Stop Waiting for the Next House


family room



I wasted too many years waiting for the next house. The next house held all of the possibility. The current house was just temporary. I felt like I could never truly settle whether it was a house we owned that was far from perfect or a rental that felt too temporary. It took 13 different houses to teach me what home really was.


I’ve learned the hard way. And I’m telling you all about it in this beautiful book full of color photos, so that you don’t have to make the same mistake.


I wrote every word and took every photo in a house that we didn’t own. It was a rental. How fitting. A girl who simply wants to settle down and stop moving writes a book about creating a beautiful, meaningful home, in a house she doesn’t even live in anymore.

Life isn’t perfect.

Circumstances are never perfect.

Houses are for living, not perfecting.



the nesting place chapters


The Nesting Place book is coming to a bookstore or mailbox near you on April 29th! Right in time for Mother’s Day!

Don’t waste your time waiting for your next house. Compared to your last house, this IS your next house.

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  1. Congratulations!! And I’m totally taking myself to Bebe Gallini’s today, I can’t wait until May 3! It looks amazing!

  2. Well. You know how I feel about your words about renters and how it feels to be one. I just know there are many women who need to feel gotten. You get it.

    I am already telling everyone I know that this book is going to speak to them.

  3. although I am not a renter…I am tired of waiting for the next house…there are so many things I want to do in this house, but the hubby tells me wait until we get to our “forever” home…there was a time that I thought this house was our forever home, but the kids are grown and almost gone out on their own now…we are looking to downsize, so I get that we can’t do all the things I want to do here…but the wait is frustrating

    Congrats on the book – I will definitely be on the lookout for it!

    • Renter or not, many of us put pressure on that ‘next house’!

      I even find myself doing it here at the place we never want to leave.

  4. I love your renter quote -we have been renting for the past 10 years and there are times when I feel like I am waiting OR the design world doesn’t care about us renters. I started my blog several years ago to show what you can do with a rental home. I pre-ordered your book! Can’t wait to read your nuggets of wisdom!

  5. What a great gift for newly weds or college graduates!

  6. Yes, exactly how I feel at this point. So this year I’ve committed to living well in our rented and imperfect space whatever that looks like. Hope to snag your book in a library when it’s released!!

  7. Congratulations Nester! I bet your book is filled with inspiration and wisdom that we can use every day, not just for decorating our home. So often we waste our time wishing for the perfect moment of life – where no stress exists and everything is perfect including our home, career, kids, money and hair. Then we look at our current reality and say, “this is not how my life is supposed to be.” I had that moment this weekend, and it was depressing. You know what, I’m moving on. Today, I’m going to leave this wishing-for-perfect-life nonsense behind and start really living. Thank you for the inspiration!

  8. Love this article. Even though my husband and I own our Condo, I have been holding off decorating, until we found our “forever home”. In reading your blog I decided why wait. So I have been decorating, re-organizing, moving things, and now starting to paint. You are so right. Why wait. Before I couldn’t wait till the day we moved, now I don’t feel that sense of urgency anymore. Thanks for all your great decorating ideas and words of wisdom. Congratulations on the book!

  9. We have been renting for almost 10 years..married that long and now have 4 kids. My husband started his own business and we knew we wanted a good solid business before buying or building a place. We have lived in 4 rentals. The one we are in is in a beautiful s river and we see fields, hills and mountains. We are right in the middle of a huge farm. It is tough living in an old but very adorable house from (the outside)..people have came to our door interested in buying it! The railing is trying to rot, the linoleum is totally shot, cabinets are hideous, it smells musty etc but I still decorate and try make it a home because my kids deserve a spot to call home and I want to teach them to respect things. I hope soon we are in our own place but until then I will continue to make this house a home for those I love.

  10. Big smile at finally seeing this book that you have lived for your whole life long become tangible words to hold in your (and plenty of other) hands! Told you so! ;)

  11. So true!! Congratulations on the book, pre-ordered! Very excited to receive it here in our ‘never-perfect’ rental in Melbourne – Australia and thanks heaps for sharing your words of wisdom and help me create home away from home.

  12. Congratulations! Having a book someday is a dream of mine, so I bet you are so thrilled!!! :)
    Although I am not a renter, I know that “temporary” feeling when remodelling our home knowing we will be moving on at some point, always being so cautious of resale values & not over-spending. You need to remember to enjoy your home, wherever you may be. <3

  13. We live overseas and have been renting or house-sitting all of our married life (8 years) on three continents. I write a blog about the art of sojourning, and yet much of the time I still don’t feel really settled in our home or like it’s as beautiful as I could or want to make it… I’m really looking forward to reading your book – I have to admit, I’ve been intimidated by your blog because everything always looks so amazing, and I’ve counted myself out of even the realm of possibility since I don’t live in America (with Target and Walmart and Michael’s)… But somehow I didn’t pick up on the fact you’ve been writing from a rental… somehow that changes everything for me. And I wish I could hitch a flight to Cornelius, NC – May 3 is my birthday, and what a fabulous treat that would be! :)

  14. Congratulations on your book—I can’t wait to read it! I love the message of not waiting for your “forever” house. I made some decisions in our last home, months before we moved out, and even though I ended up having to undo a lot of the work, I learned something. And in a lot of ways, I feel like I got that design element out of my system and can move on (it wasn’t really me).

  15. Nester, I adore you. Thank you for spreading your message about creating a home wherever you are. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years, and in that time I’ve owned my dream home, lost my dream home, rented a not-so-dreamy home and eventually purchased a perfectly imperfect home. Your words of encouragement gave me the courage to shed the renter’s shame) and decorate and cozy up that bad boy like it would be where we would spend the rest of our lives. My husband didn’t get why I needed to hang pictures and plant flowers in a space that didn’t belong to us, and he actually seemed annoyed that I would put so much effort into making that house a home. But you know what, decorating and home(ing) up that rental was healing for me. I was able to get over the loss of our dream home a lot faster and move on with the rest of my life because I embraced where I was at. My husband kinda sorta thanked me for making the house a home about 2 years in. He had been so hurt and angry about losing our dream house that it was hard for him to embrace where we were in the beginning. Long story short we stayed in the rental for three years, had the audacity to invite people over and made some great memories during that time. If it weren’t for your tugging, nagging and encouragement I would have never done this. Thank you making it ok and acceptable to beautify a rental. In the midst of changing my home, my heart and mind changed and I’m a much better person for it. Home is wherever you make it. And for the love, it does not have to be perfect to be beautiful. Perfect is creepy 

    • oh. my. heavenly days.



      This story, your story is better than simply staying put in a ‘dream house’ don’t you think? Because your story is absolutely stunning and priceless. And I have chills. And tears. And I can stop blogging now and THIS is what we are talking about.

      I am so happy for kindred spirits. For those who know. So many of us know this hurt, this sorrow and this new awakening to what HOME really is.
      preach it.

      • I’m telling you, you’re changing lives, one post at a time. This is real life. It’s messy, it’s complicated and if we have the courage to change our perspective it’s absolutely beautiful. If I weren’t pregnant and due on May 20th I would be at your gathering to give you one big ole ugly crying bear hug. Your words changed my life and as result I can spread the good news of the imperfect as well. Until we can connect, I’ll continue to see you on Instagram!

      • Jen @balancing beauty and bedlam says

        Raina – Best comment ever!! LOVED reading your heart here. :)

  16. You are so right! Congratulations on your book and I have that same cuckoo clock!

  17. Such a great message!! Congrats on your book!! What an accomplishment!! :)

  18. Wonderful post! We have lived in 12 houses over our 45 years of marriage, old ones, very old ones, fixer uppers, city ones, country ones. The longest we ever lived in one house was 5 years until this present house. We have been here 11 years and I still don’t fell settled here, but I have finally stopped looking at other possibilities and come to the conclusion that I need to be content here. I always attributed my restlessness with houses to being creative, but now I realize that it was probably a case of being ungrateful for what the Lord had given me. My word for the year is gratefulness and I think maybe I am beginning to be more grateful. Rhondi xo

  19. I’m SO excited and proud of you for your new book! Congrats!

  20. Wow, so excited to buy/read this book! Our family moves every two years and we always rent or are living in government-provided housing. For so long, I would want to try something new, but would say, well maybe in the next place. Or I would rationalize problems away, saying, it’ll be better in the next place (instead of dealing with them). Starting to realize that I don’t want to look back on 20 years of traveling and see a long string of things problems I didn’t deal with or things I didn’t try. I want to build a home for my family in whatever place we’re living NOW. Thank you Myquillyn!

  21. Congratulations!! The book is so wonderful, girl. I can’t wait to read it on a real live page. :)

  22. You are TORMENTING us with stack of your book! I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own copy, which has been pre-ordered from Amazon for what seems like forever.

  23. This makes me feel so good…We lost our home 2 years ago and are in a rental. I feel bad decorating something that isn’t mine..but i want to make it feel like us…You make me feel good about it. I read these blogs and see all these homes and i feel so bad…you make me feel good

  24. “houses are for living, not for perfecting.”
    love it.
    need it.
    thank you.

  25. Congratulations on your book! I can’t wait to read it. I think so many of us have experienced (or are experiencing) that “waiting place.” Your words bring peace and gratitude for the here and now …and hope for the future. Thank you!

  26. Gorgeous! And I totally hear what you are saying. We’ve been in this house almost 14 years. I think I’ve been afraid to do what I want. What if we want to sell and the realtor’s hate the colors/floors/etc? No one seems to be complaining about being cramped here. It’s time to slap some colors on the walls and quit playing it safe.

  27. Eeeeek! Look at your beautiful new book!!!!

  28. I couldn’t be more excited for you!! Ordering mine today!

    Thankful for the lessons you’ve learned the hard way and shared here :). They’ve been a big help to me over the years.

  29. Wow! I love your message, and I know I’ll love your book, too. Well done!


  31. Finally. Counting days…

  32. Congrats!!!! I have already pre-ordered my copy…..I can’t wait!

  33. “Houses are for living, not perfecting”. ~ That hit me right between the eyes. Hmmm…yeah. Just taking that one in and letting it settle. It’s truth I needed to hear and really own. Thank you for your wise words. You never know who needs to hear them. I sure needed to today.

  34. Laure Gill says

    Pre-ordered your book! I love your blog, I have the same philosophy about design, I’m a professional decorator and I feel like my ministry is to show people how to create a beautiful home, no matter where they live…or how much they have right now. Make it home, love the home your with ( I say that to clients all the time!). Im not a renter, but your creative ideas on your blog ( when you rented) were inspirational. Im enjoying your transformation of imperfection (powerlines and all!) Congrats on your book….soon to be my coffee table accessory!

  35. Yours was the first design/decor blog I discovered back when. It opened up a world of possibilites for me. (That there were others who felt the same way I did about homes.) I’ve enjoyed following along as your style has evolved from the country sofas until now. I look forward to your new book release. Congratulations!

  36. So proud of your accomplishment! This is a shout out for my mom…we rented the entire time she was a single mom of four and our apts./townhomes were magazine worthy!!! We had hand me downs and secondhand and everyone who entered thought a designer did our homes. She had lost her big house in the divorce and never let renting stop her from having the most wonderful gatherings. When I think back to her lovely limitations, I know I would have kept the doors closed. So glad she didn’t. Still need to learn this! Guess that’s why I come here!

  37. It amazes me that you have lived in 13 houses and we are close in age (from what I gather). We have lived in the same house for 13 years… With the help of the Total Money Makeover, we are paying off debts and hope to move to a new home – only because we want more land. We love our current house and I have loved it so much. Leaving will be hard. Sorry, just thought it amazing that you moved that many times. I can’t imagine moving once with all the stuff we have now. Moving from a small apartment was hard enough! :) Congratulations on the book release. I have a copy reserved (at the library because we have no book budget right now)…

  38. I almost clicked away when I read the title of your post~I needed to hear it that much! Was expecting a scolding for some reason, but instead felt totally understood. I keep thinking, “How must that hurt my husband to have me always pining for ________ in a new home.” Now it’s land; before it’s been a schoolroom, a flat driveway, a long driveway……ad nausea! Thank you for what your words do even for a marriage, Nester. There is power in showing such beauty in the imperfect, here-and-now. You do it so graciously, too.

  39. Congratulations on the release of your new book! Beautiful!

  40. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

  41. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did
    you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to construct
    my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.
    thank you

  42. Asking questions are genuinely good thing if you are not understanding something completely, except this post provides good understanding even.

  43. Courtney Abernathy says

    As someone who has moved A LOT due to military and other life events in my past, I never took the time to make our rentals TRULY home. I was always feeling like it’s only a matter of time before we move. But that is all changing now.. I am making any home my family lives in ours no matter where we end up :) Its so important.
    I Pre-ordered your book and I can not wait until it arrives :)

  44. Your sentiment rings very loud for me. For 8 years we rented a house and did NO decorating. Even though I love home décor, the house was just temporary, our furniture was gross hand me downs. I took absolutely no pride in our home. Then we bought a very shiny, brand new house and broke the bank filing it with perfect furniture, only to decide 1 1/2 years later we didn’t like the neighborhood and the house was cold and uninviting. Much of the pricey furniture was sold on Craigslist as it really wasn’t “us” nor would it fit into our “new” (old) home. We love our new house but I laugh at myself that I waited all those years to get decent furnishings only to move again right after we bought it. So I agree love the home your in. -Kristine

  45. love this!

  46. Dee just told me about your book and site love! Dee and her family just moved to our town a d I get to hang with them…such an AMAZING family!
    Word’s I’d put on a canvas…aliso pier, idyllwild, Paris & midnight crepes, the OC, Newport beach, big bear, CA, ATX, Maui, German bakeries, Swiss alps, family, sweet 16 birthdays, mints, sunflowers, LOVE. … have a blessed DAY♥

  47. How clever are you? You might have just answered a problem I have been struggling with for the past 12 years. I have been married 12 years and moved 11 times! What? I just showed my husband this blog and your book, begging for it for Mother’s Day! I can’t wait for you to inspire me even more!

  48. Silly as it may sound, I want to cry. This touches a deep part of me. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I won’t try to write out my “life story”, but…thank you. <3 (Off to find a copy for myself…)

  49. New reader. Love your blog and your philosophy. I’m in my eighth house (plus several apartments) and know that I’m moving, maybe twice, in the next year. Our house is on the market and our Realtor wants it to look a certain way. But I can’t stop personalizing it. Just bought a painting at an estate sale and have it leaning against a wall. Just can’t stop personalizing.

    I’m a stay at home mom (for one final year) and have always disliked the term, homemaker. I’m a (insert words about my brilliance here), for goodness sake! But I’ve finally realized that homemaker is EXACTLY what I am. I make a home. I make a home for myself, for my husband, for my kids, for my animals. I make a home for us. Thank you for your encouragement in this!

  50. My husband and I sold our big home in Chicago to an apartment near Boston to plant a church. The hardest part of this process has been giving up my house that I spent years working on and living in a crooked floor 100 year old apartment that I’m trying to not hate and also babyproof, which has been quite difficult. Radiators and toddlers don’t mix well! Ha! I found myself going back to your old blogs and your book for life giving words for this season for us. Just a small note to say thank you and it’s been my inspiration to make this place our new home.

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