8 Ways to Bring Nature to the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we all know the stress of trying to prepare for one of the biggest dinner holidays of the season. Let us help you take some of the stress of your shoulders with these tips on setting up your Thanksgiving tablescape so that you can focus on some of the more important aspects, such as time with the family.

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Holiday Open House at Gracious

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You are cordially invited to the Gracious Holiday Open House!

WHAT: We will have lots of gifts, tablescape ideas, and goodies that we’ve been saving just for this event. Shop local to find that special gift for that special person in your life! Spice up your holiday decor with some of our featured decorations. We will have refreshments, prizes, and giveaways while supplies last so come by and cross some things off that holiday to do list while enjoying some treats on us.

WHERE: Gracious, 2920 NE Blakeley St, Suite C, Seattle, Washington 98105

WHEN: Saturday, November 16th, 2013, 10 AM to 5 PM

RSVP: Facebook / Evite

Hope to see you all there!

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.

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

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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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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.”

asian toile chair

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.”

civil war era portrait

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. “