Nostalgia and a Goodbye to the Bryant House



I was feeling nostalgic last Friday.  Maybe it was because we’re moving or maybe it was the sunny weather, but it hit me hard.  We were walking back to the Bryant House as the sun was going down, and miraculously for March in Seattle, there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight.  I walked in the front door, Wilder in the carrier on my chest, and I was taken back…

Back to summer.  Back to when Wilder was born, here in this very house.  Back to sipping beer with Garrett at the kitchen table in the afternoon. Back to those first weeks after Wilder was born doing nothing but holding him, and learning – learning about babies and patience and above all love.  Back to bare feet on the hardwoods.  Back to this kitchen and this dining table and the wingback chair where Wilder slept in my arms every day.  Back to those cribbage games on the back deck with Auntie Dayne and Uncle Adam.  Back to warm evenings and open doors and ice cream.  Back to Sunday night dinners with friends.   Back to True Blood and Falling Skies and Alphas on the couch with Garrett while we learned how to put Wilder to sleep, hour after hour.


I will miss this house.  Mostly the memory of the summer we spent in it.  This house will always be the home that Wilder was born in. The home where we first met Uncle Adam.  The home where I watched Garrett become an amazing father.  The home where I fell head over heels in love with my son.  It’s only been 14 months since we moved in, but our lives are so much fuller now.  And I will always, always be thankful for the part this house played in that.


So it’s on to the next.  We leave the Bryant House behind in the capable hands of renters and we move into the Ravenna House, this time as a family of 3 (plus Bubba).  I look forwards – oh do I ever – to the memories we will leave behind there someday.

Wish us luck!



DIY // How To Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier

(Post Updated: 1/19/18)

Old wood drawers. We have a lot of them in our old houses. They’re beautiful. They’re solid. They’re full of character and history and I sure do love them.  But they’re not always the easiest to open. They stick and grind and often take two hands to pull.

So what’s an old home lover to do?

The Grit and Polish - Bryant How to Make a Wood Drawer Slide Easier 1

Our Bryant House renovationkitchen (drawer pull / cabinet latch)

Well it turns out that there’s an easy fix. And it costs under $1 and takes only a couple of minutes. Read on for this easy DIY.

DIY // How to Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier

STEP ONE // Pull out the drawers and arrange them so you can access the underside.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 4

STEP TWO // Rub a bar of soap (we used a basic Dove bar here) along the tracks on the bottom of the drawer and in the cabinet/dresser. Make sure to get anywhere wood rubs against wood and give it plenty of soap. This is one of those rare quantity over quality situations.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier soap on drawerThe Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 6

STEP THREE // After everything is soaped up, slide the drawer back in. That’s it! The drawer should slide easier. Of course they still won’t open like brand-new soft-close drawers, but for $1 and a couple minutes, I’d call it a win!

The Grit and Polish - Bryant DIY How to Make Wood Drawers Slide Easier 7

The pulls and latches are from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot and super inexpensive. I’ve linked to them below.

I’ve heard about this DIY being completed with wax, which I think would work well too. Either way, if you try this DIY, please let us know how it went in the comment section below. And if you want to know more about this kitchen, the Bryant House renovation, or the Grit and Polish, scroll down to the “Related Posts” section.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant How to Make Old Wood Drawers Slide Easier 2

Sources for the Bryant Kitchen

drawer pull / cabinet latch / bar soapmy boots

Related posts

Bryant House kitchen renovation / Bryant House Airbnb makeover / wood butcher block countertops / our favorite cabinet hardware under $7 / about the Grit and Polish / Our Story: old houses and early retirement / We’re filming a pilot for HGTV /

post originally published: February 13, 2014

A Lesson in Procrastination


Hi All!  Well I learned an important lesson this week.  

When you design a kitchen around a certain sink, buy that sink right away. Just do it. Immediately.  Because if you sit on your laurels and twiddle your thumbs, when you finally do get around to buying that sink, it may just be out of stock.  

I’m just saying.  

At the Ravenna House we planned on using Ikea’s Domsjo single-bowl, apron-front sink in the kitchen (here).  It’s cheap, classic, and deep as an ocean. And just like we did at our Bryant House, we were going to undermount it.  Like so:

Undermount Domsjo Sink | The Bryant House

It took a little brain power to design the sink base cabinet at the Bryant House.  There were a couple good tutorials on the web (I checked out what Jessie and Rick did here.)  And this is the detail of the sink base cabinet we developed:

The Domsjo is only $189.  It’s a good $200 cheaper than any other apron-front sink I have found, so it was worth the effort of a custom cabinet.  So when we it came to designing the kitchen at the Ravenna House, there was no question, we were going to use the same sink.  I had a carpenter build the same cabinet and then we painted it and installed it.  But I didn’t pick up the sink right away.  Not sure why.  I just didn’t.  And what do you know, when I finally checked last week, Ikea is out of stock.  And they had no idea when they’d get in more.

So, what next?

I freaked out!  

But only for a second.  Because what is a renovation really without problems? Kinda boring.  So I pulled it together and looked on Amazon and found a lovely, in-stock, undermount, apron-front sink that will be at our house on Wednesday (here).    

And although it’s an inch shorter than the Ikea sink, we should…no we WILL be able to make it fit.  Have faith, people!  It will be lovely

So what’s the lesson?  Don’t wait or it will cost you $200.  Bam!  Whoever said good-things-come-to-those-who-wait were clearly misguided.  

Has something like this ever happened to you?  Come on, I can’t be the only one!  


p.s. I watched this awesome 12-minute Ted Talk on happiness and work this week (here).  Thanks for tweeting it, Ivanka Trump.  Kinda random, I know, but it’s so awesome I had to share!

p.p.s. I bought something for the kitchen that I said I wouldn’t.  It’s white, gray, and beautiful all over.  Hint, hint…

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