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

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.

Easy Does It: Chic Entertaining with Paper Plates and Napkins

We all have our favorite linen napkins and hand painted dinnerware.  But sometimes you have a lot of guests or a crowd shows up for a last-minute pool party (hey, we live in L.A.), and it’s gracious to never fuss when you entertain. 

Those are perfect times to use paper napkins and acrylic.  The good news is that you can still do it stylishly. We love making our friends feel special, so here are a few of our tried-and-true tips for entertaining with paper:

  1. Mix and match your table settings. If your plates have an intricate motif, pick up the colors in your napkins or glassware. Or, if you are using plain dinnerware, choose a festive napkin to commemorate a special occasion.
  2. Layer your settings. Whether you lay simple placemats, or chargers, or a tablecloth underneath, layers help bring color and dimension to your table.
  3. Don’t skimp on table decorations. Try greenery from your garden or fruit from the market or a few candles sprinkled throughout … it all helps.
  4. Use paper napkins effectively. Place them near your beverage and hors d’oeuvre stations, but also use them to line any clear bowls you might have. For example, parfaits served in coupe bowls can be beautifully presented on top of cocktail napkins.
  5. The grand finale: make sure your plates complement your dessert. We all look forward to indulging a little at the end, so think about what you’re serving and dress it up accordingly.

Keeps things simple, and get to work on that new drink you are dying to try out. Let’s get the party started.

Rattan round dark natural placemats, Tortoise flatware, Chinese Ceramic paper plates, and Acrylic cobalt wine goblets
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The Details: Everything You Need for a Seaside Escape at Home

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?

Kim Seybert’s Seaside Escape
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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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The Father’s Day Edit: Nine Gifts Dad Will Actually Use

We know it’s been hard to keep track of time these days, but Father’s Day is coming up soon (June 21st this year), so we’re here to help you out.

1. Brand new from Simon Pearce (it was literally developed by their VP of design while quarantining), this handcrafted glass phone/tablet holder is perfect for dad’s office or in the kitchen, so he can go hands-free while whipping up a new recipe.  A good companion to the Woodbury desk clock.

Simon Pearce Woodbury Tablet/Phone Holder

Simon Pearce Woodbury Tablet/Phone Holder

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