Farmhouse Friday 2/23/18

Happy Friday! I’m all in on Spring over here. ALL IN! I’m completely ignoring Punxsutawney Phil and this week’s snow flurries and dreaming of sunshine, blossoms, frog hunting (don’t worry, no frogs are harmed ;), and food-filled trips to Seattle. Over the next few months, most of our rentals will change from month-to-month to shorter-term Airbnb stays as Seattle tourism season kicks into high gear (because who wouldn’t want to see this beautiful city in the sunshine?!). Our rentals get booked silly, so we use this time to get ready: restock supplies, deep cleaning, freshen up linens, and tidy the landscaping.

Our Dexter House rental in Seattle // Shelf brackets | Campaign Hardware (on drawers) | cabinet knobsswing arm sconcesoverhead kitchen lightmudroom star lightmarble pastry slab | nesting mixing bowls |  marble utensil holderdinner plates and bowls | wood cake stand (similar) | white cake stands (similar)

This week we began that process over at the Dexter House. I actually hadn’t been to that property in 6 months because we had a family was living there, and oh man, I forgot how much I love that little house. It’s compact (3 bed/2 bath in 1100sf) and beautiful and well appointed with just the essentials. Garrett and I both left thinking ‘let’s simplify more at the Farmhouse’! Because less really can feel like more, you know? Anyway, here are a few more photos of the Dexter kitchen from the week, just because it’s been awhile. pssst: you can read more about this kitchen renovation here and the budget here

Pretty good, right?! I’m planning to make a few changes to the art in the house in addition to maintenance projects, so I’ll definitely be sharing more of this beautiful house on Instagram this Spring.

Before I get to links today, I have one housekeeping note…our Facebook page is finally up and running! So head over there and give us a thumbs up or say hi. Our goal is to make that a landing page for everything going on: blog, Instagram, HGTV pilot, and a couple other things I haven’t talked about on the blog yet.

Now for those links, grab a cup of coffee and jump in!

A wonderful story of a beautiful old house (slated for demolition), a determined buyer, Magnolia (yes, as in Waco, Texas), and the most amazing transformation. This is one of the properties that Chip and Joanna showed to clients on Fixer Upper but it wasn’t selected and thank goodness for that, because the future owner nailed it!

The four-poster bed of my dreams is featured in this bedroom makeover!

An interview with interior designer and artist William McLure. I have to admit, this was my introduction to his work, but count me in!

No shopping for a whole year. Would you do it? My answer: a resounding yes (for us adults anyway!).

More trips to Seattle means more time in the car to listen to podcasts. I’m caught up on How I Built This but looking for more! Do you have any favorites?!

Interior inspiration for your Friday: this kitchen (!!!), this dining room, this entry, and this dilapidated greenhouse (oh how I wish it was on our property!).

xoxo

-Cathy

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Our Favorite Kitchen Renovations To Date

We’ll be getting into the Porch House kitchen renovation here on the blog soon, but before we do, I wanted to take a trip down memory lane. Garrett and I have renovated 7 kitchens to date – 5 of which we’ve lived in – and we’ve each liked and disliked different things about them. Functionality, finishes, memories…it all plays a role in the impression we’re left with. So today I thought it would be fun to share which of our previous kitchen renovations Garrett and I liked best and why.

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Cathy’s Pick // Bryant House

subway tile, antique hutch, butcher block, kitchen

It’s really hard for me to pick favorites between our homes (because I love them all for different reasons), but the Bryant House kitchen definitely sticks out. I love the simple white and wood color palette, the antique hutch in the corner, and the attached dining nook. But best of all, this kitchen gets the best natural daylight. We tore down an interior wall and aded two sliding doors and now you get light from three sides in here so even when the weather is dreary (which is a quite frequently in Seattle), this space shines.

Favorite memory: We had our first baby, Wilder, in this house and the kid could not be set down. He would just cry and cry so he spent most his time in my arms. I would spend hours sitting in here drinking coffee at the table, catching up on blogs (before this one existed), and just holding my baby. I feel like I really became a mom in this kitchen and I’ll never forget it.

See more: The Bryant kitchen // budget // reveal

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Garrett’s Pick: Dexter House

When I asked Garrett why Dexter? He said: “Well, it starts with the Blue Star range and ends with the Blue Star range!” We’ve had 7 different cooking surfaces  including an induction range top and the open, star-pattern burner on the Blue Star is the runaway favorite. “I also like the layout and natural light from the skylights.” We actually shrank the kitchen down during the remodel but that made it so much more efficient. The kitchen is wide and even though it doesn’t have an island, there are a few nice stretches of counter for prep.

Garrett’s favorite memory: walking down to the farmers market for fresh ingredients and then cooking summer dinner with a glass of wine.

See more: kitchen reveal / resources / construction

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Those are our favorites to date. Are you surprised?

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Ravenna kitchen / 6 Day Kitchen / 6 Day Kitchen Resources /

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Dexter Master Bedroom, Currently

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Happy Friday!  I wanted to show you guys the master bedroom at the Dexter House today.  I haven’t shown you this space yet because it’s not “100% finished”.  Sure the renovation work is over (and has been for quite some time), but the room still feels unfinished.  Perhaps it’s because there’s nothing on the walls besides our giant headboard.  Or because everything except that headboard is leftover furniture from one of our other houses.  But considering that this house will be a rental and with more pressing items on our punch list (not to mention the rate we buy houses), it’s possible this room will never feel “finished”, so I’m going to share it as is with you guys today.

Let’s look back to last year when we started work on this room.

The Grit and Polish - Filming mini pilot at Dexter 2IMG_8779The Dexter House - Cathy at Opening

Obviously I was a *teensy bit* pregnant at that point (and actually all points through the renovation).  Luckily I didn’t have baby Brooks until the space looked like this:

Dexter House - Master Bedroom sitting areaDexter House - Master Queen BedDexter House Master Bed with Boys

You may have noticed that we replaced the exterior window with a door. Here’s what that transformation looked like from the backyard.

IMG_8833The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Door Install 2The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Door

Early during the renovation process we decided to convert the dining nook into a master bathroom (our first!).  So we added a doorway from the master bedroom to the nook and then got to work on plumbing in a bathroom.

The Grit and Polish - Bedroom Demo 2The Grit and Polish - Master Bath Wall Trim and Floor Sanding5. Dexter House Master Bathroom

And that’s pretty much the whole bedroom (except for the wall closet, which deserves it’s own post).  I’d really love to do more decorating in this room.  Wallpaper? Paint an accent wall?  Or perhaps add a hanging chair next to the patio door so I can spend all my free time reading in it (just joking, about the free time that is – I have an 8-month-old and a toddler instead of ‘free’ time)…?

I’d love to hear what you’d do to this space, even if we never actually lift another finger in here.

Dexter Master Bedroom

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Studio McGee has been killing it lately and their Claybourne project is no exception.  Check out this stunning home or get lost in their archives…you won’t be sorry!

p.p.s. Love this 1934 farmhouse renovation, especially all the antiques that are so well curated and styled.  Kudos to the lady of the house!

p.p.p.s. I have yet to install wallpaper in one of our renovations because I’m gun-shy.  But removable wallpaper, well I could get into that!  Check out this roundup of amazing prints.

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Dexter Backyard: a space for summer

THE DEXTER HOUSE

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.

xoxo

-Cathy

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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Dexter Backyard: Sneak Peak

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Happy Friday friends!  I wanted to share a sneak peak of the Dexter backyard with you today.

The Grit and Polish - Backyard seating 2

That’s our new wicker couch that I bought on Craiglist and Garrett picked up.  That’s how it goes around here…I buy vintage stuff and Garrett drives all over the Puget Sound picking it up. Seems like I have the better end of that stick. Anyway, the couch is pretty old, but really sturdy and the perfect spot to take a nap, if you’re into that sort of thing 😉

Do you remember what the backyard looked like before?  Check out my previous posts on this space here and here.

We’re working on a few punch list items in the backyard and elsewhere at the Dexter House this weekend.  Plus it’s fathers day (!) so there will be hiking and brunch and a trip to the brewery.  All good things!  I hope you have a great weekend!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Emily Henderson’s three best design tips EVER!  Don’t mind if I do.

p.p.s. A trip down memory lane on Jersey Ice Cream Co’s first renovation.  Oh goodness! this brings up memories of our first project…

p.p.p.s. Despite the sunny weather as of late, I’m in the mood for…well, mood.  Warm, nostalgic, and rich interiors that feel authentic, like this bedroom and this kitchen!

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Vintage Sinks in the Kitchen

THE DEXTER HOUSE

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?

xoxo

-Cathy

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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Dexter Backyard: the Beginning

THE DEXTER HOUSE

When we first bought the Dexter House last year, the backyard resembled a wild, overgrown jungle.  There was so much foliage that you couldn’t even see that there was paving on the ground.  I wish I could dig up a picture for you guys, but apparently I never took one.  Anyway, sometime mid-summer, Garrett and Papa unleashed a pruning massacre upon the backyard – which was totally unsanctioned, I should add – that left nothing in their wake.  I was less than pleased.  The backyard was now sparse and looked even worse than before.  But even I had to admit, at least we could finally see what were working with.  The backyard also served as a staging ground for construction debris, which explains what you’re about to see.

IMG_8817

Yeah, it’s bad.  I know.  But we’ve been sporadically making progress on the backyard ever since.  We’ve pressure-washed the concrete patio, turned the broken fountain into a planter, did some more pruning (seriously, those tree/bush/shrubs grow like weeds!), and tore down that old, rotting fence.  I’ll show you more about that in the weeks to come.  But today I wanted to introduce you to this space and show you what we’re working with.  Here are a few pictures from earlier this year.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard in MarchThe Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard From Door 03-2016The Grit and Polish - Dexter Backyard Door Trim 2

Our backyard is 780sf.  Not big.  But still pretty awesome for a small, urban house in Seattle.  Garrett and my goal is to turn this space into a welcoming courtyard.  A secret getaway in the middle of the city that doesn’t quite feel like the middle of the city, if you know what I mean.  Sure, this isn’t going to be an outdoor spot to play soccer or host a wedding but hopefully it will feel like another room for us to share with the boys during the summer months.  Here are a few inspiration images:

Inspiration Worthminer paved backyardInspiration CocoCozy Gravel Inspiration Megan Pflug backyard

sources: One | Two | Three

Okay, what do you guys think?  Are you on board for our courtyard/getaway/outdoor-room concept?

xoxo
-Cathy

p.s. Did you guys see this master bedroom makeover?  It’s sooooooo good!

p.p.s. Have you guys been listening to the Chris Loves Julia podcast?  I especially love episode 3 about renovating with children.  Don’t leave a kid alone in a room with a can of paint…SOLID advice!
p.p.p.s. Vintage Chic in Paris.  This is just So. Dang. Lovely!
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Features and Mother’s Day

THE DEXTER HOUSE

The Dexter House kitchen was featured on Apartment Therapy this week!  It was so fun seeing our little space on their site!  I am really proud of what we accomplished in this kitchen on a limited budget (limited by gut-kitchen-renovation standards, at least).  More on the kitchen renovation, reveal, and budget and resources if you’re interested.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen

I can’t let today go by without saying happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas, grandmas, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, and mamas-to-be out there.  Somehow, amazingly, this is my third Mother’s Day since becoming a mom myself.  Just saying that makes my heart swell, because being a mama is the best!  Totally challenging and exhausting, but still the best.  And I feel just so damn honored to get to be Wilder and Brooks’ mama.  I don’t want to get too sappy on you guys, but goodness I just want to dig my heels into the dirt and slow this life down.  Because, guys, this is it.  These are the days.  And I know that there will come a time when Wilder won’t ask me for kisses as a cure to all ailments and someday those pitter-pattering feet in the middle of the night won’t belong to a toddler about to slip into bed with us.  Someday Brooks’ face won’t light up like a Christmas tree when I come home and he won’t giggle like a fool when I play peek-a-boo or blow raspberries on his tummy.  So…this Mother’s Day, I’m going to sneak in a few extra cuddles and breathe it all in.

Dexter House Master Bed with Boys

Speaking of Mother’s Day, did you see this easy and fun DIY on coco+kelley?  Or this ode to my own mother on 702 Park Project?

The Grit and Polish - Clean Eating Pancakes 3

What will you be doing on Sunday?  Garrett and the boys are going to make me brunch (hopefully these polenta, oat, and currant pancakes, which sound kinda weird but are soooooo good!) and then we’re back to work on the fence project.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. technically this advice is from a dad and it’s mothers day, but it’s still a good one!

p.p.s. I heard this story about the blind and awesome Daniel Kish last year and I still think about it.  His mother takes ‘amazing’ to a whole new level.  Seriously, you’ve got to listen to it!

p.p.p.s. This Pinterest board kinda sums up what I want for my kids’ childhood.

p.p.p.p.s. And one more for all the young moms out there.  Because Olivia, you are awesome.  And your taste in wallpaper is spot on.

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The Dexter House in 1937

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Happy Friday, folks!  Sorry for the radio silence as of late.  We’ve been busy with planning for the lower unit and enjoying the nice weather.  Mostly the later.  After a long, gray winter we just can’t let this sunshine go unappreciated!

Today I wanted to share a photo of the Dexter House from 1937.  We think this house was built in 1905, so it’s already 32 years old in this photo.  I love all that ivy on the brick facade!

The Dexter House, 1937

Fast forward to 2016 and the Dexter House looks a little different, but still pretty original.  I miss the ivy and the original windows, but I still love this house.  It’s all charm and quaint and history and soooo unique for Seattle.

Dexter House Front

This front facade will see a lot of changes as we begin the lower unit renovation this summer, but we’ll keep as much of the history in tact as possible.

What do you guys think of the brick facade of the Dexter House?  Does it still feel relevant or do you think it’s feeling a little…dingy/sad/old?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. We’re going to start the new fence and backyard renovation this weekend and it’s going to look nothing like Ina Garten’s garden.  But a girl can dream 😉

p.p.s. This Spanish-style house in LA is sooooo good.  Check it out on Lonny!

p.p.p.s. Bee keeping…yes!  We’ve been trying to talk Nana into keeping bees at the farm for a couple years now.  Can you imagine fresh honey on toast EVERY MORNING?!

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Guest Bedroom: A Cozy Space for Guests

THE DEXTER HOUSE

Last week we finished our quick guest bedroom “redo”, and I’m pretty smitten with the results.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 4 copy The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand

We spent two weeks transforming this 77sf room from an awkward white left-over space into a comfortable bedroom for guests.  It’s still small (obviously we couldn’t change that…), but it feels a whole lot cozier.  Here’s what the room looked like before the wainscot and paint and brass hanging light and framed photos and retrofitted antique bed.

Dexter House - Guest Bedroom

And after…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 5

Before…

IMG_1838

After…

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom foot of bed

Sooooo much better, right?!

I went with a simple black and white color scheme for this room and added hints of natural wood and brass.  The simple color palette keeps this small room from feeling cluttered and really works with the vibe of the rest of the house.  The end result is a cozy and simple space that feels nostalgic and sophisticated and maybe just a bit sultry.  For the walls, I selected historic photos from Costco’s image gallery and mounted them in Ikea frames.  Simple white drapes cover the window and closet and a blackout roman blind helps guests sleep in (or it would if our toddler wasn’t running down the hallway by 6am every morning!).  The hanging brass light was a DIY project by yours truly.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom nightstand 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase

We bought the 1800s rope bed from a very sweet lady name Mary via Craigslist.  She actually sold us two antique frames for $120 (more on that here), but I selected this one for the guest bedroom.  Because the frame is narrower and shorter than a modern full (it turns out there weren’t standard mattress sizes in the 1800s…), we did a little reworking to extend the side rails, push them out a few inches, and then slipped a new 2×4 and plywood frame in between the rails.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Brass Hanging Light 2The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom rope bedThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom bed frame

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I love this bed frame.  It’s my kind of antique: pretty and sturdy and interesting.  I keep joking that our guests will always have to sleep on a full-sized bed, because I envision carting this frame from house to house with us until it finally lands in our forever house’s giant and bright guest bedroom. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?!

I did a little research on rope beds, and found out that people used to string rope around those small wood nobs in a cross-hatch pattern.  They topped the rope base with a homemade mattress, usually filled with feathers or hay.  The ropes needed tightening often, which makes me think the phrase “sleep tight” used to be mean something a whole lot different than it does now.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 9

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Window 2

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom Bed and MirrorThe Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom mirror

We’ve had this antique mirror sitting in the basement since we moved into the Dexter House.  I bought it off of Craigslist for $20 or so.  But I never liked the color much so was happy to spray-paint it glossy black.  I hung it from the ceiling using brass plumber’s safety chain, which I found (and fell in love with!) at the hardware store.

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom 15

The Grit and Polish - Guest Bedroom suitcase 2

Well that’s it for our guest space!  At just 77sf, it gives a whole new meaning to cozy.  But I’m really happy with how it turned out and super glad we took the plunge and painted the walls black.  Speaking of the paint, I’ve gotten some mixed comments from readers about the black walls.  So I’m curious…what do you think?  Would you ever go dark in such a small room?

Read more about the guest bedroom redo: inspiration/getting started, bedframes, and progress.

Resources: bed frame, vintage | suitcase, Filson | bedspread, gift | white curtains, Ikea | roman blind, West Elm (on sale!) | mirror, vintage | black and white blanket, Anthropologie | side chair, Industry West | frames, Ikea | photographs, Costco image gallery | brass double picture frame, vintage | brass hanging light, DIY (post to follow) | lace throw, vintage | paint colors, listed here

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. let’s talk dark and sultry interiors for a minute.  This whole house tour on design*sponge is so so so lovely and such a breath of fresh (dark) air.  This entry is kinda spot on too.

p.p.s. Well this mansion is lovely, isn’t it?  And can’t we talk about that fireplace?!

p.p.p.s. Check out this cozy and eclectic family home tour on One Kings Lane…it’s a stunner.

p.p.p.p.s. I just couldn’t resist…If toddlers had Facebook.  Yes, I laughed out loud.

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