Incredibly freeing! The subtitle says it all: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. I picked up The Nesting Place on a whim at the library while chasing my little boys around the nonfiction stacks. It looked cozy and I didn’t have a lot of time to make a protracted selection. I opened it up while dinner was cooking a few days later…and proceeded to finish it that evening. It was a timely message for this frustrated home decorator!
Myquillyn Smith gets it. She understands the internal struggles that homemakers experience as we look at the pristine, perfectly staged pictures on Pinterest. Pursuing perfection only has two ways forward: either we keep trying harder or we give up. And giving up (bad as it sounds) is the path to creating a home we truly love—because pursuing perfection is pursuing the wrong thing. Those perfect pictures are not there to be copied (which is impossible), but to inspire us in our own unique decor. She includes many pictures of the flaws in her home and its furnishings… keeping it real. I wouldn’t choose all her decor but the philosophy behind it is the real attraction.
There’s some practical advice to make the most of your space. I appreciate the perspective on embracing “lovely limitations,” things that are inconvenient or awkward in our homes that can actually become a springboard for special creativity. She talks about her former weakness of trying to redecorate just with cute tchotchkes, which just leads to clutter that doesn’t quite cover up the real (bigger) changes you need to make. She encourages the reader to not be afraid of making nail holes (it sounds easy as she says to fill them with putty, but what about repainting? Or does this only apply to people with white walls?). She’s warm and personable; you feel like you’d like to be friends.
I also appreciated the references to Myquillyn’s faith that are loosely scattered throughout. This isn’t a book about spiritual growth or contentment per se and it certainly isn’t the focus, but it helped me feel like I had more in common with Myquillyn than just a desire to make my home beautiful. The chapter about the boy her family sponsors through Compassion International and her visit to his home was a nice addition.
In short, I loved this book and am so thankful I stumbled across it. Recommended!