Home decorating can either be inspiring and exciting — or stressful and overwhelming.
Marian Parsons would rather her readers experience the excitement.
An antiques dealer and home decorator living in Gettysburg, Parsons launched her blog, Miss Mustard Seed, in 2009. In October, she published her first book, “Inspired You,” with do-it-yourself projects and ideas to breathe life into your home.
We caught up with Parsons to see how it all started.
Book Buzz: How did you first get interested in home decorating and DIY design? Did you go to school for it or have any formal training?
Marian Parsons: I’ve always had an interest in homes and decorating, but only did it as a hobby for myself and friends until 2008 when I turned it into a business. I don’t have any training in decorating or design. Everything I have learned has been self-taught mainly from reading books and trial and error!
BB: Describe your own home in a few words. What’s most important in your home
MP: My home is a 1940s brick cape cod with a modern addition that was built onto the back of the house a few years before we bought it. I wasn’t in love with the house, but I was excited about the original doors, hardware and floors and the addition had a great kitchen and family room for entertaining. Having a young family, practicality in my home is important, but I want it to look beautiful, so I am constantly trying to find that balance. Budget often dictates my choices, but it’s almost a game. I try to create the nicest room I can for the least amount possible.
BB: Where did the nickname, Miss Mustard Seed, come from?
MP: I named my business Mustard Seed Interiors after the verse in the Bible about faith the size of a mustard seed being able to move mountains. It was a subtle reminder to me that this journey is about faith. My brother suggested using the web domain www.missmustardseed.com and I followed that suggestion. I had no idea people would actually call me that!
BB: How did the idea of a book come about? Did you focus more on ideas for a
full-room makeover or smaller, quicker projects? How long did it take to put
MP: I have always loved decorating books and the idea of writing one was exciting to me. With the growth of my blog, it started to seem possible. I initially worked on writing an e-book, but abandoned that. When [publisher] Thomas Nelson contacted me, it just all came together. The book focuses on the entire home from room makeovers to furniture makeovers to simple crafts. Inspired You isn’t just about decorating, though, it’s about encouraging the reader in all aspects of her life.
BB: With the holidays coming up, what are a few easy ideas for families to
incorporate into their decorating? Any quick projects that could be done in
an hour or two?
MP: One of cheapest and most versatile thing you can use to decorate for the holidays is paper. You can use sheet music, pages from old books, scrapbook paper, tissue, newsprint, construction paper… whatever you have on hand to wrap presents, create bunting, banners and pennants, make pinwheel ornaments, a wreath and even make a tree topper. Mix that with some fresh greenery and you can have a beautifully decorated home without spending any money.
Name: Marian Parsons
Lives in: Gettysburg
Family: Husband, Jeff (husband), kids Marshall, 5, and Calvin, 4
Occupation: Blogger, author, antiques dealer
Hobbies: Decorating, painting, sewing