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 www.gustoandgraceblog.com

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


A DIY I Didn’t Do Myself: Crown Moulding

11 Jul

I finally crossed one of the big items off the to-do short list I made for the home earlier this year. When some of my family came to visit in June, they brought power tools and helped around our home.

My stepdad, husband, and brother-in-law hung crown moulding in our dining room and kitchen. I really expected to have more of a hand in that, but the guys were doing such a great job, so my mom, sister and I worked on smaller projects: hemming curtains, re-painting wall art, and hanging pictures.

It was an enormous blessing and I really enjoyed having their company and assistance for a few looming projects.

This corner is my first or second favorite of the whole house. If you notice, I’ve even added a few more plates since last week.

Green Dining Room Crown Moulding

The kitchen hasn’t been seen on the blog in awhile. I think the last time was just after we painted the cabinets. Nothing has changed at all. Someday I won’t have floor tiles as my backsplash, but this blog focuses on celebrating progress, not just completion.

I should have taken the time to pull the tripod out of the closet, so you don’t get the vantage point of a 5’4″ woman. There really is about a foot between the cabinets and the ceiling. Next time.

Kitchen Crown Moulding

This next shot makes the beige walls blare, but I haven’t been inspired by any paint colors or wall coverings for this whack space where three rooms share walls.

I think this hallway is particularly camera shy, as it has never shown its face on the web, but it wears the chunky 5 1/4 inch crown moulding proudly.

Hallway Crown Moulding

Shhh! Don’t tell my husband that now the baseboards have been crying out to compete…

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique


The Simplest Way to Redecorate…

8 Jul

Is to rearrange.

Between having Anthony’s parent’s staying with us one weekend in June and my parents staying with us the following weekend, our guestroom got a face lift. The best part about it is that we didn’t spend a dime.

Here is what the guest room looked like a few weeks ago:

Guestroom Bed | www.gustoandgraceblog.com

And here is what it looks like now:

Caramel and Burnt Orange Bedroom It feels so much more spacious, and while I realize the first picture is much more zoomed in, it isn’t just a camera trick. Rearranging the furniture in the room made all the difference. I also pulled some accessories from other rooms in the house. The sunburst mirror was taken from the upstairs landing, and the lamps were removed from the living room.

We have house guests again this week, and I am delighted.

Thanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique

Happy Independence Day!

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!

If you need some last-minute party inspiration, head over to my patriotic Pinterest board by clicking the image below.

Fourth of July Pinterest Board

Anthony and I are heading up to Fort Worth this morning to spend the long weekend with family.  How are you celebrating the holiday?

Decorating with Plates

1 Jul

I’m baaaaack! After taking the month of June away from blogging, I am thrilled to be blogging again with refreshed passion and dedication. While there was radio silence here, much was astir in our home.

On top of decorating projects galore, Anthony and I spent two of of June’s four weekends with family in town, Anthony walked across the stage and got his CPA license, we purchased a “newsed” car, and checked a major financial goal off of our list: no more PMI! I can hardly wait to share the changes we have made inside our home and begin to blog about topics that delve a bit deeper than my most recent thrift-store-score.

While it was extremely tempting to write a lengthy post showcasing how our home has transformed over the past several weeks, I decided it best to break it down into bite-sized posts. Get ready for home-heavy posting in this month.

Speaking of thrift store scores… on a recent trip to my neighborhood Goodwill I picked up three black and white plates for the entryway for $0.99 each. The plates, marked Mikasa Reggae on the back, seemed Kelly Wearstler-esque to me.

Mikasa Reggae Plates

Continue reading

Pizza Week

30 May

Love makes you do crazy things. In my case, it was eating pizza for dinner five nights in a row.

I am fairly confident pizza is my husband’s love language, so what better way to spend date night funds than to explore the pizzerias in Austin-town? We made a point to go to places we had never been before so, while delicious, Winflo, Home Slice, and Salvation Pizza didn’t make the cut. We also avoided chains, so Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Papa Johns were out.

Don’t bother consulting with your doctor before attempting to recreate this adventure, you already know what the M.D. would say.

Day 1: We went to aRoma, a brand new place a few miles from home. We devoured their pizza the second day they were open.

aRoma Pizza Austin

We ordered a pie with four cheeses, including gorgonzola, and added truffle oil (because what pizza doesn’t need more greasy fat?).

aRoma Tiramisu Austin

aRoma’s version of tiramisu was a personal favorite. It had the classic ingredients (which I am a stickler about) and a fun presentation. That is Kaluha granita melting on the side.

aRoma Tiramisu

Day 2: We wandered over to the Eastside and tried VIA 313: Detroit style pizza made in an Austin style eatery.

Via 313 Austin

The thick, meaty, square  pizza was comfort food to the core. Carb. Overload.

VIA 313 Austin PIzza

Day 3: Possibly my favorite of the five, Bufalina used fresh ingredients and baked its pizza in a wood-fired oven in the dining area. We arrived promptly at 5:30, Bufalina’s opening time, and there was a wait within minutes, for good reason.

I should have snapped a few images of the oven, the restaurant interior, and the delectable gnocchi we devoured while our pizza was prepared.

Bufalina Pizza Austin

Day 4: We ventured out to Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza in Dripping Springs.

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza Pints and Pies Sign

Our Mediterranean pizza pie was topped with spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, and feta.

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza

I don’t think the pizza was worth the 45+ minute wait, but the outdoor-only dining allowed us to tote Nola around.  The atmosphere is also great for a large group.  In addition to the pizza, my favorite local brewery, Jester King, is located right next door.

Nola at Stanley's

Day 5: We headed to fabulous Rounders before going to a screening at the Ritz Alamo Drafthouse. The sign has been begging me to come in for months. Who can resist New York style pizza with a Vegas vibe?

Rounders Pizza Sign Austin

We had to go classic and ordered a plain ol’ pepperoni. We ordered the casino (small) size, and still brought home almost half of a pizza. Can I add that the garlic knots were the best of their kind?

Rounders Pizza Austin

Rounders is the place you want to have your birthday party as a kid or the place you might play endless arcade games on a first date.

Rounders Pizza Decor

Day 6: We mulled over the places that remained on our list, Eastside Pies, Pinthouse Pizza, Hoboken Pie, Little Deli and Pieous, and decided to save them for another day…

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Good Day Austin, Take 2: Chocolate Chip Cookie and Ice Cream Push Pops

27 May

Last Monday I had the pleasure of returning to the Fox 7 studio to do another Make it Monday segment with Lauren Petrowski. You can watch it on the Fox 7 website by clicking the photo below.

Good Day Austin | Make It Monday | Ice Cream & Cookie Push Pops

Here is the  the buttercream version of the push pops as well as the chocolate chip cookies recipe that was mentioned in the video.

If you missed my first appearance on the show, you can find it here.

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Thanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique

Paris Shops

23 May


Admittedly, I didn’t do much shopping in Paris. I did make an effort to got into a few small boutiques and one monstrosity of a department store to find a unique souvenir to remind me of my travels.

I cannot think of Paris and shopping together without thinking of Hermes and Chanel.

Hermes #Paris France | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


Like I said in my post about French food, I think Galleries Lafayette is a must especially if you are on a tight schedule.  It is a department store like none I have ever seen. Pastries, clothes, toys, a beautiful building, and a rooftop view of the city. What more could you want? It really is a one-stop shop.

Galleries Lafayette #Paris | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


After seeing the Parisian shop Merci all over blogs and Pinterest, I put it on our unending list of places to go. When we got to the address, I thought we had somehow come to the wrong Merci. From the street it looks like a coffee shop, but if you make your way to the back of the coffee shop, or walk through the alley pictured below, it opens up to an expansive store. Think Anthropologie meets West Elm- and then take it down a notch to keep your expectations in check.

Merci #Paris, France | www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Merci #Paris | www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Merci Neon Light #Paris | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


Of the few stores we stopped in, Astier de Villatte was by far my favorite. Astier de Villatte is a ceramic shop filled with  unique black terracotta pieces entirely handmade in Paris.

Astier de Villatte #Paris | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


Currently, they have a collaboration with John Derian.

john derian for astier de villatte #Paris | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


I was a huge fan of the ship shaped chandelier hanging above the cash register.

Ship Shaped Chandelier | www.gustoandgraceblog.com


I purchased a tiny silver Eiffel tower necklace from a touristy souvenir shop in Versailles and a white crest shaped platter with a black ship on in from Astier de Villatte. I have a terrible habit of picking up unique plates to use as wall decor.  I will share photos once I figure out how to hang it up.

Do you collect anything when you travel?

Thanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique


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