STYLISH SPONSOR WELCOME: GRACIOUS STYLE

by Marisa Marcantonio

I have long admired the incredible depth of assortment California-based Carolina Con has on her luxurious, tabletop-laden home decor website, Gracious Style. When she said she wanted to become a Stylebeat sponsor, I knew it would be a great fit-- she has a steady eye and the ability to find items that are useful as well as beautiful. To introduce you to her great sense of style, here is a round-up of items for the table that will see you through the holidays, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and all the parties in between. I chose an autumnal palette of greens and browns, with mixed metal accessories for good measure. May your table sparkle as brightly as the family and friends around it.

Photos courtesy of Gracious Style

Bring old-world influence to the table with Juliska's Firenze stoneware patterned china, where a marbleized pattern like those found on Florentine end-papers is designed large-scale in shades of pistachio green and brown.

Tiny canape plates serve multiple functions, from plating appetizers to small amuse bouche.  Juliska's  Firenze pattern can do the job, and also be used on the dinner table, as a saucer for a ramekin of cranberry sauce at each guest's placesetting.

The matte gold finish of Herdmar's Rocco flatware adds a subtle glamour to the table, dressing it up. The finish does not tarnish, so it can easily be used everyday.

Sferra's Filetto napkins in linen with contrasting borders and hemstitch detail in rich wintry hues.

This bird can keep you big bird company-- birds of a feather. Intricately detailed gold placecard holders from L'Objet have crystal eyes and comes in a set of 6.

Salt and pepper shakers are a must, so why not get some that are a conversation starter? Little pewter and wood acorn S and P shakers from Vagabond house are just too cute. For those of you that would rather not gather around a table with your wacky relatives (I am looking forward to it, I'm happy to report), here's a topic: how many variety's of Oak trees are there?

Thinking about Thanksgiving may have you pining for some Americana, so Vietri's splatter ware platter fits in perfectly.

Don't be afraid to mix metals on the table, it is almost impossible to have everything match, and the mix is much more interesting. A classic pitcher can earn its keep year round, and I especially like this lidded version from Vagabond House. Pewter accents make it more interesting than just glass or crystal, and the decorative handle makes something functional pretty.

I have never met a hurricane I didn't like. They keep the table from wax drips, cast a beautiful reflection, and the candlelight makes everyone look their best. In keeping with the classic silhouette Match's Convertible Hurricane with pewter base and ball feet can hold tapers or a wide candle.

A CROCKERY PURE AND SIMPLE: ARTIST MAX LAMB'S FINE BONE CHINA

by Marisa Marcantonio

I love what modern British artist Max Lamb has created for 1882 Ltd, Johnson Brother's Stoke on Trent-based bone china manufacturer. The name comes from the year the company was founded, and it celebrates the Johnson Brother's ceramics heritage. Pushing forward with innovation and a new modern sensibility, this distinctly British brand, part of Wedgwood, captured an entirely new audience with the addition of Lamb's pure white Crockery designs. Both naive and modern, the bowls, jug and mug have a stone age quality to them.  Not only do they bring about a smile, they are substantial, simple and not too precious looking, which is kind of cool for a material that is usually fairly dainty. They would look fantastic in a modern kitchen with open shelving, or paired with an old, well worn farm table. Made from molds carved by Lamb, the Crockery goes through a traditional crafting process to achieve the desired results. The collection is being carried at one of my favorite modern incubators, Garde in LA. 

 Photos courtesy of 1882 Ltd and Garde

The Crockery mold

Matte and smooth make a nice juxtaposition

 The Jug

 The Mug

 The Large Shallow Bowl

The Deep Bowl

ROUND AND ROUND: CONTEMPORARY POTTERY FROM SOUTH AFRICA'S POTTER'S WORKSHOP

by Marisa Marcantonio

Wonderful, textural dots don the surfaces of the artistic South African pottery made by Potter's Workshop. Utilizing the talents of skilled artisans, the Cape Town-based pottery studio was started in 1991, by Chris Silverston. What began as a craft done by women she expanded, as she began teaching Xsoha men the art of glazing pottery in a fresh new way.  It is a touching story, how she taught a group of people to embrace art that may never have been exposed to it before. They are now true artisans. Brightly saturated glazes and precise, detailed patterns decorate serving pieces in light-hearted, joyous way. The studio now employs 23 people that create the beautiful,  elaborately detailed glazed bowls and dishes for which they have gained a devoted following.  You can find Potter's Workshop designs at Aero Studio in New York City,  Design Solutions in New Canaan, CT, and more stores found on their website. A modern take on age - old medium has reinvigorated the art form, making it part of the contemporary South African design scene today.

The Large Bowl with concentric blue and orange rings and complex graphic patterns.

An Oval Fruit Bowl makes a great display and serving piece, it is so intricate and detailed.

The Tulip Dinner and Salad Plate in rich blue and red glazes

Intricately painted Nut Bowls with a linear dot pattern.

Poppy Pudding Bowls in psychedelic prints

Poppy Bowls with dots and intricate patterns

Ramekins painted to resemble individual blooms

A tiny flower vessel, the Inca Bowl