With years of retail and product design experience, Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton teamed up to create Hudson Grace, a home and entertaining store that first opened in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood. Also available online, Hudson Grace has just ventured across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County, CA where they have opened in The Marin Country Mart. Not content to just open a new store, they also just launched a signature fragrance, designed by Gary, that is “a luxurious blend of Mexican tuberose, Indian jasmine, and Moroccan orange flower.” Plus, just for the holidays Hudson Grace is offering custom wreaths. We’re excited to share a tour of the new Hudson Grace to inspire your holiday entertaining.
You both have extensive retail management experience but starting something new of your own is a leap of faith. What inspired you to start Hudson Grace?
Monelle: We both have traveled extensively, and saw the need to buy beautiful, original European products that have the ability to become heirlooms. We saw a niche for a small intimate store with impeccable service, selling original products, from artisans and small manufactures.
How would you describe the Hudson Grace style?
Gary: Our products are very simplistic and pure, sometimes with a touch of ornamentation and a bit of whimsy. They have the ability to go into a classic, comfy, and cozy home or go into a modern space because of the simple silhouette of their form.
Monelle: We both live this way, yet we both love the same product. You can find antique silver in Gary’s stark modern home and you can find the same, as well as a beautiful white ceramic bowls, in my home of eclectic abundance.
Great design can transform any space. Tell us about the design of your new shop. What’s your favorite part?
Gary: The stunning ceiling height.
Monelle: The windows – you feel like you are outside looking through the wide doors and huge windows. We both love the size of the store. It allows us to have a “controlled edited assortment” – solely about entertaining. We love seeing the water, we love the trees, and that people can reach us by car or ferry. The weather is wonderful in Marin and our customers in both of our locations are simply fantastic.
Your business is all about curating the home. What do you feel makes a house a home?
Gary: The hospitality that generously flows without hesitation – the love of receiving guests, be it friends or family.
The holidays are upon us so it is the season for entertaining. What do you recommend for our readers as they prepare?
1. Plenty of light. A house sparkles in light- at night, in direct light, candle light, the fireplace, all light. Light adds warmth.
2. Mix old and new. Combine your collections with your latest find, be it furniture, objects or even books – we both love books!
3. Be irreverent with your table setting – select oversized dramatic pieces such as beautiful glassware and colorful linens.
And don’t forget when entertaining – generosity, lots of wine, food and …more is more!