Marian Parsons is the woman behind the well-known blog and social media brand Miss Mustard Seed. People can find decorating tips, tutorials, and encouragement on her blog and in her newest book, Feels Like Home. Marian and her family are in the midst of a complete renovation of their recently-purchased home. She chose to install luxurious brass hardware from Grandeur Hardware as a part of the home upgrade. Read on to see the beautiful hardware and learn about Miss Mustard Seed.
Please give us some more details on Miss Mustard Seed. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart?
I started my blog about thirteen years ago to connect with other people who enjoy working on their homes and refinishing furniture. I also wanted to promote my new decorative painting business. What started on a whim became the heart of my business. Not only has it opened doors to do some amazing things, like writing books and working with brands, but I have also found a lovely community of creatives.
There are so many wonderful blogs out there, but mine offers a regular message of encouragement. I want people to leave my blog feeling inspired, empowered, and ready to try new creative endeavors. That encouragement is what keeps people coming back.
Did you do a remodel on your entire home? If so, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others? Why?
We are in the middle of a complete house renovation! We bought a 1970 brick rancher in the fall of 2022 and will customize and update every part of the house. It has good bones but needs some TLC. We wanted a home we could make our own, though, so this house is perfect.
The biggest challenge so far hasn't been one particular room but setting priorities and making compromises. The house needed a new roof sooner than expected, so that meant our bathroom makeover plans will need to wait.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Grandeur Hardware?
This is a well-built house with many high-end finishes, but they went fully builder-grade regarding the doors and hardware. We had rickety "gold" doorknobs, some of which didn't lock, and they needed an update. I was attracted to Grandeur Hardware because they are solid brass, which means they will last forever. There were also a variety of classic styles to choose from and we ended up installing the Carre short plate with Fifth Avenue knob. While this is a mid-century house, it has a very traditional feel, so we wanted to select a style and finish that felt quality and timeless.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home? If so, why?
Definitely! We are installing three new doors within the next few weeks, so I plan on ordering the same hardware. Door hardware throughout a home doesn't have to match, but it is nice to stick with one style for a more cohesive look. Also, Grandeur Hardware was so easy to install that we didn't need to pull out any tricks! Sometimes installing hardware can be fiddly and frustrating, but these went on like a dream.
What is your design style, and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your home?
I love antiques and old things, and that love has influenced my design style. I also grew up in Germany, so I am drawn to things with a European feel. I hunt for antiques at markets, in stores, and online to curate items that I love, and when they are all put together, it looks like my style.
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
I typically start home projects with what I have and what I know we can do ourselves, and then I'll expand from there. This house needed a lot of large projects done, so for the first time, I am working with a general contractor to plan a kitchen remodel and restore a fantastic concrete pool. For large and small projects, though, I keep a notebook with phone numbers, measurements, details, room plans, and sketches. This helps to keep me on track.
How did you choose a house to buy and renovate?
I had hoped to buy a home that was at least 100 years old, but we ended up buying based on location and the neighborhood. The house offered everything we needed and some exciting renovation opportunities. It's a gem of a house, and we're looking forward to seeing how it looks in a few years.
Many people want to take on large remodeling projects. What are some recommendations for readers who wish to do an extensive remodel project?
The most important thing is to find a reputable contractor who will work with you in the way you want to work. For some people, that means the contractor does every little detail. Our contractor is willing to work with us, so we can do some of the work ourselves and have him manage other parts of the projects.
What are some tips for readers who wish to make a transformation in their home?
Paint and fabric are my two favorite ways to transform a space. Paint, especially, is inexpensive, and most people can paint a room without hiring professionals. Beyond that, pay attention to the details. Adding trim work, upgrading the hardware, or even changing out light switch plates can make a big difference in a space's overall look and feel.
What is next?
While we're working on my home, I am also working on growing the fine art side of my business. I sell original paintings and also sell prints through several commercial clients.
Thanks to Marian for a great partnership!