productive decorative play

by | Mar 30, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, Master Bedroom, My House, Room Makeovers | 54 comments

I was in a real funk on Saturday.  I think it had a lot to do with the dreary weather.  It was gray and our daily walk was shortened by a cool wind and a spittle of rain.  (Jeff’s second walk with Sebastian was shortened by a downpour laced with hail!)  The weather was just not conducive to a cheery day.  On top of that, I was just feeling down.  I wasn’t focusing on gratitude.

I did something I rarely do and just sat on the sofa and watched a movie on my iPad, tuning everyone else out with headphones.  I reconciled my bank accounts because it was something that needed to be done anyway.  And Jeff gave me precious time alone in my studio to listen to music and make color charts.

It was just what I needed.  I focused on mixing colors and applying them to a grid of taped-off one-inch squares.

Sunday morning was just as gray as Saturday and I could feel the tug of self-pity pulling on me again.  Nope.  Not today Today, I am going to set myself to something productive.  I’m not going to sit and read too many news articles informing me about all of the things I should be afraid of.  I made breakfast for Jeff and the boys and we played a few hands of Phase 10 (a card game for those who aren’t familiar with it.)  We laughed together and already the day was off to a more promising start.

I went upstairs, put on my “standards” playlist, and started to work on our master bedroom, prodded along by Ella and Frank.  If you were watching me, it didn’t look like I was doing much of anything.  I would sit on the chase and stare.  I would quickly get up and walk into the sewing room to get a bolt of fabric.  I’d spread it on the floor of the master bedroom, fold it over bed pillows, or lean it up against the curtains.

Finally, I started looking visibly productive.  I made the bed and scooted furniture.  I took pictures off the wall and rearranged accessories.  And then I started refining…removing things from the room, pinning fabric up on the wall behind the bed, and making a mental list of the things I needed to make or purchase.

I ended up with a pretty clear vision for the space, which has eluded me for the better part of two years.  The interesting thing is that I have most of the pieces and materials to carry out the plan, I just didn’t know it!  I hadn’t taken the unhurried time to play around, explore, and discover.  I had never even pulled out two huge bolts of pale blue and white checked fabric to see how they would work in the room and they work great!

So, this is where I landed…

I moved the melodeon to the wall between the closet and bathroom.  This is a tricky wall to furnish because it’s a traffic path and there is a large vent that needs to remain unobstructed.  It needs a narrow piece of furniture with an open base and, for a while now, I’ve been considering trying the melodeon there.

I have a large pair of shutters I want to try to hang behind it to give it more visual height and interest and I tucked a footstool under to hide the outlet and vent a little better.

I pinned up the Aviary Toile and small blue checked fabric behind the bed to get a visual idea of how a bed crown would look.  I’ve talked about this idea and pondered it for a long time, but I just couldn’t envision it.  With the fabric pinned up, even crudely, I could see that it would look great!  The toile will be on the back, against the wall, and the check will be draped in front and around the bed.  It’s a little hard to explain (as I learned when I tried to inform Jeff of my plans), but I can see it in my head and it’s going to look amazing.

I’m also going to look for and purchase a pair of mirrors to put on either side of the bed.  They will fill the space better and reflect light.  I have a pair picked out that are reasonably-priced, but I’m going to wait to order them until the Stay at Home order is lifted.

I’m also going to rework the bedding a bit, adding more color and pattern to the pillows and maybe even making a custom duvet cover.

I moved the French cane chair next to the wardrobe.  The seat needs to be repaired and I’ll make a new cover for the cushion.  I also pulled a couple of antique baby dresses from the closet.  I’d like to hang them in the room as art.

And, I decided I’m going to make a neutral linen slipcover for the chase.  I like the ticking, but it doesn’t work as well with the pale blue check.  The great thing about a slipcover is that I can always take it off if I want to show the ticking again.

Since I moved the melodeon, the space under the windows is open.  I would like to find something low to put in front of the windows…perhaps a trunk, a Swedish-style bench, or a small daybed.  I’ll just keep my eyes open for something that will work.

I was in the room for a few hours and it felt so good to have a direction and a plan to polish off the room.  I think it’s going to end up looking so pretty.  Here are the things on my to-do list…

  • Make the bed crown
  • Make a slipcover for the chase
  • Hang the shutters (or at least try them there)
  • Buy a pair of mirrors
  • Look for new (old) dressers to use as nightstands (the drawers in Jeff’s nightstand don’t work very well.)
  • Add picture frame molding and chair rail
  • Sew a few pillow covers for the bed and chase (possibly a duvet cover, too)

A few other things I’m thinking of doing –

  • Paint a pair of portraits to hang
  • Keep an eye out for a rug that might add some pattern and color over the beige carpet

It’s going to take a while for me to get all of these projects done, but I like having a vision for the room and I can’t wait to start carrying it out…


  1. beverlee lyons

    Sounds promising. I know it will be fabulous. Paint a portrait of your parents. Yours and his, especially as children. For each side! We will be watching!
    We are all in a funk. Everything is clean, and cooked…now the creativity needs to set in.

  2. Di

    I love the ideas and especially the fabrics. I love to embroider old dresses and love that you display baby dresses

  3. Brenda

    Love your Ideas! Can’t wait to see the results! I have a bed crown and I love it.

    • Carole Prisk

      Wondering why you are holding off on the mirrors? Is it because you are concerned about fomites on packing and products? I ask because I have been wondering about mail ordering things myself. Is it safe, or should we postpone purchases?

      • Marian Parsons

        The mirrors are only available for local store pick-up and we’re only going to the store for essentials right now. I have still been ordering online and I just open the packages outside, removing everything from the packaging, and disinfect any hard surfaces, and then wash my hands! Probably overkill, but I’m just trying to be cautious.

        • Tori

          Marian, that’s exactly how we are handling packages as well. Type 1 produces extra vigilance! Day 17 of self-imposed quarantine for us.
          Thank you for sharing these ideas. It encourages me even more to look around our home at what I can do with what I already have. 🙂

          • Marian Parsons

            Yes! While type 1 doesn’t affect the lungs, you know how haywire they get when sick. It almost always involves a trip to the ER for us to get him fluids.

  4. Susan

    Wisteria has a sweet blue Swedish bench that I’ve been looking at for a while. Might be too small, but it’s lovely.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, they have pretty stuff! I bet it’s beautiful. I’m planning to look for an antique if Gold Rush happens this August.

  5. Anne Langan

    I have long loved the coronet idea for over a bed…but have wondered how much of a dust collector the fabric would be? Also, have never seen just the right coronet type fixture…

    • Marian Parsons

      Just like full-length curtains, they will accumulate some dust. I just go over them with a vacuum with a brush attachment on and that keeps them pretty clean.

  6. Jo Ann

    Why not find an old cedar chest for under the windows? Great storage.
    Then paint it like you did for the place where you were in Europe. That would be outstanding. Cedar chests can be great for holding bolts and folded fabrics.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, that’s a possibility!

  7. Frances Kaklikian

    I can’t wait to see your bedroom when it’s finished!
    I would also love to know how you’re going to put the fabric on the wall.

    You and your family are in my prayers during these strange times. Both for your physical and mental health.

    God bless,

  8. Denise Wolfg

    Will be watching for the bed crown. Think about making one too but no ideas on how to do yet.

    • Kathie B

      Marian, I too was in a ‘funk’ (as you call it- must be an American term 🤷‍♀️) until I read your post. Now I’m sooo excited to see these projects unfold. You’ve given me something exciting to look forward to. Thank you for always being so inspiring. Blessings to you and you family.

  9. Elaine

    Thank you for sharing…I have been frustrated over being in a funk too many days when there is so much I could be doing. I am comforted to know even a talented & creative person like you has experienced it too. Today I am going through fabrics on hand & lots of decorating books to put some thoughts down for ways to freshen & change some spaces!

  10. Ellen Shook

    You are right: this will be gorgeous! We all need some time to “live in our own heads” and get things worked out. I have things I have had percolating for years before they came to fruition. You may not remember me, but I bought two of your French cane chairs like the one next to your armoire (at the Chapel Market a few years ago). I remember that you told me to make sure I had a sturdy cushion before sitting on them. When I finally made one (I didn’t allow anyone to sit on them before) I decided to cut a base for the cushion of luan so that the cane did not give way. It has worked great! Just a thought for you.

  11. Charlotte

    The room will be beautiful when you’re finished. I always find inspiration in your work.

  12. Jill Valeri

    Love the direction you are taking. Sometimes slow decorating is best. Have you considered putting the chaise in the bay window on a slight angle with a small side table an a petite floor lamp just behind it? I imagine it as a sunny spot to read.

    • Marian Parsons

      I have! I’ve also considered a pair of chairs in front of the window, but then I don’t know what to put in the corner by the wardrobe. It’s a little awkward…

      • Kathie B

        Would the melodeon work beside the wardrobe where the chaise is now and the chaise under the window? Can’t wait to see it unfold. You always have so many beautiful ideas.

  13. Mildred

    I don’t think you need anything under the window.
    Did you cover the walls in another bedroom with fabric? Have you made a tutorial for that?
    I don’t paint. Could you help me understand what you do with color charts?

    • Marian Parsons

      I have the fabric waiting for me and I haven’t done it, yet! That project was put on hold when I was having issues with my shoulder, then had surgery and needed to recover. Now, I’m good to do the project, but I have to paint all of the trim first and install a chair rail (which I can’t get right now.) I did get the paint, though, so I can start working on the trim. And yes, I will do a tutorial when I do it.

      • Kaitlyn

        Where did you get your bedding?! Simply lovely!

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, and the color charts are a way to practice mixing while making references. The studies I did on Saturday were two-color studies where I mix two colors together in different ratios and then with increasing ratios of white. It shows a lot of possibilities of colors with just two colors plus white.

  14. MaryJane

    I also only hope out for necessities, but have continued to purchase items on line.
    I alsoopen the box out side and disinfect all of the contents.
    I have been trying to support small businesses.
    Have a wonderful day and stay safe everyone!

  15. Win

    When you do the oil paint squares, do you lay it on with a brush or palette knife…I see the texture of the paint in there. Love it all.

    • Marian Parsons

      I use a 1″ palette knife, so it’s easy to stay within each square.

  16. MaryLisa

    I love the color palette. Have you thought of a small table or stool next to the chaise to put a drink on? It’s such a nice space.

  17. Jo Telfer

    Please make a post or video explaining the steps of doing the colour charts! I find it quiet confusing unless I see the steps involved. I have just purchased my very first oils and was brave enough to open them last night and have a play. I am sooo looking forward to the tutorial on Friday! I have even bought a cart and gathered all my art supplies and a corner in my dining room to begin. xx

  18. Sheila

    I’m going to ask if you don’t mind sharing… what color did you paint the walls? It’s so soothing and peaceful.

  19. Traci at Hembree House

    It’s going t look wonderful. Love the corona idea. I’ve had that in my “mental file” for one of my rooms, too.

  20. Julie Riley

    What color do you have on your bedroom walls?

  21. Lillie

    Where did you get your bed it is beautiful!!

  22. Mary S

    You make me love BLUE! Isn’t that funny?? I have very little in my house – just gray, and white. Wish you were closer and could “instruct” me on how to get more blue in here.

    Your bedroom will be fabulous! Can hardly wait to see it! What an inspiration you are.

    Stay well!

  23. Rachelle

    Don’t you just love it when decor starts to come together. It’s thrilling!
    A Swedish bench would be pretty under the window.

  24. Maureen Provost Ryan

    How about a window seat with the cushion atop it? The curtains could be hung in front of the window instead of inside the window. Could be great!

    • Debbie

      I love this idea of bringing the curtains out to cover the whole space! Wish I had a place to do it. Window seat could have storage. Kitties would love it!

  25. Lynnett Ratchford

    Until you get a permanent piece in front of the window you might try a plant or two.


    You are going to be so busy, Marian! This is a good thing in these days of such uncertainty,

    Your fabric is beautiful and goes so nicely together. Love all your ideas you shared with us. Once you have finished with all the decorating and your personal touches, your master bedroom is going to be so pretty. You do such a fabulous job with everything you do. You have been blessed with a wonderful gift and we appreciate you sharing your ideas with us.

    Take care! Bless you all!

  27. W

    I am so curious as to what book is on your nightstand? I need to find an inspirational book at this point.

  28. Maria Sullivan

    What a gorgeous room it is and how stunning it will be when you are finished. Love love the serene color palette. Where did you get your fabric? Love the check! Looking forward to seeing the changes unfold.

  29. Susan

    You room is and will be beautiful! My daughter (age 16) gasped when she saw your idea for the bed crown. Now she wants one but that will be difficult to accomplish in a bottom bunk.
    Thank you for continuing to post! Your blog is my happy place when I need to escape for a bit. 😊

  30. Beth B

    I can’t wait to see the finished product! Since you have a chair close to the window, what about some large, antique urns of varying height with houseplants in them? Looks like you get good light in that window. I love how your house has a French feel to it!!!

  31. PattiC

    Marian, my first thought for under your window is a bookcase. Of course, one would have to be built. You’d have the top for plants, etc. I like the mirror idea. I’ve thought about the same thing for my bedroom. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  32. Teresa

    This is such a welcome diversion from all the negative news 24/7. I have been waffling on the idea for over 6 years of painting our stained trim. Finally, yesterday I made the decision to just do it! I ordered everything on the phone through our local Ben Moore store and pre-paid. They aren’t allowing customers in the store but you can order and come pick it up curbside.

    Just wondering if Jeff is doing on-line church services during this time? Many pastors/churches are doing this in our area. Lets all keep the faith and keep praying each and every day that this “enemy” will be defeated soon.

  33. Pamela

    you may have actually had TWO productive decorating days. Saturday your mind wandered & rested so Sunday your creative juices could flow again. a hammer does 2 things to pound in a nail, it hits the nail on the head or it rests. it can’t pound if it doesn’t rest first. I have discovered that I already have most of what I need for a project after a long “think” staring at the space, it’s incredible when that happens.

  34. Carol

    Feel a little foolish for asking (as I should be able to locate the answer somewhere!) but what, may I ask, is the paint color used in your bedroom. I’m getting ready to make some changes and I just love it. Thanks so much!

    • Marian Parsons

      No problem! It’s Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore.

      • Carol

        Thank you so much!

  35. Jill

    I can’t wait to see the progress in all of these ideas! I loved your fabric wall in your last house, and totally can see where you’re going with your bed crown! I’ve always loved your room makeovers. I’m feeling a little drained creatively as well and reading this sparked something in me, thank you!

  36. Darlene

    Sounds beautiful can’t wait to watch the progress. Taking your time is much better, haste Always creates set backs! Love the fabric combinations you put together.
    Stay safe💕

  37. Angela

    So happy you will pick out mirrors. I have been interested in doing the same, and I will see what you decide and let it inspire me!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company