It’s a rally cry for imperfectionists. It’s encouragement to the desperate perfectionist. It’s permission to love your home where you are now.
And it is full of beautiful photos styled and taken by its author in her rental home. It is The Nesting Place, the book.
Myquillyn Smith sent me a pre-release copy of her book, signed!, that I nearly read in one sitting. I didn’t even need to use the disco ball bookmark she included in the package. I also ordered another copy from Amazon to keep at the cottage (the signed one stays home with me!).
I’ve read her blog since I discovered it in 2007; and, so, I was excited to read the backstory to how she has arrived at her decorating manifesto: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. She starts the book detailing each house she and her husband have lived in during their marriage so far– 13 houses in 18 years! The following chapters are filled with encouragement, wisdom, tips, and have-I-mentioned-her-gorgeous-photos?. In short, the book is like sitting down with her over iced coffees in striped paper straws–conversational, warm, real. I promise you, you will love your home even more, even without changing a thing, after you read her book; and, furthermore, you’ll have the confidence to embark on that project you’ve been mulling over, fresh from Myquillyn’s pep talk, to really adore the house you’re in now.
(I won’t even tell you how excited I am that our little North Carolina cottage is mentioned and pictured within the book. You couldn’t handle that much exuberance! Mr. Sunburst Mirror and Sculptural Candlestick Duo are enjoying their moment for sure.)
I’d say the book has a truth for everyone. For me and our new house (we’ve been in it for 5 months but have owned it for 11), the truth comes in that the decorating can be slow, it won’t look anywhere near done or perfect for a long time. But my people are here, it’s neat and clean, it has lovely natural light and a specially-crafted shell and for these positives, the incompletion and imperfection and memory of a difficult remodel do not diminish from a beautiful artwork in progress. Don’t you like to see an artist midway through a piece? See the process and direction? That is what is happening here and will be happening here for awhile at the Painted House. A curtainless window, a rugless floor, a settee that needs redoing, a table that needs painting, chairs that need new fabric all testify to this fact. I’m embracing Myquillyn’s philosophy.
As for that sparkly bookmark, it rings-around the partial neck of the torso in the living room–a true Myquillyn move. (The torso would wear a Myquillyn eye patch, too, if she had, well, an eye…or head.)
Thank you, Myquillyn, for the beautifully-written and -photographed book! Follow her at her blog, Nesting Place, where she and her husband are renovating a farmhouse and barn on the site of an old sawmill.