I have so much to share…  all of the work that was accomplished when my brother and parents were here, the goodies I found while shopping the Gold Rush Days in Oronoco and Rochester, a tour of the rest of the rooms in our house, tutorials & details, more of my plans, etc.  Lots to share.  But, today, I’m just going to share one piece.

We’ll pace ourselves.

(And, if you just can’t wait, check out my Instagram Stories.  I did learn that there is an extension for Google Chrome, so you can view them on your computer.  You can get it HERE.)

Sooo…when I set out for the antique market this weekend (I’ll share more on Gold Rush in a later post), the piece that was at the top of my list to find was a storage piece for my studio.  I sold most of my counters and hutches from my studio in PA and I was hurting for a place to put all of my stuff!  Most of my books and art supplies were sitting in boxes, in a pile in the garage, waiting for a new home.

I really wanted to get my workspace set up, but it was hard to do that without a good storage piece.  I was a little stuck until I found one.

It was early afternoon of the market before I spotted this oak step-back hutch.  It wasn’t what I pictured for the space, but I was immediately drawn to it.  I liked the warmth and patina of the wood, the fact that it was two pieces and could be used together or apart, and that it offered a combination of open and closed storage.  At $325, the price was also right.  It’s not a steal, but it’s a good, solid deal.

Here is how the piece looked when we first got it into the studio.

The refinishing was very well done, so I am not planning on painting the wood.  Not at this point, anyway.  I like the contrast it offers to all of the other painted surfaces in the room.  The white ceramic hardware was dirty, though, and I didn’t like the ornate brass hardware on the drawers.

My mom and I worked together to clean the ceramic knobs, polish the glass, vacuum the interior, and swap out the drawer pulls.  At first, I thought I would change all of the knobs out for glass.  I had them on hand, they made sense with the era of the piece, and they add a bit of sparkle that would relate to the glass.  I was pretty much sold on them, but then my mom started picking through my hardware stash and suggested I try a pair of brass bird handles I had picked up at Anthropologie on clearance years ago.

I thought they might look odd on such a traditional piece, but they look perfect!  I think they work because of the kind of room it’s in.  They might look out of place in another space, but in a creative studio?  This sturdy hutch can pull them off.

My mom used one of my favorite lines.  “Those birds just make me smile.”  And I agree.  They make me smile, too.

When there is something in your home that makes you smile every time you see if, that’s a decorating win.

And a small thing, like cleaning the knobs, made a big difference.

I filled the first two shelves with my favorite resource and inspiration books.  I pulled the beat-up jackets off of some, to give them a cleaner look, and organized them by color.

The two pieces of art are originals by Cindy Austin.  Some day, I hope to hang more of my own art, but I’m not there just yet!

And, just to the right of the hutch, I filled up a small vertical strip of wall with some of my vintage brushes hung simply on nails.

I’ll share more of the studio, more details on all of the projects, more of my finds, and more of everything else soon!


  1. Ruth van den Brink

    Ypou are more settled and organised and “moved in” than I am…after two years of living here!

  2. Sharon Warren

    Love how the studio space is being transformed to your personal style. That hutch is a winner, and your books arranged by color make it an art piece. Oh those vintage brushes! Even the lines formed by your floorboards draw the eye to that wall, a beautifully composed vignette.
    Can’t wait to see more.

  3. Marsha Kern

    I love it and like your Mom those birds make me smile!!!

  4. Susan

    Does Cindy Austin have a website? She’d be swamped with orders for prints based inn the beauty if this corner of your studio alone! It’s peaceful, beautiful and soothing, while still clearly an artist’s studio! Love it! (And I want prints of both of those paintings!)

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, if you click her name in this post, it links to her website.

  5. Linda

    I love the hutch and it fits perfectly in that space. The bird handles are so adorable for the room too. 🙂

  6. Pam from Maryland

    love the hutch !!! love the new room,,, things are coming along wonderfully;y !! and its great that you have such support from the family,,

  7. karen

    Lookin so good!

  8. Kate

    Organizing your books by color makes me smile. It reminds of the time my sister did that to my father’s library. She thought it would look so much better, but my father was upset since he had them all arranged by subject. It’s still something we tease my sister about when she talks about interior decorating.

  9. Tracie

    Loving it! (apparently that is too short of a comment, haha but it covers it! :p )

  10. June Pope

    It’s so beautiful in the all white space! Great choice!

  11. Connie J Harbor

    Love the painted floor. Just discovered gorillaglides.com, a company that manufactures fittings for furniture legs to protect floors. They are very reasonably priced suggested for wood floors to prevent scratches, gouges, etc.

  12. Becca

    Charming, charming, charming!

  13. Wendy D.

    When I saw the picture of the hutch in my email, I said to myself are my eyes playing tricks on me or are those brass bird knobs? I so love them!!!! They are perfect for the piece and the room. If you tire of them I will send you my address.

  14. Alicia from California

    You know what made me smile about this reveal…those vintage brushes hung vertically! And then those books arranged by color!

    I’ve got to run over to Instagram to get a sneak peek because I can’t wait! Bye now…off I go to Instagram!

    Who else is watching the Total Eclipse today? Isn’t God awesome!

  15. Sharon

    Fun to watch your progress. I must tell you…..I used your furniture wax for the first time this past week…..why, oh why, did I not use it sooner????!!!!! It is the best ever and I will not use anything else from here on…..even my husband liked it and that says a lot. Just wanted you to know!

  16. Crystal

    I love your new space and the fact that it’s already looking like you. The Cindy Austins are pretty perfect for that hutch and your Mom was spot on with the birdies! A little whimsy is good. 🙂 I hope you are feeling at home in your new house and more importantly, in your new community, in spite of the fact that you just arrived. You have inspired me more than you will ever know in the last couple of years, your book, “Inspired You,” was my go-to when I had to face the fact that I will be living in the burbs in a cookie cutter house in a State I don’t much care for until they cart me away to assisted living. That was a tough realization, but then I read your book, and I looked for inspiration……. and I found it. So thank you for that. “Faith can move mountains, right?”

  17. Norma Rolader

    Love the way your studio is coming! Have a great and blessed day

  18. Missy

    I have a separate building on our property that is my studio. I just moved a large old oak desk into it yesterday. Cannot wait until I have the time and energy to fill its drawers and clean up my creative space! So blessed to have this space for my imagination explorations!

    • Eileen

      Having a special space for yourself is just awesome. I have a library, pink, white and glass with vintage items and a studio with all my supplies and treasures. It’s a wonderful thing.

  19. Sheri

    Yes, watched the Eclipse sitting on the back porch wearing oh-so-glamorous eye protecting goggles, holding my husband’s hand. Only 92 % coverage here, but still amazing.
    Marian, couldn’t resist perusing the titles of the books in your beautiful new hutch. As a book lover myself was delighted to see many of my personal favorites on your shelf.

  20. Veronica D

    I love everything!!

  21. Debbie

    I am loving following you! I agree it’s important to smile and be happy with the things around us in our homes!

  22. Kristine

    I love the dark color of the oak hutch – and so glad to hear that painting it is not yet on the agenda. I do love your painted pieces, but as you have mentioned before, not everything needs to be painted! The bird handles are lovely and unique; and organizing your books by color looks so orderly and beautiful!
    I am going to peruse those titles to perhaps add to my library! (Which is pretty much made up of the $1 decorating books they sell at my local library!)

  23. Erin

    What about a post on your favorite inspiration and reference books?

    • Marian Parsons

      I did one a couple of years ago, but I can definitely do an updated post! 🙂

  24. Karen Kish

    Love the hutch! If it were mine, I would not change anything about it! The contrast of the dark wood against the white makes this piece stand out beautifully!

  25. Becky

    Your paint brushes were a bigger smile.

  26. Vickie H.

    Love it! Those handles are the bomb! I want to have the birds facing each other in flight but maybe that was something you already considered and discarded. I am so proud for this new home for you and your family.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, the birds only came facing the same direction. I figure they are on a journey together. 🙂

  27. Jeanne

    The flying bird handles are perfect…so light and airy and fun. The piece is very nice against all the white. 🙂

  28. Karen K from Buffalo

    What a gorgeous piece of furniture!! And knobs are beautiful, too! I guess I’m not the only one spying your watercolor paintings. I would love to check out her website, but I can’t click on her name. She is probably overwhelmed with the response!!
    I love your daily blogs & keeping us updated!

  29. Mechelle

    I so love the hutch. That is my style to the T! And the Cindy Austin cows , wow!~!. Some day………

  30. B. Folk

    Those bird handles are perfect! The finish on that piece looks like the same finish as on my Hoosier. Mine has tortoise-shell knobs. I’ve toyed with painting the piece, it is so dark, but afraid I would ruin the quirky character of it.
    Eclipse totality in the 90’s here (dark enough to turn on the lamps). Nice and quiet in my neighborhood, no traffic or crowds. God’s creation is fascinating.

  31. Carolee

    I love the birds too….just adds so much. Do you think you will participate in the God Rush in the future?

  32. Carolee

    “Gold Rush” Sorry for the typo!

  33. MaryLisa Noyes

    The knobs are perfect…I absolutely love how you hung the vintage brushes!

  34. Judy Wille

    The molding on your hutch match your cabinets in your home. Very nice!

  35. Jody K

    Please please sell at Gold Rush next year! I will be the first to officially volunteer. Except for the rain, we had a great time!

  36. Carlotta

    I’m with you on keeping the hutch as is(at least for now-as you said). It stands out against the white walls & the white floors. Beautiful. I am so loving your move & what all God is doing in & for your family. It’s pretty neat to see how you seem to be content where you are-as the Bible says we should be. You just get in there & start getting things done. You are so blessed to have a family that is willing & able to help you around your house. Your mom, dad & brother are special people to come all that way & for 2 weeks. It’s refreshing to hear about you all(your husband & sons too) working together & seemingly making work fun & exciting. I can hardly wait to see all that was accomplished in the 2 weeks with your family. Each email from Miss Mustard Seed gets opened & read IMMEDIATELY! Thanks for sharing.

  37. PJ

    Such a lovely space! I enjoyed seeing the titles in your home dec library.

  38. Audrey

    I love the hutch and the bird handles and I’m so glad you aren’t going to paint it!

  39. Nancy

    I love, love, love your studio space!! The hutch is perfect in that room❤️

  40. Barbara Tilton

    May I please borrow your Mom? I’m in southeastern PA, so it wouldn’t be much of a drive. Or I can pick her up.
    (my mom likes to go clothes shopping and hasn’t changed her room decor in 20 years…)

  41. Stephanie

    What a beautiful hutch. It looks great in the space. And those birds make me smile too!

  42. Hannah

    I love it! Those birds are the bees knees! I have the same birds on my desk and your mom is right they just make you smile. I am so looking forward to seeing your new house transform. You are an inspiration, thank you.

  43. Mary

    Love the hutch, the bird knobs and especially the paintbrushes! So cute! Such a great eye for detail.

  44. Katie Mansfield

    White porcelain knobs like that give me such a great feeling of nostalgia. I love the birds too.

  45. Lorna

    You had me with the birds but those paint brushes on the wall made me smile!

  46. happy wheels

    The cabinet you refreshed is very beautiful. You are so handsome, it looks like new.



  1. Happy List: #36 | A Pretty Happy Home - […] pretty much like anything Marian of Miss Mustard Seed […]

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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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