Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.99
  • Save: $1.74 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Living a Beautiful Life: ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Great buy on a reading copy that has significant exterior wear and/or excessive internal markings.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life Paperback – May 6, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$1,872.21
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.25
$1.94 $0.01

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space by Elsie Larson
"A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home" by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
Paint, craft and decorate your way to a happy, personalized home with this home design book packed with ideas and easy DIY projects. Learn more | See related books
$14.25 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life
  • +
  • Choosing Happiness: Keys to a Joyful Life
  • +
  • You Are Your Choices: 50 Ways to Live the Good Life
Total price: $47.75
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Alexandra Stoddard takes the dollars and cents out of the concept of luxury and instead dwells on the more personal aspects of graceful living that are far simpler and far more appealing."

-- Mark Hampton

"Living the beautiful life used to mean having money. Alexandra Stoddard shows us that it's no longer a matter of money -- it's an attitude and a skill, and one that Stoddard teaches us in her book."

-- marsha Mason

"Wonderful tips on how to make daily life more romantic and sensuous ... Alexandra Stoddard will change your lifestyle." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

Offers more than 500 techniques for transforming the way we spend 95% of our lives: eating, sleeping, working, doing everyday tasks. 46 black and white photos. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (April 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380705117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380705115
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By F. Avery on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I came back to these descriptions and reviews to try and discover which of the Stoddard books to give my younger sister-in-law as she begins looking into interior design. But I was so struck by the negativity of some of these reviews given what I remember getting out of these books when I bought them. I am not a wealthy person by any means, but Alexandra Stoddard's ideas are anything BUT "out of touch with reality."

So let me write a review that'll tell other people what to expect so they don't experience what I did when I came back. In the three books that I own, including this one, Stoddard's ideas are generally pretty practical. And with a little imagination on my part, I made them work for my budget. For example, I can't afford a crystal decanter set, but I can go to Bed Bath and Beyond during an end-of-season sale and buy a plastic pitcher (in a pretty color) to use on a plastic tray in order to refresh myself as I work at night in my arm chair.

I suggest that anyone who reads Stoddard should listen to what she's saying instead of looking at the price tags on her own personal choices. Stoddard's the first person who even made me aware of "swivel rockers," and consequently, you can get an entire set very cheaply at JCPenney and in nice upholstery too.

In one of her books, she discusses using a mini-refrigerator in her bedroom so she doesn't have to go downstairs for breakfast on certain weekend mornings. At first it sounds pretty extravagant. But you can also re-interpret this on a budget by trying a miniature tea or coffee maker in your own room, the way you might have seen it in hotels. Or even ask a friend to get you such a thing as a present for Christmas or your birthday if you can't afford it.
Read more ›
3 Comments 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Alexandra Stoddard's work is special in so many ways. She's the only decorator I ever saw who teaches you to be brave, authentic and cheerful. If you can't afford a bunch of new dishes, then use the beautiful ones that have a few chips in them. She does! And she even uses those same dishes when she entertains the rich and famous. If it looks good and it feels cheerful then go for it. Can't afford a new dining table for a big party? Put a plank over two barrels and top it all off with a cheerful table cloth. Can't afford a fancy centerpiece? Why not keep fruits or vegetables in a bowl like the olden days? Can't afford a rich bubblebath? Why not put a little vanilla in the tub? Or lemon slices? She has tons of ideas (more than 500 actually because she throws in extras as a treat) for every economic situation. My husband and I moved here from Texas and I turned our condo into an extremely cheerful cottage with practically no money at all and I've had a TONS of compliments!
Alexandra has you look at every aspect of your lifestyle. How do you treat yourself when you get home from work? Do you slap dinner together, or do you take time to really enjoy yourself with new recipes, a beautifully set table, and nice music? Taking time to REALLY live, gives you more time for contemplation and joy. Alexandra proves that over and over again in all her books. Just live well, and forget about the insecure jealous types who resent your efforts and joy.
Comment 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Alexandra Stoddard refers to a time when she was a starving student, but from her description, she has never gone hungry due to not being able to afford food. If you don't have some spare cash left over at the end of each month, or aren't willing to stretch things a bit, this book may not be for you.
However, considering that I once *did* go hungry for a brief period of time, earned pathetic paychecks and still cared enough about my surroundings to make tough (perhaps even stupid) decisions for the sake of my sanity, I simply roll my eyes at some of her claims and read between the lines.
Suggestions in this book include considering decorative hat boxes for day-to-day storage, investing in a fountain pen rather than another few packages of disposables, treating yourself to flowers when you can, going into sumptous stores to get ideas (which I tend to use in more pedestrian stores when I actually start buying stuff :). And that's just what I can remember.
"Living a Beautiful Life" gave me the foundation to really start thinking about my environment, what I wanted and what I didn't. Organization could lead not just to efficiency, but to beauty. I have friends who are slightly more destitute than I am. I have a friend who is a millionaire. I have friends who are inbetween and they all look at my home and marvel at the fact that they couldn't imagine me living anywhere else.
And I don't think that I would have been able to do it without Stoddard's repeated encouragement, which seemed to be telling me that whatever it was I could do for myself, I was more than worth it.
1 Comment 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I was looking for my Alexandra Stoddard book collection and realized it is in storage but I realized if I owe anyone a good review it's her. She introduced me to a whole new way of looking at the world and lovingly enjoy it. She taught me how to make the most of the little things when I was a young single mother. Things I never would have thought of that actually saved me money. I'll explain later.

Now some people have made said some surprisingly strange things about the book. Things like she's out of touch with reality and everything is too expensive. But I was a young single mom at the time, and bold, in my 20's when I read it but I managed to find ways to adjust my lifestyle for me and my children so that we could have a truly beautiful life. No we couldn't have a single hyacinth flower delivered when one of us was sick, so I made sure to find a flower that was free. You don't have to have a private delivery service, but if you do even better! Her books taught me to strive for those things in life, and I have had times prior to the recession where things like that were common place after awhile because I believed in having a quality life by bringing beauty into it. I believed that the beauty in life was in the details sometimes and could sustain us when we were feeling down. it saved me money many times because I was happy with the little things, instead of stuffing myself full of costly junk food and creating addictions, I took a bath and made sure to light a candle and place a flower nearby. Sure the bath salts were $11 for a pound, but think about it, that's not a lot if you use two scoops add your free flower and decide to sit home with your kids and make a salad. Sometimes I would splurge and buy flowers for our salads.
Read more ›
3 Comments 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: decorating a beach house