The Nester
About the Author

Myquillyn Smith, The Nester, is a home stager, redesigner and design school drop-out. Her last home (a rental) was featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Cottages & Bungalows, Ladies' Home Journal and in her upcoming design philosphy book, The Nesting Place: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful....

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. My babes took an art class and painted some beautiful pictures…I cherish them! Another favorite is the vanity desk my man made for me the first Christmas after we were married. Every time we move and unpack, it’s the one thing I hope has made it through in good shape.

    I love how you say, “But you don’t have to get as radical as antlers. He made plants and shells too.” Classic Nester words right there!

  2. The first cross stitch my mother-in-law ever made, “The Last Gift” my father ever gave us (I’m linking a post about it below IF you had any interest in knowing what it actually is, because to just tell you, well…it sounds CRAZY!!!), and my children’s art work yet to be framed but in a pile to be done :/. Tsh is really motivating me these days and I wonder why I haven’t already!

    And those antlers? Just crack me up!!


  3. My middle child…is the artsy one. She has created many masterpieces for our home over the years.
    Last week on her birthday (St Patty’s) I awoke to a sweet photo arrangement gift from her to me. On it, she had drawn & written beautiful things just for my MOM heart to love!
    As I look around now….I see things everywhere that were from the hands of my babes! {Now, grown up babes…that is}
    Better than any store bought treasures…for sure!

  4. Since we designed and built our entire home, it’s hard to pick out just handmade one thing inside the home that means the most! But I do love the quilts I have been given throughout the years. I know how much love and attention goes into making them, and that makes sooo special. I’m hoping the quilt I just made for a baby in Japan will make a child there feel special too!

  5. I have a plate I painted during a vacay to the Dominican Republic that hangs on our wall and it’s better than any store-bought item.

    Everything my son has personally made for me means more than anything else!

  6. my husband is a photographer, so i think the most beautiful handmade item in our home is a photo of a blind woman in the amazon. it’s journalistic & tells a beautiful story, with a turquoise wall & a yellow rag on her knee…it’s just beautiful.

    second would be a vintage owl i spraypainted 😉

  7. My daughters were in a painting class when they were just 4 and 5. They came home with ocean paintings – one with sea horses and the other with sea turtles. We were remodeling our house at the time. So their paintings became the inspiration to make the guest bathroom an ocean theme. Dark ocean blue walls, bright white cabinets, sand colored tile, and their ocean paintings on the walls. Funny I didn’t think of an ocean theme, living here at the beach – my girls made it happen. Those paintings have been hanging in there for 6 and a half years. I love them.

  8. 2010 was a really tough year for me as a mother. Early in the year, the Lord prompted me to pull my 13 yr old daughter out of public school against her (and her threatening-non-custodial father’s) wishes. She hated Homeschooling, and as a result-hated me for the better part of the year. This past Christmas, I expected no gift from her as in holidays past, but to my heart’s surprise-she had stayed up late on Christmas Eve making me a beautiful necklace and earrings using vintage brass findings that she had bought with her own money on Etsy earlier in the year. The necklace dangles three keys which have such new signifigance for me, as well as a beautiful filagree charm that rests gently on the side of my neck. She also dropped a brass bow straight down the back where no-one knows it’s there other than me-SO CREATIVE, and evidence that she went the extra mile for me. My heart melts again and again as I pull them out to wear them about 4 times a week at least…Priceless.
    On a side note, she is doing fantastic! And because God gave me the courage to be obedient and trust him against all odds in the homeschooling matter, she may have an opportunity to attend and elite school next year that she wouldn’t have if she stayed in public school! And spending every day together has transformed our relationship! GOD is so faithful!

  9. When my best friend was 4, her parents bought a large (maybe 3’x4′?) canvas and a cheap set of acrylics and she spent hours and hours filling the whole thing. she painted her family (in stick figures) and trees and flowers and other 4-year-old things. They hung that painting over the couch in their living room until just a few years ago when they moved. i thought it was just so neat how they cherished that painting and showed it off for so long!

  10. The crocheted blanket on my daughter’s bed (made by my grandmother). The banjo on the wall that belonged to my dad (handmade by a craftsman in the CO mountains). A wooden cooking spoon that my FIL carved for me. 🙂

    Love homemade!!

  11. Well, naturally I have many things made by the kids, wonderful delightful treasures. I also have several paintings by my sister, a talented artist. And I have some clay figures I made when I was a child! Quilts made by my mother and grandmother. And a picture made with wood and fabric (hard to describe) made by a good friend. Fun to look around and remember wehre all these things came from!

  12. I so agree. It’s funny how that comes more and more the older I get too. My grandmother quilted me a baby blanket when I was born and I drug it around till I was 4 or so. My mom said she lost it but hid it away. When we adopted my son almost two years ago, she had patched over the wholes and added a back to it with a modern fabric and presented at my baby shower. There wear tears from everyone.

  13. I love the lap quilt made for me by a very special friend and several beautiful items (doll, beaded jelly fish, scarves, etc) made for me by my very talented, eldest daughter. I ‘decorate’ a lot with God’s creations – stones, rocks, shells – memories of places and people I love – and house plants galore, wild flowers in the spring and summer, cattails, branches, even pretty weeds 😉

  14. I have a necklace a friend made for me that I wear almost every day. When people compliment it I love saying, “My friend Heather made this for me!” That’s not decorating my home but, well, it’s decorating myself, right? 🙂

  15. My favorite handmade item in my home is a tin tray that my was my grandmother’s. She explained that she and her mom each made one at a class they took together when she was in her 20’s before her mother passed away. It’s so great to look at it and know that it has such a wonderful story behind it. I want a house full of stuff like that – not all brand-new, squeaky clean things with no story…

  16. My girls (6, 4) have been sitting at the table for more than two hours coloring, cutting and creating – snowflakes, snowmen (not that it’s snowing), rainbows and elephants. They are talking and singing to each other. Whether the “masterpieces” stand the test of time or are just more paper clutter, I LOVE hearing them enjoy being sisters!

    I also love a handknit throw that is my favorite because it’s so cuddly – except I got it at a thrift store. 🙂

  17. I like the idea of having things I hand made around the house…if I could ever stop picking out all the little mistakes in them.

  18. Artwork made by my 6 year old grandchild. Pure love and joy! Love seeing the world through her eyes!

  19. my dad made a little log cabin out of scrap lumber and my mom made most of the furnishings and the wooden doll that lives there. It has a “rag” rug, a “bear” rug, a straw mattress, cane bottom chairs, a fire place, books, dishes, cradle, curtains etc. all lovingly made by hand.