Book Club Chat: The Nesting Place

December 30, 2014


Over the past month or so as part of our little online book club, we’ve been reading The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith. All I can start with is…wow.

And thank you. Thank you to one of my best gals Annie Gruetzmacher, that is, for recommending it to me forever ago—I don’t know why it took me so long to buy it and read it! I can honestly say that I’ve never been more inspired to work on my home and curate a space that is more personalized and inviting.

Below are my big takeaways—if you haven’t read the book but are planning to, maybe don’t read this post quite yet :)

Beauty free from perfection. I absolutely loved the emphasis on finding and creating beauty in our homes without needing everything to be perfect all the time. It’s a message I’m passionate about when it comes to physical appearance, but I’d never really thought about it as it applies to my home. Mind = blown.

Overthinker vs. underthinker. One thing is for sure, when it comes to my home, I am a major OVERTHINKER!! I didn’t realize it until the author defined overthinkers and underthinkers in the context of decorating:

Sometimes change in our homes has to start with a change in our thinking. There are two main types of people who are unhappy with their homes:

The Overthinkers You don’t love your home, and you are out and see a pretty trinket that you are drawn to. It’s not expensive, it makes you happy, and for whatever reason it brings a little meaning to you. You think it’s just your style. But you don’t buy it because you have no idea what you will do with it. You go home to your empty house and wonder why it’s so cold and uninviting. You have empty rooms and empty tables, and your husband keeps encouraging you to get a few things to make your house feel like a home. You should go back out and purchase that little trinket. But you are afraid of making the wrong choice, so you do nothing. You think you’re safe because you aren’t taking any chances, but the cost of your risklessness is a non-homey home.

The Underthinkers You don’t love your home, and you are out and see a pretty trinket that you are drawn to. It’s not expensive, it makes you happy, and for whatever reason it brings a little meaning to you. You think it’s just your style. So you buy it. And you come home and cram it onto the coffee table with all of your other meaningful trinkets. Your husband asks how much you spent, and you tell him it was just a few dollars, so neither of you sees a problem. But really you should take it back because you have enough trinkets. You are putting all of your time and energy into little trinkets when your walls need to be painted, or maybe your home is actually finished in a way and you are avoiding the next thing you are meant to be doing. You think it’s not a big deal because it was just a few dollars and you can sell it at your next yard sale. In five years, you realize you have a part-time job purchasing trinkets and then selling them for a fraction of the price at yard sales that you don’t feel like having.

As I said, I’m an overthinker (which are you?), so I feel super inspired to get out there and start taking more risks with decor in our home in the coming year.

Embracing limitations. The grass is always greener when it comes to our homes, isn’t it? We think if only our house was bigger, or our kitchen had an island or our ceilings were higher or we had a bigger budget—then we’d be able to create the home of our dreams. But that just isn’t true. I love the book’s emphasis on that and encouragement to take risks:

Embrace the limitation, recognize it for what it is, and consider it a dare to overcome it. Decide to accept the resources that you have been trusted with, however small or great they are. Choose to see the possibilities. You have what it takes to try. Creating a beautiful home is an art that develops with time. The sooner you start and the more risks you are willing to take, the more quickly you learn how to create something you love.

Shopping house. I don’t know about you, but I totally assign certain items to certain rooms. Once something is put in a room in our house, it stays there until I get rid of it or replace it—but that’s not necessarily the way it should be. Myquillyn suggests the idea of “shopping house,” which is basically regularly going through your home as if you were a designer or someone who didn’t live there. As you see items in each room, you ask yourself, is this the best possible place for this? If not, move it! Simple, but so challenging for me. I’m eager to give this a try for sure.

Okay, what about you? What were your big takeaways? How has this book influenced your view on your home and decorating? Let’s chat!

P.S. Our January book club pick!

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  • Reply ali grace | cookies and grace December 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I love this! And from the sound of it, I may need to add this to my “to read” list. I definitely have a hard time embracing limitations, and just recently have tried to start working on little things in our home… even though we don’t have it in the budget to do the big stuff I’d like. Little changes are helping me love our space a little bit more. I love the idea of accepting our limitations as a dare to overcome it – challenge accepted!

  • Reply Rebecca January 6, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Where did you find your online book club? I have been looking for one and would love your suggestions for how yours came about!

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