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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

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

Nightstands: A Dramatic Before and After

14 Feb

Sometimes, I’m like the mouse in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you don’t know the story, first the mouse is given a cookie. Then, of course, he needs a glass of milk to go with his chocolate chip cookie. In order to drink his milk, he needs a straw. And on it goes.

When I first met my husband, he didn’t have any bedroom lamps. I convinced him that it is only natural to go from overhead light, to a dimmer lamp before sleeping, so I bought him a pair of lamps. Then of course, he needed some nightstands to put his lamps on, so he picked up a pair from Ikea. Recently, I started to makeover the nightstands and realized we needed new lamps all over again. Hence the ticket-stub-filled-lamps. Now, I need a cookie.

One small project after another, our bedroom is slowly coming together (Check out a few of the others here and here).Without any further ado, I give you the dramatic difference in the nightstands now, the great before and after!

Ikea Nightstand Hack https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/nightstands-before-and-after/

And after:

Ikea Nightstand Hack https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/nightstands-before-and-after/

I am pleased with how they turned out and love the bright blue and navy combination. It is amazing what a few coats of paint on one piece of furniture can do for the entire room.

Ikea Nightstand Hack https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/nightstands-before-and-after/

I simply primed the nightstands with bonding primer, painted them with a high-gloss version of the same navy latex paint on the wall, taped around the edges, and brushed on two coats of bright blue paint.

Ikea Nightstand Hack https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/nightstands-before-and-after/

I didn’t concern myself with perfection on this project. When Anthony purchased these nightstands, he didn’t anticipate them being a permanent fixture. While the height of these nightstands is perfect they are just barely too wide to allow the bed to be exactly centered on the wide stripe, which is centered on the wall opposite the bed. For the time being, they are greatly improved.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Ticket Stubs + Fillable Lamps

11 Feb

Last week I found out the lamps on our nightstands that had been bugging me also bothered my husband. That sounds like a justifiable excuse to go shopping for home goods if I ever heard one!

For me, it was that the scale was all wrong. As was the style. For him, they just didn’t function well enough. In his words the lampshades were too low (he would often accidentally bump them) and the lamps were wobbly. You can see our old scissor-arm lamps in our bedroom here.

I like the scissor-arms, but the lamps were a little puny. They didn’t draw the eye up to our tall ceilings, faux canopy, giant, bright blue P, or do anything to help our space feel put together. Even though they were smaller than our new lamps, they made the nightstands feel more cluttered.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve learned I like decor with stories. So, as the title suggests, I give you: Ticket Stub Filled Lamps!

Ticket Stub Filled Lampshttps://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/ticket-stubs-fillable-lamps/

Anthony and I have ticket stubs from the first day we met at the State Fair of Texas. We continued to collect out ticket stubs and had stored them in a small glass shadow box, which was quickly getting filled. Transferring the tickets to the lamps was a joyful game of Remember When.

Ballgames, Presidential Libraries, museums, movies, and more, memories of the adventures we’ve had, our new lamps store.

I love seeing tokens of our happy memories before I go to sleep each night. Beyond adding tickets from yet-to-be-had adventures, I can change out the tickets for seasonal decor. During the fall I can fill them with gilded acorns, and at Christmastime, ornaments or old string-light bulbs.

Ticket Stubs + Fillable Lamps https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/ticket-stubs-fillable-lamps/I filled our lamps with 3D glasses from when we went to see the Rockettes at Radio City, with the number we took when waiting in line to get our marriage license, with tickets to Oz with Orchestra I bought to celebrate my mom’s birthday, and Fitz and the Tantrums tickets I won on the radio. Atop our nightstands are souvenirs like our ACL wristbands, and badges for our annual Oscar Movie Marathon. The lamps are filled with VIP lanyards from the Austin Ice Cream Festival I helped plan and SeaPasses from our honeymoon cruise. They house tickets to the Colosseum in Rome, Sagrada Familia in Spain, and hotel key cards from our trip to Toronto.

Each time I change out the contents of the lamps, I take another walk down memory

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Sources: Lamps

This post is linked at Tatertots & Jello.

A Pop of Color Goes a Long Way

24 Jan

Some of the best decorating decisions are the ones that scare you a little bit at first, the ones that are bold and daring. For instance, painting the bathroom black. Or, painting a giant monogram the brightest blue you can find.

I would consider myself a slow decorator. I start with a few things I love. I wait for a vision. Then I gather, v e r y s l o w l y. I will likely never be the blogger that writes posts like “5 easy ways to spruce up your living room this weekend.” I am becoming okay with my process. No, my home wasn’t perfectly decorated months after I moved in. It still isn’t. Yes, my black bathroom looks exactly the way it did in the photos I took so many months ago, with the addition of a few brass candlesticks, but Dallas Shaw breathed life into my vision the moment she revealed her dining room. I saw the photos and got that feeling you get when someone puts words to something you couldn’t quite figure out how to express. Vision, people, is key.

My bedroom also looks the same as it did when I painted it a few months ago, even though I have a can of high gloss paint and a faux bois finishing kit waiting to grace my nightstands. Well, it did look the same, until I made one small change. Remember how I said I wanted to bring in a bright blue, to make it a little less masculine? I took step one and added a small amount. And here it is:

Navy Bright Blue Bedroom www.gustoandgraceblog.com

Maybe for a person drawn to the neutral palette of Parisian apartments, it is more than a small amount of color… Just as a quick reminder, here is what it looked like before:

Master_Bedroom_After_Gusto_and_Grace

And way before:

Master_Bedroom_Before_Gusto_and_Grace

Next week, look for a Valentine’s DIY and another baby shower.

Thanks for reading,

Dominique

My Newly Navy and Grey Bedroom

12 Nov

I think beige walls look old and dirty. There, I said it. When I moved into my new Austin home, every wall and ceiling in the house was beige. Slowly, I’m covering up the watered down builder’s beige. This weekend, Anthony helped me tackle our bedroom.

Here are the beige befores:

Image

Image

During:

Master_Bedroom_Painting_Gusto_and_GraceAnd take the afters as progress, not a finished product. The vision is bigger than the paint. This was step one in the makeover.

Master_Bedroom_After_Gusto_and_Grace

 

 

I learned from our powder bathroom, that textured walls in dark colors should be painted with flat paint, nothing else. The navy looks darker in person than in pictures. It goes up the wall, across the ceiling and down the other wall creating a faux canopy. I love how it turned out. The dresser, the nightstands, and the P will eventually change colors.

Accents will be bright blue. I think that will help the room feel less like Hillary Swank’s home (well styled, but too masculine for me).

Master_Bedroom_Dresser_Wall_After I bought Vincent from the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth two years ago. He finally found a (temporary) home. Cue Carrie Underwood. He’s too small for the space, but it feels good to finally have art on the walls.

What did you do this weekend?

 

 

 

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