purchases for our imaginary future house…

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Antiques, Favorite Finds | 24 comments

If you get it, you get it.  One of the most exciting things about moving for people like me is anticipating what the next house will be.  I’ve been this way since I was in 6th grade when we moved back to the states and I was going to live in an actual house (not a military-issued apartment), I began to draw out plans for a room I hadn’t even seen yet.  I thought about wall colors, curtains, furniture arrangement possibilities, and how I would want to style my shelves.  I did this with every single move since… dreaming, planning, and sketching.  I do this even when I don’t know what the room or house looks like, yet!  It’s just an intuitive process based on gut-instinct and intangible wishes.

In thinking about what our future home might look like, I have that gut instinct.  I don’t know what the house will look like, but I know what I’m hoping for and I know how I want it to feel.  Based on that, I have been browsing around for inspiration, ideas, and yes…even things that are available for sale!  Oh, I know…  Marian, just wait until you have the house!  

But, when you see a one-of-a-kind piece that speaks to you, you just make it work.  You pay the “heavy suitcase” fee, hold something on your lap during a transatlantic flight, bury your shopping buddy in the back of your minivan, and you have things delivered to your parent’s house to wait in a pile in their garage until you buy a house.

Again…if you get it, you get it.

I really have been trying to restrain myself, but there have been a few things that were just too enticing to wait on.

I bought a couple of vintage dutch nautical paintings from Jade’s Art and Antiques.  She has some lovely works and I love the colors and style of these two pieces.

antique original dutch oil painting | miss mustard seed

antique original dutch oil painting | miss mustard seed

So beautiful, right?  So, now I’m on the hunt for reasonable antique gilt frames to fit them.  I have found some I like online but I haven’t found ones at quite the right price.  I’ll likely hit up some antique stores when I’m traveling around this summer, keeping those measurements on hand.  (They are 16 x 20 and 12 x 16 in case you spot something!)

Speaking of frames, I found this pair on eBay for $15!  For the pair.  One of them is 9 x 12, which is a standard-sized canvas but seems to be a difficult frame size to source.  I have been looking for one for ages for one of my paintings and I jumped at the chance to buy this one.  The other frame is great, too, although it’s an odd size.  I’ll cut a panel to fit it and paint something that suits.

So, those purchases were relatively small and reasonable, but I went off the deep end when I fell in love with this vintage kilim rug from Kilim Home Rug.  I’ve shared on this blog that rugs have always been my decorating nemesis!  In recent years, I have just surrendered to braided and woven jute rugs that are sufficiently neutral and inexpensive.  In the background, though, I’ve been looking at antique rugs.  The rug that I have loved through all of my phases has been the antique wool rug I inherited from my Opa.  I just love the warmth it brings to a room and it is so, so durable.

antique wool rug in cool neutral bathroom | miss mustard seed

Yes, I know it’s red, but it seems to be just the right red.

I sold most of the rugs in our MN house and have a vision of getting antique rugs that will bring warmth and pattern to our rooms.  I loved the soft warm tones in this rug mixed with my signature blues.  It’s traditional and interesting.  I hemmed and hawed over this one, but the seller gave me a great deal and I felt like it’s a size that would be versatile.  I am going to wait to buy any more until we have purchased a house, but you can bet that I will be taking measurements and then ordering some more rugs.

vintage kilim rug | miss mustard seed

vintage kilim rug | miss mustard seed

I mean, if I have some paintings, a frame, and a rug going to my parent’s house (and a book…ahem), I might as well just go for it.  I had this gorgeous original oil painting sitting in my cart for a few days and I kept going back to it.  It is from Artverum in Ukraine and I felt drawn not only by the painting itself but by the fact that I could support a creative business owner who is struggling under the reality of war.

This painting is  38′ x 27″, so it is big!  I can just imagine it over a dresser, a bedside table, a buffet, or a fireplace.  I love the expression on her face, the muted colors, and the pop of blue on the bonnet.

vintage ukraine oil painting portrait | miss mustard seed

I can’t wait to see her in person.

vintage ukraine oil painting portrait | miss mustard seed

In addition to purchasing just a few, teeny tiny things that will barely take up any space in a garage, I have been painting some pieces to put in our next house – an abstract and a couple of Velasquez studies.

The nice thing about selling so many things as we were packing up the house is that I’ve made lots of room to bring in new things.  I said I would and I’m not wasting any time getting started!


  1. Lynda

    Wow!!! I love everything you chose. I can’t wait to see what you put together in your next home.

  2. Linda O

    I too love everything you have collected for your new home. When I saw the first painting, I heard myself say, “Oh my” out loud — lol. I started following you prior to your first book coming out. You still amaze, impress, and amuse me. You make me stop to re-access myself and my decorating. Thank you.

  3. Kristine

    I GET it!! Last year we sold our house in California, and moved to NE Indiana. We had a 7 month rental to hold us over until we found and bought a house. And even though I had NO idea what it would look like, I packed and kept all the furniture I have and love, AND bought some new things that I knew I could not love without in our new home – whatever that may be. It has not worked out perfectly, but it’s worked out well enough. And I love our new home. Keep going with it – you will land in the right home for all your beauties!

  4. Anne

    Hi Marian, I’ve enjoyed reading your recent blogs about your big move as I too am in the process of searching for my next home. Backing up a second… I actually always enjoy reading your posts!! You’re so talented and creative!!! I too relocated back home (after 25+ years) to Bucks County PA. If I’m not mistaken you used to live in the Gettysburg area. I’m wondering if you can recommend some good hunting grounds for antique furniture? Or maybe direct me to one of your older posts with some places I could venture out to. I appreciate you sharing your craft – you’re so inspiring!!

  5. Mary

    Oh Marian, I thought of contacting a week ago, our art museum had a huge treasure sale and they had tons of antique guided frames in sizes small to very large and they were priced from $5.00 – $50.00 and most were in near perfect condition. On the last day of the sale they were 50% off. I had a message typed but deleted it because I thought she is moving and just sold all of her stuff.

  6. JoAnn

    I definitely get it. We were living in Petersburg, VA as my husband served in the Army. We were soon returning to MO to a farm home we would be living in , but I wasn’t very familiar with it. I found a great buy in a variety of drapery fabrics I liked. I asked my mother and sister to measure all the downstairs windows, and they did. I made the drapes and curtains and used them for many years. Sixty years later we still live there, altho it’s hardly recognizable as the same house. I enjoy your blog and books!

    • Mary S

      Hi JoAnn,
      I’m in St. Louis, MO and am trying to figure out how I can make a move to the Shanendoah Valley side of Virginia. I made all the drapes in this house and they are going with me, along with a couple of ceiling fixtures that I will NOT part with. Funny stores – going in the opposite directions. An antique lover, I’d like to search for a few pieces that can go anywhere. You know .. how we do that. 🙂

  7. mary m

    I have a Curran painting that I inherrited from my mother. I remember the day she bought it when I was a teenager. Curran painted mostly women. Anyway it is a woman sitting on a bench in a empire style red dress and just looking to the side. My mother used to study it every say and wonder what she was thinking or waiting for. So I hope you have many days of wondering what was ging on in that ladies head. When you do please let me know. lol

  8. Addie

    You are bad, bad, bad !!!!! And my kind of girl!!! Of course you are going to see wonderful things when it doesn’t make sense to get them…..it’s the law!!! I love it all and can’t wait to see the new place!!! Hurry!!!

  9. Mayanna

    If you buy only things you love, they will all go together and can be mixed and matched and moved from room to room.

    • Mary S

      Couldn’t agree with you more!!!!

  10. Sandy

    Looking forward to seeing these lovely things in their eventual home. 🥰

  11. Kim

    For anyone who is an artist AND collector, buying things ahead of time is pure practicality!

    And that rug, the “red” color is exactly like a muted version of the Scandinavian Pink chalk paint by Annie Sloan!

  12. Jeanna

    😂 i think all people who” feather a nest” do so as a compulsion- you cant help it! When we lived in my parents basement for 2 years while we built- my under bed hidey hole was packed! My side might have been slightly askew. Those squirreled away treasures just add an instant homey-ness to a new space. Looking forward to seeing where you land and the creative journey you will take in making it a Marian styled home.

  13. Lisa

    I always enjoy your postings and I LOVE your new finds! Question, please. I recently inherited a painting that my grandmother painted many years ago. I am wondering if you have any tips on how to clean it? I think it is either oil or acrylic. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Thank you,

    • Rhonda K

      I am definitely interested in hearing about this. I recently received to oil paintings that my great grandmother did. They lived in a house of smokers. They are yellowed and could use some love!

  14. Tori

    Marian, I have so loved watching your style evolve over the last decade+! And it made my heart so happy to see you bought a painting you could enjoy, and support a creative Ukrainian, in what must be the most difficult time. I know the transaction will bless you both!💛💙

  15. Sharon Rexroad

    Oh, I’m definitely in the “buy what you love and it’ll work in the new house” camp. I bought the rug that is now in my living room six months before I bought a house – and still love that it brings out all “my” colors. Salmon to Russet Red + a cross between French Blue & Aqua to Midnight + Buttercream to Topaz. It’s the primary colors, Sharon style.

    To tell you how long this has been “my” palette, the floral chintz that will become my living room drapes has been in my stash since chintz was last in style (ie, late 1980s) and is a navy and french blue moire background covered with salmon and butter yellow roses. I think I bought it at a Ben Franklin, of all places, and have the exact yardage needed to have perfect repeats for two talllll windows in a room with 12′ ceilings.

    • Mary

      Old frames are fairly easy to repair if just the plaster is missing in spots. They are super cheap too. I’ve done several and you cannot tell once you make a mold if moding clay, fill with Richard compound and sand to fit tightly in the sopt. Then paint /leaf it and age it….great price too. I’m doing one right now that needed a bit wider frame to match it’s companion so gold mat board will fill the gap between the frame and matting.

  16. Rhonda Bowles

    This blue and pink and green rug is stunning! Any more available?

    • Marian Parsons

      I thought so, too! It is vintage, but you can check out the dealer’s Etsy store and he has a lot of rugs available!


    Next time you go to Stillwater cross the St Croix and go into the Hudson side. It has wonderful shops and a lovely chocolate store. Plus the performing arts center has an antique organ I am certain you would appreciate seeing. My personal favorite are the chocolate banana gummy bears and a small tray of truffles.

  18. K

    Regarding your Ukranian purchase: Are you 100% quite sure the art on this site is not LOOTED from homes/museums in Ukraine? Did you notice how many Stalin and Russian soldier paintings as well as paintings from the 30’s and earlier? Are they looted?

    Intercepted recording PUTIN STATED TO TROOPS: “That is, in short, it is not criminally punishable that we loot. This is allowed. Putin allowed it. The decree stated that looting was allowed,” said the source, who is believed to be a Russian soldier stationed in Ukraine

    BEWARE of what you are encouraging

    • Marian Parsons

      That is a good point. This seller has over 2,400 reviews on Etsy, so they have been selling original art long before the war and are well rated. I felt like this was a pretty safe purchase. If it was from a brand new seller, I would be more hesitant.


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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