studio transformation | part 4

Marian ParsonsMustard Seed Studio, My House, Room Makeovers53 Comments

We’re almost there!  The studio is nearing completion and I am so excited to be able to start using this space now that it’s insulated, climate-controlled, and the walls are back on!

Today, the wall around the mini-split went up and it looks so good!  Of course, it still needs to be painted, but that will be happening this week.

A few of you have asked about the mini-split.  It’s a Mitsubishi unit that heats and cools, similar to something you might find in a hotel room, except this one is actually quiet!  I have found myself putting my hand over it to make sure it’s working.  It is, though it’s just a quiet little thing.  It’s also a lot more not-ugly than I thought it would be!  I realize that’s a poorly structured sentence, but I was just expecting it to be an eye-sore.  It just blends in and looks quite sleek.  It will blend in even more once we add the built-in shelves on either side of it.

There is also a unit outside that looks like a small air conditioning unit.  It’s tucked under our deck, so it’ll be sheltered from the wind this winter.

I sort of hate spending money on not-fun things like a mini-split, but it was a necessary expense to make this room functional year-round and a low investment for the kind of space I gained for my business.

The real test will be the bitter-cold winter days, so I’ll let you know how it goes.  It is graded to work as low as -7 degrees and this room does get lots of sun, which will bring in a bit of solar heat, hopefully!

My new desk chair from Joss & Main also arrived last week…

I still can’t believe I selected a mid-century modern style desk chair, but it really works in this space.

It’s comfortable and a good size for the drafting table.  I pretty much always want to buy something that’s old, but when it comes to desk chairs, it’s nice to get something that’s made for modern comfort and safety.

And, I finally picked up a studio easel!  It was a big step for me.  I’ve been looking at them for a long time, but felt intimidated for some reason.  Having a real studio easel means I need to paint on real canvas!  There is an expectation.  But, I need to push myself to take that plunge and just go for it.

I purchased this lyre easel from Hobby Lobby and it came to $55 with a 40% off coupon.

I will say that it’s a miracle this thing is together, though.  The instructions it came with gave you a lot of credit…assuming that easel assembly was something intuitive.  It took a little figuring and some extra hands to hold things in place, but we got it up.  I have a couple of extra pieces, so I hope they aren’t too important.

Now, I just need the time to paint.

I feel like I’m still playing catch-up from the move and having the boys home this summer, so I haven’t had much time just to sit and create.  Plus, I’ve been working on the house!  I’m hoping to make some time later this week, though.  That time is important and creativity seems to feed off of those unhurried moments shared with a blank piece of paper and good music playing in the background…

studio transformation | part 4

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53 Comments on “studio transformation | part 4”

  1. The studio looks amazing! We researched mini-splits when we were thinking about converting our screen porch into a four-seasons room and the Mitsubishi ranked the highest among consumers plus I like that it is more slim line than some of the others.

    Love that you added a little MCM in your décor with the chair choice. I know its not really your thing but because mid-century has such clean lines it can often work and blend with other styles.

  2. I have never heard of a mini-split and I even lived in Minnesota for 2 years (grad school). Your space is turning out great — really love your slanted desk (I know there’s a real name for it, but it eludes me at the moment). I hope the studio becomes the creative space you envision.

  3. I’m sure you’re wishing it had a matte finish instead of glossy. lol I had no idea that you could get an easel that economical. What do you use for playing your music?

    1. I play the Frank Sinatra channel on Pandora and use my iPhone and a Bose bluetooth speaker.

      1. I too am curious about the white floors but presume that you’ve taken everything into consideration and all is well. I want to LIVE inside your studio! All that’s needed is the music (classical, please) and a hot decaf latte!

        Thank you for answering my question “has she been creating for the business?” You ARE still creating it’s just focused on your new home and that is a BIG project. And we, your MMS groupies or “little mustard seeds”, are enjoying every minute of it!

        If I wasn’t afraid of things that move unexpectedly up and down I’d hop on a plane and arrive at your doorstep to beg you to let me volunteer and help you for a day or two. That’s as much time as my cat and dog (Nicholas and Mikey) would allow me to be gone. LOL.

        BTW, I notice that you are replying to more comments than usual and I enjoy that interaction in your blog.

        And YES! Frank Sinatra would definitely get me in the mood! He had the best arrangers in the business. And tell me if I’m correct…do you sing duets with him? Saw him when he was the Grand Marshall at the Rose Parade one year and “yes” his eyes, even from the bleachers, were an incredible blue, thus the “blue eyes” nickname is well deserved. I may not have liked his lifestyle but the man could sing!

  4. I think you should not paint that new wall by the split. I love the wood tones with your older pieces and with your new contemporary chair and drafting table. It just gives the room a little somethin’!

    1. I was thinking about leaving it wood, too, but the wood isn’t as nice as it looks in the picture and it’s very orange. I also am installing white shelves alongside the mini-split, so it’s all going to be painted.

  5. The room looks incredible Marian! I know I keep saying this but I truly can’t get over the pace that you’ve set to get your house in order. When we moved into our house (22 years ago) after we built it, I was so overwhelmed by the move that it took me about six months before I felt like everything was kind of in it’s rightful place! I love the new desk and chair and your easel will get good use I’m sure!

    1. Ha, I still feel like things are just thrown into places, but there are some things I just need to get finished, so I can do my work and so the house feels like home. I’m going to hit a wall at some point, though! 🙂

  6. HI Marian,

    Could you post an update on how the split unit is working out for you after a few months? We just bought a craftsman cottage we are renovating and I am hoping to put the same split unit into the renovated attic which we will use as the master suite. Love your work space!

    1. Yes, definitely! So far, it’s cooling very well, but it hasn’t been super hot or anything.

      1. Yes, I’d love this information on the mini-split also. This would be perfect for my laundry room. Currently we have a gas heater in there that leaves a film on my walls and before I do the remodeling needed in there I want to replace that.

    2. We installed a mini-split, high wall mounted unit just to air condition our very large, cathedral ceiling bedroom(21×14′)- it worked very well, but it was noisy and looks SOO ugly!
      We finally splurged and had the house centrally airconditioned. These lower -to-the -ground units seem to be much better, esp as they are not so noisy..

  7. If you do find you need a little extra heat in the winter, I would highly recommend an electric oil heater (maybe you are already familiar with these?). They plug into a standard outlet and give off amazing radiant heat. Works wonders for the poorly-insulated finished attic of my 100 year old house in Iowa

  8. Can you share the link for the mini split. It seems like you did once before, but I can’t find it. I looked up Mitsubishi mini split on Lowes site and it was a piece like yours and then a piece that went on the wall. I like just the one piece like you have. Thanks. The room is fantastic!!! Wish I had one.

    1. I don’t know the exact unit, since it was ordered by the company that did the install, but I’ll try to find it.

  9. ohh, i can just picture those shelves full of treasures and stiff along the mini split. would you be putting blinds/curtains/shades on the windows for privacy? perhaps some light one since its a sun room. everything is coming along beautifully.

  10. You will love that easel. Same one used at the Art Center I take pastel painting classes. Great choice!!

  11. Your studio is amazing. What a great space for you to create! I love everything about it. You are an amazing designer and artist!

  12. What a wonderful space to create in! I love the whites and all of the texture. I have a mini-split in my studio, which is a converted silo that also functions as a guest house–a Murphy bed has my design wall hanging on it and we have a bath with a shower and an outdoor shower on the back porch. I rarely have to use the heater on the mini-split since the silo is so well insulated and I have a kitschy little electric fireplace/heater that I inherited from my aunt. We also have a mini-split in our bedroom so that we can keep it cold for sleeping without having to pay to keep the whole house cold at night in the summer. They are effective and economical little inventions! Thank you for sharing your house transformation–it is such fun to watch!

  13. I absolutely envy your studio!! You have me wondering how the floor will hold up with the wheels of the chair and other traffic… are you anticipating the wear on the floor, or is that paint incredibly tough?

    1. I was wondering the same thing about how the floor will hold up. Will you let paint splatters fall where they may to add to the studio look? It’s beautiful, but maybe a little too perfect for letting loose that creativity muse. 😉

  14. A transformation fit for your extraordinary creativity. Perhaps, it’s calling for a room blessing when the wall is painted and the shelving in place. I can already sense your grateful heart. Diney on Camano

  15. Coming over to your blog has become my daily “lunch treat”….even though I have been following you for years! (You were one of the very first blogs I started following!) The studio is truly evolving into a place of beauty, comfort and creativity. Can’t wait to see the last wall painted and shelving added. I get so much inspiration from how you stock shelves and store items; even they look effortlessly artistic.

  16. I have one of those units in my studio, it is longer and thinner and is up by the ceiling, and it works great, and very good on electricity. I live in AZ so my winters are not as bad, but our summers are horrible and it works great even when my studio is full of ladies taking class.
    Keep up the great work.
    Hugs, Di

  17. I’m most interested in the new church that your husband will be assistant pastoring and how all of you are liking it…

    1. Yes, I will put up some simple linen shades, but it’s going to be a while before I get to sewing. Even though we are in the neighborhood, it does feel pretty private.

  18. I just love this room! The TREES, the windows and all the wood …..ahhhhhhh. Stunning! Maybe you could add one of those smaller electric fireplaces in the winter . . . More ambience and some additional heat. I ve used one in my sunroom for a couple of years and love it ….. How did the boys make out at their new school?????? 💚

  19. Your studio is marvelous, so much light! The mixture of old and new is just perfect. I can’t wait to see you add decorative and fun holiday ornamentation though out the year.

    One question though. Have you finished painting and staining your Kitchen Table. We loved the table makeover part one, but some how missed the second half.

    1. I haven’t finished it, yet! Funny thing is that I sold almost all of my milk paint and supplies when I moved and I needed to order more. My shipment went to my old address, so I’m still waiting to get it! 🙂

      1. Oh, so glad we did not miss the posting then.

        Moving is always a bit crazy. My sister is kicking herself over selling things she thought she did not need in her new home, only to discover many would have fit in perfectly.

        So happy you are enjoy this fantastic adventure.

  20. Just worked with a contractor flipping a house. He installed 2 min-splits. One upstairs and one on main level. Not as unsitely as I expected either! They worked like a dream and super quiet. My job finished in summer and so they got quite the workout! Interested to see how winter tests out. Wouldn’t be surprised if it cools more that this fabulous room! Looks more like you with every post…thanks for sharing!

  21. With all you have done on your house i would say is very creative, but i do know what you mean and would love to see you drawing/painting pictures.

  22. Ahhh….you’re a gem to do these posts with all that is on your list of things to do. Love the room. May it provide lots of creative juju.

  23. After seeing your desk chair, I ordered it in black for my husbands desk. We just moved also and his other chair was much too big for the current space we have. The wood on this chair blends so well with his teakwood desk. He loves it!

  24. Everything about the chair works except the shiny chrome. I could see it painted black but I suppose that wouldn’t be very functional. Curious to see how the heater works this winter since I am not too far from you in Duluth, and need to figure out a heat source for my studio.

  25. I use that same channel on Pandora with my Bose during cooking and dinner. Studio looks amazing! Im really impressed with your cooling unit. I would like one for my upstairs.

  26. this is amazing, I have a house in the middle east, and it is tooooo hot their as you all know, so we have the cooling unites in every house and we hang it up in the walls, thank you for sharing this. it will definitely give me some inspiration.

  27. Things are looking great! You are turning a new house into one with your MS signature on it and it is really working!

  28. It’s looking good! I love your chair and it works great in that space. You are making amazing progress at warp speed. Please send some of your energy my way lol. It’s great watching your progress.

  29. So happy for you, Marian! Everything has come together so nicely even though it was a lot of work!

    Enjoy! Looking forward to seeing your paintings!

    Blessings! Have a wonderful weekend!

  30. Can I ask how you painted the floors?
    Did you use a special kind of paint and if so what kind of paint and how did you seal the floor after painting? I have been wanting to paint my floors in my bedroom white for a very long time but I’m afraid that I won’t like it and that it will make the floor seem dirty ! How are you liking the white floors in your new gorgeous studio ?

  31. Sorry I just saw the post about the floors in the studio and that post answered all my question! ! Thanks

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