One Piece, Three Ways // Antique Oak Twin Bed

We’ve been spending a lot of time staging and decorating homes lately (both for sale and as Airbnbs) and it has me thinking about how often we reuse furniture. It’s so easy to decorate a home without thinking about where that furniture will end up. If you move, will your original furniture have a place in your new residence? And if not, will you get rid of the old pieces and buy new? It’s an expensive proposition.

Over the years, we’ve moved A TON and found that some pieces are more transferable than others. It seems to be the good-quality, timeless, and interesting pieces that we’ve re-used from home to home. Today I wanted to look at one of those pieces, an antique twin bed that we’ve used in 3 of our houses in the past 3 years.

This was Wilder’s first “big boy” bed. It’s a standard twin size that we found on Craigslist for $450, including the dresser. I can’t remember what we actually paid for the set – although I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have spent that much – but they are really heavy, beautifully-detailed pieces and we’ve gotten a lot of miles out of them. Here are three bedrooms that we’ve used this bed in.

Dexter House

This bed was originally purchased for the Ravenna House when Wilder outgrew his crib, but made the move to Dexter a short time later. And I’m really glad it did because the black wall ended up being my favorite paint combo with this beautiful bed. Bonus: we used the dresser here too!

Bryant House

The bed and dresser were both stored when we moved from Dexter to our Farmhouse. I originally thought I might use them again if we ever had a third child, but we ended up with a full-size bed when we did Daphne’s room. Only when we turned Bryant into an Airbnb did we bring this bed back out.

Ravenna House

When we decided to sell Ravenna, we brought this twin bed in to anchor the kids bedroom.We’ll be sharing more of this space (and all of Ravenna) in the coming months, but I will say that I love the whimsical, vintage vibe the bed gives this space.

That’s it for this bed, at least for now, but I’d love to hear if you re-use furniture when you move…?

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Our Go-To Paint Colors

With paint colors, I’m a minimalist. When I find a color I love, we use it over and over again. In fact, one paint color covers about 75% of the last 3 homes we’ve renovated, which I’ll share in a inute (hint: it’s a white). Not only is my color minimalism an if-it-ain’t-broken-don’t-fix-it situation, but we’ve also found that sticking to just a few colors in our homes takes the guess work out of touchup. There’s always a gallon of paint on hand!

With all of our renovations, we have longevity and rentability in mind. That means I stick with classic paint colors: whites, warm neutrals, navy, and black. You don’t see bright yellows or bold reds on our walls, and probably never will. We use classic colors that look good in a variety of lighting situations and with lots of decor styles. Here are three of our our go-to colors.

Benjamin Moore Simply White

This is our white. It’s a little on the warm side and it looks good in most natural lighting situations, although the brighter the better. This is the color that covers the majority of the walls in our last 3 remodels.

Pro Tip: don’t get this one color matched by Sherwin Williams, it turns out a little too yellow.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

This is a classic navy that is dark and rich and really beautiful. We used this color on the exterior of the Porch House (with Simply White on the trim and Revere Pewter on the deck) and get complimented on it all the time. It feels both classic and fresh and always looks beautiful.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

This is our go-to warm beige and it always looks good. We often ask the paint store to tint it to 50% (meaning they use half of the amount of pigment they usually would), which is nice for rooms with low light. Either way, pair this color with Simply White trim and you can’t go wrong.

Bonus: Two More Colors we Love

For fun, here are two more colors we’ve used recently and loved. Each color decorates the walls in one house that we’ve renovated, so they haven’t reached ‘go-to’ status yet. But they’re on their way!

C2 Vex

We painted the Porch House kitchen cabinets and trim in this soft, warm neutral with a hint of green. It’s a really beautiful hue that changes with the light – sometimes reading green and sometimes reading gray. It always looks fresh next to white (BM Simply White shown here) or, say, navy blue wallpaper.

Benjamin Moore Onyx

This is the black that we used at the Dexter House on the kitchen cabinets and a few walls. I love it because it reads true – as in not blue and not purple – and is refreshingly crisp when paired with Simply White.

Pro Tip – I like to save dark colors for small, private spaces like bedrooms and offices.

Those are our 5 work-horse colors that work in most spaces. Do you have any stand-bys? pssst: pin this image for easy reference later.

*disclosure: We use affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of the links, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  Affiliate links is one of the ways we keep this blog running, so thanks for supporting the Grit and Polish!


Commissioning Art with Kati Kleimola

When we decorated Daphne’s nursery for the One Room Challenge, we got our first piece of custom art. It’s a floral painting created by Kati Kleimola and it’s just beautiful! Kati had reached out in 2017 and asked if we’d be interested in a custom piece and I quickly said YES (!), but it wasn’t until we started Daphne’s room makeover that I knew what we wanted. Then we worked with Kati to get a painting that is perfect for our space, and the process was really fun!

I’ve always been intimidated by the idea of commissioning art, but this experience changed that. So I wanted to share more of the behind-the-scenes process with you. Kati was graceful enough to answer a bunch of my questions (no small feat when your an artist with 5 kids!) and I’m sharing them below in interview format. I hope you enjoy this!

An Interview with Artist Kati Kleimola

photo via @Kati_Kleimola

G&P: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

KK: My name is Kati Kleimola and I’m an artist from Toledo, Ohio. I work from my home studio and I love all things floral. I taught K-8th art for 8 years and while I enjoyed teaching I was always wishing for more hours in the day to spend painting. Two years ago I took the leap to pursue painting full time. I’m now able to do what I love while being home with my husband and our 5 children. To satisfy my love to teach and share the gift of creativity, I host painting workshops at a local gallery a couple times a month.

G&P: Have you always been an artist?

KK: I have always been wired to see things through a creative lens. I would say I knew I was an artist as a child, but honestly most children call themselves an artist. I just never grew out of it, and thankfully I had parents and teachers that encouraged me to chase all my creative ideas.

photo via @Kati_Kleimola

G&P: What inspires your art?

KK: Even though the majority of my work is of flowers, I’m most inspired by people. Flowers have a way of connecting me with memories. When the tulips come up in the spring, I’m reminded of my Dad planting them around the big tree of my childhood home, just because he knew I would love them. Lilacs make me think of the fence my brother and I use to hop to sneak out of that same yard. And pink roses will always make me think of my wedding day.

G&P: How does the process of commissioning a piece of artwork?

KK: The best way to begin a commission is to send an email briefly explaining the idea for the commission. Sometimes I am commissioned to create pieces very similar to past work and other times it’s something very unique. I’m actually in the process of creating a commission of 50 little 4×4” paintings that will be used as wedding favors. I love when a client has a vision that challenges me to create something a little different. As long as the idea fits well with my style and my available time, I will begin paperwork to book the commission.

Editor’s Note: for Daphne’s piece, I sent Kati a few photos of the room, pre-makeover, along with a description of the look and feel I was trying to achieve in here. Here were my exact words: “Daphne was born in July and I associate her (and this room) with ‘summer in the country’ – flowers, slow days, a bit of whimsy, and a vintage vibe.” I also mentioned the pieces of Kati’s that I was most drawn to and listed a few colors I was hoping to have in the space, including pink, sage green, white/creams. 

photo via @Kati_Kleimola

G&P: Do you try to match art to the interior space or create art based on inspiration from the client or yourself?

KK: When I create a commission I want it to be the right fit for the space and also what my client was envisioning. If it’s possible I try to see the space in person. This helps me recommend the right size painting for the room. I also get a feel for the space and the colors in the room. I love when I have a color swatch of the wall that the painting will hang. I will incorporate bits of that color as well as colors that complement the space. Sometimes my clients don’t know exactly what they are looking for. In that case I have a list of questions that help me narrow ideas down. I will also ask which paintings from my portfolio they are drawn to the most. It’s also great to have photo inspiration.

G&P: I know you’re doing your own One Room Challenge space (in your OLD home!). What inspires your interior design? (You can check out Kati’s ORC reveal here.)

photo via @Kati_Kleimola

KK: The thing I love about old homes is they have good bones. They were built with such detail and craftsmanship that all you really have to do is bring it back to life. My design goals for my home are to create spaces that are both beautiful and practical for a young family. I would say I prefer an uncluttered look, with large art, splashes of color and a bit of nature.

G&P: What could people expect budget wise? Are there any rules of thumbs people could use for estimating the price?

KK: I use a standard pricing for all of my work that is calculated by the cost of materials, time to create and size of the piece. A 24 x 24” painting is the same cost if you were to purchase it online, in a gallery or as a commission. I work in a large variety of sizes, from a 4×4” to 36×48” to large murals. You can get an idea of prices from my work being sold on my website, but I am also happy to email pricing quotes.

Thank you Kati! And if you want to learn more about Kati or her art, check out her Instagram and website.


All room sources available here

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Daphne’s nursery reveal /

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How to Make Budget IKEA Curtains Look Like a Million Bucks


I wanted to circle back to Daphne’s nursery today and share how we made her pinch pleat curtains on a budget. All told they cost us about $50 per window, which includes the IKEA Tibast panels. Originally, I had been planning to sew my own pleated curtains, but this is way cheaper than I could have made them for (and no sewing machine required!).

Read on to see how we put these curtains together (and don’t forget to pin this image for easy reference later!).


IKEA Tibast curtains (or panels + pleating tape)

Pleating hooks

Curtain rings with eyelets


Needle and thread (optional)

Step 1 // Attach the Pleating Hooks

IKEA’s Tibast curtain panels already come with pleating tape on the back of the panels. If your curtains don’t have pleating tape, you can buy it here and sew the tape on the back of your panel (here’s a tutorial on that). Pleating curtains requires pleating hooks, which can be found on Amazon or at Ikea. The main thing about the hooks is being consistent with a pattern. With our four-pronged hooks, I put the first prong in the 4th slot, and than a prong in every 3rd slot after that. I repeated this for every pleat, and then used a single-pronged hook at each end of the panel. Consistency is key. And patience. This is definitely the longest step and best done on a couch with a movie and glass of wine (just don’t spill!).

One quick note about this step, make sure your curtains will cover your window once pleated. Pleating will considerably narrow your panels, so if your curtain will be opened and closed, make sure the curtain ends up wide enough to cover your window.

Step 2 // Add a stitch in each pleat

You could stop here and leave the curtains pleated, but adding a stitch gives them the pinch. Turn the curtain panel over and with a needle and thread, synch the pleat near the base of the pinch. To do this, I tied the base of the thread, ran it through the pleat once and then back, pulled tight, and tied the thread. Hot tip: pick a color of thread that’s similar to your fabric so you won’t see it (I used white)!

Step 3 // Iron!

I hate ironing. In fact, it’s been a solid 3 years since I pulled one out. But if you want these curtains to look like a million bucks, this step is key.

Step 4 // Hang curtain panels using rings with eyelets

I hung our curtain panels from rings with eyelets (found here in different finishes). If you find that the hook on the leading edge of your curtain comes out of the eyelet easily, just tighten the hook down with pliers (i.e. close the hook into a loop). I find it’s necessary if you use your curtains a lot.

That’s it! Please let me know if you try this tutorial. I’d love to hear how it goes! And if you have any tips, leave them in the comments so all of us can benefit from your experience.


curtains / pleating hooks / curtain rods / curtain rings with eyeletswhite quilt and shamsbed sheets / overhead light / jute rug (similar) / Skyline rug / dresser / dresser knobs / bird pillow fabric / unicorn stuffie / nightstands (DIY) / lamps / dresser / dresser knobs / black pillow fabric / glider / bird prints (Crow and Orange Crowned Warbler, free downloads from here) / picture frames (DIY) / paint color: BM Simply White

Related Posts

Daphne’s room revealDebating about curtains /

Thanks for checking out this tutorial, we hope to see you around here in the future! You can also find us on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest.

*disclosure: We use affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of the links, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  Affiliate links is one of the ways we keep this blog running, so thanks for supporting the Grit and Polish!


How to Find Furniture on Craigslist + Our Favorite Finds EVER!

If you know me at all, you know that I love a good deal. I’m one of those people that will happily sort through 16 racks of socks on sale for 2 hours just to find that perfect pair. Because, hello, deal. It’s kind of a problem, but Craigslist lets me scratch that itch in a productive way. It is also my secret weapon when it comes to finding furniture.

Craigslist is full of unique pieces with unique stories that the seller is often more than happy to share with you. Plus buying used means less landfill waste.  That’s a win, win, win in my book.  Read on for our best tips for scouring big on Craigslist and 4 of my favorite Craigslist finds…ever!

One // Victorian Headboard for the Dexter House Master Bedroom // $195

I found this solid, antique headboard on Craigslist and immediately fell in love. I was out of town, so promptly emailed the seller to set up a time for Garrett to pick it up. I should say thankfully I wasn’t in town because this sucker was heavy and I’m sure Garrett was cursing my Craigslist obsession as he egged it into the back of the truck.  At $195 it wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever gotten on Craigslist, but it wasn’t bad either. The previous owner had purchased it from a designer for a lot more than $195 and stripped the paint off. When we got the headboard home, we realized that it was more of an oversized full than a queen, but we were able to build out the frame accordingly to make it work with a queen mattress.

Two // Solid Wood Cabinets for the Ravenna Basement // $160

I saw these custom cabinets pop up one weekend afternoon and immediately emailed the seller. I was first to respond and first to schedule a time (for Garrett:) to pick up these heavy suckers, which won us the prize. Can you believe that these solid wood built-ins were listed for just $200? Even crazier, Garrett talked the seller down to $160. They fit perfectly in our Ravenna House basement remodel and totally make the space (seen here back in 2014).

Three // Rope Bed in the Dexter House Guest Bedroom // $60

This rope bed is one of my favorite antiques ever. It’s super sturdy (especially after we retrofitted it for a full-size mattress) and just plain beautiful. The seller was really kind and shared the story of the bed, which is just too sweet. Related: would you guys want to see a DIY on how we adjust antique bed frames and head boards to fit modern mattress sizes?

Four // Patio couch in the Porch House sunroom // $300

I originally bought this patio couch for the Dexter House backyard, but shortly thereafter, we bought our Farmhouse. It came with us and briefly had a spot on our front porch before moving over to the  Porch House sunroom where it has sat ever since. It will be returning to the Farmhouse shortly, but in the meantime it looks great here.  Originally listed for $500, we talked the seller down to $300.  It certainly wasn’t the best deal we’ve ever gotten on Craigslist, but it’s one of my favorites.

Now that I showed you all of our favorite Craigslist scores, lets talk about how we scored them. Because if you’re on Craigslist often, you know it’s easy to let those great finds slip right through your fingers OR spend way too much on things you don’t love. So here are six tips that work for us:

Tips for How to Score Big on Craigslist

Check listings in big cities // we’ve noticed that Seattle has so much more to offer than our small town (our town doesn’t have Craigslist but a couple surrounding towns do). So when we need something, I look in Seattle a day or two before we’re planning to be over there.

Check often // the best stuff on Craigslist goes fast, so you have to check listings often. If I’m in the market for something specific, I’ll check multiple times a day. Usually a seller will sell to whomever emails first or whomever picks up first, which brings me to my next point…

Offer to pick it up right away // if at all possible, try to be available to pick up the item right away (the same day). My email inquiries usually look like this: “I love your table! It would fit perfect in our old Farmhouse. Could I come pick it up this evening or tomorrow?” And if I’m not 100% sure I’ll buy it, I’ll say something like “if it’s in good condition, which it looks like it is, I’ll take it!”

Ask for Measurements! // Save yourself the hassle of going to look at something that won’t fit by just asking the seller for the measurements ahead of time.

Crappy photos usually mean good deals // Do not be deterred by crappy photos or a little dirt on the item. You were going to clean it anyway. And crappy photos usually mean you can get the item for cheaper (since those photos will scare away a lot of buyers).

Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount // Garrett’s policy is to always ask for a discount, usually 50%. And while I’m not always so gutsy, I’ll often ask for a lower price if the item isn’t something we absolutely need or it seems overpriced. It can be hard to bargain, but honestly, that’s just part of selling on Craigslist, and if you’re polite, you usually will end up with the item anyway.

What did we miss? Do you have any other tips?!


Farmhouse Master Bedroom Update // How We’re Surviving Winter


This post is sponsored by Leesa, a company we have used and loved for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that support the Grit and Polish. Use discount code GRITANDPOLISH when you checkout at Leesa! 

Our Farmhouse master bedroom has seen a lot of small, seasonal changes since we first decorated it last Fall. And this winter is no different. We made a few changes. Nothing ground breaking. Nothing too flashy. Just a few minor updates to get us through the long, Washington winter.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update angle.3The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter G Side Bed

A More Comfortable Night’s Sleep

Despite the fact that Garrett and I own 14 mattresses – 5 at the Farmhouse and 9 at our rentals – we were still sleeping on the very first mattress that we bought together. It was 13 years old and well past it’s prime. So we upgraded to a Leesa foam mattress and we love it! But we knew we would because we already own 4 Leesa mattresses, including one at our Dexter House Airbnb and both of our boys’ beds at our Farmhouse.

So why Leesa?

We first tried Leesa on a friend’s recommendation a few years ago and now we’re excited to be recommending them to you. Not only are Leesa mattresses comfortable (our Airbnb guests have seconded that!), but they’re made in the USA and don’t contain toxic flame retardants. Plus Leesa offers free shipping/returns and we love that you order online and skip that awkward trip to the mattress store. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, use code GRITANDPOLISH  for $100 off a Leesa plus if you order by Presidents Day they’ll up that to $125 off and throw in a free pillow.  

Pro tip // for narrow staircases and awkward bedroom entrances, Leesa’s boxed mattresses make for easy installation!

Layers of Warm Blankets

In addition to the new mattress, we’ve added a wool blanket and down comforter over top of our year-round cotton quilt because it gets cold in the Pacific Northwest. Garrett and I actually love sleeping in cold rooms (and saving on energy bills ;), so we keep the house heat at 60 and pull up the blankets (the kid’s rooms have space heaters).

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update LinensThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update G SideThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update nightstand 2

Masculine Updates

One purely-aesthetic change we made was to bring in some masculine elements. I really wanted this room to appeal to its male occupant as much as it does to me, so I layered on the blue-ticking and green velvet throw pillows (the former were made by my mother and the later was a gift from Rejuvenation last winter). Truthfully, the throw pillows don’t always make it back on the bed in the morning – three young kids equals chaos in the early hours – but we do try. A made bed just makes for a better day, you know?!

I also brought in some vintage and nostalgic art for Garrett’s side of the bed. The windmill prints have always been here, but the soldier and George-in-glasses print are new. The former is from my great-grandparents and the later a free download that I printed (see resources at the bottom of this post). And lastly, the rusted horseshoe, which I found in our garage, adds a dose of texture to Garret’s marble-topped nightstand.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update Angle PillowThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update G Nighstand

Where is the sleeping bag?

Long time readers of the Grit and Polish might be wondering where Wilder’s sleeping bag is. Well our oldest son has (finally!) been sleeping through the night pretty regularly, so we rolled it up and stored it away (you can read about that here).  We also moved our Skyline rug down to the living room.  It’s still a favorite rug and as much as I LOVED it in here, it definitely felt feminine for this co-ed space. So now the whole family gets to enjoy it for playing and dance parties in the living room. I’m hoping to find a replacement soon.

It’s my philosophy that good design means a room works for us and not the other way around. For our bedroom, that means a comfortable place to sleep and a relaxing and simple environment that can grow with us over time. If you’re in need of an easy change this winter (or spring!), try swapping around your throw pillows or blankets or bring in some fresh art (like Melissa’s free print or something vintage). And if you’re in need of a more comfortable night’s sleep, we highly recommend you check out Leesa.


Previous versions of this room: original / ORC reveal / the toddler sleeping bag that saved our sanity / home birth and co-sleeping.

Farmhouse Master Bedroom sources:

paint color (BM Simply White) / mattress / bed frame (we bought ours at the outlet because it was missing slats) / marble and wood nightstands DIY / sconces in aged brass / cord cover / green velvet pillow (similar) / sheets / white quilt / wool blanket (similar) / down comforter / duvet cover / white pitcher / small bowl / curtain rods / drapes / George Washington print (free from Melissa) / “smile and wave” print /


Why we opt for REAL House Plants and Flowers in our homes

This post could also be titled “why I bought another fiddle leaf fig even though I keep killing our house plants”. Although that isn’t entirely true. I haven’t killed all of our houseplants, some hearty plants have survived and others (like our last fiddle leaf fig) died very slow deaths, which some might even call living. All humor aside, I’m not one to waste money on something temporary, but there are a few really compelling reasons why we buy real house plants (and fresh flowers too) for the indoors.


Our Farmhouse, master bedroom // rug, mirror, my favorite cotton quilt

We humans spend over 90% of our time indoors, so any small, inexpensive, and healthy improvements we can make to our spaces seem well worth the effort. Read on for 4 reasons why we keep REAL house plant and fresh flowers in our homes.

Plants clean the air – while all plants replace carbon dioxide with oxygen, many common house plants also remove toxins from the air (source). NASA researchers spent years studying the effects of potted plants in enclosed spaces and their conclusion: 1 plant per 100sf of home or office space achieves efficient air cleaning (source). Check out this helpful graphic to see which chemicals some common house plants clean.

Plants help you concentrate – Your house plants serve a greater purpose than just looking pretty. As published by Texas A&M,”tasks performed while under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result.” Yes, you actually produce better work with house plants in your space! And more than that, being around nature, even when it’s inside your home, helps with concentration, memory, mental cognition, and performance (source).

Flowers make you happy – this is something I’m sure we kind of knew was true, albeit without any formal source. But according to the same article from Texas A&M, “having flowers around the home and office greatly improves people’s moods and reduces the likelihood of stress-related depression. Flowers and ornamental plants increase levels of positive energy and help people feel secure and relaxed.” Total justification for that weekly farmers market bouquet!

Avoid Faux – this is purely a personal design rule of mine, but in our spaces I always seek out natural, REAL materials and objects. Think wood furniture, stone countertops, and real house plants. Every time I find myself thinking about ordering a faux fiddle leaf fig, I remind myself that an imitation is not the real deal. The real deal has a purpose (see above), which the faux version just can’t live up to. Like all good rules, I break this one now and again, but not yet with plants.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Lavendar on Nightstand

Our Farmhousemaster bedroom // light in aged brass, cord cover, favorite pitcher, art

The Grit and Polish - Master Bathroom Renovation All

Our Dexter House renovation, 36sf master bathroom // stool

Is anyone else out there passionate about real house plants? Or are they just not worth the hassle? Let me know in the comments.


8 Great Wallpapers for a Powder Bathroom

This is part 2 of our powder bath series. You can read more here: designwhy we added a powder bathroom.

One of my favorite parts about designing the Porch House powder bathroom was that it was dark and small. I know, I know! Those are not exactly the words that come to mind when you’re thinking about favorite architectural features, but here’s the thing. Small rooms can handle bolder patterns. They excel with darker, cozier colors. And small bathrooms are the perfect place for experimentation in design because it’s not a room that you’re looking at all day long (unless you’re potty training a toddler ;).

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom from doorway

Our Porch House renovation, powder bathroom

At the Porch House, I selected this wallpaper from Farrow and Ball as the main focal point of the design. I went with navy because it was one of the three colors I used in that house – yes, just 3 colors for 2000sf – and the pattern felt traditional yet interesting. The traditional bit was key because the house was earmarked for resell so we wanted to make sure our finishes had wide appeal.

While I love (LOVE!) the wallpaper we used, if this had been a bathroom at our Farmhouse I would have probably looked at more options. Shopping for ourselves instead of some unknown buyer would have meant we could look at whimsical, busy, and quirky prints. But even with more options available, I have to admit that it’s really hard for me to commit to wallpaper. It’s expensive and difficult to install, plus my tastes change. But when I do commit to a wallpaper, it’s always super interesting to look at.  And that leads me to my number one tip for wallpaper selection:

Tip: when picking out wallpaper, make sure you love to stare at the pattern. Tape a sample next to your computer or above your kitchen sink. If you find yourself getting lost in the print, staring at it for unknown lengths of time, than it’s a good option for your home. Loving a wallpaper pattern is good too, but love fades and taste changes. Whether or not you find a pattern interesting has more staying power. Plus, if the wallpaper isn’t interesting to look at, just save yourself a whole bunch of time and money and paint the room.

With that sentiment in mind, I’ve rounded up eight great wallpaper patterns that could live large in the small confines of a powder bathroom.

The Grit and Polish - 8 Wallpapers for a small bathroom

Top // 1 / 2 / 3/ 4 / green paint / navy paint

Bottom // 1 (room via My Scandinavian Home) / 2 / 3 (room designed by Jersey Ice Cream Co at Magic Egg Farmhouse) / 4 / neutral paint / white paint

For the record, I haven’t ordered from all of these companies, so don’t have any feedback on that. But I love that some of these prints are reproductions from folks like William Morris. And one note about coordinating paint colors: white is always a great option, but I paired a warm neutral trim color with our navy wallpaper at the Porch House and it looks so much better than white ever could have. So don’t be afraid to step away from white (ahem, Cathy!) and try something new once in a while.


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

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

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

our Porch House kitchen renovation (via Instagram)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




My Sister’s Home // Holiday Dining Room


Since I showed you the Porch House holiday decor earlier this week, I thought it would be fun to continue the theme and take you on a tour of my sister’s dining room. She had her dining room all decked out before Thanksgiving, so I took some shots when we were down for the holiday.  I did absolutely nothing to stage the space besides move some chairs around and get their puppy, Dita, to sit and stay (quite a feat, I might add ;).

The Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Room 11-2017 Dita 5.4

My sister would probably say this space isn’t totally done yet, but I hope you’ll agree with me that it’s beautiful as-is.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of ‘finishing decorating’ a home lately and how silly it is.  Spaces evolve over time, and it’s a beautiful process.

The Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Room 11-2017 3The Grit and Polish - Terr's House T and W 4The Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Room 11-2017 DitaThe Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Room 11-2017 6

The dining room connects a lot of spaces: the entryway (which is behind those beautiful french doors), the kitchen (behind the white door at the far end of the room), the staircase, and the living room.  It’s one of the first rooms people see when they walk in the front door, so it’s no surprise my sister decided to furnish it first.  She bought the table and chairs from Restoration Hardware, during a sale last year.  The chandelier is original as are the floors and seagrass wall coverings.  Beautiful, right?!

The Grit and Polish - Terr's Dining Bar Cart 2The Grit and Polish - Terr's House T

To prepare for the holidays, my sister added simple glass vases on the mantle with greenery and candles and layered placemats on the table.  It’s simple, festive, and beautiful.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these holiday tours.  Maybe next year, I’ll get around to photographing our own home 😉  With the spirit of family in mind, I’ll be taking a break for posting over the holidays (after tomorrow).  During the break, you can catch me over on Instagram, where I’ll be sharing my favorite spaces and before-and-afters from our year.



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