After so many weeks at home, the mantra “fewer, better things” has become more meaningful to us than ever before. We’ve always leaned toward drilling into understanding the things and experiences that surround us, but now … with the confluence of sustainability and a strong pull to understanding who we are and what we stand for, we’ve become ever more discerning.
From the pencils we write with to the content we’re watching (fascinating to see how Ken Burns crafts his documentaries or to dive deeper into the work being done by the Gates foundation!), down to the candles we burn at night, we’re thinking about experiences in a whole new way. Is this the best we can do? And are we surrounding ourselves with the best partners in our work at Gracious Style?
Caracole, a company we started working with recently, helped me answer this question. I first became familiar with them several years ago while touring a large home in Los Angeles. It had been staged by Meridith Baer, one of the top staging firms in the city. While walking through, I noticed an extraordinary desk in one of the bedrooms, and it was obviously on a completely different level than anything else in that room. It looked fresh, but the details pointed to a more thoughtful design, so I leaned in to take a closer look: it was made by Caracole.
I dug around and learned more about the company. It was a fairly young line (founded in 2009), and I loved that their approach was modern. Modern in that they understood that furniture no longer gets purchased in sets. Modern in that details matter, from the lining of a drawer to the hardware on a cabinet to the legs on a dining chair. And modern in that anyone who owned one of these pieces would do so knowing that they’d enjoy it for years to come.
Seeing these kinds of details made me realize that Caracole would be a perfect partner for Gracious Style. Their designs are modern classics … confident but not too flashy; just a quiet attention to quality and detail at every stage, from the development, to the construction, to the presentation of a piece.
Let’s take a closer look. Beyond the choice of appropriately durable raw materials and a consistency in design – which really should go without saying with well-constructed furniture – what are the things the production team thought about when they conceived each piece?
Now take a closer peek at how the interior is lined with turquoise green and crackled gold gloss:
Here’s the Aristocrat nightstand. Notice the supple quilted leather base:
And see how this same detail is echoed inside the drawers, with a quilted fabric-lined drawer.
And take a look at the Skyline Credenza, an extraordinarily gorgeous piece on its own right:
See how the doors are cut asymmetrically so they fit together like a puzzle?
These are the meaningful touches that set Caracole apart, and that you’ll truly appreciate for years to come. So you can live with fewer, but better things.
Love this collection? See the entire Caracole range here.
We hear you … it takes effort to cook meal after meal while quarantining, so why not take the whole family outdoors and do a seaside escape?Read more
In our entire time at Gracious Style, we’ve never really come across a line that resonated quite like the one we’re about to share with you. On the surface, this Portuguese company produces charming pieces reminiscent of a simpler time, but wait until you hear how it all started, and you’ll see why it’s more relevant now than ever before.
Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro was a Portuguese cartoonist in the 19th century. He created a character called “Ze Povinho,” who personified the average Portuguese man: a rustic farm laborer who was kind to his friends and utterly disrespectful of the rich and powerful who took advantage of him. Pinheiro was also an artist who widely drew inspiration from nature.
Based in Porto, near the heart of the Portuguese textiles industry, Graccioza is one of the best kept secrets in linens. Traditionally, they specialized in private-label products for other luxury vendors, but now they’ve finally made their own collection of bath linens available directly to us. The result is a line like none other on the market today: one that uses ultra high-end raw materials, layers in technology to create some truly innovative bath products, and does so while staying away from harmful substances.
Here’s what sets Graccioza luxury bath linens apart:
1) All their towels are woven using the extra long loops of the finest Egyptian cotton . This produces towels with longer, denser threads, so the they are plusher, softer, and have more surface area to dry you off. If you are looking for the ultimate in bath linens, take a look at their Egoist and Milano collections, which feature Egyptian Cotton Giza. Traditionally, Giza is only reserved for ultrapremium shirts and bedding (like Sferra’s renowned Giza 45 percale and Giza 45 sateen), so it is extraordinary to find it in bath towels.
Like so many of you, we’ve been staying home for the past few weeks. And gradually, we’re regaining our footing: from confusion and disbelief, we quickly moved on to (over)educating ourselves, to finding out what we had to do and how we could help, to finally deciding to stop letting the news bring so much unnecessary anxiety. It’s a change, to be sure, but what a gift to be able to meditate, clear our minds, and reconnect.
We’ve become deeply grateful. For the folks who are on the front lines working to contain this virus to the restaurant workers to the supermarket employees, to the thousands of people working at utilities and sanitation and all the other services that make our cities work. And during this time, we’re also seeing lots of resiliency and optimism and learning from so many others who are dealing with their crises, and yet still go full speed ahead focused on finding solutions.
For us, here are a few ideas that have helped us remain grounded:
1. Don’t Over-News
There’s a lot of sensationalism out there today, trying to claim your eyeballs and sell advertising. Unfortunately, it’s confusing and depressing. So I’ve made it a goal to only read what I absolutely need to know, and then disconnect.
2. Connect with People
Instead of watching the news, I’ve tried to connect with the real people I know. Sometimes it’s just a text to ask how they’re doing, and sometimes I’ve video called and spoken with people I haven’t seen in a while. I was glad to have been able to make them feel better and also happy to know they cared about me too.
3. Order a Meal for a Loved One
Since I can’t go see the people I normally do, I’ve been ordering them meals through doordash or ubereats instead. It makes me feel good to be doing something for them and it helps out a local restaurant.
4. Exercise and Meditate Remotely
Even if you can’t go to your favorite gym or yoga studio, keeping up your exercise routine will give you positive energy and make you feel better. Check if your gym or instructor is doing the same. If so, join in remotely and stay healthy and in touch.
5. Watch Something Soothing
Put something soothing on your screen. Watch and relax. Find an album with old pictures and show them to your kids. Remember that the world is still a beautiful place.
6. Maintain Calm in Your Home
When everybody is together at home more than expected, set some rules for TV, noises, and just general calm. Children can learn to be respectful. So can adults. Now is a good time for us to all do so.
7. A Word about Online Shopping
Believe me, we appreciate your business and support, and so do the artisans and factories who depend on online retailers to keep their businesses open and employees paid. But if you’re worried about your job or income, don’t shop online to relieve stress, even if you see a sale or notice your neighbors stocking up. Our goal is to help make your home a soothing and calming place so you can ride out storms like this one, and there are plenty of ways to help without your buying something you don’t need.
That being said, home and travel have always been what centered us. So if you’re like us, take some time to look around your own home and see what you can do to make it better. Move things around, and rediscover a piece of art you already had. Layer in some scent. Light candles at night. Bring out a new set of sheets. Take a long bath, or curl up with a good book. We promise you will come out ahead.
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