“Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are.”
~ Anaïs Nin
Miss Mustard Seed and I dug in a little bit deeper with what it’s like being a single woman homeowner. How might she decorate differently and the type of projects she engages in. Marian Parsons specializes in DIY decorating in your home by finding things you love and redoing them with paint and fabric. She helps you design on a budget and transform your space. You can read her blog at: Miss Mustard Seed.
Francesca: Do you think the style of décor, or what a woman is drawn to when she’s single, changes when she goes into a partnership?
Marian: I think it depends on who she’s with. There are some guys, like my husband he’s pretty flexible and as long as it’s not totally impractical he’s okay with what I do. And there are other guys who want to be involved in the decorating decisions. I always try in my blog to encourage people to be sensitive with who they’re living with whether it’s a roommate or a spouse it’s their home as well. It’s easy if you really love decorating to just bowl over whoever you’re with and not take their style or desires into account.
Francesca: Do you have any tips for single women who are designing on a budget? If you were chatting with a woman who is renting right now what things should she be thinking about? What tips can you share?
Marian: I think the best thing anyone can learn to do whether they’re on a budget or not is to learn to paint or sew. With paint you can make just about any space look better. There’s paint for everything you can paint: bathtubs, tile, appliances, cabinets, counters, floors, and walls. You can paint almost every single surface in a house to transform it. That would definitely be the top thing. In sewing you’re no longer limited by what you can purchase ready-made. For example drapes in packages or furniture that matches the look you’re going for. You can buy upholstered pieces that are in good condition withe really nice bones for $10.00, slip cover and drop cloth them, to make them fit your own space.
Francesca: What’s involved in making slipcovers? To me it seems like it would be very a challenging thing to do. But you make it look so easy.
Marian: I encourage people to work with an inexpensive fabric like drop cloth or cotton twill. I have a 6 part video tutorial series that breaks it down and simplifies it.
I don’t use buttons or zippers or anything that will make it a little bit more complicated. I’ve had a lot of first time sewers say they followed the tutorials and they had a great result. The thing is if you work with inexpensive fabric and you’re slip-covering it and you mess up you just can throw it away and start over, or get your seam ripper out and try again.
Francesca: Are you self-taught on all of DYI projects such as making slipcovers?
Marian: I am. I just give it a go. I’ve had a lot of failures along the way. My first couple of slipcovers and upholstered pieces were bad but I keep working on pieces. I’ve gotten better and better to the point where I was able to teach other people.
Francesca: That’s awesome Marian; do you have any other golden nuggets for the single woman who is thinking of buying a home solo in terms of go for it, décor and design, or whatever’s on your mind?
Marian: I think when buying a home the key is to make sure it has good bones. Plus that you’re not buying beyond your budget. You might find a place you love but it has major structural issues or, mold abatement, or needs a total gut job and you don’t have the money or the skills to do it yourself. I would suggest buying something that’s going to be manageable for you, something that will set you up to succeed.
Francesca: That’s certainly great piece of advice Marian. This has been wonderful, thank you so much for your time and for sharing what inspires you. Obviously what you’re doing touches the hearts of a lot of women. And it inspires them as well. Thank you for taking the time to chat.
EnJOY and blessings,
All photographs used by permission of Marian Parsons and Mustard Seed Interiors LLC.