Store Spotlight: Scandinavian Grace

July 9, 2009 Katja Presnal

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design

And the skies opened up.

The Scandinavian design skies that is.

I visited the Scandinavian Grace store in Catskills, in Shokan, New York. It’s a good two hour drive from the city in the weekend traffic, but it’s worth it, just for a fun shopping trip and a Sunday drive. The Scandinavian flags welcomed me in the front, including my Finnish flag on the corner of the building, which looked like an old gas station with a repair shop, now pained bright blue with contrasting black window sides.

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design

As I step in, a tray with a navigational nautical map of archipelago of Stockholm speaks to me in such volumes on the bottom of the shelf, that I need to hurry in to the store before anyone sees the home sickness in my eyes.

The store quickly makes me feel like I was back home. Marimekko’s fabrics hang from the ceiling (I want to take them all home) and Iittala’s glassware makes me miss my childhood home. Ah, what a nostalgic day trip – an hour from our home to piece of Scandinavia right in the middle of the Catskills. I take photos like a paparazzi, and the store owners stop me, making sure I am not an industrial spy, planning on opening a competing shop nearby. Oh, I wish!

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design

Once I get the owners to believe me that I only would open such a beautiful store if I won the lottery, which is highly unlikely, since I never even buy tickets, they start telling me about their fairly new flagship store that opened last winter. Fredrik Larsson and James Anthony opened the first Scandinavian Grace store in Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, and now expanded their business with this new location.

You can tell that these two men have passion for Scandinavian design, and we soon find a common ground, talking about our favorite stores in Helsinki, and about scouting for vintage Arabia dishes from eBay. And about their fabulous store, which gets nice amount of visitors from the city, as it is such a peaceful place to come and hang out for a day from the busy city. As we speak, a couple walks in greeting the owners in Swedish saying they drove in from NYC to check out the store, and I continue shopping and looking around.

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design
James Anthony and Fredrik Larsson

Scandinavian Grace has a very good collection of design from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, and even from Iceland. The products they offer are the basic building blocks of Scandinavian homes, design & quality that lasts for centuries, art-like objects, with very common functions.

On the back right corner of the store there is also a section of second-hand furniture. I really like the idea of offering the vintage pieces as well, but the section looks a little miss-matched to the rest of the store. If I really had my own store, and offered both old and new pieces, I would mix them so people can see how you can mix what you already might even have with new things from the store, and how you can incorporate even maybe the flea market and garage sale finds with expensive designer pieces. The owners told me they change the look inside the store often, so maybe next time they will mix some old and new – like in real homes.

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design

My friend Stephanie walks in, and I thank her for telling me about Scandinavian Grace and meeting us for a Sunday afternoon coffee. And even if you are not looking for designer home furnishing for your home, Scandinavian Grace is worth the stop just for the coffee, Scandinavian cookies, and tosca cake (almond cake, I must share the recipe some day, so easy, and so good).

scandinavian grace, scandinavian homes, scandinavian design

While there are so many of my favorite items in Scandinavian Grace, I picked two favorites today.

The simplicity but functionality of the Block Lamp by Design House Stockholm, designed by Harri Koskinen and the Cookie Stand by Asplund, designed by Stina Sandwall both represent Scandinavian design to the tee.

SCANDINAVIAN GRACE, BUTIK & KAFÉ
2866 State Route 28, Shokan, NY 12481

You can also shop online

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Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work.Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (0)

  1. Great article Katja! I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian design. I just stumbled on the Williamsburg store this morning with glee and could easily have lightened my wallet by $500 if it had been heavy by that much in the first place. The Sarpaneva Cast Iron Casserole…OMG!

    My only disappointment was that the shop was so small. Then the friendly shop guy told me about the Catskills location. I was hoping to make a day trip to the park and tie it in with a visit to the shop but the area doesn’t seem accessible by train (I’m a long-term tourist). Oh well. I’ll have to wait until I’m back in Helsinki. Your new place looks fabulous by the way!
    [rq=143210,0,blog][/rq]Hijiki: Death by Seaweed?

  2. Marja

    Hello! Aivan mahtava koti-ikävä varmasti iski, siis niin ihanan näköinen putiikki. Luin omastasi että olette muuttamassan juuri vannottuasi ettette muuta ;) Onnea muuttoon, joka teiltä menee jo rutiinilla. Halauksin Marja & pojat

  3. Katja, I love this post! You captured this special place wonderfully, I hope James and Frederik see it, they should be very pleased. I’ve now made Scandinavian Grace our official coffee pitstop every Sunday aftrnoon when we’re making our way (reluctantly) back home from West Kill to real life in NJ. For any other weekenders making the same trek, they’re open till 7 pm on Sundays and the coffee’s always fresh!
    [rq=50834,0,blog][/rq]Vacation All I Ever Wanted…

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