Grace Atwood is the founder of The Stripe. She now lives in Charleston, SC with her cat, Tyrion, after 15 years of living in New York. She is an avid reader, especially loving thrillers and non-fiction.
Born out of Grace’s natural passion for sharing her favorite things, The Stripe is a lifestyle blog, with a focus upon fashion, beauty, personal style, books, wellness, and travel. For as long as she can remember, she’s been obsessed with all things fashion and beauty… and talking about them with whoever will listen. Since its inception in January 2010, The Stripe boasts over 50 million page views.
Grace grew up on Cape Cod and is happiest by the water. She never met a striped tee she didn’t need to have. Her favorite things include a bottle of red wine and a cheese plate (split with close friends of course), her family (she’s the oldest child and has two sisters), her cat Tyrion, yoga, reading, running, stripes, collecting art and vintage furniture.
We fell in love with Grace’s style and attention to detail - plus she has fabulous manners - so do read on to learn more about this charming woman. Just when we thought we couldn’t love her more, Grace lent her talents to us and created 3 signature Electragram designs. Preview them here!
How would you describe your entertaining style?
Prepared. Is that a style? I prepare a lot beforehand so that I can relax when everyone arrives. I can be a little bit anxious so I find that if I do all the work ahead of time before my guests arrive, it takes the edge off! For example, if I am throwing a brunch, I'll make a strata or overnight french toast the night before. Pre-mixing a signature cocktail ahead of time is another good one, and for a cocktail hour I will prepare a big grazing board with meats, cheeses, crackers, and veggies.
Besides preparing like crazy, I like to infuse a little bit of glamour into my environment. I have a pretty massive glassware collection and love for each guest to have their own special glass. I dim the lights, light a few candles. A killer playlist. And it's always nice to have a cozy fire roaring in my living room.
Where can one find you on the weekend? I am happiest at home, be it hosting family dinner, having friends over for porch cocktails or a movie night, or curling up on my couch with a good book. I am home a LOT, and like it that way. But if I am not, I am usually out and about at one of Charleston's many restaurants. We have such a great food scene here. My personal favorites are the bar at The Peninsula Grill for a martini and a steak, Chubbyfish for their caviar sammie and many crudos, or Chez Nous for its changing menu that is always wonderful.
What is the most memorable piece of correspondence you’ve received? I think it would be a party invitation that came with a martini making kit, warning that there would be more martinis to come! It was a pretty box with a small bottle of vodka, a vial of vermouth, a vial of olive juice, and a miniature jar of olives. So creative. On a more simple note, I love any time I receive an actual piece of mail or a handwritten note.
What is a past tradition you wish would come back? I recently read an article about "The Lord of Misrule." Of course, the concept needs edits, but I love the general idea. It was a court tradition hundreds of years ago in Britain. A peasant would be crowned "Lord of Misrule" and for the twelve days of Christmas he/she would be a ringleader of rowdiness... temporarily lording over the real lords and nobles. This "master of ceremonies" would be in charge of inciting rowdy behavior, making the nobles drink more wine, etc. I am not saying that we should bring back British court or the caste system, but it certainly could be fun to crown a Lord of Misrule at your next dinner party! I'm picturing everyone drinking from metal goblets and the Lord getting a silly crown.
Never show up empty handed. This is an obvious one, but even if the host says not to bring something, I'll always bring a nice bottle of wine, flowers, or a little gift. My latest obsession has been Rebecca Gardner's site Houses & Parties for all things party related. Be it amazing glassware or tabletop items, party favors, or hostess gifts, they have it all (and it's chic, chic, chic!) And for wine, right now I am loving a chilled red or something sparkling!
If you are hostessing, wear something comfortable (like a fabulous kaftan and a lower heel). If you are not comfortable, you won't have fun, and energy is contagious: your guests won't be comfortable either!
Put your phone away! It's fine to capture photos but I take mine out to snap a photo and away it goes. I always want to be present with my loved ones, rather than scrolling or emailing.