Things I’ve Learned from Miss Mustard Seed

We’re sharing another installment of our Miss Mustard Seed Monday mini-series, as we count down to Marian’s new book, Feels Like Home.

It’s been so much fun to be a part of the Feels Like Home book launch team these past few weeks.  I can hardly believe we’re one week away from launch day!

Even though I read through an advance copy of the book, I still find myself going back over it just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

It’s really good!

French -Gray-Painted-Books-The-Crowned-Goat

The book truly feels like a love letter to the family, friends, fans, and blog readers who have enjoyed learning from Marian through her blog, on social media, and via her YouTube channel since she first began in 2009.

She’s been a constant source of inspiration for me, and I know she has been for so many of you as well!

DIY French Gray Painted Books-The Crowned Goat

Here are 7 things I’ve learned from Miss Mustard Seed over the years…

Listen To Your Home Before You Begin Infusing Your Personality

When we first moved into this island cottage, I immediately started decorating in a shabby chic meets coastal theme. I’ll just give you the short version, it was a complete disaster and didn’t feel right at all.

Over the years, I’ve learned to practice patience and take a more layered approach when it comes to decorating the house.

It’s not always easy but the end result is always worth it.

Find Ways to Add Character Through DIY Projects

I’ve been one of those people that see the potential in everything for as long as I can remember.  My family would say I’m an idealist which I completely own, as an INFJ Meyers-Briggs Personality Type.

I also have a practical side and knew I didn’t have the skills to complete intensive room makeovers as you see on HGTV without a lot of extra help.


Thankfully, I wasn’t afraid to start small and work my way up, one transformation at a time.

While I’ve been blessed to work alongside my parents, and bestie S through many DIY projects over the years, it was taking the chance on a single piece of furniture that started the journey of The Crowned Goat and in the process turned our home into a place we truly love.


Decorating on a Budget Will Stretch Your Creativity in The Best Possible Way

One of my favorite things about Miss Mustard Seed projects and ideas, is they’re mostly budget-friendly.

Over the years, Marian has spoken extensively about starting out with little to no money to decorate her home. Despite frequently shopping at yard sales, she would still angst a bit over a $3 side table because things were that tight.

Without a doubt, this was one of the things about her blog that drew me in and kept me coming back for more. Especially, since I first discovered her while I was in graduate school living off fish sticks and pop tarts.

While our decorating budget has changed a lot since those early days, I still treasure the skills and creativity I learned from reading the Miss Mustard Seed blog during that time.

Blush Bedroom with Bed Crown-The Crowned Goat

Take a Break When You Feel Stuck

Seeing a room transformed from start to finish is one of my favorite luxuries in life. I love the planning, the troubleshooting, the shopping, the installation, the reveal – it’s so much fun.

The flipside to all that fun is constantly having to make decisions because, after a while, the decision fatigue can really start taking a toll.

Marian shares more about this in the book, but one of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned from her is to take a decorating break when you feel stuck.

Forcing an idea can lead to mistakes, disappointment, and even regret once the project is finished. It’s best to take a breath, walk away, honor your feelings, and regroup so give yourself permission to do just that!

Use the Good Stuff Everyday

When I was a young girl, my Granny hosted a candlelit Christmas dinner and let our entire family eat off a set of antique china she brought home from Germany in the 1950s.

It was the most magical thing I’d experienced up to that point because I had never seen the dishes out of her china cabinet, ever.

That night on the way home, I promised myself if I ever had a set of pretty dishes, I would use them on a regular basis and I love that Miss Mustard Seed encourages her family and her readers to do the same.

Vintage Equestrian Place Setting-The Crowned Goat

Shop Antique Stores, Estate Sales, Flea Markets, Yard Sales and Outdoor Events for Unique Finds, Budget Friendly Décor Items, and Decorating Secret Weapons

There’s nothing like spending the day treasure hunting for vintage and antique goodies. I swear you just never know what you’re going to find from one trip to the next.

My love of ironstone definitely started from the first day I started reading Marian’s blog. It’s not easy to find in our area which makes finding a piece, extra special.

While we’ve frequently shopped antique stores, estate sales, flea markets, yard sales, and outdoor events for unique or one-of-a-kind items, I never thought about shopping for those go-to decorating items we repeatedly use in our homes from small vignettes to complete room makeovers.

Marian shares an entire secret weapons list in the book, and it has changed the way I shop these events. It’s really good!


Stay True to What You Love

I’m sure we’ve all been distracted at times by the latest trends on social media, Pinterest, print magazines, and decorating books too.

It can definitely be hard to stay the course when you’re transforming the spaces in your home bit by bit, and your original vision no longer seems popular or cool anymore.

I’m absolutely raising my hand on this one too.

Styling a Cottage Desk with Simple Accessories-The Crowned Goat

While our taste and design preference may change over the years, the overall feel of how we go about making a home warm and inviting for our friends and family doesn’t have to.

Stay true to what you love by taking note of the pieces you choose over and over again in your home. It might be a specific decorating detail, a color palette, a pattern, fabric, a piece of art, or even a collection.

Those pieces will help guide your signature style.

They’ll help you stay the course when shiny object syndrome threatens to take hold and lead you back to the classic pieces that steal your heart and take your breath away.

DIY Bed Crown and French Cottage Bedroom Makeover-The-Crowned-Goa

I hope these 7 Things I’ve Learned from Miss Mustard Seed have helped!

Feels Like Home is available for pre-order now and is coming out on October 12th so be sure to check it out on Marian’s blog, Miss Mustard Seed, if you haven’t had a chance to yet.

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other Miss Mustard Seed Inspired Posts to Enjoy:

Many blessings,


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  1. CoCo,
    I love all these inspirations from Miss Mustard Seed. Decorating on a budget and DIY are my go to plan. Thanks for a great post.

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! I’m totally with you decorating on a budget and making things your own by DIY-ing is always so much fun. Hope you’re having a great week so far, CoCo

  2. So true, I have always loved her! And your home is beautiful, thank you for sharing with us Coco ❤

    1. Thanks so much, Tanya! I have no idea how Marian keeps all the balls in the air but it’s definitely fun to watch her. Hope your week is a fun one, CoCo

  3. Oh Miss Mustard Seed!!! I have been reading her blog for years and CANNOT WAIT to get the new book. There is so much to learn from her inspiration and yours too:) I think my biggest take away from your tips is to stay true to what you love.
    Thanks for sharing all of your tips that you have learned over the years!!!!!!!

    1. I’m so excited for the book to come out too, Maria! I really think you’re going to love it. It feels like she rolled up all her best tips and tricks from the blog into the book. Plus, her photography is amazing, you know? Gah – it just gets me every single time. Big hugs, CoCo

  4. OH! I love this post CoCo & all of it is so true. Marian never seizes to amaze me and you’ve summed it up so beautifully here. Thanks for the inspiration and your photography is pretty good too friend! Have a great day. XO- MaryJo

    PS. can’t wait to see the book!

    1. Thank you so much, MaryJo! It’s been a lot of fun to watch Marian and the MMS brand grow and change over the years. I’ve only met her in person once and she was really nice. I’m excited for her success and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book. Hope your week has been filled with all good things, CoCo

    1. Her book is so good! I really think you’re going to like it, Michelle. It feels like classic Miss Mustard Seed 🙌 Big hugs, CoCo

  5. Calypso in the Country says:

    What a great blog post! I agree with everything you said and cannot wait to get her book!

    1. I really think you’re going to like her book, Shelley! Not only are her photographs amazing her writing style is so relatable and her tips are fantastic. I can’t wait to hear what you think! Sending you hugs, CoCo

  6. I love all these things you’ve learned–and that you’ve shared them with us so we can learn them too. Also, your projects in these photos are just gorgeous. I need me some transfer ware! LOL

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