family room gallery

by | Dec 3, 2013 | Before and Afters, Family Room, My House | 57 comments

 Before I show you the chair and the rugs, I had to share a sweet gift I received in the mail yesterday.  It’s an ironstone thimble!

Look at the little mark inside.  And it was wrapped with a paper tape measure bow.  I swear, I have some of the best readers.  Thank you, Susan.

Now, on to the slipcovered chair.  Any guesses which one I pecked away at over the holidays? If you guessed one of the green velvet chairs, you’re right!

I know a lot of you loved them as is and I’ve used them that way for a while, but it was time to change them up.  I don’t mind a touch of green in the paintings and from the boxwood, but I’m trying to de-green a bit.  Here’s the result…

I know you perfectionists are looking at that crooked piece in the front.  You know who you are.  I’m at peace with it.


I used some antique hemp sheet and a part of an antique duvet cover for it.  I upholstered the back and arms, but slipcovered the seat.  That makes it washable and I just love the ruffles and ties on a chair like this.

The dark wood is a little scratched and worn, but I kept it as is.  Would you believe I got these chairs for $10/each at a yard sale?  Yes, I did.

And there’s a little surprise on the back.  It’s a lovely embroidered linen fabric by Williamsburg Deane from  At $41.25/yard, it’s a splurge, but you only need a little bit for the backs of chairs like these…maybe a yard.  I’m going to use some for pillows, too.

The ties are made out of grosgrain ribbon I purchased a few years ago from a ribbon outlet.


The gimp is Ivory French Gimp from  It’s just hot glued on.  Believe it or not, that’s how it’s done!  You can add some tacks or trim staples, but I’ve never had hot glued trim come loose.

Now…it’s time to work on the next one!

When I put the brown needlepoint pillow in the chair, I realized that brown was a natural complementary color choice for this room with the dark wood floors.  It gives a break from the blue and white and gives me another fabric to work with.  So, I bought a couple of yards of this fabric by Richloom to make pillows out of.  I love that it looks like old crewel work and introduces some other colors in small doses.  The brown leather sofa I’d like to get is the medium light brown in the vines, so I think that will be enough to tie it in.

And, when I get tired of it, it’s just a few pillows, so I can fall in love with a new fabric and make some different ones.


Now, to the rugs I have for sale.  I have quite a stash and I decided it’s time to sell them off.  It’s nice having a stash, so I have options when I change my mind, but it’s stilly to have really nice, practically new wool rugs hanging out in my basement when someone else can enjoy them.  They are all in very nice condition and come from a pet-free, smoke-free home.  This isn’t a people-free home, though, so there are a few tiny spots here and there from the drip of a drink, but no big blemishes.  I’ll remove the rugs from this post once they are sold, so if you see them, they are still available.  I’m only selling to people who can come pick them up near Gettysburg, PA.  Shoot me an e-mail if you want one!  (

I love this rug, but the colors weren’t quite right for my room.  8×10 100% hand knotted wool Brindle Stripe Sea Rug by Dash & Albert.  New, it’s $1140 and I’m selling it for $500.

Target 100% wool hand hooked Azul Floral 5 x 7 rug.  This one is no longer available from Target and is probably the hardest for me to sell.  It’s $150.

All of the proceeds from the rug sales will go to my leather sofa fund!  Isn’t purging fun?


  1. Kayla

    Gah! Marian!! Why aren’t you a shipping depot?!! PA is a little far from IL, or I’d be on a road trip. 😉

    I just bought the Safavieh Cambridge 5×8 one in black and ivory because they didn’t have it in navy! I wanted navy SO bad!! Darn the luck!

  2. Monica

    I’m surprised you’re selling the rug in your family room – it would go great with the leather sofa too!

  3. Marti

    I get a little pain in my stomache when I’m “flipping through the blog and see the coffee table you no longer have. 🙁 I just Love that table! I Also love the rug under it! Oh how I wish I lived in your neighborhood! 🙂

  4. Yuko @ northfield gate

    I LOVE the slip-covered upholstered chairs! Your de-greening effort certainly worked! I also adore the ironstone thimble. That’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen.

    I recently started my blog called “northfield gate.” Would you stop by some time when you get a chance?? I’d love to hear what you think!

    Have a great day~ ox

  5. Monica

    Forgot to mention: I hope someday you’ll do a video tutorial on how to reupholster chairs like your green ones. My mom has two newer chairs the same style but outdated colors and I’d love to know how much is involved in reupholsering them!

  6. dawn

    do you ship????

    • dawn

      sorry, forgot to say which one…I am interested in the little red one and the 8×10 Cambridge. Thanks!

  7. Elizabeth

    Just curious, what leather sofa do you have your eye on? I have been looking for one too, but have yet to find a style I truly love. I seem to like your taste so maybe I’ll copy what you get :).

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I am saving for the Brooklyn leather sofa from Pottery Barn. I’m going with the lighter shade of brown. It’s around $3000, so I’m saving up and hoping to catch it on sale!

      • Kay

        Don’t forget that Pottery Barn has special financing … interest free … on larger purchases. That allowed me to get the king-sized upholstered headboard of my dreams! I look at it as being kinda like “layaway!” 🙂

        • Kristin

          Get the PB credit card! 10% back on all purchases. I have only purchased smaller items for the home in the last year and have $100 in reward certificates. Alot of people don’t seem to know about it. I love their frames. Those add up–even on sale and I get money back. If you buy a couch for 3K you’ll get $300 back! Last fall we redid my daughter’s room. What luck that they had DOUBLE rewards! It really is great fun to have that “free” money after. An excuse to buy something else. 🙂

      • Kim


        We bought a light brown leather sofa. When we placed it in the room it had a orange tint to it. The light brown may have this same affect with your current color pallet in your home.

  8. connie hayden

    where did you get the brown cotton pillow?

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      My mother-in-law’s friend gave me the needlepoint and I made the pillow out of it. I wish I had a dozen of them!

  9. MelanieG

    I’ve been looking everywhere for the blue Safavieh rug 8×10. How can I purchase? Is it available in your shop?

  10. Karen

    I bought that same brown “crewel” fabric to cover the seats of my breakfast room chairs. No one else has my vision (talking about the family here), but I know it will be superb with my blue/cream ikat drapes, especially after I reglue the chairs and give them a coat of MMS milk paint!

  11. Christine

    Missy Mustard,
    ha! I love how you added the cool fabric on the back of the chairs. Love all your ideas!

  12. Susan

    I LOVE the rug from Target… wish I was closer! I have the same rug in a long runner… it is perfect and so stunning! Also the Safavieh Cambridge 100% wool rugs are nice though a little too blue for me… what a bargain though!!!

  13. kristi

    If I were keeping a particular antique French chair, I do believe I’d have to copy your design! I am swooning and about to faint! Why can’t I have your skills??

  14. Shirley Yates

    I held my breathe to see if you are selling the script bamboo mat. I didn’t see it does that mean you will hang onto it or will you be selling it? I really love that look but, everything you do is great. You are so talented. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  15. Miss Mustard Seed

    I actually already sold THE bamboo mat that’s been in my dining room for a few years. I do have another one that’s brand new and I’ll sell it for $150, if you’re interested. I also have the runner…

  16. Margaret

    That needlepoint pillow is so charming! Love. I also love the other brown fabric. Awesome with the blue/white. Great picks!

  17. Pamela Barnabo

    I am a recovering perfectionist! When you mentioned that little imperfection on the front fabric of the chair I thought…ach…antiques and vintage reproductions should not look perfect anyways. I love the result of the chairs! So fun to have something you’ve transformed yourself! Please post a picture when you get your new sofa! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  18. Jeannine

    I love everything you do! I’m a devoted follower.
    But, do you still have the bamboo, typography rug in your basement? Is it safe?! Will paint find its way there?

    I have coveted that rug since you first showed it. I finally splurged and ordered one from the daily deal site and there was a flaw in it that I couldn’t live with so I sent it back.

  19. Rondell

    Even living near Pittsburgh is to far, for me anyway, love the leather sofa you are saving for and the chair is fab.

  20. Susan

    I feel almost famous!! Your photo makes it look so adorable. It’s so funny that when I spotted this cute little ironstone thimble my first thought was “oh wow Marion would love this”! as if I know you so personally…lol. Keep inspiring and moving mountains 😉

  21. Marlene

    All beautiful – wish I didn’t have so many Dr. bills and lived a little closer – You are so very talented and looking great.

  22. Kay

    Love the chair re-do with the skirt and the natural look, especially the surprise fabric on the back! Don’t think the brown pillow goes in it at all. Wish that Target rug was larger, it would be mine! 🙂

  23. Lorretta from NH

    Wouldn’t you consider moving further north to NH so I can get in on the deals you spread around? Wonderful chair!

  24. Kimberly

    I’m interested in the Safavieh Cambridge 8 x 10 but don’t live close. Would you consider shipping?

  25. Danielle

    Oh, wow! The chair is amazing. Love every bit of it. Such great rugs you’re selling. I wish I had some to sell to start my leather couch fund. Can’t wait to see it once you get it. x

  26. Dorthey

    I really like your rugs and slipcovers, but my family has already reached the brown leather sofa stage. We have 3 boys, 17, 14, and 11. We have a brown leather sofa and loveseat downstairs in the family room and a brown microfiber and leather sectional upstairs. I must admit I have had white slipcover envy when I look at your décor. It simply won’t work in my home even though we don’t wear shoes in the house or eat in the living room. You won’t regret the leather sofa unless your pets find it to be a nice scratching post.

  27. beck campbell

    Marion…start checking out auctions. I bought a BEAUTIFUL custom leather sofa for $600 at an estate auction. I wanted it soooo desperately for my den….until I was reminded what my kitties have done to my leather chair in the living room. I ended up selling it on craigslist for a loss! Anywho…estate auctions can be great places to find expensive pieces for not a lot of money!
    I bought an ironstone pitcher at an auction for around $4 this weekend…and an entire set including plates, 3 serving dishes and cream and sugar for $5! Ironstone is tough to find around here but the upside is not a lot of people know about it so it goes pretty cheap!

  28. Lori Terceira

    I’m so tempted to change my color scheme for my living room/dining room because I love the colors in each of those rugs! What are you going to do with your slip covered sofa once you get your leather one?

  29. Melissa Linnenburger

    I was a green velvet fan, but I love what you’ve done with the chair! It’s nice to see you refinishing stuff again (feels like it’s been a little while)! Maybe I’ll get inspired and tackle my chair hoard. 🙂

  30. Anne Boykin

    Dear MMS, Happy Holidays! I love what you did with the chair and I love that you have a leather sofa fund. That needlepoint pillow is so sweet. I sure enjoy seeing your taste grow and the changes you make. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  31. Talitha

    That chair looks beautiful! I love the pretty surprise on the back! Does that mean the chair gets a new place, or will you turn it around for every visitor? I know I would, if I had accomplished something pretty like that! 🙂


    Leather sofa….look at Restoration Hardware…to die for

  33. lauren

    I’m interested in the Dash and Albert Rug, but I’m out of the area until after Christmas… I’m sure you have plenty of people ready to snap it up but please email if we could work something out.

  34. Jeanine C

    Love the new look on the chair and the darling pillow.

    How did you do the back?

    I have 2 similar chairs gifted to me that I have needed to redo for a long time.


  35. Erin

    Ohhhhhh, how I wish I could have that chair. I just love it. I need something for my desk and that would be perfect. Only problem is, I live in Cali. 🙁

  36. beverlee lyons

    so glad you are going back to the blue and white…mostly. I like the green in small doses, but am a blue and white purest, for the most part….thanks for sharing.

  37. Marisa

    What crooked piece? The slipcover looks fantastic to me 🙂

  38. Kellene Ellexson

    You don’t happen to have a tutorial floating around….on how to upholster chair backs like the the ones you show in this post? :-)! Love the way they turned out!!!!


  39. Donna

    I’m a fan of green and blue. I loved how the green velvet tied in with the painting, but I love your re-do more. My favorite is the surprise back and the ruffled skirt. But, I especially love that pillow! It ties the chess set in to that area even more, too. So cute!

  40. Nancy

    Hi Miss Mustard Seed – Absolutely LOVE the punch of fabric on the back of the chair. Well done!

  41. Jelena

    Oh, that thimble is just precious!

    …And I like what you did with one of the green chairs. Are they too big for your dining room? Now that the chair is upholstered and slipcovered, I think it would go well with your French cane dining room chairs.

  42. irishMimi

    Totally IN LOVE w/ your redo (and the green was pretty, but this is prettier). All of your special touches make it wonderful.
    And I consider myself a perfectionist BUT even after you pointed it out, the piping “blip” didn’t bother me at ALL. I think that if I’d done it myself, it would have bothered me (because I did it and would be so AWARE of it). But really, I’m not sure I’d have even noticed it very much at all if you hadn’t pointed it out.
    So the lesson here is: cut yourself some slack and don’t point out your “less than perfect bits” – no one else will notice!!!

  43. Kelley

    Tell me, Marian. Do you Scotchguard any fabrics before/after you slipcover or reupholster with them?

    Happy week,

  44. PattyM

    Marian, seeing the upholstery and slipcover work, made me think about your super-duper sewing machine. Are you happy with it? Love the fabric on the back of the chair.

  45. Sarah Lahrman

    Totally love the chair redo!! You are such a talented woman…I keep hoping your talent oozes through the computer screen when I read your posts 🙂

    My husband and I are also looking to purchase a leather couch for our living room…would love to have cream but my husband shakes his head and says “you will never be happy with trying to keep it clean with 2 boys and 2 dogs”. *SIGH* At least I can have cream-colored pillows on the couch! I do love the selection at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware though. Good luck with selling those rugs and saving up for the couch purchase! Can’t wait to see it, and like another reader I may just have to copy how you work it into your space 🙂

  46. Jennifer McCracken

    The chair looks great! I just love the pillow you have on it! It looks like cotton bolls! So pretty!

  47. Missy S

    Hi Marion,
    I’m sure you’ve hit up the PB outlet in Lancaster, but I thought I’d let you know that you can give them your name and they will phone you when an item comes in. They will hold it for you until end of business that day or the next, I think. You could try that to get your leather sofa for a good deal. I was able to get the hutch for my Graham desk for $125 instead of $600. Good luck to you!

  48. Nancy

    LOL. I was looking at the front of the slipcover as I was reading, and, yes, I am a bit of a sewing perfectionist. Obviously not one when it comes to typing.

  49. Sandra

    For someone who says she does not love sewing, you do a wonderful job….wish I had the patience to make slipcovers and pillows…..

  50. MaryS

    About those re-covered (formerly green) chairs…. WOW — Be still my heart. LOVE them… a whole bunch more than green velvet. Nice job.

  51. Susan

    Target 100% wool hand hooked Azul Floral 5 x 7 rug… IF you haven’t sold this and would consider shipping please let me know… thanks. susan


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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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