Summer 2015 Home Tour

Marian ParsonsMy House, Popular77 Comments

Welcome to my Pennsylvania home tour!  We worked hard on our home for almost eleven years and it was a true labor of love and DIY marathon.  We’ve painted, built, repaired, installed, sewed, upholstered, sanded, refinished, ripped out and remodeled just about every corner.

Our goal was to balance the function we needed for our busy family with our (mostly my) desire for a beautiful home.  I hope this home tour gives you some inspiration and encouragement to do the same in your home.

Let’s start at the front door…

This house was a 1 1/2 story, 2300 sq foot, brick cape cod that was built in 1948.  It’s in a two stoplight town in the hills and orchards of south central Pennsylvania.  We’ve spent most our time fixing up the inside of our house, but we’ve been working on the outside of the house over the past year or so.   Painting the brick was always on my wish-list, but we never got around to it.

A few years after we moved in, I planted holly bushes along the front, under the windows, and lavender flanking the stairs.  The lavender got a little wild, but it smelled so nice and I love how it softens the steps.

I got the concrete planters from my Opa’s house before it sold.  They were sitting empty for a long time and I finally planted little boxwoods in them.

The window boxes were filled with a mix of white petunias, alyssum and a few purple flowers during the spring and summers.

You can see some of the work we did to the garden and driveway HERE.

When you walk through the front door, the living room is to the left and the dining room is through an archway to the right.  Straight ahead is an antique dental cabinet I bought from Urban Farmgirl at the Chapel Market a couple of years ago…

The original oak floors are currently raw.  We stripped them down in the winter of 2014 and never put a finish on them.  I sort of liked them raw!  You can read about living with raw wood floors HERE.

The living room is one of my favorite rooms.  (I especially loved it at Christmas time.)

It has the prettiest light and I love every stick of furniture in that space.  The walls are painted in Pearly White by Sherwin Williams.  The ceiling and trim are bright white, out of the can.  The jelly cupboard is in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Linen, the rocking horse (from Restoration Hardware) is in Farmhouse White over Grain Sack and the primitive hutch, a Craig’s List find, is a custom mix of French Enamel and Trophy.

The Gustavian-style sofa was a $100 Craig’s List find that I reupholstered in antique hemp sheets.  I painted the frame in MMSMP Grain Sack.

The blue & white factory cart was $130 at a local antique store and the chandelier was picked up for $60 at a junk shop.  The home didn’t have an overhead light in this room and installing one was going to be very messy (cutting through the plaster) and expensive, so I wired it to plug into the wall and made a super-long “scrunchy” cover for it out of antique linen.

The woven rug is from Joss & Main.  You can read how my jute & sisal rugs are holding up HERE.

The Bergere chairs are also craigslist finds that I reupholstered.


They are upholstered in antique grain sacks supplemented with hemp sheets.  I bought a bolt of the checked fabric for $1.50/yard.

The marble-topped dresser was another $100 Craig’s List find.  It didn’t sell at Lucketts one year, so it was meant to be and I’m glad.  I painted it in MMSMP Grain Sack with Ironstone highlights on the drawer details.  The chair was a trade with one of my blog readers.  I reupholstered it in the same $1.50/yard checked fabric.

Click HERE to see the full evolution of the living room over the nine years we’ve lived here.

There’s a small hallway through the living room that leads to Jeff’s office, a coat closet, 1/2 bath and upstairs.

The dining room is another space with beautiful light.  The dining table is made out of an old tongue & groove wood door and the base of a potting bench.  I purchased the wing chairs for $50 for the pair and reupholstered them in more of the checked fabric and grain sacks.  The French side chairs were a Craig’s List find.

The chandelier may be one of my best finds ever.  It was $4.00 at a yard sale.  Yep, that’s $4.00.  It was actually $5.00 and I negotiated it down!  I my defense, it was in a box, so I had no idea what I was buying, but when I saw the bag of crystals at the top, I knew it was worth the gamble.  (And I should’ve just paid five bucks for it.)

The corner cabinets were given to me by my aunt and I painted them in MMSMP Shutter Gray with Ironstone details and a Mora interior.  The chairs and table are painted in Ironstone.

The cow painting, Eulalie, is an original work by Cindy Austin.  You can buy a giclee print of Eulalie in Cindy’s etsy shop, HERE.  The painting is framed in a $11 clearance frame from Hobby Lobby that I gold leafed.

I made the skirts for the dining chairs out of antique grain sacks and hemp.  Are you seeing a pattern, here?  If you’re interested in making your own, here’s a tutorial.

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I didn’t get a picture of it, but I also had a phonograph in the dining room.  I listened to it sometimes when I was home alone, cleaning or rearranging.  One of my favorite memories from last Christmas was when we were sitting around the table and I played “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby on it.  There’s just something special about those scratchy records.

Through a small archway from the dining room is our home office, which used to be the 1940’s kitchen.  It had patchwork linoleum floors, a gas pipe sticking up out of the floor and a fridge sitting in front of the ironing board cabinet when we first moved in.  You can see the before and the transformation HERE.

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The channel-back chair was an honest-to-goodness-side-of-the-road-freebie.  I reuphosltered it in antique linen.  Jeff built the radiator cover and the built-ins in the space.

The walls are Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.

This room is sort of our “landing zone”.  It’s where we hang our bags and backpacks, take off/put on shoes, etc.  The desk is a bit of a clutter magnet, but I try to stay on top of the papers.

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The home office leads into the new kitchen, which is in the modern addition to the home.  It was built about five years before we bought the house.  You can see the before and transformation HERE.  The full list of sources as well as the total cost can be found HERE.

The kitchen was an awesome space to begin with, but the finishes and colors weren’t my taste.  I painted just about everything…the walls, ceiling and all 53 cabinets.  Jeff and I also made the butcher block counters and the custom range hood.  My dad and I installed the marble backsplash, which was my first and most likely last tiling project!  The floor tile was from Home Depot and the hickory wood flooring was from Lumber Liquidators.

My mom bought the pot rack for me as a house-warming gift.  In all of the 8+ years we’ve lived here, that may be the one thing that has never moved!  And yes, those are actually my real, everyday pots and pans.  If you’re going to use things every day, they might as well be pretty!

The barstools are from Restoration Hardware.

We actually use the chalkboard for our grocery list.  We write what we need as we think of it, which is handy since it’s just two steps from the fridge and pantry, and then take a picture of it before heading to the store.

The cow head and wreath are from Decor Steals and the sign over the stove is from Copper & Tin.

The kitchen opens to the family room and obviously, these two rooms are where we spend the bulk of our time.  Once we cleared out the bouncy-seats and jump-a-roos, which used to be a in row under this window, we made room for a small eating area.

This is where we eat most meals, play games, color, work on homework, etc.

The walls of the kitchen and family room are painted in Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore.  The Belgian linen curtains are from Barn & Willow.

The rug is from Home Goods, sectional and TV console are from Ashley Furniture.

We had a big gas fireplace where the TV is now, but we knocked it out.  It wasn’t functional or pretty and it really limited the furniture placement.  I love fireplaces, but this one needed to go.

We designed the wainscoting after a visit to a beautiful old inn in Charlottesville, VA.  This room needed some architectural interest and this was the ticket.

The wing chairs were given to me for free, since they weren’t purchased at a friend’s yard sale.




The family room opens to the back deck, which recently got a vintage-style makeover.    You can see the full transformation HERE.


The master bedroom is off of the family room.

The dresser was another Craig’s List acquisition, as was the French wardrobe, which is probably my most epic Craig’s List find ever

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The bed is from Restoration Hardware with bedding from Pine Cone Hill.  What most people assume is wallpaper, is actually fabric that’s been starched to the wall.  It’s “Artissimo” by P Kaufmann.

Our bathroom underwent an overhaul a couple of years ago and it made this small master bathroom feel a bit more luxurious.  Jeff built the shelving and rad covers and installed the shower cornice and trim.  We also put in a skylight, to bring in some much-needed natural light.

We had this tile professionally done and I opted to have these niches put in the shower wall, which I like so much more than any rack hanging from the shower head or stuck to the wall!

Back at the front of the house, there’s a small staircase that leads to the second floor.  It’s been a neglected space for years, but I recently painted it in Gray Owl, framed, matted (video tutorial HERE), and hung a family gallery wall and installed a Dash & Albert stair runner.

You can read about the stair runner installation HERE.

The upstairs bathroom is super small, but it has everything a full-bath really needs.  Since it’s a small space, I wanted to go bold with this wall mural from Anthropologie.  The light fixture is from Pottery Barn, the sink is original to the house.  The marble hex tile is from Amazon.  I painted the antique plaster mirror frame in a mix of MMSMP Boxwood and Lucketts Green.

The guest room is another favorite of mine.  It’s a departure from my usual blue and whites, with golds and reds added in.

The sconces are from Pottery Barn (discontinued), the bedding is Pine Cone Hill and the bed is from Restoration Hardware.  The checked curtains were made from more fabric my aunt gave me.  The walls are painted in Mascarpone by Sherwin Williams.

The beautiful (and unpainted) 1800’s wood dresser was another $100 Craig’s List find.


The boy’s room is across the hall and is decorated in a loose vintage sports theme, mostly with pictures, racquets, and banners from my Opa’s attic.  The walls are painted in Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore.

Click HERE for resources and to see how the room has changed over the years.


And that’s about it!  I hope you enjoyed getting a tour of my PA house.  This was a quick flyover, but if you’d like to learn more about my rooms and spaces, you click HERE to see the “my home” posts.

I also wrote a series sharing the full evolution of each room over the nine years we’ve lived here. This home was collected and worked on over time, which can be hard to see in a home tour that doesn’t show all of the behind-the-scenes work.  These posts show that…

Part 1 | Living Room

Part 2 | Dining Room

Part 3 | Home Office

Part 4 | Kitchen

Part 5 | Family Room

Part 6 | Master Bedroom

Part 7 | the three bathrooms

Part 8 | the guest room

Part 9 | the boy’s room

If you love my style and would like inspiration and encouragement to land right in your inbox, subscribe to my e-mail newsletter and you’ll never miss a post…

Summer 2015 Home Tour

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77 Comments on “Summer 2015 Home Tour”

  1. Marian….There are no words to express the beauty of your home. I have had to get up and get that second cup of coffee as I was slowly going through each magnificent photo, hanging on to every word, taking in every detail. Such an amazing, amazing tour of your home. Thank you so very much for giving us inspiration every day in every way.

  2. marian, your home is a beautiful reflection of the love and passion that you put into it. I love the fact that you bring in so many elements and things that have meaning to you and to your family. enjoy the summer.

  3. Your home is absolutely beautiful. It was nice to see though, a full room shot of your family room. The PB sofa works so well, and a splurge well worth it I’m sure! I love the antique furniture, and still amazed how you can find such great pieces for pennies online!

  4. Loved this tour, Marian! I was looking at this post on my phone when I realized I needed to these pictures as big as possible! So I booted up the desktop and enjoyed every single picture!

  5. I just love your home. So beautiful and homey at the same time. Where did you find the rug in the guest room. The colors would be perfect for my home.

  6. Marian this was such a delight…I had the best time snooping around your house. 🙂 It was hard to do but I picked a favorite. The chair slips in your dining room make me gasp every time I see them. Well done. Have a great rest of the summer!

  7. So. Much. Work. And it’s so very lovely! Thank you for always sharing with us that you can make your home wonderful with a plan and just a little money and some patience with the Craigslist gods. I think people will be truly blown away with your cohesion of design. Consider yourself one of the “Bigs” Miss Mustard Seed. This post proves you have every right to consider Bunny Williams a design colleague.
    Spectacular post!
    The Other Marian

  8. Your home is such an inspiration. Like Shirley I hung on every page taking it all in and reminding myself that I could do this. You have made a beautiful home and it’s truly amazing.

  9. I love your home!!! It is beautiful, but simple and clean – great pieces that have been artfully arranged! S7ch fantastic finds!!! I would trust you to come and redo my home!!! If only you could!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. I have been following your blog for some time, so I have seen snippets of your home over the years, but to see it all together in one glorious post – it is truly beautiful. I love how easily your style carries from room to room with everything looking so natural and cohesive. Even in your guest bedroom or upstairs bathroom where you have incorporated different styles or colors, you can easily feel the same theme running through the spaces. It feels so welcoming.

    I also noticed that you display many of your platters and lids on the wall – I have been meaning to ask, do you use any special type of plate hanger for these, or are they just the ones that you can pick up pretty much anywhere?

  11. Thank you for the tour!! I could look at pictures of your home all day! So so inspiring and now I feel like tweeking my bookshelves and rearranging. 🙂 Your photography is always fabulous too!! 🙂

  12. Every object, every room, every photo I enjoyed tremendously! The upper bath was a fun surprise and wish those guest room scones weren’t discontinued! Thanks for joining in the tour Marian and for sharing so much beauty!

  13. Marion your home is one of a kind packed full of charm, love and history. I was happy you didn’t move. I think your home is meant to be for you and your family. You certainly have put a whole lot of joy and memories in it. Loved your tour!

  14. Your home is lovely! I can’t imagine why it didn’t feel immediately! One question if I may: I don’t notice much lighting. Where does everyone read, etc? Maybe you are all just young enough not to need it?

    1. Ha, yep, I basically de-lamped the house when my boys were little. I was paranoid that my boys would pull/chew on the cords. We all have reading lights by our beds and that’s mostly where we read. I would like to eventually add lamps by the family room sofa, but we need to put an outlet in the floor in order to do that.

  15. I had to come back for a second look after popping over this morning…this is like a yummy book filled with an abundance of inspiration! I love how even though you are young, your style is your own and not trendy. Lovely perfection of a family home

  16. Marian I pretty much drool the entire time I’m looking at your home! 😉 Honestly everything is just so beautiful but what stands out the most is how much you obviously enjoy your own home…how it’s a true reflection of YOU. And we all benefit from that as we attempt to do the same in our own homes. I’m so thrilled to be part of the tour with you today!

  17. All I can say is WOW..Very lovely and country. Love the kitchen and country bedroom. I bet it was fun to be a part of an open house. Thanks for showing us and loved the tour.

  18. LOVE!!! It’s so fun to see it all together in one post. You worked hard for that photo shoot! Thanks for sharing…I’m so inspired!

  19. Amazing! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! I too was on my phone and realized I needed to go to my computer to get the bigger impact. I could live here at the drop of a hat. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  20. Marian, I have followed you for years. Although I’ve seen most of your home and followed your projects, I am just breathless today looking at the entire picture…thank you for inspiring me all these years and for allowing so many of us to share your beautiful home and family. May God continue to bless you and yours.

  21. Marian, I so love your home and this was a real treat to see it all in one post. You still have the channel back chair that I love! You’ve done a fabulous job with all of your projects. Really fine.

  22. Marion,

    Your home truly is a reflection of the hard work, thought and consideration you have put in to it along with Jeff’s craftsmanship. I really enjoyed your tour and thank-you so much for putting so much effort in to share your lovely, cozy home with us. Pretty sweet of Kriste and her hubby too.

  23. Your home is truly lovely! However no lamps in the living areas make it feel unwelcoming and unusable at night. Having only overhead lighting is usually harsh and lacks the ambiance lamps provide. It’s beautiful in natural light in the daytime but would feel like someplace i would not want to be in at night. Your landscaping has come along nicely . I would paint your brick exterior cream, pale gray or taupe and I think you would get buyers quicker. It’s all about curb curb appeal and the brick color is not working and doesn’t begin to reflect the lovely inside .

  24. Marian, this is my 5th tour of your summer house tour TODAY! I absolutely love each and every room! So beautiful! You can tell that you have worked hard on each and every room. Have a great summer!!!

  25. What a home! Could I make a suggestion? I don’t know about in person but in the photo the front porch area looks very odd to not have something more substantial holding up the porch. It makes me do a double take. Some kind of columns, even square ones, would help so much. Other than that, you have done one heck of a job, girl!

  26. Holy Moly Marian! Every single room looks amazing! That was so fun! Each room flows into the next seamlessly and all the colors work together so beautifully. I love the gingham checks mixed in with it all too. You have created your own beautiful style, or look that i could totally identify as a “Marian” style if i saw it somewhere. I love the way my paintings work with it all too. It makes me so proud to see them in such an adorable home. I bet it feels wonderful to be able to walk through and have so much of your house done, and orderly, and looking so gorgeous!


  27. I have to say, that after followings our incredibly inspirational blog, this was like visiting an old friend!
    I found myself thinking, ” I remember when she first covered that chair” or “I remeber that pillow”!
    How brilliant it is to see a tour of your marvelous home in one sitting. Thank you for inviting us in!

    bHome username Mardi

  28. Your home is so beautiful in pictures and I bet even more so in person! I have to say the boys’ newly redone bathroom is my favorite!!! So funky, fun, and yet still meshing so well with your style!

  29. Marion – except for the green chairs you home is absolutely a work of art. So BEAUTIFUL, and Tasteful yet livable. Well done to you AND Jeff. And thank you for sharing your home with us.

  30. Very, very nice. You have taken a house with good bones and character, but a somewhat obscure personality and coaxed and loved it into a spectacular reflection of you and your family. You’ve worked very hard to bring it’s personality out and to mesh it with yours and it is truly a work of art. You, my dear, are an artist and a very fine one. Your expression of your color sense and preferences is beautiful and your talent at placement and styling is so eye-catching. The whole tour was a bonanza of eye-candy! I know I will come back and look again!

  31. That cows head and wreath! The gentleman’s bathroom! What a beautiful home you have. I would have expected nothing less but this tour was drool worthy. I’ll be filling up my Pinterest boards with inspiration. It was lovely to tour with you today!

  32. Dear MMS, Wow, your home is such a beautiful place! I echo the comments from above regarding seeing it all at once – each picture is so exquisite! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely home with us. Now I’m off to go clean mine! Hugs, Anne Boykin

  33. Marian,
    I, too, am the Mother of Sons. . .and I adore their bedroom and The Gentleman’s Bathroom!!!
    Oh, the year’s of children’s artwork is long gone from our home. . .love seeing those!!!
    Your home is absolutely exquisite with all your Craig’s List “finds”!!!
    I adore how each room flows seamlessly into the next!!!
    Love,LOVE, L O V E your back splash tile in the kitchen!!!
    The gold in the guest room ties perfectly with your home decor. . .
    and I’m not a “fan” of Dash & Albert Rugs. . .but this stair runner is stunning!!!
    Thank you for inviting us into your bHome Summer Open House Tour!!!
    I’m one of your many, many Face Book Followers!!!

  34. Hi Miriam I love your house. where did you get your faucet in the kitchen? Also where did you get your bar stools in the kitchen?

  35. I’m a little speechless Marion. Your home and photography is so beautiful and I know I need to come back several times to take it all in. Thank you for sharing your home on the bHome summer tour. I’ll be pinning and sharing for sure 🙂

  36. Oh MMS!!! I”ve followed you for years and I’ve seen your house in bits and pieces. I love that you did a whole house tour! I honestly don’t have a favorite space or room. It’s all magnificent. Yes, that’s a fancy word for your house, but it’s just amazing. You have done such a beautiful job with everything. Thank for showing us that a truly beautiful home can be done on a “dime” and that everything doesn’t have to be top dollar or designer. Thank you as well for taking the time to tell us the details of paint colors, prices and where you purchased certain things. I know it took a while to compile. So thank you!!

  37. SPEECHLESS! More gorgeous and unique than any home I have seen in a magazine or ANYWHERE! thank you for sharing and love all of your work!!

  38. When did you get the new (or old) bar stools? On 2/21/14 you posted about finally getting the last stool painted blue. Did I miss a post or you just checking to see if anyone notices?

  39. In the guest bedroom, it’s a box spring cover by Pine Cone Hill, so it matches the coverlet. The box spring was black, so it really needed a cover with the white bedding.

  40. Marion, everything is gorgeous! I work a lot with outdoor spaces and the first thought I had when I saw your front entry was “get rid of the wrought iron and replace it with wood posts and rail painted white”. I think you would be surprized by how it will change the look and give it a more substantial feel without changing the overall atyle. You might not even need railings. Jeff could probably do it with some help in a day!! Anyway, just a thought. Love your blog.

  41. I’m not sure if my original comment came through, and I’m scrolling back through posts and comments. Your house is amazing. It is one of my most favorite of all, and I take a lot of cues from you. I don’t understand why there are so many comments critiquing your home? I’m sure there are things you’d like to change still. I’m sure it’s still a work in progress. All I can see today are the lovely things that you have put so much time and effort into. You have such a talent. Thank you for sharing your home, and all that goes into it.
    Cassandra E

  42. Love your home!
    I noticed the dog print you have hung….do you happen to have any info on it?

    My grandfathers uncle from Germany painted the exact painting….only huge….was trying to figure it all out 😉

  43. Your space is beautiful, I love the bright, simple, clean, vintage & neutral space you have created. Its so calm and relaxing and welcoming to anyone that comes in!

    Lauren Baxter | LB Designs

  44. Marion
    I simply adore your home. I am a lover of blue and white and the chairs………I think they are adorable and I want two!!!
    You use plates a lot, as do I, but I am surprised that you use the wire holders as they can damage plates, I use the sticky place disc’s which are fantastic they don’t damage the plate and are easy to remove if you want to you can find the here, but Im sure they are sold in the US too.


  45. I am completely in love with your home. Bought your phenomenal book and am completely loving your philosophy of making this home a wonderful sanctuary for my family – little by little. God bless you!!

  46. I’m new to your blog and facebook page. I work with a friend who has raved about you for some time. Your home is beautiful. I look forward to learning and doing more with our new home once we move to Gettysburg….maybe our paths will cross!

  47. Hello Marian ….My name is Bonnie Broten and I am a Field Editor for Meredith Publishing…BH&G etc. I think your home was in a photoshoot for them, and also thought you were selling your home. We are looking for a great home in the Gettysburg area….. already have one chosen but when we send the whole crew it is best economically to shoot more than one house in same area. So am wondering if you can help me. I live in Minneapolis so will be flying with the photographer and asst in late Sept. (dates not set yet).

    Let me know and thanks so much, Marian.

    Bonnie Broten
    Field Editor
    Meredith Publishing

  48. I need to be your apprentice I will work 24/7 the come back to the UK and become Mr Milk paint ! Haha

  49. Hello,
    You have such a lovely and charming home. So many creative ideas. I just did a blog post and asked my readers what were some of the first blogs they every visited, and one of my friends mentioned your blog, so thought I’d come over and check it out. I notice you have much blue in your home. I love blue in the home, and that is now my kitchen colors.

    So nice to meet you, and have a sweet September weekend.


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