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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!

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

The Comforts of Home and Sneak Peeks of Bedroom Updates

11 Jan

I know I am not alone when saying that, as much as I love travel, there is nothing quite like coming home. Anthony and I recently returned from a phenomenal trip to Europe (posts coming soon) followed by an extended trip back to Dallas-Fort Worth for the holidays. Setting foot back on Austin soil always feels like a big breath of fresh air. I often say I would not choose going somewhere I have been over somewhere new, but home is one of the few exceptions, more specifically, my bedroom I am slowly working on transforming.  No bed can compete with your very own.

I usually write about pretty things that make home LOOK better, but today, I want to focus on a few things that make home FEEL better: those familiar creature comforts that make home the cozy retreat to which you look forward to returning.

For me, those things include dimmer switches, blackout lined curtains, and rug pads.

I have a dimmer switch installed in our ensuite bathroom. I am a morning shower person, but I wake up slowly. Flipping a switch to full brightness was jarring to me, but was an easy, inexpensive fix. A $10 trip to Lowe’s a few turns of a screwdriver later, I can wake up at my own pace. Bonus points for Anthony and I not waking each other up if one of us has to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

Dimmer Lightswitch

Blackout lined curtains was the most recent addition to our bedroom and I will be forever singing their praises. They are especially nice for weekend naps and adjusting back to Central Standard Time after a far-away escapade. They range in price greatly, and are the most expensive of the three items, but are both beautiful and purposeful.

Copper Curtain Rod Navy Velvet Blackout Curtains

I’m not a huge fan of carpet, but stepping out of bed onto hardwood floors in the morning isn’t on my list of luxurious feelings. After ridding our room of a rug that shed too much to keep up with and laying down a silky, low-pile replacement, RugpadUSA offered to send me a wood safe, eco-friendly pad. It turned out to be very similar to one I had purchased off of Amazon for our living room, but working with them was great and their pricing is competitive! They cut the pad to precisely fit my rug dimensions and will offer guidance, if needed, on choosing a pad that won’t damage your floors and meets your expectations. Since my bed anchors my rug, for me it was more about cushion than grip, and protecting both our floors and rug. I was disappointed when I removed my old, unpadded rug to find that my bed had left several small dents in my wood floor. The added padding also ups the plush factor in our bedroom. Rug pads certainly aren’t showstoppers that transform the look of your room, but I have learned that they’re worth the (small) investment.

Rug and Pad

What are some of your favorite unseen material elements of home?

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 

Guest Bathroom Updates

4 Feb

The first home decorating project of the year is complete. In all honesty, I painted it about three weeks ago.

If you need a reminder of the bathroom’s before, you can look here and here.

For a grand total of about $50, I think the small updates made a big difference.

Mint and Gold Bathroom

Fresh paint (Valspar Mint Chiffon), art pulled from another room, new hand towels, a vintage milk glass tray, and a new curtain rod enliven the formerly beige room.

Printed Hand Towel

Rose Shower Curtain Hooks

Fire King Milk Glass Tray

Mint and Gold Bathroom Vanity

Ornate Gold Framed Mirror

Rae Dunn Knock on Wood Linea Carta Alphabet Plate

For a full list of sources, visit the Home Tour page.

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