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Alexandra Stoddard is Living A Beautiful Life

Alexandra Stoddard has had an impact on my life from the time I was first introduced to her by my cousin, Margaret. When I first moved to Connecticut, Margaret sent me a paperback book by Stoddard called “Living a Beautiful Life~ 500 Ways To Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life.” In it are wonderful simplistic ideas about how to make your home or apartment, your life more beautiful without spending huge amounts of money.

Stoddard encouraged her readers of this book to write in the margins and use it as a guide book to live well. I took that to heart and marked that book up big time and adopted many of her ideas.

For instance, she suggests you buy a scented pen and write a lovely thank you note to someone. Also, get an inexpensive bouquet from the supermarket and rearrange it in a lovely container you already own. I had my first little one, Lindsay at the time I was given this book and it just hit the spot.

I got the chance to interview Ms. Stoddard at her home in Stonington, Connecticut and it was more than a thrill. Walking inside her historic home (built in 1775) she  guided me into her kitchen, blue and white, very Swedish, as if it was painted by famed Swedish painter, Carl Larsson. Simplistic and colorful, just beautiful with 3 or 4 vases of flowers. So simple it took your breath away. Her husband, author, lawyer and everything else in between, Peter Brown, was sitting at the kitchen table and the three of us had tea and talked for more than an hour. I can’t even believe this actually happened, it was just so sweet.

Stoddard and Brown represent an amazing love story. She told me she fell in love with him when she was 13. She is now nearly 70 and Brown nearly 90, and the pitter patter of their hearts continues, I could see it sitting across from them. Wherever she goes, he goes.

Stoddard is the author of 27 books and more are coming. As a prolific interior designer in her younger days who worked for some of the most famous around the world, she continued to stay grounded and work toward her inner happiness which is what she writes about today in earnest. Of course that has always been woven into all of her books. I think that is why I have always found her so wonderful, she gets what life is really about.

Stoddard and Brown are now full time residents of Stonington after giving up a place in New York. As you would expect, they give back to the borough on a full time basis. Most recently they donated one-thousand autographed copies of Brown’s most recent book, called “Figure It Out” to the town library in order to offset tens of thousand of dollars in flood damage. The book is Brown’s 50 year personal collection of observations, anecdotes, and quotes from great thinkers, writers and leaders from Aristotle to Maureen Dowd.

Stoddard continues to write in a very different world in which she started writing, but continues to be true to her styles and that is writing her books by hand on beautiful paper. She told me she worries about the world in which we live these days that we aren’t taking time to reflect enough and physically communicate with each other.

Stoddard refers to herself as a contemporary philosopher, author, interior designer and speaker. I think she forgot to use the world inspirational which she continues to be to women around the world.

 

15 Comments

  1. Anna
    Posted February 26, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    What a lovely lovely post, it speaks to so much of what I hold so dear. Thank you Ann!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted February 26, 2011 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      Anna, thank you so much for reading, Alexandra and her husband are just delights!

  2. Posted February 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Alexandra is brilliant. Looking at the photo of her and her loving husband is so heart warming and makes me feel all is right in the world!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted February 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Jayne, isn’t that the truth, what a couple! Oh, and i love the blog you put up about the house you’re building, it is beautiful.

  3. Posted March 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Alexandra is my inspiration! She is not only a beautiful writer and designer but person as well!

  4. Posted March 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE Alexandra! She is my inspiration, mentor and idol. I have met her a few times and she is so authentic. The energy she carries with her into a room is contagious.
    I carry her philosophy over to all of my clients.
    Live with what you love, appreciate beauty and be happy!

    Thank you Ann for sharing such a remarkable couple with the world.

    Wishing YOU a Beautiful Day!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Marie, thank you, yes she is a true inspiration.

  5. Posted March 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve followed Alexandra through Victoria magazine for years. Love her!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted March 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Sallianne, thanks for reading my blog, I Love your web site.

  6. Bev
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve followed Alexandra for years. I own everyone of her books. She is brilliant and an inspiration. I hope one day to meet her when I am home in Connecticut.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted August 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Bev, she is one of a kind and so lovely.

  7. Diana Spencer
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Alexandra has been my inspiration since I started reading her books in 96. I have a better life because of her. I just ordered Peter’s book, Figure It Out, and I am looking forward to reading that. Thank you for the lovely photos and video.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted October 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Diana, thanks for reading the story, this is a real love story between the two of them. You will love Peter’s book. Alexandra is just you would expect her to be insightful and warm and lovely.

  8. Deanna Groen
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I have all of Alexandra’s books and was so thrilled to see the video clip of her! Thank you for sharing it. She is so wonderful and an inspiration still.

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Deanna, you are so welcome, she is a real gem in Connecticut.