Have ya ever settled in to watch your favorite HGTV show, only to find yourself comparing your home decor to Joanna Gaines’ designs?
Maybe you wanna create a beautiful space with a unique style, but girl, there are too many options and too much pressure!
Maybe you’re on a tight budget or you’re renting, and you’re not sure how to make the space a home.
Well, you’re in luck!
Blogger and author Myquillyn Smith, AKA The Nester, joined me on the podcast today to drop all the knowledge on how to create a welcoming home.
And hint, hint 😉 it doesn’t require you to buy that $1,000 piece of furniture you saw on HGTV.
So, let’s dive in and talk about, as Myquillyn likes to put it, “how to create the home you’ve always wanted so you can use it the way you’ve always dreamed of.”
For the last twelve years, Myquillyn Smith, known online as “The Nester,” has encouraged women to embrace their homes – imperfections and all.
With her signature tagline, “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” Myquillyn has empowered fans to see their home’s hidden potential and create beautiful, functional spaces they love.
Myquillyn is a self-taught, design school dropout who took a week-long course so she could be a certified home stager and redesigner. She and her family have lived in 13 different houses, apartments and condos (translation: they’ve spent plenty of time getting real world design experience).
The Nesting Place has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Cottages and Bungalows and the Charlotte Observer.
A Welcoming Home Doesn’t require perfection
So many times we feel the pressure to get our homes looking perfect – perfectly matching decor, zero clutter and shiny floors.
We believe we need it to look a certain way so we can show hospitality and invite others over. But that kind of thinking often leads to stress and unhealthy pressure.
We need to retrain ourselves on what the goal of our home is.
As Myquillyn said, “There’s beauty in mismatched sheets and unmade beds.”
Just take a sec to really think about the last time you went somewhere and felt true hospitality, where you felt listened to and cared for.
Now think about what that house was like. A lot of times there were imperfections – dishes in the sink, kids running around, and items piled up on the table.
True hospitality doesn’t often happen in the perfect scenarios. It often happens within the imperfection. Those imperfections connect us.
Hospitality is a lot simpler than we make it out to be. We don’t have to require perfection from our homes or from ourselves to create true connection.
So the next time you feel frenzied to get everything looking perfect before a guest arrives, take a sec to pause, breathe, and remember what’s most important: human connection.
The steps to decorating a home
Matt and I are currently in the process of moving into a new home, which is a big task! So I asked Myquillyn what her advice is for people who want to decorate a new space.
Myquillyn has lived in 13 different homes throughout her marriage, including rentals, so she has a lot of experience in this area!
And guys, she dropped some KNOWLEDGE! Her advice really helped me understand how to tackle the decorating process.
The most important thing is to make sure you focus on ONE room at a time. Try not to buy furniture for six rooms at a time, because it will overwhelm you and you’ll end up making decisions in the wrong order.
Instead, start with one room and don’t worry about the rest for now. Then, follow these steps:
- QUIETING: Every noise and item in a room creates noise. The more items we have, the louder the room gets. So it’s important to start by quieting the room down. Remove everything from the room, even the furniture, drapes, and artwork. Live in it for a few days and decide what the room’s purpose is. What activities are going to happen there? How many people will use it, and what weill they be doing?
- FURNITURE: Next move the furniture back into the room and try arranging it in different ways. Don’t feel like you have to put the TV in the same place the last owners did. Don’t feel like you have to put all the artwork up right now so it’s done (in fact, that should be one of the very last steps). Make sure to try out different configurations – even if you know it’s not going to look good.
- THE DECORATING TRINITY. Next, take time to work on what Myquillyn calls “the decorating trinity”: rugs, drapes, and lighting. Focus on these before you even start thinking about artwork. These three things are the most important elements in a room and are what really make it feel finished.
- WALL TREATMENTS: Once you’ve picked out your rug, drapes, and lighting, consider if you want to do any fun wall treatments. Do you want to do shiplap on a wall, or maybe add some fun wallpaper? Now’s the time to add those extra touches.
- WALL ART: Artwork is the very last step. And artwork doesn’t always have to be hung. It could include pieces that lean against a wall, like a ladder or a mirror. One great tip that Myquillyn pointed out is that we often buy our art too small. We see something we like that’s an 8×10 and when we hang it in a room, we realize it looks a little sad. So what do we do? We end up buying a bunch of other artwork and accidentally creating a gallery wall. Myquillyn suggests carefully selecting a few larger pieces of artwork that will fill the space without over-cluttering.
HOW to Create a welcoming home
Myquillyn shared so many more great tips in this episode from hosting in a small space to decorating on a budget.
So if you’re ready to make a beautiful home (that’s about more than just decorations), turn off HGTV and tune in to this episode to learn:
- How to have your home serve you instead of serving your home
- Why it’s important to embrace your home’s imperfections
- What hospitality really looks like
- The exact steps to take when designing a room
- How to host with a small space
- Ways to decorate your home on a budget
- How to decorate seasonally without being overwhelmed
Want more great home decorating tips? Check out Myquillyn’s website for blog posts, books, and workshops.
And don’t forget to tell us in the comments: How are you going to use your home to serve others?