Before/After Pics of My New Office...And My Muse
by Jen Hatmaker on July 9th, 2014

I have never had an office. I had a desk for awhile, but my children used it as an art table. I've written all of my books in very glamorous places like the corner of the couch, my unmade bed, the kitchen table, and my bathroom floor.

When we moved to the farmhouse, there was this extremely nasty outbuilding off the patio. We used it for a kitchen and Holding Cell For Garbage And Vermin during the renovation (I'm playing fast and loose with the term "kitchen" here). But now that we have a real kitchen inside, I started eyeballing this crappy little room for an office. Apologies to the ants and mice. It looked something like this:
I don't know what's going on with Remy's hair. Be kind. It's summer.

So we hired a guy to make it inhabitable (this involved tearing the rotted floorboards down to the dirt...good times), and I turned my attention toward the fun part: DECORATING. And just in the nick of time, like a gift, Myquillyn Smith's book landed in my hands - "The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful." Well good thing, because this little room is a lemon.

Myquillyn's approach to design is what we've all been waiting for. I'm serious. She moved 13 times in 18 years of marriage, 10 of them rent homes including the one she lives in now, at the writing of her book. So go ahead and strike the idea that she makes a home beautiful because she crafted every last architectural detail to her liking. Myquillyn wrote:

"Now on my thirteenth home, I've realized that home is wherever we are. I'm not going to waste time waiting for the next house we buy to create a beautiful place to live. I can't afford to wait until we have our life all perfectly organized and presentable to start enjoying it."

Her style combines thrift and quirk and opposing textures and inexpensive ideas that pack a lot of punch. And The Nesting Place gives you such permission to just try something, for heaven's sake. Just put it up, just paint it, just layer those two rugs, just use that weird signature piece. She somehow takes the fear and hesitation out of it all and makes you want to throw forty unrelated pieces on your feature wall and hang hats on a set of antlers. Why not? We're not curing cancer; we're just making pretty rooms that we love.

So I set to work with her book in hand. And I mean that literally; I actually took her book into the stores and thrift shops. I felt like I needed pictorial guidance. So once the office started taking shape, looking less like a hovel and more like a room, it was time to steal copy take inspiration from Myquillyn's house. From The Nesting Place: This is the feature wall in her living room. Pay attention, because I lifted exact ideas right off this page.

I LOVE the idea of repurposing junky pieces, making your own stuff, using something unexpected, mixing different styles and textures. It's like Myquillyn crawled into my head and made sense of everything that makes me love a room. Please note the image of Napolean Dynamite on the opposing page on the TV. I can't even. Here is how her tutorials played out in my office: 

I measured the wall, professionally marked it off on the floor with flip flops, books, and trash, and laid the feature wall out before I hung it. I would like you to please note the level and tools, and by "you" I mean "Brandon" because I did this while he was out of town and I've been known to "eyeball" things like this, which occasionally results in no less than but possibly more than 32 extra holes in the wall. I USED THE TOOLS, BRANDON. Which means I only ended up 15 extra holes. Thank you for acting impressed.
I have a couch in my office because sometimes writers need naps. OUR LIVES ARE HARD.

One of my favorite ideas from The Nesting Place was using something random in a functional way. Why can't antlers be a hat rack? Why can't a ceramic head be a planter? Why can't plastic spoons become a wreath? I particularly loved repurposing sawed off tree stumps as end tables:

We are crawling with tree stumps on our property, so this was the easiest, free-ist piece in my office. Because Myquillyn said I could mix and match elements at will, I did. I combined old wood, ceramic, and a rusted metal egg basket, because it is a free country. I also shamelessly copied her book wreath. And I do mean copied. As in I emailed her and asked for explicit instructions. I MADE A CRAFT, PEOPLE. Like I said on Facebook at 2:45am that day: "On her blog she said it took her 'a little less than an hour.' Hello. This craft took me every second of five hours working nonstop. I clearly love Myquillyn's ideas but she is obviously into witchcraft if this took her less than an hour."

Because apparently I lack originality, when I saw her Dr. Suess pillow, I put the book down, picked up my laptop, and ordered one too. One that fit my particular brand of tomfoolery.
Repurposing is one of Myquillyn's big themes. Sometimes a coat of paint changes an old piece from grody to fabulous. Or you can reimagine its purpose altogether. We aren't locked in to buying a matchy-matchy set of furniture from a box store. With that perspective in hand, I set out to find a desk and ended up with this old drafting table I found from a janky welding warehouse. It is irregularly worn and interesting and beautiful and I love it with my whole heart. I'm using an industrial rolling cart for my printer and office supplies, and I also found a bedroom dresser to use as storage under the TV. I have a TV in my office because sometimes writers need to take a break from their excruciating work and watch their shows. OUR LIVES ARE HARD.
I tested the limits of our marriage by ordering a chandelier to go above my desk which came in 238 unassembled pieces. Because I was feeling warmly toward limbs and stumps, I also asked Brandon to drill branches into the wall above the window, sent off some favorite Instagram photos to Walgreen's for printing (like 14 cents a print), and hung them on twine with little clothespins. Why not?

Thank you, Myquillyn, for your relaxed, warm approach to decorating. I felt like you were holding my hand throughout this whole project! For anyone who feels stuck in your style, unable to make decisions, or just enjoys having a lovely home where people feel welcome, grab a copy of The Nesting Place stat. You'll find every solution to your weird spaces, great ideas for any budget, and you'll walk away with not just decorating ideas but life ideas, because truly, in every way, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Do you have any home projects you're working on this summer? Have you found any great ideas or deals you'd like to share?

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with no tags


Karen - July 9th, 2014 at 8:53 AM
Just wonderful. I can't wait to read the books that you will write here!
Mary - July 9th, 2014 at 8:53 AM
Love! Thought I was reading Ann Voskamp's blog with all the pretty pics. You should invite her over for tea in your new digs. Or for a nap. Congrats on your space!
Ann Voskamp - July 9th, 2014 at 9:09 AM
I'm coming over right now. With tea. And bacon. And my own pillow. Move over, girlfriend ;)
I'm with Mary --- this is BEAUTIFUL.
Cannot wait to see how God meets you here, friend -- and we are all blessed the more for it. xo
Amy Jones - July 9th, 2014 at 11:12 AM
This is the most awesome reply to a reply, like EVER. :)

Emily - July 9th, 2014 at 11:43 AM
I agree!!!
Melanie - July 9th, 2014 at 11:43 AM
I agree, Amy! If Ann commented on my comment, I'd be floating all day.
Cat - July 30th, 2014 at 5:56 AM
Agreed! And the fact that she's bringing bacon?! Sweet. ;)
Jennifer D. - July 9th, 2014 at 3:15 PM
Omg, I'm totally imagining a "Ross and Joey" style nap. LOL
Rosanne - July 9th, 2014 at 8:54 AM
Way beautiful!!! Love it.
Missy - July 9th, 2014 at 8:55 AM
Love it all...and love The Nester! I emailed her a few years ago asking her opinion and when she replied I felt like a celebrity acknowledged me. So fun!
Tami - July 9th, 2014 at 8:57 AM
I want your desk so hard!
Ashley - July 9th, 2014 at 8:57 AM
I'm stealing the pics on a string, hung betwixt two branches. Love it all.
April - July 9th, 2014 at 8:58 AM
it looks Amazing Jen :) Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!!!! :)
Melissa - July 9th, 2014 at 8:58 AM
Thank you for sharing this! Against my hopes and dreams, a few years ago I found myself a single mother. I have been in survival mode for WAY too long, and have begun, this summer, to make some changes: spiritually, personally, include my HOME among the changes. I have not been sleeping well in my bedroom for months on end now.....anyone else's house/bedroom, I am fine.....not here. SO I really took a good look around the other day. My bedroom is not a 'restful' place, so I have decided to change things up a mama gave me a beautiful white coverlet when I visited last....starting THERE. Baby steps. I think your blog and this book will be just what I need.....thanks!
Kathy - July 9th, 2014 at 9:13 AM
Goodwill, garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find things you love one at a time. Even if you only have a dollar to spend. Eventually you will have a restful, beautiful bedroom that you love!
Tina - July 9th, 2014 at 9:31 AM
I understand. After my divorce I really only slept on the couch. I would go to bed, sometimes, but more often than not ended up back on the couch. It took awhile, but I started with new bedding - splurged on something that I loved and took pleasure in not having to justify my purchase. You will get there minute by minute and will soon find you are comfortable in the space you created! Peace
Susan - July 9th, 2014 at 10:17 PM
Melissa, you are now on my daily prayer list, friend. May God rework your life in a way that glorifies Him and brings you joy in the process. I do not know the depths of your pain, but our God does. He loved you before it and will continue to do so whatever comes to pass in your life. May your heart be made whole and you have tremendous amounts of love to share with those around you.
kathryn - July 9th, 2014 at 8:59 AM
you had me at Napolean Dynamite

Jennifer Buell - July 9th, 2014 at 8:59 AM
Oh my word. I want to be just like you when I grow up, Jen. (And I say that thinking I may have a couple of years on you.) This brought such a smile to my morning as I'm facing moving four kids into a new house in the next month! Thanks for being you authentically. :-) Thanks for writing authentically. You inspire this wanna-be writer.
Amy - July 9th, 2014 at 9:01 AM
It looks so good!!! Love it all!
Beth Simmons - July 9th, 2014 at 9:02 AM
Absolutely beautiful!! You did a fantastic job. Makes me want to become a writer...mostly for the naps. ;)
Andrea - July 9th, 2014 at 9:03 AM
Perfectly beautiful!
Andrea - July 9th, 2014 at 9:04 AM
I love decorating like this. I have ideas swirling around in my head. Great job on the office!
Sarah S - July 9th, 2014 at 9:05 AM
That is a SWEET office! I could totally hang there!! Bravo, Jen! And Good job with all the tools.
Leslie - July 9th, 2014 at 9:06 AM
Sharon - July 9th, 2014 at 9:06 AM
Great job! Loved The Nester!! Getting ready to redo our dining's been a dining room, a playroom, now it's going back to a dining room. Ready to conquer it!
Frannie Kight - July 9th, 2014 at 9:07 AM
You did a wonderful job Jen! I got her book Monday morning & read the whole thing that day. It was very inspirational as we live in a beautiful rental given to us by our Heavenly Father! Just have to make it feel homey.
Carmen D - July 9th, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Great job, Jen! Love it!
Christy Keyton - July 9th, 2014 at 9:08 AM
THAT is a truly awesome transformation. I love the Nester too!
Erin - July 9th, 2014 at 9:10 AM
Nice work, Jen! You nailed it. Even getting ideas directly from a book isn't easy and it's brave to throw money into a new decorating project. I love that we get to see where you're writing from now. Thanks!
Lyndi - July 9th, 2014 at 9:10 AM
It looks great! I love Before and After pics!!
Liz - July 9th, 2014 at 9:10 AM
This is beautiful! I love it, love the ceiling, love the warmth of the room, the eclectic, homey vibe. Well done :)
Jodi - July 9th, 2014 at 9:10 AM
LOVE! That is all.
Shelley J. - July 9th, 2014 at 9:11 AM
I have been plotting and planning a similar gallery wall for a year. I need to just get it all out and UP. Thanks!
Kristy - July 9th, 2014 at 10:42 AM
I love it!! And am screen shotting some ideas from YOUR nest!! %u2764%uFE0F%u2764%uFE0F
Rita - July 9th, 2014 at 9:12 AM
Beautiful! And fun! I love it! Reminds me of how your mom decorates... always cozy, clever and comfy! Hope you can still write in such an awesome space! ;)
Rachael - July 9th, 2014 at 9:12 AM
I got the book! We are moving and I don't want to get stuck in the whole "gotta make the house perfect the first five seconds of living here" thing. Thanks for sharing!

lynn - July 9th, 2014 at 9:13 AM
LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! You did a great job and I would love my office to look like that - you have inspired me!
Gary - July 9th, 2014 at 9:14 AM
WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Very nice and wonderful look.
Suzanne - July 9th, 2014 at 9:15 AM
Ordering the book today! Love your office! Lots of good stuff is going to happen there!
helen C wise - July 9th, 2014 at 9:15 AM
just love old building, glad you saved it and other folks's stuff (junk as they would call it). Place looks real homey.

T. Brown - July 9th, 2014 at 9:15 AM
May I come live in your office!?
Joda - July 9th, 2014 at 9:19 AM
That's it I'm cutting down my neighbors tree so I can have a cool stump end table!
Tammy H. - July 9th, 2014 at 9:19 AM
I love it's guts!
Mary - July 9th, 2014 at 9:21 AM
I want to go to there. Love it!
Robin - July 9th, 2014 at 9:21 AM
It all works beautifully! Thanks for,the inspiration and the push to do!
Heather - July 9th, 2014 at 9:23 AM
Amazing Transformation!
Savanah - July 9th, 2014 at 9:23 AM
Just had to buy the book. My husband and I uprooted from our hometown in Mississippi last spring to start a new adventure in DC. We absolutely love our new city but are about to move into our third rental in the 1 1/4 years we've been in the city. We've thrown our 2,000 sq ft. home from the 'Sip into around 800 sq ft. of rental love. Thanks for sharing! -country girl turned city renter
Jermaine - July 9th, 2014 at 9:24 AM
Love!!!! Now....consider coming to Colorado and helping inspire me!:)
Amy - July 9th, 2014 at 9:24 AM
It's gorgeous, Jen! Truly! I think it's perfect AND beautiful!
Meg - July 9th, 2014 at 9:25 AM
Oh my stinkin' heck, how do you WORK? i would just sit there and look around and repeat, over and over and over, I LOVE this space! It's so awesome! Look how awesome! Look at my craft! Hey - there's a sofa - I need a nap!

I'm inspired; I'm looking now at my living room that we joke will one day be the room with the sofa that no one may ever sit upon, but until now has been sacrificed to the children and their toys. Only they really don't "play toys" anymore. Perhaps THIS is the room that will soon become my comfy space...
Christine - July 9th, 2014 at 9:25 AM
You did a great job!

Steph - July 9th, 2014 at 9:26 AM
This inspires me to take my Ritalin and get busy today. :) Love your room!
Summer Wilson - July 9th, 2014 at 9:27 AM
So even though we've never met face to face, I plan on coming for a visit and hanging out in your office for like, I don't know, FOREVER. It's incredible! Lot's of creating and writing and laughing with girlfriends will be had there for sure. And naps. Naps are good too. It will be a good place to come "home" to after your amazing trip!
Emily - July 9th, 2014 at 9:28 AM
Oh my, I could not love this space any more!! It is fabulous and I am jealous of all your awesome furniture finds. I have been reading The Nesting Place as well and am driving my husband crazy with All The Ideas.
Rachael - July 9th, 2014 at 9:28 AM
This is so stinkin' beautiful. I just finished The Nesting Place and have been feverishly working on finding pieces and inspiration for a gallery wall. We moved to our farmhouse in February, and there is, literally, ONE thing hanging in my living room. And it's not even exciting. I just feel like it would be a lot easier to go thrifting and whatnot if I didn't have a 3 and 4 year old clinging to each leg...
Kelly O - July 10th, 2014 at 7:06 AM
Rachael, I remember those years - they were tough! But my mom gave me a great piece of advice - relax and make things an adventure for your kids. Remember that kids have Magical Thinking. That's the wonder if being a child. GO to the thrift store and tell them that they have to help you find treasure! Warn them that there are pirates looking for the treasure so they have to stay close and not run off. That wire egg basket? That's what te pirates use to carry their ostrich eggs in, better buy it before they do! And let them pick some of the treasures out - and use them to decorate. It will be meaningful to you later ;) I still have a 3ft distressed knight in armor my 6 yr old picked out ten years ago in my living room and I smile every time I see it. He was so excited when he discovered it (& I was wondering how I was going to get out without buying it) that I acted excited too and it came home with us. It was the first thing he pointed out to visitors for at least a year! :)
Donna - July 12th, 2014 at 10:00 PM
Love this story! I am going to share it with my daughter to do with my grans and her up coming new house!
Addie Zierman - July 9th, 2014 at 9:29 AM
So beautiful!
Kristen - July 9th, 2014 at 9:30 AM
Gorgeous!!!!! I have transformed rooms (none quite as cute as yours!), and I know the work (and fun!) it takes!! Great job!!!!
Kathy G. - July 9th, 2014 at 9:32 AM
Oh my goodness! You are such an inspiration. I wish I lived next door to you so you could "repurpose" my stuff!!
Lauren - July 9th, 2014 at 9:33 AM
Looks amazing! Can you please share how to make the wreath? Yours looks great!
Chandra - July 9th, 2014 at 9:34 AM
Clearly, I need to read that book. Everyone keeps talking about how awesome it is, and your office is amazing! Love that space!
Gillian Coleman - July 9th, 2014 at 9:34 AM
The reason your wreath took so much longer, is that it looks way better than the one you copied. I have always decorated this way. Some people call it eclectic, but I call it mine and as a result, I love every space in my house.
Jenna - July 9th, 2014 at 9:35 AM
I love it! Especially the chandelier and the ceiling! Myquillyn is so great! I've followed her on Pinterest for ages and enjoyed her offbeat approach to beautiful decorating.
Alysia - July 9th, 2014 at 9:37 AM
LoVe It! Kinda reminds me of junk gypsy style. This stuff makes me amile lime words warm your heart. I love making treasure out of old stuff! Alysia
Robyn Shelton - July 9th, 2014 at 9:38 AM
Beautiful!!!! I love it so much!!!! Well done!!!
Deanna - July 9th, 2014 at 9:39 AM
Love it! Now come to my house that I'm renting and hold my hand! Pretty please. %uD83D%uDE0A
LuAnn - July 9th, 2014 at 9:41 AM
When did you say you were leaving for your Noonday trip? Hmmm. I might just have to sneak in and use your space while you're gone. Seriously lovely.
Charlotte Hammer - July 9th, 2014 at 9:44 AM
I am currently painting my whole house. And renewing my relationship with my chiropractor. And hiring a painter to finish painting my whole house so I can walk at the end of the day. This is a big step for me. I was in an abusive marriage for 20 years and my focus was on trying to figure out how to keep someone else happy. For the first time in my life I am excited to do this for myself. I can't wait to tell my therapist about this big important step. It is liberating and fun and very spiritual. I definitely will be getting The Nester's book to help me.
Haley - July 9th, 2014 at 9:51 AM
My most pressing question is what color is your nail polish??? Because I need it in my life!
Pamela - July 9th, 2014 at 9:52 AM
I love this type of decorating. Anything I can do on the cheap is best for me! Especially because my husband and I are building our house (which we also live in...its been an "adventure") with our (his) own hands, paycheck to paycheck. Oh did I mention we have 5 kids? Yes, we could have our own reality show. Your office looks amazing! Thanks for the advice and pictures.
DecRenew Interiors - July 9th, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Looks like a wonderful place for working. There is something about being surrounded by things you love that declutters our minds and helps us stay focused. It looks fab!
Jill - July 9th, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Oh, Jen, it is wonderful! What a place-yay for you! I am in total love with your desk - well, ok, all of it, actually! And Napolean Dynamite? I knew we were kindred spirits. :)

Melissa - July 9th, 2014 at 9:56 AM
Congratulations! Amazing transformation. I recently discovered your blog and am currently spending a little time with you daily through Out of the Spin Cycle. We recently moved into what I truly hope is our last rental (8th in 18 years.) Today's EF message just gave me the courage to make it beautiful, I've really been struggling with "do I even bother if a year from now we will be somewhere else?" Thanks for keeping it real! God Bless and I'll be praying for your trip to Rwanda.
Laura Thomas - July 9th, 2014 at 9:58 AM
Love how inspirational your writing room is! Just bought The Nesting Place and now trolling for a room to "nestisize". Can I say how utterly impressed I am with your use of tools? My husband would SO love me to not eyeball...
Julie A. - July 9th, 2014 at 10:02 AM
I want that for my office, but without all the work. I'm so anti-crafty and non-creative and un-original it's not even close to funny. I can make a mean spreadsheet though.
Katie - July 9th, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Meh. I've seen better. (Joking! It's beautiful and I'm a biblical way, I swear).
Crystal S. - July 9th, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Absolutely love it! And admire you greatly for how that wreath turned out. One of my very first DIY projects was to try Nester's amazing mirror with all the posterboard fan shaped things stuck to it. It seems so easy when she explains it but I ended up with floppy posterboard, a tangled mess of hot glue strings and blisters. Hung it up anyway :) It doesn't have to be perfect, right?
Sherree Hunsberger - July 9th, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Love your new place! Praying God will speak to you as you daily seek Him! He is using you to speak to so many of us! Picturing you in this room, writing, listening, praising and of course napping!
Lee Desmond - July 9th, 2014 at 10:10 AM
Love the part about making our now home a comfortable and beautiful place that we love and enjoy. Now. Not when we move to the cottage we've always wanted or the wonderful home in the woods (which I've already been blessed to have and had to leave). The home we're in now, I kid you not, was the ugliest house in CO when we moved here. My husband wanted it because it has a big yard, and since we were moving here from our TX woods, we needed space. But the house ~ oh my. So we've been doing much of what you just wrote about. I decided to stop pining over my county cottage (that we built - as in actually built with our own hands...and raised our children there. OK, maybe I'm still pining just a little...), and get to work with the understanding that this is our home now, so make it just that - HOME. And beautiful. I'm sure I'd love The Nesting Place. Thanks, Jen, for the reminder that it is ok and right and good to make our places and spaces beautiful and peaceful.
Crystal - July 9th, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Love!!! Do you need an "office assistant"? Sign me up!!!
Linsey - July 9th, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Oh my stars. I feel teary and moved beyond reason right now. Since the age of 20 I have not lived in the same place for more than four years--mostly I've moved after 2 years in a place. I married a military man (the flight suit got me) and there's no hope of settling down for 6-8 more years. Watching House Hunters and Sarah 101 stir such feelings of envy in me I often have to pray after I watch "my stories," and plead for my heart's contentment with my circumstances. This book look looks like it provides a solution that's affordable. You know my Dave Ramsay decorating envelope could buy a greeting card and magnet at Pier One. Much like Donkey Kong, it's on. Thanks, chicas.
Sarah @ An Inviting Home - July 9th, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I agree, such a great book! You did good did GOOD! :-)

Dianna - July 9th, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Thanks,(Sarcastic Font) NOW I WANT AN OFFICE!!!!!
Terrie C. - July 9th, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Love what you did. It's so you, at least what I can tell from your blogs, post, etc. I have Myquillyn's book too (Mother's Day gift from hubby). It has encouraged me to rediscover my creative side which includes visits to Hobby Lobby, going to thrift stores, vintage markets and using the wonderful things I have inherited from my family.

Excited to see how you grow in this area and for your show! Looking forward to hearing about your Rwanda trip too.
Janie - July 9th, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Spectacular! It's gorgeous. Every. Element.
God will speak to you in this room. Must. Pop. In.
Kelli - July 9th, 2014 at 10:19 AM
#1 - Your office is perfect! There isn't anything I don't love.

#2 - Napoleon Dynamite for the win. YES!
Katie - July 9th, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Oooooooo.... tea and bacon!! Oh, and Jesus, of course! Can I come? I live in FL. Not too far, right?
Jen - July 9th, 2014 at 10:23 AM
Really? You jest, but you have an eye for design, and I don't care how much you lifted inspiration. The space is beautiful and light and functional and homey. Well done you!
Grace - July 9th, 2014 at 10:34 AM
Jessica Wyndham - July 9th, 2014 at 10:35 AM
So amazing! You crack me up, only you and the Pioneer Woman can talk about anything at all and make me laugh out loud. I love Nester's new book (is it bad that I bought the Kindle version and now also want the hard copy??), she is just wonderful. You did a fabulous job on your craft and everything else- congrats on a gorgeous space!!
Name - July 9th, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Oh my.... this is lovely and I now cannot work/sleep until I get my hands on a copy of this book and work some magic in my own home. :) Thanks for sharing your beautiful creativity! I too feel like 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' and have no qualms about borrowing others' great ideas and tweaking them to be my own. As always, thanks for your awesomeness!
Jenn Murphy - July 9th, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Love your space - Praying that you hear all the amazing things God will speak to you in your new digs. I am literally surrounded by 4 contractors this morning working on our newest place and have been so stressed about setting aside my need for perfection to make a comfortable home for my crazy family - off to order some inspiration!
Jaime - July 9th, 2014 at 10:38 AM
Love, love your office and love Myquillyn's book. Writing this as I stare at my own half-redecorated completely imperfect home office/guest room. Can't wait to finish it!
Angie V. - July 9th, 2014 at 10:40 AM
You did GOOD.
traci - July 9th, 2014 at 10:41 AM
That room turned out perfectly. I bet Myquillin is proud to have been an inspiration for that design. I cracked up at the part about only having 15 extra nail holes because that is how I work, too.
Wanda - July 9th, 2014 at 10:49 AM
My son had started making me tree stump end tables last week!!! I'm SO excited!!!!! Did you treat yours with anything???
Nancy - July 9th, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Forgive me for not reading the bazillion comments before mine, and the makeover is fantastic, but did anyone notice the use of the word, 'grody'? Haven't heard that since high school. I am almost as excited about that as I am about the rest of the blog.
Lee Anne - July 9th, 2014 at 12:09 PM
absolutely! [Although I always spelled it GROADY]
thanks for commenting!!
Donna - July 9th, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Great job and very inspiring. I live in the most UNinspiring apartment in the whole world (really!) so this gave me a glimmer of hope. I was going to write a little snarky/little self-pitying comment about Amazon China not carrying the book.....but they DO! Well, actually they don't really. When I went to order it, instead of the usual next day delivery it says 7 to 9 weeks (yes, weeks) which means that it will be coming from the US. :( I wonder how it looks on Kindle??
Anne - July 9th, 2014 at 10:57 AM
Nester posted this on FB! I love it. It looks fabulous. Favorite quotations: "Myquillyn's approach to design is what we've all been waiting for." Too true! And: "I combined old wood, ceramic, and a rusted metal egg basket, because it is a free country." Ha! Congratulations on your new space. It must feel great!
Kristin - July 9th, 2014 at 11:06 AM
I just bought her book yesterday. Your makeover is nothing short of amazing!
Kellie - July 9th, 2014 at 11:28 AM
I could very happily live in that space
Rebecca - July 9th, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Jen, I'm praying for your writing (and naps) in your new space. Thanks for giving me permission to not be a perfect mom, wife, friend, child of God. You give grace as our Father does, no strings, no perfection required. Just take it. And love others. God bless your amazing brain and humor!
Leanne Penny - July 9th, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Uh Wow. I'd hang there. And I adored her book too. I actually ripped off her curtains and make a cheap version all my own. She is a gift to lives.
Robin - July 9th, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Oh. My. Stars. I love your office - SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool and arty and you! Wow! thanks for sharing!!
Rebecca - July 9th, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Beautiful new office for you.
Beautiful new inspiration for me.
I love being one of your EFs. :)
Kim K - July 9th, 2014 at 12:06 PM
It is simply beautiful. My favorite it the door knob on your desk. So beautifully random.
Karen - July 9th, 2014 at 12:09 PM
I am so full of Christian Jealousy!!!
melissa - July 9th, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Awesome! Love it! I've gotten a huge handful of projects done since I received her book for mothers day. I finally found the guts to go for it!
Kayla Bonar - July 9th, 2014 at 12:14 PM
I'm coming over. This is so incredibly beautiful. I must look into the book.
Jody - July 9th, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Wow! What a great job. Way to just go for it!

Kara Bestler - July 9th, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Love this space! So peaceful and inspirational! Just ordered The Nesting Place also!
Holly - July 9th, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Love, lovie, love. Go girl.
Jennifer D. - July 9th, 2014 at 12:31 PM
All of those beauitful pics and great detailed descriptions and I'm sitting here all, "OMG, she said 'grody'!!! I'm so gonna email my brother and tell him it is TO a word. He told me it wasn't when I was 7."
myrna blair - July 9th, 2014 at 12:42 PM
Love the office and love you and your emails! My other fav is If:gathering. Abosolutely wonderful. Thank you Jen! Myrna Blair
Tammy - July 9th, 2014 at 12:43 PM
beyond fabulous! can't wait to read the book and be inspired as well. may God speak to you often while you enjoy the space you created. :)
Michelle Warren - July 9th, 2014 at 12:44 PM
Beautiful office. Only one bookcase for all your books? How do you pick which books make the cut? That couch is going to be great for naps. Looks super comfy. You should have Brandon hide the tv wires in the wall.
Sonia Graney - July 9th, 2014 at 12:51 PM
After leaving our beautiful home in Texas to move to California for my husbands job, all we could afford was a rental house. I've been hesitant to "make it our own" but you've inspired me. We've been here over 5 years. It's time to make it beautiful! Love your blog - it makes my day!
Katie May - July 9th, 2014 at 12:53 PM
We are expecting a new baby in September (the third of a total of three boys), so this summer has been full of rearranging our home and making space for this new person. We created a nursery in the office space off the master bedroom and a den out of an awkwardly placed "bonus room" downstairs For both, we used furniture we already had and just rearranged and repurposed it all. We took advantage of 4th of July sales for a rug and a TV. And we also quickly scooped up an awesome bookshelf our friends were giving away. Reusing and repurposing furniture and decor we already own has been my secret. Then adding in some awesome photo frames, paper lanterns, a rug, etc. has been the place I've spent our money, which has kept costs down, but made our nursery and den look fun, new, and fresh.
Jeane` - July 9th, 2014 at 1:09 PM
The decorations and lack of visible holes from the misjudgement of the trained eye (as opposed to a level) are impressive. No doubt the husband found favor with your exhaustive efforts to be an anal picture hanger. But PLEASE (from a mother of five "spirited" children smack dab in the middle of summer and who feels the Holy Spirit has forsaken her and all she wants is a Gin and Tonic at 2:06 in the afternoon), for the love of all that's holy PLEASE tell me, show me, send me a message by carrier pigeon on how you keep this amazing, beautiful, nested and neatly put together office-next-to-your-house FREE of the beloved hooligans you live with. How is this not now the most desirable place on all of God's green earth to be when you are in it? One-way windows? Anti-hovering devices? Soundproof drywall? A "No Snacks Here" sign? A set of impressive locks?

This is beautiful.
And I know you love your children as I love mine.
But for the love, tell me how you keep them OUT (when you need to work. And watch TV. And lie on your couch.)

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
Crystal - July 9th, 2014 at 1:45 PM
I'm trying to find the Dr. Seuss Fun is Good pillow that's in the book - I clicked on the link where you ordered your pillow and can't find that one...any ideas on where to find it? Thanks :) The office looks great!!
Myquillyn - July 9th, 2014 at 3:47 PM
I think it's from French Laundry but I don't see that they carry that one anymore, but I did see another Dr. Seuss:!collection/ctzx
Evelyn - July 9th, 2014 at 1:47 PM
I like nonsense: [YES!!!!] :) :) Beautiful space.
Heidi @ Decor & More - July 9th, 2014 at 2:23 PM
Beautiful and uniquely YOU, even if Myquillan inspired you! And just so you know, I wasn't able to do a book page wreath in less than a few hours either. Blessings upon you and your new space!
xo Heidi
Carla Moore - July 9th, 2014 at 2:27 PM
I'm ready to get comfy and have tea and talk about nonsense! Leave room for me to!
Trace - July 9th, 2014 at 2:51 PM
All well and good, but I've got one very important question that's absolutely pleading for an answer: What the heck did you do to Brandon's man-cave???
Brandon Hatmaker - July 9th, 2014 at 5:54 PM
Ha! Maybe next time.
Donna - July 9th, 2014 at 2:53 PM
GORGEOUS. Great job!
Mary (Owlhaven) - July 9th, 2014 at 3:13 PM
ok. so VERY CUTE! Great job!
Betsy - July 9th, 2014 at 3:27 PM
Hoping this book will be a balm...for my "perfectionism palsy." Time to get dreaming and doing.
Rachel T - July 9th, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Can you please stop with the book recommendations? Yesterday I ordered 6 novels from Amazon for my hols, based on all the MOTners advice, and today the Nesting Place - this has gotta stop! x
Stephanie - July 9th, 2014 at 5:15 PM
I cant even believe that this is the same room!! It makes me feel like there might actually be some hope in my ugly basement bedroom!
Sarah - July 9th, 2014 at 6:48 PM
Love it! Great job. I also now know we are kindred spirits because you used the word "janky" in you description of acquiring that awesome drafting desk.
Sara - July 9th, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Ok, off subject question here: What color is your nail polish?! I've been searching for a perfect pink and I really like yours!
Tammy - July 9th, 2014 at 8:34 PM
Love your feature wall!
Missy - July 9th, 2014 at 8:53 PM
I know thou shall not covet. I know that. But I'm just going to covet for a few minutes here, because I dream of having an office. And yes, writers need napping spots.

I just discovered The Nesting Place (my book arrived today!) and I'm obsessed.

Love the office. I'm done coveting and have moved on to feeling happy you have such a beautiful place to work!
Andrea - July 9th, 2014 at 9:09 PM
what a beautiful space! I love the Nesters style and her blog. She's got some good advice there!
Sarah Gail - July 9th, 2014 at 9:13 PM
That wreath though- it's so pretty it's worth the 5 hours! Are the instructions somewhere online? Because I'd love to waste some hours on it!
Kelly - July 9th, 2014 at 9:16 PM rocked it... like really did afabulous job. With all of your I hate crafts and goody bags are from the devil talk I thought decorating went in that vain.. but seriously what you've done here is amazing. It's cozy, funky, loud and quiet at the same time and beautiful and real... kind of like how I imagine you after all of the readings of your words. Blessings to you in this roomand your crazy hard work. It's nice that you get to do beautiful work in a beautiful room.
Amy - July 9th, 2014 at 9:28 PM
I love your space and I just ordered that book! And your wreath took longer because it's about twice as full as the one in the book!
Kim - July 9th, 2014 at 10:32 PM
I love it!!! Please command decorate my bedrooms for me. It won't take you long. I promise. And I'll cook for you. Or order pizza. :) you're brilliant! I love that you share your life with us. I know we would be bff's if we met in real life. And I'm ordering a Dr. Seuss pillow:).
Anna - July 9th, 2014 at 10:34 PM
Adore! I've heard about her beautiful book and have been wanting one desperately. Anyhow, yes, we've had forced decorating. Our home was one of many that flooded the end of April. ( of course most of us didn't have flood ins either!!)am trying so hard not to be jealous of your drafting table and a space of your very own. I must remain content to create beautiful things in a small corner of my dining rooms, and I WILL! ( ever so thankful that my paintings were not ruined in the flood and that it was only two rooms instead of our entire home. ) Choosing joy and to see the blessings!!
Leslie - July 9th, 2014 at 10:47 PM
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVEEEEE it. I need. a. tree. stump!!!!

Tracy - July 9th, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Oh. My. Goodness. I am so jealous, in the nicest possible way. I have been waiting and waiting to see these pics and they were worth every moment of anticipation. Your office is beautiful! And you say you're not a crafter...?

I am just in awe. I'll be coming back to this post again and again just to soak in the beauty of it all. I am challenged in the home-decorating department. My house is functional, not....beautiful. I ordered Myquillyn's book this morning. Because maybe if you can create such beauty at your house maybe I can too?

Enjoy every single moment of gorgeous, inspiring beauty around you. And if you find some odd stranger on your couch one day, don't worry. It'll just be me.
Jennifer - July 9th, 2014 at 11:02 PM
I love your office!! Looks amazing...I might have to pick myself up that book :)
Angela - July 9th, 2014 at 11:27 PM
It looks like the perfect space to create! Love how it turned out!
Amy - July 10th, 2014 at 8:36 AM
Why am I confident that any stump of wood I bring into the house would be infested with a colony of nefarious creepy crawlers. But yours looks gorgeous. High freaking five. And I'd probably swipe your motel vacancy print, so best that you don't invite me over.

P.S. Had I brought home that chandelier my husband would've told me to glue the pieces together for a nice set of glass coasters. He and I once tried to untangle 3 of my necklaces. I was thisclose to calling local authorities. He's still my favorite :)
[email protected] Paisley Lily Pad - July 10th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
Absolutely inspiring! I just finished her book and it was full of wonderful insight and very relatable! We are in the process of renovating our own backyard shed too! I can't wait to get to the interior and "let loose"! One question for you, what are you using to heat/cool your space?
Becky - July 10th, 2014 at 5:22 PM
"Grody" . . . . I thought I was the only one in the world who used the word "grody!" Love you more than ever, JH!
Laila @FrontRowMama - July 11th, 2014 at 10:18 AM
I picked up the Nester's book and haven't had a chance to sit down with it yet. I love the idea that it's not about being perfect, but that you space is true reflection of you (and your budget!)
Cathy - July 11th, 2014 at 1:55 PM
We are moving **ONCE AGAIN, so I treated myself to a hard copy of "The Nesting Place." (**I haven't taken a recent count of the moves in 45 years! Downsizing again) I am actually getting a little excited about our new home and how I will re-purpose some of our funky furniture. By the way, the more you move the less attached you get to your stuff. Your children will thank you besides!!
Mandy - July 11th, 2014 at 8:21 PM
I'm new to your blog with this post....I'm loving it!!!
Laura - July 12th, 2014 at 10:40 AM
WOW, absolutely amazing!
Donna - July 12th, 2014 at 11:22 AM
great room and great sense of humor!!!
Penny Bevill - July 12th, 2014 at 12:11 PM
I love your new space Jen! This almost makes me want to drag an old shed to my place and "redo" and repurpose! %u2764%uFE0F
Yuko | northfield gate - July 12th, 2014 at 12:41 PM
What an amazing transformation! I'm loving every bit of it :)
Peggy - July 12th, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Absolutely Delicious!!!
Elizabeth - July 12th, 2014 at 4:31 PM
That is certainly not a lemon! Beautiful room!
Amy - July 12th, 2014 at 5:45 PM
I love Myquillyn's book! And I read it like a novel. Thanks, Myquillyn, for sharing something that makes renters feel like making their temporary house into a home.
I loved it so much that I've given one as a gift to a friend and bought another as a Bunco prize. :)

Also, the office looks amazing!!
Sharon - July 13th, 2014 at 2:24 AM
Wow. Wow to the transformation. Wow for the insights and encouragement and for Myquillyn.
jenn - July 13th, 2014 at 1:17 PM
just finished "nesting place'.I agree that it's validating freeing and inspirational.As are your creative, super cool projects and results!I had a few laughs with my husband,too.(May or may not have been about nail holes,flip flops and proffessional procedures.)
Mary Anne Morgan - July 14th, 2014 at 12:16 AM
~BECAUSE OUR LIVES ARE HARD. You are such a joy! So funny and such a beautiful job. Oh, and I'm coming with Ann. Is that a problem?
Anne - July 15th, 2014 at 3:05 AM
Oh this is so stunning, and to think it was an old outhouse with whatever living in it before. Inspiring! Makes me want to redo my office & I just love the idea of a couch in a study - why not?!
Julia Perry-Sullivan - July 15th, 2014 at 6:13 AM
What a transformation!
Thanks for sharing :-)
Yasmin - July 15th, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Oh my! This is such a fantastic transformation! I love how you mixed different textures. You've given me ideas for my office (which has been in progress for about the last few months... but who is counting :-))
Lara Sadowski - July 15th, 2014 at 8:07 PM
OH. WOW. What a lovely office! And what a lovely group of women here making such fabulous comments. May I join the party? I am an artist (oil painter) and writer, but I am overwhelmed with my office ... and my home in general! :-) My copy of The Nester is wooing me to pick her up and read, read and read. I asked my hubby for a farmhouse for retirement. OK, I am only 46, but I like to plan ahead!! :-) Jen, I truly adore your office!! And your books and blog. Ladies, let's make some art together, shall we? Blessings on each one of you!
High-Heeled Gardener - August 5th, 2014 at 10:47 AM
Beautiful! Great job. I love your new website. Can't wait to see your TV show!
Rebekah - August 7th, 2014 at 2:46 PM
This is so beautiful, I have no words! Excited beyond measure for your show tonight. You guys are an inspiration -- I'm a relatively new reader of yours, and at first, I was like, "Oh, they have kids and a FAMILY -- it's just me and my husband, so I'm probably not the intended audience, and I have no business poking around in the 'mom terrirory'" Well, you have proven me wrong, and I am so glad. My husband and I have been married 5 and 1 half years and God has not decided to give us children. I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about my life, but I was so inspired by this new space, and I wanted you to know how big of a blessing you are to me : )
christi howard - September 26th, 2014 at 2:07 PM
[email protected] - September 26th, 2014 at 2:13 PM
I LOVE it! Great job! I dream of an office one day.... right now I have a corner. It's MY corner - but a whole room would be amazing! Thanks for sharing!!
Jess - September 26th, 2014 at 2:52 PM
Oh shut up. (Is my response to your before and after pictures)
It is all too beautiful.
Please come repurpose every piece of furniture in my entire life.
Sue - September 26th, 2014 at 3:26 PM
WOW! I am a new reader and I LOVE YOU ALREADY!!! Your brain works like mine. What a GREAT office you have! Keep up the great work!!!!
Kristy - September 26th, 2014 at 3:49 PM
Love all of the texture elements!! So Pretty!
Laura - September 26th, 2014 at 3:50 PM
Love the inspiration and all of the links to buy stuff. Went ahead and bought the book. Can wait. Thanks Jen!
Krista - September 26th, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Oh my gosh. I love this! I live with a married pair of friends and their two teenagers, and the space in my bedroom is pretty limited in terms of how I can decorate (I have a smaller master with my own bathroom, but once you factor in a huge armoire and a queen-sized bed and the fact that one wall where my closet is is covered by mirrored doors [double giant yuck!] and you really limit how you can move things around!). I want to do a gallery wall above my bed (I have this huge empty wall!) and this has totally motivated me to start hunting thrift stores and garage sales and see what I can do!
Robin - September 26th, 2014 at 5:16 PM
Thank you for sharing your beautiful room. The pictures
Make me want to curl up on that couch and read! One of
Your books of course. I've been in recovery/survival mode
For a few years now after a few surgeries involving my back and my
Knees. I just decided a few weeks ago to start trying to make my home
Feel warm and comfortable and inviting. It is a slow process and some
Days painful, but I'm so inspired! I have a tiny house and the book you
Recommended is just what I've been looking for. God bless you
And happy writing. I can't wait for the next book.
Jen C - September 26th, 2014 at 11:18 PM
I borrowed The Nesting Place from the library and loved it so much I jumped on Amazon and ordered it for myself. For years, I've been noncommittal or straight up paralyzed in decorating parts of my home because this isn't my "dream house" or I'm afraid I'll spend money on something and be disappointed. When she says things like, "Homes are happiest when they are being used," and "If we live fully in a home, there will be messes. Why does that surprise us and make us feel guilty?," I feel the burden of Pinterest-envy magically start to lighten. Since reading the book, I've already tackled a few projects. While the results of those projects weren't necessarily life-altering, the change in my attitude toward my home has been. I highly recommend it.
Vicki - September 27th, 2014 at 1:55 PM
Where do you find the wall art and things to decorate? I am so frustrated that I see beautiful ideas online, in blogs, in books%u2026but then I can%u2019t find anything even remotely like what I see. Don%u2019t mean to sound whiney. I really wonder where to even get started looking for things. Guess I%u2019m asking for help and ideas where to start.

Donna - November 26th, 2014 at 11:09 PM
Hi Jen,
Hope you don't mind me asking, but where did you get the sectional in here? I love it and am looking for something similar.
Thx a bunch!! xo
Sarah the window cleaner - December 15th, 2015 at 7:43 AM
You've done amazing job, the space looks very cosy and warm. I love the chandelier above the desk, it's so unexpected! It's inspiring, thank you for sharing.
Sid Samel - December 14th, 2017 at 12:24 AM

I had sent you an invitation email earlier but didn%u2019t hear back from you. I wanted to follow-up to see if you got my invitation email to join our affiliate program. is about craftsmanship, and as a result the brand has cultivated long and successful partnerships with some of the world%u2019s most renowned lighting artists. We provide timeless design of modern lighting hand-made in Italy. FLOS has earned the respect of the industry while growing its offerings to include residential, commercial, and custom-made concept-based products.

As an honored and esteemed affiliate partner, you will earn generous base of 8% per sale with 30 days cookie tracking period.

Additionally we offer a tiered structure where your commission can grow even higher, not to mention exclusives and other deals for our affiliates. Our average starting commission per order is over $50 which means huge potential in commissions for you.

We would love to hear from you and more than happy to setup a call or connect over Skype to find the right strategy. In the mean time to review details and to join our affiliate program, please click the link:

I look forward to sending you load of commissions. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Sid Samel
Affiliate Program Manager
Sid Samel - December 21st, 2017 at 12:12 AM

I had sent you an invitation email earlier but didn%u2019t hear back from you. I wanted to follow-up to see if you got my invitation email to join our affiliate program. is about craftsmanship, and as a result the brand has cultivated long and successful partnerships with some of the world%u2019s most renowned lighting artists. We provide timeless design of modern lighting hand-made in Italy. FLOS has earned the respect of the industry while growing its offerings to include residential, commercial, and custom-made concept-based products.

As an honored and esteemed affiliate partner, you will earn generous base of 8% per sale with 30 days cookie tracking period.

Additionally we offer a tiered structure where your commission can grow even higher, not to mention exclusives and other deals for our affiliates. Our average starting commission per order is over $50 which means huge potential in commissions for you.

We would love to hear from you and more than happy to setup a call or connect over Skype to find the right strategy. In the mean time to review details and to join our affiliate program, please click the link:

I look forward to sending you load of commissions. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Sid Samel
Affiliate Program Manager
Leave a Comment

Blog (1)