Hi there! We’re Cathy and Garrett and we’re all about old houses, DIY renovations, and slow(ish) family living in our country farmhouse. We’ve spent the past decade renovating old homes in Washington state and we showcase our projects and DIY skills here on the Grit and Polish. We’re parents, landlords, DIYers, and old-home lovers and we’re always in search of a good beer, a fresh adventure, and a fixer upper.

Our start to renovating

In 2008, Garrett and I bought our first home, a fixer upper in Seattle. We had no idea what we were doing, but we renovated it over 3 months, learning as we went, buying essential tools, and asking friends and family for help. Pretty soon we translated those skills into our next property. And then the next and the next.

After a decade of nights and weekends spent renovating, Garrett and I quit our 9-5 jobs in Seattle and moved our family to an old Farmhouse in the country in eastern Washington (you can read more about that here). We are now full-time renovators, landlords, and bloggers, still DIY-ing everything we can and making it all up as we go.

our properties

In addition to our Farmhouse, Garrett and I own 4 rental properties: the Wallingford House, Bryant House, Dexter House, and the Poplar Cottage (you can find tours under the ‘our homes’ tab). We also sold the Ravenna House in 2018 (more about that here) and took on our first (and only) flip project, the Porch House in 2017, which we renovated in front of HGTV’s cameras, before selling to Garrett’s parents.

A few things about us:

  • Garrett and I grew up together in the small town where we now live (Ellensburg, WA) and started dating at high school graduation.

  • We have three kids aged 7, 4, and 3.

  • Cathy has gray hair and stopped dying it in 2018.

  • The quest for financial independence and ‘early retirement’ are a big part of our life. You can read more about that here.

  • We stared in an HGTV pilot in 2017 called ‘Master Plan’, which was a really fun experience and you can read about it here.

  • Cathy is a sourdough bread baker and Garrett does most of the cooking our house.

  • Garrett has a PhD in biochemistry. Cathy has bachelor degrees in journalism and structural engineering.

  • We made a plan to slow down and live more intentionally at our Farmhouse in 2020 and you can read about that here.


-Cathy and Garrett

Garrett and Cathy September 2019 2.2 circle.jpg

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Garden July 2019.jpg

Our Homes and Renovations over the Years

The Farmhouse

The Porch House

The 6 Day Kitchen Reno

The Bryant House

The Ravenna House

The Dexter House

The Wallingford House

The Tacoma Garage

head on over to the blog

and catch up on the lastest project