Who inspires you? If you ask that question of a blogger, chances are, they’ll tell you about another blogger who inspired them to begin this crazy journey into the world of blogging, to share their lives and homes with anyone who chooses to read these pages, and to pursue their passions for creativity. For me, one of the biggest inspirations from the very beginning was Myquillyn AKA The Nester. So of course, when she announced a home decor course called Cozy Minimalist, I was in! But I learned so much more than just how to decorate my home, and I’m sharing it with you today.
Anyone who visits the pages of Myquillyn’s blog, Nesting Place, is drawn in by her beautiful home decor, but when you dig a little deeper, you begin to see that she utilizes very simple and unique pieces to create something so beautiful. She has spent years inspiring women to shop from their homes, get creative with their designs, and embrace imperfection.
I asked for, and received (thanks Mom!) Myquillyn’s book, The Nesting Place, for Christmas, and have since read it cover to cover more than once. I love to study the images of her gorgeous spaces and try to figure out how to bring a little bit of The Nester into my own home.
A few weeks ago, I began a four-week session called Cozy Minimalist hosted by Myquillyn. In this program, Myquillyn taught us simple steps to creating a home we love, even if it’s not perfect. (Because honestly, what home is ever perfect?)
(Thanks to Angela for allowing me to use her image.)
The room transformations done by some of the students were quite remarkable. I worked on my own livingroom, and while it’s still not finished, it’s well on it’s way to becoming the cozy minimalist room I’ve always wanted.
(Thanks to Misty for allowing me to use this image.)
We learned how to work around our “lovely limitations”, and chimed in on the mantra “Don’t start your art until your drapes are hung correctly!” It was an eye-opening experience to realize that I really can create a cozy space for my family and I to enjoy and it doesn’t have to be complicated or packed with “stuff”. (Stay tuned to the end of this post to see how you, too, can become a Cozy Minimalist!)
(Thanks to Michele for allowing me to use this image.)
The icing on the cake, however, was the barn event. Myquillyn opened up her home and her heart to a small number of Cozy Minimalist students on Saturday, May 9th, and I jumped at the chance to attend and actually meet her in person.
(Truth be told, her cat had kittens about three weeks prior to the barn event, and I just wanted to go hold them.) Just kidding. Sort of.
Before I even show you some of the gorgeousness from this barn event, I need to talk about Myquillyn for just a minute.
This woman is such a joy to be around. She is one of the most genuine and authentic people I’ve ever come across, a true Proverbs 31 woman in every sense of the word. I was in awe of her grace more than anything. When she received a compliment, she didn’t try to make excuses as to why she didn’t deserve the kindness, or pass it off as just words. (I’m terrible at receiving compliments.) She accepted every kind word with grace and humility. She was genuinely thankful for every word and gesture, and humbly accepting of all the love poured out on her that day.
She lives by her own creed, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” When we went inside of her home, there was laundry going in the washer and dryer, a half-empty bottle of Cheerwine on the kitchen counter, and a glass in the sink. The ceiling in the kitchen had been scraped clean of the popcorn texture, but the smoothness abruptly ended in the dining room. White primer paint adorned one half of a door frame, and a pile of laundry and books sat on the stairs ready to be taken up by the next family member.
She didn’t apologize for any of it, nor did she need to. Beautiful grace.
Ok, now let’s get to the good stuff – pictures and more pictures!
When we arrived at the barn, I gave Myquillyn a gift that had her name written all over it – literally. That “Our Nest” pillow in the first image? I found that the day before I left for my trip and just knew it needed a spot in the barn! She loved it.
We each received a signed copy of her book with a feather taped to the cover. Perfection. 🙂
Everyone received our name tags and met Megan, Myquillyn’s assistant who is so stinkin’ fabulous and cute! I took a bunch of pictures of the decor in the barn and want to show you some of my favorites.
Those are hammocks on the wall. Hammocks. And they’re awesome!
This outside patio area was so comfy and cozy. We spent some time out here as a group getting to know one another and share how the course impacted each of us.
Jack loved it out here – the cold concrete and shade was perfect for him. Plus he got lots of kisses and belly rubs from all of us ladies. He’s the sweetest!
After taking a tour of the property, we went inside Myquillyn’s home. If you look closely in this picture, you can see the partially painted door frame in the far left.
I personally loved the floors and all of the different rugs, like this cowhide in the dining room.
I love so much about her bedroom. (For one, the kittens were in here.) The cabinet on the wall rocks my socks – such a clever idea. The light fixture, the cozy bedding, all the textures and the accent wall. I love it all!
Notice the Cheerwine? 😉 We all congregated in the kitchen, of course.
We took a “field trip” to visit the famous Locust Tree to learn about shifting our perspective. This stunning tree stands on the edge of the earth….directly across the street from Wal-mart and next door to a gas station. But from the right perspective, it stands alone. I can only imagine the changes it’s seen and the stories it could tell.
Myquillyn is beautiful inside and out and I was honored to spend the day with her, tour her property and her home, and enjoy time with every woman in attendance. By the way girls, if any of you who attended the barn event are reading this, we need to make this an annual event! I think we’ve got a new sorority!
If you would like to become a Cozy Minimalist, it’s simple! Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go HERE to sign up.
2. Enter my name at checkout – Kirsten Thompson – to recieve $10 off the self-study! (That’s only $29!)
3. You get all 4 sessions as webinars, audio recordings, PDF slides, and in text format!
That’s it! As Myquillyn would say, “Treat yo’self!” Seriously, the tools in this course can be applied to every area of your home. It’s awesome what you can do when you simplify!
A special thanks to Myquillyn, Chad, Brian, Julie, and Megan for all of your hard work, for opening your heart and home to us, and for making my Mother’s Day weekend extra special. Thank you to my hubby for allowing me to go and enjoy some much-needed girl time and holding down the fort in my absence. And thanks to Kim for being an awesome roomie & IKEA shopping buddy!
P.S. Myquillyn recently shared her post about our barn event, and you can read that HERE:
Great re-cap of the course, the Barn event, and Myquillin! It was nice to meet you there on Saturday–just wish I had spent more time chatting with you. Blessings!
Thank you Lauren! It was such a blessing to be there with all of you. 🙂
Kirsten, what a lovely summary of our day at the Barn! Was great meeting you, chatting while working on shoes for Soul Hope; I feel blessed to have been able to be there! I think your idea to make it a regular event, and our first Cozy Barn group a sorority — is great! Thanks for sharing! Joan PS — to all of you who haven’t tried the Cozy Minimalist course yet — I highly recommend it! Good for the home, the heart, the soul.
Thank you for such a beautifully written blog post about an equally beautiful day! It was great to meet everyone and I’m ready for the next Cozy Minimalist event!
Thanks for the great writeup of the event. It was cool to read it from an attendee’s perspective! (I had to google Cheerwine!)
Great recap! Myquillin must live so close to my sister because the Locust tree is only about five minutes from my sister’s house…I drive past it often but didn’t realize it was the one the Myquillin mentions frequently!
Thanks for stopping by Anne! It was such an awesome time and I’m so thankful to have been a part of it. 🙂
Thank you Alicia! Yes, Myquillyn lives just a few miles from The Locust Tree 🙂 Small world!
Hey, I tried to put your name in the coupon code and it said it was invalid. Has it expired?
Hi Blair! Can you make sure you spelled my name correctly? It’s Kirsten Thompson. If it still doesn’t work, I’ll make sure Myquillyn spelled it correctly when she added the code. It’s not supposed to expire. So sorry for the trouble!