I read this book for fun, and fun it was. The subtitle says it all: Five Hundred Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life. That sums up the content written by Alexandra Stoddard. Beautiful ink drawings by Pat Stewart add to its appeal.
According to Stoddard, we can create beauty and order in ordinary days by establishing little rituals that enhance the humdrum. Some chapters focus on certain rooms—the kitchen, the bedroom, the bath. She helps you look at your house with fresh eyes to evaluate whether it is supporting your quest for living the beautiful life. Does your décor reflect your tastes and values? Are there changes you might make to better reflect who you are?
Each chapter ends with Grace Notes, suggestions to create a beautiful life, followed by blank space to add your own grace notes. I read this library book with pen in hand to jot down ideas. There were plenty. An index guides you in locating details you may want to recall. Although this book was published by Random House in 1986, if you enjoy creating a homey atmosphere that appeals to your senses and welcomes guests, you will appreciate Stoddard’s ideas.
I’m now reading another of her books, You Are Your Choices: 50 Ways to Live the Good Life, which she wrote 20 years later. This book’s 50 essays relate to choices we make every day that affect the quality of our lives. Enjoying this one as well.
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