There's No Place Like Home!

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages: 208 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Amazon | Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Perfection is overrated. Popular blogger and self-taught decorator Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) is all about embracing reality -- especially when it comes to decorating a home bursting with boys, pets, and all the unpredictable messes of life. In The Nesting Place, Myquillyn shares the secrets of decorating for real people -- and it has nothing to do with creating a flawless look to wow your guests. It has everything to do with embracing the natural imperfection and chaos of daily living. Drawing on her years of experience creating beauty in her 13 different homes, Myquillyn will show you how to think differently about the true purpose of your home and simply and creatively tailor it to reflect you and your unique style -- without breaking the bank or stressing over comparisons.

Full of easy tips, simple steps, and practical advice, The Nesting Place will give you the courage to take risks with your home and transform it into a place that's inviting and warm for family and friends. There is beauty in the lived-in and loved-on and just-about-used-up, Myquillyn says, and welcoming that imperfection wholeheartedly just might be the most freeing thing you ll ever do.

Thoughts on The Nesting Place
Myquillyn Smith is the blogger behind The Nesting Place - a popular home decor blog she started in 2007. I've visited her website a few times (often through an image on Pinterest) but have never subscribed. I love decorating in small doses. I enjoy looking at gorgeous rooms, pinning inspirational images, flipping through magazines and books... but I rarely take that from paper to the place I live.

I don't feel confident when it comes to decorating. My mom sees a room and has a vision for it. She thinks in a completely different way than I do - picturing the finished project, able to see how all the random parts will fit together to make something beautiful and comfortable. And, for the most part, my house looks nice because she's has helped me. My sister can do the same thing with fashion, which is why I frequently turn to her for clothing advice and will gladly accept any and all of her hand-me-downs. But my brain doesn't think that way!

The finished product is my favorite, but I've never been good at or found joy in the journey that it takes to get there. I can identify what I like and don't like, and I think I have pretty good taste. But I can't actually translate that into my real life! I get hung up on how much it might cost, what will happen if I don't like it or screw it up or make a mess... or even just where to begin. So, while I don't read Myquillyn's blog, I knew that I wanted to read The Nesting Place book because of the tagline: "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

Reading that sentence felt so freeing to me. I'm not sure if I would have been able to put my feelings about decorating into words before reading this book: I never get started because I'm scared it won't look perfect. I like to be in situations where I know what I'm doing, what I'm talking about, what's expected of me. In fact, I will do everything I can to avoid the state of not knowing. If I don't know how to do something, I won't do it. If I don't know how to pronounce something, I won't say it. If I think I'll look foolish or inept, I fear being asked or required to do it. I like learning (so next time I will know), but I'm not a fan of situations that force me to try something new in front of other people.

I'm not saying this is a good quality. In fact, it's one I've had to work hard to fight against. My natural inclination is often to say no to new experiences, and I don't like that because it's often rooted in pride (wanting people to think I have it all together). And it rears its head again and again.

Despite knowing all this about myself, I'd never thought about it in the context of decorating. I realized that I'm unsure of myself when it comes to my home - with a vague idea of what I like but feeling unable to make it a reality. Reading The Nesting Place was perfect for me because it reminded me of the freedom in imperfection, the beauty in creating (even if it's a mess) and the reward in taking a risk.

Myquillyn and her family have moved numerous times and have spent most of those years renting. The Nesting Place is unique because it isn't really a decorating book. There are some ideas in it, yes, but it's really an inspirational book - a call to see your home a different way, to embrace imperfection, to stop waiting for the right time, to look past your limitations and excuses to create a space that you want to call HOME. If you're looking for standard decorating ideas or DIY tutorials, this probably isn't the book for you. But if you're like me, it might be just what you need.

If you look at your house and know that it's not yet what it could be, especially if it's because you've been too scared to try, I highly recommend this book. I think it's for the people who don't really know what they're doing in their home, but they know they want it to be something more. In one chapter, Myquillyn writes:
Is your home just another place of unmet expectations, to-do lists, and exhaustion? Or is your home a haven, the safest place on earth, a place to come back to, a place to heal, a place to create, a place to risk and simply be? You get to decide.
That quote sums up why I loved this book so much. Myquillyn reminded me that it's in my hands - I can create the home that I imagine, and I get to decide how I feel about the place that I live. But even more than that, she challenged me to think about the purpose of my home. I really loved this read, and it was exactly what I needed to hear! Filled with beautiful images of her home, inspiring words of advice and unexpected uses of whimsy and inventiveness, The Nesting Place quickly became the best "decorating" book that I've ever read.

So Quotable
"We don't want a pretty home just for the sake of a pretty home. Home is a place to come back to for rest. It's also a place to go out from to do everything else we're meant to do. I long to create a home where all who enter can fully be themselves, and where all who enter can be more ready to live out their calling. After all, creating a beautiful home is a journey, not a destination."

5 comments:

  1. I love this concept -- might have to see if my library has this one. Our house is fairly put to together at this point -- nothing fancy, but we did aim to make it feel "homey" -- but I still think it would be an interesting read and a good place to get some ideas.

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  2. The boyfriend and I just moved into an apartment I can see us staying in for a while, so we're finally starting to buy furniture we like and actually decorate -- and it's hard! I know what kind of things I like, but I don't really have a "vision" for what the rooms will look like. This sounds like a great, inspirational book!

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  3. You took the words right out of my mouth! I haven't read The Nesting Place yet, but I recently started following her blog, and I find her so inspiring. I too have a fear of imperfection and will do anything to maintain the facade that I "have it all together." It's so freeing to be reminded that true joy is not found in perfection.

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  4. This was pretty good timing considering we're re-doing our bedroom and some things in the living room! I am like you, not confident with decorating, but my mother literally demands a floor plan and has it all handled. my aunt is the same way! Its INTIMIDATING. I am afraid to fail, so maybe reading this book will help me along in the decorating process!

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  5. Okay, it's seriously like you're in my head with your thoughts on decorating, Hannah! I do appreciate the aesthetics of certain people I know, and aspire to have homes (and closets, and more) as well put-together as theirs... But I'm very intimidated. I'm not quite sure how to go from idea to execution, especially as I'm a notorious perfectionist and prefer to make as few mistakes as possible. It's an attitude that I've slowly loosened up on a bit, but I have a ways to go. Still, this book sounds really interesting, and I definitely want to check it out!

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