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When I was in my fourth year of medical school, I hosted my first big shindig at my house.  I hired a bluegrass band, put up a bunch of makeshift decorations (which I mostly clipped out of my yard), and strung a bunch of Christmas lights on the back deck.  It was all very proper.  At the very last hour, when my poor mother was actually making food for people to eat, I ran through the kitchen barefoot with yet another slew of fresh magnolia flowers from my tree to float in my garden tub alongside the floating candles.  I heard momma yell upstairs, “Unless you want your friends to eat magnolia flowers,  you better come help with the food, little missy.

I’ve been a hopeless house decorating fool ever since, letting only one rule guide me—if I love it, then it’s right. 

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And I’ve never done anything “right.”  (At least now I have  learned to make food ahead of time so that I can still run around at the last minute clipping stuff from my yard!)

Until the house we live in now, I NEVER had honest to goodness window treatments and I would ten times rather find something quirky at an antique store than buy something new. I was always cutting fabric and pinning it how I wanted it and using every unorthodox method under the sun to hang it.   Why?  Because I could never find anything quite like I wanted that was ready to buy and I knew I would probably change my mind in two weeks and wish that piece of fabric were a tablecloth.  And for furniture, I much preferred the eclectic look of old stuff found at random flea markets and antique stores, so  I would take last week’s kitchen valance and recover  an old chair and be happy as a clam with my creation.  Until the next time I wanted to repurpose that fabric for something else.

I sometimes wondered if I was the only person in the world who reveled in such blatant imperfections, totally disregarding the gatekeepers of proper home design and decor.

Then, I met the Nester.

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And not only did she revel in it, she made a way of life of it.  Over the years, she has made some of the most memorable and beautiful rooms I’ve seen, while renting a house (or 12?) and working with a stash of wayward, slightly unorthodox, but always beautiful pieces.  Her message will change your heart and your mind about what it means to create a home that you love.  Her advice on decorating is the just the icing on the cake.  (Or the lamp on the table!)

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When I met her, I knew I had found my house decorating soul mate.  And she has become one of my favorite people in the whole world.

Lucky for us, she decided to write a book about embracing imperfections.  And I have devoured every word of it.  I haven’t had it very far from my side since it came last week.  This is the book I’ve been waiting my whole life to read.  And it’s finally here.  I’ll confess to being quite weepy as I read some of her words.  She gives us permission to enjoy the undone, the imperfect, the great big beautiful mess called real life.  She inspires to create spaces that reflect who we actually are and not who we think we’re supposed to be.  She has given us quite a remarkable gift. And it is by far the most beautiful book I’ve ever held in my hands.  She wrote this book for us.   To give us permission to be who we are and use what we have to create spaces we love.

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I so believe in this message and its power to breed contentment and peace and hope, not just with our homes but with every part of our lives.

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Do yourself a favor that will last for years and buy this book today.  And don’t just buy one. Buy a stack of them and give them away for Mother’s Day.  You deserve to hear this message and so do all of the ladies in your life who have long carried the burden of perfection.  Give up on perfect and begin to love the home you’re with.

Thank you, my dear, Myquillin, for being brave enough to go first!

You are my favorite home girl.

(photos all stolen from Nesting Place, save one!)

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So, what about you?  Do you struggle to figure out how to make progress in your home?  Tell me all about it.  And I’ll tell you the page number where I’m sure she’s got answers!

Mucho love to you all on Hump Day!

xoxo,

edie

25 comments on “The Book I’ve Waited My Whole Life to Read {#IDHTBPTBB}”

  1. I love all of her ideas. Her blog is fabulous. I remember first find her blog when she was making tassels. I can not wait to get her book. It is on my Mother’s Day wish list!!!
    I love your style. It is truly a reflection of who you are.
    Hugs

  2. Edie you make me happy every day, miss your postings when you are not there! From the haint blue I painted our porch ceiling to the little changes I have made in our home you inspire me and so many!!! thank you!

  3. I have always been a quirky decorator. I don’t know what to do with myself when I have money to buy something new instead of reworking something I have. I thrive on that now. And all my favorite things are Wilmington,NC thrift-ed pieces from my early years on my own. Those things, from that special time feel like home to me. Love you both! Beautiful book!

  4. Yes! I just got my book in the mail yesterday and started reading it last night.. didn’t want to turn out the light and go to sleep, but I had to! (5:30 comes kinda early). I knew your blog before I knew her’s, but when I saw it I immediately thought of you! You two have very similar styles, both of which i adore! 🙂

  5. Yes! Yes! Yes! Love this kind of decorating and I can’t wait to go out and buy the book. It definitely feels like the book decorating junkies have been waiting for 🙂

  6. I am driven by color- Deep, bold, striking. If I had to choose a word for our home colors, I think it would be kaleidoscope 🙂 Example: laundry room is Caribbean Blue Water with Sunflower ceiling. The washer & dryer are candy apple red. (I was told by a “designer” do NOT get the red) My biggest problem was accepting what I loved. Not what everyone else likes. I am a combination of gypsy, circus, caravan, outdoor, sparkly light, candle burning, mermaid-diving, velvet & more velvet kind of gal. Every room in our house is a different color. When I was a kid, I wanted a purple house. Guess what? Our house is painted in 5 colors. (Victorians require 5) 2 of them being purple 🙂 My current problem is lighting. I am looking for older chandeliers to go over the kitchen sink & over the dining room table. I am planning a trip to New Orleans soon to go scouring at a place called The Banks- 48,000 sq. ft. of antique & salvaged goods-
    Some of our favorite pieces have been given to us & we have had them recovered or repainted. It has what I call “good bones” It lasts forever 🙂
    Thanks for sharing Edie-
    Good luck to The Nester- and to their Hopeologie as well-
    Hope you all have a great day 🙂

  7. I love it! Amish square!

    We recently had my pastor and his wife stop by, and they complimented our new home’s freshly refinished hardwood floors that we did ourselves. I don’t take compliments well, so the first thing I said was, “Well don’t look too closely! The floors are imperfect ALL OVER.” It’s true. Our floors have flaws in every room.

    They just smiled and said, “Amish square!” That made no sense to me, but they went on to explain how some of the Amish–who are known for their amazing quilts–purposely leave a flaw in each quilt square they make. The idea is to remind themselves that nobody is perfect except God, and that’s okay.

    I look forward to reading this book!

  8. I adore your blog and especially love how frequently you post! My monday-friday SAHM days just aren’t the same without checking in at LifeinGrace 😉 Ordering the book now, CAN’T WAIT to read it! Both of you have inspired me to let go of wanting to have THE picture {pinterest} perfect house and bring out the ME in my home. Thanks for it all!! <3

  9. Love …mine came to the door last night and I couldn’t put it down. I love that it is a coffee table book! I also admire her vulnerability in sharing the truth of her life…I think people are dying to see real…mandy

  10. I just watched your interview and just loved everything you had to say and your lovely, faithful spirit shines through. Your story of achieving such success in your education and plunging in to your practice and then stepping back to care for your family is so inspiring. Your home is beautiful and I am inspired to get going on some of my projects I keep putting off. Going to an Antique Fair with my hubby this Sunday and I will channel you -hahha! Love your blog and praying for you, I feel great things are happening. God Bless you on your journey, Amen?

  11. Thank you for sharing about your friend & her book. I just might have to pick up a copy or two. Any read that speaks of contentment, peace & hope is right up my alley. I just listened to your interview and enjoyed it very much…your radiance & positive vibe really shined through during that interview! Also, I enjoyed what you shared in your newsletter about your book & it definitely sounds like something I would want to read. Your blog is such a blessing and joy! 🙂

  12. Loved this book – just finished it yesterday! I have always loved doing it my way regardless of what the current trends have dictated. You and The Nester could totally rock a show on HGTV with all your fun, quirky, doin’ it my way stylin’.

    On a totally unrelated point – I need help solving a mystery. I know that you have ads on your site, which is totally cool, but what is confusing me is that occasionally there will be a random word underlined twice with a little arrow that when clicked brings up an ad. Are these legit and part of your site, or is this something my computer is doing totally randomly?
    For example in the first paragraph the word hired (brings up an oracle ad), and in the last paragraph, the word ladies (brings up a kotex ad). I’ve noticed them on your site and a few of the blog her sites so I’m thinking they may be part of the blog her deal. But, I have also had some issues lately with ads due to a free download that put and ad program on my computer. It has since been deleted, but I still seem to be getting these random, weird ads on certain sites. If they are part of your advertising, that is ok, I just need to know if that is what they are, or if it is something else. Thank you so much.

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  15. Way excited about this book! I recently stumbled upon your blog and the first thing I loved about it was your own “rules” for decorating! I love that you go with what you like…how you like it…where you like it! We lose so much of ourselves with endless comparison instead of be inspired by others or what we see or ‘trends’ or on and on. It’s fun to peak around your house via the internets!

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