Tag Archives: Home

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?

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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

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

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 

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

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

 

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

Entryway Progress and Inspiration

22 Apr

The first night you paint your door black you may have multiple micro anxiety attacks when you walk by thinking, “Oh no, the door is open!” And, “I hope the dog didn’t get out!”

Those thoughts wear off and they are worth it. Easter Sunday, I crossed paint the door black off of my to-do list. I did not take a great before shot, but you can see a glimpse of our previously white door when we installed our ceiling medallion. Unfortunately, due to HOA restrictions and my inability to get matching paint, the exterior of our door still looks shoddy.

Black & White Entryway Inspiration

When I controversially decided against buying a gorgeous chandelier at Round Top, the one reason I was able to walk away was that I kept my high-contrast vision in mind. Below, I’ll share with you my mental inspiration board for the tiny room.

Continue reading

Sunburst Mirrors

15 Nov

If you missed it, head on over to Hello Homebody to check out my Thanksgiving tablescape!

Remember when I found that mirrored console for $40 and made my husband help me drag it all over the house to find it’s home? I created a mood board pairing it with leopard x benches, an oval rug, a sunburst mirror, and Benjamin Moore’s Dark Harbor paint. I started to hunt for a sunburst mirror, and this is what I found:

Sunburst Mirrors
Top left: Target, Top Right: Wayfair, Center: 1st Dibs, Bottom Left: Wayfair, Bottom Right: Ballard Designs
The least expensive one had a less than hot review. The one from Target is not what I was searching for. The $100 one is a small 21 inches and still steep. And the other two, well, I will let the price tags speak for me.
I had to decide whether to look for a substitute or wait for a steal. And then I found this:
Sunburst Mirror
My girl, Martha, came to my rescue with this 30 inch golden beauty with a convex mirror priced at $35. I went out and bought it within hours of seeing it. I had to before Home Depot changed their mind on the price!
Until next week!
Dominique 

Mirrored Console Mood Board

15 Oct

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across an amazing deal at Target: an online-only mirrored console table at my local store, regularly $250 for $40! I’ve been eyeing mirrored furniture, and the husband, who isn’t mirrored furnitures’ biggest fan, was glad I got my fix for $40. I put it together and Anthony helped me carry it from room to room, up and down the stairs (and back up again) to decide where it should live.

It looked great where the bar cart is currently, but it made our current TV console look short and unbalanced. It would make a great TV console, but we’d have some DVD storage to figure out, and a few wires to hide. It wasn’t quite right in the bedroom either. The empty landing upstairs was perfect.

Now what to do with the rest of the barren area? I pulled my inspiration from a local Austin blog, Design Crisis. I’m in love with the interior designer, Erin Williamson’s Teal Room.

With our wedding giftcards spent, me still on the hunt for a job, and a necessary new car purchase on the horizon, home projects have slowed. That doesn’t stop me from dreaming up ideals. Here’s what I’d love to do for our upstairs landing:
Mirrored Console Mood Board
Now that our home is mostly furnished, I want thoughtfulness to be evident in the design of my home.
Do you put together mood boards for your home? What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
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