A Revolution

I happened to land on a beautiful site, bossy color blog created by  Annie Elliot, a highly talented designer.  Annie just attended a panel at the Washington Design Center, you know for real designers.  Here are her observations:

Did you see it?

“Perfection in decorating is generally considered a bad thing…”

Apparently, this is a shift from decorating thinking from years past.   They are talking about this in their meetings.  They have meetings and are discussing the surprising fact that perfection might not be a goal of everyone.   Do you hear me?  In their fancy designer meetings of the minds they are recognizing that not everyone wants perfection! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Embracing imperfection does not mean that one has given up or settled for less.   Maybe accepting imperfection is a sign of maturity, balance and contentment.  I’m a normal, average woman who loves to be surrounded by meaningful beauty, and it has been so freeing to drop that burden of perfection.

Perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Beauty can always be found in the midst of imperfection, not just in spite of it.

Welcome to the revolution.

This post originally aired March 22, 2010 but it’s one of my all time favorites.

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  1. I am fairly new to blogging, yet want very much to have my house looking as beautiful as everyone else’s here. I want to thank you for this assurance that it’s ok not to be perfect in my decor. So what if one little shelf isn’t quite there? I needed to hear what you said. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Perfection is over rated. I watch all the design shows, and one in particular, Devine Design always intrieges me. I love Candice’s design sense … but her rooms are way too perfect. I can’t image anyone using them. They always look like they should have a rope across the door.

    I do agree with the shift from antiques. I have some beautiful pieces, but both my nieces have let me know they don’t want them. I offered to start each of them on their silver patterns (as an aunt of mine did for me) … but neither is going to have silver. They are much more casual than we ever were.

    • I’ll take your silver! ;) I wish I had more family pieces like that. I think mixing in antiques with more modern stuff is fun ands a little of the unexpected. With so many people getting great stuff from the thrift store to use as is or repurpose, I would think it’s only a matter of time before some turn to antiques.

  3. Hmm. I recently removed wallpaper from my 100-year-old plaster walls and painted them. They are NOT perfect, but I really like the texture and variation in them, especially covered with the colors I’ve chosen. I don’t know how many times someone has said that I could add some texture or sheetrock over the walls so they would look better. I already think they look great!

    • I so miss my plaster walls from my old home. All the neighbors wanted to redo theirs with sheetrock and I was appalled. I loved the texture and even the way they felt to the touch. :)

    • Yep, and I bet your hardwood floors have scuffs & marks from lots of feet passing through, you can feel those drafts coming through those old windows, and don’t have but 1 electrical outlet per room, too! I hear ya! (and sometimes feel your pain.)

  4. Hello, Nester and all of your wonderful readers! Thank you so much for discussing my blog on your site. Reading all of your thoughtful comments reminded me that there still is a big disconnect between “high design” – shelter mags (Elle Decor, House Beautiful) and designers’ portfolios – and reality

    I started bossy color blog in part because I was sick of that gulf. I wanted to demystify the decorating process. I’ve NEVER strived for perfection in people’s houses. It’s just not realistic, and real live people don’t actually want that. (At least, my favorite clients don’t.)

    Also, what you all seem to realize already – and good for you – is that a house (apartment, etc.) is an ever-evolving thing. It will never be finished. And that’s more than ok – it’s perfect.

    Thank you again, and my very best to all of you.

  5. Isn’t Bossy Color blog fun? I found Bossy Color by searching for a blog devoted to color. Pure enjoyment! In my case, the home design (or decorating) blogs have replaced magazine subscriptions. It’s great to see what real people are doing in the homes they LIVE in. The Nester motto is so refreshing!

  6. That picture of your living room looks pretty perfect from here
    Sugar and Spice http://onegirl-threebrothers.blogspot.com/

  7. We totally agree… nothing brings us more pleasure than to see our clients share their pictures of their homes with us. We love every piece at the Mart and when it goes home it becomes a part of the family. We all have our own specific styles, so mixing them all together that makes us feel at home is what’s important. There is a sense of warmth in imperfection.

    Thanks for this great blog! We have been following Bossy Color on twitter, and it always makes us smile when she posts!

  8. sweet. my home is officially designed. and trashed. let’s not go there.

  9. that’s good stuff. because i do totally un-perfect things like hot gluing my boys curtains to hem them and hot gluing fabric to my baby’s crib for a crib skirt. http://queen-of-the-house.blogspot.com/2011/08/first-of-many-skirts.html perfect is boring.

  10. Amen and alleluia! There’s beauty in the flaws.

  11. I love this blog & this post…but i have to say I love even more that Napoleon Dynamite is on your TV. Yep…it’s one of those days. :)

  12. Love Napoleon Dynamite!! Glad that the pros are finally getting a clue. :)

  13. I never could stand houses/rooms that looked perfect. It’s just not natural.

  14. Well put. I just finished a kitchen redo…and I have many more to finish in my fixer-upper home. It’s always nice to have other folks around who can remind me that my home can still look awesome, even if it’s not perfect.

  15. I agree that a room can look pretty even if its not perfect. However I must be a minority because I DO strive for perfection (at least my version of it) in my rooms. It’s probably not designer perfect but its perfect for me. “Good enough” feels like I’m just giving up.

  16. I gotta say, I love the image of Napoleon Dynamite captured on the TV !!!

    Perfection is boring and cold in my humble opinion. It’s the cozy, imperfect, rustic, whimsical spaces that truly make a house a home !! Love the blog!!

  17. I’ll never forget one of the first comments you ever gave me when I told you how uncomfortable I was entertaining in my rather “eclectic” (sounds better) home. You simply said, “Nothing has to be perfect to be beautiful.” That comment has been tattooed on my brain ever since and has served me well.

  18. Well, I guess all I have to say is Vote For Nest- ahem! I mean Pedro. Way to go!

  19. the misfit says

    Hmm…I agree about the imperfection, and about Candice, actually. If you look at some of the HIGH-design stuff (I admit, I was hooked on Million Dollar Decorators, and I hope it comes back), you realize that it’s for people who actually DON’T live in their homes. Because they travel constantly, or have three or four homes, or have 10,000SF and a cleaning lady – so they’re not spending a lot of continuous time in any one space. Their rooms are substantially for display, where normal homeowners’ aren’t.

    But I disagree strongly with one thing. I don’t know where these folk thing antique stores are disappearing, but they are pretty clearly wrong. Where I live (DC area), new ones are opening. Whenever I take a drive I look for more, and so many places are littered with them – from medium-sized cities like Charlottesville to the Pennsylvania countryside. What I see disappearing is low-priced flea markets, which I remember from growing up, but I think that is a product of where I live – in small towns, they still exist, and I don’t think they’re any fewer in number. There’s also, if anything, an increase in thrift stores; and then there’s Craig’s List, which is not only a giant thrift store but a giant antiques market.

    Obviously my investment in this topic derives from the fact that I love, love, love antiques. I’m spending a good amount of time and money to preserve some of the treasures in my and my husband’s family (as soon as we close on this house!). My siblings and I are already working out a sharing schedule for my mother’s silver. I have already started on my own collection of silver platters. I’m not going to have as complete or uniform a collection as my grandmother did, and yes, I live much more casually, but I’m only spending money on things that will endure. I know a lot of people are willing to sink money into things (or copies of things) from Ballard and CB and West Elm and Pottery Barn and so forth, but those things have no real appeal to me. I’ll buy trendy hand towels, I guess, but I prefer my non-disposable things to be un-trendy, and timeless. And I’m 29 :). So, there you go…


  1. […] can read more about my motto here and here.  I sometimes forget to talk about just the real everyday life and I love it when other […]

  2. […] {be sure to tag it #idhtbptbb}.  Wondering what this imperfection stuff is all about?  Read more here and here. // Leave a […]

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