May 2006

Dear Friend

I hope the transformation from winter to Spring has brought you great joy, renewed your faith, surprised you by joy, filled you with hope and made you happy.

April was a magical month for Peter and me. We started the month in Washington, DC, visiting our grandchildren. We celebrated Easter in New York, then flew to Charleston, South Carolina for an author luncheon, then went to Barrington, Rhode Island to a garden club luncheon on the shore, then to Waco, Texas for A Salute to Women, and vibrant Atlanta, Georgia to speak to some NSFD interior designers, and finally on to Chicago to an Antiques Fair of incomparable quality at the fabulous Merchandise Mart.

April was an amazing month. In the days I lived in the sunlight and warmth of Spring and there were rain showers promising to bring May flowers. In this season of renewal, Country Living Magazine photographed the apartment for their January 2007 issues for an article I will write. The pictures are so pretty. The top photographer, Keith Scott Horton, came to our apartment twenty years ago on a photo shoot for Ladies Home Journal. I certainly had an ah, aha moment as they moved around, from space to space, capturing the energy of the spirit of our home. The name of the story is, “Creating A Happy Home.”

One thing always leads to another. With clean windows and flowers blooming everywhere in the rooms we live in and love, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m still passionate about sharing my knowledge about how to make where you live a sacred place, where you feel happy, where you surround yourself with things you love.

Return to Decorating Consultation

So, after years of writing deadlines and other commitments, I’ve decided to return to decorating consultation. I know many people have no need or intention of doing a complete redecoration of their house. I understand how much we all care about how we feel at home. So often we need guidance on how we can be true to our vision about our dreams so we can have our house become a beautiful peaceful, practical, organized space that feeds our soul.

Some of you may want to meet with me at your home. Others will want to come to me with your photographs and questions. And, some of you can send me pictures and plans and we can talk on the telephone. I’m excited to think that I’ll be making this intimate connection with people who are seeking some advice about color, furniture selection and the general mood and spirit, the essential energy of their home.

There is no more important place than our home. We know this truth. Sometimes we become stuck because we are so close to our unique situation. Interior decorators, paradoxically, are often the most perplexed when they try to express their own style at home. Sometimes they need a sounding board to help them to be true to their personal vision and to surround themselves with things they love that hold great meaning, that give them emotional comfort and happiness.

It was my opening presentation Saturday, April 28th, at the 9th Annual Chicago Antiques Fair when my talk “Celebrate Your Time Alive Every Day with the Beauty of Antiques You Love” that I had an ah aha moment. As I showed slides of Peter’s and my favorite objects, telling stories about where we found each item, I realized how much I miss decorating for others. As I evolved into a contemporary philosopher of contemporary living I had spent more and more time studying and writing.

Now it’s time for me to go 360 degrees and return to the home, where I began by studying interior design in 1959. I will continue my writing but I feel this choice to do more decorating is going to bring me great happiness. I hope others will agree. Whether I come to your house or you send photographs and samples, we can work out the details depending on need and appropriate resources spent on the project.

Interior decorating has changed radically in the decades I’ve been working in this field. I believe people need help with the organization, with the details, with the flow and energy as well as with their major purchases of furniture, antiques and art. I urged the audience in Chicago to go out on the floor, to fall in love with something and bring it home. Sometimes we just need to be encouraged to follow our dreams.

A 19th century French poet mused: “I took them to the edge and they were afraid. I took them to the edge and they were afraid. I took them to the edge and pushed them and they flew.”

Peter and I are having fun selling art and objects to friends and clients. Please let us know when you’re in New York and want to see some treasured objects and paintings for your home.

Happy May. We’re looking forward to another exciting month. I’m giving a talk at High Point, North Carolina, before flying up to appear on television May 12th and then going to the cottage to greet our guests at the 6th Happiness Weekend. We fly to Paris May 17th and arrive on our 32nd anniversary.

You Are Your Choices: 50 Ways to Live The Good Life will be published January 1st, 2007. Books will be available for holiday gifts since books are in bookstores one month before publication date. This 25th published book is terribly important to me. It is in no way gender based; I want men to read it equally to women. We’re trying to expose high school and college age students to my philosophy, so please keep that in mind if there are speaking opportunities at schools or universities.

Happy month of May. The flowers are in bloom and we’re seeing grace in nature everywhere. Peter and I are so excited to anticipate the arrival of so many friends at the Happiness Weekend. I can’t think of a happier way to spend Mother’s Day weekend.

Love & Live Happy

NOTE: Book Sale! Living A Beautiful Life with a pretty hard cover on sale this month for $20.00 plus shipping and handling.

Garden Grove, California

Breakfast with Alexandra Stoddard at the National Fibromyalgia Association in March 2006

Culture & Leisure Magazine Winter 2006

Alexandra signs copies of her books while visiting Decadur, Alabama.

Southern Women magazine

Alexandra, shown here at The Madison Hotel in Memphis, offers tips for our daughters. Photo by Lisa Buser

Country Living, February 2006

The February issue of Country Living magazine has a section called Home Comforts country classics/simple projects that features beautiful florals. It is a great issue and you're sure to find many practical ideas you can put to use. The six-page spread opens with a quote from Alexandra:

"When flowers are in the home -- whether that means fresh flowers, botanical watercolors, flower-appliqued quilts, even floral perfume -- we can feel their energy and freshness, majesty and wonder," says interior designer and author Alexandra Stoddard. (Photography by David Lewis Taylor)

Alexandra is meeting with editors to discuss a feature for the January 2007 issue on how to create a happy home.

Grace Note

If you want the life you say you want, then you have to live it.