3.04.2010

The Queen Bee Book Review, Part II

Recently I picked up the book "Feeling at Home" by Alexandra Stoddard at my local library. It really got me thinking about the purpose(s) of my home and how it makes me feel.

Here are a few examples:
We can't just plunk furniture around a room and expect to have the space come alive. There has to be some emotional integrity to what is selected. In the case of using inherited furniture we don't like, it can become a trap. We feel guilty not using it, but it is wrong for us. It is also tempting to buy "just-for-now" pieces (cheap furniture that is not well made or well designed), purchased as a stopgap.

Think of your home as a place of healing. Light a candle. Play some favorite Mozart or Beethoven. Bake a Shaker lemon pie, clean out a messy kitchen drawer, sit in a favorite chair and read to a child, or have a nap...

Our home should be a safe, private place where we can discover and rediscover our passions, what interests we want to pursue, what enthusiasms we've found fascinating...Each of us is an individual with unique talents, gifts that need to be explored for us to feel real fulfillment in our short lives.
Interesting stuff, huh? It got me thinking about this ad for Twinings tea that I see in some of my home magazines (stay with me, I have a point!):

Every time I see it, I stop and stare for a minute. Something about the rain against the window in the photo, and the idea of slowing down to enjoy a comforting cup of tea. I love it. How does this relate to the book?

Because it prompts me to pursue a "safe, private place," a "place of healing" in my home. This chair next to my fireplace, sitting quietly with a cup of tea, is that place for me. It's so easy to look at your house as a war zone for your kids, a showplace, a party location, or just a big old mess that needs to be cleaned and painted and organized. Me? I think of my home as all of those things.

But sometimes I force myself to slow down, close the curtains, turn on some Van Morrison, and just curl up in my favorite chair. I have to be intentional to create that place of healing in my home. I have to force myself to leave the dishes, the laundry, and the toys on the stairs. I actually long for cloudy days around here (few and far between in Denver!) because its easier to curl up and take that time for myself. I guess that's why the rain on the window in the photo gets me every time!

I encourage you to think about ways to create a "place of healing" for yourself in your home. And share with us how you do! I think we can all use a little inspiration...I know I can!



18 comments:

Kelli said...

Sounds peaceful. Enjoy being intentional about your space. BTW...I could use some Denver sun right now.

Just Rhonda said...

i LOVE her books!!! I have a little collection of them. And I agree so very much with the point of having a place a healing, if you don't have it at home, where are you going to get it?!

MamaSue said...

Thanks for sharing that...I need to run to the library now! I am a homeschool mom so I am at home all the time and sometimes it doesn't feel like home just a place for cleaning and teaching. I need to be more intentional myself.

duchess said...

Makes me want to do that right now instead of heading off for dr check-ups & back for homeschool arguements. Guess it'll have to wait til later.
Thanks for the idea, though.

Screaming Meme said...

So fun! I love your chair! :) It looks like it needs me...lol How is the baby doing? I can't believe how big he is getting! :) Stop by sometime for a visit....Meme

Momza said...

Hi there, I'm new to your blog. I have no idea how I got here, but here I am! lol
The philosophy of creating a "home" and not a "showcase" has always inspired me. I love love love the British Museum, but I wouldn't wanna live there. A home is an extension of the person I am now, and the person I am working on becoming: warm, welcoming, busy and loving. It is more like a laboratory and a haven, than a showcase of do-not-touches.
So glad I am here! (ps I live in the Springs... love a good cloudy day once in awhile!)

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I really enjoy reading Alexandra Stoddard - she wrote another book (I can't remember the name at this point) but I copied so many quotes from it.

The other night I lit no less than 10 candles around my home, closed the curtains, and turned off the tv. My home was so quiet and soothing - even all these days later I remember that wonderful feeling. I definatly want to create that space more in my home - I'm far to guilty of viewing my home as a mess - rather than a healing space.

MegJill said...

This has nothing to do with the book, but I just have to tell you beautiful everything you do to your home is! Your home is my inspiration for just about everything I do in my home. And your guest room. Ahhhh. It will be my inspiration picture for doing our bedroom. Your desks, the painted craigs list hutch, the curtains, everything. You do AMAZING work! Just looking at the pictures of your home makes me happy.

Victoria said...

I read one of Alexandra Stoddard's books years ago and parts of it have always stuck with me! I love how she talks about her home and making a house a home.

Love your little corner....

Lisa & Gerald said...

Sounds like a nice way to enjoy everything..Hugs...

allthingsjuice said...

I read Stoddard's Living a Beautiful Life (or something like that) years ago. She is an inspiration.

You might also enjoy Home Comforts by Mendelson. Slightly different subject matter, but still very focused on making a home.

Lindsay said...

Hi! I love this book too! I have enjoyed following your blog! Hopefully you can swing by mine as well... www.adesignstory.com. Looking forward to becoming "design blogging buddies"!

Lindsay

Dottie said...

I have loveed her for years. I found her book,, Living a beautiful life. I found her in the 90's and have followed her ever since. Did you know she was a writer in residence for Victoria it's first year back in publication. I so enjoy your blog. Thank you for your inspiration!

Screaming Meme said...

I am having a Giveaway!!! Yay! Come check it out...Ends on Mon...Meme

The Little Red Shop said...

Ahh...thank you, Carrie. I needed to hear that. I don't have children, but I am living in a 100 year old house which is under restoration...and organization...etc... I try to make sure that each weekend at least the main rooms...my room, the family room, the kitchen...are tidy and clean. So, then Sunday can really be a day of rest.

Your chair looks really comfy. What a cozy spot!

: )

Julie M.

Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer said...

I love Alexandra Stoddard. I haven't ready this book but now that I know about it I certainly will. Thanks for the heads-up.

Candy (Mama Lion) said...

hi. im a new follower and loved this post. u said it perfectly. Finding a place of healing and pulling urself away from teh house craziness (which never ends) must be an intentional effort. love it.

sanjeet said...

Thanks for sharing that.
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