Tacoma Converted Garage // Moody Kitchen: Cabinets + Countertop Prep (ORC, Week 3)


Catch up on previous weekly updates about this moody kitchen renovation here: week 1, and week 2.

We’re half way through this One Room Challenge and our moody kitchen is finally taking shape. This week we installed cabinets, prepped for countertops, fabricated the countertops, and ordered all the remaining pieces. I’m getting excited to finally see this space starting to come together!


Installing Cabinets

The install on these cabinets went pretty quickly, and Garrett did it by himself. Thankfully these floors are pretty level (for a change!) so that made the job go a lot smoother. We also added a 3/4″ plywood surface on the cabinets for the countertops to sit.

We decided to hang our upper cabinets at 18″ above the countertops (a pretty standard dimension these days), but I usually like my uppers another couple of inches higher. The reason we kept them to 18″ this go around was to match the top of the pantry cabinet.

I wanted to add one note about stone countertop prep for you DIYers: 2cm stone requires a plywood underlayment and 3cm does not. So the savings you see from buying 2cm countertops often washes out when you consider the expense and time to apply the plywood. We always choose 3cm when it’s available (sadly this black granite only came in 2cm).

Building in a Fridge Cabinet

I like the look of a built-in fridge. Ideally we’d have a paneled-front fridge in here, but a cabinet around the fridge will do. We ripped a piece of plywood to cabinet depth and will attach a short upper cabinet to the top of it. Then we’ll trim it out, paint everything the cabinet color, and install the fridge. I think it’ll look pretty good!

Here’s a video of the backsplash, cabinet and underlayment install. Garrett solo’d all the prep work… How did he hang those uppers by himself!? Talented guy ; )


To Soffit or Not to Soffit

Our big debate this week was whether to build a soffit above the cabinets or leave them open. A ton of you guys weighed in on Instagram (thank you!!!) and gave us a lot to think about. We’re still not 100% decided, but I’m leaning towards a paneled soffit that matches the cabinet style and painted in the cabinet color. I think that may help the ceilings look taller in here, plus a wall of cabinets from floor to ceiling will feel more built-in. Hopefully by next week we’ll have a decision on that.


We also fabricated the countertops this week…actually, today. I don’t have all the photos ready to share, but I thought I’d leave you with this one. We bought pre-cut slabs (in 8′ lengths) from a local supplier and cut and honed them. Honestly, stone fabrication and install is a tough DIY (especially when dealing with corners and sink cutouts) and it never turns out as good as the professionals. At least a few times, Garrett and I questioned why we took this task on ourselves…again. But alls well that ends well and these countertops turned out pretty good. I’m excited to share more next week.

That’s all for this week. Check out all the featured and guest participants here.

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Tacoma Converted Garage // Moody Kitchen: Floor Plan + Finishes (ORC, Week 2)


Catch up on previous weekly updates about this moody kitchen renovation here: week 1

Welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge! We have officially made zero progress on our moody kitchen renovation – we were on vacation in New York City – so we’re sweating a little bit. But I suppose if we can put together a kitchen in 5 weeks, then we can do it in four. Probably 😉 Today we’ll be sharing a floor plan as well as many of the finishes we’ve picked out so far.

The Floor Plan

The Tacoma Converted Garage has an open living, dining, and kitchen space that forms an “L” shape. We shared this plan before, but have since updated the kitchen to show our big-post-in-the-middle-of-the-island situation. It’s a doozy, but we have a few ideas up our sleeves. Hopefully the post will look like a cool architectural feature when we’re finished and not an awkward post in the middle of the island. We’ll share more about the island when we start working on it.

Garrett and I are used to renovating small kitchens in our old homes, so this one actually feels spacious in comparison. There’s room for a pantry cabinet, full-size refrigerator, a deep kitchen sink, a respectable island and a dining space nearby. But what I love most about this kitchen/living/dining space is how livable it feels. I can totally imagine myself enjoying this finished space.


Now about those finishes… Last week we talked about all the black we have planed for this space, but we’re also bringing in lots of wood, brass, and stainless steel. Have a look.

Sources (affiliate links included): 1 // 2 Polished Concrete // 3 Absolute black granite // 4 // 5 // 6 GS Cabinets (Seattle) // 7 // 8 Dark paint (this one is SW Black Magic) // 9 SW Snowbound // 11 // 12 // 13

Obviously this isn’t all of the finishes, but these are the ones I’m focused on right now. The art options (I’m leaning to 11 or 12, what about you?) and rug are definitely not major components of this kitchen renovation, but I included them since they’ll be prominent in the finished look. It always seems like the final touches in a space are what pulls the whole room together. Ya know? When we’re renovating on a normal schedule, I usually collect these final items over time. But because I really want this kitchen to feel warm and inviting even though we’re on this accelerated ORC schedule, I’ve been thinking about these final finishes from the start this time around.

That’s it for this week. Over the next 7 days, we’ll be working on getting cabinets installed and the countertops prepped (Garrett is cutting and installing them himself!). Looking forward to sharing more next week!

Check out all the featured and guest participants here.


Tacoma Converted Garage // Moody Kitchen: Before + Inspiration (ORC, Week 1)


In a classic last minute move, Garrett and I decided to jump into this Fall’s One Room Challenge. We’ll be joining the other guest participants as we tackle the Tacoma Converted Garage’s kitchen. Yup, an entire kitchen renovation in just 5 weeks. Eeek!

Before we get into the details, I wanted to share a quick introduction. My husband, Garrett, and I are DIY renovators and landlords living in Washington state. We grew up together in the small town of Ellensburg, WA and spent a decade in Seattle renovating old homes. And working. And going to school. And having babies. By 2016, we had bought, renovated, and rented out enough homes to quit our jobs and move our 3 young kids to an old Farmhouse near Ellensburg. Early retirement is good, although it’s probably no surprise that all these kids, houses, and renovation projects mean we’re busier than ever. Ha! We wouldn’t have it any other way. You can read more of our backstory here.

Some of you may remember the Tacoma kitchen looking almost done in last week’s hood vent tutorial (pictured above). But the funny thing is, the only thing done in this space is the hood vent. Everything else – cabinets, countertops, etc – were propped in place for our video.

Of course we’re not starting from scratch in here either. The demo is complete, the concrete floors have been polished, and the plumbing and electrical are roughed in. I snapped a few pictures on Tuesday to show you what the space actually looks like right now.

Embrace the Dark Side – Cabinet Color

Before we talk inspiration, I wanted to mention the cabinet color. Those who follow us on Instagram, already know that I’ve been debating the color for weeks now. One thing’s for sure, the current green (Behr’s Boreal) just isn’t working. As one of our IG followers pointed out, it looks retro 70s, and I just can’t un-see that.

I narrowed down the new cabinet color to charcoal gray or a deep, hunter green and after lots of time spent debating, I think we’ve finally made a decision. We’ll be re-painting the cabinets in a dark charcoal gray. Ultimately I’m just more inspired by a black-on-almost-black color palette for this space plus black seems less particular than green for a rental.

In case you guys are scratching your heads, wondering what all this black will look like, I’ve collected a little inspiration for you:

Image Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

So good, right?! I think dark cabinets and countertops will look really fresh yet also classic and simple. I’m especially digging black for this more modern space with an industrial vibe.

The kitchens in the mood board are everything we’re aspiring to at Tacoma, but we’ll also be adding in a wood (plywood…?) waterfall island. Like with all of our kitchens (Bryant, Ravenna, Dexter, #6daykichenreno, and the Porch House Reno), we’ll be sticking to real materials (granite, wood, concrete, etc), pops of vintage, and an overall feel that’s simple and welcoming. But unlike all of our other kitchens (which are in turn-of-the-century homes), we’ll also be brining in a rustic, industrial, garage-y vibe to the space. It’s us but different and I can’t wait!


In order to give you a better look at our process, we’re going to share this kitchen renovation in a few short videos too. Our goal is to take you behind the scenes through all that goes on in a 5-week kitchen renovation. There will be exhaustion, excitement, and a whole lot of decisions. Here’s the introduction:

Let us know if you have any specific questions or topics you’re curious about (like design, schedule, how we divvy up work, specific DIYs, etc) so we can make sure to cover them.

That’s it for this week. This is definitely the most ambitious ORC project we’ve taken on to date (links to our other ORC projects are below) and we’re scratching our heads, trying to figure out how we’ll actually get it done. There’s nothing quite like the ORC to put the pressure on a schedule 😉 And that’s good, because we’re eager to be done with the 2+ hour drive to Tacoma.

This is going to be fun! Thanks for following along.

Related Posts

An Introduction to the Tacoma Converted Garage // DIY Hood Vent Tutorial // ORC Fall 2016: Master Bedroom // ORC Fall 2017: Porch House Bathroom // ORC Spring 2018: Daphne’s Bedroom

Be sure to check out all the featured and guest participants here.


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery Reveal (ORC wk 6)

This is post 6 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design, repairs, art, bed frame. Thanks for following along!


It’s one of my favorite days of the year…ORC reveal day! Not only do I get to show you Daphne’s finished bedroom, but there are literally hundreds of other new rooms to fest your eyes on! It’s a good day for all of us home lovers 🙂

(psst: all sources are linked at the bottom of this post!)


Before I jump into this historic/summery/feminine space, let me do a quick introduction for those of you who are new to the Grit and Polish. I’m Cathy (hi!) and that beautiful human being is our 9-month old daughter, Daphne. She was born right here at the Farmhouse last July – all 9lbs of her – and we named her after her daddy, Garrett (middle name). She’s had our entire family smiling ever since.

Garrett and I have been renovating old houses in Washington state for a decade now. We got our start in 2008 when we bought our first fixer-upper in Seattle and quickly became DIY renovators, house-hackers, and landlords out of necessity. You can read more about our journey here. After years of moving into, renovating, and renting out old homes with our kids in tow, we retired at the ripe old age of 34 to an old farmhouse in the country. A decade later, we’re still landlords, house-hackers, and DIY renovators and have shared our work on HGTV and the Home Love Network. Early-retirement and house hacking aren’t terms you frequently hear on home blogs, but they’re a big part of our journey and we hope to talk more about those going forward.

Now about that bedroom…

Daphne’s Bed Frame

We wanted to create a space for Daphne to grow into and that could do double duty as overflow guest space for our local Labor Day Rodeo and also for when we rent the Farmhouse out when we travel (yup, still house-hacking;). For those reasons, having a large bed in addition to the crib made sense. And when I found this beautiful cane bed pop up on Craigslist, I knew I had found the one. Did I mention it was also FREE…?! Yeah this bed frame is going to go down as one of our best Craigslist scores, ever!

If you’ve been following our One Room Challenge, you know that we considered painting the bed frame. There’s already a lot of wood in this room and I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish on the bed. But now that I’m seeing the bed in the space, I kinda feel like an idiot for even considering paint. It’s perfect as is!

Design Goals and What it all Cost

My goal for Daphne’s nursery was a historic, whimsical, and youthful space that feels like a summer breeze and is comfortable for both Daphne and adults to spend time in. Lofty goals, I know, but I think we got just that. This room is comfortable, bright, feminine, and full of textures and patterns for little fingers and eyes to explore. It’s youthful without being too kid kid, if you know what I mean.

Thankfully we were able to use a lot of furnishings we already had, so we spent less than $500 on this One Room Challenge. We’ve been working on getting rid of stuff (despite my keep-it-because-you-never-know-when-you-might-need-it mentality) so I was happy to put some of our favorites to use. Like the left0ver marble countertop from the Porch House kitchen on the nightstands. My grandmother’s old mirror. The layered jute and wool rugs we bought for Brooks’ nursery. Bedding, quilts, and pillows. Auntie Terr’s crib skirt. The simple dresser. And the oversized glider that we DIYed last Fall. Using what we had meant spending less, consuming less, and throwing away less. A win-win-win.

The Curtains

One thing we did buy was the curtains. We found these pink cotton numbers at IKEA and they were $40/pair. I also bought pleating hooks and added a stitch on each pleat to give the curtains a more finished, tailored look (do you want me to do a DIY post on that?). I had debated whether to go with a fun pattern or the pink, but in the end, I love how feminine and simple these curtains are.

The Crib Nook

The crib nook is perhaps my favorite space in this room because I’m obsessed with sleeping babies. Really, there’s nothing better in my book! We originally converted the closet to a sleeping nook for our second son. This small space is dark and quiet and Daphne sleeps really well in here.  Eventually, when Daphne outgrows her crib, we’ll move her to the full-size bed and turn the nook back into a closet.

Every morning when we get Daphne up, she’s standing at the side of her crib, staring at the wallpaper. It’s such a fun print! And the graphic black and white is just right for little eyes. We bought it at Anthropologie a couple years back and I still love it.

DIY Projects

We ended up doing quite a few DIYs in this space. We updated the antique bed frame to accommodate a modern foam mattress. Garrett built the nightstands out of old table bases and marble remnants. We made the picture frames for the bird prints and masked girl. And I dusted off the sewing machine and sewed a number of the pillows in this room. I also made the poms on the bird pillow using alpaca yarn. Phew!

Original Art!

The round painting hanging over the nightstand was created by Kati Kleimola. She’s a talented artist and also happens to be doing her own One Room Challenge on her dining room. This painting is our first piece of original art at the Farmhouse and will definitely be a keepsake. Thank you Kati!

The teacup on the books is from Daphne’s great-great-grandmother. I tried to incorporate a few family antiques to give this space a sense of belonging and nostalgia. The photo is also of me and my siblings in my mother’s summer garden here in Ellensburg, circa 1986. The rest of the art in the room is linked in the sources below.


Sources // paint: BM Simply White / bed frame (vintage) / white quilt and shams / bed sheets / bird pillow fabric / unicorn stuffie / overhead light / jute rug (similar) / Skyline rug / curtains / pleating hooks / curtain rods / nightstands (DIY) / lamps / dresser / dresser knobs / crib / wallpaper (similar) / crib sheet / crib skirt / black pillow fabric / blue pillow fabric (navy version) / glider /

Art // round flower painting / rabbit print (vintage, Frank S. Guild) / Kitten Bandit Print / Flower Child / Crow and Orange Crowned Warbler (free downloads from here) / baby’s back

Similar Posts

Vintage find: cane bed frame // Farmhouse Nursery: the current version // She’s Here! (Daphne’s arrival) // 9 Finds for baby // Wallpapering the crib nook //

Thanks for following along on our One Room Challenge and we hope to see you around here in the future! You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Check out all the other ORC room reveals here!

*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!


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: The Bed Frame, finally! (ORC wk 5)


This is post 5 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design, repairs, art, bed frame. Thanks for following along!

Well it’s definitely been a busy week around here but Daphne’s bed frame is in and oh goodness am I glad we didn’t paint this beauty!

In the end, we decided to give the bed frame a good cleaning and install a platform for our favorite foam mattress and that’s all. I’ll share more on that process later, but the bed is looking pretty good, especially considering it was FREE! I’m still shocked that we were able to snag this beautiful frame at $0, but then again they say all the best things in life are free. I say all the best things except old houses 😉

With Daphne’s bed frame in, the next step was finding the right balance of textiles. And that’s a task I’ll be working on right up until photographing the reveal next week. I found these cotton curtains at IKEA and now we’re debating about pleating them or just clipping them (you can see the two options in the photo above). Let me back up and say, did you know that you could pleat IKEA drapes (at least these ones)?! You need to buy pleating hooks, but even so, we’re talking less than $25 a panel, all in. And that’s definitely cheaper than I could have made them for. Garrett actually prefers the curtains clipped (the option on the right) so I’m thinking no that. If you have a preference for how to hang curtains, please do weigh in and help make the decision easier!

I also sewed a couple of new pillows for this room this week and pulled out some others from storage. The final look will be more edited, but I’ll wait until we finalize the furniture and art for that. Speaking of furniture, Garrett’s building me two nightstands with marble tops today and I can’t wait to see how they turn out! Honestly I can’t wait to see how this entire space turns out in less than 7 days (queue the beads of sweat on my forehead). In the meantime, check out all the designers/bloggers spaces here!

*disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.  If you make a purchase through our link, 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!


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Art (ORC wk 4)


This is post 4 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design, repairs, art. Thanks for following along! 

Two weeks left to finish Daphne’s bedroom…eech! I think these last two weeks are when the ORC magic really happens. Garrett might say it’s more like this is when the sleep stops (ha!) but either way, you get to see everything come together and it’s magical.

This week I ordered the final art prints for Daphne’s bedroom. We ended up with a mix of prints from Society 6 and Etsy, some free downloads that I printed online (here), and an original piece of art which should be here very soon (!!!).

I talked Garrett into letting me (read: us) make wood frames for this space. Solid wood frames are hard to find at a reasonable price, especially with a little patina, so we made our own. Both of the two above were DIY’d and I bought the glass and backing from Michaels. I hope to share a DIY post on those with you soon, but you can catch sneak peeks of our DIY endeavors on Instagram stories. Here are five pieces of art going in Daphne’s nursery:

Sources*: Kitten Bandit Print // Flower Child // American Goldfinch, Crow, and Orange Crowned Warbler (free downloads from here)

Last week I finally got my sewing machine out too. Thankfully sewing does seem to be like riding a bike and after putting together a couple of pillows, I feel almost ready to tackle the curtains. We decided on the inexpensive DIY option – which means we’ll be dying and hemming IKEA panels we already own – and see how that goes. If that DIY fails, we’re only out the cost of the dye and I can still order some floral/whimsical drapes.

Base shoe also went in this week, which really fines the space off. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more finished looking than base shoe in my book. Of course why in the world we waited a half to install this I can’t imagine!

That’s it for this week. Next week we should finally bring finishes back into this room and update the bed to accommodate a foam mattress. Speaking of the bed, I’d like to put together a DIY post for you on how we update the frame so let me know if you have any questions or issues to address with antique beds!

Check out all the other designer’s spaces here.

*disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.  If you make a purchase through our link, we may receive a small commission at no cost to you.  But rest assured that we only recommend products and services that we use with our family or are interested in.  Affiliate links is one of the ways we keep this blog running, so thanks for supporting the Grit and Polish!


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Repairs, Trim, and More (ORC wk 3)

This is post 3 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design, repairs. Thanks for following along! 

Somehow we’re already on week 3 of the One Room Challenge and I’m feeling a wee bit behind. Honestly, I’m still waiting on some materials but am chomping at the bit to get started on those DIYs I outlined last week. Pretty sure this room is going to be a mad dash at the end, but like all good house projects, it will get finished. Eventually 😉

Paint and Trim

Although Daphne’s room was in good shape when we started this One Room Challenge, we did have to do some repair work. A couple weeks ago, I had Garrett remove the book ledges to make room for Daphne’s dresser, which meant patching a few holes in the plaster and scraping caulk lines. Of course holes and scraping can quickly turn into larger holes and more scraping and in the end we had a fair bit of patching to do. Old houses, you know?

We also did some ceiling repair from a leak (evident in the top left of the photo above). I’m not sure leak is quite the right word, but last winter we got a ton of snow and cold temperatures and an ice dam formed, causing moisture to penetrate the roof, drip through the attic, and damage the ceiling. Ugh. And before you ask, yes we called our home insurance to see if this was one of those Chris-Loves-Julia-Got-A-Free-Roof deals, but alas, it was not. So we repaired the damaged areas and will see if there’s anything to be done with the roof later this year. In the mean time, this room got fresh primer and paint on the ceilings.

Before this room is done, we need to install base shoe. That’s one of those tasks we never quite get to until the 11th hour, or the One Room Challenge comes around 😉 One molding item we did get to was installing the cool interior corner pieces (I call them plaster corners, but I’m not sure the technical term). These were removed when we originally painted the room a year plus ago. Somehow these beautifies didn’t make it back on the walls at the time but we finally installed them yesterday!

Design Question

Before I leave you, I wanted to get your opinion on one major design struggle I’m having in this space: the curtains. There are 3 large windows in Daphne’s nursery so the window treatments will play a dominate roll in the look and feel of the room. Last week I mentioned my plan to dye some IKEA curtain panels that I already own, hem them, and add pleating tape to create a more formal look. While I’ll likely still do that, I spent entirely too much time online last week sourcing other curtains and fabric options. Basically it comes down to FOMO. Would simple pink curtains mean me missing out on my one girly opportunity for something more? Like a toile or a larger floral pattern?

Here are four images making my curtain debate that much harder:

Clockwise from top left: Making it Lovely // A Country Farmhouse // unknown // Sarah Bartholomew’s Home via the Glam Pad

Any thoughts on the curtains? Of course the DIY option is pretty much free so it’s hard (impossible?) to justify spending $400-$1000+ on 6 curtain panels. But don’t those prints leave you with a little FOMO?!

Can’t wait to share more progress next week. In the meantime, catch all the other designer’s rooms here.


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Design Plan (ORC Wk 2)


This is post 2 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design. Thanks for following along! 

Sometimes rooms come together super easy and quick and sometimes they just don’t. Daphne’s nursery has been the latter for me. I’ve been thinking about this space for the better part of a year now – both the function and the design – but nothing was clicking. Rather than push it, I decided to put the room on hold, collect a few baby things (how could I not?!), and wait for inspiration to strike. Wouldn’t you know it, all it took was finding a FREE cane bed frame on Craigslist for everything to fall into place.

Of course this old beauty is not without its issues.  A platform must be built between the rails to hold a foam mattress. And the shiny finish and in-between wood tone looks all wrong in person, so we are thinking about painting the bed. Or trying a wax treatment. Or…I don’t know…something!  I asked folks on Instagram yesterday what they would do, and 300+ comments later, I’m no further along in deciding but I did get some great suggestions! Thankfully we did at least make some other decisions this week.

Design elements

Now that this full-size bed is anchoring the room, I literally can’t stop coming up with ideas. Ha! I’ve settled on a feminine and nostalgic nursery design that feels completely at home in a 1912 country Farmhouse. I want it to be youthful and layered but still timeless and historic. Like a fresh summer breeze. And of course there will be a healthy dose of pink and whimsy! Here’s the plan:

sources: paint color: BM Simply White / ceiling light / sheet set / dresser / bunny knob / rug / art: masked girl print, flowers painting, baby’s back print / fabric: velvet birds, linen, floral (navy) / vintage kids peacock chair (similar) / unicorn

There are other finishes for this room too – like say, a crib – but the mood board gives you an overall feel for the finished space. A couple of the design elements you can’t see include layered textures to create interest for little fingers. And all-natural materials such as cotton, wood, and wool.

We made some physical progress in here too. Holes were patched, the ceiling was repaired from a leak last winter (I’ll share more on this next week), and now we’re ready to get busy on some DIY projects.

DIY Projects

Like always, we have quite a few hands-on projects lined up for this room. BUT, these DIYs are a little different from our usual construction projects.

One // build our own large, antique-inspired wood frames

Two // curtains! I’ll be dying and hemming some drapes we have on hand. Plus I’m going to try my hand at sewing a roman shade (or something similar) for the crib nook

Three // Updating old throw pillows with poms (made out of merino and alpaca wool for added texture) and possibly sewing a new pillow or two

Four // hanging large art with velvet ribbon

Five // the bed frame! We’re going to update this beauty with a platform for a modern foam mattress.  And we need to address that finish…

For the record I can’t sew, at least not really. I have a sewing machine – a hand-me-down from my mom – but haven’t made a stitch in a decade. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike…

Video Update

We have a lot still to tackle in the next four weeks. But before we get busy, I wanted to share a video and the floor plan. It can be hard to share the feel of a room in text and photos, so hopefully this video can do more…

We’re trying to create more video content, so let me know your thoughts on that video!

Floor Plan

I talked a lot about the floor pan in the video, so I suppose I should share that too 😉 I actually love seeing rooms in plan view (it’s the structural engineer in me). It can put everything in perspective, you know? Once we finalize the furniture placement – which will be later after we put the major pieces back in – we’ll add that into the plan too. For the time being, here’s the empty floor plan for Daphne’s room:

I sure do love this space and can’t wait to share all the physical progress we’ve made next week! Thanks for following along, and you can check out all the other designers’ weekly updates here.


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Introductions + Before (ORC Wk 1)


It’s One Room Challenge time again and we’re joining in as guest designers. Which means it’s finally time to put together Daphne’s nursery at the Farmhouse. And yes, the word ‘finally’ is most definitely warranted since our baby girl is already 8 months old (ahem #thirdchild).

If you’ve been following the Grit and Polish for long, you know that we’ve done two spaces for the ORC in years past. First we did our master bedroom at the Farmhouse and last Fall we did the Porch House master bathroom. (psst: keep an eye out for one of these spaces to appear on video soon!)

I’ll share more of the design next week, but in case you’re wondering, yes there will be lots of white 😉 Plus a healthy dose of wood, brass, and prints and textures (that feel youthful without being too kid kid, if you know what I mean). And as always, this room will include a mix of vintage elements and new pieces, feel appropriate in a century-old country home, and be budget-friendly.


If you’re new to the Grit and Polish, let me quickly introduce ourselves. I’m Cathy and my husband, Garrett, and I renovate old homes in Washington state. We’ve been at it for a decade now, moving into many of our projects and doing 95% of the work ourselves. A couple years ago we bought an old Farmhouse in the small town where we grew up and left the city and our 9-5 jobs behind. Now we’re full-time parents, landlords, renovators/designers, and country-dwellers. Of course now that we don’t have traditional jobs, we’re busier than ever (ha!) and even filmed our own HGTV pilot last year (stay tuned for the next air date of Master Plan!).

Daphne’s Room, Before & Now

Now let’s get back to baby Daphne’s bedroom. Here’s what the room looked like when we bought the Farmhouse.

Much of the heavy lifting is already done in here. We’ve pulled up the (stinky) carpets, painted, updated lingering nob and tube electrical, replaced lighting, refinished the hardwood floors, and re-wallpapered the closet. Daphne’s older brother, Brooks, used this space for a while but moved in with even bigger brother, Wilder, when we found out we were expecting a baby girl. So now the task is to simply decorate for Daphne.

Quite honestly, I’d be more comfortable if there was major work to tackle in here – giant save-the-house-from-a-wreaking-ball kind of projects are my comfort zone – but it’ll be a healthy change of pace to focus on really decorating a room. In any case, we are all excited to have a finished, comfortable space to enjoy with Daphne!

Here are some pictures of the space from earlier this week.

Stay tuned next week for design inspiration and a mood board (which I’m still working up). But I will mention that this room is going to do double duty as overflow guest space. So we’re bringing in a full-size bed (in addition to the crib), which we already found on Craigslist. It’ll be something Daphne can grow into. Plus we’ll be renting out our home when we travel so more beds the better.

We’re kicking off this project this week and doing it in real time so I’ll be sharing current updates on the blog over the next 5 weeks. Plus if you’re on Instagram or Facebook, you can find more progress over there. Thanks for following along and be sure to check out all the other participants here. This is going to be fun!


Porch House Master Suite // The Reveal! (ORC Week 7)


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 4part 5, part 6

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Bench in Doorway

We did it!  We finished the Porch House master bathroom and closet, and today I get to show you the finished space!  But before we get to that, let’s look back at where we started.  Back when we bought the Porch House, this space was dated, dingy, and small.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bathroom

Ugh.  Before we could tackle the cosmetics, we first had to rearrange the space to create a functional, modern master en suite.  The new bathroom is half of an adjacent bedroom and the bathroom shown above is now the closet.  Here is the original layout in plan view.

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

And here’s what it looks like now.

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

This master suite is anchored by the custom white oak vanity made by our talented neighbor.  Garrett fabricated the marble top and just yesterday we installed the mirror and pendant lights.  The end result is both traditional and modern, and goodness, I love it so!  If you’re new to the Grit and Polish, I should mention that the Porch House isn’t our home.  It’s a flip project that Garrett and I bought with the intention of renovating and reselling. We filmed our HGTV pilot here, a whirlwind 16 days of renovating 3 spaces (update: our show’s new name is MASTERPLAN and will air later this Fall), and ever since then we’ve been slowly working away on the rest of the house.  When we finally get around to selling the Porch House, the vanity is one of the things I’ll miss most.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity BigThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Vanity AllThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom and vanity 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Vanity Shelf

I debated about the hardware for all 6 weeks of this challenge, and even bought a few options only to return them. On Monday we were in Seattle to turn one of our Airbnb properties, so I ducked into Rejuvenation, one of my favorite home stores.  Wouldn’t you know it, after two minutes of looking, I had these stunners picked out.  Ha!  I guess sometimes you really do need to see things in person.

Opposite the vanity is the custom closet that we built to match the shelving in the kitchen.  We built these shelves out of finger-jointed-pine boards and the whole system cost around $100.  Obviously the future occupants will need a dresser, but it’s a great start for a closet. Since this isn’t our home, I had the luxury of staging the closet with only a few beautiful items. It’s as if I finally had the capsule wardrobe that I’ve been dreaming of.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet Large 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet Shaker Pegs 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet CLothes and Baskets 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet ShoesThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet Bright Clothes

You may have already noticed, but I have a serious obsession with shaker pegs.  They make the best storage!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Closet Pegs 3

Probably the biggest luxury in this master suite is the shower.  It’s 6’6″ wide and 5′ deep, has two shower heads, and it’s an absolute pleasure to shower in.  I know because I tried it during the impromptu sleepover we had last weekend after starting a wallpaper project at 10pm.  For the record, that was a bad idea.  Starting wallpaper at 10pm, not the shower 😉

The shower and the toilet are the only plumbing fixtures in this bathroom (the vanity is basically part of the closet) making this room really spacious.  I decided to stage it with a bench where the tub would have gone (you can read more about that here) plus a bold rug, towels, and art.  By the way, all the resources are at the bottom of this post.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Bench LargeThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom ShowerThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Shower 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Bench from showerThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom and VanityThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom ToiletThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Bench Day 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master BasketThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Picture Ledge closeThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Picture Ledge DadThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Picture Ledge ClockThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bench Folded TowelsThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Rug

I picked up the kilim rug from Rejuvenation on Monday, and I’ve already gotten a ton of compliments on it.  I love it!  There’s lots of great art in here too.  The vintage windmills are from my late grandmother and usually reside next to our bed at the Farmhouse.  There’s also a baby picture of my dad and one of his three brothers (I’ll let you guess which one is him).  The other art is from a favorite etsy artist (linked at the bottom of the post) besides the framed bird postcard.

I’ve shared a couple of regrets during the One Room Challenge, the biggest being the lack of a bathtub.  I’m confident this space is adequate without it (giant showers are apparently more popular), but I still would have loved to add one.  But even without the tub, I’m pretty happy with how this room turned out and know that a master suite is a big value add for this 117-year-old house!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Vanity 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Long 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom Nursing Daphne

Can you believe it?!  That baby girl rolled over from her tummy to her back right here on this very rug last night!  Garrett and I were putting the final touches on this space (read: repairing a plumbing leak) as Daphne played and just like that, she had another first at the Porch House 😉

resources: hardwood floors / vanity, custom by Munson Cabinets / bin pulls / faucets / vanity lights / white towels (similar) / soap bottle c/o / candle / rug / swing arm lights / edison bulbs /  bench / turkish towel (similar) / art (except vintage and bird postcard) / brass clock / basket (similar) / slate tileshower floor tile / subway tile / grout (Delorean gray, non sanded) / shower faucet and handle /

Thanks for following along with this renovation! Tune in on Tuesday to see the next space we’ll be tackling at the Porch House.  As always, you can more timely updates and behind the scenes videos over on Instagram.

Check out more One Room Challenge reveals from the featured bloggers and guest designers.

ORC guest



p.s. last year’s One Room Challenge reveal

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