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.





6 Day Kitchen Reno // Resources


The #6daykitchenreno is done, which means that I get to share my favorite part of every renovation with you guys today, the ‘before and afters’. But before I get to that, I’ll share all sources with you. And if you want to know more about the #6daykitchen, you can read up here: intro, design, construction, and reveal.


Like all of our renovations, I mixed high and low finishes in this kitchen. We splurged on the sconce, appliances, countertops, and tile (due to the sheer quantity). But we were able to offset some of those costs by buying budget hardware, stock cabinets (which we painted ourselves), and an inexpensive sink. I invariably forget a resource or two, so let me know in the comment section if you want to know where anything else came from.


Resources: Sherwin Williams Naval (blue) | Sherwin Williams Snowbound | Sconce Rejuvenation | Faucet Delta faucet | Tile Subway tiles | Cutting Board Williams Sonoma | Cabinets GS Cabinet | Towel Williams Sonoma | Floors Lumber Liquidators | Marble Board Anthropologie | Cabinet Pull Martha Stewart | Kob Martha Stewart | Vase Anthropologie | all appliances, Kitchen Aid | Sink (not shown), Amazon

Now about those ‘before and afters’. This renovation yielded some pretty great ones, if I do say so myself. In a matter of 7 days, we took this space from dark and demo’d (which the homeowners did before we arrived) to bright and beautiful. Have a look:


Better, right?!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this renovation. Any materials you love or would have picked differently?



p.s. I’m obsessing over this stack of textiles.  I’d love them all in any (or all) of the farmhouse bedrooms.

p.p.s. Did you guys see Studio McGee’s Windsong house reveal this week? It had me at the copper gutter on the eve (and then the front deck and then the great room and then the kitchen island and…)

p.p.p.s. A few of my favorite kitchens this week on Pinterest: 1, 2, and 3. Plus, a reader recently sent me this photo as inspiration for our staircase, and oh my goodness I love it! Thanks, Geraldine!


6 Day Kitchen Reno // Reveal


Well the day is finally here. I get to show you the finished kitchen renovation for our #6daykitchenreno project! And if you have no idea what I’m taking about, you can get caught up on the design here and construction here. Or just watch this 11 second clip for the cliff note version.


That’s us up there, and you can see how happy and exhausted we are after a week of non-stop renovating. Even with the help of the homeowners (our friends Julia and Garrett), we barely finished this project in 7 days. But the experience was as fun as it was hard, and I can’t wait to tackle our next quickie project!

With or without the short timeline, I’m really proud of this renovation. We turned a dark and dated kitchen into a bright and beautiful space.


Let’s talk about the navy! The color is Naval by Sherwin Williams (stay tuned for all the kitchen resources next week), and I love it. We had originally planned on gray base cabinets and than switched to white.  At the last minute, Julia decided that in her heart of hearts, navy was what she wanted, and I was 100% in. The navy color was a bit controversial with lookie loos during the renovation, but hopefully the finished kitchen sways them. What about you guys? Do you like the navy?


Obviously, there’s a lot that I love about this kitchen, but at the top of that list is the sconce that we hung above the sink. It’s from Rejuvenation and just So. Darn. Pretty! This is actually the first kitchen I’ve done using brass hardware (I know! where have I been?!), and you can consider me firmly on that band wagon from here on out. Brass is just so warm and pretty and I can’t wait to use it all over the farmhouse!


The floors were another last minute change that I’m so happy we made! We had originally planned to use 12″x24″ tiles on the floors in here, but when we laid them out with the countertops and backsplash, they just looked flat. So on day 3 of the remodel, Julia and I ran around Seattle in rush-hour traffic to find pre-finished red oak floors. And it was totally worth the hassle, because these floors are stunning. Sometimes game day changes are the best decisions you make all renovation long!


Another big feature in this kitchen is the subway tiles. We were absolutely crazy to tile every wall surface during a week-long kitchen remodel, but I’m so glad we did.  The tiles bounce the light around the room and the white on white tile/grout/cabinets combination gives the space a really polished look.


Garrett and I are thrilled with how this quick kitchen renovation turned out, and even more importantly, the homeowners are too! It’s amazing what you can get done in 7 days with the right planning and a whole lot of elbow grease.


Stay tuned for resources next week.  Anything else you want to know about this quick kitchen reno? Leave me a note in the comments.



p.s. About that fast timeline… Veronica puts us to shame. She’s designed 300+ homes and most of them were constructed from the ground up in 7 days (!!!). Consider me blown away!

p.p.s. A few home tours to peruse instead of being productive during nap-time: 1, 2, 3. You’re welcome.

p.p.p.s. Bringing more joy into your home. Isn’t that what design is all about?!


6 Day Kitchen Reno // Design Plan


Well the #6daykitchenreno is done and we’re back at the farmhouse recuperating after a whole lot of late nights working at Julia and Garrett’s house. Over the past week, I shared the renovation in real time on Instagram, but since I have a little more free time now, I’m going to share the entire project, detail by detail, here on the Grit and Polish. If you’re one of those people who reads the last page of a book before getting started, hop on over to Instagram to see a sneak peek of the finished space.  But if you can hold out, I promise to reveal the entire kitchen next week (ish) here on the blog.

Julia and Garrett’s #6daykitchenreno actually took us 7 days to complete.  Seven looonnnnggg days. What can I say, some things just can’t be rushed. Especially if you don’t want to cut any corners. One thing that actually helped the project stay on track, was having the homeowners demo the existing kitchen before we arrived. Julia and Garrett tackled all the demo in one day while their kiddos went to the zoo with grandma. Here’s what the kitchen looked like as they prepped for demo:

the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-before-1the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-before-2 the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-before-3the-grit-and-polish-6-day-kitchen-before-4

Julia and Garrett’s kitchen was original to their 1940’s home, measuring only 10’x10′.  With a staircase behind one wall of the kitchen and a fireplace behind another, we were unable to enlarge the kitchen or open up any walls for better flow.  So we made due with the existing layout.  We were, however, able to add a pair of french doors where the south facing windows originally stood, bringing more natural light into the space and improving access to Julia and Garrett’s amazing backyard.

I worked on the design plan with Julia and Garrett earlier in the summer. They wanted a traditional kitchen that would feel like it belonged in their 1940s home but were hesitant to incorporate anything too trendy into the design for fear it would look dated in only a few years. Julia and I have similar tastes in kitchens (and for men named Garrett, apparently) so that made this kitchen extra fun to collaborate on. After a little Pinterest research, I put together three design schemes for the homeowners to pick from:

Option 1

Julia's Kitchen: White, Gray, and Brass Kitchen
Option 1 wraps a little modern country into a traditional design.  I suggested two-tone cabinets (white on top and gray on the bottom), brass hardware and open wood shelves to warm up the design.  Julia didn’t like the apron-front sink and she was worried that two-tone cabinets would date too quickly, so I came up with a second design option.

Option 2

Julia's Kitchen: White, Gray, and Brass Kitchen

Option 2 has a lot of the same components as Option 1 (shaker cabinets, large-format gray tile floors, subway backsplash, brass faucet and hardware, stainless steel appliances) but it’s all-white.  I also removed the wood from the design and switched out the hardware for long pulls from Etsy.

Option 3

Julia's Kitchen 3: white and wood

Lastly I did a budget option, which utilized Julia and Garrett’s existing cabinets and paired inexpensive butcher block with the same large-format stone floors. I brought back the less-expensive cabinet hardware by Martha Stewart into this design as well.

After some back and forth, Julia and Garrett went for Option 1 with a few modifications. First, I really wanted to build in a hood vent and tile it (similar to the one shown in Option 1) but it was nixed because it added time and money to the design and just wasn’t a priority for the homeowners. We also switched out the lower cabinet color to navy when Julia decided she was up for a bolder color combination (yay!). Lastly, we switched out the stone floors for 2 1/4″ pre-finished red oak floors because the stone just felt kinda flat when we laid it out in place. The cabinet paint and the floors were game-day decisions which was a big reason why this six day kitchen reno bled into day 7. But I’m so thankful we made the swaps because the end result is stunning!

Stay tuned next week for more on the construction process and a look at how we built this kitchen in such a short amount of time.

Resources: sconce, Rejuvenation | stove, Bluestar | cabinet pull, Martha Stewart | cabinet knob, Martha Stewart | faucet, Delta | tiles, Home Depot | ceiling light, Rejuvenation | floor tile, Home Depot | bar pulls, Etsy | Option 1 top kitchen, Option 1 bottom kitchen, Option 2 bottom kitchen, Option 3 top kitchen, Option 3 bottom kitchen



p.s. this is one of the most impactful articles that I’ve read in a long time. It’s all about food and respect and not wasting. It’s all of our responsibility. Also: take your damn leftovers.

p.p.s. here are a few of my current favorite kitchens on Pinterest: black and white, green office kitchen, rustic, and wood and white.

p.p.p.s. Love these hanging pots in Julia’s kitchen. I’m definitely going to need some of these!


A Six-Day Kitchen Renovation


We’ve been over in Seattle this week remodeling our friends’ kitchen.  Julia and Garrett are some of our dearest friends, so when they decided to remodel their kitchen, we volunteered to help. And that would be totally selfless of us, except that these two have been helping on our properties for 8 years. About time we returned the favor, right?!

The craziest part about this project is the timeline. We are remodeling this kitchen in just six days. Yes, you read that right. Six days! I’m calling it the #6daykitchenreno and yes, we are totally crazy. In between kicking down walls and setting cabinets, I’ve been posting daily updates on Instagram, but I will share the entire project here after we catch our breaths.


Wish us luck…we are going to need it!



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The Farmhouse | Pulling Up Carpets


Last week at the farmhouse, we pulled up the carpets in the nursery.  And let me just say, it felt soooooo good!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Carpet Pull

It is always exciting pulling up carpets (especially when they are stained and stinky) but you’re never quite sure what will be be lurking underneath.  Well here’s what was under our carpets…

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Floors post Carpet

Sure enough, those are hardwoods! But unfortunately, that white stuff that you see all over them is splattered paint.  It seems that a previous owner *forgot* to use a tarp when they last painted.  Ugh.

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

After scraping and cleaning the floors, we were happy to see that the hardwoods are actually in good condition, except for that paint, which didn’t come up with all the scraping.  Double ugh.  These floors will need refinishing, a rare task we leave for the experts (like at Dexter and Ravenna).  But thankfully there are no top-nails in these floors, which can be a huge headache for refinishers.  Or crazy homeowners who are willing to set each nail, one-by-one, with a 1/32″ nail set, like yours truly 😉

Refinishing floors is disruptive and messy.  The chemicals they use are toxic and thus require the homeowners to be out of the house for at least three days. Basically a big inconvenience.  So we’ll wait on this job until all the carpets upstairs are removed. That will be more convenient for us, plus we’re more likely to meet a refinishers minimum square footage requirement with all three bedrooms included. The exact price that we’ve paid in the past is eluding me at the moment, but I think we’ve spent around $3.50/sf for refinishing. Not exactly cheap. But it’ll be worth it!


The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint and Carpet 6The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Closet Post Paint

In the meantime, I’m planning to throw down a large area rug to cover the majority of these floors so we can get Brooks into this room. While the floors may be a bit of an eyesore, hardwood floors trump stinky carpets every single time. At least in my book.  Know what I mean?!

Next up in this room, we’ll be hanging curtain rods, updating outlets and switches, adding new lighting, retrofitting a full-size bed into a day-bed, adding in some kid-friendly activities, shoring up an antique dresser, and then putting the room together!  Okay, so we probably won’t be done by the time guests arrive for Labor Day, but this girl is definitely going to try;)

More on the nursery project here. The before pictures are here. And in case you missed it, the exterior photos of the farmhouse are here.  Still can’t believe this beautiful place is ours!



p.s. The Greek Islands have been number one on my bucket list for pretty much forever. They are just so beautiful (at least in photos). So of course this gorgeous guesthouse would be there!

p.p.s. I’m dying over these little rhubarb cakes. I must find a recipe! And an occasion to make them for… 🙂

p.p.p.s. I LOVE it when bloggers travel to Seattle and show off what a beautiful city it is. Girl Meets Glam nailed it!


Dexter Backyard: a space for summer


With summer officially kicked off, it seems appropriate that todays post is about the Dexter House backyard.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Enter 2

We’ve been working on this 700sf-ish space sporadically through the Spring, and luckily it’s coming together in time for Summer.  If you’ve ever been to Seattle in the summer, you know how magical it is.  The weather is 80s or so and the city comes alive with pale, friendly faces, float planes and ferry boats.  Plus all that rain in the winter means green everywhere.  Yeah, so this family of pale faces is pretty happy to spend time in our little Seattle backyard.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Large 1The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard CouchThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Metal PanelThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Large 2
You may have noticed that the Dexter house is really urban (at least by Seattle standards). There are houses and apartments and balconies looking into our little property from every angle. That’s just how it goes in the city. But because of that, I really wanted this outdoor space to feel private, like a reprieve from the hustle and bustle, a space to escape and relax. So we built the fence 8′ tall (the maximum allowed) and topped the back section with an arbor, which will have wild, purple wisteria blooms weaving around it in a year or two.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard fence

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard HouseThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard DoorThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Couch close 1The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard planter detail

Once we realized that the old fountain was broken beyond reasonable repair, we converted it into a planter.  And I really dig the mix of flowers and green in the center of the yard. You may have noticed that we left a “hole” in the fence for our peek-a-boo of the lake. You can see a teensy tiny boat waaaayyyy down there.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard View

Did you see it?

We call it our view. Yeah. That’s just how we roll.

We found some furniture from Craigslist for this backyard.  First came the small table with four chairs a couple months ago.  I may still pick up an umbrella for a little shade to help on those few days above 90.  But either way, this is a great spot for alfresco dinning.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Table

As I mentioned last week, I also found the wicker couch on Craigslist.  And although it will not likely stay in this spot for long (I have a much better spot for this one, just wait…!!!) it’s been nice to have a cozy spot to hang out back here for now.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Couch detailThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Couch close 2

Up next we’re going to build a narrow shed on the side of the house.  Plus we have a few more plants to put in.  And then there’s the small matter of that fresh growler of beer, those golden string lights, and that cozy new couch.  I’m looking at you Garrett!

Happy Summer to you all!

Previous posts on the backyard project here and here and here.



p.s. There are just so many amazing backyards.  Seriously! So I’ve pinned a bunch of them and compiled them here.

p.p.s. This brownstone renovation is stunning.  Add in the fact that that house was built in 1804 and I have big heart eyes all over it!

p.p.p.s. one thing that I’m loving in kitchens right now is shelf rail like in this kitchen. How lovely is that?!   You’re with me, right?!

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Renovation Inspiration | 6.9.16

Life has been really good lately.  We’ve been spending more time out-of-doors than in, and more time together as a family than apart.  And when debating whether to tackle the basement renovation or go on an adventure, the later always wins out.  So while we may be a little behind schedule on the renovation (read: we haven’t started it yet), we’re miles ahead with summer memories.  And that’s a win in my book.

Naturally, we’re off on another adventure this weekend.  And even though I’m a no-show on progress, other folks from around the world wide web have been busy renovating old homes.  Here are a few of my favorite renovations and happenings from this week:
Jersey Ice Cream Co Old Chatham Renovation Bedroom 6-6-16
The fabulous renovation duo known as Jersey Ice Cream Co is at it again.  And no, I’m not talking about ice cream.  Check out the rest of this stunner on Remodelista.

Elle Decor Rustic Farmhouse Renovation Living Room 6-6-16

Old farmhouses are on my brain lately (okay, always) and this Elle Décor feature does not disappoint.  Rustic farmhouse style at it’s best!

A Country Famrhouse in Beekman Boys Book 6-6-16

One of my all-time favorite renovations is in the new Beekman Boys book!  But actually my favorite thing about Catherine’s announcement post is the last few lines: “The only thing I can say is that I am not so sure people necessarily choose the homes they buy. For in both our cases, I feel as if our homes chose us.”  Sooooo right!

Coco Kelley Kitchen Renovation Plan 6-6-16

Last, but not least, Cassandra of coco+kelley started on her kitchen renovation this week!  I can’t wait to see how her simple and natural and soothing design takes shape.   I’m 100% confident that it’s going to be a stunner!

Sources: one | two | three | four


p.s.  I hope to photograph the Dexter House’s backyard soon for a reveal post!  But in the meantime, you can catch sneak peaks on Instagram, where you may also glimpse my wild boys…you know, in case you miss us 😉

p.p.s. speaking of Instagram, I went down renovation memory lane at the Ravenna House yesterday.  I forgot just how bad that basement was…!

p.p.p.s. Wilder is turning three next week. Three! I’m just striving for no tears (on my part), lots of dinosaurs and chocolate cake.  And did I mention chocolate cake?  Lots and lots of chocolate cake. Hopefully something like this one.

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Vintage Sinks in the Kitchen


Let’s talk about vintage kitchen sinks for a minute.  I LOVE the look of vintage sinks in kitchens, especially in remodeled kitchens in older homes.  So when we began the kitchen remodel at the Dexter House, I scoured salvage stores and stalked Craigslist daily.  But I just couldn’t find the right one.

That’s when I stumbled upon vintage replica sinks…

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen After

This 42″ washboard sink looks old but is actually brand new.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen After Sink Wall

The sink fit perfectly in my kitchen design.  And we were able to tuck the dishwasher underneath the washboard side to save space.  And while I would have preferred to use an old sink (that’s just how I roll…), I love that this sink improved upon some of the pitfalls of antique sinks: it has a deeper basin and the drain hole is wide enough to accommodate a garbage disposal.  So even though the sink was over $700, it was a no brainer for this remodel.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Sink Flowers

We’ve been using this kitchen for six months now and are pretty happy with it.  I wish the basin was still a little deeper, and Garrett wishes we picked a lower faucet so water wouldn’t splash outside the sink as much.  But we both love the integral backsplash and the built-in drainboard for drying dishes and baby stuff.  I would definitely consider using this sink in another remodel, and of course I would definitely consider using a vintage sink, should the right one come along.

Here are three other kitchens who I think are using vintage sinks (or well-done replicas) awesomely:

Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 1 Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 2 Dexter Kitchen Sink Inspiration 3

Sources: One | Two | Three

That first image is my all-time dream antique sink.  A washboard and an apron front (!).  Which I would put in my dream country house, of course.

I’d love to hear what you guys think.  Would you ever use a vintage sink in your kitchen? How about a vintage replica sink?



p.s. I spend my time reading about historic kitchen materials.  It’s cool.  Get on board!

p.p.s. Loving the idea of a fireplace in a dining room.  It seems so cozy.  You’d never have to leave the table in a room like this!

p.p.p.s. And speaking of dream dining rooms…oh weren’t we?! Mine would definitely have a table like this one in it. Must see if Garrett can build me one!

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