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Home > Celebrity IOU > Rosario Dawson’s Mentor Sal Gets an Ornate Modern Living Room

Rosario Dawson’s Mentor Sal Gets an Ornate Modern Living Room

rosario dawson celebrity iou

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This week, the Rosario Dawson Celebrity IOU episode did not disappoint. Rosario, prominent actress known from Kids, Seven Pounds, and The Mandalorian, to name a few, is gifting Sal, her friend and mentor of 25 years, a life-changing home makeover. Sal and Rosario met when she first got to Hollywood as a young starry-eyed actress. He was working as a costume designer, and immediately took her under his wing. The two have created an incredible bond over the years. So Rosario decided to enlist the help of Drew and Jonathan to makeover Sal’s outdated living space.

Sal said that while he’s grown, the house has sort of stayed behind. And though he has an impeccable creative eye, he began to experience what Rosario referred to as “designer paralysis.” Sal renovated his bathroom and his kitchen, and then got stuck on the details of where to start with the rest of the living area.

Sal’s home was built in 1939, so there are a ton of beautiful charms and character built into the space to take advantage of while renovating, especially since Sal loves ornate period details. Before Rosario and the Bros came in, his living space reflected a Hollywood Regency style, which was very popular from the 1920s to the 1950s. It was all about glam, glitz, and ornamental design choices. So Rosario, Drew, and Jonathan decided to bring that glossy style into the 21st century, curating a space that’s opulent, interesting, and better reflect Sal’s artistic taste.

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Check out the decor, furniture, and more seen in this episode–and get it for yourself!


Celebrity IOU: Rosario Dawson

Before & Afters
rosario dawson celebrity iou
ciou living room after
Darker Ceiling, Bigger Space

Because he loves to entertain, Sal needed a living room that felt jazzy and chic while still making period details pop. When reimagining the living room, Drew, Jonathan, and Rosario knew they had a gorgeous fireplace and crown molding to work with. But bringing those details up-to-date would take a little bit of creativity. They decided to turn to the ceiling. Painting it a bold black actually opened up the space, making the room feel more spacious. And removing the shutters provided desperately-needed light while also softening the room.

celebrity iou library before
ciou library after
A Stunning Custom Bookshelf

Rosario and the Bros decided to build a custom floor-to-ceiling bookcase that frames the dining room on the other side of the wall, combining that Old Hollywood charm with a modern finish. Here, it’s all about the small details: The focused lighting inside each shelf, the brass picture lights, the mirror-and-wood inlay. And of course, the sliding library ladder. When he entered the living room and got a look at the wall-to-wall bookshelves, Sal says, “This is awesome! I could not love this anymore!”

dining room before ciou
rosario dawson ciou dining room after
Stonework, Wallpaper, Sparkle

The dining room had to be something picturesque; something interesting and elegant while staying cutting-edge. They refreshed the doors to Sal’s cabinets with a color that better matched his kitchen and living room in order to make the space more cohesive. Then, Rosario, Drew, and Jonathan turned to a bold navy-and-metallic wallpaper to add sparkle and define the room’s lush ambiance. Pops of color and intrigue come from the stonework on the dining room shelves as well as the fabulous pink dining chairs.

Sal’s 1939 Hollywood Regency home went from disconnected to distinguished and dashing. As he steps into his new space, his jaw drops. Every piece of furniture, every fabric, every dish or pillow or vase, was all chosen distinctly and intentionally just for Sal. He’s elated with how well the renovation turned out.

At the very end, teary-eyed, grateful, and full of love, Sal says, “I love all the details. It’s like a hug from Rosario when I walk in that room.” Because your family isn’t always just blood-related. “You were like my sister from day one,” Sal says to Rosario. “There’s there’s very few people in your life that stay in your life. You’re my family, and only family would do something like this for you.”

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Tune into a brand-new episode of Celebrity IOU every Monday night on HGTV at 8pm ET|7pm CT. Stream the Rosario Dawson Celebrity IOU episode on MAX.

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