The Nesting Place (Myquillyn Smith)

September 14, 2015 Book Reviews 7 ★★★★½

The Nesting Place (Myquillyn Smith)The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith
Published by Zondervan on April 29th 2014
Genres: House and Home, Nonfiction
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library
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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.

Myquillyn Smith and her husband have lived in 14 homes in 18 years, so she’s had plenty of practice in figuring out how to make a house (or apartment) into a home. But what I found most inspiring about this book is that she’s not a perfectionist. In fact, she talks about not focusing on perfection, but making your home a place that welcomes and nurtures you and your family. She even shows a pair of photos of her own office, one staged for a magazine shoot, and one the way it normally looks: messy, used, and lived in.

And she really understands that fear of doing it “wrong” is what holds a lot of us back from doing anything at all to our homes. She encourages her readers to take risks, whether it’s to go ahead and paint that $8 yard-sale side table, or moving the sofa to another wall, or putting up a bunch of photos and/or art.  I had to laugh when she says there are 83 nail holes in her gallery wall – 83 that aren’t currently in use and that she had to fill in, that is! I’m one of those people who is scared to put up the pictures, because what if I don’t get the arrangement right? In fact, I am so afraid of making bad choices when it comes to my house that I haven’t really done anything in years… and it shows. But the two rooms I actually designed about 10 or 12 years ago – my office and Robin’s bedroom – while both currently cluttered and full of too much stuff, are pretty and inviting when they’re cleaned up. So what am I afraid of?

Myquillyn’s style isn’t mine; she uses a lot more painted furniture than I want to, while I’m more into the beauty of the wood. But she embraces the personally meaningful and the whimsical in her style, and both of those are things I want to highlight as well: family treasures, things that have personal meaning or wonderful memories, and things that reflect my passions (reading, knitting, fantasy creatures.) Reading the book inspired me to bring up our oversize dragon cookie jar that has languished in the basement for the last 12 or 15 years. We don’t need to eat a lot of cookies, so instead I filled him with Luna bars (power bars.) He’s green and yellow – not the colors I would have chosen – but he’s also cute and whimsical and dragonish, and I love him.

The real test of a how-to book is in whether you actually follow through on the inspiration and ideas you get from it, and I can’t really report on that yet. It’s only been a week or so since I read it, after all. But I found some sections of the book and some of the quotes inspiring enough that I decided to buy my own copy so I can refer back to it whenever I get discouraged.

Wish me luck!


CHALLENGES: Popsugar #14: a nonfiction book


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • PopSugar 2015 Reading challenge

7 Responses to “The Nesting Place (Myquillyn Smith)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      The library is a good place to start with this one. Then, if you like it and it speaks to you, you can get a copy like I did, or just take the lessons and apply them as they work for you!

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’ve been thinking about picking this one up from the library and it looks like I definitely should if nothing else but for the pleasure of looking through it. I love the idea of not worrying about perfection as I definitely think that trips me up. I’m trying to get a couple of redos going and this may be the inspiration I need.
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