Living Room Updates

5 Sep

Pinch me.

The culmination of gifts, saving, and waiting arrived at my front door on Friday.

The anticipation has been overwhelming (overwhelming: a word that always makes me think about Ten Things I Hate About You).

My living room has never been featured in full on the blog. You’ve seen a few angles when I posted about our console and can see how far it has come when you look at our couches, and maybe you even sneaked a peak at Christmas, but otherwise has been intentionally left a mystery. Below is what it looked like most of the year I’ve lived in Austin:

Living Room Leather Set

Over the past couple of months our living room has undergone numerous changes. We swapped our lack tables for a thrifted and gorgeous glass-topped brass coffee table. The mirrored console made the move from the upstairs hall downstairs and the scissor arm lamps moved up to the guest bedroom.  We got rid of the oversized leather chair that matched the couch. And finally…

Neutral Living Room

I am the very excited owner of two porters chairs! (Also known as balloon chairs, hooded chairs, and Versailles chairs.)

I always swoon when I see images of these chairs or when I have see them at Bergdorf Goodman or Tillman’s Roadhouse (where we celebrated our rehearsal dinner), and now I own a pair! I can swoon every time I sit in my very own living room.

Head over to the Home Tour page to see the rest of the room!

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Date Night in Austin: Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

29 Aug

Anthony and I spend so much of our time together. We frequent the movie theater and regularly dine out. While I realize this may not always be the case, for us childless, semi-newlyweds, that is just our romantic everyday living. We choose to intentionally celebrate our marriage monthly, at a minimum. Date night for us usually involves us trying something new, since that is what we enjoy. Sometimes that’s an activity, or a restaurant, and sometimes it is trying a new recipe at home.

Antonelli's Cheese Shop Austin, Texas

August’s date night consisted of a cheese class at Antonelli’s Cheese House and bottle of cider from the Austin-based Argus Cidery. If you’re in Austin, or visiting Austin, I highly recommend a visit. Even if you don’t make advance reservations for a class, you can pick up a few tasty cheese varieties for a picnic or a party.

Antonelli's Cheese Shop Austin, Texas

We were given half a pound of cheese each, divided into seven styles, served with baguette, olives, and macaroni almonds, as well as different pairings such as white honey and mustard violet.

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An Easy Fail Proof Brunch Recipe: Strawberries Romanoff Brulee

22 Aug

It’s no secret I love brunch. My 11am wedding ceremony was followed by a full brunch complete with bacon pops, mini pancake stacks, salmon mousse crostini, red pepper scones, fresh fruit, goat-cheese quiche, mimosas and a milk bar.

Next time I get to host a brunch I’ll surely be dishing up the simple, sinful combination of strawberries romanoff and creme brulee.

Strawberries Romanoff Brulee

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Silver Paint

15 Aug

Sometimes you just have to live in your home as-is for awhile before you know how you want to decorate. With time, you learn how you use each room, and how you want your space them to look and feel. I think this is especially true for people piecing together their own home for the first time.

I like to think that for most people (those of us who either cannot afford to or choose not to hire a designer to finish a space in one fell swoop) decorating happens in layers. A layer could be paint, furniture, art, textiles, accessories, etcetera. Shy of renovations, decorating layers needn’t be added in any particular order.

Project Beige-Begone has begun again! Inspiration finally struck and the first layer of homeyness has been added to the master bathroom in the form of liquid, latex, silver.


Excuse the poor quality photographs. It is incredibly difficult to take a decent shot of a windowless room with harsh lighting, and reflective surfaces. I wish that rather than these images, you were viewing the vision in my head complete with Venetian mirrors, crown moulding, and plush, patterned grey towels.

Master Bathroom Silver Paint

The two dollar marble prints live another day! If you ask me, the Gray makes them pop much more than the beige ever did.

Marble Prints Gray Walls Bathroom

Have you done any decorating lately?

Thanks for reading,

Color Me Caramel

6 Aug

What would you call it? I can’t quite put my finger on the perfect name for the warm shade, but it reminds me of fall, and creme brulee and otherworldly spices. It makes me think of perfectly milky caramel and of tasty and cozy delights.
Caramel Bedding


Key Dhurrie



Scalamandre Zebras Brown
I am not sure what its name is, but I’ll be looking to add it to my home and wardrobe. The homey feelings it evokes are reason enough to love it.

Thanks for reading,

A Weekend Getaway

29 Jul

Lately, I’ve had a bad case of wanderlust which can only be satiated with adventure. With impending plans for a December getaway,  going far simply isn’t in the cards.
Sometimes something as simple as exploring a new part of Austin or going to a new restaurant can sooth the travel itch for a short while, but that wasn’t cutting it this time.
I have been proposing a day trip to Fredericksburg or Gruene to Anthony for a few weeks now, but when some friends invited us to spend the weekend at their family lake house in Burnet, we jumped at the chance to get out of town.
What beats a tree full of hammocks?

Lake Buchanan, Burnett Texas | Weekend Getaway from Austin

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2014 Home Project Goals Update

25 Jul

Midway through the year is a great time to revisit the goals or resolutions you made at the beginning of the year. Here’s an update on the home goals I featured on the blog back in January.

Looking back at the goals I set, I realized I didn’t dream very big, but I have made progress on six out of eight of the goals. Here is a recap:

Home To-Do List

  1. Install crown moulding in the dining room. This was finished about a month ago. You can read about that here.Dining Room View From Kitchen
  2. Buy throw pillows for the couch. While I haven’t featured this simple update on the blog, there are now pillows on our once barren sofa.
  3. Accessorize mirrored console. I’ve managed to make negative progress on this action item. I moved the sunburst, once above the console to the guestroom.Caramel and Burnt Orange Bedroom
  4. Repaint or replace nightstands. It is amazing what paint can do to inexpensive furniture. I found the perfect knobs at Anthropologie, and then they sold out before I pulled the trigger. See the befores here.Ikea Nightstand Hack
  5. Create a book installation in the office- I have actually decided to nix this goal off the list this year. I am intentionally neglecting the office until further notice.
  6. Add a ceiling medallion to the entry- Easy peasy. The entryway has actually made much more progress than just a medallion. We bought a new rug, painted the door black, and hung some plates.A quick, easy, inexpensive, entryway update
  7. Mikasa Reggae Plates
  8. Paint over more beige- Look for an update on this front next week. I am thrilled about what is going on in the master bathroom.
  9. Get a second hooded chair- While I haven’t yet even shown the first here on Gusto & Grace, I feel so fortunate to say the second porter’s chair has been ordered! Living room updates coming in September!

As always thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

A Summer-Ready Patio

22 Jul

Last time you saw the patio, it had just undergone restoration including sanding, staining, and brushing on protective polyurethane. It has come a short way since then.

Outdoor Patio

We picked up the grey jute rug on clearance at West Elm and added pillows from various stores.

Target Navy Patterned Outdoor Lumbar PIllow

The lumbar pillows on the chairs are from Target. I love the pattern so much. The solid pillows on the bench are from Pottery Barn, and the patterned one is from Lowes.

Navy Outdoor PIllow

A few accessories are still needed. Here’s what I have in mind:

Outdoor Patio Accessory Mood Board

Of course a few plants are in order too, but I don’t want to plant anything in the south-facing backyard in the middle of a Texas summer. The sun is scorching in this area and the last plant I purchased got crispy.

Some inexpensive curtains would add privacy while giving it a vacation vibe, don’t you think?

Thanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique

Laundry is Less of a Chore

18 Jul

I wish I had a good before picture of our laundry room.

You are not missing much, but I will paint you a mental picture: exactly the same as the images below, but beige, with no storage.

The laundry room was one of the first rooms I painted in the house. I thought the colors felt clean and the fun stripes might make doing laundry a little bit less of a chore. We picked up the wire shelves from Target and had just those, side by side, until about a month ago.

Laundry Room Cabinet

We took the cabinet out of the upstairs bathroom and hung the cabinet when we installed crown moulding.

Striped Laundry Room with Cabinet

Less than five minutes after these photos were snapped I loaded up the shelves with small and rarely used appliances that were consuming half of my pantry space.

It feels so good to have storage where we needed it.

Do you have any projects planned for this weekend?

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

A Living Room Lesson in Proportion

15 Jul

Until a month ago, I had no idea the transformative power a single piece of furniture could wield.

The console I talked about four months ago made it from DFW to Austin about a month ago, and it completely changed our home. Though Anthony might tell you I say that after every new project or purchase, this one really did.

All of a sudden, our living room, filled with hand me down seating and an outlet store rug, has a personality and style.

While I think the ultra modern console alone is a poor reflection of my decorating style, pair it with some French traditional chairs and this living room has pegged my idea of interior perfection.

I also think this console is a lesson in how important scale and proportion are in design.

I’ll hush now, and let the before and after speak for themselves.

Console Before

White Modern Geometric Console

If my husband was a blogger, I am sure this post would have more to do with his upgrade from a sound bar to a stereo system. He might tell you jokes about how many Paolinis it takes to install a sound system. Brilliance is brightest at 1am on a worknight in this case.

In the spirit of preemptive updates (as I gave with this console in March), mid-September it will be out with the brown leather chair and in with the Belgian linen chairs. An exciting order has been placed and I can hardly wait to share more!

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique



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