Tag Archives: DIY

Paradise Found: Kona, Hilo, and Waikiki

26 Jul

I have experienced something magnificent and unique in every place I have ever visited. Throughout my most recent trip, spare maybe the Grand Canyon, I was more moved by nature than I have ever been. For my mom’s fiftieth birthday, my family traveled to the big island (Hawai’i Five-O, get it?).  Where else can you experience the power of the ocean, witness glowing red molten rock sputter out of a crater and be humbled by astronomy?

If you find yourself heading to Oahu or the Big Island, I’ll breeze over some favorites, hoping you find my experiences useful. If you’re not going anywhere for awhile, I hope the pictures provide a quick escape or motivation to start planning your next getaway.

After spending an afternoon at Punalu’u Black Sands Beach, we grabbed lunch at the  Ohelo Cafe on the way to Vocanoes National Park. If you’re short on time, walk through the Thurston Lava Tube and stop at the Jagger Museum overlook where we saw lava sputtering out of Kīlauea crater.

Punaluu Black Sands Beach HawaiiPalm Trees at Punaluu Black Sand Beach Hawaii Big Island

We rounded out the day with a guided night snorkel with manta rays. I hope to add photos of the dive to this post soon, but I used a waterproof disposable film camera, so they are currently being developed. I feel like I time travelled a decade just typing that.

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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

Snow Globe Cake

22 Dec

This year, Anthony and I hosted our first annual Christmas party. After all was said and done he told me, “We need to throw more parties. It makes your soul happy.” I guess it was pretty obvious to him that I loved every bit of “work” that went into it.

The centerpiece was an easier-than-it-appears snow globe cake. Christmas Snow Globe Cake

I never take shortcuts on frosting because nothing can beat a homemade buttercream, especially when it is Nutella buttercream. Everything else, I totally cheated on. Boxed cake. Premade fondant. Store-bought gingerbread house kit.

Snow Globe Christmas Cake

The depth of the gingerbread house had to be cut to size so the house would fit under the dome. I sawed through the gingerbread with a bread knife and realized later it probably would have been easier if I had worked with a wet blade.

Snow_globe_Christmas_Cake

I entered photos of the cake in a contest at work. Cross your fingers for me, there is $100 on the line!

Snowglobe Cake Red Christmas

Tell me about some of the best Christmas parties you’ve ever been to in the comments.

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

 

Bathroom Decor Dilemmas

25 Apr

I am an art thief. I took the artwork pictured below without paying for it.

Image

Before

I really don’t even have any interest in the artwork, but I am crazy about the frame, so I took it.

In my defense, my neighbor put it on the curb and I asked him if I could have it. I think he is absolutely bonkers for tossing it.

I took it without even knowing what I would do with it or where I would put it, but at the low price of free I could not pass it up. A menu in the kitchen? A frame for new artwork? After quickly realizing that it is the perfect size for the awkward vanity in the bathroom upstairs, I found its home and its purpose.

With a $17 piece of glass from Lowes, corner braces, and a few screws, I turned it into a mirror.

Image

After

But, much like the children’s book if you give a mouse a cookie, the what-next wheels started turning as soon as I put it in place.

The over-the-top ornateness of the frame makes even my favorite shadow puppet plates feel plain.

Image

Maybe you’d be willing to give me your input. Here are the questions that have been on my mind since the mirror was hung (Note, not major changes such as a new vanity or new flooring are in the cards right now):

  • Should I paint the frame of the mirror? If so, what color? High gloss?
  • Should I remove the cabinet above the toilet? It never looked odd before the mirror was hung, but I could possibly reuse it in laundry room, and we do not need the storage in the bathroom with a double vanity and a linen closet.
  • Should I paint the cabinets? What color?
  • What color should I paint the walls? (Any shade of red is out)
  • Do the hot air balloon and the shadow puppet plates need to move out now?

Image

To see the bathroom with the builder-grade mirror in all its beige glory, click here.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

DIY Campaign-Style Frames

28 Mar

If you haven’t noticed, I dig inexpensive wall art (see free Prade Marfa printables here and $2 Marbled artwork here). While I would love to collect a few museum-worthy pieces, my financial priorities just don’t lie in art right now.

Ikea is my go-to for frames, but I’ve been wanting to “hack” my dining room frames lately. I opted to avoid the trendy campaign-style makeover for my nightstands, but still have a secret love affair with brass corner brackets.

In the spirit of inexpensive art, I give you upcycled campaign-style frames.

DIY Campaign Style Frames

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Uchi Inspired Chopstick Holders

21 Mar

Forgive my absence for the second Tuesday in a row. This week, my husband told me I wasn’t allowed to blog “work” because of my birthday.

I got spoiled rotten for my birthday this year. This has truly been the birthday that never ends.

On Monday night, my husband took me to not one, but two, restaurants I have been wanting to try in Austin: Uchi for dinner, and Qui for dessert.

Which brings me to the easiest dinner party DIY. Don’t you love simple brilliance?

One piece of paper (2×3.5 in.)

One medium circle hole punch

One pair of chopsticks

Uchi Inspired Chopstick Holders www.gustoandgraceblog.com

You can make this easy, disposable, chopstick holder using any plain or patterned cardstock, to match any color scheme. You can write your guests names on them in calligraphy, or stamp, emboss, or print them.

Easy as birthday cake.

Thanks for reading,

♥ Dominique

Good Day Austin | DIY Wedding Invitations

25 Feb

 

 

I had a great time with Good Day Austin’s Anchor, Lauren Petrowski, talking about DIYing wedding invitations for their Make It Monday segment. I was thrilled to have the opportunity and am excited about the possibility of being a guest on the morning show again within the next few months.
FOX 7 | Good Day Austin: Make it Monday | DIY Wedding Invitations www.gustoandgraceblog.com

 

The image above may be deceiving, as you can’t actually press the play button. Unfortunately WordPress.com doesn’t support FOX 7 videos. You can watch the video by visiting Good Day Austin’s website here: DIY Invitations.

The three minute segment really flew by, so be sure to check out my  six tips for DIYing your wedding invitation suite.

Thanks for reading and, now, watching,

♥ Dominique

Clay Conversation Hearts

31 Jan

I’m sure you remember those chalky conversation hearts you got for Valentine’s day back in elementary school. The sayings were sweet, but the taste was anything but. I made an equally inedible version for February fourteenth.

DIY Conversation Hearts www.gustoandgraceblog.com

I made party picks out of mine, but these little clay hearts can take a thousand different forms. Forgo the toothpicks and you can use them for many Valentine’s projects.

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/clay-conversation-hearts/

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Put a handful in a small muslin bag to give to your Valentine
  • Poke holes in the sides of the hearts before baking them and add a small length of chain to make decanter tags for your bar cart
  • Make a Valentine’s day necklace
  • Poke a hole near the top-center, add an ornament hook and put them on a Valentine’s tree
  • String them together to make a garland
  • Use them as placecards for a dinner party
  • Make tags for wine glasses

Here’s the how-to:

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/clay-conversation-hearts/

You’ll need:

  • Polymer clay
  • A rolling pin
  • A small heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Small alphabet stamps (I used metal stamps I had, but the dollar section at Michaels has small letter rubber stamps)
  • An oven
  • Pastel paints
  • A paintbrush
  • A thin red Sharpie

Directions:

Roll out your clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use your cookie cutter to cut as many hearts as you desire. Stamp them with lovey messages. I chose Be Mine, Wink Wink, Love You, Kiss Me, BFF, Me & You, XOXO and URAQT. Bake your hearts at 275°F for approximately 20 minutes. Once they cool, paint them, let dry, and retrace the messages with a red pen.

DIY Conversation Hearts #valentines https://gustoandgrace.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/clay-conversation-hearts/

If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration, take a look at my February Pinterest board.

Thanks for reading,

Dominique 

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