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I am not a good interior decorator. As a matter of fact, I have a Pinterest board titled “Decorating For Dummies.” I know what I like and dislike, but I lack the ability to do more than just copying a style, or room that I see on Pinterest. As a result there are a lot of bits and pieces in my home that I like, but I am not happy with the overall decorating scheme.
When I was given the opportunity to read and review Myquillyn Smith’s book The Nesting Place, I immediately jumped on it. I have been a fan of her blog The Nester for a long time, and recently participated in her 31 Days challenge. I love her style, and her ability to make accessories for her home out of virtually nothing, but most of all I love her writing because up until very recently she was a renter.
As someone who has rented her entire adult life, I find a lot of decorating sites and books to be geared towards people who own their own home and can make major renovations. Not only does Myquillyn add tips especially for renters, that is the perspective she herself is writing from. Myquillyn’s decorating style ranges from Anthropologie to DIY, and many of the beautiful pieces in her home were yard sale finds that she refurbished with some paint.
Myquillyn has an easy, entertaining writing style, and I gobbled this book up in two days. Sprinkled throughout the pages are gorgeous pictures of areas in her home, showing the amazing decorating hacks she has come up with. One of my favorites is the wall in her master bedroom that she accented with white duct tape, yet it looks like it was ripped from the pages of a high-end decorating magazine.
She talks about all of the homes they have lived in – 13 in 18 years – and how she has evolved her style and attitude to balance loving her home, without breaking the bank. When Myquillyn and her husband Chad first got married they changed their circumstances and homes several times, and got themselves into a deep financial crisis. They lived in “The Apartment That I Was Too Good For,” “The Free Two-Bedroom Condo,” and my favorite, “The House in the Neighborhood with Bars on the Windows.” She was discontent with their living situations, and longed for a beautiful home, with custom furnishings.
No one has to teach us that perfect is the unofficial goal of American culture: we want straight A’s, the perfect yard, and a tiny waistline. We’ve been duped into believing that flawless is the only acceptable outcome in every area of our lives.
Its crazy to compare ourselves with women in advertisements. And it’s crazy to compare our homes with the photos we see in magazines and online. It takes only a second to cross over from enjoying pretty pictures to contrasting our homes with them, and suddenly we feel as if we live in a frat house run by blind circus clowns from 1970’s Vegas.
The subtitle of the book is “It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful.” Myquillyn recounts a moment of clarity when she was on a trip to Tanzania. A local woman had a very elaborate necklace on, and when Myquillyn complimented it the woman proceeded to show her another necklace she had made that had taken her two weeks.
In the midst of poverty, famine, and everyday life in a mud hut, this woman made time for art.
The two major things that I took away from this book are that it is worth time and investment to have a beautiful home that I love, whether it is my 1,000 square-foot rental apartment, or a beautiful mansion. The other is that it is ok to experiment and make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to put nail holes in the walls, don’t be afraid to with out a light fixture, and don’t hold yourself back from making a change you will love over fear of losing your deposit. After reading this book I am inspired to make some changes in my home, and excited to really love the space I am in.
Myquillyn closes the book by reminding us that it is wonderful to have a beautiful home that you love, but that is not where our true treasure lies. Don’t wait til you have your dream house to be happy, and love where you live.
I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to make their house a beautiful home, and a space that they love, on a budget. You will find inspiration for your home, and your heart.
You can pick up a Kindle copy on Amazon for $7.99 and start reading right away, you will be glad you did!
I received a complimentary copy of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful for review. The opinions expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep my blog online. Thanks for your support!