Adding vintage charm to a kitchen // Takeaways from the Porch House Reno

There are few things I love more in a home than a beautiful kitchen with vintage appeal. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, adding vintage charm into your kitchen isn’t as hard as it seems.  Even if your kitchen is brand new and your budget is stretched super thin, vintage charm is possible!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelves and Cabs 3.2 CROPPED

our Porch House kitchen renovation (via Instagram)

Six takeaways from the Porch House renovation on how to add vintage charm to a new, old, or something-in-between kitchen. psst: these are great tips to review before starting on a kitchen renovation, especially in a vintage home!

Natural elements // wood, marble, stone and other natural materials feel old because they are old. These are also the materials that were used in kitchens at the turn of the last century – back before the advent of quartz and mdf – so these materials lend a timeless appeal to any kitchen. If you’re renovating, think about marble, soapstone, or honed black granite countertops. And if not, prop some old wood or marble boards against your backsplash. Natural materials tend to get better with age, so you can argue that they are great investments too!  That brings me to number two…

Aged Brass // in the oldest of old homes, you usually find brass hardware on the original cabinets and doors, and it’s aged to perfection. To get that feel in a new kitchen, try swapping out your hardware for unlacquerd brass (which will patina) or aged brass hardware in a classic style such as a bin pull, cabinet latch, and knob. For budget hardware options, like what we used in the Porch House kitchen, look here.

Vintage accessories // if a remodel is not in your immediate future, bring in some vintage accents. Pieces with a little patina like old bread boards, vintage cotton towels, hand-carved utensils, vintage art and rugs, your grandmother’s cookbooks, and old baskets add instant character. Place them on your countertops (in low traffic areas), on open shelves, in glass-fronted cabinets, or prop them against your backsplash. These pieces don’t need to cost a fortune, either. Try hitting up yard sales, antique shops, estate sales, or peek through your parent’s garage.

Dried herbs // growing food and making spices is a bit of a lost art these days, but hanging herbs in your kitchen (even if they’re from your grocery store’s produce section), gives your space automatic vintage appeal. I like wrapping up a few stems of thyme, sage, or lavender with a little twine and then hanging them from a peg or a small hook mounted to the underside of a cabinet. Bonus: your kitchen will smell like a five-star restaurant!

Keep the color palette simple // whether you’re renovating anew or dealing with an existing kitchen, sticking with two or three hues in your kitchen lets vintage accents shine through. At the Porch House, we painted all the walls and shelves a basic white, selected a soft neutral for the cabinetry, and topped everything with carrara marble. This simple color palette allows the eye to notice the elements we layered over top: vintage artwork, wood utensils, and brass hardware. And if you happen to have a dark kitchen or it’s wood heavy, I’d look for white stoneware and other light vintage accents to achieve a similar focal point.

Hide the hood // this tip is for folks looking to renovate or do a large DIY project. Built-in range hoods that hide all or part of the hood and vent, feel much older than their modern counterparts. At the Porch House, we drywalled the built-in hood, and in our Ravenna renovation, we built a cabinet to hide the vent.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Large HoodThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen HoodThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelf 2.1

our Porch House kitchen renovation (vintage utensils from, crockhardware, pegspot filler c/o)

Those are a few takeaways from our Porch House renovation, but I’d love to hear if you have any others. Let us know in the comments!

If you’re itching to find a few vintage (or vintage-inspired) accessories for your kitchen, here are a few items that have caught my eye as of late:


our favorite hardware under $7 / tips for buying vintage rugs (from Room for Tuesday) / how to age brass (from In My Own Style)

And in case you want to Pin this one for later…

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Shelves and Cabs 3.2 TEXT




Happy Friday + Links 1/12/18

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse in the Winter Snow

Happy Friday! Let me start out by saying, THANK YOU for all the comments and feedback on our blog goals last week. You guys really know how to get a girl excited for the year ahead. And speaking of 2018, we're off to a great start! Baking bread, writing content for this here blog (the Porch House powder bathroom is up next!), playing in the snow, … [Continue reading...]


Porch House // A (Finished!) White and Wood Mudroom

The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal 2.2

THE PORCH HOUSE The Porch House mudroom is finished (!!!), but I suppose that's obvious since we sold the house last month ;) The mudroom - which doubles as a laundry, storage, and wash room - gets the best natural light and is conveniently located next to the kitchen and back door.  But probably my favorite feature about this room is … [Continue reading...]

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The Top 10 Posts of 2017 on the Grit and Polish


Before I get started on today's post, I have to say that I wasn't planning to do any kind of yearly wrap-up here on the blog. But I couldn't quite get 2017 out of my mind.  What were the most popular posts?  Did you guys like the same topics as me?  Were room reveals, renovation updates, or personal posts the most viewed? Yesterday I looked … [Continue reading...]

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Happy Friday + Links 1/5/18

Jean Stoffer Kitchen 2

Happy Friday and happy 2018! To start the year off right, here's one of my favorite kitchens from 2017 by the fabulous Jean Stoffer: Jean Stoffer / via @jeanstofferdesign Did you make a New Years resolution?  I never seem to be decisive enough for New Years resolutions, but I do take a little time to reflect on the past year and make goals for … [Continue reading...]


We Sold the Porch House! + Links 12/22/17

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Before Pic on After

Happy Friday (and almost Christmas)!  I hadn't planned on posting today, but this was such a big week, I had to.  I mean, aliens!  Plus, a little closer to home, we sold the Porch House. That's right, after 10 months of renovating, we officially closed on Monday.  While it would be natural to feel a little sad parting with such a beautiful home … [Continue reading...]


My Sister’s Home // Holiday Dining Room

The Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Room 11-2017 Dita 2

MY SISTER'S HOME Since I showed you the Porch House holiday decor earlier this week, I thought it would be fun to continue the theme and take you on a tour of my sister's dining room. She had her dining room all decked out before Thanksgiving, so I took some shots when we were down for the holiday.  I did absolutely nothing to stage the space … [Continue reading...]

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Porch House // Holiday Decor (and Sneak Peeks)

The Grit and Polish - Porch Dining Room and Fireplace Again

THE PORCH HOUSE Garrett and I hardly need an excuse to throw a party (see: birthdays, holidays, seasons, babies, work parties, Wednesdays...), so to celebrate the completion of the Porch House we, naturally, threw a party.  We invited friends, family, neighbors, community members, and blog readers over for a "finish party" so they could see the … [Continue reading...]


Happy Friday + Links 12/15/17

Building Walnut Farm mudroom

Happy Friday!  We are getting pretty excited for Christmas around the Farmhouse.  There's nothing like the excitement of a 4-year-old to really get you in the holiday spirit!  We have yet to fully decorate or bake all the cookies the kids and I have planned, but we're hoping to get to all that this weekend.  We'll be hosting Christmas day brunch … [Continue reading...]