I have always loved this corner of the studio…  the oak hutch with the bird pulls, filled with art books.  The vertical row of brushes and the dress form flanking it.

Having a good storage piece seemed like the best solution for that wall, but once I started really using this space, I realized that the oak hutch only provided a fraction of the storage I needed.  I had bulky photography equipment and video lighting and tripods and stands tucked all over the house and I really dislike work stuff encroaching on spaces meant to be just our home.  (I know it’s a fine line, but I try to keep the spaces distinct as much as possible.)

So, over the Christmas break, I made a list of things I wanted and needed in my workspaces.  More storage was at the top of the list and that had me looking a little harder at this corner.  I drew out the idea of a built-in closet and then I pitched it to Jeff.

Thankfully, he’s handy with a saw and willing to do woodworking projects for me!  He agreed this would be a doable project, so we drew up more specific plans and a materials/cut list and we made room for the new closet when we did the great workspace furniture shuffle.

We were plastered with almost a foot of snow Saturday night and then had a “ground blizzard” on Sunday, so church services were canceled.  With a rare free Sunday, Jeff started working on the closet.  As a side note, I had never heard of a ground blizzard.  It’s when the winds are so strong that they blow around all of the snow on the ground causing massive drifts and whiteout conditions.  Given that we’ve had almost 40″ of snow in February, that was a lot of snow blowing around and it created havoc in our area.

Anyway, the ground blizzard meant the studio could get a closet.

We designed and built a simple frame out of 2 x 4s…think garage shelving.  It doesn’t have to be pretty, because it’s going to be clad in v-groove boards to match the painted tongue and groove boards on the walls and ceiling.  It just has to be strong.

We worked on it here and there through the day and by the end of Sunday, we had the shelves built and I already moved my stuff in.  Anyone else like that?  You just can’t wait to populate a new space, even if it’s unfinished?

All of the work that remains is on the outside of the closet, so stuff on the shelves wouldn’t get in the way.  It’s not organized, yet, so I’ll make better use of the space once I sort through everything.  It was so nice to get all of my bulky recording/lighting gear in one place, though!  It was spread out over the laundry room, garage, hall closet, living room, and the basement storage room!  I found that I hardly pulled it out to use (even when I needed it) because it was too much of a pain to track it all down!

Jeff has Mondays off, so he worked yesterday on attaching the v-groove planks on the side and tacking poplar 1 x 4s on the front to finish off the 2 x 4s.  We’ll then build doors out of the v-groove planks, trim the top and bottom, and paint it all out the same color as the wall.

I also hung my chalkboard (you can see how I made it with an old frame and MMS Milk Paint HERE) over the drafting table.  I have an upcoming project that I’ll display on it.

Initially, I thought I would use this room for more furniture photography, so I felt like I needed to keep a large stretch of wall empty.  This bit of wall between the art cabinet and the closet will be used for that purpose.  (And I have some furniture projects coming up!)

The chalkboard just hangs on one nail and the drafting table is on sliders, so I’ll just move those out of the way when I have a piece of furniture to style and photograph.  And, when I’m not using it for that purpose, I can make good use of the space.

And, speaking of the studio, having this beautiful new space (along with an arm that is working a bit better) has inspired me to spend more time at the easel and my drying shelves are getting pretty full!

I made my latest hare along with some landscapes and still life paintings available for purchase on Society6.  I also have a pretty sizeable stack of paintings I’ll be listing for sale later this week.


  1. Mary

    Your talent at painting has come so far, it’s an inspiration to see that you studied, read, started, and practiced lots to get to this point. This can apply to most areas of life. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  2. Terry A.

    I love that painting of the hare. I just purchased it. Where are you going to hang that cow painting (my favorite) that needs to be relocated?

    I also love seeing how your home has evolved and changed to meet your needs. It is so inspiring!

    • Marian Parsons

      I’m not sure, yet. We have a few rooms in the house that I haven’t really worked on, yet, so I’m hoping it will work nicely in one of those.

  3. Wendy Selego

    I was reading your IG story on the picture a day and it made me think of an artist from whom I have bought here in PA, Andy Smith. I feel you would be interested in his story too. https://andysmithartist.blogspot.com/

  4. Stacey Arps

    Love your studio space. The light, the new furniture layout…Having things organized makes it easier for me to be creative. No wonder you are motivated to paint!

    I also enjoyed yesterday’s home tour. Your home is becoming a beautiful reflection of you and your family: warm and inviting, as well as creative and practical.


    I love the wooden clamps on your drafting board!

  6. Laura Scott

    You are so inspiring. Do you ever sell your original artwork?

    Laura Scott

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I sell almost all of my original artwork. I have a bit of a stash to list and sell right now.

      • Lynn

        Do you paint on commission? I would love a painting but need a larger size than available on Society 6?

  7. Diane Scherbarth

    Hi Marion–there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a well organized and functional work space! Yours is beautiful! I’m wondering where you got the white rolling utility carts in the closet? I love that they have handles at the top to help move them around the room.

    • Marian Parsons

      They are from Target! You can find them online or they are typically in the “dorm room furniture” section.

      • beverlee lyons

        Michaels has those rolling carts also, for $30 this week.

    • B Folk

      Hi, Diane,

      The rolling cart at Michael’s that beverlee told you about: if you are a military family with a card, that may be an item that you can get a Military Discount on (15%) at Michael’s. Worth a try.

  8. Nancy

    I really enjoyed the tour of your beautiful home yesterday – it was so inspiring! I also hope that you post a tutorial on how you and Jeff build the v groove doors!

  9. Sharon

    I love the painting of the lamb. They hold a special part in my life since the death of my nephew 17 years ago.

  10. logan wilhelm

    Your paintings are amazing, wonderful to see the development of your skill!

  11. Paige Green

    The closet looks like it’s going to be awesome!
    I love the hare picture. I have been looking for something for my daughter’s room, but it needs to be in a lighter pallet than that.
    Congrats on all of the organization!

  12. Mel

    I love your blog. Your decorating style, your art.

  13. Vicki

    I live in Montana and we too have experienced massive amounts of snow in February. We had a ground blizzard last night and all schools, and lots of businesses were closed today, Wednesday. Not the usual weather even for Montana winters…It is still very cold but has ceased snowing after 5 days…

  14. Ellette

    Your paintings are beautiful, I especially love the hare. I know you started with watercolor but do you feel oils are easier to work with? I have a artist friend that paints with oils and that is what he said to me.

  15. Dana

    I just wanted to say I too am amazed at how far your painting has progressed! The “Hare” is outstanding!

  16. Leslie

    Love all the changes to your studio, it is so reflective of you. It has a natural flow and the visual appeal is so delightful. Love the options on your Society6 site, that Hare print on a IPhone case is just darling. I might have to get rid of my Droid and get an IPhone now……hmmm I am seriouly thing about it, I mean my phone is over 4 yrs old it’s time.

  17. Cheryl

    Hi I’ve been reading your posts since I bought your paint last year in a shop in Buffalo, MN. It worked well and was easier than I thought it would be😊. My question now is would it be durable enough to use on kitchen cabinets??

    • Brenda C

      Hi Cheryl- Marian has painted the kitchen cabinets in both of her houses and did not use milk paint either time. If you go to her search bar and type in “painting kitchen cabinets” you will get lots of results that show her reasons, procedures, and lots of before and after photos. It’s a big undertaking!

  18. Marlene Stephenson

    Everything looks very organized and you are getting more creative, glad your arm is better.

  19. Sam Thomson

    I love the picture of the hare. Would you mind sharing how you developed your painting skills -did you attend classes or self study? I ask because my daughter is very keen on drawing and I’d like to encourage her to do so but I’m not sure which direction to steer her?

  20. Crystal


    I just wanted to tell you that your artwork consistently takes my breath away! I thought you were great before, but even I can see how much progress you’ve been making.
    So many of them cause me to audibly gasp. Incredible work!!! I’m enjoying it all so much.
    Glad to hear your shoulder is mending- continued prayers for you… 🙂

  21. Shelia P.

    Hi Marian! I want to buy that sheep painting! I collect sheep and a few paintings of sheep mostly religious in nature. That painting is adorable and I love it! Please let me know when you’re ready to sell it? I adore the hare too, it reminds me of the wild hares we have in the woods surrounding our home. They are so much fun to watch! Your painting is really progressing and it’s such a joy to see! I loved your bookcase in your studio, but I can see you clearly needed more storage. Good for Jeff being a sweet hubby and building you a closet! I’m not clear on how you’re going to clad the front, so I can’t wait to see! You’re going to run out of home projects soon! The house is really coming together, it looks great! Don’t forget not to over do it just because your arm is feeling better! Take it easy! Stay warm and enjoy your day tomorrow! 😊

  22. Kelly

    Hi Marian! Newish reader here… The room looks amazing! I’m so glad I found your blog! I moved to the country last summer and pass the most beautiful pasture of cows every morning on the way to school. I’ve been telling my kids I want to buy an art print of cows grazing and then I saw today’s post and your amazing cow painting on the wall in your studio! I just looked at all your amazing work on society 6… any chance you will be selling an art print of that cow painting or something similar? I love the green colors in it 🙂 I’m guessing it lost it’s spot on that wall because of your built ins though. Can’t wait to see where you decide to hang it.

  23. B Folk

    Have had quite the snowy winter here the past month in the Great Pacific “Northwet” as well. The ski resorts and other snow-based attractions are very grateful, and the snow pack means plenty of water after the Spring thaw. No fun to be out in the wind chills, though. Everyone stay safe and bundle up, and enjoy staying indoors to read Marian’s posts:)

  24. Monica

    I love all of the changes you have made in your new home. I’m especially liking your changes in your workspace. Just one thing for better feng shui … please turn that gorgeous work table around so that you can look out at your beautiful space and windows rather than having your back to the room and the windows. 😉

  25. Katja

    Could you please share what kind of nail gun you were using for this project?
    The closet turned out just great. I will try to replicate this, so I´ll get the verry much needed storage space…

    • Marian Parsons

      We use a DeWalt angled finishing nailer.


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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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