A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of meeting design icon and prolific writer and philosopher Alexandra Stoddard. I had heard her speak in the early 80's when I was just beginning my design career and found her to be very refreshing and unpretentious which was not the norm for most designers I had met. Since then she has written 29 books and designed countless residences, and commercial properties. Recently she has relocated from New York City to her country home in Connecticut. The home is profiled in the December issue of Country Living Magazine.
She and her husband, the love of her life, are inseparable and do virtually everything together. He accompanied her on her trip to Las Vegas. I had the opportunity to give her a copy of my book and was so please when a couple of weeks later I received this lovely hand written note from her. ( She writes all of her books longhand on special paper!).
I thought this was such a classy thing to do for such an established and busy women. I think that in this age of electronic communication we can forget the power and emotion of real handwritten mail. How lovely it is to receive such a gift. I've been inspired and I am going to re- dedicate myself to sending notes.
This is the home that Mrs. Stoddard and her husband have restored. It is located in Stonington Village Connecticut at the Northern tip of the state. I adore her bedroom - It looks so sunny and warm.
The house is chock full of treasures and art which are a passion for the couple and every item has a story. Before they located to the home permanently, Alexandra and her husband would take some of their favorite paintings with them from the city to the country and back again. Mrs. Stoddard says she loves to be surrounded by her favorite things.
The house has a front and rear parlor which she has decorated by mirroring the furnishings in both rooms. Here you can see the matching love seats in a bright flowering chintz. Her passion for flowers is evident throughout the house and the garden.
She is the type of person who takes pleasure in every action in life as she writes about in her many books. I was so impressed with her attention to the little things. As she was signing books for her fans she wrote each comment thoughtfully in beautiful flowing script with a lovely pen and blotted each signature with tissue paper so it wouldn't bleed on to the facing page. She then included a small length of colorful ribbon in each book as a book mark.
I live my life in such a hurry - with little attention paid to the many tasks that I accomplish every day. I rush to get here or there. I am constantly in a race to meet deadlines and due dates. In 2008 I am going to try to slow down and take some time to smell the roses and pay attention to what I am doing so I can actually enjoy it.
Here's hoping you are enjoying the little things!
Happy New Year!