I showed the right side of the studio in yesterday’s post and today, as promised, I’m sharing the left side.  This side is tricky, because of all of the windows, the mini-split (heating & cooling unit), and the fact that it’s the part of the room that’s most visible from the kitchen.

From the moment we first moved in, I felt like I needed to put the hardware cabinet under the window.  It is, after all, one of the coolest pieces I own and I wanted it to be the focal point!  But, it was a clutter magnet and almost always had stuff stacked on it and the stuff on the adjacent wall (the chair, table, etc.) obscured the view.

When I made the decision to move it over to the “big wall” and stack the bookcase on top, that meant I would need to find something else for the wall under the windows.

I had a reasonably clear plan for the rest of the room, but for this wall, I wasn’t sure.  I knew I needed some sort of surface for setting up still lifes to the left of my easel.  It had to look nice, though, since it’s directly opposite the studio door (and, as I said, visible from the kitchen.)  I also felt like I needed to reserve the corner for a chair.  While I generally don’t sit back in an armchair in my studio, I like the idea of cozying up with an art book and it’s a spot for “visitors” to sit.

So, that’s what I sketched…

Once we started moving furniture around, I decided to try the furniture I had before I started shopping for anything new.

And, you know what?  The pieces I already had ended up working perfectly.  The old oak teacher’s desk (moved from my office) fulfills my desire for a flat work surface and even provides additional storage in the drawers.  The green art cabinet is a perfect height for setting up still lifes and the pop of color is nice to see from the kitchen.

I wasn’t sure if the desk would work there initially, but I was moving it out of the office anyway, so it was worth a try.  I figured it might be too big or would look like there was too much furniture wedged into this room, but it doesn’t look that way at all. It looks neat and functional.

It does mean that I sacrificed having an armchair in the room, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  This room is a creative workspace and, as much as I love my family, I don’t want them coming in, getting comfortable, and hanging out in there while I’m trying to work.  I will also use the desk a lot more than I ever used that chair!  In fact, I’ve probably used that desk more in the four days it’s been in the studio than I ever used an armchair.

I am using the desk to mostly store my calligraphy pens, ink, and paper along with some supplies and a few other miscellaneous things.

The art cabinet still houses my oil paints and smaller canvas panels, but since I put my mediums, etc. on a rolling cart now and I use a hand-held palette, I don’t need to have it on my right side (as I used to.)  And, as I said earlier, it’s a great height for setting up a still life to paint.  When I’m sitting on a stool, it’s right at eye level.

When it’s not in use, I’ll store my palette on top.

The plaster bust is to practice sketching from life and it makes a nice accessory for a studio as well.

The flowering topiary is a live plant that I shared a couple of weeks ago (in a different spot in my house).  I said it was a gardenia and a few readers thought it was an azalea, but I bought a couple more from Home Depot this week and it is definitely a gardenia.  Just an FYI.  I’ve had it for several months and it has done very well in the studio.

Everything seems to be positioned perfectly for creative work, but the only way to confirm that is to work in the space – to fill it with music, to create, to experiment, to practice, to play, and to actualize ideas.

And that’s exactly what I intend to do!



  1. Michelle

    What a lovely room! You took all of what you had and made it sing!

  2. Gillian

    I’ve been helping my mother pack up her house, she has recently gone into a care facility, and today we unearthed a calligraphy set with pens, ink and books on how to…she has lost most of her eye sight, and can’t do everything she used to do…so I was touched to inherit her calligraphy set. I am totally excited to get started with the book and the pens…I love how your office and studio are so functional and purposeful…and it is very inspiring. I hope to carve out a space in my shared office (with my husband) to store stuff and have a place to go when I need some inspiration. You have given me a lot of ideas, Thanks!!!

  3. Joan

    Beautiful room that sings creativity – Enjoy your new art-filled surroundings!

  4. Jessica

    You have once again confirmed that there is beauty in practicality. I agree about the POP of color the green piece brings to the space.

    And as always, my eyes are drawn to the bird painting. It’s whimsy, colors and essence delight me each time I catch a glimpse of it.

    Best wishes for hours of creativity and enjoyment in your space!

    • Kat

      She knows we all want that bird painting – I think she moves it around and posts new photos just to make us crazy.

  5. Leasa Hodges

    So in LOVE with your rabbit painting! Your studio looks amazing and so inspirational!

  6. Ginger Swail

    Is that color swatches above the window? Pretty! Love the room

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! Those are color swatches from my milk paint line.

  7. Lisa

    Such a beautiful space! I think I would just be happy sitting in here all day.. I loved it before, but your vision and hard work have taken it to a whole new level. I love it even more! You have a way of making ordinary, every day things look magical. Thank you for always being so inspiring and gracious.

  8. Rae Kaiser

    Beautiful and tidy. I hope it inspires me to get rid of and tidy up my space.

  9. Peggy

    I expected that desk to feel too big in the space but it looks perfect. The pop of green seen from your kitchen will tie in what you’ve done in that room and your butlers pantry. I would call the room shuffle a success! I can’t wait to see your office reveal!


    What an awesome room! I love that it is so bright and cheerful. Your natural creativity shines through in everything you do.

  11. Suzette

    You are really going to enjoy this room, now!
    I love every little detail about it!!!

  12. Eileen

    The desk defines that corner so well. Such fun to shop the house, isn’t it?

  13. LuAnn

    What an inspiring room! Now all you need to do is to tune in to MPR while you’re working! (Classical music is always so inspiring…)

  14. Mary Zeilinger

    Best staple gun ever 😍

  15. Sue

    Simply lovely!!!!!!

  16. Deborah Raney

    I’ve been SO “concerned” about you changing around this studio (which I love as if it were my own! LOL!) But I should have known you wouldn’t disappoint! It looks amazing, and I especially love the view from the kitchen. Now my only concern is where that wonderful wire-backed cubby the mustard jars were in will land?? It is my FAVORITE thing from your office and even inspired me to put a wire backing on my own cubbies that I use for mugs on my coffee bar. I wait with bated breath to see where it will land, but meanwhile, I’m loving the transitions and transformations!

  17. Debbie Nisson

    It looks great! I am sorry you lost the chair. Wondering what the other end of the room looks like? Sorry to be so nosy.

  18. Laurie

    You improved the look & function of the room! You can also sew at your desk now!

    One tiny suggestion….the next time you take everything out of the bookcase it would make it look like a more real hutch if you removed the casters from the feet of the bookcase. That way it would be flush with the top of the drawers. Until then you could just obscure that area.

    The Cabinetmaker’s Wife

  19. Pat

    I adore your Studio!
    I, too, have Studio One (my creative space) for all my card making and flower arranging.
    Although not nearly as decorative as yours (mine is in the lower level of our home),
    I, too, play music as I’m creating!
    Thank you for inspiring me to often take the time to create, everyday!

  20. Addie

    Loved it before….Love it now!!!! With all those pieces you have in there….I don’t think you could really go wrong!!!
    Take care of the old arm….it can creep back up again!!!….and how do I know this???!!!~

  21. Krista

    Your room is beautiful!

  22. Margo

    I think this looks great and provides a great workspace. One thought is that the armchair might fit directly in front of the desk right next to the heating unit. It could face out toward the kitchen and then be pulled around for a visitor. Of course, I don’t know how big your chair is but one thing I’ve learned is that you will never know unless you give it a shot- maybe after your arm heals a bit more. Good luck with your new work space.

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, I had considered that and it is a possibility. I have a smaller arm chair that might do the trick.

  23. Barb

    Maybe in my next life I can be as organized and tidy as you! I finally figured my brain is like a View Master disk only NONE of my scenes are alike! A real problem. Sort of like having popcorn thoughts.

    Your space is enviable. Enjoy!

  24. Nancy

    What a great use of space. I am curious about what its purpose was before you moved in – is it a room above a garage?

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      It was a sunroom off of the kitchen. We’re pretty sure it was a “bump out” option on the house. It was unfinished, though, when we moved in, so we had it insulated and added the mini-split, so the room could be heated and cooled. It ended up being a relatively inexpensive way to “add a room” to the house and it’s perfect for my studio.

  25. Marlene Stephenson

    Perfect and a lovely place to create.

  26. Joan

    I didn’t think you could improve the looks of your room, but of course, you did. It’s so fresh and inviting. What a great place for inspiration!

  27. Karen Bunch

    The re-do of furniture moving is beautiful. It looks like an inspiring place for someone as artistic and creative as you. Your paintings are amazing. I love your work.

  28. Shelia P.

    Hi Marian! It’s perfect now! Now all you have to do is get that arm 100% and you can start creating again. Oh, at the masterpieces that are going to be painted in that beautiful room! I can’t wait! 😊

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s good enough to paint now, although it’s a little shaky and I have to have the easel low. I also have to prop my elbow, but I’m painting!

  29. Kathy

    I am having serious studio envy. Everything looks great! On another note, how is the mini split working out for you?

    • Marian Parsons

      It works great! We only had a period of two days when it didn’t seem to be warming the room, but that was during the polar vortex and we had temperatures in the -20 range with wind chills colder than that.

  30. Dianne Egan Buquet

    It’s lovely! Are you still going to build in a cabinet in the opposite side of the room ? About to finish our lower level studio and I’m torn between built ins for all my fabric and paint supplies which is practical or furniture pieces which are so lovely but don’t hold much so I’d have to have so many!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, we are doing a built-in closet, but it will look charming, I think, and more like a piece of furniture.

  31. Danna Darty

    Oh, everything looks amazing! I’m eyeing those curtains. Did you make them?

  32. Jenn

    Hi Marian
    Your studio and office look great! Long time reader and first time painter here with a question. I am in the process of trying to spruce up our bedroom on a budget. We have 3 mismatched wooden pieces. One of the pieces I want to keep unpainted. I just painted one of the dressers in your artissimo blue and love it. I am wondering if I should try other colors in the room or stick to artissimo. I am tempted to try a neutral like shutter gray or trophy. Do you have a general rule about how many colors to incorporate in a room in terms of painted furniture? The room is fairly large if that matters. Thanks!


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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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