Halloween Decorating Ideas

Halloween is right around the corner and we could not be more excited to decorate to the occasion. There are plenty of ways you can decorate your home to make it extra spooky but here are a few ideas we found that we think are fantastic. Click on an image below to get the description.

DIFFA GLAM Tablescapes Photo Gallery

We recently blogged about participating in DIFFA Seattle’s GLAM: Tablescapes charity event. We designed a tablescape in collaboration with Monsoon to showcase their Pacific Northwest innovation and traditional Vietnamese cuisine. If you didn’t get a chance to see it in person, here is our photo gallery of our entry in the event below!

Cindy’s Gracious Home

Two years ago, our loyal customer Cindy came into Gracious on a mission.  She had the opportunity to restyle her entire house, and was looking for furniture that represented the feminine style of herself and her twin daughters.  Thus began a great collaboration between Gracious and Cindy for her home’s new look.  This was an amazing style synch between our tastes, and we are thrilled at how her beautiful home has turned out.
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What makes this house so special?  Besides the lovely residents – it’s the fact that everything, from the rugs to the light fixtures is from Gracious.  Cindy’s style is warm with a bit of bling, cozy and vintage, and feminine with a little hard-rock edge.  Cindy really knows how to embrace the rule of vintage:
If you see something you like, buy it.  You’re not going to find another one!
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She didn’t stop on the interior – she reworked her yard, too!
Check out Cindy’s Gracious Home:
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DIFFA Glam Tablescapes Party

DIFFA tablescapes

Join us at the DIFFA Glam Tablescapes party, an extravagant celebration of wine and design, featuring a wine and cocktail bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ, and silent auction. This event will showcase tablescapes created by various designers to represent wine dinners and other dining experiences donated by the top chefs and restaurants in the northwest.  “Bucket by Design” will feature one-of-a-kind wine buckets created by top lifestyle bloggers and designers, each paired with a selection of luscious La Crema wines.

We will be working with Monsoon to develop a tablescape that matches their Pacific Northwest innovation and traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Monsoon uses organic vegetables when available and support small farms when possible, and feature one of the best wine lists in the region.  Gracious uses all vintage dishware to create stunning tablescapes on which to enjoy great meals!

The event will be hosted at Masins Fine Furnishings and Interior Design, with each tablescape display staged throughout their furniture and interior design showrooms. It’s on October 10th from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets are available from $45 to $75 and all proceeds benefit DIFFA.   Hope to see you there!

 

Click here to learn more about DIFFA.

Learn about Monsoon.

 

Jewels by Jules – Featured at Gracious

Jules Jewelry

If you’ve been in our store, you’ve probably seen some of the amazing jewelry designs we have on display.   We collect vintage designs, but we also feature contemporary designed rings, necklaces, and bracelets.  Many of these were made by a friend of ours, Jules Cechony of Jules Accessory Design.  Jules is a fantastic jewelry designer and metalsmith.  We just love her work and wanted to put a bit of spotlight on her.

Jules Accessory Design

Jules has been making jewelry for nearly as long as she can remember.  At age 12 she made her first bracelet. Her jewelry is all handmade with carefully selected stones, using cut and color to lead her way, and recycled sterling silver, fine silver, gold fill, or 14kt gold metal.  Her designs are one of a kind pieces that can be worn from day or night, dressed up or down, t-shirt and jeans or a black tie affair.

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Find Jules and her jewelry on:

Facebook.    Twitter.    Etsy.

Drinking in Mid Century Modern Class

No matter where you go, whether you have seen it or not, chances are that you have heard of Mad Men. Amidst the drama and drinking, what we at Gracious take away is the great mid century modern styling that the show exudes, particularly with their drinkware. Let’s explore some of the mid century modern drinkware that we have in our shop and some of the cocktails that we think would go perfect with it.

shot glasses

First, you can’t go wrong with a solid shot glass set. They are both versatile and a great looking set of glassware to add to any collection. Use them for when you just want a shot of whisky or use it to measure out quantities of liquor for your cocktails. You really can’t go wrong here.

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Speaking of whisky, nothing says classic like a whisky decanter in your home, office, or home office. Whether it’s Scotch whisky, bourbon whisky, or wherever it’s from, this decanter is the perfect centerpiece for any drinkware collection. We love a good bottle of Macallan 25 to put in our decanters.

brandy snifter

And of course, if you love whisky, your collection is going to need a snifter to capture that mix of sweet, smokey, sour, and bitter aromas. It’s not only for whisky though! It’s also great for enjoying cocktails with.

One of our favorite cocktails to drink in a snifter is a Stinger. To make a Stinger, take 1 oz of cognac and 1 oz of crème de menthe and put it into a mixing glass, shake briskly, and pour it into your snifter.

You can also have a great Sambuca con la Mosca in a snifter. All you need is to pour 2 oz of sambuca into your snifter and add in three coffee beans. In Italy, the three coffee beans are said to represent health, happiness, and prosperity.

cocktail glass

A proper drinkware collection is going to need long stemmed cocktail glasses too. While not quite a martini glass, martinis can still be enjoyed just the same in these cocktail glasses, while its long stem allows you to hold onto your drink without affecting its temperature.

So pull out your cocktail glass and make yourself a classic martini! Rinse your glass with dry vermouth, shake some gin with ice until it is chilled, pout it and add olives.

If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, you can also enjoy a daiquiri in these. Take 1½ oz of rum, ¾ oz lime juice, and ¼ oz simple syrup, shake over ice, strain into your cocktail glass, and garnish with a lime wheel.

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Your drinkware collection will definitely need a set of short tumblers, also known as an Old Fashioned glass, after one of our favorite drinks, the Old Fashioned. These types of glass have a thick base so that ingredients can be muddled before the liquids are added in, which is what you’ll need to do if you want to make an Old Fashioned.

To make an Old Fashioned, mix 1 tsp of sugar, splash of water, 2 dashes of bitters, and muddle with a maraschino cherry and orange wedge. Then fill with ice cubes, pour in your bourbon of choice, stir and enjoy.

We also love the classic Greyhound with these tumblers and they are much easier to make too! Fill your tumblr with ice and add in 2 oz of vodka and fill the rest with grapefruit juice.

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What ties it all together is having a great cabinet to store all your drinkware when you are not using it. Now get out there and start mixing together some cocktails!

The Gracious Inspired Vintage Apartment

Pink Living Room

In a quiet, historic neighborhood lives Vina and her eclectic apartment. Inspired by Gracious’ passion for repurposing and reviving furniture, Vina has decorated her apartment exclusively in vintage, and has created a living space that reflects her style and personality through collecting vintage pieces.

Says Vina; “what was most amazing, is that buying all used furniture was much more affordable than buying new furniture.   I was under a tight budget, and was able to find all of the furniture I wanted at prices that I could afford.  I don’t know why anyone buys anything new – vintage furniture has so much style, is high quality, and was sized correctly to fit into my apartment.”

Let’s take a tour of Vina’s vintage apartment.  Upon walking in, you are greeted with plenty of diffused natural light beaming in from the apartment’s many large windows, accompanied with the glow of warm earthy accents.

Polished hardwood floors provide the foundation of Vina’s style and her dining room table workspace provides the masthead.   Finding a large oval table with eight chairs was surprisingly easy.  “I was amazed at the selection of solid wood tables I was able to find.  I liked this older style, and it was in great condition.”

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This vintage dining room table set seats eight and sits on top of a large oriental  rug, from Gracious.  “I fell in love with this rug instantly!  The rest of the room is designed to fit the rug.”

oriental rug detail

Opposite the table sits a gold accented credenza with its sliding glass doors, repurposed into a bookshelf, where she stores her many books on art.  “I love that Gracious always has so many great credenzas to choose from.  It was hard for me to pick one!  This one was sized right, and I liked the art deco details.”

credenzaContinuing down the hall, Vina has created her own art gallery from art she has collected from vintage stores and estate sales.  “Frames are so expensive to find new, and have no personality, but I’ve had so much fun collecting any vintage gold frames and artworks that catch my eye.  My collection is still growing.”

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hallway

art collection

The hallway leads to the sitting room, a small room, painted pink for warmth.  This room was designed around her first vintage purchase – an Asian Toile arm chair she found at Gracious and fell in love with instantly.  “I had to have it.  I planned the rest of the room to match that chair.”

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white sofa

“I found a darling white sofa to match my toile chair.  I had a small space, so I needed a smaller sofa to fit.  Vintage furniture is fantastic, because it is always sized appropriately.  Most new things I see tend to be oversized.”

“Gracious has been great at helping me expand my art collection.  When I first saw this Civil War Era portrait, I was blown away by how lovely it was.  It’s such a treat to go into Gracious – their items are changing constantly, and you never know what you’re going to find.”

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Now that her apartment is mostly finished, Vina is focusing on her tableware, and sticking to the vintage theme.

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When it comes to decorating with all vintage / repurposed furniture – the trick is patience – and having a good connection with a vintage store.  “I told Tracy and Deirdre what I was looking for, and they would keep an eye out for me at estate sales.  If you like vintage furniture – you have to hunt for it. “

The Picker Sisters Take A Roadtrip To Find The Best Vintage Furniture In The West!

What happens when two sisters rent a Uhaul van and embark on a quest for amazing vintage furniture across three states?  Vintage shopping magic!
Earlier in July – that is exactly what we did!  Tracy and Cristina – The Picker Sisters –  started in Idaho, rented a van and went out on the open road, with  no plans beyond following their noses to some great finds!
Cristina lives in Boise – so we started there!
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In Boise we scoped out a local estate sale store, and found some fabulous china!  We chatted with local antique collectors, who let us see their secret stashes of antiques stored in garages.
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 Of course, no city visit would be the same without a visit to the recycled materials center.  We had a great time checking out used tiles, building materials and tons of light fixtures!
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We finished off a great day of shopping with a lovely meal, and an amazing strawberry butter-cake dessert at Fork in downtown Boise.  Yum!
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NEXT STOP:  MERIDIAN, IDAHO
The next morning we picked up our Uhaul Van.  There was some drama and we almost were unable to take the 10 foot van that we had reserved.  They only had 16 foot vans!  The bigger van was tempting … but luckily we got the size we had reserved.
Uhaul Van
We headed out on the open road, stopping first in Meridian, an adjacent town to Boise for an estate sale.  They had some great finds at the sale – we were especially taken by the nailhead details on this chair:
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From Meridian, we did a quick stop in Nampa, Idaho – to check out The Chicken Koop.  Have you ever seen anything with more personality?   Our adventure was off to a great start – these ‘off the beaten track’ spots were exactly what we wanted to find!
Most of this store was filled with the basic things that you would expect – but in the very last stall we stumbled across the most incredible crystal collection we had ever seen!  Of course we had to buy the French red crystal glasses!
Nampa Idaho
NEXT STOP:  FRUITLAND
Our itinerary had no set schedule and no limits, we just followed our vintage seeking intuition to wherever it lead us, which was someone’s outbuilding, near a farm in Fruitland, Idaho!  This collector had some amazing pieces – she really knew her stuff and drove a hard bargain.
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NEXT STOP: BAKER CITY
We crossed over from Idaho, into Oregon, stopping first in Baker City.  This is a small city, but has a great tradition of Oregon Trail History.  We were hopeful that we’d find some great furniture there.
Unfortunately it was a Sunday, and most places were closed!  There was a big motorcycle convention in town and the entire city was full of bikers!  We were very fortunate that Kathy opened up her store for us!   Thank you, Kathy!
Kathy in Baker CIty
Between Kathy’s store and a flee market, we had quite a haul.  It was time to reorganize the truck.
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Don’t we just look like we’re having a sidewalk sale?
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NEXT STOP: PENDLETON, OREGON
You might be familiar with Pendleton, as it is the home of the famous Pendleton Roundup Rodeo.   We hit up two antique shops and then stopped for coffee at this fabulous cafe:
cute coffee shop
At our third stop in Pendleton we came across this unbelievable Alligator bag.  Sorry – this one we’re keeping.  (Can you blame us?)
vintage purse
Then we were back on the open road again, headed to our next destination!
on the road
STANFIELD 
Stanfield was a highlight of the trip.  We had so much meeting 97 year old Frieda in her antique store.  Frieda had some fabulous jewelry, and told us “I’m 97 – so I’m going to wear my diamonds everyday!”  Love that attitude!
Frieda!
She sold us her amazing orange bed set.  She told us that she had a lot of fun with that bedset!  Ok, does it get ANY more fabulous than this? Don’t think so!
Frieda's Bed
NEXT STOP: RICHLAND
Have you ever been to Richland, Washington?  It is a beautiful spot.
Scenic Richland
Richland is also full of fantastic antique and vintage store.  Richland, indeed!
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Have you ever seen such bounty?
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We couldn’t pass up on these stunning Old English Red Willow dishes at Ragtime Antiques!  What a stunning set.
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Then we continued to head north to our next, and final stop before our destination of Seattle.
YAKIMA
This patriotic antique store was our final stop.
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We topped off our Uhaul with a bright red bench.
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With our spoils, we returned victoriously to the Emerald City, and hosted a fantastic truck unloading sale in celebration!  What a great time sharing our booty with our loyal clients!  We still have a few of our finds left in the store, so come in and see what we found.
The Picker Sisters may have found a new calling.  This was the inaugural road trip of what is sure to become a yearly tradition!  Lessons learned from the road trip?  If you see it and you like it – get it!  We’re still thinking about that mid century dresser that we left behind in Oregon.