Archives for February 2008

Living A Beautiful Life: Alexandra Stoddard

Living A Beautiful Life: Alexandra Stoddard

Where It All Began

I have such a wonderful experience to share with you!

First, let me share some background. As a young girl, I was full of fanciful ideas about life, love and creating a home. A true romantic and idealist. I loved the thought of a beautiful life within my own four walls. I imagined fairy-tales and happily ever afters. Pretty things on ordinary Mondays. Creating a lovely home and a beautiful life was my one true dream, something I was passionate about from my earliest memories.

Living A Beautiful Life

One day as a young bride 20 years ago, I was at work passing by the receptionist’s desk when I saw she was reading a book. She said she was done with it and handed it to me. The title of the book was Living A Beautiful Life by interior designer and author Alexandra Stoddard. As I cracked open the cover, I entered a world that mirrored what had been in my own mind and heart from my childhood days. Ideas put to words, my dreams leaping off the pages, and inspiring words that would forever cement my fanciful notions into a way of life.

A Kindred Spirit

Alexandra was like a kindred spirit, delighting in details others seemed to miss. I adored her books, one after the other. Piled high near my pillow I’d read them over and over. I would quote her endlessly, “Alexandra says…” until my husband would ponder along with me when faced with a dilemma around the home, “What would Alexandra do?” as if she were one of my friends with all the best advice.

Daring To Be Myself

Although her words were profoundly inspiring to me, the real impact of her books on my life was a freedom and permission to live the way I always imagined life should be. If it was good enough for Alexandra, maybe my ideas weren’t so fanciful after all. I should experience beautiful things even on ordinary days! I felt empowered, more confident and assured in my thinking. She was such a positive contributor to my life that my husband would often say that I needed to go hear her speak in person, to thank the woman who inspired me so.

The Inspired Room

Not too long ago I had what I truly feel was a divine inspiration in my own life. I was seeking purpose and a direction for the next phase of my life (as my children were growing and no longer in need of my constant supervision). I was ready to do something more in life, but what? I awoke one morning to what should have been an obvious thought, but the day before had not even been on my mind. I had a passion for creating beauty and enjoying that beauty every day. Yet I was using that passion only for myself and my own family! It was though a cloud had lifted from my vision and suddenly I could see exactly what I was to do next. I felt compelled to share my enthusiasm in life and help others in the process of discovering their own authentic style and beauty in their homes. And thus my business, The Inspired Room, was born.

Flash forward

As I opened my mail last week and sorted through the usual stack of bills and credit card offers, a postcard fell to the table. There, written in green ink, were words I never imagined I would read! Never in a million years! It began “Dear Melissa…” I scanned quickly to the signature to see who was writing to me! “Great love to you, Alexandra Stoddard ALEXANDRA STODDARD?! Within the note she gave me her phone number and said I could call her! Me? I could call her? And she gave me permission to share our conversation with YOU.

Hello? Alexandra?

To say I was nervous about calling her is an understatement. The scheduled time ended up being in the middle of a design consultation! I had worked for three hours on a client’s family room and kitchen, took a half hour break to call Alexandra (eek!) and then spent another two hours or so working on the client’s study. It was a full day but everything about it was a dream come true. I was helping one woman discover her style and pull together the beauty in her home and life and in the middle of it all I was speaking to the queen of beautiful living herself, Ms. Alexandra Stoddard. Oh my! Talk about a fulfilling day! Amazing how life feels when you are doing what you truly love to do and are surrounded by people who inspire you and challenge you.

The Inspiration Ahead

So now you know the background of my life and the profound influence Alexandra Stoddard has had on me and my career. Stay tuned for the conversation with Alexandra, I cannot wait to share what we talked about! And of course, stick around because we have a full week of inspiration ahead! Click HERE for the INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDRA STODDARD!