Farmhouse Living Room // The Prettiest Chandelier

THE FARMHOUSE

It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked about the Farmhouse living room, and I’m dying to show you what came in the mail!  The prettiest chandelier I ever did see…

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier GlobeThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Chandelier 1Sources: Chandelier | Sofa | Rugs, top and bottom (similar) | Side table | cotton blanket (aka the softest blanket ever!)

When it came time to pick out an overhead light fixture for this space, I knew I wanted something sculptural and eye-catching.  I briefly thought about trying a more modern-shaped light like this, but I was skeptical that it would feel appropriate in our 105-year-old home or be something that fits in with my decor style.  So instead I focused my search on something timeless, pretty, circular (to break up all the square lines in this room), and brass.  When I saw the Rose City Chandelier on Rejuvenation’s website, I knew it was the one!

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Being the reformed blogger that I am, I immediately approached Rejuvenation to see if they’d be interested in partnering with us on this project.  To my utter amazement and joy, they agreed.  So I’m thrilled to tell you guys that this post is in partnership with my all-time favorite lighting store, Rejuvenation (who also has awesome house wares too, by the way…I mean, could this and this be any more beautiful or perfect for my home?)!!!

Of course, installing new lighting in old homes is tricky.  You never quite know what will be behind those switch plates/fixtures/outlets.  Not only is there sometimes extensive out-of-date wiring (I’m looking at you knob and tube), but often you get a mix of old and new wiring, which makes even the simplest task, like swapping out a light fixture, super unpredictable.  In our master bedroom, we found extensive knob and tube when installing the new overhead light, and decided to change it out, which lead us to rewire most of the upstairs.  When we took down the fixture in the living room, we unfortunately found more knob and tube.  But this time we decided to take the easy road: install the fixture now and add rewiring the living room light to our to-do list.  So we got to work taking the old and not-so-pretty fixture down (finally!).

The Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install

After we removed the old fixture, we opened up that giant Rejuvenation box.  To Wilder’s utter delight, it was filled with those water-soluble peanuts, which entertained him (and Brooks when he woke up from his nap) for hours.  Thank you Rejuvenation!

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier package The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier hottub

Installing the new chandelier was quite easy, although the sheer size of it made this a 2-person job (it’s 36″ wide).  We started by turning off the power to the fixture.  Which for Garrett meant turning off the switch to the light, but most responsible (and safe) adults would turn off the breaker.  For the record, I’d always suggest you take the responsible adult route and turn off the breaker when working with electricity (that applies to you too, Garrett)!  Next we removed the back panel of the fixture and installed that to the ceiling, finding both joists and lathe to attach to.

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier install smThe Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier Install 2The Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install Screw

Garrett connected the fixture’s wires to the house wires using wire nuts, and then screwed the chandelier to the back plate while I held it up.  To keep the fixture protected, we left the bubble wrap on while mounting.

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier install 1The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier InstallThe Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install FInal

Lastly, we screwed in the light bulbs (okay, so we drove to town, bought light bulbs, stopped by the taco truck for lunch, returned home, and then screwed them in), affixed the globes and voila!  The prettiest chandelier I ever did see…in my living room!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Chandelier cropped

As with most Rejuvenation fixtures, the length is customizable so we went with 40″ measured from ceiling to bottom of globe (for reference, our ceilings are 9’6″).  It’s definitely on the low side for a living room fixture, but since we’re planning to add a large, board-game-friendly coffee table beneath, I think it’ll be the perfect height.  We also have a ‘no ball throwing’ rule in our house (technically more of a guideline), so I’m hoping we won’t have to replace any of those hanging glass globes anytime soon.  But I suppose it’d be a small price to pay for having such a beautiful fixture.  And for having such fun, energetic little kids 😉

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier 3The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Chandelier 2

Now that the chandelier and sofa are in, I cannot wait to finish decorating this room!  Garrett mentioned that he doesn’t like the jute rug (something to do with too many browns in here), and I see where he’s coming from.  I’m planning to keep the rest of the finishes light in color, soft to the touch, and lots of vintage to make sure we achieve a comfortable, welcoming, farmhouse-esque feel.

I’m off to scour my favorite vintage and salvage shops (not to mention our garage) to finish up this room.  Wish me luck!  And in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few other rooms we’ve remodeled using Rejuvenation lights (BTW none of the fixtures below were sponsored, we just really love their stuff!).

The Grit and Polish - Rejuvenation Lighting Projects

Dexter kitchen, Imbrie | Wilder’s bedroom, Jefferson | Dexter bathroom, Fords Mill Double | Farmhouse masterImbrie

Thank you Rejuvenation for making such beautiful lighting and partnering with us on our Farmhouse living room!  I love you guys <3

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. more on this room: pulling up the carpetspaint, picking out the sofainspiration, and getting the sofa!

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Farmhouse Nursery // The Current Version

THE FARMHOUSE

We’re taking a break from the living room makeover this week to share our progress in the nursery.  You may recall that the nursery has undergone quite a transformation since we moved into the Farmhouse.  The room always had great bones, but it took a lot of work to bring the space up to snuff.  Thankfully, it was well worth the effort!  Somewhere along the way, the nursery turned into one of my favorite spaces in the house, and one of the hardest working.  Not only does Brooks sleep in here, but the space doubles as a playroom and an overflow guest bedroom.

We’ve always seen this as a temporary room for Brooks though.  We’d like our boys to share a room.  We’ve even tried to have our boys share a room, but we abandoned the plan after too many sleepless nights.  After the better part of six months, we’re ready to try again, or at least, almost ready.  As soon as we get the courage to move Brooks into Wilder’s room we’ll get to rethink the nursery (stay tuned for our plans on that), but in the mean time, here is a peak at what the nursery looks like today.  And I must say…I love it!

The Grit and Polish - Nursery TeepeeThe Grit and Polish - Nursery Day Bed 3The Grit and Polish - Nursery Bed SideThe Grit and Polish - Nursery Wallpaper Nook 2The Grit and Polish - Nursery CribResources: teepee, Wayfair |teepee pillows, Anthropologie | curtain rods, Restoration Hardware | jute rug, Rejuvenation | brass side table, Urban Outfitters | mirror, One Kings Lane | diamond pillows, Serena and Lily | dark gray pillows, Ikea | quilt and white pillows, Pottery Barn | whale, Land of Nod | throw blankets, Pendleton | overhead light, Rejuvenation | sconces, Rejuvenation | wallpaper, Anthropologie | crib, Pottery Barn | rocker, Amazon (similar) | selected books: Chicken Chicken Duck, Waiting, Zen Shorts, DinoblockThe Going to Bed Book, Flip-o-Saurus | rope bed, vintage | dresser, vintage | paint, BM Simply White

This space hasn’t always looked so good.  Here are the before photos and how we transformed this space from dark and dingy to light and bright:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery 2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery WallThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Closet

Those carpets don’t look too bad, but believe me when I say that they smelled like dog and all sorts of stuff I’d rather not think about. So we ripped the carpets up and then painted the walls, updated the electrical and lighting, built shelves, and refinished the hardwood floors.  We also wallpapered over the floral print in the large closet (which is where Brooks’ crib is).

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint 2 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Carpet Pull The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint and Carpet 6 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 2 the-grit-and-polish-nursery-picture-wall-2the-grit-and-polish-master-hardwood-refinish-1

Phew!  All that work took us the better part of 6 months, the length of time we’ve lived at the Farmhouse.  We took our time, working on this room as we had the time, energy, and money.  And about that last criteria, since this room was always temporary for Brooks, I tried to keep the decor inexpensive and versatile.  You’ll notice a lot of vintage furniture and hand-me-downs from Wilder.

The Grit and Polish - Nursery at Door The Grit and Polish - Nursery Teepee 2The Grit and Polish - Nursery DresserThe Grit and Polish - Nursery Shelves

Brooks’ crib is in the door-less closet, which is 6’x6′.  It’s proved to be the perfect little nook for a baby, fitting just the crib, a rocker, and usually a stack of books.  Brooks loves winding down in here, staring at the wallpaper, and reading a few stories before bed.

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Crib Nook

The full-size bed, which I style as a day-bed, hasn’t gotten as much use as I thought it would.  We have a guest bedroom downstairs, so this room has only seen occupants on Labor Day, when we had more friends and family than we did beds.  Brooks and I also use this space to cuddle up when he’s up at night teething or sick.

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Day BedThe Grit and Polish - Nursery Shelves 2

Garrett and I have been thinking a lot about what we’ll do with this room once Brooks moves in with Wilder.  I’m excited to say that we’ve finally come up with the perfect plan, which I’ll share next week.  I cannot wait to see how this room continues to evolve!

So that’s the whole nursery/guest-room/play-room, at least for now.  I’d love to hear what you guys think of it!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Wilder’s second nursery and big boy room.  And an update on Wilder’s current bedroom here.

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Farmhouse Nursery // Shelves & Picking Art

THE FARMHOUSE

Before I start this post, let me just say, please ignore the hardwood floors. After ripping up the carpets in the nursery, we discovered that the wood floors are in DIRE need of a sand and refinish (apparently the previous owners didn’t believe in tarps…?!), but we’re waiting until we have all the bedroom floors exposed before tackling that project.

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Okay, so we had this big, blank wall in the nursery and I struggled for weeks deciding what to do with it.  I would have loved to have a desk or a cozy reading nook there, but because of the wall’s position (it’s essentially along the walkway between the door and the baby nook), anything sticking out would have been in the way.  So, a low-clearance design option was a must. But that’s as far as I got.

Here’s what the wall looked like while I debated options.

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My first thought was to hang a gallery wall and I even had a lot of art ready to go, but I wasn’t really excited about that option. What this room really needed was more books accessible for the little guys, so shallow shelves popped into mind.

Narrow ledge shelves are nothing new or groundbreaking (not only are they all over the internet, but I used them in our first dining room some 8 odd years ago), but they are the perfect solution for here.

Building the shelves was pretty simple. I told Garrett what I wanted (essentially a ‘u’ shaped shelf no wider than the thickness of the open door), and 2 hours later he had crafted them out of a leftover pine 1×4.  I didn’t take any pictures during the process, but here are some more resources should you want to build something similar: 1, 2, 3.  Garrett filled the seams in our shelves with wood putty and then sanded them down.  The next morning, we hung the shelves and caulked any remaining seams.

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Next we primed the shelves.  And eventually we will paint the shelves the same color as the walls (Simply White), but I’m waiting until we get the paint out for our master bedroom. In the meantime, I’ve propped up lots of books and art for all of us to enjoy.

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Picking art was the hardest part of this project. I don’t think of myself as having an art eye, and I don’t have a clue about cool artists. I also don’t have a big budget for original paintings, for that matter.  So I went with my gut and picked out images that I found fun and whimsical and thought my family would enjoy.

Sources: 1 (Frank S. Guild) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 (Paul Cezanne) | frames

All the prints are from Etsy and Costco’s image gallery. I’m still waiting for some of the art to arrive (did you notice the empty frames on the shelves?), but in the meantime, we’re working on our master bedroom for the One Room Challenge and recovering from eating faaarrrr too much cake during Brooks’ birthday over the weekend 😉 I’ll share this space again after we paint and get all of our art up on the shelf. Oh and did you notice my Rejuvenation Skyline rug came in (!!!!)?

Please dish!  Share your go-to sources for inexpensive, fun art in the comments.  I’m still searching for some great pieces for our master bedroom!

If you’re interested in learning more on anything in the nursery, here’s everything I’ve written to date: paint, carpets, wallpaper, design plan, hanging chair.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Tara and Percy are in the New York Times! If you don’t know who I’m talking about, check them out because they are amazing and everything they touch is gold!

p.p.s. Emily Henderson (yes, THE Emily Henderson), posted a picture of our #6daykitchenreno on her Instagram account! I jokingly told my sister it was the biggest moment of my life, but really, I’m feeling sooooo flattered!

p.p.p.s. We have ripe, plump Concord grapes coming out of our ears right now. And despite never being a grape girl in the past, I can’t get enough of their candy sweetness. I already used some 40 + pounds of grapes in grape jelly (that recipe is awesome!) and grape syrup (some of the jelly didn’t set), but what else can I use them in??!!

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Farmhouse Nursery // The Hanging Out Hanging Up Hanging Around Hanging Chair

THE FARMHOUSE

After three years of pining and two months of debating, I’m happy to announce that the Serena and Lily hanging rattan chair is officially mine. And it’s every bit as good as I thought it would be!

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Because I think pairing rap music and renovations is cheeky, I put together a little hanging-up-the-hanging-chair GIF for y’all. It’s over on Instagram if you want to check it out! And please, lay it on me. Am I as funny as I think I am?

Anyway, as I mentioned last week, I’m still putting this room together. You may notice that there’s a Rejuvenation sconce over the bed now (more on that soon), the curtains are hung (although I’m still debating whether to hem these inexpensive Ikea drapes or swap them out for something a bit nicer), and more than a few throw pillows adorn the “day-bed”.  One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the paint-speckled floors. Those look the exact same as the day we uncovered them. And for the record, the floors are killing me in these photos. They look more dirty than ‘art-studio’ and the floors make the whole room feel unfinished (well it is unfinished, but even more unfinished). Strangely, the floors don’t really bother me in person, but after seeing these photos, I’m thinking we need to move refinishing the hardwood floors up on our ‘to-do’ list.

Now for a look at installing that amazing chair. And as an aside, Garrett is a dutiful husband! Just a quick finger point and he gets ‘er done for me 😉

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Isn’t it lovely?!

Not five minutes after the chair was hung, a delighted Wilder spotted the new addition and declared it his.  I guess that was to be expected.  The whole, “this is a hanging chair, not a swing” conversation went right over his head, which, I suppose, was also to be expected. But now, how do I handle it?  All I’ve come up with is planting mouse traps under the cushions.

kidding.

mostly…

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More on this room: paint, carpet, wallpaper, and design plan.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. later this week I start the One Room Challenge for the first time! And I picked a room that I’m pretty excited about. You can read more here!

p.p.s. speaking of this hanging chair…I love it in Charlie’s room! This whole New York apartment tour is pretty amazing, actually. Charlie’s parents done good!

p.p.p.s. “Yay, it’s Wednesday cake!”. Yes, it’s a thing, and I am thinking that it’s the best idea ever!

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Farmhouse Nursery // Design Plan

THE FARMHOUSE

The leaves are yellowing and the air is crisp and I’m feeling all sorts of cozy about fall at the farmhouse, making the nursery the perfect room to be working on right now. The afternoon light filters through the large south-facing windows and it’s like country heaven. Not to mention, I’ve made some recent fall acquisitions that have me even more stoked to cuddle up on the nursery bed with a book (or maybe just nap…).

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I should correct myself. This space isn’t just a nursery, it’s the playroom/workroom/baby’s sleeping nook/overflow guest space in our house. Whatever you call it, I’m aiming for a soothing space to spend time in, think in, play in, create in, and sleep in. For the design, I’m targeting something country and natural. This room has views of the yard, surrounding hayfields, and distant hills and I want the space to feel connected with what you see out there. I debated about stepping up the designer-ey feel in here – add some more colors, a big bold art piece, and layer prints – but I kept coming back to the fact that this is a farmhouse, in the middle of the country, where we hunt for frogs and wear muck boots all day long. So no, nothing too glamorous or precious fits in here. Soothing, organic, relaxing, and welcoming are the vibes at our house and I want this room to reflect that.

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Resources: side table, Urban Outfitters | throw pillows, Serena and Lily | white quilted pillows, Pottery Barn | wallpaper, Anthropologie | Reed sconce, Rejuvenation | Paint, BM simply white | hanging chair, Serena and Lily | patterned rug, Rejuvenation | jute rug, Rejuvenation | sheepskin, IKEA | basket, Serena and Lily | books, Ada Twist Scientist and Zen Shorts | wood figurines, Amara.
So that’s my plan for this space. A few of my furnishings crushes made the cut, including the Skyline rug from Rejuvenation and the rattan hanging chair from Serena and Lily. I’ve actually been eyeing that hanging chair for about 3 years now, so consider me beyond excited to finally have it in a box on it’s way to me. I’m planning to hang it in the corner by the large double-hung windows to really capitalize on birdwatching and daydreaming. Of course, I’ll probably be fighting Wilder for this seat, because it’s sooooo up his alley. He may look like his dada, but he likes to get cozy like his mama.
I put a fiddle leaf fig in the design board, but honestly, I’m not sure my heart can take the death of another house plant. We’re 0 for 2 on fiddle leaf figs and well, is it me, or is it the damn plant?! Maybe in this dryer east-side air, it will survive…I don’t know. We’ll see.
What I do know is that it’s time to get decorating, which is so exciting. The full-size “day-bed” has been made and ready since we had a house full of guests at Labor Day. Plus the dresser is in, the mirror is hung, and the rug is laid. So I’m getting into the finishing touches now, which is so exciting. Things like pillows, lights, hanging chair, and Pendleton throws. Speaking of…we stopped by the Pendleton Woolen Mill outlet on our way to Wallowa Lake on Sunday, and Oh My Goodness it was amazing! Garrett could hardly drag me out of there after 45 minutes, and he only accomplished that once we had two crying kiddos. Needless to say, you’ll be seeing lots of their stuff in the months to come at our farmhouse!
What do you think about my “nursery” design plan? Would you enjoy such a neutral space or would you get board in it?
xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. About that trip to Wallowa Lake in Oregon…there was no cell phone service or wifi and wow was it awesome. We did tons of hiking, fishing, exploring, and cooking over open flames and to see Wilder experience all of that for the first time (HOW is that the first time?!) was parenthood gold.

p.p.s. dreaming about a garland like this for above the day-bed in the nursery. But how to keep the greenery alive…?

p.p.p.s. loved this Plantation house. What a beautiful family home!

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The Farmhouse | Wallpapering the Baby Nook

THE FARMHOUSE

If you guys happened to be on Instagram at 2am on Saturday night, you were in good company with yours truly. Yes, 2am.  Normally that hour is reserved for sleep or the occasional baby feeding here at the farmhouse, but on Saturday night, Garrett and I were still up finishing our first ever DIY wallpaper job in the nursery closet. For any of you who missed it, here’s a look at the wallpaper.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 8.2

Stunning, right?! But before I gush over the pattern, let me back up and explain a couple of things. You may remember that two weeks ago, I shared a video in which I told you guys that I planned to leave the nursery closet as is, including the floral wallpaper and the particleboard built-ins. Remember what it looked like? Here’s a reminder:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Closet

So why the sudden change of heart?

Well my sister came to visit – which is the start to many a good story – and we spent an evening chatting in here. I told her how this room was my favorite room in the house. And how the daylight streams in making it the perfect space for writing and photography. I told her how this room had to function as a nursery for Brooks (at least until we move him in with Wilder), a playroom for the kids, and an overflow room for guests. And I mentioned that with so many big windows, there wasn’t enough wall space for a crib, a dresser and a full-size bed/day-bed.

Then my sister had this amazing idea and she said, why not put the crib in the closet. Let me repeat that: why not put the crib in the closet. Okay, hearing that now, it sounds a little weird. After all, putting babies in closets seems more of a tiny-Manhattan-apartment thing than a 2700sf farmhouse thing. But it wasn’t weird, it was brilliant! And here’s why. We don’t really need an oversized, door-less closet in this room, and by gutting the built-ins and putting up some fresh wallpaper (preferably something less feminine for Brooks), this wouldn’t be a closet anymore but a cozy “baby nook” for the crib. And the rest of the room can be used as a playroom/office/guestroom.

See what I mean? Brilliant!

So I immediately got on Anthopologie’s website and ogled the wallpaper. I was a little indecisive in picking the pattern at first – they have sooooo many great options and after waiting 8 years to wallpaper something (anything!), I didn’t want to get it wrong – but we finally settled on the Kalahari Vignettes Pattern by Florence Balducci. It’s whimsical, and simple, and feels totally appropriate in a 104-year-old nursery/playroom/office/guestroom.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 1.2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 7

While we waited for the wallpaper to arrive, Garrett demo’d the built-ins, took off plate covers and a couple pieces of molding, patched the walls, and primed the existing wallpaper.

When Saturday night finally rolled around, we got the boys to bed and then Garrett rummaged through the garage for some tools while I watched YouTube videos on how to wallpaper (this one and this one were helpful). Since it was dark and we were in a race to bedtime, I didn’t get any photos of the process besides a quick iPhone shot. But in the end, pre-pasted wallpaper installation was a totally do-able DIY and it took us just over 5 hours to complete. That’s about twice as long as I would have anticipated for a 6’x6′ closet, but wrapping the interior corners and cutting out for the small window really slowed us down. I would recommend that if you ever find yourself wallpapering, you watch lots of YouTube videos and give yourself plenty of extra time.

I should also confess that we did something the experts don’t recommend in here: we wallpapered over wallpaper. In our defense, the existing wallpaper was in really good condition and had no bubbles or rips. And we went to the added trouble of priming it, so the pattern wouldn’t bleed through. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that was a huge mistake or not, but so far, I can’t tell what’s on the subsurface – it just looks beautiful!

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I wanted to mention one more thing. We are not going to wallpaper outside of the closet in this room. Our walls are really textured plus wallpaper is super expensive (this pattern rings in at $88/roll and we used 4 rolls just in the baby nook). The rolls that are hung up outside the closet are there so I could get some well-lit photos of the pattern.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Wallpaper 2

Now that wallpapering is done, it’s time for us to get this room ready for Labor Day guests, who arrive on Friday.  That gives us three days to tidy up. We’re going to need it, because this is what the room looks like right now:

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Yeah we’ve got our work cut out for us!

More on this room: before photos, priming/painting, pulling up carpets. And the introduction to the farmhouse: here.

I’d love to hear what you guys think about the wallpaper. And our grand idea for converting the closet to a baby nook.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. The Boo and the Boy has got to be the best website for fun, kid room inspiration!  I’ve also pinned a lot of my favorites here!

p.p.s. Alicia Keys stopped wearing makeup and I’m all about it!

p.p.p.s. In case you were wondering, this is what summer nights are like at the farmhouse.

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The Farmhouse | Starting the Nursery

THE FARMHOUSE

I am so excited to show you guys our first project at the Farmhouse, the nursery. Yes, that’s right, we’re finally getting started on renovating this old house, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Unlike our previous houses, we’re taking this renovation slow and will focus on one or two rooms at a time. At least that’s our plan right now.

So about that nursery… I had originally intended for Wilder and Brooks to share a bedroom here at the Farmhouse, and we tried it for a couple of weeks. But they were waking each other up and waking us up and everyone was tired and cranky, so I admitted defeat. We started renovating the nursery the very next day.  Brooks will get his own room until he’s sleeping a little better, or until I get the courage to put him back in with Wilder.

I showed you guys the before photos of the nursery last week, so check out that post if you want to see more, but here’s a little reminder:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery WallThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Bedroom Closet

Not good.  Not good at all.

The room has really great bones, but they’re hidden under those bad paint colors and the wall-to-wall carpet. And the drapes, which were mostly removed by the time I shot the ‘before’ photos, were hung on the top window molding, which really dwarfed the 9′ ceilings. These strange design choices made by the previous owners, made the room feel small and slightly ‘icky’ and there wasn’t much ‘historic farmhouse’ left in here.

Which brings us to what I’d like this room to feel like. I want this nursery to be light and bright and comfortable. And I’d like it to feel historic, but still relevant and modern. We also need this room to function as overflow guest quarters for Rodeo weekend (we’re expecting 3+ families to stay with us during this year’s Labor Day Rodeo, and once word gets out that we’ve got more rooms than we know what to do with, we could get some long lost cousins knocking at the door ;). So I’m imagining a daybed – or at least a daybed-styled bed – in addition to a crib. During the winter, I imagine the kids will play in here and I plan to do some writing in here (it gets the best light!), so it needs to work for everyone, people of all ages and genders. So even though it’s a nursery, you won’t see anything too themed or baby-ish in the decor.

We got around to priming and painting this room last week, and I couldn’t be more excited about how this space is turning out! I shared a couple photos with my sister before she came to visit (like this one, which I also shared on Instagram), and she was adamant that the pictures don’t do the space justice. So, at her insistence, I shot a video for you all.  Let me know if you guys like seeing the space in 3D!

Sorry about the low volume. I shot this during nap time and didn’t want to wake the boys!

Later that afternoon, we got a coat of paint on the walls. I used Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (my go-to white color), because, as I mentioned before, I want the space to feel light and bright. I also picked white because there’s something so intrinsically country about white walls. At least there is to me. Do you guys agree?

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint 1 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint 2

We pulled up the carpets after the paint dried and ‘ll tell you about what we found underneath them next week. But before then, I wanted to make one note. After watching the video, I realized that I seemed very negative on wall-to-wall carpet. So a big ol’ sorry to wall-to-wall carpet and the people that love you!  I’m really not against carpet (we used it here after all), I’m just against people laying wall-to-wall carpet over old hardwoods in an old house. Especially when said carpets smell like animal pee and are covered in too many stains to count. Yuck!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Carpet Pull

I’d love to hear what you guys think about this room! Do you like my ideas for it? Do you guys have rooms in your house that function for so many uses?

Have a great rest of your week y’all! I’m off to buy pillows for the future daybed and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. speaking about daybeds, I love how Emily Henderson’s turned out in Elliott’s nursery.

p.p.s. What do you guys think about wall murals and stickers? I’m really digging these trees! I’m pretty sure I’d use them in the nursery if our walls weren’t SO textured.

p.p.p.s. This makes me want to fly to Columbus and get a tattoo. Stat.

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Dexter Master Bedroom, Currently

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Happy Friday!  I wanted to show you guys the master bedroom at the Dexter House today.  I haven’t shown you this space yet because it’s not “100% finished”.  Sure the renovation work is over (and has been for quite some time), but the room still feels unfinished.  Perhaps it’s because there’s nothing on the walls besides our giant headboard.  Or because everything except that headboard is leftover furniture from one of our other houses.  But considering that this house will be a rental and with more pressing items on our punch list (not to mention the rate we buy houses), it’s possible this room will never feel “finished”, so I’m going to share it as is with you guys today.

Let’s look back to last year when we started work on this room.

The Grit and Polish - Filming mini pilot at Dexter 2IMG_8779The Dexter House - Cathy at Opening

Obviously I was a *teensy bit* pregnant at that point (and actually all points through the renovation).  Luckily I didn’t have baby Brooks until the space looked like this:

Dexter House - Master Bedroom sitting areaDexter House - Master Queen BedDexter House Master Bed with Boys

You may have noticed that we replaced the exterior window with a door. Here’s what that transformation looked like from the backyard.

IMG_8833The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Door Install 2The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Door

Early during the renovation process we decided to convert the dining nook into a master bathroom (our first!).  So we added a doorway from the master bedroom to the nook and then got to work on plumbing in a bathroom.

The Grit and Polish - Bedroom Demo 2The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Wall Trim and Floor Sanding5. Dexter House Master Bathroom

And that’s pretty much the whole bedroom (except for the wall closet, which deserves it’s own post).  I’d really love to do more decorating in this room.  Wallpaper? Paint an accent wall?  Or perhaps add a hanging chair next to the patio door so I can spend all my free time reading in it (just joking, about the free time that is – I have an 8-month-old and a toddler instead of ‘free’ time)…?

I’d love to hear what you’d do to this space, even if we never actually lift another finger in here.

Dexter Master Bedroom

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Studio McGee has been killing it lately and their Claybourne project is no exception.  Check out this stunning home or get lost in their archives…you won’t be sorry!

p.p.s. Love this 1934 farmhouse renovation, especially all the antiques that are so well curated and styled.  Kudos to the lady of the house!

p.p.p.s. I have yet to install wallpaper in one of our renovations because I’m gun-shy.  But removable wallpaper, well I could get into that!  Check out this roundup of amazing prints.

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Guest Bedroom: A Cozy Space for Guests

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Last week we finished our quick guest bedroom “redo”, and I’m pretty smitten with the results.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 4 copy The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand

We spent two weeks transforming this 77sf room from an awkward white left-over space into a comfortable bedroom for guests.  It’s still small (obviously we couldn’t change that…), but it feels a whole lot cozier.  Here’s what the room looked like before the wainscot and paint and brass hanging light and framed photos and retrofitted antique bed.

Dexter House - Guest Bedroom

And after…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 5

Before…

IMG_1838

After…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom foot of bed

Sooooo much better, right?!

I went with a simple black and white color scheme for this room and added hints of natural wood and brass.  The simple color palette keeps this small room from feeling cluttered and really works with the vibe of the rest of the house.  The end result is a cozy and simple space that feels nostalgic and sophisticated and maybe just a bit sultry.  For the walls, I selected historic photos from Costco’s image gallery and mounted them in Ikea frames.  Simple white drapes cover the window and closet and a blackout roman blind helps guests sleep in (or it would if our toddler wasn’t running down the hallway by 6am every morning!).  The hanging brass light was a DIY project by yours truly.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase

We bought the 1800s rope bed from a very sweet lady name Mary via Craigslist.  She actually sold us two antique frames for $120 (more on that here), but I selected this one for the guest bedroom.  Because the frame is narrower and shorter than a modern full (it turns out there weren’t standard mattress sizes in the 1800s…), we did a little reworking to extend the side rails, push them out a few inches, and then slipped a new 2×4 and plywood frame in between the rails.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Brass Hanging Light 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom rope bedThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom bed frame

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I love this bed frame.  It’s my kind of antique: pretty and sturdy and interesting.  I keep joking that our guests will always have to sleep on a full-sized bed, because I envision carting this frame from house to house with us until it finally lands in our forever house’s giant and bright guest bedroom. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?!

I did a little research on rope beds, and found out that people used to string rope around those small wood nobs in a cross-hatch pattern.  They topped the rope base with a homemade mattress, usually filled with feathers or hay.  The ropes needed tightening often, which makes me think the phrase “sleep tight” used to be mean something a whole lot different than it does now.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 9

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Window 2

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Bed and MirrorThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom mirror

We’ve had this antique mirror sitting in the basement since we moved into the Dexter House.  I bought it off of Craigslist for $20 or so.  But I never liked the color much so was happy to spray-paint it glossy black.  I hung it from the ceiling using brass plumber’s safety chain, which I found (and fell in love with!) at the hardware store.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 15

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase 2

Well that’s it for our guest space!  At just 77sf, it gives a whole new meaning to cozy.  But I’m really happy with how it turned out and super glad we took the plunge and painted the walls black.  Speaking of the paint, I’ve gotten some mixed comments from readers about the black walls.  So I’m curious…what do you think?  Would you ever go dark in such a small room?

Read more about the guest bedroom redo: inspiration/getting started, bedframes, and progress.

Resources: bed frame, vintage | suitcase, Filson | bedspread, gift | white curtains, Ikea | roman blind, West Elm (on sale!) | mirror, vintage | black and white blanket, Anthropologie | side chair, Industry West | frames, Ikea | photographs, Costco image gallery | brass double picture frame, vintage | brass hanging light, DIY (post to follow) | lace throw, vintage | paint colors, listed here

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. let’s talk dark and sultry interiors for a minute.  This whole house tour on design*sponge is so so so lovely and such a breath of fresh (dark) air.  This entry is kinda spot on too.

p.p.s. Well this mansion is lovely, isn’t it?  And can’t we talk about that fireplace?!

p.p.p.s. Check out this cozy and eclectic family home tour on One Kings Lane…it’s a stunner.

p.p.p.p.s. I just couldn’t resist…If toddlers had Facebook.  Yes, I laughed out loud.

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Guest Bedroom: Striking Craigslist Gold

THE DEXTER HOUSE

When I’m in the market for a bed frame, I like to buy vintage.  As in used-on-Craigslist vintage, not the I-paid-a-fortune-for-it-at-an-antique-store vintage.  There’s such a wealth of beautiful old pieces on Craigslist, it would be a shame not to at least look.  Well, that’s what I tell Garrett when he catches me under the covers at 10pm scrolling through craigslist furniture ads ;).

So, as you probably already figured out, when we started this little guest bedroom redo, I hopped onto Craigslist for a bed frame.  I had two things going for me: I’m in a CL-rich location (Seattle) and I was looking for a full-size frame, something not a lot of other people are looking for, but a common size in antiques.  Not surprisingly, I found two gems, which were being sold together for $120 (!!!).  I was in love.

Bedframe CL Ad 3-9-16 page 1 copy

The only problem was that the beds were located a good hour and a half away from Seattle.  But have I mentioned that I have an awesome husband (I do!)?  Garett volunteered to pick up the beds up and take the boys with him.  He actually made a whole day out of it, taking a picnic lunch and stopping at the beach and an aquarium.  By the time they made it home, Brooks had taken two solid naps and Wilder couldn’t stop yammering on about crabs and seagulls.  And almost as exciting as all that, were the two bedframes sitting in the back of our car.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Guest Bedroom Bed 2The Grit and Polish - Dexter Guest Bedroom Bed 1 two

Let me just start by saying that these frames are gorgeous and in really great condition.  I found out from Mary, the seller (who I struck up an email conversation with), that both beds had been in her family for many years.  The dark wood rope bed dates back to the 1800s and was a wedding gift to Mary from her mom, an antiques dealer in Wisconsin.  The lighter maple bed (Mary called it birdseye maple; my go-to wood guy, Uncle Dougie, called it figured curly maple) dates back to the 1920s.  Mary’s grandparents received the bed in 1927, assumedly for their wedding.  Her grandfather had come to the United States as a 13-year-old runaway from Canada.  He went to medical school and later became mayor of their town in Wisconsin.  Mary’s grandmother was a botanist and “something of a tyrant…but hilarious”.  Mary’s grandmother took a teaching job at a seminary after her wedding.  Because of her job, she had to hide her marriage and live apart from her husband for a time.  She eventually switched careers and worked in the office of her husband’s doctor practice, which meant they got to share this beautiful bed again.  They kept the frame until 1999.  72 years!  A good omen, if I do say so myself!

Now that you’ve seen the beds, I should show you the progress we’ve made on the space we’re going to put them in.  These photos aren’t too great, but at least you can see what the wainscoting looks like:

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Guest Bedroom Wainscot ProgressThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Guest Bedroom Wainscot Progress 2

Up next is painting the walls.  Like I said on Tuesday, I’m planning to go black.

I’m curious, which bed frame would you use?  I’m planning to keep both of them (hopefully the boys will get to use them when they’re a little older), but of course, only one will fit in this tiny guest bedroom!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. my DIY on coco+kelley this week is my favorite project to date.  The shelf/light concept was all Cassandra’s, but I sure loved building it!
p.p.s. I’ve been crushing on antique wood headboards for a long time.  In addition to the gems I found, this one and this one are a couple of my favorites
p.p.p.s. Pinterest’s biggest trends of the year (looks like I’m on-point with the dark walls!).
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