Easy for you to say Mr. Berkus. I’m sure the home you have decorated through your eyes just rolls out the red carpet on your return. But what about the rest of us? I can tell you right now that the polka dot dog pee stains and the child size mud footprints and the stack of 3 months’ worth of junk mail piled on the console table is NOT welcoming me home. It might as well be saying “Oh hey, about time you showed up. I hope you weren’t planning on taking a rest because you’ve got some work to do here.”
We have called this little place home for nearly a year now. But I don’t believe I have fully moved in yet. That’s not to say we aren’t completely happy with the move, because we are. We truly are. We still say that every time we go for a family walk to a local park or check out a new restaurant just minutes from our home. As we watch the kids play in the yard and greet the neighbors. As we listen to both children talking and giggling in their room as we sit downstairs on the couch drinking our morning coffee. This move felt risky a year ago. Big city. Small space. Another exhausting move. But today, we know without a doubt that we made the best decision for us.
So why don’t I feel moved in?
Myquillyn comes with answers from an expert past having lived in fourteen homes during her marriage. Through trial, error, and many a coming-to-Jesus moment, she learned that instead of waiting for the next house she needed to love the one she was in. Instead of lamenting over what she didn’t have in her current home and lifestyle, she needed to embrace the imperfection.
This was my problem. There are crummy things that come along with a rental: ugly carpet, dated kitchens, beige upon beige upon beige walls. And the final realization that there is very little you can do with this when the space is technically not yours to keep. I expected my home to rise up to greet me and I felt like these things just glared at me when I walked in. The problem wasn’t with the home welcoming me. It was that I had not welcomed the home. I hadn’t made it into the space that spoke to me and my family by layering our own personalities. I was not creating it into what I wanted it to be because I was too afraid of what it wasn’t.
Taking pride in your home is not just about making a space to feel safe and secure. Especially for my lifestyle, my home is where I work. I create, I nurture, I teach. This home needs to be my everything throughout the day because it is often all I see. And while I am doing all of these tasks, the creating, the nurturing, the teaching, I want to feel alive and feel like me. The dingy carpets and ugly kitchen and Practical Beige walls do not make me feel alive or at all like me.
To balance this, I began to throw color in wherever it fit, in the décor, on the walls, over the floors. I love the vibrancy it brings and I feel it shows that a family lives here, my family. I couldn’t paint these expansive walls, rip up carpets, or even afford new furnishings. So instead, I dreamed of reupholstering chairs, throwing paint on the tired furniture, and repurposing old treasures.
But I worried all this color in layers was too chaotic and not sophisticated enough. I worried it wouldn’t look pulled together. I worried it wasn’t perfect.
Don’t be afraid of perfection, she told me. Don’t be afraid to LIVE in this beautiful crazy imperfect home that looks and feels like it belongs to you, the right now you. Because all of this can and will be changed again. Love it for now. I will begin today.
I love what the title for the book and her blog begin with: Nest. This is exactly as we should see our homes. As the little mama bird is preparing a space for her little ones, she flits around slowly collecting bits and bobs here and there, little pieces that when taken on their own may seem useless, ugly, imperfect little scraps. But when these little pieces come together they make a home, a space where she will sit comfortably for weeks creating life, a space where she will nurture her new little ones, a space where she will teach them about life and how to live it on their own. A place to create, to nurture, to teach. This is her nest. That she made.
I can do that too.
I can’t wait to show you some of the fun little bits and bobs I add to our nest making this space a home that I welcome as much as it welcomes me. It won’t be perfect. But it will be me. Stay tuned. And pick up that book while you wait.