the (almost finished) studio floors & the evolution of a space

by | Feb 26, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, Home Studio, My House, Room Makeovers | 39 comments

Well, it’s not a full reveal of the checkerboard floor, but I think you’ll get the idea!

As I started working on this post, I realized I already said everything I needed to say about these floors in Part 1 and Part 2 of painting the checkerboard floors.  I shared the why and the how, the sources, and colors.  And I showed the whole process in a tidy 3-minute timelapse video.   All I could think of to say in this post was, “Here they are!”

So, I tried typing out more descriptions of the floors and more details about the process, but it felt redundant and like filler.  It was also at the end of the day when my writing starts to dramatically fall off a cliff.

I decided to leave it until morning when I could approach the post with a fresh perspective and I had time to marinate on what I really wanted to say.  And I realized that I wanted to talk about the slow evolution of a space.

I know it looks like I just whipped these floors out.  The fact that you just see little snippets on Instagram Stories and you see three posts in a row showing, what seems like, a very quick progression.  But that’s not how it was at all.  This studio is a room that has slowly evolved over two years.  It took four people almost a week to initially prime and paint the ceiling, walls, and floor.  It took several days to have the walls dismantled, insulated, and then reinstalled.  We had to cut holes in the basement ceiling to be able to run the power required to heat and cool the room.

My mom and I worked for two days cutting, pinning, sewing, and ironing all six of the light-filtering linen curtains.  I have sat in this room for hours, staring at the space, envisioning how I use it and where each piece of furniture needs to be placed.  And then I sorted each drawer figuring out which pencils, paints, and brushes, needed to go where.

And these floors?  They took me a full week.  A week of shuffling furniture, applying primer and then two coats of paint, taping off the squares, painting them, removing the tape, touching up paint, letting the paint dry, and moving everything back again.

My back and legs were stiff and sore for three days after crawling around on the floor and I had paint in the crevices of my nails when I went to the grocery store.

You get the idea.  It’s a process.  What looks easy, effortless, and quick, simply isn’t.  Worth it, yes, but it’s all still a labor of love.

Blogs, IG feeds, YouTube videos, and TV shows give us instant gratification and when we’re in the middle of our own projects that are hard and feel endless, it’s easy to get discouraged.  Don’t be!  You’re just experiencing all of the aspects of a project that can’t be adequately communicated on social media or in a 42-minute episode.

So, give yourself some grace.  Keep plugging away at that project and you’ll get there!

Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to build the shelf for under the window and paint the doors in Boxwood green.

And finish the rest of the floor!   It’s sort of obvious where I stopped!

And those projects, too, will be a process.


  1. Maria

    So beautiful! I’ve been dreaming of doing the floor of my front porch like this for awhile now. You have given me great inspiration. It’s so tempting!! I’m just worried how it holds up. Thanks for all the great tips for when I get the courage to do it!

  2. Mary

    This looks awesome!

  3. Chrissy

    I look at Pinterest for ideas for cleaning systems, storage, purging as if doing that solves the problems. Progress take time…

  4. Karen Harper

    It’s absolutely beautiful Marian. I want to do this on my patio. I have a stencil that I purchased years ago in this design. I’m hoping to achieve this using a skinny roller since my knees are not going to tolerate kneeling. You always inspire me to go for my dreams.

  5. AnnaRae

    I love this floor. This is something I have always wanted to do. I have considered doing it in my garden shed. After watching you with this process, I am thinking that is way too much work for my garden shed. 🙂 I might just have to just enjoy yours. Thank you so much for all the work it took to share the process with us. You are amazing and inspiring.

  6. Juliet

    I love the subtle contrast between the 2 colors SO MUCH!

  7. Maria

    So well said about the process of it all. If we could only do a makeover in a half hour! Thanks for sharing your process for the floor and the reality of the hard work involved!!

  8. Linda

    I’ve enjoyed seeing your spaces “evolve”! Curious, you didn’t put a sealer on top of your floors?

  9. Robin Leach

    Absolutely beautiful. I can see why you stopped where you did, that cabinet looks like a bear to move. Hope your shoulder is doing well!

  10. Debbie

    I love your floors! Very calming colors. Well done! 👏👏👏

  11. Karen

    Seriously, it’s so beautiful! I love how the checkers are not jarringly different in color. It looks so relaxing! I’m just curious about the current color on the doors? I do love that color on them, though I guess I get why you’ll change them to boxwood green.
    Your room really is stunning, you’ve done an amazing job!
    And, the last picture, it’s my favorite! Thanks for keeping it real!

  12. Karen

    I love the floor, but I really love your message in this post.
    You are always so encouraging to those of us following you.
    Heartfelt thanks for that.

  13. Ann Baird

    Did the floor not need some kind of top coat to protect the paint and design or will that be talked about later?

  14. Toni

    I’m sure the doors will look beautiful green, but I really like the blue! The room is so pretty….I believe I’d spend all my time there.
    Is there anywhere on your blog that tells how you made the curtains?

    • Monica

      Toni – if you look at the top of your screen where the topic buttons are, click on “All Things Home” then “Sewing” then “Tutorials”. Just scroll down 3 or 4 posts and you’ll find the DIY on the curtains/shades!

    • Monica

      Sorry Toni – I got the order mixed up – it’s All Things Home, Tutorials, then Sewing.

  15. Myra

    It’s beautiful! I love the color of the doors now so should be interesting seeing them free. You have such a good eye tho, so I’m sure they’ll look beautiful!

  16. Jackie B

    I love the floors and look forward to the green doors! They will be amazing! Thank you for your hard work and all you share with us.

  17. Carol

    Thoughtful post about the process, but what I really loved was “So, give yourself some grace”. I needed to hear that today.

  18. Kelly

    As a person that enjoys most of the same crafts and projects that you do. I completely understood every word of this post!!! Hats off, high five! I really love it!! P.S. cant say enough for that green Frog Tape!!

  19. Cheryl

    Absolutely beautiful! I know how much work goes into each and everyone of your projects…I’ve been there in my own home. But I know how satisfying and fulfilling it is to get what you love with your own hands (and often many other hands are involved also) in spite of the aches and pains. A space that gives you what you envisioned is worth it all.

  20. JLOA

    The floor is wonderful. Love the room!! It is so just right!

  21. Patricia Kasparian

    The entire space looks stylish, clean, and wonderful. Bravo!

  22. Mary

    I love the almost finished product. I sure hope the just painted floor doesn’t get scratched as you move the other pieces over. That sounds like something that would happen to moi!!
    Scoot with caution 😉 🙂 LOL

  23. Brenda

    A true before and after! I love it! Thanks for the perspective. It’s nice to be reminded that we all have those moments of “Are we done yet!’

  24. Janine A.

    It looks amazing! I’m envious of all of the windows, my studio has 1 window in the corner of the room.

  25. Claire

    I love love love the floor. It’s perfect for that room. And this post is perfect for encouragement. We recently remodeled our kitchen but chose to paint (the whole thing, every little tiny bit) it ourselves. It took my husband and I four whole days. I thought we would die before it was finished. (We are in our 60’s.)

    Question, how did you move the furniture over the newly painted floor without scratching the paint?

  26. Kimberly

    Marian, the floor looks amazing! They are about as perfect as they can get! I love that the contrast between the colors is subtle. There’s a lot going on in that room, though it all looks so neat and organized and cohesive. To me, a too-high-contrast floor would throw off too much visual noise and defeat the purpose of a relaxing studio.

    Your space is absolutely beautiful. If it were mine, I think I’d live in it most of the time!

  27. Addie

    AWESOME!!!!! as usual!!!! I love the hint of color in the contrast. Not overpowering, just a barely there touch of goodness!!! Could you please move again so I can buy your house?!!!!!

  28. Valerie

    The finished part is gorgeous! Congratulations. They look like they will last for years!

  29. Babs

    Twenty five years ago my husband and I purchased a home built in 1829. The house was not in good shape and it took us two years to restore it. By the time we got to the patio off the kitchen we had run out of money. The patio was poured concrete and had been painted. I recruited (Huck Finn style) a friend who wanted to learn how to do a faux finish as a helper. We did a faux limestone finish with 24″ blocks on the diagonal. It turned out great! It lasted for about 5 years and then had to be redone. My friend went on to faux finish her own basement floor for her wine tasting room with much success.

    My favorite thing is to create something from nothing…thanks for spreading your inspiration to us all.

  30. Donna

    Now many of us want a studio, but you will use it & deserve it. I adore the green pieces of furniture. When I heard the doors will be green, that is the frosting on the cake or cupcake. The rest of us just sit with our morning coffee and watch. This is better than HGTV and we know this takes more than a couple “soundbites” to complete. Worth waiting for and it must be rewarding to see the makeover come this far. A tad surprised that you used frog tape instead of a Minnesota 3M product, but that is a personal choice.

  31. BebeFini

    Thank you for your honesty … and your beautiful home. When I’m working on a project, I can’t wait to finish. And this leads to problems. I’m learning to slow down and appreciate the process. Taking the time to figure out what I want and what will work, gather supplies, prep work, let the paint dry and cure … it all takes TIME. Thank you for your encouragement. I love your colors, your aesthetic, and your personality!

  32. SueA

    A lovely space and quite an investment!
    Your blog is the first thing I read in the morning when a new post arrives. It starts my day with creativity and positiveness and beauty. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on making this space an ongoing place to create.

  33. Monica

    Thank you for sharing these important, honest and heartfelt thoughts with us, Marion. Your floor is lovely and so are you. 💜

  34. Debra N

    Very subtle and beautiful. Definitely a labor of love.

  35. Liz H

    Stunning floor. Buy a good pair of knee pads, you’ll use them often enough that they’ll pay for themselves. Or at least buy several of the gardening foam pads, as we age our knees need to be protected!

  36. MaryLisa

    Great job! It was definitely a labor of love and thank you for sharing how much work went into this rooms transformation. I know I get bogged down on social media with people making projects look like they are so easy.Enjoy this space,,,,,

  37. Jeanine

    Amen to that! Instant everything has made us all a bit shorter on patience. It is a labor of love, and a quaint and beautiful one at that. We hqve been working months ourselves on our master bedroom, bathroom, and closet remodel! When the actual construction part is done, I know it will take me further to decorate it. It’s rewarding work!


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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