Things I Love About the South

1. Colorful Phrases: “I’m fixin’ to”.  The perfect phrase.  I’m not doing it now, but I’m doing more than thinking about it.  It’s going to happen but I’m not quite sure when.  I’m fixing to!  I think the South is the only place I don’t mind being called ma’am since everyone is ma’am and sir.  Just walking down the street, morning ma’am.  But my favorite of all is how the Ladies are called Miss.  As in Miss Anne, Miss Gloria, Miss Tracy.  You’ll have to ask Miss Anne about that price.  Yes, I could really get used to that.

Had so much fun at Amy's Antiques with these lovely Misses!

Had so much fun at Amy’s Antiques with these lovely Misses!

2. Iced Tea: I have had more iced tea in the past week than I have ever had in my life.  It’s always a good time for iced tea.  If you don’t asked for unsweetened tea (which…why would you?) you get a concoction that is mighty fine!

For the napkin ring collectors! Had a lovely conversation with the dealer who advised me on polishing techniques.

For the napkin ring collectors! Had a lovely conversation with the dealer who advised me on polishing techniques.

3. Space Time Continuum: People live at a different pace down South; things just don’t move as quickly.  A chance meeting could turn into a two hour lunch.  Saying hello to someone is not a quick chat.  Asking someone about a table becomes a history lesson that includes an entire family background.  A comment about the name on a napkin ring turns into a twenty minute discussion about the 4’11” woman that taught him how to polish silver.  Even ordering BBQ involves a discussion about where you’re from, what Washington is like, and where a person can go to drink good (sweet) tea in Seattle.

4. Food: BBQ is everywhere.  Steve asked his buddy Skip and his friends where they needed to go to get the best ribs.  This turned into a thirty minute discussion (see point 3) that involved a list so long that blew Steve’s mind.  The same discussion might take a minute in Seattle.  One of the porters at Scotts asked me what meat we ate in Seattle (which is in and of itself an interesting query).  When I told him that a lot of people didn’t even eat meat there he responded, Oh you have good seafood.  I said yes, but some people are vegan.  I would pay good money to have gotten a picture of his face at that moment–the perfect cross between confusion and utter disbelief.  He was stunned.  Why people would willingly choose to not eat meat was too much to comprehend.

Steve and his old buddy Skip in front of Chicken Comer's.  Some Truly fine BBQ!

Steve and his old buddy Skip in front of Chicken Comer’s. Some Truly fine BBQ!

5. Friendliness: Everyone here walks around with a smile on their face.  Everyone, and I mean everyone says hello, even if they’re just passing you on the street.  If you’re standing in line, you talk with the people next to you.  If you’re on the elevator, you don’t stand there in awkward silence; you have a discussion about the weather, where you live, where you’re from.  Everyone here assumes that you’re interesting, you have a good story, you’re worth a smile.  When I’m in Seattle, people are polite but not friendly.  Knowing how much I’ll miss it, I’ve made a promise to bring it back with me to Seattle.

packingSo the trip continues!  I will be back at Gracious on Friday with no goodies yet, but lots to come!

I might not be there right at 10, but I’m fixin’ to get there right soon.

Miss Tracy

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Vintage Furniture

There are so many reasons to buy vintage furniture – from the gorgeous looks to the reduced carbon footprint – it’s hard to find a reason NOT to go vintage. So without further ado, Gracious gives our top 10 list on why we love buying vintage furniture, and why you should too!

10. Quality. If the piece has lasted 50 years, it will probably last another 50. Vintage pieces are made with such strong material, they last the test of time. Maybe a retouch is needed here or there, but you’re buying a piece that lasts!

9. You’re recycling! Buying vintage furniture is making your personal carbon footprint much smaller. Vintage is green, and we all need to do our part to be more environmentally conscious, so do so in style.

8. Originality. Vintage furniture has a unique originality that is hard to find in our mass-production world. Many vintage pieces are handmade one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t available anywhere else. Typically when you buy a vintage piece, no one else will have it.

G1

7. There is a story behind your piece. If you buy a living room chair at a regular furniture shop, most likely, there is no story behind it. But with vintage, each piece has character and history, adding a uniqueness to your living room. Research a little about the period which your piece was made, and suddenly your home is full of proverbial conversation pieces. And you definitely don’t have to be a collector to appreciate that.

6.. The style never fades. Vintage furniture never truly goes out of style. When you buy the new fad of armchairs, it will probably be ‘out’ in 2 years. With vintage, the style stays on for years. You can even combine modern and vintage pieces, which creates the ultimate look!

G2

5. Finding vintage pieces is fun! Shopping around (especially at Gracious) can be oh so entertaining. When we go searching for pieces, we always have a great time – learn a lot of new stories, and find stunning furniture we must have.

4.The value. A vintage piece is worth so much not only for the style but for the reliability. You really get a bang for your buck when you buy vintage furniture because you know it will last years. Between moving houses, kids, pets, and the test of time, vintage pieces are an incredibly valuable purchase. Is that IKEA couch ever going to be a family heirloom? Probably not. But the restored vintage mantle clock. Definitely.

G4

3.Variety. Vintage furniture gives more variety than buying new in-store items. Not only will you get unique pieces, but you have so many styles to choose from! There are thousands of vintage patterns that you won’t find every day, so you have choice when it comes to vintage pieces. This really holds true with dining ware (from silverware to platters) – Gracious has vintage pieces for entertaining that are really hard to find anywhere.

G3

2. There’s a vintage community. At Gracious, we love meeting other vintage furniture-lovers, and together we form a community that appreciates well-done pieces. When buying vintage furniture, you can tap into this community for style tips that we are all happy to share! Gracious loves to work closely with customers and hunt for them, so if you’re looking for something in particular, we are happy to help find it!

1. The pieces are beautiful. In the end, many of us return to the point that vintage pieces make a room. The guests’ eye is constantly drawn to the stunning vintage piece, rather than the regular run-of-the-mill couch. Having vintage furniture or even just one great vintage piece decorates the room completely.

G5

What Makes Something Vintage?

The vintage trend is in full-swing as we see rooms decorated with full vintage flair, but what actually makes an item vintage? And how does that differ from antique? These two words, at times used as synonyms, have two different meanings that are often changed and debated. So what makes an item vintage? And when should you call it an antique?

clock1

Plain and Simple Definition
For those who want a quick answer, many define vintage as something older than 50 years but less than 100, and antique as older than 100 years. This is a general guideline that has been changing, as we see “vintage cell phones” dating back only 20-30 years. For us, we say vintage is 20-30 years old and antique roughly 100.

The Complicated Definition
Vintage historically referred to the age of a bottle of wine, “vintage” being the date the grapes were grown; this is why we see the word vintage used often with dates. But even that clear definition has morphed as we see “vintage” food products, that were clearly manufactured recently, being sold today.

Vintage can also refer to an item that was popular in a different era. It may have not been produced in that era, but it was wildly popular in that time and mimics the style. So when we have “vintage 1950s” furniture, it’s likely it was very sought after during that time, possibly made during that decade or maybe even after.

50s

Vintage is not old enough to be antique, which makes it still very usable and functional pieces of furniture. While antiques can go either way, vintage items are usually able to be used. But, whether you want to call it vintage, antique, or even retro, we won’t mind as long as you stop by Gracious.

glogo