspire inspire ! !
    AND also, your photography is FABULOUS! ….SO GOOD! As always you've captured it! ok, can't say enough! LOL
    Thankyou so much for doing that, showing us and sharing another beautiful Miss Mustard Seed Space! ….
    You're so talented and gifted Girl ! ! !
    LOVE IT ALL ! ty for all you show us 🙂

  10. Love that corner, now to get my fanny back to organizing my work/creative space. It has been a 6 month ordeal because I can’t stay focused! Thanks for the added incentive. 🙂

  11. Hi Marian:
    Fellow birthday pal here from NH. What a beautiful space!!! My favorite part, athough I am rather biased, is Naella’s sign in your hutch. You posted it in another one of your blogs. It is a really nice touch. You still have to come to NH and pull things like this off in my house. I can’t seem to get my personal decorating style to fit with an adirondack style house. They don’t mesh. See you at Lucketts in 2017.

  12. The scissor wall art caught my attention way before you even mentioned it. Great job, fun space. Also love the way you put your artwork around and your original bible verse inspiration.

  13. How lovely to be prepared for the new year with a fresh, organized workspace. You have inspired me to get started on organizing my craft/sewing/laundry room.

  14. I love it! Absolutely love how it all turned out! Now I’m inspired to go paint my desk (looks exactly like yours!) white with the wood handles and top!

  15. It is all perfect but the piece most exciting to me is the desk..I have a very identical one sitting in my garage waiting for me to have a spot big enough to put it! It belonged to my parents and was in their office in their photography studio! It is painted a Colonial shade of blue and “antiqued”….not sure if I stripped it if there might be some glorious woods under there….. Yours makes me want to bring it Into the house and give it some long overdue TLC! Thanks for adding to my projects list..LOL.

  16. I thoroughly enjoy the contrast in all the pieces. The warmth of the pine and drafting table, the chair with the stylized embroidery, the painted desk and storage unit and then the added accessories especially the collection of scissors. My eyes go slowly from one object to the next hesitantly to take in each unique piece. Bravo!

  17. I adore your workspace, Marian. The pine cabinet really does fit the space perfectly and gives it such warmth. That desk is gorgeous. I sold one identical to that one a year ago and now I wish I had kept it! And I’m also motivated to purge my office space after seeing this. Have a great weekend.

  18. What a beautiful work space. Love the scissors going down the wall, the beautiful cabinet, desk and art cabinet.
    Sorry, not “work” but “creative” space — truly a wonderful place to allow the creative juices to flow!
    Can’t wait to see what’s next!
    thank you for sharing,

  19. I am green with envy! What a wonderful work place! My favorite thing about the whole space, tho’, is the collection of scissors displayed on the wall.

  20. Love it all, but that pine cabinet is especially beautiful and looks fantastic in that space. It’s all so lovely!

  21. The Scissors were the 1st thing I noticed!! Such a simple touch, but so nice. Now I’m on the hunt for some antique scissors for my craft room (which I hope ONE day wil be as organized asyour creative corner! )

  22. Beautiful! It is hard to create with clutter around, even if hidden. I agree, less is more. I am not there yet, but it is my goal in the new year! I also love the neutral pallet…like a blank canvas for the mind.

  23. I love this! I recently redecorated after months of procrastination with They set up my dining room and living room and cleaned up after. Makes me wish I didn’t wait as long as I did. Now I’m doing the master bedroom!

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