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It’s All in the Details: How Caracole Creates Extraordinary Furniture Pieces

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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?

At Caracole, so many minute details come into play. For example, take a look at “At Water’s Edge,” one of their consoles tables.

Caracole “At Water’s Edge” Console

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:

Caracole “Aristocrat” Nightstand in Nightfall

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:

Caracole “Skyline” Credenza

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.

Bordallo Pinheiro: Why this 19th Century Portuguese Artist is More Relevant Than Ever Today

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.

Bordallo Pinheiro’s Ze Povinho (Wikipedia)

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What Makes Graccioza Bath Linens So Extraordinary?

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.

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Don’t Ever Grow Old: A Charming Nursery Collection from Instagram Darling Gray Malin

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One of the happiest things you can do is create a room for a little one. And whether you have kids or are just constantly surrounded by them (ahem … you’re a grandparent, so you’re doing the school run again), it’s important to create an environment that is cheerful but also timeless.  Too often, kids’ rooms have to be redone after a few years, but with a little planning, it’s easy to avoid this by just sticking with classic patterns and colors.

Instagram darling Gray Malin, who first shot to fame with his pictures of pools and beaches around the world, has hit it out of the park with his new collection of furnishings based on his shots of animals prancing around his favorite hotel, the Parker Palm Springs.  Malin, who recently had twins with his husband Jeff, knows what it’s like to think like a child and truly create magic.

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Inspired by Nature: Elegant Entertaining with TarHong’s Acrylic and Melamine Dinnerware

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Have you seen the latest in melamine dinnerware?  Many of the newest collections from Los Angeles-based TarHong are inspired by natural materials, so they’re perfect for indoor dining.

Escape to the wine country with the Marin and French Oak melamine collections:


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Always On Vacation: Fine Art Photographer Gray Malin

Living in Los Angeles, we can’t help being drawn to anything that reminds us to spend more time outdoors.  And whether it’s in Beverly Hills or Lake Como, images of folks on vacation always make us smile.

Gray Malin and his fine art photographs will do the same for you.  The series which shot him to fame, Prada Marfa, is Marfa, Texas (known for its modern art installations) like you’ve never seen it:

Rainbow Cowboy Hats I (Prada Marfa) by Gray Malin

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Why Are You Seeing Enamelware Everywhere?

If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s or went camping as a kid, chances are, you’re familiar with enamelware.  And like so many things from that era (Gucci, anyone?), it’s hip again.  It’s loved by the editors of food52, popping up all over Instagram, and being used in countless outdoor weddings.

Splatter Blue and White Enamelware

Today, enamelware feels as appropriate in the Adirondacks as it does in a condo in Brooklyn.  Why?  Because it’s functional.  But it’s also urban and rural; universal in the best sense.

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Meet the Maker: Stunning Portuguese Flatware from Cutipol

Last year, we traveled to Portugal, and the trip was a revelation.  The country, which for years was ruled by the Estado Novo dictatorship, is now in the midst of a spectacular design renaissance.  Everywhere you see the contrast between traditional Portuguese buildings festooned with centuries-old tiles and clean, modern design.  There’s also a move to bring the country into the future, but there are strong traces of a Portuguese point of view.

Here’s an example.  At the Six Senses in Douro Valley, one of the hotels where we stayed, they carefully renovated an existing manor house from the 19th century to minimize the impact on the hills and the surrounding villages.

So while the exterior looks like this …

Exterior of the Six Senses Douro Valley

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What to Know About RabLabs Products

Which materials are used in RabLabs designs?

RabLabs designs are created using semi-precious gemstones, combined with pure silver, 24k gold, and rose gold. They also utilize materials like stainless steel, plated metals, and glass.  These materials are chosen to last forever, and to retain their quality for generations to come.  Each piece is unique, because of the materials, and the variation in the designs. Read more

Why You Need A Rock Star At Home: RabLabs’ Anna Rabinowicz

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One of my favorite things about meeting new people is hearing their stories.  I especially love hearing about people like designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who started doing one thing, moved on to something else, and then finally took all those pieces together and ended up creating something that’s unique to him.

So when I found out that RabLabs founder Anna Rabinowicz went from designing prosthetics to working with gemstones, my ears were piqued.  How did that happen?

RabLabs Founder Anna Rabinowicz (courtesy RabLabs)

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