Over a year ago, I purchased four linen chevron curtain panels from the Crate and Barrel outlet (meaning, once they are gone, they are gone forever). They sat in the bag in a corner of the living room. Then I found the perfect wood and brass rods…which sat in their own corner for a few months. Myquillyn Smith’s book was just the kick in the pants I needed to get out the drill, tape measure, and level, and go for it. I have tall windows. I thought I bought four 96-inch panels. Alas, I did not. Somehow, one 84-inch panel was in the bunch. So now I have one high-water curtain with three that need a little hemming. This needs to be said: I know that I have a beautiful home and I am grateful for our bright, safe shelter from the world and all its elements. But there are neglected spots, odd cover plates missing, and a desperate patio.
When I think of what needs to be finished, or rearranged, or painted….well, you know those people who magically get stuff done? Those people who Christmas shop in July? Who actually professionally frame artwork? Who commit to gorgeous wallpaper? I’m not one of those people. I second-guess. I ruminate. I consider my options in a very non-statistical, intuitive fashion. Then, I get lost in a tangent of art journaling, crepe paper flowers, and snippet poetry only to be snapped to reality with a kitchen island that desperately needs paint, and kids who need help with their homework. And the holidays are coming! Which means I need–of all things–candles. And that’s how my To Do list starts. Each and every autumn, I decide to be WAY more organized about the holidays (which I love). But I also adore autumn: cool sweater weather, rainy days, meat braising. I soak up all the autumnal goodness, making Halloween costumes and carving pumpkins. Don’t even get me started on my homage to apples… The next thing I know it’s the Monday before Thanksgiving, and people are asking me what the kids might like for Christmas. Ack!
Where was I? Oh yes, my To Do list.
Have you ever come across an anonymous Shopping or a To Do list? The scrawl of tasks and necessities. The block-print of forgetfulness overcome. The illegible short-hand. Well, I have altogether stopped creating To Do lists for the house on account of feelings. I am afraid to make mistakes. And then, The Nesting Place landed in my book bag. Myquillyn (also known as the Nester in home décor/DIY circles) is a champion for the “get it done, and live in it” style. Her subtitle says it better: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. This isn’t solely a home décor book. It’s not just a how-to book. It’s more of a reminder that I need to enjoy the space I have, and quit these fears of making another mistake, and hem the darn curtains already!
I read Myquillyn’s book cover to cover and am absolutely motivated to write this review, but all I really want to do is declutter (or “quiet”) every room in our house, photograph the back patio and get some reader opinions on what might work in that space, buy some crisp mat board for two thrifted pieces of art, and dig out the stud finder to hang that mirror in the dining room. Basically, I want to make a list and get stuff done. My living room looks like it belongs to someone else, and that needs to change NOW.
Thank you, Myquillyn Smith, for writing a purposeful, old-soul book about making an authentic home that allows people to live and breathe and play and work in it.
PS: In the meantime, I leave you with a curiosity. This is “old” news. Back in March of 2014, an apartment in Paris that had been abandoned some 70 years earlier was unlocked:
A thousand stories are coursing through my imagination on this discovery. French privacy laws protect the identity of the granddaughter, but these laws also allow me to linger in the mystery and build my own fiction as to why the owner never went back, yet kept paying the rent. Fascinating!