Why your home is already perfect {+ the most beautiful parts of my home}
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by {darlene}

The Most Beautiful Parts of My Home

I struggle from a pesky ‘disease’ called Perfectionism.

It is ingrained deeply within my spirit, and it is not easily overcome. I think I was born with it. It has always been there.

Some days, it pushes me to do great things. Most days, it paralyzes. It leaves me feeling not-good-enough. It is a chain around my ankle.

It affects my home. my heart. my peace.

When I bumped into an amazing blog, called The Nesting Place, six years ago… I joined in with the Nester as she cried out to the world, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

I cried along with her, in hopes that I would truly someday come to believe it.

I have been repeating that battle cry to myself, ever since.


* * *

Why your home is already perfect via @fieldtonehill

Today, in honor of my friend Myquillyn, who wrote an amazing, run-to-the-store-NOW-and-buy-this, kind of a book, The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be BeautifulI would like to share with you what are truly THE most beautiful parts of my home, Fieldstone Hill.

These images are so beautiful to me, that they make me cry.


* * *

My boys, standing in a puddle of soap, giggling, on the countertops I hate and oak cabinets I have never gotten around to painting:


A late night shot of laundry that ain’t gonna fold itself, sitting atop my beloved silk sofa, three nights after I pulled it out of the dryer:


R2-D2, Yoda and Luke Skywalker on a handcrafted vehicle, doing battle for the free world in our living room:


A picture frame, that has been sitting empty for a solid year on my living room wall. Oh, except for the occasional Red Sith Trooper who likes to hide there:


A joyous mess of plastic at my feet, plus some other adorable-ness, keeps me company as I read Nester’s book:


Our six year old “new” floors, that are pock-marked from dropped toys cutting into the stain and soft wood, proclaiming that little-boy-fun has been had:


The woodwork in our new addition. Looking not-so-new. Because I decided it was more important to let the boys have car races and giggle until they fell over:


Dirty laundry on the floors:


And dirty diapers:


And more dirty laundry. Just an everyday, regular part of our gorgeous decor around here:


This sight leaves me chanting to myself, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Idhtbptbb. Idhtbptbb. Idhtbptbb….” The gigantic rip in my grandmother’s down sofa and custom cover is due to little boys, scrambling with shoes on – or off – to jockey for a good view out of the front window. Sometimes, they illicit a seriously impressive honk from the trash truck. The sofa has fallen victim to such joys:


The four dinos I found buried in our silk sofa. All four of them were crammed into the same tiny crevice, and our whole family laughed uproariously as they were discovered one by one:


The ugly ottoman I still need to recover. It never seems to get finished – I am too busy living, and spending my money on other stuff, and it just keeps “not making the cut.” A pretty throw will do for now:


Scrapes in the wall of our six year old addition. From a toy box that gets opened with great delight, gusto, and glee:



There was a day when I would have seen these things as signs of imperfection.

And I must not lie, I still struggle on many days with the messes and the dings and the spills and the things that get “torn up.” But my irritation lasts for only a little while, until I remember how fleeting it all is.

These things.

These Most Beautiful Parts of my Home.

I look at these things and I smile.  A deep, soul-warming, smile that comes from the gut.

Because these things are already perfect to me.

It does NOT have to be perfect to be beautiful.

And as a slowly-recovering perfectionist, I can say with faith, the imperfect IS the perfect. It is just as it is supposed to be. {<- tweet this}


* * *

Fast forward, six years after I first ‘met’ the Nester in this online space called blogland. Now, I am blessed to call her friend;  the face to face kind. Blessed to glean from her wisdom. Blessed even to humbly grace the pages of her – ahem – #1 BEST SELLING interior design book:  The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful

And, I was so very blessed to get the opportunity to preview/devour this book. It is SO pretty. And SO easy to ready. And SO encouraging.

Truly. You need to get this book.

This is a book about coming home. Feeling at home. Loving your home. Shaping your home.

This is what I consider to be TRUE interior design.



* * *

Your challenge might not be the messes of wee ones. Or maybe it is. All of us have obstacles that keep us from loving our homes, right where we are.

But there is always beauty to be found. Your home is already perfect.

I am thankful to the Nester for pointing me to this freedom once again.

What are the most beautiful parts of YOUR home?

I would be honored and humbled to hear from you in the comments.


This is my affiliate link for my friend’s book. But I truly don’t care how you get this book! Just get it in your hands, carve out some solitude, pour a warm cup of your favorite drink, and soak in the goodness:


* * * * *


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Labeled: beautiful thoughts, here at Fieldstone Hill, living with beauty, Living with Beauty: Within


  • Love it Darlene…this is real life!!!

  • I am so relieved to know I and my house are just perfect and normal. I could relate to every picture.

  • I can’t thank you enough for the reminder of what TRUE beauty in a home means. You have captured it beautifully, and as I gaze upon the imperfections of Cedar Cottage, I will remind myself of how they got there and why they “perfect” our home. Thank you.

  • Wonderful! I seem to have been born with that same “disease.” I have 4 wonderful children, and I am often reminding myself what is truly beautiful and perfect. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • I still struggle with perfectionism but when I came to the conclusion that having a house filled with kids and joy and laughter is far more important than everything being in place I found a sense of peace and thankfulness for the blessings of what I have been given.

  • Thank you for sharing your perfect and messy, beautiful family with us. I look at the dings in the walls and scratches on the furniture and tell myself the same things you do. A favorite saying of mine is “value people and use things, not value things and use people”. I just bought my copy online as I too love The Nester’s blog. Thanks again for posting.

  • Love it Darlene! Thanks for sharing your beautiful and very “real” home. It’s perfect as is.

  • I struggle with this all the time to the point of being too stressed about things that only I see. Maybe too many perfect instagram pics are floating around in my head. Thank you for writing this and letting me know I’m not the only one and to let go !!

  • I was cleaning off my kitchen counter (for the 10th time that day) and in my frustration, I became so thankful. So many people would love to be able to clean up after three boys. Three amazing boys. My mess suddenly became, my beautiful mess!

  • Toys from a grand baby that moved to Florida 2 months ago. I leave them out to remember.

    Our leather garage sale sofa we bought for $50. I just keep putting leather conditioner on it!

    My high school daughter’s trail of stuff. I only have 2 more years before she flies the nest. I am soaking it up.

    My hubby likes to snack on nuts when we watch TV. He has at least 6 cans of nuts on the bench next to the sofa. I resist the urge to put them away….what if he was gone?

    Perfectionism runs deep for me as well. I am working on giving and receiving grace.

    Trying daily to ask, “does this matter in the big scheme of things?”

    Thanks for a peek into a home filled with love. Wish we could visit over coffee~ (well, for me it would be sweet tea…but, whatever!)

  • Darlene….this is one of your best posts ever. Or maybe you were talking to the heart of a struggling perfectionist who also found new freedom by chanting, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”!!!!

    Seriously….that phrase was a deal breaker for me. Ask my friends!! Whenever I use it my husband says that’s exactly what he tried to tell me for years….but I never heard. I think he might be secretly jealous of the Nester. ;) Haha!!

    I cannot tell you how many things I’ve thrown away….that today I wouldn’t part with for a minute. Things that were valuable but not perfect. Things with treasured memories that were not perfect. It pains me to remember what I don’t have because it wasn’t perfect.

    Today I “preach” a new story….one where hospitality is inviting someone over and not worrying or caring about having the house ‘perfect’ or even food in the cupboard. Yes…it’s fun to decorate and make things look perfect….when we can. I haven’t quite achieved the ultimate hospitality. But, you can be sure that I no longer care or judge. Yup…that mantra was a deal breaker. And the very best one a gal could ever have.

    I love that your boys have gotten the trash men to pull their big horn while on the back of the sofa. Totally boy cool and a forever memory. And good on you for not worrying about the floors or the woodwork. I bow down to you for that one for sure!!

    Thanks for sharing your home filled with life and well loved inhabitants.


  • Thanks for this delightful post… I LOVED it!! And I ESPECIALLY loved all that laundry on the sofa… hmmm, perhaps it reminds me of my own?! :D

  • This is so perfect! We live life in our houses and that life is what makes a home beautiful. I just finished that book yesterday and my perfectionist self felt so free! I too find myself paralyzed, afraid to just do. No more!

  • A. SHE IS SO BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our girls our growing!!

    B. The sofa :( :( :( Bad boys. Bad.

    C. The laundry…oh the laundry. I have taken to hanging it outside just to get a few moments peace under the guise of “work”.

    I miss you!

  • So true! I am trying so hard to let this idea sink into every corner of my soul. I still struggle with it. I do love my dining room though. Our life happens around our big white table and I love it.

  • I now understand why God gave me a girl!!!!!

  • What an awesome reminder and testimony of how perfectionism robs us of seeing the real beauty in our lives RIGHT NOW. I just loved the book and squealed with delight when I saw your manifesto!

  • When we were first beginning to make our big old house a home, my husband would say, “remember that we live here. It’s not a museum.” His relaxed nature rubbed off on me and now, 5 kids later, I call scratches “patina” and our mix of antique and thrift store furnishings is “character.” While the youngest leaves Legos around, the older kids are making my foyer look like a bus terminal, full of duffel bags, instruments, and backpacks. Deep breath….we live here!

  • I have read the original post on The Nester and this was my reply. I felt I needed to post it here as well:

    I am trying to process all of this. I know that you are right, but it is still so hard to accept it. As a mother o 7, involved in full-time ministry, my home is far from magazine pretty. The walls are all drawn on, dirty from little fingers, things are already broken although we just moved here 6 years ago. The house is still not finished, the picture frames are in their boxes, the furniture is old and far far from what I would consider pretty. The septic tank is full, we only can use one bath and I can’t use the kitchen sink. The dishwasher has been broken for 3 years, the microwave is irreparable. The oven door has to be supported by a stick so that it would stay shut. The children need summer sandals and the family room needs furniture. Some relatives don’t miss a visit to remind me of the dirty walls, smudged windows and dust under the piano….. I feel like a failure for the first time in my life. I am constantly nagging my children about things being messy, disorganized, dirty.
    I am trying to see things your way though (and ignore all those comments of the relatives as hard as I can). I don’t want to continue this distructive path. I want to see beauty in imperfection, joy and happiness in unexpected things, I want to enjoy my children, my husband and life. I want to give glory to God in everything I do – even if it means not doing things to the expectation of some people.

    • Thank you for sharing Natalija. I know that when I feel this way, it is because I am comparing myself to those who have more instead of those who have less. It is a CONSTANT battle on our insides. Like you, I know how I SHOULD be thinking… but of course, as a sinner, it is a rare day when I do think that way.

      Blessings to you! You are NOT alone!

  • My dining room table. It was a hand-me-down to begin with, and it freed me to not worry about what our boys did to it. Spills, unintentional carvings, divots where gripped-too-hard pencils have made their marks…someday I will have a table without these things but for right now-I truly love them.

  • Thank you for this post! I have struggled with perfectionism in the house since I was little. Right now I’m struggling with having two dogs in the house (an older dog and a PUPPY!). I am struggling with the mess and the damage (I am so not a dog person, but my husband is). Sometimes I have to just go in my room and shut the door and get in bed… but it doesn’t last long before the puppy is scratching at the door and the carpet! I’ll have to see the perfect in the imperfect, and learn this little (BIG!) lesson before we have kids!!

  • So I stumbled across this post on Pinterest…it spoke to me. Actually, it SCREAMED at me (in a good way!) and so I wanted to say thank you – thank you for sharing your home. It’s beautiful! You obviously know what is important in the moment, because you know what a Red Sith Trooper even IS; and the dirty diaper on the floor? Well, that’s just real life sometimes! I have yet to check out the rest of your blog (heading there soon) but before I do, I want to tell you how utterly comfy I would feel in your home – I can see the beauty in the decor in the background – but clearly your family is in front, which is what matters most. Thank you for sharing!

  • Just came across this post via Pinterest. Yes to it all. I’m going to have to get my camera out tomorrow and document the beauty in my space. Thank you.

  • Thank you Darlene for being authentic! And reminding me that those “imperfections” are evidence of a blessed and full life.

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