The Nester
About the Author

Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, is a home stager, redesigner and design school drop-out. Her last home (a rental) was featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Cottages & Bungalows, Ladies' Home Journal and in her upcoming design philosphy book, The Nesting Place: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful....

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. So beautiful, so true! My hubby and I believe that part of blessing others in our home is letting them be free to be comfortable and themselves. It’s awfully hard to be comfortable if you worry about “messing up” your host’s things! Your attitude about what is truly important is inspiring! 🙂

  2. This is such a good line: “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”
    If we try to make everything perfect, we will only end up in disappointment and frustration.
    There can be such a sweet beauty to the imperfect – just like your couch.
    Joyfully in Christ,
    Emily Rose
    P.S. The design of this place sure is cute!

  3. That’s it. I’m officially backing away from my two sofas — unused baby wipe in hand.
    How many times have I swept Seth off the couch for fear of his snot and drool staining it? Too, too many. He is the only one of my five children that is still with me here on earth, and I refuse to let my joy in him be diminished by less-than-pristine linen.
    As usual, Nester, you rock my world.

  4. Ahhh the love affair with my 7 year old sofa continues to this day. I can tell you the story behind every spot and stain. There are worn places in the fabric where bums have nestled for years. My elbows hone in on their well formed resting places as I read my latest page turner. Thank you Nester for reminding me of the goodness of a well worn sofa.

  5. Thank you for this post! It is so true of life (and sofas!). Sometimes it is the imperfections that make us so much more distinct and lovely.

  6. I am glad I have found beauty in imperfection. First I thought that it was a sign of weakness, because I am far from perfect. Now I see it as a sign of strenght.I just need some reminding sometimes 😉
    I found this site through your blog (love it) and I really like it.

  7. The sad thing about my couch and loveseat is that they are imperfect because of my cats’ claws. And there is nothing beautiful about it!

  8. Love this. Love you.
    The same month my 2nd child was born, my mom bought a white leather sectional. She has spent the last 2 1/2 years protecting it, missing out on wonderful grandchildren moments b/c she’s so worried about that dang couch.
    I say get the messing up over with and get on with living and loving and enjoying.

  9. As usual my dear, you are delightful and more importantly real…how high a standard we unseemingly set when we spend more time trying to be “perfect” than welcoming…and I suspect you are welcoming where ever you go (even if you’re a nervous nelly getting there!) You are blooming my dear and its a great look on you!

  10. I was seriously just looking at my sofa the other day and thinking, “I am so embarrassed by this thing. It is so worn out.” My 8 year old sofa has been WELL-USED, indeed.
    What a fantastic shift in thinking that I desperately needed. Thank you thank you!
    I can’t get a new sofa right now either but I did find Tobacco Road and am painting a bathroom, btw. 😉
    Great first post – I think I will love this new site. Some of my favorite bloggers/writers are on here!

  11. I love your phrase ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’ 🙂 and I loved this post. It certainly helps me rethink the things around my home that I often wish I could replace for new!
    Your tassles are beautiful… that is something I have never thought to put around my house, but I love the look of them, they may have to go on my Christmas ‘wish list’ 😉
    Have a blessed day
    Hugs Denise

  12. I don’t mean to be too bold here, and this is a beautiful story for a sofa.
    But let us be very careful of the line we’re stepping on when we take light of imperfections. No, we can’t ever be perfect and that’s exactly why we need Jesus. But God does not see our imperfections as beautiful. If He did, Jesus’ death on the cross would be in vain. My point is we don’t want to make light of Jesus’ death on the cross by making light of our imperfections, or better known as our sin. We need to be aware of it in order to press into Jesus further.
    What does make us beautiful? The Holy Spirit living in us, working out those imperfections so more of God’s glory can shine through.
    Showing contentment with the imperfections of a sofa in order to allow people to be themselves is awesome and important by itself. But showing contentment and complacency in our walk is not.
    Having said all that, we need to remember where our identity lies. It is not in ourselves and especially not in our imperfections…but in Jesus Christ.
    God set the standard high, not us. But, because we cannot attain it, He sent Jesus. The Law is not abolished, it’s fulfilled through Jesus death – yet we need to continue to press forward to reach for that prize. We need to work out our faith with fear and trembling. 🙂
    ((hugs to all))
    Please don’t take this post wrong, I only mean to come at a different angle and put caution out there in our spiritual lives. 🙂

  13. My five children have discovered numerous uses for our sofa, including pillow forts, beauty salons, movie theaters, and sickbeds. When I get frustrated or mad that things are messy or stained, I always tell myself, “A mess means there are people here. When there’s no mess, that means the people will be gone.” You gotta love it while you got it.
    Thanks nester!

  14. We got this new table before last Thanksgiving. Right before my MIL was set to come over I noticed a scratch. I was so mad. Soooo mad. I think I may have yelled. No, no, I did–infact–yell!
    Then I thought about it. What’s a scratch? Does it not show that something is being used and loved? Does it not allow us to remember that we sat at the table every day. Computing. Drawing. Eating. Schooling. Living.
    And, I apologized for yelling. And, I haven’t worried about the scratches since.
    Life. We must live it. Scratches and all.

  15. I love it, Nester. I get so frustrated about how IMperfect my own house is, but you know what? I’ve had so many friends mention how comfortable they feel in my house. And that is WAY more important than a perfectly polished floor and perfectly decorated pressed curtains!!

  16. We’ve been married 14 years and bought our house 13 years ago, so a lot of our stuff is 13-14 years old. And it is worn, scratched, scuffed, stained, and threadbare. But it is beautiful and serviceable.
    Thank you, God, that I don’t have to look brand-new and perfect to be of service to You!
    Thank you for this piece. It was lovely and heartfelt.

  17. I must confess, I may be the only one who looked TOO into this post and maybe didn’t take it for what it was.
    Mary enlightened me a bit more in her comment about our imperfect homes. This of course is a whole new topic and this post would fit perfectly with it. Again, I don’t know if this post was MEANT to be paralleled with our own lives or not. If not, disregard my above comment! LOL
    Living in homes which are imperfect, well, this just shows lives that are being lived. Obviously it’s important to have some type of order to things, but there is no way to have a perfectly clean and untouched home and still INjoy living in it. 🙂
    BTW, I forgot to mention, I absolutely love the picture of your couch!

  18. I was in the same room as this sofa on Saturday! I touched it, even! I did not notice its imperfections. What I did notice was a comfortable, welcoming, peaceful home with a gracious hostess. I pray that I can be more concerned about people and less about my property… see there I go again… it’s not even “my” stuff! You are a blessing! I am so excited that you are here! Blessings!!

  19. Great post! Reminds me of some great advice I got once when I was complaining about arguing with my husband about where a picture should/should not be hung…a wise friend told me to quit arguing about it…that when guests come to visit, what they will remember more than the pefect placement of our art is the peaceful ATMOSPHERE in our home! Thanks for the reminder!

  20. Nester!
    Great article.
    I’m so excited for you and your tassel adventure. Of course folks will be lined up to purchase them. Never you fear!
    love ya!

  21. Isn’t it funny how the little things remind us each and every day what’s REALLY important?….But sometimes we imperfect human beings aren’t so good at seeing the obvious! 🙂
    Beautiful, well-written post — and here’s what I say — a couch isn’t a couch until it’s been yacked on.
    Now pass the cookies!

  22. Hi sweet friend, a lovely article that gets to the heart of what life as a piece of furniture should be all about. My own toile chair is looking like yours, well loved by a house full of children.
    love you and am so honored to be able to hang out with you at (in)courage. 🙂

  23. Love this, Nester. How much fun to visit and live in a well- loved home- not a house.
    And I love the words ladyish and popcornish (I think the latter is a kind of hen).
    Very well put, Nester. You’re my kinda girl.

  24. That sofa photographs so well I would have never known it was all wrecked up in places! I wish we could come and put our popcorny hands on it and hang out with you and yours!

  25. Nester, I loved being in your home for a bit. I felt so welcome and comfortable. It feel like YOU–lovely, inviting, full of life. You absolutely shine there…you do here too!

  26. Oh thank you, Nester! What a great post. I grew up with a perfect sofa without a story to tell. No children sitting and laughing on its comfy cushions. No visits in the evening curled up with a good book. Just a very lonely perfect sofa. That’s why now as an adult I enjoy my well-loved sofas. They even get jumped on and sometimes made into forts.

  27. Do you still have the old lady arm covers? Hot glue (or sew I guess) them over the tops of the arms so they last a just a little bit longer. And then rest in peace (not literally) that you’re settinga good example for the rest of us. Oh, and thank goodness for a sofa with good bones and reuphosterers that can make them as good as new again when we need them.

  28. If you can blog anonymously, can I comment anonymously? Is someone going to edit your posts? Your trademarked tag line counts as “courage”? Hmmm. Guess this is what you get when you look to a greeting card company for nuance and insight.

  29. This reminded me of my sofa. We can not afford a new one and because of my disability I can no longer sleep in a bed, so the sofa has become my bed. At first I felt SO guilty, but now I am grateful. My sofa allows me pain free rest each night. 🙂

  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you…me and my table thank you for the considerable insight into our new and somewhat rocky love triangle with our four kids. I have discovered some scratches in my beautiful wooden friend which have sent me into fits of rage which I won’t be posting in my proudest mommy moments scrapbook. In our hearts we know what is really important, but it is so reassuring to have a gentle and beautiful reminder. I’m so glad love lives in my home…and from time to time reminds me with a couple of scratches on the table.

  31. What a beautiful reminder. Every scratch, snag and stain is a sign of life being lived. It’s always so sad when we tirelessly protect our things rather than using them the way they were intended.
    I would much rather have memories of buttery popcorn and movies on my sofa than a pristine, never lived on, never enjoyed, piece of furniture.

  32. Nester, there isn’t a week that doesn’t go by that I don’t whisper your mantra (it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful). Some days it is the reminder I need to be proud of the messy beautiful live I lead. Thank you.

  33. thank you for validating my home’s imperfect beauty: little girl shoes on the porch, a bit of clutter beside my bed, crumbs under the table.
    we live here and we love each other. i think that makes it beautiful. =)

  34. Very nice, Nester. Glad to hear your story of finding comfort & joy in enjoying something, rather than protecting it for more than it’s worth.

  35. Sofas are an essential furnishing for a home’s living room or den area. They define the feel of the room itself while also providing comfort seating for your family and guests. Modern Furniture Warehouse has a large selection of modern sofas and sofa sectionals that are affordable and made to last.

  36. […] day I took a risk and bought them that would probably mean that we aren’t really using them.  And the only thing worse than a used up piece of furniture is an unused piece of furniture.  So I am glad they work well for our family.  And the chipped paint kind of gives them […]