Porch House Master Suite // The closet + “Where is the Tub?!” (ORC Week 6)

THE PORCH HOUSE

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 1part 2part 3part 4, part 5

We are in such a mad rush to get the Porch House master suite done (along with the rest of this house) that I just have a short update for you today.  This week was another productive one, and guys, we are soooo close to finishing this renovation!  There’s a hanging rod in the closet, a curb for the shower, and all the little details that finish off a space are starting to come together.  And let me just say, wow, I couldn’t love the space more!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Closet Pegs

The closet in this space is ‘U’ shaped closet and about 6′ wide so we decided to design a simple closet.  We opted to skip the classic rod-hanger/shelf brackets and install something custom and crafted.  That entailed hanging rods on two of the walls with shelves above and a row of shaker pegs on the third wall.  Garrett built the shelving to match the open shelving in the kitchen, and I love the repeated detail as it helps to tie the house together creating a cohesive and finished space.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Closet Hanging WallThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Closet Far Wall

The pine boards and rods still need caulk, wood fill, primer, and paint, but hopefully you can get a feel for what it’s going to look like.  The closet rods will be white to match the walls.  We added base shoe between the molding and floor boards, after I took these photos, so that will need caulk and pain as well.

This week we also finished the shower curb.  We debated for quite a while on whether the curb should be concrete, tile, or marble, as all three work well in the space.  We ultimately decided on marble.  Besides never being a bad choice, marble ties into the bathroom vanity countertop and ties the space together.  Last time we were in Seattle, we picked up two pieces of 4″ marble backsplash from our supplier, and Garrett cut them to fit the curb with the tile saw.  Here’s a peek at what the marble curb will looks like.  Pretty fantastic, right?!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Marble Shower Curb

One question you might be asking yourself, is ‘where is the bathtub?!‘.  As a bath-lover myself, I’m a little ashamed to say there isn’t one.  Originally we had planned on a large soaker tub against the empty wall with the swing arm lights, but the plumbing inspector informed us that if we wanted a tub there we’d have to put in a tempered glass window.  We had already been having a hard time finding a cast iron tub that fit in the budget, so coupled with the inspector’s news, we decided to bag it.  No tub.  Of course this bathroom already has a 30sf shower so I’m hoping the tub won’t really be missed.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite No Tub Wall

Of course now I have a giant empty wall to deal with.  Stay tuned on what we will do here.  I’m thinking a row of shaker pegs and a bench, but we shall see!

That’s all I have this week.  I can’t wait to see how this room turns out and share it with you in next week’s reveal!

ORC guest

Thanks for following along!  Be sure to check out all the other blogger’s spaces here.

xoxo

-Cathy

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Ideas for Inexpensive Art

Art is always something that I struggle with. It’s essential to how a room looks and feels, but it can be expensive and difficult to pick.  Lately we’ve been furnishing a lot of houses – our Farmhouse, the Porch House flip, and the Bryant House Airbnb – so I’ve been on the hunt for inexpensive art with high impact.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to invest in original art, but in the meantime, I’ve come up with a few easy ways to get great looking art in our homes for very little investment.
The Grit and Polish - Inexpensive Art Collage 2

ONE // DIY Botanical Art

This is something I first tried this summer and am totally obsessed with.  Botanical art is easy to create and it adds greenery to a room, which doesn’t need watering (thus, you can’t kill it ;)! To create a botanical, you need to pick leaves/flowers/weeds and then press them in a book for a week or until they are dry.  I framed mine in simple clip frames on top of thick, watercolor paper.  I love how you can customize botanicals for your own home by picking local greenery or things that have special significance. For instance, when Daphne was born, I picked sweet peas out of our yard at the Farmhouse, where she was born.

TWO // Framed Etsy Art

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I love to buy prints from artists on Etsy and frame them in inexpensive frames.  A few of my go-to artists are Clare Elsaesser and Lisa Golightly and I buy my frames from IKEA or Target in white, black, or brass.  You really can’t go wrong with this formula.

THREE // Clipboard Art

Clipboards can make for very inexpensive frames.  At the Farmhouse, we clipped alphabet cards onto small clipboards and hung them for a large display.  I bought our cards on Etsy, but you could also find postcards, photos (think Instamax/Polaroid style), prints, or really just about anything else to hang on a clipboard.

FOUR // Online Image Gallery Print

Over the years, we have hung tons of photos from Costco’s free image galleries.  Their prints are really reasonably priced ($2 for an 8″x10″ up to $10 for a 20″x30″).  And though I haven’t tried it yet, I’ll likely buy a $15 print from Jenny’s Print Shop and print it at Costco as well.  Ashley also pointed me in the direction of free images from MET Museum and the Audubon, which I’m eager to try out.

FIVE // Vintage mirrors

Vintage mirrors are a wonderful way to bring in a large hanging for relatively little dollars.  I pick up my vintage mirrors at antique stores, Craigslist, and even my parent’s giveaway pile.

SIX // Historical House Photos

I love finding historical photos of our homes.  We’ve found some from the local archives and also gotten some from previous owners.  They are such a fun ‘conversational piece’ so I like hanging them where guests can see.

Do you have any more ideas for inexpensive art?  I’d love to hear them!

xoxo

-Cathy

9 Comments

Happy Friday + Links 11/3/17

Happy Friday! We spent another full week working on the Porch House and oh my it’s getting soooo close to being done.  Of course it’s always that last 10% of a renovation that takes the longest, so we’ll see when we actually get this house on the market.  But soon!  Can you believe it’ll be the first house we’ve ever sold?!  Six old houses and six renovations later and we’ve never parted with a house yet.  Of course, that will make selling the Porch House all that much harder for me.  This house has been such a big part of our lives for the past 9 months.  We filmed our HGTV pilot here.  Gave Daphne her first bath here.  And we’ve put so much love into this house.  Cue the tears for this sentimental mama.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Paint Mask Removal C and D

Of course, there will be some positives to selling the Porch House too.  Mainly another family will get to appreciate it.  Plus Garrett and I could use some down time after a busy 9 months and the kids could use a more predictable routine for awhile.  We also have a few pressing projects to attend to at the Farmhouse like our water pressure, which appears to have dropped off the map (ugh), and a certain baby girl’s nursery that needs decorating.

Well it’s Friday again, and I’ve rounded up lots of great links from around the web.  Grab a cup of coffee and dig in.

A family compound in Maine.  One of the most beautiful new construction homes that I’ve ever seen, and it’s mere feet away from a home built in the 1700s.

Julia rounded up 15 of her favorite Instagram home accounts with under 10k followers and we made the list!  Thank you to all those who nominated us…you guys are the best!  Now go check out the others on the list because there are some great folks there.

The lovely Floret Flowers is offering mini courses (for free!).  How to make a market bouquet…how to make cut flowers last longer…so fun!

I’ve been stalking this rug for a good 6 months and it’s finally on sale.  But why does buying a rug feel like such a big commitment…?

How to add character to basic architecture.

Do you have what it takes to live with open shelving?

xoxo

-Cathy

5 Comments

Porch House Master Suite // DIY Marble Vanity Top & Other Finishes (ORC Week 5)

THE PORCH HOUSE

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, part 2, part 3, part 4

We’re five weeks into this renovation, and I wish that I could say there’s only a few things left to do, but I’m pretty sure we still have ALL THE THINGS left to do!  Not that I’m stressed.  Cool as a cucumber over here 😉  In actuality, we’re in a good spot to finish up in two weeks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a really long to-do list.

This week we put the marble vanity top on the custom vanity we commissioned from our neighbor, Aaron of Munson Cabinetry.  And oh my is it stunning!  I just decided that honed marble and white oak is my new favorite combination.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink 4.2

It’s just so pretty!  Are you surprised to hear that we fabricated the marble vanity top ourselves?  Over the last year, Garrett has honed his stone fabrication skills (see what I did there?), and thank goodness he has because I love natural stone, but I definately don’t love the price tag of natural stone fabrication/installation.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone there!  I’ll share a how-to post soon.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink Large .2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink close 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink close 5

We installed the faucets yesterday afternoon.  I went with chrome, wall-mount faucets that have a traditional feel.  The porcelain knobs are pretty fantastic with the oak and marble.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink GThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Faucets

We continued the chrome into the shower too.  In the picture below, we’re flushing out the supply lines, but you can see the shower head in my hand.  You can also see that we went with the Delorean Gray grout in the shower, which we carried to the slate floor as well.  By the way, thanks for all your feedback on grout colors.  You guys overwhelmingly steered me towards gray!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Shower G and C

I don’t want to give too much away, so stay tuned for the reveal.  In the meantime, there’s lots left to do.  Over the next two weeks we’ll be building the closet, finding mirrors, installing lighting, sealing grout, and hanging a shower curtain.  Phew!  Wish us luck.  And in the mean time, check out my Instagram Stories for a few sneak peeks.

xoxo

-Cathy

5 Comments

Porch House // Lessons Learned from Finishing the Hardwood Floors Ourselves

THE PORCH HOUSE

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we made some mistakes while finishing the Porch House hardwood floors.  Three mistakes to be exact, and it led to some stress-filled days and extra work for Garrett.  In an effort to prevent you from making the same mistakes, I wanted to share exactly what it is that we did wrong.  OR, if you like how our floors turned out (because, honestly I do!), what it is exactly that we did right 😉

All is well that ends well, as you can see from the photo below.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Soup G tasting FLOORS

Before we talk about the finish, let’s talk about floors.  A few months ago, we laid white oak hardwood floors throughout the main floor (minus the master bathroom).  If you’ve been following the Grit and Polish for long, you know that we usually save the original flooring in our old houses – for character, economic, and environmental reasons – but sadly the Porch House’s 117-year-old fir floors were too far gone for a refinish.  So, we called up Uncle Dougie and placed an order for 1100sf of 2 1/4″ wide, grade #2, white oak flooring.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm ProgressThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Floors and belly

We selected white oak because it’s timeless (though it seems to be having a moment in the design world right now) and inexpensive, and that goes for the 2 1/4″ width as well.  We selected #2 grade, which meant lots of color variation and imperfections, a look that fits the bill in our rural community, but was also the least expensive option.  We wanted to stretch our dollars as far as we could since we’re reselling the Porch House and any way you shake it, hardwood flooring will cost more than other options like vinyl or laminate.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm 1

We laid the white oak flooring right over top of the existing hardwoods with a layer of tar paper in between. The new hardwood floors sat unfinished for a couple of months while we worked on the rest of the house. And then it was time to finish the floors, and that’s where things went south

LESSON ONE // avoid drum sanders (or use one you’re comfortable with)

The finishing process began with renting a drum sander, an aggressive sander that removes the top layer of wood.  The only drum sander I could find locally was a Silverline.  I’m not sure if anyone’s had good luck with this type of drum sander, but Garrett didn’t like it and he ended up with some ‘drum marks’ or ‘chatter marks’ in the floor.  The marks aren’t horribly obvious and not too big of a deal, but nonetheless, they’re there.  Sorry, they’re tough to catch with a camera, so I don’t have a picture to show you.  FYI, Garrett prefers any of the drum sanders that don’t rely on velcro to attach the paper.

Along with the drum sander, we rented an edger and sanded the floors with both sanders using 36, 60, and 80 grit paper.  Next Garrett filled holes/gaps/seams with wood filler and let that set overnight.  An orbiting floor sander was next with 80 and 100 grit paper.

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

At this point the floors were reasonably smooth and ready for their finish.  So we cleaned up the dust and then cleaned again (because man there’s a lot of wood dust and it gets everywhere!) and picked out a finish product.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish me mudroom

LESSON TWO // Watch out for non-clear sealers called ‘Natural’

We opted to find a different finish than what we used at the Farmhouse last year, because those turned out a bit slippery.  Garrett did some google research and landed on a water-based Bona system that had great reviews.  Bona recommends that a foundation be applied prior to the finish to seal the grain and they offer several sealer color options. He picked out the Bona NaturalSeal sealer and the Bona Mega Clear HD finish in Satin.  Garrett picked the ‘Natural’ sealer since the name and description implied a natural-looking finish.  But wouldn’t you know it.  Natural isn’t ‘natural’.  It’s a cloudy sealer that leaves the wood looking slightly white-washed.

The Grit and Polish - Hardwood finish sealer

The Grit and Polish - Master Closet Floors 1

Thankfully, the ‘natural’ finish is actually really beautiful and works well in this house.  But it wasn’t what we were planning on.  Our original goal was a clear finish similar to the floors at my sister’s old house, shown below.

The Grit and Polish - Sissy's Living Room Chair

The walls in both rooms are the same color (BM Simply White) and both floors are white oak. But you can see that the Porch House floors have a slightly white-washed look with less grain showing while my sister’s floors are warmer and have a lot of grain showing through.  For the record, my sister’s white oak floors are wider and a *little* nicer grade than the Porch House’s floors (#floorgoals). Here’s a side by side comparison:

Hardwood finish comparison

Garrett was initially really bummed with the Porch House floor finish. After a week of sanding the floors and dreaming about warm wood tones and grains, he couldn’t quite stomach the cloudy finish. But if he wanted the finish of his dreams, he’d have to start from square one with the drum sander. Honestly, he considered doing just that, but I strongly suggested he reconsider (that’s wife talk for I told him not to do it).  I assured him that the finish really was beautiful and I really liked that it evened out the high-variation in color of our grade #2 floors.  Eventually he wrapped his mind around it and we moved on.

LESSON THREE // buff at your own risk (and if you risk it, do it evenly)

Because the oak grain raised a bit when we sealed the floors, we decided to rent a buffer with a 220-grit screen to knock it down prior to applying the finish coats. The dangerous part about buffing after the sealer is already applied, is that you have to buff the entire floor completely evenly.  If you don’t, or if you have any unevenness in the hardwoods due to say, chatter marks leftover from the drum sander, than the buffing is going to create an uneven finish.  And that’s just what happened to our floors.  There were small areas where you could see more of the wood color and small spots where the sealer was a thicker.  Based on our experience, a tip is that buffing after applying a non-clear finish should be done with the utmost care, super light and evenly.  Our unevenness was fixed, at least mostly so, by Garrett applying another coat of sealer to the light areas and he feathered it into the already-coated areas.  After it dried, he applied two coats of finish to the entire floor.  In the end, the finish isn’t perfect, but after all that work, it looks good.

Hopefully sharing this process helps someone else from making the same mistakes.  And if you’re wondering if finishing your own hardwoods is worth the headache, I will say, it’s not a task we like to do.  But, and this is a big but, the total cost of finishing the Porch House’s 1100sf of hardwoods ourselves rang in around $1200 for sander, rentals, and product.  That’s a savings of over $4,000 from the professional quote we got.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. What the Farmhouse floor refinish cost us

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Happy Friday + Links 10/27/17

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  We spent most of our’s over at the Porch House, as a family, alternating between tiling the master bathroom, playing with the kiddos, and counting down the minutes until Nana is back in town to take these wild boys off of our hands for a few hours 😉  For the record, that’s not until Sunday (#nanacomehome !).  Ha!  It really was a great and productive week!  One of my favorite things about working on the Porch House is that the kitchen is already done, meaning we get to cook and eat and have a finished space to hang out in while we finish up the rest of the house – a real luxury when you’re renovating an entire home.  Garrett brought over veggies and beans and all sorts of other ingredients to make soup this week.  The whole house smelled like Fall and it was pretty special getting to share a meal here, as a family, before we sell the house.  But in the meantime, we’ve got A LOT of work to do!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Soup long

Well it’s Friday again, meaning I’ve found all sorts of great links from around the web.  Grab a cup of coffee and jump in!

Emily just bought a mountain home and I can’t wait to see what she does with it!  Also, love how much she appreciates nature.

Have you seen Ashley’s mural that she’s painting for her home office during the One Room Challenge?  I am obsessed!  My house next please, Ashley!

Brooks’ nursery is on the Boo and the Boy, my favorite source for kids room inspiration.

Speaking of nurseries, I finally pulled the trigger on this wallpaper mural for Daphne’s nursery during their 25% off sale.   Goodness I can’t wait to put it up (after we finish the Porch House)!

Thinking that this might be the perfect way to use up the last of our sausage from last year’s pig.

A beautiful Farmhouse renovation, which started, like so many things…on Instagram.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

-Cathy

3 Comments

Porch House Master Suite // Tiles, Tiles, and MORE Tiles (ORC Week 4)

THE PORCH HOUSE

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, part 2, and part 3

Well, we did it!  We tiled the entire master shower and the bathroom floors.  It was a whirlwind week of tiling, and now my fingers are so chapped that my iPhone can’t even recognize my fingerprint…ha!  But I couldn’t be happier with the results.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles Slate DoneThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tile Shower

tile sources: slate // mosaic // subway

*Ignore the tiny, unfinished spots at the bottom of the subway wall.  We finished those up shortly after taking photos.  And don’t worry, the white streaks on the slate tiles will come off with a good scrub when we’re done.

I opted for classic subway tiles on the shower walls, because they’re, well, classic.  And inexpensive. With 120sf of subway, the price point couldn’t be beat.  However, selecting subway tile also meant that each of these 3″x6″ tiles had to be laid individually.  I definitely cursed Daltile’s name a few times during this project for not offering these tiles on a mesh-mounted backing!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Tiles me in shower

The subway tile alone took us three days to lay, though for the record one whole day was spent on the corners and borders, and another day could be chalked up to the fact we brought all 3 kiddos with us for the entire project and entertaining/feeding/caring for them took precedence.  If you’re new to the Grit and Polish, I should probably mention that we don’t live in the Porch House.  We’re renovating this 1900 house to re-sale (aka flip) later this fall.  Keeping kids entertained and fed at a job site can be tricky, but thankfully the Porch House’s kitchen is functional, and we showed up with a teepee, novel toys, books, and a plethora of Land Before Time movies downloaded on Garrett’s phone.  So far, it’s done the trick!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles WThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Boys in TPThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom mosaic shower floor

On the floors, we used a simple mosaic in the shower, which worked well with the pan slope.  And on the bathroom floor, we laid 12″x24″ slate tiles.  The natural slate is something we haven’t used before but I must say, it’s pretty phenomenal.  I love the natural variation and finish of these tiles.  We laid them in a herringbone pattern, which takes some thinking, but is actually pretty easy to lay when done at a right angle to the wall.  The slate floors are heated too, so they should be pretty comfortable year round.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles Me Tiling Slate

The slate works really well with the white subway and mosaic from a design perspective.  The overall look of the space is classic and timeless and fits in well with the 1900 home.  I’m also hoping that the large-format slate tiles lend a garden-y feel to the space.  And did I mention that not one of these tiles is more than $3.50/sf?  Phew!

Porch Master Bathroom Tiles

Although we’ve tiled plenty of shower surrounds with subway tile in the past, this was our first time capping the top with chair rail.  The tile profile is reminiscent of the picture rail that runs throughout much of the main floor of this house near the same elevation, which is a detail I’ve been dreaming about recreating with tile since first seeing these chair rail tiles at Home Depot.  I love that it gives the shower surround a more traditional feel.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Top CThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Subway DoneThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Corner Tiles G

Next up we need to grout these tiles, but we’re still debating on the color.  We picked up both grey (Delorean Gray from HD) and an epoxy white.  I posed the question on Instagram and got lots of great feedback, which pretty much scared me away from ever using white grout in a shower.  But white would look so pretty on the subway tiles.  I know, not as practical as gray, but it would be beautiful.  Oh well.  As of yesterday, I was thinking we’d use Delorean Gray on all the tiles, including the slate, but we’ll see what we decide in the end.

It feels like we have a whole lot left to do for this bathroom, but I’m optimistic we’ll have this bathroom done for the ORC reveal, especially since one extra week was added to the timeline (due to the natural disasters and crazy weather that has affected so many of the design bloggers)!  Still to do: grout the tiles, fabricate the marble vanity top, finish plumbing, vanity lighting, vanity mirrors, build the closet, decorate, and I’m sure I’m missing something else, but that’s enough to get my heart rate up so we’ll stop there 😉

ORC guest

Check out all the other featured designers taking part here and the other guests here.

xoxo

-Cathy

10 Comments

Happy Friday + Links (10/20/17)

Happy Friday!

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Kitchen Daphne and Mama

It’s been quite a week around here.  Two trips to Seattle for Airbnb turns.  One design consult for a kitchen (so fun!).  And one hardwood floor refinish that’s finally done!  Add in household chores (like those three loads of laundry sitting on our guest bed that have yet to be folded), caring for our little humans, material sourcing for an upcoming project, and a handful of dance parties with a couple of strapping young lads (yes, I’m talking about Wilder and Brooks 😉 and it’s been a busy week.  Next up, we’re tackling the Porch House master bathroom tiles and bringing all the kids to help out. Yup. Wish us luck, ’cause we’re going to need it 😉

Well it’s Friday again, meaning I’ve rounded up lots of great links from the week.  Grab a cup of coffee and jump in.

Some of my favorite bloggers shared a “no make up” home tour this week.  As in no styling, just the real deal.  And it was refreshing!  Sidenote: I would like to move in, House of Brinson.

Are you overspending on your groceries?

I’m sure this isn’t surprising, but Chip and Joanna’s Target line (Hearth and Hand by Magnolia) is SO GOOD! Bold that and add a couple more exclamation marks, because it’s really that good.  The collection is just a preview right now (bummer!), but is released on November 5th.  Get those clicking fingers ready, because this collection is sure to sell out quickly!  Here are a few of my favorites:

How to update a ho-hum fridge.  This DIY is seriously good!

jersey-ice-cream-co-rockport-maine-remodel-kitchen-5-733x487

Source

Jersey Ice Cream Co shared their latest remodel on Remodelista and – no surprise here – it’s stunning.

Are you on the faux house plant band wagon?  I almost bought this fake fiddle leaf fig tree (because it’s only $60 and I can’t keep a real one alive to save my life) but talked myself out of it at the last minute.  Do you have any favorite low-light plants that are indestructible?

Bryan and Catherine’s Instagram account.  Follow them!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

-Cathy

1 Comment

Porch House Master Suite // Commissioning A Custom Vanity (ORC Week 3)

THE PORCH HOUSE

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.  So happy to have you following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1, part 2

Well we just finished the hardwood floor finish last night.  Ugh.  After a week of sanding the hardwood floors in preparation for their finish, we made the mistake of applying a sealer that was…colored.  Thankfully not a yellow or red color, but a milky/white color, ironically called ‘natural’. The old house gods were laughing at us, because ‘natural’ is far from natural.  If you caught my Instagram stories, you know that we debated whether to leave the floors lighter, or to sand the sealer off and start over on the floors (a 2-week proposition), but ultimately decided on the former.  The whole ordeal set the schedule back a bit and led to a couple of stressful days, but the floors look good and I’m happy.  Here’s what the floors looked like with the ‘natural’ sealer and 1 coat of clear finish.

The Grit and Polish - Master Closet Floors 1

Now that the wood floors are done, I wanted to chat about a design element that has been in the works for a couple of months: the custom vanity.  Early in the design process for the master bathroom, we decided to commission a custom piece.  The nook where the vanity fits is an odd size (about 70″ wide) so a standard vanity wouldn’t fit.  And while it would have been cheaper to customize some cabinetry to fit ourselves, we really liked the idea of using a local craftsman on this remodel to create something nice.  When we discovered a neighbor had a woodworking shop in his backyard, it seemed serendipitous.  Aaron also repaired a pocket door for us that we found hidden in a wall at the Porch House during filming of our HGTV pilot.  And he did it overnight, which pretty much makes him a rock star in my book 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm 16

For the design of the vanity, I wanted a furniture look, meaning legs and no toe kick.  I also wanted some of the vanity to have open shelving for a little interest and some drawers for functionality.  And because so much of this room is white, I wanted the vanity to be wood, white oak to be precise, to match the floors.  Well, the unfinished floors at least 😉  Aaron and I tossed around an inspiration photo and quickly nailed down the design.  Then he came by the house and measured.  This was done before the drywall and trim were installed so he took that into account for the final dimensions.  He also checked the level of the floor and planned for slight variation in his fabrication.  Aaron then took all that information, and drew a sketch of the vanity.  I gave him the go ahead, and he got busy building.

Oh man guys, I can’t express just how beautiful this vanity ended up.  When I saw it for the first time, I had a moment of jealousy and told Garrett that we had to take it home to the Farmhouse.  I was just kidding of course, because this piece is perfect for the Porch House master suite!  Well, mostly kidding, at least 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 5

These pictures were taken during a test fit of the vanity before we finished the hardwood floors.  And while the vanity looks beautiful in these pictures, it’s so much better in real life.  The finish and feel of the piece is truly something special and it’s sooo solid.  We moved the vanity out of the way during the floor finishing process and have yet to set it back in place, but we will tomorrow so we can get tiling underway.  The vanity is still going to get a marble top (to be fabricated by Garrett), undermount sinks, and wall-mounted chrome faucets.  The only thing I’m still debating about are mirrors and hardware.  Regarding the later, I’ve been going back and forth between chrome hardware (to match the lighting and faucets) or mixing metals and brining in antique brass, which is prevalent elsewhere on the main floor.  Here are a few I’m considering:

Hardware Roundup - Porch House Master

one // two // three // four // five

Decisions, decisions…  For the record, $29 is a little out of our budget for this bathroom, but I sure wish it weren’t!  Don’t be shy about weighing in on your pick.

Alright, we’re off to tile this temple of a shower.  Wish us luck!

ORC guest

xoxo

-Cathy

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Daphne’s Nursery // DIY Glider

THE FARMHOUSE

It’s been awhile since we talked about the Farmhouse here on the blog, but we’ve made a few changes recently and I wanted to show you one of my favorites: a DIY glider chair for Daphne’s nursery.  Daphne’s space is far from finished, but we recently moved her into the crib in her nursery for sleeping, meaning I’m stumbling in here at least once a night to nurse.  Having a cozy spot to curl up together has been a life saver!

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final close .2

sources: armchair // pink striped pillow // strawberry stuffie

I’m going to walk you through how we made this DIY glider, but first let me back up and explain why we decided to DIY this nursery staple.

Since about the time I found out I was pregnant with Daphne, I’ve been looking for the perfect glider or rocking chair.  But I couldn’t find one that I loved and was a reasonable price.  Awhile ago, I was lamenting this fact to a friend when she suggested, “why not DIY one”?  She pointed me in the direction of glider bases and got my brain turning. These bases are technically designed as replacements for existing gliding chairs, but they work perfectly for a new DIY glider too.  I picked out this slipcovered armchair at IKEA, which just so happens to have have a striking resemblance to a $2,000 glider that I was eyeing at Restoration Hardware.  Next, I ordered the base and then on a Saturday morning, with Daphne napping in the other room, Garrett and I put together this glider in less than an hour.   Better yet, the grand total for this DIY rang in at $460 (we had the plywood and screws already), so way cheaper than most gliders on the market.  And honestly, I am thrilled with the end product!

Here’s how we made the glider:

The Grit and Polish - DIY Nursery Glider

Materials //

Armchair – I chose a slipcovered armchair because babies are messy, but a chair with a skirt would work too.  Just make sure you select a chair with a hidden bottom so you can’t see the glider base when finished. tip: look in the “as-is” section for a chair without legs

Base (we selected the adjustable swivel rocker, item #3540)

3/4″ plywood, cut to dimension of the bottom of your chair (for the Farlov, we cut ours at 32″ x 36″)

1 3/4″ screws to attach plywood to chair (we used about 10)

1″ screws to attach base to plywood (we used 4 screws, but depending on the base you pick, you may need more)

Tools //

Cordless drill

Measuring taple

pencil

Step 1 // take the legs off of your chair.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider step 1

Step 2 // attach plywood to the bottom of your chair using 1 3/4″ screws (or longer).  Make sure the screws go into the wood frame of the chair.  We used about 10 screws.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider drill

Step 3 // attach base to plywood using 1″ screws.  Positioning the base is the trickiest part of this whole DIY.  We first attached the base to the center of the chair, but ended up moving it farther towards the back of the chair.  You can move the base until you’re happy with how the chair rocks.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider step 3

And that’s it! Pretty easy, I know. This DIY has definitely been done before, but I wanted to share it anyway in case you are looking for a nice glider without the crazy price tag too.

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final 2.2

Oh goodness, I’m excited for all the cozy story times we’re going to have in this chair in the coming years!

And as for Daphne’s nursery…I have lots of ideas on how I want this room to look.  So stay tuned for more as we work on this room (probably after the Porch House reno is done).

The Grit and Polish - DIY nursery glider final text 2

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Daphne’s arrival and a few things I’ve bought for this space

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