the slow evolution

by | Nov 8, 2017 | All Things Home, Decorating, Kitchen, My House | 39 comments

I’m sure you would agree that our society as a whole suffers from “instant-itis”.  We want it all now, fast, and simple.

And the expectation for a room makeover has been altered ever since Trading Spaces.  A room can be completely (debatably) finished from top to bottom in 2 days.  And, while some transformations can be quick, like changing the wall color, truly finishing a room is typically a slow evolution.  It’s a scavenger hunt; a journey of discovery.

It’s taken me a long time to embrace that, because I like things to be finished!  But I have learned over the years that working on a room is something that can be (and is perhaps best when) savored like a good cup of dark hot chocolate.  You might take some big swigs right in the beginning out of eagerness, but the cup is finally drained in slow sips.

My kitchen has undergone a pretty dramatic transformation over the past few weeks, but now I’m at the point where I’m chipping away at the rest.  There are times when I feel impatient with it.  I want to check it off the box; look into the room and see that everything is just how I want.

Another part of me is enjoying the get-to-know-you process that happens in a new space.  Slowly drinking it in and let it evolve as we learn how we use the space and how it most looks like home to us.

When I last shared my kitchen, several people suggested that it needed some greenery.  I completely agreed and I’ve been hunting for some topiaries to flank the sink for a while, but haven’t found any that I like.

I did finally find a sweet plant at Home Depot last week that would work on the island.  We had a bowl of fruit on the scale, but I swapped that out for a plant and it does make such a big difference!

The plant does get some great sun there, so hopefully it will like its new home.

And the slow evolution continues…one sip at a time.


  1. amy joanne mogish

    It certainly does add something….chip away! Love watching with my cup o cocoa in hand!

  2. Karen L.

    You’re “braver” than I am with trying a live plant. I have switched to good faux ones especially in areas that can struggle with light needs. But yours is really pretty there and live is always, well, live!

  3. Kim

    I love the plant-it’s just a perfect addition.

  4. Janet in Kansas City

    Just love this post, and couldn’t agree more. I enjoy decorating my home, but I can’t imagine doing it for someone else. They would never put up with me sitting on their sofa with a cup of coffee while I got to know their home. There could be no snap decisions, it would take time to find the elements I envisioned, and I can’t imagine deciding in an instant what it would all cost. Those things all take a lot of time for me. But taking the slow train can be way more scenic, and the destination much less traveled.

  5. Barbara

    The kitchen is beautiful! Your touch is magic. The green plant is a nice addition and adds an organic feel to the space. Thank you for sharing! Blessings!

  6. Robin B.

    Hi Marian, I may have to buy a plant to put on the ‘sister’ scale that I purchased from you right before you moved. I came up to see you with Niki from VanEch Studio. You were lovely and so gracious to let us look around your studio while you were trying to get ready for Lucketts and your BIG move. I am so enjoying your updates and the beautiful transformation of your new home. Your scale is happy on my peninsula and sends best wishes to you from VA!!

  7. Mary

    Oh I love the plant there, it brings such life to the kitchen. It does take time to make your house just the way you want it. We lived in an older home for 17 years and it took me that long to completely renovate it – as soon as I finished … you guessed it, hubby said it was time to move. I was sad for quite a while but now I love my new house and it didn’t require so much renovation. Don’t you think the same kind of thing sort of happened for you in Gettysburg? I felt like God was saying to me, until you are content in your home, you won’t be moving. And working on the house is sort of like him working on us – ouch! But it’s all for the good.

  8. MaryLisa Noyes

    Don’t be in any rush. Rooms evolve and are never really finished because switching accessories around can give a space a completely different vibe. It is looking really good.

  9. Norma Rolader

    Absolutely beautiful with the greenery

  10. Mary

    That’s the “Ticket”… looks great there!

  11. Avis

    I love your plant for many reasons! It is called a Baby’s/Angel’s Tears. My Baba (grandmother) had this plant when I was a young girl. I was always drawn to this plant and she had many! Well she went to be with her saviour in 2011. It took me some time but a friend was able to find me this plant so now I have it on my kitchen windowsill and remember her. Your plant will love that location!


  12. Lisa

    Isn’t it all about the journey, really?

  13. Jeanie

    I love your kitchen!! the greenery adds to it very nice!!

  14. Karen Chaudoin

    It is so lovely Marian. Green is truly a wonderful color. And I have used your Boxwood twice and both times it was so rich and rewarding. It is not a color for me in my home but I might have to find a spot for something in it. My grandson’s bed and dresser was done it. Wonderful to work with. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the yellow fabric work you are doing. I love toile in any color, particularly lavender, green, and yellow. That peek on Instagram made my heart beat a little faster seeing what you chose. I need to make a bedskirt and I may try yellow. If you get a chance perhaps you could tell me which of your whites creams would go with it. I am a soft white person and have an old bed that I had a canopy made for that I painted black with Annie Sloan, but I want to lighten it to a cream and if you think of it or have time perhaps you could tell me which of your paint colors would go with it. I particularly adore your European line since I grew up there. Thank you for a lovely post!

  15. Lelanie

    Thank you for the reminder that Rome was not built in one day! I am feeling a bit impatient with my house at the moment and really needed this reminder to actually enjoy the journey. The plant looks really cute!

  16. Victoria

    The greenery really makes a difference!
    I’ve always worried about putting things on a scale decoratively, does it wear out the scale? I guess it doesn’t matter if you don’t mean to use the scale practically but I’m curious, if anyone knows?


    It is a sweet plant and does add a lot. It will need hair cuts so don’t let it get to leggy before you cut it.

  18. judy kulmaczeski

    If you have an IKEA in the area, they have pretty faux greenery and real plants. I use both.

  19. Maureen Ryan

    At Michaels, I found inexpensive topiaries and bought two sets. They are charming! Good luck!

  20. Kathy

    Funny, I sip my hot chocolate at the beginning and take big swigs at the end!

  21. Alicia from California

    Isn’t it wonderful what a little greenery will do wherever you introduce it? It makes your kitchen pop!

    I’m into year three of living in my beautiful “beach” cottage in the middle of the Inland Empire near the mountains here in So. California. While this year I finally finished painting my kitchen all white including interior of cabinets, I ran out of cash to complete the look I have envisioned. Still to be done is replace the countertop/backsplash, sink, and bead board on the ceiling to match the dining room ceiling.

    And Kathy, I’m like you, I have to sip hot chocolate at first and as it cools I can really jump in and take big swigs! Ah! The simple joys of life!

  22. Hillary

    Have you tried growing fresh herbs in your kitchen? I know you cook and having them planted in the kitchen is handy, fragrant and beautiful.

  23. Ramona

    I could “cook up a storm” in your beautiful kitchen “as is”. I absolutely love it!

  24. Rebecca

    Do you know the name of the plant? Is it a baby’s tears? Also look s like it could be thyme? I have a great spot for one! Thanks for sharing the journey!

  25. Carrie

    I really agree and am feeling the same way about taking my time and learning to savor the decorating process.

  26. Jill Hilbrich

    I constantly have to remind myself that it took us almost 11 years to get our last house close to where I wanted it now that I’m in our current house (of a mere 10 months). We’ve already replaced the kitchen floor from cork to oak (laid and stained ourselves), refinished the rest of the the main level floors, replaced all of the carpeting and painted most of the inside walls, in addition to major repairs to two lower level bedrooms from a ground water leak. And yet my brain can often only focus on what still needs to be done. Thanks for reminding me that its normal, I’m not alone, and these things really do take time!

  27. Suzanne

    That’s a very sweet plant! So pretty. What is it?

  28. Michelle

    Keep the email “sips” coming our way! I absolutely love watching your progress!

  29. Lillian

    ;-)! & the better care you give the injury the more it will repay you in kind! May you have many long years of savoring & growing into your spaces! You’se living WELL.

  30. D.Kit Somers

    Marian, when in the twin cities, please visit: TANGLETOWN GARDENS on 49th and Nicolett Ave south, Minneapolis, mn…………..just fab.

  31. Andrea Brankin

    I always look forward to changes in my home, and actually get a bit bored when things are “done”. With age, I have tried to slow down and be content in whatever stage, since I enjoy the creative process more than looking at an end product!

  32. Jackie

    Hi Marian, I love reading your blog and seeing the process in your new home. Our styles are very similar and I’ve gotten a lot of good ideas. The plant looks great in your kitchen. Plants always liven up a space and give it warmth. I just “finished” a major kitchen remodel after 19 years of dreaming and it’s been an adventure to find the pieces to bring my vision to life. I thought I was the only one that had to “live” in a space before I knew what I wanted it to look like. Glad I’m not alone. Take care of yourself and enjoy the journey and that cup of cocoa.

  33. Frances

    I agree with the slow evolution Marian. We have always lived in a house for a couple of years before doing any major work because we want to see how we se the spaces before diving into the details. I have found that this has cured me of the awful habit of rearranging furniture once a month that I had when we were renters.
    Unfortunately, in our first two houses, we ended up putting them up for sale right after getting them just right. My husband says we’re never moving again – ha! I want an old farmhouse – so we’re really giving our potential forever home some deep consideration. My son is helping me with the kitchen cabinets right now and I am starting to think about paint colors. This house is large and formal, so I feel a little out of place in it, but after 5 years, it does feel like home and I’m ready to get to work. I’m excited to start looking for a front door with an interesting window, preferably something old, and make our entryway more interesting.
    I appreciate all of your posts on your home and studio – I’m an artist also – because they are helping me focus. I look forward to seeing what else you are working on.

  34. Pat

    Marian, I’m a (retired) pastor’s wife and have moved a lot over the years. I think it takes me at least three years before I have our house the way that feels and looks most like home to me. But I never stop rearranging and redecorating. That’s the fun part if homemaking.

    • Amy Barnhart

      I agree! Always editing and refining.

  35. Elena

    Refreshing! It looks perfect there.

  36. Rebecca Neustel

    I love the plant – such a perfect choice for your cheerful, sunny kitchen!

  37. Amy Barnhart

    A bit of greenery always makes a difference! I love that sweet little leaf on the one you chose. I also like the wooden stools at your island.

  38. Linda Mashburn

    Marian, what paint do you use for your baseboards?


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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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