Tabletop Design In A Tiny Space In Wainscott - 27 East


Residence / 1378660

Tabletop Design In A Tiny Space In Wainscott

icon 10 Photos
Berry bowls and more. STEVEN STOLMAN

Berry bowls and more. STEVEN STOLMAN

Gary McNatton and Monelle Totah STEVEN STOLMAN

Gary McNatton and Monelle Totah STEVEN STOLMAN

Disposable cloth napkins STEVEN STOLMAN

Disposable cloth napkins STEVEN STOLMAN

Can't live without? STEVEN STOLMAN

Can't live without? STEVEN STOLMAN

Another hostess gift idea. STEVEN STOLMAN

Another hostess gift idea. STEVEN STOLMAN

Disposable cloth napkins in a rainbow of colors. STEVEN STOLMAN

Disposable cloth napkins in a rainbow of colors. STEVEN STOLMAN



Cutlery to candles. STEVEN STOLMAN

Cutlery to candles. STEVEN STOLMAN

Wooden bowls. STEVEN STOLMAN

Wooden bowls. STEVEN STOLMAN

Berry bowl.

Berry bowl.

author on Jul 9, 2016

By Steven Stolman

She’s a petite dynamo, the daughter of a Louisiana restaurateur who freely admits that she graduated from LSU with a degree in partying. He’s a soft-spoken Kentucky gentleman who studied design and psychology at Vanderbilt in Nashville. They found their respective ways to San Francisco to work for iconic American retailers—she for Williams-Sonoma, he for The Gap Inc. They met at a gift show, and the rest is history.

For Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton, the affable owners of Hudson Grace, a newcomer to the Hamptons home décor scene, this summer has proven to be an enormous leap of faith that started with one question: Would East Enders take to a decidedly California vibe? After all, what plays in Montecito doesn’t necessarily translate to Montauk. But the answer has been a resounding “yes,” even in the increasingly crowded space of highly curated, artisanal tableware.

Indeed, design professionals and casual shoppers alike have been crowding into the tiny Wainscott shop that is little more than a vestibule within the Serena & Lily Beach Market. The assortment is subtle: an array of white ceramic platters and bowls, flatware, glassware, table linens, wooden cutting boards and the ubiquitous lineup of bespoke scented candles in bell jars. But what heft… what fragrance! Nothing is common to the touch, everything is tactile. And the scents are intoxicating.

You ask yourself, “How can I possibly live without this ingenious berry bowl?”

“I was the director of Chambers [the first retailer to bring European hotel"-style bedding to the American consumer] when Gary poached me to start Banana Republic Home,” said Ms. Totah. “After five years, I returned to Williams-Sonoma as vice president of design for Williams-Sonoma Home, heading up all tabletop design."

For his part, during his eight-year tenure as senior vice president, Mr. McNatton grew The Gap Inc.’s personal-care business into a $200 million entity. His products and fragrances have consistently won industry awards.

As big as those businesses were, Hudson Grace, which premiered in San Francisco in 2012 and has grown to include five California locations, could not be more intimate. “Chuck Williams taught me about authenticity and originality, and guided me to always go to the source," said Ms. Totah of the founder of Williams-Sonoma.

And if you’ve never thought that a salad bowl needed to be authentic, you’ve never owned a Hudson Grace salad bowl. Seemingly carved from some majestic tree trunk, the bowls beg to be rubbed with garlic and salt and anointed with artisanal olive oils and vinegars before you add the kind of baby lettuces that Babe Paley was famous for serving at her dinner parties. Could glasses this thin and sparkling clear hold up to today’s rosé-swilling Hamptonites? You betcha.

Ms. Totah proudly hoisted a monolithic cutting board: “It’s perfect for cheeses,” she instructed. And she’s right—cheese undoubtedly tastes better when served from something that looks like it was reclaimed from Noah’s ark.

“There’s a comfort in holding something beautiful and chunky and not at all delicate,” Mr. McNatton said. “We go for things that are meant to be worn, to be used, to be loved.”

When a friend of Ms. Totah and Mr. McNatton’s was named CEO of Serena & Lily, the conversation of shop-in-shops began. “We were thrilled,” said Ms. Totah. “We only do tabletop, and our simple purity balances with their decorative patterns and prints.” Yet, for all the painstaking perfection of Hudson Grace’s offerings, the prices are unexpectedly gentle. The must-have berry bowl is a mere $38, less than your typical Hamptons berries … a cunning glass match striker filled with just the right wooden matches is $24.

This is hostess gift heaven. We all know about those disposable cloth cocktail napkins that come on a roll, but to be able to buy them so conveniently and pleasantly in such a charming setting is a godsend for the last-minute shopper. “I am the ultimate consumer,” Ms. Totah admitted. “To create Hudson Grace we looked to our own lifestyles, to our own homes, to what we use to entertain.”

And how are the two Californians finding life on the East End? “We love the natural beauty and the vibe of the different towns,” said Mr. McNatton. “The Atlantic is more approachable than the Pacific and warmer … much warmer. And we LOVE the hedges. The big difference between the West Coast and here is that we see a bit more urgency to get out and enjoy the summer. In California, it seems summer never really ends.”

“Our Hamptons pop-up feels so right,” Ms. Totah continued. “Our clean, modern, casual aesthetic seems to fit right in. We’ve met the nicest people, who clearly love to entertain and love their homes. It’s been a wild, crazy, amazing ride.”

Hudson Grace

(at Serena & Lily Beach Market)

332 Montauk Highway


(631) 537-5544


You May Also Like:

CPF Manager Offers Overview Of Program In Southampton Town

Last year’s pandemic-prompted shutdown and social distancing strictures spurred pivots that meant closings on purchases ... 18 Jan 2021 by Kitty Merrill

Carefully Site Vegetable Gardens To Ensure Plenty Of Light

By Andrew Messinger If you’re new to vegetable gardening or even if you’ve been at ... by Staff Writer

AIA Peconic Announces 2021 Award Winners

AIA Peconic, the East End’s chapter of the American Institute of Architects, presented nine awards ... 12 Jan 2021 by Brendan J. OReilly

Top Plant Catalogs For Annuals, Perennials, Trees, Shrubs, Fruits, Berries

In last week’s column I did a short review of a few of my favorite ... 11 Jan 2021 by Andrew Messinger

Estate Sale Scene Busier Than Ever As Hamptons Houses Trade At Fast Clip

The Hamptons estate sales scene — a favorite shopping opportunity for dealers, collectors and bargain ... 5 Jan 2021 by Brendan J. OReilly

Read Seed Catalogs To Broaden Your Gardening Knowledge

As we embark into the new year, most of us hope it’s a time for ... 4 Jan 2021 by Andrew Messinger

AIA Peconic To Present 2021 Design Awards Saturday

AIA Peconic, the East End chapter of the American Institute of Architects, will present its 2021 Daniel J. Rowen Memorial Design Awards virtually on Saturday, January 9, at 6 p.m., recognizing excellence in architecture and historic preservation. Awards categories include both realized and unbuilt projects and feats of historic preservation. Emerging architects will be honored as well. The jurors reviewed 27 projects, and nine design awards will be presented. Debbie Kropf, the 2020 chapter president, and Ric Stott and will host the ceremony. To register for free, visit, Once registered, the information to join the Zoom event will be ... by Staff Writer

Sag Harbor Planning Board Seeks To Fix Loopholes In Village Code

The Sag Harbor Village Planning Board is working to identify loopholes and unclear language in the village code and plans to recommend fixes for the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees to adopt. During the Planning Board’s December 22 work session, Sag Harbor Village planning consultant Kathy Eiseman pointed out two issues with the code that have arisen time and time again. One concerns commercial properties in residential districts, and the second concerns the allowable lot coverage of a commercial property. “This happens a lot when you’re working with the code,” Ms. Eiseman told the Planning Board. “You notice things ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Sag Harbor Homeowners Ask For Approval To Raise House, Install Pool On Flood-Prone Street

A proposal to raise a flood-prone house 2 feet, enclose porches and add a pool made the rounds last week at the Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review. The address is 14 Rogers Street and the new owners as of this year are Kate and Alex Stone. The property is adjacent to a village-owned sump, which raised the question of whether setbacks should be adhered to when the neighbor is an infiltration basin. “The most unique thing about this house is that it sits next to the village sump, which is ... 22 Dec 2020 by Brendan J. O’Reilly

Sag Harbor Zoning Board Of Appeals Not Keen To Approve Balcony Retroactively

The Sag Harbor Village Zoning Board of Appeals heard a plea, again, from a homeowner seeking retroactive approval for a second-story balcony that was built without a permit — and the board was still not willing to give it. At the same December 15 meeting, a separate application involving a second-story deck built without a valid permit was withdrawn following the contractor’s arrest. 60 Hempstead Street The owners of 60 Hempstead Street are seeking the ZBA’s approval for a second-story balcony that was built without a permit, after being told once before that the board was not inclined to approve ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported