A Gracious Easter – Ideas For The Perfect Table

Easter Table Spring Decor

Easter is quickly approaching!  We think this holiday is the perfect occassion to celebrate Spring, share time and a lovely meal with your loved ones, and decorate the house!   The highlight of a Easter celebration can be a beautifully decorated table.  This is the space you gather around, to share a meal, to talk, to be together – so make it beautiful.

We’ve been inspired this Easter season, and these are our five ideas to create a beautiful table setting for Easter.

1. Mix and Match Your China

What a fun way to show off your dishes!  Create a combination of solid color, geometrical pattern and botanical prints for a bright and beautiful table setting.  We especially love delicate floral blossoms on plates and pastel colored stemware.

Easter China

2. Bring Out The Silver

Silver gets a bad reputation for being a pain to polish, but it is well worth the effort for holiday occasions.  We find that silver candlesticks go beautifully with springtime colors.  How gorgeous is this serving dish with a lid?  We can just see it holding a delicious side dish, or maybe a brunch casserole.

Silver Serving Ware

3. Pretty Vintage Accents

For the perfect tablescape, the details, no matter how small, set apart the amateur tables from the experts.  We love a table full of treasures to be uncovered.  We’ve found porcelain duckling figurines to tuck between bowls or in floral arrangements.  We came across ornate flower figurines in various sizes, which look great around the table, perhaps on top of a candleholder.  Vintage paper Easter eggs, with sweet pictures are our favorite Easter decoration; a bowl filled with pretty eggs like this would make a great centerpiece.

Porcelain Chick       Vintage Flower       Vintage Egg

4. Don’t Forget the Linens

The small details and beautiful accent pieces that you select for your table are important – but don’t neglect the basis – great linen!  We love ornately embroidered placemats and napkins, in beautiful pastel shades.  Vintage linens are the way to go – they really don’t make them like they used to!

Ornate Linen Detail       DSC_0084       Vintage Linen


5. Fun Cocktail Napkins

Serve appetizers, drinks or dessert alongside a colorful and fun cocktail napkin.  It’s the small finishing touches that can really add the extra pizzaz to your party.  We loved these bird on a twig design, because they work perfectly for Easter, and can still be appropriate throughout the rest of the season!

Cocktail Napkins

How will you be decorating your home and table this year for your Easter celebration?


The Tea Party Recap!

Silver Tea Set

Our tea party was a huge success!  We polished up our silver and our porcelain tea cups and brought out the best girl scout cookies for the occasion.


Then, in true tea party tradition, we brought out our favorite vintage necklaces, pins, earrings and broches.  So many beautiful, shiny things.


Isn’t vintage jewelry fun?


Of course it wouldn’t be a proper tea party without delicate white gloves.  In case anyone forgot any, we had spares…


And we had everything to properly dress the tables!  We showed off our best vintage linens.  Look at the detail on that embroidery!


The tea party also featured some fabulous vintage purses:


And to compliment the vintage jewelry, we showed off our new stuff, too!  Jules of Jules Accessory Design was in store, showing off her latest collection.



Thank you to all who made it out for this fun event!  See the full album of photos on our Facebook Page.  Our next event is our Garden Party, on April 27th.  Stay tuned, more details to come!

All My Chairs

Long before we opened the store, I was a vintage shopper. I went to auctions, sought out estate sales, and never passed a garage sale without stopping. I was always buying things I had no use for just because they were beautiful and fabulous. I’m not talking about needing things, I just couldn’t stand seeing them all forlorn and dusty and unloved.

Fast forward to Gracious, and now I can ‘rescue’ all these things, bring them to the store, and know that one of our wonderful customers will feel the same way and take them home and give them the love and respect they deserve!

Since I now basically shop for a living, I thought I would have a really hard time letting go of all the treasures I find. Amazingly, this hasn’t turned out to be true. It turns out I feel more like a matchmaker, ‘adopting’ these treasures out . But that doesn’t mean we don’t keep things. OK, I keep more than Deirdre. I am in the too much is just enough school of thought, whereas Deirdre is the less is more type. In fact, if I can get Deirdre to keep something, I know I have really found something good!  I remember bringing in some vintage gold bamboo cocktail forks, opening the box to show her, and her saying don’t bother putting those in inventory. Score!

On the other hand, some lovely Japanese temple lamps, some stag handled silverware, a silverplate ‘egg’, a couple of fine oil paintings and some turquoise Chinese dogwood plates have all found their way to my home. But the main problem I have seems to be chairs. I don’t really need to have another chair in my living room. But for some reason, I tend to bring chairs home, mainly because they are fabulous and I’d like to have them around. Here are some of the contenders that I have considered:

The Scalamandre Louis Chairs:

The Scalamandre Louis Chairs:

The fabric on these chairs blew me away. I purchased them at a wonderful old Lake Washington home that I loved. They were a bright yellow, with greens and a touch of coral. Now I have none of these colors in my living room, but I have never been afraid of mixing colors or patterns. But as much as I tried, I could not make these work. There were three of them. One is rocking a bedroom in Laurelhurst, and the other two are head chairs at a dining table.

The Green Grecian Toile Chair:
Grecian Toile Chair

I picked up this chair in a lovely Highlands home. Again, it was the fabric. The scale was right, but the toile was way too white. It sat in my living room for a full two weeks before I was able to accept that. But I loved it so much! It now sits in my Mother’s Bainbridge Island home and I visit it often.

The Unusual Asian Toile Chair:

Asian Toile Chair

I picked this up nearby. It has been in my living room for about a week now.  Again the fabric is great. This time the fabric totally works with my room, but the size is all wrong. It wants to be in a bedroom or smaller den. Not my living room. I can finally accept that. It will be showing up at Gracious as soon as I can let it go.

What chairs have you loved?

The Gracious Tea Party

Gracious Tea Party

You are cordially invited to join us on Saturday, March 9th for our annual tea party and trunk show!

What: We will be featuring lovely vintage, designer and new jewelry, purses and linens.  Join us for a cup of tea and browse great selections of fun vintage purses, jewelry, linens and new jewelry by Jules!  We’ll be serving up a nice tea, and of course you can keep the porcelain tea cup!

When: Saturday, March 9th, from 11am – 6pm

Where: The Gracious Store

(206) 525-5300

2920 NE Blakeley Street, Suite C
Seattle, Washington 98105

RSVP on Facebook.

See you all there!


Buying Vintage – The Best Way to Shop

Here at Gracious, we chose to go into this business not only for our love of beautiful homes, and unique, vintage designs, but for a deeper life philosophy.  We believe that decorating homes with vintage, repurposed furniture is the best option for our planet, our economy, and most importantly, our homes.  We want to share why we have a passion for vintage furnishings.

Here are our top five reasons to buy vintage:

1. Quality and Scale 
The Coral DresserVintage furniture was made before the time of mass production, and it’s undeniable – they don’t make ’em like they used to!  People assume “oh this is an antique, it’s fragile.”  Really?  It’s been around for 75+ years, and I guarantee the cheap chair or table you have won’t be around that long!  Many of our furniture items were crafted by artisans, who put love into the creation every detail.  Their high quality has already withstood the test of time, and will continue to shine with age.

Most furniture produced today is oversized.  Furniture that was created in the mid-twentieth century, perhaps around the same time your house was built, is scaled appropriately.  A large couch might not seem enormous when displayed in a spacious show room, but how disappointing to return home with a new purchase only to realize that the sofa makes the rest of your furniture appear tiny, in comparison.  Gracious sets up vignettes in our store to give realistic, scaled demonstrations of how a piece of furniture will fit into your home.

2. Replace “The Placeholder” 

Admit it, you have one.  That table, chair, lamp, or piece of furniture that fills a space, but does no more.  “It’s fine,” you  Green Decorative Mirror
tell yourself, but why not fill that space with a piece that you really love?  When building a home, it takes time to finalize a room, which is why we have carefully selected beautiful furnishings that are often the perfect missing piece that you’ve been searching for.

We believe you should love every piece of furniture in your home, and strive to create this, one unique purchase at a time.

3. Conversation Pieces 

How many homes have you visited that look like page 43 of the Ikea catalogue, with a dash of Pottery Barn?

In our store and homes, we can tell you a story behind each piece of furniture.  We have a love for hunting down unique items that no one else has, and that can’t be bought at Pottery Barn.  We love pieces with character, that speak to us individually, not to the masses.

4. Ethical Business, Locally 

Unique throw pillowsWe often hear customers say: “I could buy a similar pillow at Target, so why should I pay more to buy one here?”

To this we reply; yes, Target does have cheaper throw pillows.  Unlike Target, our throw pillows are made locally, here in Washington, where labor costs are fairly compensated.  The small price difference from the wallet represents the real cost of local production  We carry pillows made from designer fabric which often costs $100+ per yard.  Since we seek out these fabrics at a bargain, we are able to sell them much less expensively.  These are the kinds of pillows we can rest our heads upon and sleep soundly.

5. The Green Thing

The main reason to buy vintage, repurposed furnishings is simple: the world is already full of beautiful things that have already been created, so why buy something new?

We believe that repurposed furnishings bring more character and style into your home, while conserving the planet’s resources, and creating a unique home that expresses your individual personality.

We hope you’ll come visit us, when in the market for home decor and furnishings.

If This Chattel Could Chat: The French Butcher Block

Serious shoppers might understand this phenomenon:

Usually, when we go searching for new treasures for the store, we focus on finding the items that people need most.  People are always looking for that perfect chair to be the finishing touch in their living room, or that unique table to fill in that awkward space in the entryway.  We get up early, wait in lines in the rain, and sift through piles of ‘unfortunate’ items to find what we think our clients are looking for, and these are usually more practical things we think we will sell quickly.

But sometimes, when on the hunt for one of our carefully selected furnishings, a less conventional piece catches the eye.  Sometimes we encounter an article that speaks so loudly to us, and tells us a story that captivates us.  Sometimes, we have to get a piece not for its practicality, or usefulness, but out of sheer love for the beauty of the object.

This is the best part of the job: the satisfying reward of a search through the mundane furnishings of the world, to find something beautiful and special.  When we find something so unique, we buy with our hearts, not our heads.  Thankfully, we are in the fortunate position to be able to fill our store with furniture that we truly love.

This was the case of The French Butcher Block, we loved it instantly.  We had to have it.

The French Butcher Block

Our Butcher Block is  large, sturdy, ancient.  It takes us back in history, two hundred years ago, where perhaps it resided in a large manor home, or in a butcher shop.  We like to imagine the butcher, with his long apron, standing behind it while he worked.  The wood has been used and worn into a beautiful character piece, sanded down by time and use.  The solid wood is in phenomenal condition and is just as strong and stable as it was the day it was created.

Today we could see it being repurposed as a  island with a marble or glass top, where it’s beautiful wood can be the ultimate standout accessory in a stylish kitchen.  Or perhaps it could greet customers if repurposed as a sturdy and striking reservation desk at a restaurant.  We can see it being used as a eye-catching cocktail table, on display in a dining or living room.

As of now, the French Butcher Block stands in our store, waiting to be united with an owner who connects with it, and then displayed in a home or business in need of the ultimate accent piece.

This is the best part of the job, finding furniture that inspires us: furniture with a history worthy of conversation, and with style that translates two centuries later.  Is it talking to you?

Vintage Furniture and Decor

Gracious has all of the beautiful details to make your house a home.  We carry carefully selected, high-quality, vintage furnishings to reflect your personality.  More than a store, we offer professional consultations and styling services.