How to Decorate Series {day 19}: The Secret Art of Good Enough by Nesting Place

If you are just joining our How to Decorate {for the DIY’er} Series, welcome!  Miss a post? You can find all the entries for our series listed conveniently on one page here.

Welcome back class! Today’s guest blogger is one of the first I stumbled upon several years ago. I refer to The Nester as one of the Matriarchs of Home Blogging (only a much hipper non-mom-jean-wearing sort of matriarch of course)! For those of you who haven’t visited Nesting Place recently, you are in for some exciting updates. Nester has added a few sister sites to her main blog and piped in her tumblr so that “everything Nester” is located in one fabulous nest!  And good news for all of you renters. One of those sister sites is entitled Content to Rent and is focused on the unique challenges renters face. Fantastic!

Okay, so I don’t know about you, but when I think of Nester two things pop to mind immediately 1.) window mistreatments and 2.)IDHTBPTBB. Today she is going to talk about the latter! Aren’t familiar with IDHTBPTBB? No worries, you soon will be and will be the better for it.

Take it away Nester!


I really do think there’s a secret to creating a pretty home you’ll love. Once you accept this secret and start to implement it, it will unlock your creativity, free you to risk and try new things in your home and make you wonder how you ever lived without it. This secret will change your home’s life. It might even change your life. But, you have to be willing to give up one right. Are you ready?

Become an imperfectionist and give up the right to perfect. The art of imperfection is often the secret to dislodge years of indecision and stuckness.

Are you ready to convert?

All you have to do is repeat after me: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Oh, and then you actually have to believe it.

Once I chose to no longer insist on perfection in decorating I was able to create a home that suited our family budget, values, interest and hey, even our quirky personalities. There are enough things in this world that demand effort and worry and attention. Home is not one of those things for me. You should do your absolute best when it comes to preparing your taxes, driving a car and brushing your teeth. If you need to worry, worry about big life wrecking things like cancer and divorce and poverty, don’t worry about your paint color, it’s just a wall, $30 and two and a half hours of your time. And don’t worry about nail holes. It’s a nail hole for putty’s sake. Strive for good enough instead of perfect when it comes to decorating and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Here are some of my good enough decorating ideas put to use. Maybe you think my style is weird, that’s ok, your home should be your style, not mine.

My random layered plate wall~I have a collection of white plates and servers, why not hang them on the wall in a non boring fashion? If I hate it, I can take 20 minutes and patch all my holes. But, what if I LOVED it? This wall turned out to be my favorite wall in the house. And probably the least liked by Nesting Place readers~I never expect everyone to love what I do, you are all way too unique for that nonsense. If you create something truly special not everyone will love it~you have to be ok with that as well. If everyone likes the same thing, it’s not special~and it might even be boring and predictable.

I wanted a sunburst mirror like everyone had but I didn’t want to spend much money so I made one out of poster board. I figured if it didn’t turn out I only wasted $4 worth of cardboard. Oh, what if people laugh because I have big pieces of cut up cardboard on my wall? Everyone will know I’m a hillbilly. What if it falls apart the first day? What if my mother in law asks how I made it?

When we moved into this rental the fireplace surround was a puss colored yellow. So I cut some chalkboard contact paper and drew wonky bricks. The paper is removable and if I ever get sick of it I can take it down. The imperfection of it all is what makes it fun.

I’ve wanted a sailfish for a few years. My grandparents had one in their house. In January the stars aligned and I found a local guy on Craiglist selling a sailfish that was caught over 40 years ago. He was perfect. The fish, not the man. The night we brought him home the tip of his tail got caught in the tailgate of our car and chipped off. He still looks pretty good to be over forty. And I get just as much joy from looking at him as I would if he were perfect. Maybe even more because now I don’t feel like I need to treat him like a pricelss artifact.

After living in our rental for a year we decided to board and batten my office and paint the walls. Shhh, we didn’t ask. We decided it added value to the home and it looks stunning~that project was done somewhat meticulously because this isn’t our house {remember, there are times to do things with perfect in mind like when you are doing electrical work}. However, when it came to painting the thrift store dresser, I just slapped some leftover paint on it. No priming, no sanding~I knew if I insisted on doing it to perfection I’d have an unpainted dresser sitting in my house for the next three years so I compromised and used eggshell finished paint that grabs better than the shiny stuff the Lowes Depot men tell you to use. I didn’t want to deal with painting a little hinged door so I removed it and put a pair of baskets in the space.

I think my house looks good enough and pretty when it’s all put together in its motley imperfection.

But this is my idea of perfect. This is why I create a pretty, warm and inviting home.

Is your decorating bar raised too high? Give yourself a break and lower your expectations in an area where good enough can be just right. Sometimes done is better than perfect.

The Nester

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  1. says

    Nester DID change my life and my house’s life! I repeat that mantra over and over throughout the day every day now: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. The perfect remedy for a recovering perfectionist :)

  2. says

    I for one love your place. The plate wall is amazing. I love the assortment of platters and the way you have arranged them. I am in the process of redoing my everything room with a beach theme. I got several ideas from your blog. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  3. says

    LOVE this post. Makes me feel like I don’t have to make my CONDO look like a MANSION in my photos!

  4. tonya says

    The nester is the reason i wanted to redo my condo so much and got me addicted to blogs = ) Now i’m redoing my whole condo and either making it or refinishing furniture = )

  5. says

    I suffer from this syndrome! I think there is only one correct answer to a decorating decision and that I have to look high and low to find it. I get paralyzed and can’t make decisions and therefore have a hard time getting it done. I have started making lists and posting them on my blog just to make myself get it done! lol I am really trying to work on this issue I have. Great post!

    • says


      Such a good point, I think lots of us treat decorating like math~thinking there is only one right answer. When really it’s right if you love it.

  6. Tiffany says

    Great advice from Nester! Love her blog. Her “it doesn’t have to be perfect” advice is exactly why I am learning to love my home again…it started with her.

    Thanks for the great reads Beth – I am really enjoying your series.

  7. says

    I am slowly overcoming decorating perfectionism-itis. Thank you Nester for always reminding me that is doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

    Thank you Beth for hosting this wonderful series! Did you make all of the inspiration boards for each of your featured bloggers? They are SO cute!! xoxo

  8. says

    Wonderful post!! I adore The Nester and was so thrilled to meet her at Blissdom. I love her style and the way she makes everything come together so effortlessly. And I also love the way she can take everyday items and make something fabulous with them.


  9. Elizabeth says

    Thank you. I just needed to know that “others” do what I wish I could do! The right way is my way from now on!!!! Well on some things I won’t go that crazy~ Thanks for that little push and inspiration. :)

  10. says

    I love this entry…I know exactly what you mean!
    My home is NEVER perfect and it really gets to me when something isn’t working…I have finally started to relax and build on what I have rather than tear my hair out over the little things!

  11. Christina says

    Thank you for this. As a newbie DIY’er, this post makes me feel so much better. I always worry that the things I make are not perfect, that people don’t like them and just say that they do (this is why I don’t really like giving people DIY gifts), and that I could have saved more money if I had done it a different way. To hear another more experienced DIY’er talk about not making perfect things but instead making imperfect things that YOU love and that YOU enjoy puts my crafts in a whole other perspective.

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