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Just $15: Pretty in Plaid Flatware from David Stark and Martha Stewart

Cold weather might bring back plaid and tartans, but they don’t have to make your home look like those oversized lumberjack shirts in the back of the closet.  In fact, plaids are a great way to mix things up and introduce different colors.  Says renowned NY event producer David Stark in his recent Pretty in Plaid feature for Martha Stewart:

If you’re the type of person that wants things to look cohesive, but not too matchy-matchy, try mixing different colors of the same plaid. For color mixing, pick a particular color that each plaid will have in common. For example, if each pattern contains a vibrant cherry red, it will keep your look together. These flatware sets all have the same base color — a neutral white — so they can be mixed and matched on your dinner table.

And here are the plaids he chose, in London Chic chocolate red, London Chic cucumber green, and London Chic denim blue:

Q Squared London Chic Flatware

And the best part?  The stainless steel flatware has ABS plastic handles which are dishwasher safe and treated with Xtra Wash, a unique technology that keeps colors looking like new after hundreds of washes.  These are an absolute steal at only $15 per 5-pc setting!

We still remember watching the Martha Stewart TV shows years ago, so it’s a real treat to be featured in her blog now.  Thanks for thinking of us, David and Martha!

By the Water: Coastal Living’s Newly Minted Holiday Table

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Does the holiday season have to be snow, snow, snow?

Not for us — we live in LA.  But no matter where you live, Coastal Living‘s holiday issue should bring a dose of beach, sun, and lime:


And their holiday table is also a seaside escape:

Coastal Living Seaside Table
Coastal Living Newly Minted Table

Featuring Herend’s CV12 Mint service plate, Vietri’s Incanto salad plate, Michael Wainwright’s Truro Gold wine glass, and Vietri’s red stripe napkin, this is a gorgeous, laid-back version of the traditional red and green.

Click here to see how you can create a seaside holiday table, or see our inspiration gallery for other table settings ideas.

A warm thank you to Coastal Living, and happy entertaining!


A True Thanksgiving: How Our Client Recreated Babette’s Feast

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In the remote, dreary Jutland coasts of 19th-century Denmark, a pair of spinster sisters took in a Parisian woman named Babette as their housekeeper, even though they could not afford to pay her.  For the next fourteen years, Babette cooked the bland meals demanded by the sisters’ late father, whose strict religious beliefs they still followed.

Then, one day, Babette won the lottery.  But instead of going back to Paris, she spent it all making the most lavish feast the sisters and their fellow believers had ever seen.  Course after course of the most exotic delicacies were served on the most beautiful china.  As the feast progressed, its sensual pleasures overwhelmed even the most hardened souls, as the diners reconnected with each other, forgave old sins, and re-kindled long lost loves.

Finally Babette reveals that she was once the head chef of the famed Cafe Anglais in Paris.  The sisters were horrified!  Babette had spent her last cent on them and could not go back to her glamorous life again.  They sob that she would be poor for the rest of her life.  But Babette tells them, “an artist is never poor.”

This novel by Karen Blixen, of Out of Africa fame, was made into a movie in 1987 and became an instant classic.  It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, a Cannes Film Festival award, and a Belgian Grand Prix.  Even Pope Francis mentioned it as his favorite film in a New York Times interview.

Recently, one of our clients from Brazil recreated this very film after some serious research and shared her photos with us.  Her table is spectacular:

Babette's Feast Table
Babette’s Feast Table

The first course, blinis demidoff:

Babette's Feast Blinis Demidoff
Babette’s Feast Blinis Demidoff

Followed by a salad:

Babette's Feast Salad
Babette’s Feast Salad

A potage a la tortue:

Babette's Feast Potage a la Tortue
Babette’s Feast Potage a la Tortue

The main course, cailles en sarcophage:

Babette's Feast Cailles en Sarcophage
Babette’s Feast Cailles en Sarcophage

And of course, dessert!  The savarin au rhum:

Babette's Feast Savarin au Rhum
Babette’s Feast Savarin au Rhum

And to make it a really special occasion, beautifully dressed guests at the party!

Babette's Feast Dress Up Party
Babette’s Feast Dress Up Party

Did you recognize Haviland’s Imperatrice Eugenie dinnerware on the table?  This is the same pattern Babette ordered from France for her feast and is especially appropriate to the story, since the Cafe Anglais was one of the greatest restaurants during the Second Empire, when Empress Eugenie and Emperor Napoleon III were at the height of their power.

For more photos and tips on how to create your own Babette’s Feast, please see our inspiration gallery.

We hope this will help you celebrate your Thanksgiving.  Remember to be grateful for the kindness of others and enjoy the pleasures of good food, good friends, and loved ones.  Don’t forget to share your special celebration with us — just write us or instagram us with #graciousstyle.

And thank you, Renata, for having shared these stunning images with us.


It’s All in the Gravy: Vista Alegre’s Venezia Gravy Boat in Bon Appetit!

/ Entertain Holidays Press

What’s the perfect gravy boat for your Thanksgiving feast?  Naturally, a question for Bon Appetit’s big November 2015 issue:

Bon Appetit November 2015
Bon Appetit November 2015

And one of the answers is the Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat:

Bon Appetit November 2015 Gravy Boats
Bon Appetit November 2015 Gravy Boats

According to the editors, “The intricately patterned piece has a pointy spout for daintier pours (and less mess).”  See if you agree:

Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat
Vista Alegre Venezia Gravy Boat

Click here to see the rest of the Venezia dinnerware and other Vista Alegre collections.

Celebrating Halloween in Los Angeles

/ Entertain Holidays

In L.A., where we are surrounded by so many people in the (movie) industry, Halloween is serious business.

For the past several years, local artist/photographer/baker Christine McConnell has taken over her parents’ house and made it over for Halloween.  Last year, her design was inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas:”

Courtesy Christine McConnell
Inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Image Christine McConnell)

This year, she created an even more over-the-top version, inspired by “Monster House:”

Inspired by "Monster House" (courtesy Christine McConnell)
Inspired by “Monster House” (Image Christine McConnell)

Over in Beverly Hills, local real estate agent Michael Libow’s Spadena House (better known as “The Witch’s House”), is perfect for trick-or-treating. Designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver in 1920, it’s been carefully renovated and a must-visit on Halloween.

"Witch's House" in Beverly Hills (image Discover Los Angeles)
“Witch’s House” in Beverly Hills (Image Discover Los Angeles)

And of course, don’t forget the West Hollywood Carnaval, the world’s largest Halloween street party:

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (image Jonathan Moore)
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval (image Jonathan Moore)

But what if you love to party and you’re short on time?  Halloween’s easy, because you can take things you already own and just add accessories.  Here are a few ideas.

See how just one Witch Hat napkin ring transforms this black and gold setting.

Image Kim Seybert

One black skull is all you need on your console table:

Image L’Objet

Same idea on your dinner table with one white skull:

Image L’Objet

If you’ve got a few glass jars in the kitchen, fill them with candy and label them (get your candy here and  free printable label here) to create a Halloween Party “Specimen Table”:

Image Paging Supermom

And for the little ones, keep it simple with Hershey’s Kisses:

Image Sweet City Candy

Happy trick-or-treating!  Click here for more Halloween party ideas.


The Architecture of Light at The Broad Museum in Los Angeles

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How would you display one of the most coveted contemporary art collections of our time?

Eli and Edythe Broad, by now L.A.’s most famous art collectors, were so particular about how their art was to be displayed, they actually turned down just about every museum in town and commissioned their own $140-million museum by Diller Scofidio + Renfro:

The Broad Museum Downtown LA
The Broad Museum Downtown LA

When we visited The Broad last weekend, we realized that part of the reason might be how to display the art in the proper light.

Art is usually kept away from direct sun light to prevent damage.  Eli Broad knows this well: he once kept a van Gogh in a desk drawer so it wouldn’t get sun damaged.  But art shown under artificial light just looks different.  So The Broad employs a special architectural detail to show its art under perpetual indirect natural light.

Each of the openings in the ceiling and on the side of the museum, dubbed the “veil” by the architects, functions as a light cell, bringing in a small amount of natural light and casting it on a concrete surface:

Light Coming into The Broad
Light Coming into The Broad

The light from many such small concrete surfaces then add up to a bright but indirect light for the interior, dubbed the “vault”:

The Broad art space
The Broad art space

On the side of the museum, the light cells bring in the outdoor light with just glimpses of the outside world, instead of creating distractions to compete with the art:


Seen from the outside, the museum may look like a bold gesture for the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles, especially next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall:


But in fact, it is actually a perfected machine for showcasing art in the best light, thus fulfilling the Modernist creed of “Form Follows Function” to a T.



Have any of you been to The Broad?  If so, we’d love to hear what you thought!  If not, get free tickets to The Broad by clicking here.

Labor Day Sale Up to 80% Off

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We’re celebrating the end of summer with our biggest sale of the year!  Lots of pieces have been marked down to up to 80% off.

And for a limited time, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $75.

Aidan Gray Het Lo Occassional Marble Table: Reg $322.50, Now $80


Kassatex Veneto Tray Reg $29.95, Now $8

Tudor Italian Table Linens: all 75% off

Lacefield Mosaic Applique Linen Pillow, now 75% off

To view our full sale section, click here!

One Week Only – Mauviel French Cookware 40% Off

For one week only, we have selected Mauviel French cookware pieces at 40% off.   Plus, you get free shipping on all orders over $75.

Originally created for professional chefs, Mauviel has long been a standard bearer in the world of high-end cookware. Sought by professionals since 1830 for its exceptional heat control and elegant designs, Mauviel cookware is both easy to use and sure to look beautiful in your kitchen. All Mauviel products are made in France and include a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

Here are a few of our favorite collections:

Mauviel Cast Iron 5 Piece Set with Crate: Orig $902, Now $541.20

Mauviel Copper Sugar Pan: Orig $120, Now $72

Mauviel Bronze Copper Roaster: Orig $340, Now $204

Mauviel Stainless Steel Saucepan 16cm: Orig $135 Now $81

To view our entire sale section, click here!

The Perfect Glasses for Outdoor Entertaining

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Want stylish glassware that’s perfect for outdoor and the pool this summer?

Mario Luca Giusti’s acrylic glassware looks just like crystal and the colors are resistant to sunlight (acrylic will not yellow), so they’re a must-have for all your parties outdoors.  And because they are not glass, they’re great near small children or on yachts year-round.

Their yummy Lente red tumbler was recently featured in House Beautiful

Courtesy House Beautiful

And look at this gorgeous spread in Architectural Digest:


Courtesy Mario Luca Giusti
Courtesy Mario Luca Giusti

For those who want just a bit of color in their glasses, their brand new collections this year include the Rolling Stones – a collection of wine, water, and flutes in green, turquoise, blue, and red:

Rolling Stone Red Water Goblet: $24
Rolling Stone Turquoise Wine Glass: $24


Rolling Stone Green Champagne Flute: $24


Which is your favorite color?  Click here to view all our Mario Luca Giusti collections.  And for a limited time, get free shipping on any order over $75.


Free Shipping on Father’s Day Gifts

/ Gift Ideas Holidays View All

Father’s Day is less than three weeks away on Sunday, June 21st, so we thought we’d help you remember him with these thoughtful gifts for dad.  And for a limited time, enjoy free shipping on all orders over $75.

Fortuny Rabat Picture Frame

Herend Lion Figurine

Simon Pearce Large Sailboat

Christofle Albi Caviar Set


To view more Father’s Day Gifts, click here!

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