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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What’s New at Gracious?

As you know, we had our annual Garden Party, where we debuted our gorgeous new outdoor vintage items. Friends from near and far came to see our patio items, outdoor decor, and new Spring-inspired furniture. The store was (and is) stocked full of new vintage items ready to be taken home.

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Now that winter is finally over — well, hopefully over, it’s time to get your house ready for Spring. With this new season change, it’s time to add more color to your home decor. Even by switching out lamps in certain rooms, you can brighten the space entirely, making it more inviting and welcoming. We have gorgeous new lamps that add just a touch of Spring to your home.

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Or maybe you have spring fever and you’re ready for more of a dramatic change. Don’t worry, we have you covered with daring vintage items that will change your space completely. This gorgeous chandelier will make any room stand out.

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We also have stunning new jewelry from Jewels by Jules that we love. All of her jewelry is handmade and her pieces can dress up or down an outfit, so come in and try one of these on.

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And if you need a place to store all your jewels, we have you covered with these vintage decorative boxes that are useful for many of your personal items.

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There is so much more wonderful vintage pieces at the Gracious store, so stop by to see what we have for Spring!

The 2014 Gracious Garden Party is Here!

After this winter, we’re all ready for Spring!  And with Spring comes Gracious’ annual Garden Party! This Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th, Gracious formerly invites you to view our beautiful vintage outdoor items.  

Now that the snow is (hopefully) finally clearing, it’s time to think about how to decorate your patios, outdoor porches, and outside spaces with gorgeous vintage items.

Are you looking for an updated look for your patio, now that better weather is headed our way? Does your garden need a sculpture, or new details to bring it back to life with the spring? How about turning your patio into the ultimate entertaining room with an outdoor bar cart and some new seating – with a pop of color! Come for some springtime inspiration. This is the only time of year that we focus specifically on outdoor vintage gear.

And, of course, we’re making the day full of fun with food, garden tips, prizes, and a whole lot of vintage fun!

Whether you’re in for pots for plants, tablescapes, decorations, or just some tips, stop by Gracious this Friday or Saturday.

RSVP on Facebook

When: Friday, April 4th and Saturday, April 5th, from 11am – 6pm

Where: The Gracious Store

(206) 525-5300

2920 NE Blakeley Street, Suite C

Seattle, Washington 98105

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