31 Days To A Less Messy Nest Day 21:: Enjoy the Beauty Marks

I love that painted white thing that hangs on our mantel. I’ve dropped it 87 times. It’s broken. In more than one place. I like to think of the cracks and chips as beauty marks.  Marks that prove the item is loved just like the Velveteen Rabbit.

You don’t really notice it when it’s surrounded by other specimens of beautiful imperfection.

Someone will now email me and tell me that all I need to do is paint that broken part white and no one will ever notice.  I will tell them they missed the whole point of this post.

I see these chairs as a reminder of beauty yet to come. Have you ever noticed that there are 4 different colored half painted chairs at our table? Probably not.  I haven’t decided what color I want them yet. Dinners still taste just as good with half painted chairs.  Instead of feeling dread that I have not completed that project, I look forward to decideding what color I want them and enjoying the finished product.  And for the time being, I truly don’t mind to have them look like this.

see them? you are too busy looking at that crow, aren’t you?

This half painted wall is your classic case of procrastination.   Sometimes I wish imperfect things would bother me MORE.

This coffee table has seen all manner of toys scooted around on its surface.

But I don’t really notice the scratches and such when I’m not dwelling on them.

Even the manager at Home Goods told me not to purchase this cracked lamp.  I had been looking for months for a pair of large white lamps and I wasn’t gonna let something like a little crack hold me back.  Now I can feel less guilty when I crack it on the other side.

Insisting on perfection can cause us to stop and get nothing accomplished. Nothing is so much worse than something done good enough. Of course, we can apply this to anything from housekeeping, to business running.

What does accepting beauty marks have to do with Less Messy Nestiness?

You tell me.


  1. I find all of it charming. I love the 1/2 painted chairs and walls… the lamp… the table…

    it all speaks of priorities. That you put PEOPLE before STUFF… and for that Nester-girl, you are charming.

    It’s a great lesson to me to overlook the minutia.


  2. so nice of you to give us all permission to be imperfect since we all are already. I think we all have some of this in our homes and the more comfortable we become with it, the more comfortable our friends and family will be…still loving your series:)

  3. Love the chairs in the different colors. I thought you had done that on purpose. Leave them. They are beautiful. Or, if you insist on paint, I love the turquoise color. :o)

    Loved the post too!


  4. Great post today. I agree with everything you said. And I laughed at your story that even the manager tried to talk you out of the lamps! LOL! But if you have a son like mine, if the lamps were perfect, one would have gotten broken or chipped five minutes after being in the door anyway.

  5. Beauty marks tell the history of a family in many ways. My husband eats his weekend lunches on an old wooden tray table covered with old paint marks, dried on stickers etc. We cant beat to get rid of these as they are remnants of our daughters crafting sessions and bring back such fond memories. I might struggle with a cracked lamp but love the half painted chairs..keep them that way until your boys grow up…add some mismatched cushions to complete the look and no one will ever know it wasnt planned. Fun post

  6. My daughter, the Scooper, put me on to you and this site. Now I’m praying the the good Lord will add an additional 31 days to October! Fantastic! I’m loving this series.

  7. I suppose we should be aware of the difference between “clutter” and “imperfect-ness.” I see it as a difference between “clutter” and “character.” I love the way you look at things. Thank you!

  8. Love the posts and your pictures have helped me show my husband in what direction I want to guide our decorating…. :) Finally, he can picture what I’m talking about!

    I think another place where we sometimes have to embrace the beauty marks is in tile colors and other semi-permantent pieces of our home. I watched my cousin fight the tile color in a bathroom for years before she finally stopped trying to make it all match. When she gave up on making it fit her ideal and just worked with it, suddenly it was really cute. Thanks to her, I knew what to do when we ended up buying a house with the exact same shade of blueish tile!

  9. Thank you so much for this post! I have been enjoying reading your 31 days to a less messy nest. And the past couple days your posts about perfection and “beauty marks” is definitely something I’ve been needing to hear. I get so stressed out over how my nest looks. It’s certainly a skill to be learned to accept your nest the way it is, paint samples on the walls and one curtained windows and all! It’s so important to enjoy your house and your family that makes that house home.

    Keep up the good work! And thank you for sharing your most thoughtful words!

  10. Your post had me laughing so hard I was in tears! I love the way your statements are so matter of fact. So who cares if you have chairs and walls that are half painted? The love that fills your home is what’s really important and matters.

    By the way, what crow?

  11. As a friend of mine said, “It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature!”

  12. Nester ~ this is great :]

    You have such a fresh, honest outlook on life. It’s really great.

  13. Oh my gosh! I have an unfinished painted wall too. We painted the kitchen and got tired before we could finish painting under the cabinets. That’s been years ago. I thought I was the only one with an unfinished paint job. It’s so good to hear that there is someone else out there like me!

    Thank you!

  14. It’s always nice when someone encourages you to exhale. Thanks. We all needed that. :)

  15. Hello Nester. Did you paint your dinning room table? what color is it? I love it.

  16. 1. Turquoise.

    2.” Now I can feel less guilty when I crack it on the other side.” Hilarious and Genius!

    3. We used to own an old green farm truck (in D.C.) and my husband loved to drive that thing, because he could kick it if he wanted to and it wouldn’t mind. He didn’t have to stress. Until he had to give his boss a ride to the airport in 90+ weather without A.C. And she had major back sweat when they got there. Oops!

    4. Also, when he had to leave the truck in valet parking at a fancy hotel, and the valet guy swore at him when he retrieved it, because… no power steering. That was funny and awesome.

    5. The truck is sold now and we miss kicking it. That is all.


  17. Oh my goodness, I love this post! I love what you pointed out and love the fact that we all have beauty marks and its ok. Our homes can still look beautiful, be beautiful and half of the time no one notices it. It goes back to your motto and how true it is. Now if we could only apply this same house concept to our own bodies…..its all beautiful!!!!

  18. Beauty marks! I love it! Now I have an appropriate name for all the dings, scratches, and blemishes in my house. I’ve learned not to mind them; I can still invite people over and have a good time.

  19. I can’t even tell you how timely this post is for me. I have bronchitis and came home early from work, but instead of going to bed I spent 2 hours trying to make-over my mantel. And I am still not happy with it! Pushing myself to get a post up, and feeling overwhelmed with all the projects I need to be working on. Your post was a good reminder to sit back and give myself a break – thanks.

  20. Oh, it’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one with almost finished projects around the house! At this very moment our front door is awaiting a final paint touch up (with a paint color named “beguile”) as are our shutters outside, I have empty picture frames hanging in our living room b/c I can’t decide where to hang them and….well, you get the idea!

    Beauty marks are the sign that a home is lived in and loved. Great post!

  21. By the way, I love the turquoise on the one dining chair, but would you please reveal that darker blue on the opposite chair? I just love it! Actually, maybe you could one day do a “round-up” post that just posts items you’ve painted w/ the paint color details…

    speaking of paint, I love your idea (from another post) of letting the kids make artwork from leftover paint, so it matches. I think that is one of the cleverest decorating tips for moms that I’ve come across in a while.

    And I loved this post.

  22. Your description of your lamps had me cracking up. As I write this, the lamp in the corner of my kitchen is chipped in three places, and the lampshade is attached by one lone single hook. The imperfections are the result of 3 teen boys who were laughing and joking when one decided to show that he could, indeed, do a roundhouse, Chuck Norris wanna-be kick. It was all in good fun, and the lamp makes me smile whenever I have a moment to sit beside it.

  23. I’m a new reader to your site. This is a very appropriate topic for me. Having moved 7 times in 6 years, I no longer decorated when I moved into a place (it was just more stuff to pack back up!). My husband has now guaranteed that we will be living in our current home for at least 2 years (we signed a 2 year lease so I could hold him to it, haha) and I have begun decorating. I’m finding all kinds of “finds” that quickly become unfinished projects. I still love the pieces, even if they are not totally done. And if something sits half painted because I changed my mind, I’m not fretting over it.

  24. Paint the chairs white, they would look really nice &compliment your white dishes :) The green’s to matchy matchy

  25. I love the imperfections and flaws. I think they add character. Take our hardwood floors for instance. Hubs gave me the green light to go ahead and rip up the carpet and I scratched the floor while moving the entertainment center. he was upset but it really isn’t that bad, not the first thing I notice and now there is always a story.

  26. Nothing is so much worse than something done good enough. Wow, this is such a powerful statement for me!! I am a recovering perfectionist, and I think this is going to become my new mantra. thank you, thank you :-)

  27. This has to be my favorite post so far. At first glance, I thought the chairs were intentionally made to look that way. They have a nice “broken in” look to them. ;) We, too, have half-painted walls and less-than-perfect finishes at our house. Thanks for reminding me that those are not the things that matter, rather it’s the laughing children and happy husband who make our house a home. :)

  28. love this post! i can”t believe how similar i am to you- projects i start out on that stay unfinished with the paint can sitting next to it…colored-on and scratched up furniture that my kids have used as “art” tables and as jumping-off points to the couch. I am so blessed to have a wonderfulhubby and beautiful kids, and I need to spend my time being thankful for them rather than obsessing over keeping my house perfect! Such a good reminder- and thank you for being bold to show us the other side of your closet! :-)

  29. So funny I have those same chairs!! In response to your unifying post I’ve been inspired to consider painting them and the not matching dinning table! I’ve been sort of on the fence about it but am leaning towards taking the jump. How fussy are you about sanding first, that’s what’s making me hold back, I love the painting part. Now should I make the chairs one color and keep the table just a bit of a tone or 2 different? Hmmm, decisions, decisions. Thanks bunches!

  30. Did I say dinning table? I meant dining!

  31. I love turquoise for the chairs!
    It would draw attention to the plates on the wall and make the room come to life.

  32. But do you have the word “Bugsy” indented into your coffee table? That’s a true beauty mark ;o)

  33. I used to work at Pier 1. I was overwhelmed by how many women obsessively fine-combed their purchases, refusing to buy anything that showed even tiny manufacturer imperfections. I had one women exchange the same chair three times because she kept finding “blemishes” that were invisible to the non-obsessive eye. I always had the urge to grab these customers by the shoulder, look them in the eye and say “Your dinner party is going to be superb whether or not that bowl has a blemish that only you can see. Please breathe and make your purchase.” The irony is that those small imperfections are what make stores like Pier 1 so endearing and charming to the rest of us.

  34. I just stumbled upon your blog…on November 1st!! I have to say that I LOVE your philosophy of “beauty marks”. I have a weird thought process in regard to our home. We could have spent the same amount of money to buy a new “McMansion” on the outskirts of our little city, but chose to purchase an 83 year old home in the middle of our adorable little downtown area. It needed a little TLC to say the least, but I love the thought of taking a home that has been neglected and bringing it back to life…not to PERFECTION, but to life, as opposed to living in a “PERFECT” , brand new home. In a new home you know that it’s perfection is only going to be decreased over time. But in a home that is in need of some love, it’s only going to get better (not perfect). I love the “warts” my home has, and the biggest compliment I can receive is to hear how comfortable people feel when they come in!

  35. very good design of furniture.it is antique furniture.it must be expensive .

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