The Nesting Place

Nester books shots

“Perfection is overrated” – so states the back cover of blogger Myquillyn Smith’s home-decorating book The Nesting Place. Yes. That.

Those words are like a soothing balm to the tyrannical little perfectionist within me who likes to rear her obsessive head no matter how many times I ask her to kindly move along. Smith’s voice reverberates like a clear bell, shaking loose from our minds the crazy-making hold of Pinterest-perfect rooms with everything just so.

Her home is truly beautiful – the book bursts with pictures of her home’s thoughtful vignettes – and she has a thrifted, slip-covered chair with a broken leg supported by a stack of books and a toy dinosaur not only in her living room, but on the actual cover of her book.

Smith says, “[T]his book isn’t about decorating a house. It’s about creating a beautiful, meaningful home that you love. Right where you are. It includes practical tips, but more important, it presents a philosophy of decorating that I’ve found so freeing that it guides every decorating decision I make in my own home.”

She’s the real deal, the mother of three boys who live hard and well in the home she’s created. Smith fills her home with whimsical details like a wreath made entirely of plastic spoons (it’s gorgeous, I swear); actual stumps brought in from outside and used as side tables throughout the house; wreaths and garland handmade from pages of old books; a duct-taped wall (seriously); and quirky busts casually donning headdresses, eye patches, and jewelry.

Better to have a home that people feel comfortable to actually live in – put up their feet on the coffee table, make a mess in the kitchen – than to live in a perfectly curated museum of a house, she says. The Nesting Place is about owning your messes and being grateful that they reflect a life well-lived with the people you love most.

Part psychologist, part decorator, Smith asks readers to decide what their home’s purpose is and then thoughtfully gather elements that fulfill that purpose. She advocates risk as an important element in overcoming perfectionism and opening you to possibilities you never considered.

Getting down to brass tacks, she reveals her favorite tips and techniques for filling a home with meaningful and fun items on a budget (always including specifics tips for renters – hallelujah!):

• Everything on display

• Opposites attract

• Paint it with craft paint

• Don’t keep a journal, keep a gallery wall

• Find a signature piece

• Find your finishing touch

• Add quirk

The final tip: find contentment where you are. “You don’t have to wait for perfect conditions. Create your home now, wherever you are. You have everything you need.” Amen, sister.

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The Kindred Street – Book Review {The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith}

Images by Myquillyn Smith

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A born wordsmith (that’s someone who likes words a lot and uses them well), I bring 15 years’ experience in professional publishing to the table – writing and editing are where I really shine. And now a word about books. Simply, I love a good book. When I come upon a really great sentence in a book, I like to linger there. Really soak it in, wiggle around in it and think about how the author crafted that amazing line. Super geeky, I know. But that’s exactly why I make a great editor. I appreciate words. I appreciate the art of stringing words that alone are nothing special, but when married together become a thing of beauty.

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