Beautiful Distractions Too


Confession. I pulled three pillows out purely for looks.

You know how the other day I told you about how when I removed all my pretty beautiful distractions I saw things that were undone and magically, I felt like doing them so I’ve been getting some quick little projects done that I had put off for almost ever?

Well, beautiful distractions can work both ways. They can distract you from things you need to do. But they can also distract you from things in your home you don’t like. In a way, this is the highest calling of accessories. Because without pillows, I hate that sofa. It’s wrinkly and faded and so boring. But I had removed the pillows for this month’s experiment because I wanted to fully grasp all that there was to learn about not having accessories.

Then my husband casually told me that he asked someone to stop by. Someone from the neighborhood home owner’s association. Someone whom I’ve never met. Someone who represents people who haven’t meant to I’m sure, but whom I’ve felt very judged by. Let’s just say a few people in our neighborhood weren’t happy when we put a tire swing up four years ago, and there have been other incidents.

So the very first thing I did was run down the stairs and pretend I was a new person coming to my house and I desperately didn’t want this person to think we were the type of folk who use folding chairs and empty boxes for all of our furniture or that we were secretly putting up tire swings inside our house. I wanted them to see how sophistimicated I was with my plastic spoon wreath and book page decorations. So naturally, my solution was bringing down three pillows from the accessory holding room to put them on this sofa in the first room you see when you walk into the house.

Yep, that made all the difference.

Thank you for allowing me to be crazy. Also? I’m leaving the pillows.

New here? Some friends and I are almost in the middle of a little experiment of 30 Days Without Home Accessories.


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  1. Suzanne says:

    Nothing wrong with a little pillow or two or three…

  2. ;-}

  3. I probably would have done the same. Hey, you get to make the accessory rules here, right? :)

    Although there is this digital picture frame on my kitchen counter that, thanks to my mother filling the memory card, plays pics of things like me in my pjs feeding my messy baby and me on my front porch rocker. I am always tempted to take it down when company I don’t know well comes over, so I’m not in this awkward state of wondering if they are wondering why I have terrible pictures of myself, my kids, and my front porch in a frame.

    So far, I’ve not moved it. :) I should probably just change out the pics.

  4. m @ random musings says:

    Who gets bothered by tire swings? My neighbor has one and all the kids on the block use it…. Is this one of those crazy hoa regs?

    • yep, actually no, they let us have it because there was no rule against it, just some people in the neighborhood were wishing there was a rule against it,

    • I was wondering the same thing! A tire swing objectionable? I can only imagine all the yelling and laughing of all the kids enjoying it.

  5. It’s your experiment, designed to show you what your house needs in order to work best for you. Isn’t the freedom to be you a wonderful thing? (Just don’t let them upstairs to see the tire swing hanging in the bonus room, right? And don’t be too “you” in the yard, because HOA’s might not be designed for you-ness.)

  6. In our old subdivision we had a new neighbor who started complaining about all the kids’ toys/bikes that would be out in the front of our houses during the day. Um, hello-it’s a family neighborhood?! Weird.

  7. They didn’t want a tire swing? Let’s just put all our children in pinafores and start having the only seen not heard rule. They are kids, let them have fun!

    • I can never get over how people buy a house in a neighborhood full of 4 bedroom homes and then are surprised that there are children that play outside and build forts, ride bikes in the woods and stomp through the creek.

      • Exactly!!! In some ways I miss the days when there weren’t any HOA’s. They serve a purpose…to an extent. Although in my last neighborhood one guy would park on his lawn. ALL THE TIME. Most of us had 100-200ft driveways!! Nothing was done. Then you have the opposite…God forbid you put up a tree fort – or a tire swing! – and people freak out! I WISH I had a tree big enough for a tire swing!!

  8. Gotta love subdivision living! I applaud you for only doing 3 pillows. I would have hauled out everything :)

  9. You can totally change the rules on your accessory free month. Most new “inventions” take a while to work out the kinks :) Besides, pillows are a different kind of accessory – kind of like a necessity- I mean if you want to take a nap on the couch you may want a pillow or two, right?

  10. Neighborhood associations give me shudders. I think you should be out using the tire swing when he shows up. ;)

  11. Christie says:

    I didn’t put my pillows away because we use them, so feel better! And the funny thing is that my pillows drive me crazy because they’re usually on the floor.

  12. I feel like singing, “It’s your house and you can do what you want to”….You know instead of “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…” hahaha, I’m random today.

  13. You or your guest might actually use those pillows, so you technically are still accessory free!

  14. Allison says:

    Thanks for being so real, Nester! I think that if you had submitted it to the “Council” (as in “7”), they would have approved the pillow decision;) I always, always enjoy your posts!

  15. I didn’t think this experiment was about self-punishment! Our things do express things about ourselves–maybe only superficial things, but we really aren’t wired to jump right past that stage in getting to know each other.
    Funny, I never even thought of my pillows as accessories. I like to sit upright, so I need ’em on comfy chairs and my couch!

  16. Thank you for your honesty in sharing neighbor anxiety – we as a family have encountered similar nonsense. I really enjoy your blog and have embraced and am loving the “less” approach to accessorizing. Thank you for all of the inspiration you have given me!

  17. LOL, nope, not crazy at all. I’d do the same.

    I mean you were having people over. Reason enough! Permission granted to throw away your crazy person card.

  18. I like the pillows ~ and I would have kept them out too : ) Your experiment is fun to follow. I try not to overdo the accessories but don’t know how well I would do without any…

  19. I always wished my house looked better, different, cleaner when people I am not close to visit, but then you miss the point – since finding your blog I now ” get the point” – it’s my home and my memories. Thank you for being so honest! Do you even know you are a wonderful teacher? P.S. I am 43 and would LOVE a tire swing in my yard but my trees aren’t big enough yet :)

  20. Melissa McIntyre says:

    I just love you!!! ;-) You know you are helping people like me, who are SO MUCH LIKE YOU, when my husband says things to me like ” Now, what would Nester say?” and me in a Thumper-from-Bambi-kind-of-way says ” It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” YES!! This conversation DID happen! ;-) I “get” you, so we are either crazy together, or we are just fine like we are and need to throw out the crazy card!

  21. I have been following your blog for a while now. I pop in every few days. I love your posts. I, too, can really relate! I took a different angle to your 30 days no accessories – I went through every closet, cabinet, and drawer and ended up with a car load to take to Goodwill! Purging feels so good. I am trying to be VERY selective with purchases from now on. This week’s task is to put away the stuff that is covering every surface. I am way behind, but look forward to the challenge. By the way, I love your sofa! It looks so comfy and inviting. :)

  22. Well…here’s an update…I’m sticking it out…and I’m learning things…but this is harder than I thought it’d be! Happy Nekkid June!

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  24. love your post. i totally distract

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