Hudson | Grace officially arrived in mid-October during Atlanta’s first cool week of fall. The double front doors were open wide beckoning visitors to step inside the highly curated world of Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton, a duo with knowledge of design and a knack for entertaining. Before joining forces in San Francisco as business partners, Monelle and Gary worked at the likes of Williams-Sonoma and GAP, respectively, and the influence of their previous careers is unmistakable in Hudson | Grace’s simple elegance. Add their Southern roots (she’s from Louisiana; he hails from Kentucky), and you can almost feel the hospitality radiating from the shop’s inky walls.
With the scent of their Savannah candle politely filling the room, Monelle and Gary give me a tour of the store. They point out their favorite products, and we talk what makes Hudson | Grace a unique addition to Atlanta. As their first cross-country venture, selecting Atlanta was based on the marriage of Hudson | Grace’s style with Westside Provisions’, the ease of travel and the desire to come back home. “We felt that because of being Southerners, we loved the hospitality, the generosity, the welcoming nature. People are so nice here,” Gary says of the decision. Monelle continues, “And they love to entertain. They love their home, and they love to entertain. As we do, too, and so it made sense. It was a little serendipitous, and it felt right.”
While Gary says the South doesn’t necessarily influence their selections and design decisions for Hudson | Grace, there is an appreciation for how the store and the region fit well together. “We were pleasantly surprised how natural the blend is. It’s beautiful, simplistic product,” he explains. “There’s a juxtaposition with the style. Some of it feels traditional, and some of it feels modern, but in the pure simplicity of everything we do, it has the ability to go from a comfy, cozy home into a glass box on top of a hillside.” This simplicity and timelessness that Gary describes is evident in nearly every product. Hudson | Grace’s selection of dinnerware and serving pieces are predominately white with a few wood accents mixed in. Their glassware carries clean lines in classic shapes, and the shop’s flatware, while available in a variety of finishes, is sleek. “We are really approachable,” Monelle insists. “We want people to come in and say ‘I’m having a dinner party,’ and we say ‘Okay, let’s get you what you need.’”
Hudson | Grace is an all but full-service entertaining package. In addition to the oodles of tableware, hostesses will delight in picking up nearly everything needed for a memorable soirée. Linen napkins? You’ll find 25 colors of oversized, generous, 100% linen napkins cut, sewn and dyed in San Francisco’s garment district. Candles for your table? Hudson | Grace carries their own line of hand-dipped candles, each one taking nearly six days to make. A signature cocktail? The store has a selection of cocktail books for your mixology knowledge. Hudson | Grace even offers their own kumquat-scented dish soap, so you can complete party clean-up in sweetly scented style.
While the entire store is a sight to behold, Southern shoppers will truly appreciate Hudson | Grace’s collection of found vintage silver and silver-plated pieces from hotels in France and England. The pieces are functional and simple, making them affordable alternatives to estate silver that can easily blend with your family heirlooms. “We want people to use them,” Monelle explains. “Use your martini shaker. Use your ice bucket. I put two-bite brownies from Whole Foods on my silver tray or fill it with ice cream sandwiches. The more you use it, the better it is.” Gary adds, “There’s no color in your home like the sparkle of silver. It’s just an incredible color.”
Of course with the holidays on the horizon, I couldn’t leave without a few expert entertaining tips from Monelle and Gary. “Mine is be prepared because a nervous hostess makes me sad. If you’re ready, you’ve got your table set, your menu, and you’ve got the right pieces, you can be prepared and have fun,” Monelle advises. And Gary, with his love for scents, says you can’t beat a gracious smell wafting through your home. “Have a scent when you walk into the house that you smell in your entry hall that’s beautifully elevated, welcoming and warm.” This season, he recommends Hudson | Grace’s holiday scent, Winter, with hints of Bay Laurel and burning wood.
This is Hudson | Grace, Westside Provisions’ latest addition where California cool meets Southern sophistication. Whether you’re looking to start a new collection of serving pieces, expand your antique silver set or find a hostess gift for a holiday gathering, Hudson | Grace is exactly where you want to shop. Monelle and Gary have selected the best of the best in entertaining, pared down the options and curated everything you need to kick-up your hostess skills this holiday season and beyond.
Hudson | Grace is located at Westside Provisions District, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit hudsongracesf.com.
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