Sometimes we need a little encouragement to try something new, to be brave, to take a leap. I found that for decorating my house. I found a new book called The Nesting Place. It’s written by author and blogger Myquillyn Smith of thenester.com and the creator of the 31 Day Blog Challenge I’m participating in. No, I’m not writing this to get brownie points with the teacher. I’m truly and utterly enamored with this book and I’m not even done yet.
The subtitle is sublime: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” In this book Myquillyn assures the reader that making your house a home is an important task but it isn’t brain surgery. No one is going to die if you choose the wrong paint color. No decorating police will show up at your door if you buy throw pillows that aren’t in fashion right now. You don’t have to listen to people who tell you that you “can’t” do that because it just isn’t done. (Side note: do listen to the girlfriend who is trying to keep you from doing something hideous. God gave us girlfriends for that purpose.)
She gently reminds us that the pretty pictures in magazines and blogs are meant to inspire us with ideas not make us hate what we have or compare our every-day with their staged perfections. How many times have I done that? How many times have you? My home could never look like that—I have kids. Her words are coaching to try something you see but not try to recreate exactly what stares at you in glossy, immaculate perfection.
One of her first encouragements convicted me to the core: it’s time to stop apologizing for our homes. “Imperfections bear witness to the fact that we are normal, approachable, real people.” How many times do we greet our guests by apologizing for unmatched pieces, unfinished projects, or signs of busy life in our homes? In chapter 4, this golden paragraph emerges:
“Don’t apologize for what you have. It makes guests feel uncomfortable, it encourages discontentment, and if you’re married and your husband hears you apologizing for what he’s provided it could be hurtful.”
She also writes from a practical place of having lived in both homes she owns and homes she rents. She encourages us with tips on thrifting and upcycling and not needing to spend a million dollars to have the home you can love. She cheers us on to take risks, try something new, and if it doesn’t work, do something else. Her encouragement is for anyone trying to make their home a welcoming, lovely place for family and friends.
I could eat this thing up!
Trying to decorate this home as a widow has it’s pros and cons. Pro—I don’t have to convince anyone of my latest “fantastic” idea. Con—I don’t have his input or his help to try my latest fantastic idea. Myquillyn’s book is helping me feel I can do it and I should.
Tomorrow’s blog will include the precarious adventure of trying to upcycle an ugly bookshelf for my girls. The process is still up in the air. Stay tuned for the exciting outcome. Pictures will follow.
Today I will continue to try and find affordable ways to make my home lovely and comfortable. I will curl up with The Nesting Place on my couch if I have time and read some more from my decorating cheerleader, Myquillyn. I’m sure we’d have a delightful time discussing decorating over tea at my kitchen table if she were closer. (Yeah, I’m aware that sounds a bit like a stalker.) If you are looking for inspiration from a real place and a genuine person, I recommend this book highly.
Now off to take a few risks.