My introduction to the works of Alexandra Stoddard was on a shelf at a used bookstore as I was planning the design of our home. Her book Alexandra Stoddard’s Book of Color…Discovering the Joy of Color in Your Everyday Life caught my eye. Printed in 1989, it is a timeless masterpiece. The photography throughout this large book is frame-worthy.
Stoddard chose a career in interior design in the fifth grade after visiting older relatives’ homes and being disheartened by the dark, gloomy, and seemingly colorless interiors. Having formerly the intention to have a career in the horticulture field, she decided instead that “…my mission was to become an interior decorator so I could attempt to bring the colors I’d grown to love from my garden inside…I was determined to bring a garden-soaked color palette into the homes where we really spend most of our lives.”
Her Book of Color was (and continues to be) a major influence in how our home turned out.
Just before the pandemic hit, I had loaned out some of my books to a handful of friends. The books were all returned but one, and I have lost touch with the person to whom I had loaned the Stoddard book.
Deciding to replace it if possible, I searched online and found a copy at the used book site AbeBooks.com. I wanted the best copy available, and the seller noted one that said, “Mint condition except flyleaf has an inscription by the author.”
Since I enjoy inscribing my own books for young readers, I felt that a note from the author would make the book even more interesting to me.
The original purchase was made the same year as publication. Stoddard was and is also a speaker/lecturer, and the book was sold to Doris who met Stoddard at one of her presentations. Here’s how the inscription reads:
December 8, 1989
To Doris, I’m so glad we met today, and I love your shop. I hope I can come, and we can have a write-in when “Gift of a Letter” is out. I’m glad you were able to come to my lecture. Affectionately, Alexandra Stoddard.
And Doris added her own note about the encounter: “She was delightful.”
I’ve decided I will contact Ms. Stoddard, now 80, and share this story with her. Because if a random stranger, having heard you lecture once, can make that lovely comment, then you deserve to know about it.
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree about using color!!! As a Realtor, I am thoroughly sick of “earth tones” throughout homes!! Drab and totally unimaginative!!! I like things that have, and portray life, as witnessed by my wardrobe, with a preponderance of reds, yellows and blues, the three basic colors. I someday will still own a red car, or maybe even yellow one. Give me life, but please, no earth tones. Bury my ashes in a gold urn, with carved, red acanthus leaves, but not too soon please, I have a lot of living left to do!!!
OK, so that’s one gold urn with carved, red acanthus leaves to go. Do you want fries with that? But seriously, do you have your funeral and burial requests written down? If so, we need a copy. Because none of us is promised tomorrow and I’d hate to find your requests in the house a week after we did what we thought best. Not a sermon, just a thought.
There is a large used book store in Manassas, I will look for the book there. She would have a field say with my home. There is little to no colors, just white, grey and brown. I do have a blue rug though. LOL
Hi Barbara. I bought my book on the site Abe.com. They have two remaining copies at $5 and it’s free shipping! https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?kn=Alexandra%20Stoddard%27s%20Book%20of%20Color&sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-topnav-_-Results&ds=20
The site does have the disclaimer (because these are used books) that there is some writing, etc. inside the book. But this is a good price and I would hope there is no writing on the beautiful photography. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!