Winnie’s Bathroom // Before + After


Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you we were going down to Portland to work on a bathroom at my sister’s house? Well it’s done! It took a little bit longer than expected (that sunshine and those Portland breweries were calling) but it turned out beautifully!

I wish I could take credit for the finishes in here, but alas, most everything was picked by the homeowners and a talented local¬†designer. You see this bathroom was part of a much larger renovation of the entire second floor of my sister’s home including 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a laundry room. It was such a big project that they enlisted an architect, designer, and contractor with the renovation lasting the better part of a year. When it was all said and done they had an absolutely beautiful second floor except for this bathroom, which was left for my sister and her husband to wrap up.


Here’s what the space looked like back in 2016 when my sister and her husband bought the house.

When we came down in early March, the wallpaper had been replaced (professionally…phew!), a new toilet installed, the tub removed, electrical updated, and the ceiling light replaced. The big question was what to do with the floors (that didn’t match the rest of the second floor) and how to get it done.

My sister and her husband decided to paint the floors, a decision I wasn’t 100% sure about because the wood was in decent condition. But I’m so glad they did it because these floors make this bathroom! During our first work weekend, we removed the plumbing fixtures and helped get the floors prepped and primed for paint (3 coats primer, 3 coats paint in all). And then last weekend, we helped find a few long lost items (aka we went shopping ūüėČ and put the bathroom back together. Obviously, I was super bummed to hang out with my sister over the two work weekends but we managed…;-)

I have to say, I loved all the “OMG are you twins?!” comments on Instagram! While my sister and I used to hear that daily, it’s been years since we lived close enough to each other for that. And I sure miss it. My sister and I are super close (like¬†super super) and we miss each other. Our husbands think we’re funny but we still talk every day, usually a few times. And thankfully our 6 children love hanging out so they’re an easy excuse for frequent visits. Being a twin is awesome!

Now about that bathroom…

Isn’t that doorknob beautiful? Apparently it’s called a crystal ball knob. Something about the tapered shape of the glass made them hard to produce in the early 1900s. My sister and I found two sets at Hippo Hardware while we were looking for a cabinet latch, and a couple employees filled us in on how rare and cool these door knobs are. This bathroom originally had a brass doorknob when my sister and her husband bought the house, but this doorknob came from one of the many closets that were removed during the second floor renovation.

This old bathroom was full of old, worn brass.  All of it was tarnished with water stains and calcium gunk.  Honestly, this hanging soap dish looked like a goner when I first saw it, but a little warm vinegar bath and a lot of elbow grease brought it back to its cute and charming self again!

The original details add so much charm to this light and bright bathroom.  The claw foot tub. Chunk moldings.  Brass accents.  And this push-button light switch.  Be still my old home loving heart!

This bathroom is just so beautiful.  Winnie is one lucky girl!


floor paint color: BM Kennebunkport Green // trim paint color: BM Frostine // wallpaper // mirror // towels // shower curtain // brass shower riser // ceiling light // bath mat

Related Posts:

wallpaper for bathrooms // Porch House powder bathroom // Porch House master bathroom 


Porch House // What the Powder Bathroom Cost + Budget Tips


The powder bathroom budget is part 5 of our Porch House powder bath series. You can read more here: design, why we added a powder bathroom, 8 great wallpapers, and the reveal. 

Last week I showed you one of¬†my all-time favorite renovations, the powder bathroom at the Porch House. This little¬†space is a beautiful jewel box within¬†this simple¬†home, which was built in 1900, long before powder bathrooms were popular. It’s the finishes that set this room apart: bold wallpaper, brass accents, and board and batten painted in the warmest neutral. And I think it’s all just so pretty, but can you believe it was also done¬†on a¬†small budget?

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom sink 3 CLEAN

The finishes for this new bathroom rang in at just over¬†$1200.¬† Here’s¬†where the dollars went:

Powder Bathroom Finishes Budget

$480 wallpaper (2 rolls)

$100 board and batten materials

$50 paint

$225 pedestal sink

$64 faucet (from ebay)

$50 brass sconce

$150 toilet

$100 plumbing, caulk, misc

$0 framing/drywall/flooring (not included, see below)*

$1219 TOTAL

*framing, drywall, and flooring costs are¬†not included¬†in¬†this budget¬†since those costs are almost impossible to pull out of the whole-house renovation we completed at the same time as this bathroom. If you had to throw a dart at¬†those materials costs, they’d be in the realm of $300-$500. Again, that’s materials only.

It’s also important to note that this bathroom is brand new to the house. We carved¬†the space¬†out of an existing bedroom. The powder bathroom is about 34sf. You can see the floor plan here.

Budgeting is an art form that not everyone possess and it’s¬†so easy¬†to spend a small fortune¬†on renovating. So today I wanted to include¬†a few insights and¬†tips on how we kept¬†the powder bathroom budget so low. These tips are relevant to any renovation and could help maximize your dollars on your next project.

Tips on How we got a High-End Look on a Budget

One // Splurge on one High Impact Item, Save on the Rest. In this room we splurged on the wallpaper, which is the single most defining design feature. The wallpaper range in at $480, which is over 1/3 of our overall materials budget for this space. But that was our only splurge.

Two // Inexpensive Wall Treatments that Look Expensive.¬†We designed and built the board and batten wainscot in this room for $100. It’s constructed entirely of mdf trim, a little caulk, and some paint. And the finished product looks¬†way more¬†expensive than it actually cost.

Three // Plan Ahead!¬†Planning ahead can save you a ton of money in shipping fees, rush order, sale prices, and¬†it turns out extra rolls of wallpaper too. Before we got to work on the board and batten, we ran the numbers on the wallpaper’s pattern repeat, width, and length¬†and figured out¬†that if we brought the wainscot up to 5′ we’d only need two rolls of the expensive wallpaper. In the end there was hardly two feet of wallpaper to spare, but¬†planning ahead saved¬†us¬†from spending another $240 in wallpaper.

Four¬†// Search for second-hand, Refurbished, or Out-of-Box Items.¬†We found¬†the brass faucet, an out-of-box item, on Ebay. It rang in at a good half of what it would sell for new. And while we weren’t able to¬†reuse an existing¬†toilet or¬†repurpose an old sink¬†in this bathroom, we almost always do.

Five¬†// Keep the Design Simple.¬†This tip is pretty intuitive: having less things in your space means spending less money. Simple, minimal spaces simply cost less to build. We stuck with just the necessities in here and that¬†went¬†for paint colors too.¬† We used the same color on the trim and ceiling in here as we did through the main floor of the Porch House – C2 Vex and BM Simply White – so we didn’t need to¬†buy extra paint. And bonus, the simple color palette helps the house flow from one room to the next, giving it that¬†pulled-together feel.

Six // Inexpensive Art.  The single art print in this bathroom was a free download from one of my favorite blogs, the Faux Martha. I printed it at Costco and framed it in a Target frame for a total cost of under $15. Talk about budget! You can check out more inexpensive art ideas here.

Seven¬†// Do the Work Yourself!¬†You knew this one was coming. We’re big advocates of doing¬†work¬†ourselves because¬†it saves money,¬†teaches valuable skills, and controls the end product. Plus¬†it can be hard¬†to¬†recoup your investment when you hire out entire projects, at least in a small-town real estate market like Ellensburg (Seattle is a¬†whooole¬†different ball game). And that may not be a huge deal for¬†someone who plans¬†to stay in the home forever and just really wants a pretty powder bathroom, but it is¬†a huge deal for Garrett and I who tackled this renovation as an investment.¬†I’m guessing if you asked a contractor to build this bathroom, you’d be looking at upwards of $10k in materials, design, and labor (plumber, electrician, general labor, wallpaper-er, etc), so doing all that ourselves saved¬†a ton¬†of money.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom GW print 2

Porch House Powder Bathroom Sources:

You can find all the resources for this bathroom here.

Related posts:

Powder bath design // Why we added a powder bathroom // 8 great powder bathroom wallpapers // the Porch House powder bathroom reveal // Porch House floor plan // Porch House master suite // Ideas for Inexpensive art // A 36sf master bathroom // A 36sf master bathroom budget


Porch House // A Beautiful and Budget-Friendly Powder Bathroom


This is part¬†4 of our Porch House powder bath series. You can read¬†more here:¬†design,¬†why we added a powder bathroom, 8 great wallpapers. We’ll share the budget next week.¬†

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom GW print 2

Today’s the day I get to show you the finished Porch House powder bathroom! This room is one of my all time favorite renovations we’ve done, but before we get¬†into it let’s take a look back at where we came from. A true ‘before’ is tough for this¬†space since¬†this is a brand new bathroom in the Porch House, carved out from 34sf of an old¬†bedroom.¬†You can see how we altered the original floor plan to gain this powder bathroom¬†here.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Framing 2

The old bedroom had one window, which we left on the other side of the wall (in the space we¬†converted into the master bathroom), leaving this¬†powder bathroom with zero natural light. With such a dark, small room on my hands, I was excited to create a jewel box of a space within this simple, historic home.¬† And after many months of work, I’m happy to say this bathroom is¬†just that: a beautiful jewel box.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom sink 3 CLEAN

We stuck with classic finishes in here: board and batten painted in C2 Vex,¬†beautiful¬†wallpaper (but only 2 rolls…because hello budget), a brass faucet, delicate sconce, and a simple white pedestal sink. And believe it or not,¬†this renovation¬†was completed on a tight budget, which I’ll share next week.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom sink low CLEAN

Let’s address the biggest issue with this room: the lack of mirror above the sink.¬† Goodness did we try to put one there! But that ledge at the top of the board and batten is 5′ high and 10″ deep (the lower wall is that thick to house plumbing) making mirror placement super difficult. My mother-in-law ended up setting¬†a stand mirror¬†on the adjacent shelf, which works perfectly, and then I propped this whimsical George Washington¬†print above the sink. I love that George Washington is silently watching you (through Warby Parkers) like he’s appraising your hand washing abilities and not-so-secretly judging you. Nothing like a little whimsy to keep a room from feeling too serious. By the way, this print is¬†a free download from Melissa, and I printed it at Costco for a couple bucks and framed it in an inexpensive Target frame.¬† Budget art at it’s best!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom GW Print CLEANThe Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom mirrorThe Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom wallpaper

I can’t say enough good things about this beautiful wallpaper from Farrow and Ball – it’s textured and thick and beautifully colored –¬†although I would say that¬†wallpaper install¬†is tough.¬†Garrett and I decided to tackle this¬†wallpaper one night at about 10pm because the boys were at Nana’s so why not?! Famous last words. I was cursing that decision all the way until 2am, when we¬†called it quits¬†at about half way done. I’m certain that I¬†swore we’d never wallpaper again, but alas, it’s too darn pretty to make that kind of promise.

This is the view from the bathroom door, which is just off of the front entry (see the floor plan here).

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom wainscot

The toilet is located across from the sink in this rectangular-shaped room. And we placed a cabinet (original to the house, but from a different room) above it for some storage.  Excuse the odd angles of these photographs Рthis small, window-less bathroom is hard to shoot!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom toilet CLEANThe Grit and Polish - Porch Powder Bathroom cabinet

Goodness, I really do love this room! But we’d love to hear what you think. Would you ever do dark wallpaper like this in a window-less room?

Porch House Powder Bathroom Sources

wallpaper / paint (C2 Vex) / floors / sconce / pedestal sink / faucet (similar style) / toilet / George Washington print (free download from / picture frame / cabinet hardware /

Related Posts

Powder bath design / Why we added a powder bathroom / 8 great powder bathroom wallpapers / Porch House floor plan / Porch House master suite / Ideas for Inexpensive art / A 36sf master bathroom / A 36sf master bathroom budget


Porch House // A (Finished!) White and Wood Mudroom


The Porch House mudroom is¬†finished (!!!), but I¬†suppose that’s¬†obvious since we sold the house last month ūüėČ The mudroom – which¬†doubles as a laundry, storage, and wash room¬†– gets¬†the best¬†natural light and is conveniently located¬†next to¬†the kitchen and back door.¬† But probably my favorite feature about this room is the¬†original¬†wood shiplap wall.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal shoes

Swoon!¬† Can you believe that Garrett found¬†that wood shiplap underneath¬†layers of peeling wallpaper?! He just kept peeling and peeling and the wood kept on coming. Goodness, I love old houses! We¬†chose to leave¬†the wood unfinished but did give¬†the rough boards a good sanding so they’re smooth to the touch.

The other finishes in the mudroom are designed to compliment the adjacent kitchen: a marble countertop, white paint, an Elkay sink and faucet, and continuous white oak flooring.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal from sunroomThe Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Wood Shiplap and Hats smallThe Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal sink 2.2

I did a whole post about the Elkay sink and faucet late last year, but for the record, I love them.¬† The sink is deep and the attractive faucet extends, which is super useful for cleaning out paint brushes and washing questionable substances off kiddo’s shoes (hypothetically of course ;).

The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Washer and Dryer

The primary function of this room is laundry so we bought a GE front-loading washer and dryer from our local appliance store.  The marble shelf above the laundry should help with sorting and folding.

This space also houses the hot water heater.  Remember when we needed an entire utility room for a hot water heater?  In 2018, we need no such thing.  The hot water source for the entire 2000sf Porch House is tucked into a nook next to the sink.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal Hot Water Heater

Bam. It’s certainly not the prettiest part of the mudroom, but there’s something kind of lovely about it’s utilitarian-ness too.¬† The entire room is under the watchful eyes of George Washington (a free download from Melissa). I printed a couple sizes of this whimsical print and have already used them at the Porch House and at the Farmhouse.¬† Love it!

As much as I love this mudroom, I’m anticipating helping the new owners of the Porch House (aka, Nana and Papa) with a couple of future changes.¬† Mainly adding open shelving or a shoe-changing bench in front of the shiplap wall, depending on what¬†they need.¬†¬†And¬†if the washer and dryer are too¬†loud, we could also add a glass door at the mudroom entrance.The Grit and Polish - Porch Mudroom Reveal 2.2

Mudroom sources

paint: BM Simply White /¬†rug¬†/¬†sink¬†(ricotta) /¬†faucet¬†(lustrous steel)/ George Washington print (free download) / picture frame / green rain boots / leather boots / women’s hat (similar) /

Other Mudroom Posts

Design Plan / The mudroom sink




Life Around the Kitchen Sink


this post is sponsored by Elkay

Our boys, Wilder and Brooks (4 and 22 months) are little rascals.  They are curious, loud, bold, adventurous, and a wee bit wild.  But best of all, they have the most amazing ability to turn just about anything into a good time.

In fact, that’s¬†one of my favorite things about being a mama, watching these two turn the most mundane, dirty, or boring of activities into something exciting. ¬†They can¬†make messes out of chores and fun out of work, and I am certain it will serve them well in life.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 1.2

sources // sink / faucet (in lustrous steel)

Thankfully, our boys have this same attitude about their baby sister. ¬†Whether it’s diapering, feeding, or putting Daphne down for a nap, they want to help and have fun doing it. ¬†I can’t even get Daphne’s diaper off quick enough before Brooks has the wipes out and Wilder is comforting her tears away. ¬†And when I ask Wilder to throw away the dirty diaper, he makes us all laugh by plugging¬†his nose, holding¬†his breath, and grinning all¬†the way to the trash can.

Earlier this month, when the kids and I stopped by the Porch House and Daphne overheated, the¬†boys were eager¬†to help. ¬†August is the heat of the summer around here and temperatures hit 104 degrees that day. ¬†With the AC yet to be installed and Daphne’s skin flaming¬†with a heat rash, we decided a quick bath was in order. The Porch House has a super-deep, Elkay Crosstown stainless steel kitchen sink¬†and Elkay Explore faucet which couldn’t be better¬†designed for a newborn bath. ¬†Honestly, I’d been dying to test them¬†out¬†since we installed these beauties back in April, and I wasn’t about¬†to miss our¬†opportunity before¬†this house goes on the market.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen G and Daphne legsThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen G and Daphne bathThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Sink Parents

We were lucky enough to discover Elkay right about the time our HGTV pilot started filming.  They offered us a sink and faucet for our kitchen renovation and after doing a little research, I happily picked these out.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink and FaucetThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink and Faucet Top

I can’t tell you how pleased¬†Garrett was with the strength and durability of Elkay’s¬†products (they are heaaavy and well made!) and I was thrilled with how effortlessly they fit in our historic/crafted/welcoming kitchen design. ¬†We went with an undermount sink and a faucet with a pull-down-nozzle sprayer for ease of¬†use and I only wish we had gotten to install both of these in our own home ūüėČ ¬†I’m really digging the look of the mixed metals (both brass and stainless steel rule in this kitchen) and am so happy with the style. ¬†I toyed with the idea of using an apron-front sink in here, but in the end, I wanted something a little more modern and utilitarian. ¬†Something a little unexpected and fresh. ¬†And I love how they turned out!

But enough about design. ¬†Let’s get back to Daphne’s¬†bath…

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Sink Bath all kids 1

No surprise here, but our little rascals turned that bath into a chaotic sprayer-fight/splash-contest of a good time within seconds. ¬†Daphne wasn’t having much of it, so I took her out and let her brothers play for a bit. ¬†For the record, this is business as usual for our family. ¬†We let our kiddos play anywhere and everywhere at home (as long as it’s not too messy), especially in the kitchen sink. ¬†Dinner dishes commonly turn into an hour long bubble-making and/or see-how-many-pots-fit-in-the-sink session. ¬†And it’s almost a daily occurrence that we wash these kiddos’ feet in our kitchen sink after they find, yet again,¬†all the creatures there are to discover in our backyard pond.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink Brooks Feet 2

But that mess I prefer to the game that Wilder and Brooks¬†like to play of seeing how many of mama’s baking utensils they can¬†pull out clean from the drawer, cover in soap and water, and put back away¬†wet and soapy. ¬†Ha! rascals indeed.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Sink Shoe 1.2The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 5.2The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 4.2

Pretty soon there will be three little rascals around our kitchen sink, making messes out of chores and fun out of work and my mama heart can hardly wait!

Thanks to Elkay for sponsoring this post and making really sturdy and beautiful sinks and faucets.  And thanks to you for supporting the brands that support this blog.



p.s. the Porch House kitchen before + inspiration and the butcherblock

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Farmhouse Nursery // The Current Version


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, Dinoblock, The 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!



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


Farmhouse Living Room // Picking Paint


We finally started work on our living room makeover this weekend!  It’s a space that I’ve been excited to tackle but didn’t want to start until I knew that our custom sofa was on its way.  So after receiving an email from Interior Define that our sofa would arrive later this week, we cleared the room of toys and painted.

In truth, I’ve been going back and forth on the living room paint color for a good two months now.  You’d think that after five home renovations, I’d be more decisive about color, but alas, I find it a unique challenge in every home and every new lighting scenario.

I‚Äôve always imagined a light wall color in our farmhouse living room¬†‚Äď both to keep the space feeling airy¬†as well as¬†highlight the wood trim and blue velvet sofa that will anchor the room (I can‚Äôt wait until it arrives!!!) ‚Äď but I couldn‚Äôt¬†decide between white or a light¬†neutral. ¬†All of the¬†upstairs bedrooms are painted Simply White, and while I love the color in those spaces,¬†I found myself contemplating whether¬†the living room couldn‚Äôt use a¬†cozier color.

My paint color indecisiveness was spurred on by these two inspiration images.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Paint Options

1. Sam Allen | 2. Park and Oak Design

Such lovely living rooms, right?!  I should note that while I don’t know the exact paint color used in the rooms, the top paint sample is BM Revere Pewter and the lower sample is BM Simply White.

In the end, Garrett voted for a wall color¬†other than white (and deep down I was leaning that way too). ¬†So decision made. ¬†My first inclination was to use¬†Balboa Mist on the walls, a color I‚Äôve been eyeing on Pinterest for months, but after sampling it in the space, it felt darker and colder¬†than I wanted. ¬†So I went with my go-to warm¬†grey ‚Äď Revere Pewter at 50% tint. ¬†I used this color at¬†the¬†Ravenna House, and loved it.

Ravenna House - Mantle.jpg

After painting the Farmhouse living room walls last weekend, I have to say that I still love Revere Pewter (at 50% tint) as much as I did three years ago.

The Grit and Polish - Living Room PaintThe Grit and Polish - Living Room Paint 2

The lighting in those photos is awful (we finished painting yesterday evening), but hopefully you get a feel for the color.  In case you’re wondering, the walls above the picture railing as well as the ceilings are painted with a flat ceiling paint tinted in Simply White.  I am really digging the look of the white over the Revere Pewter on the walls.

Next up, we’re ripping out the carpets.  Fingers crossed that the hardwood floors underneath don’t need to be refinished like the upstairs floors did.  Wish us luck!



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The Cost of Refinishing our Hardwood Floors Ourselves


On Tuesday, I shared the process we used to refinish our hardwood floors at the Farmhouse, and today, I want to tell you what it cost.  As a reminder, we refinished about 600sf of fir floors.


Here’s¬†a breakdown of the expenses:

$120 Drum sander rental (2 days)

$160 Drum sander sanding belts (20 @ $8/each)

$40 Sand paper for palm and belt sanders (for edging)

$30 Wood putty

$40 Orbital sander rental (1 day)

$40 Orbital sander pads (8 @ $5/each)

$150 Polyurethane Finish (3 gallons @$50/each)

$20 Incidentals

$600 Total

In the past, we’ve paid $3.50/sf for a professional refinish, which would have added up to $2,100 for this project. ¬†So we saved about $1,500 by doing this job ourselves, which for us, was totally worth it! ¬†I just hope the finish holds up to our wild boys and the dog’s nails…fingers crossed!


The finished room photos are of our farmhouse master bedroom, which we redid for the One Room Challenge.  Check out that room reveal here.



p.s. Krystal recommended this book for the holiday season. I ordered it last week and can’t wait to read it with the boys!

p.p.s. I’m all about baking this holiday season! ¬†This tart looks delicious and I want to recreate these cookies plus there will probably be a cake or galette and I’m still figuring out what to do with the rest of our apples (maybe this!). ¬†Any favorite holiday baking traditions?!

p.p.p.s. I’m really not elaborate¬†when it comes to holiday decor – stockings, garlands, and a real tree is about all you’ll see at our farmhouse – and this roundup of holiday spaces¬†is full of amazing inspiration!


Roundup // our favorite cabinet hardware under $7

Cabinet hardware has often been referred to as the ‘jewel of the kitchen’ and I couldn’t agree more. ¬†It’s pretty, functional, shiny, and usually¬†one of the most complimented¬†details¬†in a kitchen. ¬†But it doesn’t have to be expensive. ¬†Cabinet hardware is one of the places we like to¬†save money during¬†a kitchen renovation. ¬†In the 6 kitchens that Garrett and I have¬†renovated, we’ve rarely spent more than $7 on a pull/knob/latch.

Here’s a look at¬†five of my favorite classic and simple¬†cabinet hardware options¬†under $7.

sources Martha Stewart: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Beautiful, right?! ¬† I’ve used most of these options more than once, and will¬†use them again.¬†¬†Kitchens shown¬†are:¬†Ravenna, #6daykitchenreno, Bryant, and Ravenna.

The only piece I hesitated to include was¬†the latch pulls (item 1). ¬†I love LOVE the look of these¬†classic pulls on flush mount cabinets, but we’ve had a couple break. ¬†I’m not sure if it was because of faulty¬†manufacturing or a certain toddler¬†who made a game out of twisting them. ¬†But we’ve found it useful to have a couple of extra latches¬†to replace any that break.

Garrett and I¬†were in Seattle recently and stopped by the #6daykitchenreno for a visit with our friends, and my goodness how lovely the¬†space looks! ¬†Julia added a Skyline rug (which is the same rug I’m using in the master bedroom and nursery at the farmhouse) and I couldn’t stop staring at those brass pulls (item 2). ¬†The pulls are gorgeous and will definitely be making a repeat appearance¬†when I get my hands on another kitchen to renovate!

How about you, what’s your favorite cabinet hardware?



p.s. Loved this article about building a home and NOT keeping up with the Jonses. That Kim has a good head on her shoulders!

p.p.s. Julia of Chris Loves Julia called me “seriously great” on her blog last week (!!!!). Did you see it? ¬†She also posted a picture of our Dexter kitchen on her Instagram account.¬† She is such a great designer and blogger, I¬†couldn’t be more flattered!

p.p.p.s. This old house tour is soooo good!


Farmhouse Master // Getting To Work (ORC week 2)


We made some good progress in the master bedroom this week (week 2 of the One Room Challenge)¬†and also uncovered more work. But¬†let’s start with the good. The carpets are¬†finally¬†up. Yay!¬† Plus the drapes are down and¬†the beige walls have been covered with white paint.¬†¬†Already it’s looking one million times better in¬†this room. And best of all, I’m starting to get a hint of the airy, historic feel I’ve been dreaming of.


So you’re probably wondering what’s going on with the¬†floors. ¬†That’s the bad news. ¬†When we pulled up the carpets earlier in the week, we found paint stains all over the hardwoods. ¬†We¬†had a sneaking suspicion that these¬†floors¬†might be in rough shape (we found paint stains on the other bedroom floors¬†too), but in some sort of unrealistic¬†optimism,¬†I was holding out hope that we’d find¬†something better in here. ¬†Like maybe the previous owners had say, used a tarp when they painted the master bedroom.

Consider my optimism crushed.

As you probably guessed,¬†we’ll need to refinish the hardwood floors as¬†we work on¬†this room for the One Room Challenge. At this point,¬†we’re planning to move out of the upstairs for a week or so while we¬†refinish the entire 2nd level¬†floors, including¬†the¬†nursery and Wilder’s room. ¬†It’s going to be a big project, but it’ll be worth it when it’s done. ¬†Especially if the floors look¬†a smidgeon¬†as good as these:



Since our¬†floors already had paint all over them, we didn’t worry about protecting them when we started¬†painting the walls and ceiling. ¬†I picked Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, a color I’ve used frequently in¬†our farmhouse. There is something so intrinsically country about white walls, don’t you think? Plus anytime I thought about using a¬†dark and sultry color (like that gorgeous green in Si‘s bedroom!), I’d go back to the wood¬†moldings and dream about how lovely¬†they would¬†look with white walls. So white it is.


This is what week 2 of the One Room Challenge looked like for us, compressed into a few seconds:


We’re off to Seattle tomorrow to hunt for vintage theater seats and whatever other goodies I can find. Hopefully I’ll have lots of exciting progress to show you guys when next Thursday rolls around. ¬†In the meantime,¬†I’m sharing videos on my¬†Instagram Story, like this¬†clip¬†of me pulling up the carpets, which has already expired off of Instagram (you’ll have to view this video in a web browser, so if you are reading this post via email, click through to the Grit and Polish!).

If you missed it, you can read about our master bedroom design plan here: week 1.




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