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Dining Room Updates

6 Jun

Slow progress, as promised. It wasn’t an intentional makeover or a quick redecoration done in a weekend. I hardly noticed it changed, until I was updating the home tour page for another room and realized the dining room IRL didn’t mirror the dining room on the blog.

Dining Room with Copper Mirror Gusto and Grace Blog

One weekend, we painted the ceiling, another weekend, the walls. I gradually added plates to the collection over the curio, and got new glasses to fill it. I picked up a book here and some containers there and eventually styled the alphabet chest. At some point, I gilded the mirror’s frame. It seems like forever ago that I spray-painted the chandelier my coworker discarded and moved the picture frames that used to hang above my stairway. I can’t even pinpoint when I turned the table (cue Adele) 45 degrees.

Astier de Villatte Paris Large Adelaide Bowl

Green and Copper Dining Room

Just as a reminder, here is what the dining room looked like when I photographed it last. Woah!

Zebra Cowhide Rug White and Black Dining Room

Proof. Small steps toward the vision make a big difference.

For more inspiration, check out my H is for Home Pinterest Board!

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Gray, Navy, and Copper Bathroom

30 Mar

It went from bad to worse before it got good, and I take full responsibility. I was so desperate to rid my master bathroom of its beige walls, that I hastily painted them a way-too-dark gray. It completely clashed with the orange-y wood cabinets and the fact that I lacked a big-picture vision when I dove in left me with an unattractive, mood-bending room.

Exhibit A (a.k.a. before):

After deciding on a bedroom color scheme and finding a little inspiration, I settled on reparation plans for the bathroom. It never ceases to amaze me what a little paint and hardware can do.

Behold! (a.k.a. after):

20170315_100806.jpg

When I painted the kitchen cabinets, I trusted the guy at the hardware store and went for latex paint and bonding primer. I opted to test out oil based primer and paint this time to see if it would reduce visible brush strokes and hold up better over time. I will report back.

The hardest part was undoubtedly going from knobs to pulls. I have a new found appreciation for cabinet makers. Getting two holes level, centered, and the right distance apart is more challenging than it should be. There may or may not be a broken drill bit still in one of the drawer fronts…

Truth be told, I replaced the standard builder-issued mirror with these wanna-be Venetian beauties some time ago, but they didn’t come alive until the walls were lightened.

Inexpensive Cheap Venetian Style Mirror

While the work is never done, the room just feels good now.

Have questions? Comment below.

Source list- Wall paint: Valspar’s Urban Sunrise from Lowes | Cabinet Paint: Behr Oil Paint color matched to Valspar’s Indigo Streamer from Home Depot | Copper Hardware: Amazon  | Mirrors: Wisteria

Navy, Lavender, and Grey Bedroom

9 Nov

Somewhere between travelling, making fewer but larger changes to the house, and trying to figure out what the future of Gusto & Grace looks like, I’ve heard that little whisper: get back to blogging.

The truth is, I haven’t been entirely satisfied with the quality of work I have put into the blog. I follow a lot of bloggers with already stunning homes that they tweak and photograph or majorly renovate, who have graphic designers and website techs on speed dial. I follow many bloggers whose full time jobs are to decorate, improve their photography, and network online. My social media feeds are a barrage of gorgeous work put out by gorgeous women. That, not being my story, seems to make blogging success and a strong readership unlikely.

But maybe I need to change my view of success. I love all the creative and inspiring content so many bloggers are putting out, and sometimes even wish I could do exactly the same, but I miss blogs of process. I miss blogs as a side hustle where the decor (fashion, food, etc.) featured is realistic for readers (those who aren’t getting the free product). I miss blogs that feel more authentic and truer to the everyday life I live.

Blog on!, that voice insists. So here I will humbly write, in hopes of finding my own voice, in hopes of being the blog, like the first few I discovered a decade ago, that is relatable and inspiring in a down-to-earth, i-can-do-that sort of way.

Vision finally struck for my very unfinished master bedroom, and I created a crude design board, completely void of accessories. I hope you’ll stick around for the next year or so, as I pull it together, piece by piece.

Navy, Lavender, and Grey Bedroom Design Board

I am excited about the challenge of creating a comfortable, peaceful, and rejuvenating space for Anthony and myself.

After quite the saga of hunting down the perfect copper curtain rod, I hung curtains last week, and ordered the rug pictured. Over the last two weeks I have picked up some euro shams and a new comforter on deep discount. The mirrored copper side table is on my Christmas wishlist while the armoire, peacock, and inlaid nightstands are dream pieces I hope to pick up over time. Photos and sources to follow.

As always, thanks for reading,
Dominique

Art Deco Accent Wall

10 Sep

Before stumbling upon Catherine Martin’s Metropolis wallpaper, I was completely against accent walls. I always thought they kept your eyes from moving around a room, usually to rest on a color that was too bold for my personal taste.

Apparently, when you go against your firmly held design beliefs, the best things can happen. Exhibit A:

Living Room Art Deco Wallpaper

The Gatsby inspired wallpaper would be far too busy for a room the size of my living room, and too dark for a room so well lit. Not to mention too expensive for my current budget. Boy, do I love it!

Dominique Paolini's Art Deco Living Room

This is the first project for which I hired a professional. You guys, I went on vacation and came back to skim coated walls. I went to work the following day, and came back to wallpapered walls. Heaven, I tell you: paradise.

Slowly, life is being breathed into my vision. This home is mine?!

Thanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique

P.S. If you’re new around here or need a refresher on what the room looked like before, click here.

Lessons in Lighting

8 Jun

I heard once that lighting is the jewelry of a room. I can’t remember where I heard that phrase, nor do I know who originally said it, regardless, I love it.

If decorating my home had a focus for the year, it would be lighting. While my home is still home to many basic fixtures, I have made a conscious effort to customize my cookie cutter with lighting that reflects my personal taste. As with most areas of decorating, I wait for inspiration, hunt for a good value, and take it one small step at a time.

So what have I done in 2015 to up my lighting game?

  • Added dimmer switches
  • Installed ceiling medallions
  • Upgraded ceiling fixtures
  • Added floor and table lamps

Move over candles! Dimmer switches can add the same romance to a dining room that candles might. They can also add a relaxing ambiance to a bathroom perfect for a soak. I personally like to gradually raise the level of light in my bathroom as I get ready each morning.

Ceiling medallions add architectural interest. Last year, I installed a simple one Black and White Entry. This year, a more ornate medallion in the dining room.

Eryn Ceiling Medallion Dining Room | www.gustoandgraceblog.com |#decor #home #interiors #diningroom #chandeliers

Lighting can be costly, but I have scoured and scored over the past few months. My under-buyer habits made me walk away from a great deal on a vintage lucite and brass waterfall chandelier, but I didn’t get a mile away from the antique store before turning around, realizing that I’d regret not scooping up the steal. I ordered a new canopy and hung it in the hallway. The photo really doesn’t do it justice.

Vintage Lucite and Brass Waterfall Chandelier

For more than a year, I have hunted for a black glass chandelier for my entryway. Then, several months ago, I stumbled upon an affordable (!!!) glass company from Italy. It felt like a huge break, and I promptly placed a custom order for a chandelier made of dreams. It not so promptly arrived more than two months (twice as long as anticipated) later. I expected it to be plug and play, but it came vacuum sealed in pieces. For the price, I can’t complain, and I’m always up for a new challenge.

Black Italian Murano Glass ChandelierShe’s my sort of bizzarre, edgy, Murano glass beaut. Please excuse my continued drooling.

Black Glass Chandelier Murano Italy

For some time now I’ve admired the late French designer Serge Mouille’s lighting designs. Originals are cost prohibitive, but I finally pulled the trigger on a fantasic reproduction of his 3-arm floor lamp from France & Sons. At nearly seven (7) feet tall, the lamp has a considerable footprint and filled a large void in my living room.

Neutral Living Room | www.gustoandgraceblog.com | #decor #home #interiors #mouille #design #livingroom #brass #furniture #MyRH #Anthrofaves #mywestelmThanks for Reading,

♥ Dominique

Still Reppin’ Cheap Art

25 May

Large scale art can be expensive, and while I’m still working on gathering basic furnishings and decor as a first-time home owner, art just hasn’t made its way up the priority list. Just because splurging on an original painting from my favorite artist isn’t in the cards right now, doesn’t mean I want barren walls.

I’ve loved Ashley Woodson Bailey‘s dark floral photographs since the first time I saw them. Some of my favorite designers, like Kristin Jackson and Christine Dovey, have used her photograph’s in their homes and clients’.

via The Hunted Interior

I’ve also loved Ellie Cashman‘s wallpaper designs, which I believe are based off of Dutch painter Cornelis van Spaendonck’s work, but I’m not sure I am ready to commit to a fully floral bathroom yet either.

via Cupcakes and Cashmere

The affordable compromise? Framed Ellie Cashman wallpaper samples. They probably won’t stay forever, but I LOVE them. This time, I spent the extra $12 and had custom black core mats cut at Hobby Lobby. I still opted for my trusty IKEA Ribba frames.

Ellie Cashman Wallpaper Prints Art Black Paint Bathroom

Looking for more inexpensive art inspiration? Check out my free printable watercolour Prada Marfa print, the $2 marble art I made, and how I upgraded my IKEA Ribba frames.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

A Couch to Call Our Own

17 Apr

After an approximately twelve week wait, and a blue sofa saga I’ll save for another day, our new couch was finally delivered. Boy, was it worth the wait! Linen Orianna Sofa Anthropologie Grey Gray Tufted English Roll Arm Couch

While I’ll share more about our temporary teal couch and my near break-up with my favorite store, Anthropologie, later, look at how far this room has come! From the poufy tan sofa that made me cringe, to the brown leather hand-me down that served us well for almost two years, we are now onto the first sofa my husband and I have purchased and chosen, together or individually! This is a big day.

Amthropologie Linen Orianna Tufted Sofa

A bit more in the living room has changed, so head on over to the Home Tour page for a peak.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

This post can also be found on Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday and Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday LInkup.

Zebra Print Cowhide Rug

2 Mar

Lately, I haven’t had many projects, but coming back to the blog and looking at the most recently posted photos, I realize so much in my home has changed. It has changed slowly: one small project or purchase at a time.

The hope is that, soon, Gusto & Grace will be more reflective of what this home actually looks like currently, starting with the dining room.

Several months back, we picked up an enormous mirror for a song at Ikea. It is something like 7 feet tall, and we mounted it to the wall, so it looks even larger behind the alphabet chest. The Texas watercolour prints I made were moved to the barren walls in the living room. I shrunk the dining table to seat four rather than six, since there are normally just two of us. I also killed my fiddle leaf fig tree, which I miss dearly, and hope to replace soon.

The newest addition to the dining room is a zebra print cowhide rug which I special ordered from Discount Cowhides. I am now a raving fan. If you’re hunting for a cowhide rug, I highly encourage you to read the post Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles wrote about what makes these cowhides superior. The first several days after receiving it, the house smelled like a leather goods shop.

Zebra Cowhide Rug White and Black Dining Room

The new number one priority for the dining room will be a new chandelier.

On a side note, I’ve decided to narrow the focus of Gusto & Grace. Moving forward posts will be about one of two of my favorite things: the process of creating home or the adventures of travel. Look for posts about the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas in the days ahead.

Thanks for reading,

Dominique 

My Christmas Ornament Obsession

16 Dec

Originally featured on Styled by Ryn.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood was getting a new Christmas ornament from my stocking each year. For years now I have been collecting European blown glass ornaments, and my mom continues the tradition of adding to my collection each year.

If you don’t know where to look, finding high quality, European glass ornaments can be a wild goose chase, but there are certain stores you can go to year after year, and certain brands that make stunning ornaments. I’m here to share my secrets!

2014 Christmas Tree

Brands to look for:

• Christopher Radko- Christopher Radko is really the brand that popularized intricate blown glass ornaments in America and can be found at department stores and boutiques alike. These ornaments tend to retain their value for years to come and are quite popular on secondary markets, like Ebay.

Popcorn Maker Ornament

Texas Ornament Cotton Candy Ornament

• Eric Cortina- Eric Cortina makes some of my favorite quirky and whimsical ornaments such as my French bulldog wearing a top hat, bowtie and a spectacle, and my clip-on of Santa’s boots sticking out of the Chimney.

Santa Chimney Ornament French Bulldog Ornament Button Ball Ornament Paris Hot Air Balloon Ornament Crown Tree Topper

• Inge Glas- Inge Glas is one of the oldest German-based glass blowers. These little treasures are usually more reasonably priced than other brands.

• Landmark Creations- Landmark Creations is best known for their ornaments of, well, landmarks.

• Michael Storings- Made by Landmark Creations, Michael Storings hand paints bulbs, typically of different scenes in New York City.

•De Carlini- If you prefer the Italian style blown glass ornaments, with a very distinctive look, De Carlini is a great go-to.

• John Huras- Read this guys story; it is really neat. Accustomed to the gorgeous and traditional trees of Poland, he originally started making ornaments for orphanages whose trees he wished could bring more cheer to the children.

John Huras Russian Santa Ornament

• Jay Strongwater- These last two brands are both on my wishlist, not on my tree. They are extremely pricey, but every ornament I have seen by these two artisans are stunning.
Patricia Breen- As mentioned above, the detail on Patricia Breen’s traditional designs are breathtaking.

Where to shop:
• Bergdorf Goodman- Bergdorf Goodman has many exclusive ornaments with at least five themed trees each year. They will ship internationally, but if you’re in New York City for the Christmas season, I highly advise a stop on their 7th floor where their Christmas room is set up.

I Love BG Taxi OrnamentTin Toy Monkey Ornament Penguin Snowscape Ornament French Macaron Ornament (2) Clip-on Carousel Horse Ornament

• Neiman Marcus- Like Bergdorf, its sister company, Neiman Marcus has many exclusive ornaments made just for them each year.Neimans boasts of the widest variety of readily available European ornaments year after year. Be sure to shop in store, as many of their exclusive ornaments are not available online.

Fish Ornament Blown Glass Ornament Mackenzie Childs Ornament Pinocchio Ornament Russian Doll Ornament

• Bloomingdales- Bloomingdales carries more Landmark Creations and Michael Storings ornaments than any other large department store

• The Christmas Store in Fredericksburg- If you’re in central Texas, this is a great little shop for any time you need Christmas fix as it is open year round. They are one of the few retailers in the United States that has an entire room dedicated to Radko ornaments. If you’re out-of-state, give them a call, and they’ll help you hunt down what you’re looking for.

Wisdom on Display Ornament, Signed

• Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland- Flip through their catalog or shop online year-round. Bronner’s is a place of Christmas overload, but narrow your search to European-made ornaments and it is less overwhelming.

• Macy’s (online only)- Macy’s doesn’t carry many European ornaments, but they do carry Christopher Radko online.

• Dillards- Dillards is one of the few department stores that carries Radko in store. Go and check out the quality for yourself!

• Marshalls, TJMaxx, Homegoods- A lot of smaller brand German and Polish ornaments can be found at these chains. I’ve gotten lucky and even found a few Radkos for under $10!

• Tuesday Morning- At Tuesday Morning you can find a few different brands, including Radko’s from last season at up to 75% off!

• World Market- World Market usually has a small selection of ornaments made in Poland. Their quality isn’t superb, but they’ve got some fun additions like hamburger, stand mixer, and digital camera ornaments.

• Pier 1- Pier 1 has a very limited selection of European blown glass ornaments, but you can count on them to have a few each year. This year they have a pretty snazzy dragon I’ve been eyeing.

Non-European ornaments are not always sub-par I have a few treasured ornaments that were made in China. Sometimes you just find an original concept or design that makes up for lesser quality and sometimes the quality and detail are equally lovely. Old World Christmas ornaments are made in China and you can find them in endless shapes so they’re great if you are looking for a very specific ornament. Anthropologie occasionally carries blown glass ornaments that are unique and worthwhile. I also have a few ornaments on my tree that are travel souvenirs made in China, such as a bearskin soldier I bought in London.. Waterford’s blown glass ornaments are typically made in China, but the detail on my Waterford ballerina ornament rivals that on many of my German and Polish made ornaments.

Waterford Ballerina Ornament

If you have glass ornaments that are precious to you, I highly recommend purchasing Sure Grip Clips. You can find them online, but they are pretty pricey. Hobby Lobby carries them for a song in comparison. I replaced all of the clips on my ornaments this year and feel like my collection is much more secure on the tree.

Do you know of any stores or brands available stateside that I’m missing? Do you collect a specific type of ornaments?

Fall Front Door

12 Nov

Too long ago, a friend asked me if I would blog about rental-friendly outdoor entry décor. If you remember, my front door has not been the most welcoming sight. Between broken keys stuck in locks, replaced handles, no wreaths, unfortunate wreaths, and a partially unpainted door our entryway had quite a saga of sadness.

After finding the right avenue to make the request, our front door was finally re-painted. That only took a year and a half! Living in a townhome community, we are not responsible for exterior maintenance and our front door has to match the paint on the rest of our building. Since we pay dues to get this taken care of, I may have stubbornly refused to have the paint matched myself…

Finally, it is at least presentable enough that I feel somewhat qualified to speak on the subject. Here is what it looks like presently:

wpid-img_20141112_090111.jpg

My suggestions for rental friendly entry décor?

  • A door mat is a must. Mine is starting to tatter, and I’m hoping to upgrade to one as wide as our door.
  • Wreaths work wonders. I have a couple that I swap out with the seasons. The oval fall beauty pictured was a thrift store score.
  • Oversized planters gussy your entryway up. I picked up large urn pictured at Lowes on clearance at the end of the summer and planted an asparagus fern. I love the weird bushy look, and so far it has proven hardy enough for my complete lack of gardening abilities. While my front entry wouldn’t accommodate the style, I love the symmetrical look of two planters flanking the door. Look here for one of my favorite examples.
  • A doorman, of course. Suggestion courtesy of my humorous husband.

If you can make more permanent changes to your front porch, here is what I propose:

  • Door knockers add personality. Mine (covered by this particular wreath, seen here), came from a home salvage shop in Fort Worth, but I love this monogram one from Anthropologie.
  • Add a kickplate if you haven’t.
  • Simply paint the door. Oh how I wish I could choose the color of mine!
  • Swap out the light fixtures. This is somewhere, very far down, on my list of future upgrades to make. If you’re really fancy, go for some N’awlins inspired gas lanterns.
  • House numbers. Restoration Hardware and Anthropologie have some stylish varieties.

Feel free to submit questions or post requests of your own via e-mail.

As always, thanks for reading!

♥ Dominique

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