Happy Friday + Links (10/13/17)

Happy Friday (the 13th)! Perhaps it’s the chill in the air or the fact that having a newborn has kept me at home more than usual this Fall, but I’ve been making small tweaks all over the Farmhouse to get our home ready for the cold months ahead.  And by that, I mean cozier and comfier before the weather forces us indoors.  I must admit that even though we’ve lived at the Farmhouse for over a year, many of the rooms feel far less than homey.  This house is larger than our previous homes, and we moved in with very little furniture (since we used much of our furniture for our furnished rentals), so it’s been a process to get our home decorated.  It doesn’t help that I’m one of those people who likes to live in a space for awhile and get to know how it will function best before we spend money on furniture.  And while I think it’s a great design philosophy in general – especially if you don’t want to waste much money on making design mistakes – it can mean waiting a long time before spaces feel just right.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final close

I’ve been trying to change that as of late with small tweaks around the Farmhouse.  I moved the large hutch from the office into the living room for much needed toy storage, bought a couple of large, cotton blankets for cuddling up with the kids, found a cozy armchair for our bedroom, made a glider for Daphne’s nursery (seen above; DIY post coming soon), and rearranged the couch for a cozier feel.  And I don’t want to over sell these small changes, our house feels one million times cozier! 😉  I’ll share more of these tweaks here or over on Instagram soon, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear what you guys do to get ready for winter.  Especially if you make any changes in preparation for long days with cooped up kids!

Well it’s Friday again, which means I’ve scoured the internet for all sorts of good links.  Grab a cup of coffee and jump in.

Having lost our beloved dog earlier this year, this tribute to ‘the greatest dog in the world’ really hit home.

Picky eaters…do you have one?

I love seeing kids at work, and that includes Jenna Dewan Tatum doing her dance thing.

Did you watch ‘The Big Short’?  It’s a good one.  And this guy who you may remember from the movie, just won the Nobel Prize.  Consider me impressed!

We bought these string lights for the Farmhouse last summer and will put something similar above the Porch House patio (bonus: they’re on sale!).

Boxwood Avenue Kitchen


Chloe’s blog, Boxwood Avenue, is such a fun one to follow.  You never know if you’re going to see a beautiful kitchen (oh my that Lacanche range!!!) or her goats or a made-from-scratch recipe.  Plus right now, Chole is taking part as a featured designer for the One Room Challenge and it looks like we’ll be seeing her on TV soon!

Speaking of TV, Lauren’s show got picked up!  Excited to see more ‘Best House on the Block’ on HGTV next year.

PSA: one of my favorite online stores (emphasis on online…a necessity when living in a small town!) for decor and textiles is having their friends and family event.  Use code ‘HAPPYDAYS’ to get 20% off of everything, including markdowns!  Here are a few favorites, including the super soft baby blanket I bought for Wilder 4 years ago, which is still one of my my go-to newborn gifts:

Pretty sure Daphne’s nursery is going to get a few of these!

Have a great weekend!




Porch House Master Suite // Paint and Hardwoods (ORC Week 2)


This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1.

We’re back to the Porch House today, in another installment of the One Room Challenge.  I’m not one to branch out too much with paint colors.  Honestly, I wish I was a little more fearless with picking colors, but I usually stick to a handful of trusted colors.  And that’s exactly what I did here.  We painted the closet and bathroom in a bright and warm white – Benjamin Moore’s Simply White – with the walls in an eggshell finish and the trim in a satin finish.  You may be thinking, “satin…on the trim?!” and my answer is, yes!  Satin is in-between a matte and gloss finish and it looks beautiful on trim.  We used it throughout the main floor of the Porch House (both in BM’s Simply White and C2’s Vex colors) and it’s definitely my new go-to trim finish.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 3

Speaking of trim, you may have noticed that the trim is up now too.  We replicated the original trim profile in places where it was lacking and reused the original trim everywhere else.  Our goal is that you can’t tell where the trim is original and where it’s new.   Hopefully, all you notice is that it’s beautiful!

I should mention that Garrett is the one who installed the trim and painted, while I hung out with baby Daphne.  She isn’t taking a bottle yet, meaning it’s a 2-for-1 deal with us right now, so messy/smelly tasks are out.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 4The Grit and Polish - Porch Paint Mask Removal C

I did get to help remove all the masking after the paint was dry, which is a task I actually really like because it’s instant gratification.  It was extra fun this go around because I’ve missed out on so much of this renovation due to being pregnant and then having a newborn.  Honestly, I’m just psyched to be doing anything these days.  Of course, Daphne wasn’t far away when Garrett snapped this photo – she was napping in her carseat in the next room.  Ha!

This week we also working on finishing the hardwood floors.  Way back this Spring, we deemed the original floors in too rough of shape to refinish, so laid new white oak flooring throughout the main floor of the house (minus the master bathroom).  Uncle Dougie once again hooked us up with 2 1/2″ wide flooring, which admittedly took a long time to lay, but feel really appropriate in an old house.  This week Garrett and my dad finally got around to finishing all those hardwoods, about 1200sf in total.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish G in Closet 1

In the past, we’ve often hired out refinishing the hardwoods, because it’s just such a messy, unpleasant job.  But on this project, we couldn’t justify the cost.  We were quoted $5.75/sf (in Seattle it was more like $3.50/sf) which wasn’t in the budget.  So Garrett tackled this job with my dad’s help and he should be finishing up today or tomorrow.  They followed a similar method to what we did at the Farmhouse, which you can read about here.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish G in Closet 3

That’s a hardworking fella there.  I’m pretty sure he wanted to fire me as ‘budget master’ when I told him there wasn’t money for hiring out the refinish, but he didn’t say anything.  And that right there is the secret to our 13-year marriage 😉

Next week I’ll share all about our experience commissioning a custom vanity and stay tuned for the finished photos of these beautiful floors!

ORC guest




Bryant House // Bathroom & Office Airbnb Makeover


This is part 4 of our Bryant House Airbnb makeover.  See more of this series here: part 1 (why we turned a traditional rental into an Airbnb), part 2 (living room), part 3 (master bedroom), part 4 (kitchen and dining nook)

Well guys, this is the last part of the Bryant House makeover that I have left to show you.  I’ll probably still write another post on Airbnb hosting – tips, essentials, lessons learned, etc – but that might not be for a little while.  In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions or topics you want me to cover!

Today, we’re going to look at the bathroom and second bedroom at the Bryant House.  Let’s start with the small but efficient bathroom.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bathroom 2

I really wanted to start this post with a photo of this bathroom pre-renovation, but I couldn’t find one since we renovated this house before I started the blog and I was way less judicious about taking photos back then.  As small as this room is today, it was even smaller when we bought the house.  The area the tub now occupies was originally the master closet, so the whole bathroom was shrunk by 2.5 feet in width.  Trust me when I say, it was TINY, even by old house standards!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bathroom sinkThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bathroom

I’m sure you guys have gathered by now that I am a fan of clawfoot tubs.  Garrett, not so much.  Somehow I won out in this bathroom, though I fully admit that they don’t make for the best showering experience.  But still, they are so charming and beautiful and sturdy and the perfect solution for a small space.  I found this tub at a local salvage shop along with the sink and we painted both in Mango Gold (I believe it was a Ralph Lauren color sold through Home Depot).  I love how cheery they are.

As a rental, we stock this bathroom with white towels, shampoo/conditioner, soap, TP.  We also started leaving black washcloths in our Airbnb bathrooms for makeup removal.  Before we stocked these, we noticed quite a few of our white towels stained from makeup.

Airbnb host tip // provide black washcloths for makeup removal to limit staining on white linens

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bathroom tub detail

For Airbnb, we planned to convert the second bedroom into a bunk room, but serendipitously Garrett grabbed the wrong bed frame at IKEA.  We discovered the error on the last night of our 3-day makeover, and by then it was too late to make another trip to IKEA.  But the stars aligned for Garrett and his error ended up saving us a chunk of change.  You see, the next day Garrett had a tour of the house lined up for a couple that was interested in renting month-to-month.  And wouldn’t you know it, they took the house on the spot, and since they didn’t have kids, they asked for an office instead of a second bedroom.

Can you believe we had a desk, rug, chair, and curtain just sitting in our basement?  I guess that’s the benefit of having had moved so many times in the past 8 years. Ha!  After purging our basement, we were able to whip this room up for $0 in an afternoon.  A win for Garrett…but don’t tell him I said that.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office desk The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office curtainThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office from Living RoomThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office chair

This second bedroom also offered an ideal spot to store extra linens and supplies since there isn’t a linen closet in the house.  For all of our Airbnb’s we have a central location for sheets, towels, vacuum, iron, and a First Aid kit that guests can easily find if needed.  Storing all of this together also makes turns a little easier.

Airbnb host tip // leave extra bed linens, towels, and a first aid kit in a spot accessible to guests

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office closet

Admittedly, this room will likely transform to a bunk room when the house converts to an Airbnb at the end of the couple’s month-to-month tenancy.  At that point, the linen storage will likely end up in the basement by the laundry and this sweet little office furniture will end up back in storage.  But in the meantime, I’m pretty happy with this serendipitous (and free!) office.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office lamp The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Office 2

sources: desk // chair // rug (similar) // lamp // pillows

That’s the last of the Bryant House Airbnb spaces.  It isn’t a large house by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a light and bright and comfortable – just the way an Airbnb rental should be!




Happy Friday + Links 10/6/17

Happy Friday!

We had a couple of really lovely days this week, working as a family on the Porch House, preparing to finish the hardwood floors.  I often get asked how we renovate old houses with our kids, and while there is no magical formula, I do know that it takes patience, persistence, and a high tolerance for chaos.  Oftentimes, it’s just when I’m ready to throw in the towel and head home that the boys surprise me by sweeping the floors or digging through the planter boxes for worms or making up a game of their own…together…happily…without prompting and without bickering.  That right there, is parenting gold.  Of course, I do have some tips for renovating with kids, but I’ll save that for the post I’ve been meaning to write for a good 2 years now 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch Boys and Mama on Island .3

Speaking of family, that little guy in the red is turning 2 next week!  I can’t help but feel all the mama feels about my kids aging, but on the other hand, I’m kinda surprised Brooks isn’t 2 already.  He certainly has the will of a 2-year-old and can throw a fit with the best of them, plus having another baby has a way of making an older baby feel all grown up.  Everyone says that Brooks looks like me, which is neither here nor there, but it warms my heart all the same.  We’ll be celebrating this sweet kid this weekend with cake (of course!) plus cars and a couple new tools for his tool box.


Well it’s Friday again, meaning I’ve combed the internet for lots of great links.  Grab a cup of coffee and jump in!

Birthdays.  They call for this bedtime story.

Did you catch my introduction this week to the One Room Challenge?!  I’m super excited to join in again and also to see how all the participant’s spaces turn out!

A greenhouse renovation.  It’s a dream of mine to have a greenhouse on our property so this was extra fun for me!

My go-to cute work boots (well, technically booties) are marked down!  And by work, I mean renovating, farmers-market shopping, errand running, and pretty much everything else this busy mama does;)



Melissa’s dining room reveal went live this week and – no surprise here – it’s lovely!  Related: vintage chalkboards and I are in a lifelong relationship.

I recently picked up one of these for the Farmhouse.  Winter is coming and I’m making the best of it by stocking up on anything that will encourage cozying up, reading books, and/or sipping on hot drinks.

This wedding!

My friend Ashley has such a beautiful home and it was featured on Design Sponge! Check it out here.

With all the bad in the world this week, I wanted to end this Friday post with a favorite quote from Mother Teresa: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”  That’s just what I’ll be doing this weekend, and I wish you the same!



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Porch House Master Suite // Introductions (ORC Week 1)


This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along!

Without a doubt, the biggest renovation that Garrett and I have taken on to date is the Porch House.  Not only did we renovate a big chunk of the house in 16 days for our HGTV pilot (which should air soon!), but we’ve been tackling the rest of the house ever since.  Every square inch of this house needs work, but one of my favorite projects has been reconfiguring the main floor to accommodate a master suite.  Master suites were a rare commodity in 1900, when the Porch House was built, and adding this feature should make the house a whole lot more relevant in 2017, not to mention help with resale.

Since some of you may be new to the Grit and Polish, let me do a quick introduction.  My husband, Garrett, and I renovate old houses in Washington state, but our start on this path was less than auspicious.  Like many young couples, we bought our first old house with the intent to fix it up and live in it forever. But the recession made quick work of those plans and through a series of unpredictable events, we turned into landlords (you can read more about that here).  Thankfully, we liked being landlords, and as rental income began filling our savings account, we saw a new path forward for ourselves.  Over the next few years, we purchased and renovated 3 more homes, and eventually turned them into rental properties (the Bryant, Ravenna, and Dexter houses) all while working full-time jobs and having babies.  In 2016, it was time to slow down, so we quit our jobs, moved to a Farmhouse in the country, and became full-time parents, landlords, and renovators.  This year, we also picked up our first flip project, filmed a pilot for HGTV, and had our third child, a baby girl named Daphne.  Apparently we’re not that great at slowing down 😉

Okay, back to the One Room Challenge.  Last year I joined in the Fall One Room Challenge as a guest participant for the first time and made over our Farmhouse master bedroom, shown below.  It was a really fun experience as a blogger, and I’ve been eager to join in ever since.


I’m excited that this go around, I get to do a bigger renovation project.  See when we bought the Porch House, it needed a lot of work, and the future master bathroom and closet were no exception.  The space was dark and dull and totally uninspired.  Take a look for yourself:

The Grit and Polish - Porch Bedroom Coversion 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bathroom 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Before BathroomThe Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bedroom to Bathroom 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bedroom to Bathroom 3

That last photo is of the second main-floor bedroom, which we’ll also be working on during the One Room Challenge.  We are planning to convert both the existing bathroom and this second bedroom into the master bathroom and closet plus a powder bathroom.  That may be a bit confusing, so here is what it looks like in plan view.  This is the original layout:

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

And here’s what we’re planning:

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

Thankfully we are a little ahead of the curve and have already finished demo, framing, drywall, and rough-in plumbing.  So we are ready to hit the ground running with this 6-week makeover!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Framing 1

That little bit of navy blue wall you see is the master bedroom, which is a darker and moodier bedroom than I’ve ever done before.  That space was made over as part of our HGTV pilot, so you can catch the reveal when the show airs (slated to be this Fall!).

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Drywall 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Framing 2

So let’s talk about my design plans for this master bathroom and closet.  I’m envisioning a bright, classic space that feels at home in an old house, but yet also fresh and relevant.  There will be lots of white, per my usual, plus chrome, wood, marble, and a bit of slate.  Here is the inspiration I’m drawing from.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Master Suite Inspiration

Inspiration, clockwise from top left: 1 // 2 // 3

The top, left inspiration photo is from a design duo out of Portland called Kaemingk Design.  They create amazing bathrooms (and all spaces, really), and we’ll be using similar tiles in our shower and a long cloth curtain in lieu of a glass enclosure.  I’m planning on laying a slate tile floor in the bathroom just as Studio McGee did in the mudroom image.  And lastly, we’re planning on a custom wood vanity in a similar style to the one shown.

Next week I’ll catch you up on paint and hopefully recap the hardwood floor refinish (we laid hardwoods in the closet).  The refinish is going down right now, so you can catch a peek on my stories. I can’t wait to share our progress with you!

ORC guest

Be sure to check out all the featured designers and the guests designers here!




Bryant House // Kitchen and Dining Room Airbnb Makeover


This is part 4 of our Bryant House Airbnb makeover.  See more of this series here: part 1 (why we turned a traditional rental into an Airbnb), part 2 (living room), part 3 (master bedroom)

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen 4

The Bryant House kitchen and attached dining room is one of my favorite renovations to date.  We tackled this space in 2013, and although there are things I’d change today (like those miss-colored floor boards), I still love the design, simplicity, and functionality of this room.  But I must admit, the reason that this is one of my favorites has little to do with all that…it’s because this room gets the best natural light.  There are windows facing east, south, and west, which we enhanced by removing an interior wall and adding 2 sliding glass doors to the backyard.  I also love the built-in banquette in the dining nook, and in fact, my fondest memories of living in this house are from right there.  Wilder was born at the Bryant House shortly after we completed this kitchen remodel, and we spent so many late nights and early mornings sitting at the table, playing games with friends and getting to know our baby boy.  Needless to say, it was fun to be back here in August, this time with our 3rd baby, converting the house to an Airbnb/month-to-month rental over 3 days.

Before I show you more of what this room looks like now, I wanted take you back 5 years ago to what it looked like pre-renovation.  In parts 2 and 3 of this series, I showed you the Bryant House as it looked when we arrived to do the 3 day makeover, but since this kitchen didn’t need furnishing (the hutch and table are both permanent fixtures at the house), I thought pre-renovation photos would be a whole lot more fun.  So let’s take a walk down memory lane and look back to what this room was like when we bought the house.  These ‘before’ pictures are straight off of my phone, taken at night and completely unedited, so excuse the quality.

This first ‘before’ photo is from the same vantage point as the above photo.

Photo Oct 19, 5 53 30 PM

Ugh soffit.  And don’t get me started on those cheap cabinets.  Any why why is such a small space shrunk even further with a wall running down the center of the room?! Speaking of that wall, it separated the tiny dining space from the kitchen.  Here is what the dining space looked like back in 2012 (I’m barely pregnant with Wilder in this next shot and look oh so thrilled ;):

Photo Oct 19, 5 53 50 PM

As you can see, the dining space was originally small, dark, and completely closed off from everything.  Honestly, I’m not sure anyone ever used this space.  I’d like to think that by removing the wall, adding a sliding door to the backyard, and building in banquette seating, we increased the usability of this room by 1000%.   Yes, 1000%!  Here’s that same view today:

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Dining Nook

Ah…much better!  We didn’t have to do much in the ding room during the reno (the windows, floor, walls are all original) but we did add that sliding door, build the banquette, replace the light, and add shelving to the nook.  I’ll share more of this dining space in a second, but first, let’s do one more before and after, because they are just so fun.


Photo Oct 19, 5 53 39 PM


The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen 7

Gosh that makes me happy.  The big change here was removing the old chimney, which terminated into the wall (that big lump in the wall by the doorway in the before photo).  We never could quite figure out whey it didn’t extend into the basement like 99% of all chimneys I’ve ever seen, but there you have it.  This chimney stopped mid-wall.  There was no fireplace, gas stove, or HVAC attached to the chimney, so it made removing it easy – we just had to patch the roof.

Let’s get back to the Airbnb makeover part of this post.  While we didn’t have to buy any furniture for this room, we did buy a ton of supplies.  I won’t provide a complete list here because it would be a mile long, but think about everything you use in your kitchen on a daily basis and we pretty much bought it.  Dishes, silverware, coffee pot, baking pans, drinking glasses, knives, oven mitts, yada, yada, yada.  Two suggestions I have for anyone setting up an Airbnb – get a teapot (you’d be surprised how often it’s requested) and buy a simple coffee pot that is easy to operate.

Airbnb host tip // provide guests with a teapot and the simplest coffee pot you can find (that even coffee-deprived, jet-lagged people can operate first thing in the morning)

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen SinkThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen 3The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Kitchen to Living room

To give you an idea of how this space connects to the rest of the house, the living room window in the previous photo is at the front of the house.  And here’s the reverse view from the living room looking into the kitchen and dining space.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Room to kitchenThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Kitchen long .2The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen 5

This kitchen is narrow and long, and doesn’t have a ton of countertop space, so we brought in a rolling metal cart to function as an island.  The rolling cart works great in here because it provides a ton of countertop space (it’s 2’x4′) but doesn’t take a lot of visual space, plus it can be moved around to where it’s needed.  If you have a similar issue in your own kitchen, I highly recommend a similar cart!  BTW, all the sources are listed at the bottom of this post.

The hutch by the sliding door is another awkward-space solution.  That area isn’t deep enough for standard-depth cabinets and countertops, and a custom cabinet for this spot would have been pretty pricey, so I found this hutch on Craigslist.  It provides a ton of storage but was one-fifth the price of cabinets.  I like that it adds a little interest at the end of the kitchen too.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Kitchen

One of my favorite parts of the design of this room is those original cabinets.  You guys probably know by now that I’m always trying to save original cabinets in our old houses, and I was thrilled it actually worked out in here.  To integrate them with the new cabinets on the other side of the kitchen, we gave these oldies a coat of paint (the same color as the new cabinets) and some fresh hardware.  The countertop isn’t very deep (maybe 18″), so it functions great as a butlers pantry/storage space.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Kitchen to Dining

Another favorite in this space is the dining nook.  I LOVE built-in dining spaces as a general rule and this one fits perfectly into this bump-out space.  This dining space is sure to get a ton of use from guests and can fit a surprisingly large number of folks for such a small table (it’s 42″ diameter).

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Dining NookThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Dining Nook 2The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Dining Table

As part of the decor, I included a basket with kids books and filled an old picnic basket (yes, another picnic basket 😉 with some of our favorite games for guests to enjoy.  I love finding games to play when we stay at other people’s homes, so I wanted to have that here too.

Airbnb host tip // provide a few games for guests of all ages to entertain themselves with.

Other than the games, I kept the decor light, bright, and organic like the rest of the house.  Hopefully guests find it as welcoming and enjoyable as we did!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Dining Shelves

Sources: rolling cart  // countertops // backsplash (similar) // faucet (similar) // sink (we under-mounted it) // drawer pulls // cabinet latches // knife set // soap set // utensil crock // hanging light // pillows // stripe throw // dining chairs // cement pot (similar) // eucalyptus vase // wood frog // rugs

Gosh I miss this sweet space 🙂  And in case you’re wondering, this is how this kitchen and dining space was styled when we lived here. I like it way better now, but of course, it helps that you don’t need as much stuff when you don’t live in a house full time.  I’d love to hear what you guys think of this space!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Kitchen G and C

There we are, at the end of the 3-day makeover, tired and yet completely energized.  Next up, I’m going to show you the bathroom and second bedroom of the Bryant House and share all the drama about the bunk beds turned office. Plus I’ve got an extra post coming at you this week, so look for that on Thursday!



p.s. butcher block countertops


Happy Friday + Links 9/29/17

Happy Friday! How was your first week of Fall?  Oh goodness me, it’s been a busy week around here.  And certainly not a productive one either, unless you consider finger painting, muffin baking, story reading and dressing up as a dinosaur productive (okay, maybe it wasn’t so unproductive after all ;).  Garrett was out of town on a mountain biking trip with friends, and it was my first time going it alone with all 3 kids.  And while it was sure fun, it was also a wee bit exhausting.  Thankfully both grandmas came by to help out this tired mama with bedtimes and general life.  For the record, I think grandmothers are worth their weight in gold!

Well it is Friday again and I’ve rounded up some great links from around the web, so grab a cup of coffee and jump in!

My absolute favorite kids book for Fall.  My boys love this one so much that I wind up reading it throughout the year.

Friday bedroom pic

source // photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay

There’s something really lovely about this bedroom.  Perhaps it’s the drapes (vintage, of course) or the simplicity of the whole look or the lack of perfection, but I really, really love it.  BTW, I’m eyeing this same bed frame for the next time I spring for a non-antique bed…like in 6 years 😉

Say it ain’t so.  Chip and Jojo’s announcement caught me completely off guard this week and I’m feeling a little sad about it but also happy for them, you know?  I think you have to admire when people do what they need to do even at the expense of fame, fortune, and all the traditional notions of success.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s Brooklyn townhouse.

This Halloween costume is just too good! ps this site has tons of great costume DIYs if you’re still needing ideas.

Loved this post from Mary. I’m motivated to find a good kid’s consignment store myself (any suggestions in Seattle or online?).  I’ve been on a quality-over-quantity/frugality/minimalist kick as of late, which means I’m closely watching what we spend and what we bring into our home.  Related: Melissa is picking back up her Minimalism series and I’m really excited about it!

Couldn’t be more excited for John and Sherry of Young House Love to take on (another!) beach house.  This renovation is going to be good!

Cle Tile


I’ve been watching Natasha’s kitchen renovation on Instagram stories and her new backsplash stopped me in my tracks. It’s gorgeous!  She’s using the same tiles as @thisoldhudson (show above) and I’m officially obsessed with them.  Dreaming of a project where I can use these beauties!

Give me all the Fall apple foods: baked apple cider donuts (I have this pan), cardamom spiced whole wheat apple cake, tahini caramel apples, pumpkin apple overnight oats.

A beautiful beauty routine.



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Bryant House // Master Bedroom Airbnb Makeover


This is part 3 of our Bryant House Airbnb makeover.  See more of this series here: part 1 (why we turned a traditional rental into an Airbnb), part 2 (living room)

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Master Bedroom Door Knob

Today, I’m going to show you the master bedroom of the Bryant House.  This space is long and narrow, and the window placement has always made the space a little tricky to arrange.  Large east facing windows bring in good morning light, which makes the bedroom light and bright and a pleasure to wake up in.

Over 3 days at the end of August, we transformed this space (and the rest of the house) into an Airbnb/month-to-month rental.  Here’s what the space looked like when the previous tenants moved out:

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb before master bed

We didn’t have too much to do in this space besides clean and furnish it.  I did chose to swap out the overhead lights because the previous ones bugged me so much, but otherwise we kept everything, even the IKEA drapes we’ve had in here (with a good washing, of course).  In case you’re curious about any of the sources, they are all listed at the bottom of this post.

Without further ado, here’s what the space looks like after 3 days of elbow grease.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom 2The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom night stand

I’m not usually one to put a bed in front of a window, but due to the long-and-narrow shape of this room, it made the most sense.  I ordered this bed frame after seeing it in Chris Loves Julia’s guest room because it is the right size for the space and has a vintage vibe.  This is actually the first non-antique bed frame I’ve purchased in years, but I didn’t have time to look for one this time around.  Good thing this bed frame is a great alternative!  We also splurged on a new mattress from Costco, that is so comfortable I wanted to take it home with me.

Airbnb Host Tip // Give guests a good night sleep with a nice mattress.  It’s one of the first things guests notice and comment about.  

This room is so narrow that it made traditional nightstands impossible.  I hunted for the perfect narrow nightstand, looking especially for something antique since they tend to be smaller, but I didn’t have any luck until we happened upon plant stands.  In order to free up the limited tabletop space, we mounted swing arm lights above the nightstands and covered the cords with cord covers.  By the way, I love the look of cord covers!  It’s a must for all wall-hung lights in my book–it makes inexpensive lights (these were only $50!) look much more expensive.

I dressed the side tables up with simple botanical art that was a DIY project the boys and I did back at the Farmhouse. I love the pop of green.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom Botanical 2The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom Closet

This bedroom originally had two closets, but four years ago we removed the larger of the two closets to increase the size of the bathroom, which lays directly behind the built-in closet wall.  It was a tough decision to remove storage in an old house (which in my experience is always lacking), but the additional square footage was a game changer for the tiny bathroom.  The second original closet is a small side closet, which Garrett used when we lived here, and it now houses a luggage rack.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom luggage rackThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom 4

For the decor, I stuck with a relaxing, natural, and comfortable look.  Bedrooms are ultimately for unwinding and sleeping, so I tried to focus on creating a calm space, keeping a neutral palette and simple decor.  I also brought in a bit of nature with the botanical art, plants, wood frog, sheep skin and cowhide rug.

Airbnb Host Tip // patterned sheets make linen storage easier.  Buy different size patterns for different size beds, and you will always know which sheets go where.

One thing that has made Airbnb turns easier for us, is buying patterned sheets.  I used to always stick with white, but we found it really difficult to figure out which set of sheets fit on which bed.  Sometimes I’d be in a hurry to make 3 beds and have to unfold 4 or 5 sets of sheets in order to find the right size (and re-folding sheets is…ugh!).  So now we buy different patterns for different bed sizes, and it’s made my life much easier!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Master Bedroom CThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Bedroom 1

sources: bed frame // swing arm lights and bulbs // cord cover // overhead lights // night stands // wood frog // sheets // throw pillows // bed blanket // blanket in basket // bench // cowhide // botanical art frame // luggage rack //

That’s all for this simple master bedroom.  I’d love to hear what you think.  Next up, I’ll get to the kitchen and dining spaces.




Happy Friday + Links 9/22/17

Happy Friday!  Can you believe it’s Fall already?!  I’m not quite sure I’m ready to give up summer produce and sunshine, but I’m certain I can get into Fall if there are more breakfast picnics on tap 😉

The Grit and Polish - Fall Waffle Picnic 3

blanket (similar) // boots

We are working hard trying to wrap up the Porch House renovation, so I’ll have more of that project to show you guys soon.  Garrett spent the week priming and painting much of the house and even has the white eyelashes to prove it. 😉  Soon we’ll be wallpapering the powder room and tiling the oversized master shower, which I couldn’t be more excited for!  I’m planning to get over there today or tomorrow to check out the progress, so follow my Instagram Stories for a sneak peek of those spaces.

It’s Friday again, which means I have scoured the internet for lots of great links, so grab a cup of coffee and jump in.

I’m crushing hard on these cutting boards (and they’re an additional 20% off with code FFSALE, actually your entire purchase is)!  Seriously feeling like I need 3 or 4 for the kitchen (insert Garrett’s eye roll here).

residence1 Friday from Designoform

Source // design by Johnny Andersson via design and form

So much great inspiration here.  I’m still a fan of traditional subway, but this kitchen might have convinced me to branch out…you know, to hand-formed subway 😉

WD-40. Who knew?!

Roasted veggies is just about my favorite meal these days (sidenote: what has happened to the hamburger loving girl of my youth?!).  This make-ahead idea is brilliant!

Wallpaper is so hard.  I can almost never commit (anyone else in the same boat?).  But Emily Henderson has some great options here!  Speaking of Emily, did you catch her beautiful living room reveal this week?

I’m dreaming about this coat for Fall.  It’s really not in my budget, but I’m keeping an eye on it in case it goes on sale in time for Christmas!

Have a great weekend.



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Bryant House // Living Room Airbnb Makeover


This is part 2 of our Bryant House Airbnb makeover.  See more of this series here: part 1 (why we turned a traditional rental into an Airbnb).

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Room long

sources: couch, hanging chair, blue stripe throw, blue dot art, side table, rug (similar), pillows (IKEA)

The Bryant House’s living room is spacious and full of natural light. The front door (a dutch door!) opens into this room, so it’s also the main entry. When we got over to the Bryant House at the end of August to complete our 3-day Airbnb makeover, this room needed a good clean.  But other than that and a broken blind, it was in pretty good shape.  Have a look:

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Before Living Room 1 The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Before Living Room 2

Since this is the first room that our Airbnb guests and month-to-month tenants see when they walk into the house, I really wanted to make sure that it sets the stage for their stay.  My goal was a welcoming, bright, organic, and comfortable feel.  That meant lots of throw pillows, slip-covered seating, a neutral palette, plants, relaxed art, and a compiled-over-time vibe that only comes with the addition of antiques.  Thankfully we were able to reuse a lot of furniture that we already owned for this space (the benefit of owning 6 homes…), but we did buy a new sleeper sofa and some finishing touches.

Airbnb Host tip // first impressions are important.  Start your guests’ stay off on the right foot by creating a welcoming entry space.

This house doesn’t have any impressive architectural features.  It’s simple.  Eight foot ceilings, original fir floors, and simple moldings.  But I think that simplicity makes this room really comfortable too.  The space feels humble and approachable, allowing the decor to shine.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Hanging Chair 3The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Room to kitchenThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb After Living TVThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Plant and Art

sources: art print, gold frame, gold bar cart

This room is arranged to accommodate TV watching and hanging out, but also provides additional sleeping arrangements with a pull-out couch.  The hanging chair is something we bought for the Farmhouse, but wasn’t working, so it found a home here.  The chair adds an element of fun to this fairly basic room and has turned into one of my favorite spots in the house.

I tried to mix a few vintage pieces in with the new finishes we bought for the space. Okay, so I always mix in vintage pieces into our spaces, but in this house I felt it was extra important since so much of the furniture was coming from Ikea and other big box stores.  This room has a 50s-era dresser under the TV, an antique armoire, which serves as the coat closet, and a vintage trunk and picnic basket to give the space a little character.

The internet login information hangs on a clipboard by the front door so guests are sure to find it.

Airbnb Host Tip // place wifi login info in a prominent spot for guest’s ease (by the front door or on the fridge)

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Room 2The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Art VignetteThe Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Old House Photo

Many of our guests are families with young children, so we tailor our spaces accordingly. Baskets of toys, books, and games provide entertainment for little ones throughout the house. And to ensure the house remains tidy, we limit it to that.

Airbnb Tip // Make kids’s stays more fun with books, toys, and games placed strategically throughout the house!  To ensure the house remains tidy, keep it contained to a couple baskets

The Grit and Polish - Bryant Airbnb Living Room Couch

That’s it for the living room.  Next week we’ll look at the master bedroom.



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