Farmhouse Entryway // Welcoming, Historic, & Functional Goals

THE FARMHOUSE

As I mentioned on Friday, I have a little case of pregnancy nesting going on.  Actually that’s a total lie.  I have a GIANT case of pregnancy nesting, and it’s getting worse everyday!  There’s not a room at the Farmhouse that I haven’t wanted to fix-up/clean-up/make-more-efficient.  Ahhh!  Thankfully Garrett is all patience and kindness towards his super-pregnant, hormonal wife and agreed to help make over our office and entryway.  Today I wanted to show you what I’m thinking for the entryway, because I have big goals to make this little space more inviting and functional, while highlighting the historic feel of our 115-year-old farmhouse.

The front entryway is the main entrance to our Farmhouse and gets a ton of use by our family and all our guests.  Getting two young kids ready and out the door without leaving a giant mess in our wake is struggle enough, so I can only imagine how challenging this will be after baby girl’s arrival this July.  With that in mind (and with my pregnancy nesting urges), my primary goal for this space was organization:  a place for putting on shoes, storage for those shoes and other kid treasures that always find their way into the entryway, hooks for hats and kids coats (we adults hang ours by the front door), and a place for keys and mail.

Garrett and I got started on this space during an impromptu work day last week while the kids were with Nana.  We painted the walls and ceiling in my favorite white (BM Simply White), bought and retrofitted an entry table, and recycled the perfect antique bench from another one of our houses.  Here’s a sneak peak of how this space is looking.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Entry Progress 2

I’ll show you more next week, but basically we have all the major pieces in place.  Which means it’s time for me to start looking for decor (which will probably be a slow process since we have a lot of other projects going on at the Porch House still).  Let’s talk about my decor plans in here: add a large, brass mirror over the table, maybe some hat hooks or framed historic photos, a pretty new or vintage overhead light fixture, additional lighting over the bench, and someday, I’d like to replace that awful brown stair runner!  Here’s a roundup of what I’m dreaming of:

The Grit and Polish Farmhouse Entry Decor

paint / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

The end goal is to have a welcoming, wood and white entry that looks reminiscent to these:

Made in Heaven inspiration

source

Lucy WIlliams Interiors Inspiration

source

Pretty, right?  And since any good transformation needs ‘before’ photos, here’s how the entryway looked when we first bought the Farmhouse.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Through Front DoorThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Living Rm

Next week, I’ll share all of the current photos of the entryway.  Hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do.  And in the meantime, if you have a lead on an antique-looking brass mirror that’s 60″ tall and 30″ plus wide, let me know!  Have a great week.

xoxo

-Cathy

*disclaimer: hey guys, there are affiliate links in this post.  This means that if you click on my link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission.  But rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use personally or would love to use.  Affiliate links is one of the ways we keep this blog running, so thanks for supporting the Grit and Polish!

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Farmhouse // Moving the Boys into a Shared Bedroom (and how it’s going)

THE FARMHOUSE

A couple of weekends ago, we rearranged Wilder’s bedroom and moved Brooks in with him.  The transition hasn’t been without a few hiccups, but it’s going soooo much better than I ever expected.  The room has become so much cozier with the two of them in here, and somehow I love the space even more than I did when it was just Wilder’s room (you can see what that looked like here).  So today I wanted to show you what the boys setup looks like now.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom 2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom Wilders Bed 2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom bed closeupThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom stuffies

sources: overhead light // drapes // roman shade // rug (similar) // rug pad // comforter // duvet cover // striped throw // plant hanger // stuffed animals //dinosaur backpack (no longer available, cute option here) // plaid blankets // table lamp // ukulele //dinosaur figurines // crib // animal heads (no longer available, cute options here)

As I mentioned on Friday, moving the boys into one room was one of those things that I had worked up in my head as a huge deal.  We had tried this transition once before when we first moved to the Farmhouse but failed after a couple of nights.  Looking back, I think we failed because Garrett and I were busy and tired with moving so didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with it.  We knew that we would try again at some point but we kept putting it off and putting it off.  Then last Saturday, Garrett and I were Spring cleaning and one of us said, ‘hey, let’s put Brooks’ crib in Wilder’s room’, and that was that.  A couple of hours later, the boys had one shared bedroom.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom both beds

Both of the beds are now pushed against walls, which should limit any falling out of bed.  Wilder is a very active sleeper and every once in a while he’ll just kind of tumble out of bed.  Just last week it happened, and I found him laying on the floor still totally asleep.  Ahh to sleep that hard!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom from Door

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about our matching twin bed frames since finding them on Craigslist last year.  I don’t know the story behind them, but they’re definitely antique, a wee-bit on the narrow side for a modern twin mattress (we have to sort-of squeeze the mattress into the frame when we put sheets on), and have a lovely dark stain on them that looks nearly black.  I always planned to put them in one room not only because I love the look of side-by-side antique beds but also because we hoped that Wilder and Brooks would share a room by the time that Brooks was ready for a big-boy bed.  And from the looks of it, we’re just about there!

As I mentioned earlier, we’ve had a couple of hiccups since moving the boys into one room.  The first being that Brooks has almost completely refused his crib since making the transition to a shared room.  I’m not entirely sure why that is, but after 20 minutes of crying on Saturday night (in my arms and in his crib), I finally laid him down in his big boy bed and he was instantly quiet.  So I tucked a blanket over him and watched from the door as he dozed off.  We hadn’t planned on having him in a big boy bed at night so young (Wilder made the switch at 2, and I thought we’d repeat that), but if he keeps sleeping through the night then he can sleep wherever he likes!

The second hiccup is that bedtime now takes a good hour plus.  Both boys are so excited to look across the room and see each other, and there are giggles and squirms for way too long.  Of course, I find it soooo sweet, so even if it means an extra hour at bedtime right now, so be it.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom both bedsThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom Blackout 1

For the Spring we have light comforters and duvet covers from Ikea on the beds.  Garrett and I are really careful to keep fire retardants out of the boys bedding and PJs, so natural linen duvet covers were an easy choice, even if they’re a little more expensive.  Of course Wilder already got green marker on his duvet cover, but thankfully they are are two sided so we’ll just have a ‘bad side’ for everyday and a ‘good side’ for photographs and guests 😉   I also bought these summer throws for the boys’ beds during West Elm’s one day sale a few weeks ago (and they’re still on sale!).  I’m not sure they’ll be heavy enough to have on here with a sheet alone, but Wilder runs hot (soooo hot…and soooo the opposite of his mama) that it’ll probably be enough for him.  If not, I’ll layer them with a simple white cotton blanket.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom books

Probably my favorite part of finally having a shared bedroom is shared story time.  When the boys were in separate rooms, we read stories to each of them separately before tucking them in.  But now we shut the blackout blinds (an essential with these longer Spring days), snuggle up in one bed and read a couple of stories before tucking the boys in their own beds.  And I love it!  There is something so special about spending this time together, and it makes this mama’s heart very happy.  I know there will be nights when one of the boys is not happy, and I’m tired and this whole situation is totally exhausting, but right now it’s everything.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom cribThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom stuffies 2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom

For the record, I hung that plant up for the shoot.  I’m going to have Garrett relocate the hook over the nightstand so the plant is not over a bed (because it’s heavy and plus I don’t want to risk water draining onto a bed).  I’m on the hunt for an alphabet poster or paper tiles for the space as well.  Wilder is finally getting into letters, so it’d be fun to have a spot for him to see them!  I haven’t found one that I love yet, but I’m looking…any suggestions?!

The closet is probably both of the boys’ favorite space in this room, so I wanted to give you a peek.  I’ve mentioned before, but this space has been basically a storage ground for Wilder’s collection of ‘stuff’.  We finally hung up costumes and boxed up a lot of Wilder’s stuff so this space is at least a step above an eye sore now.  Someday I’d like to turn the far end of this closet into a kid hangout spot with cushions and pillows and everything comfy but for now there are a few boxes and stacks of books back there and that’s just fine.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom Closet 1 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom closet 3 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Shared Bedroom closet 2

So that’s our experience thus far with our two boys sharing a room.  I’d love to hear any tips or stories you guys have about shared bedrooms….seriously!  Growing up I shared a bedroom with my twin sister until high school, and I still have fond memories of laughing the night away.  Sure there were plenty of arguments but I think it taught me a lot about compromise and living with others.  At least, I’d like to think so 😉

The one thing I haven’t mentioned yet (and have been dying to!) is that the nursery is now empty!!!  I’m chomping at the bit to get started transforming that space for baby girl.  But since she’s not due until July (and will sleep with us for a few months afterwards), I’m trying to keep my focus on thePorch House since we still need to finish that renovaiton and sell it, hopefully before baby girl arrives.  Honestly I’m trying not to even think about the nursery, but somehow that hasn’t stopped me from buying plenty of things for that space 😉

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. how we deal with Wilder not sleeping through the night.  Wilder’s room at the Ravenna House and his room at the Dexter House.  The latter was also featured on coco+kelley last year.

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Farmhouse // Some Old Photos of Our Home

THE FARMHOUSE

Farmhouse Old Picture with Car

One of my favorite things about old houses is the history, and not just the history hidden behind the walls and underneath the carpets.  I love hearing about the people who lived in a home before us.  The way they lived.  How they reconfigured and redecorated the spaces.  The parties they threw.  There is so much magic in that connection to history!

When we moved into our Farmhouse last summer and met our 90-year-old neighbor at the mailbox, I was beyond excited to learn that he had grown up in our Farmhouse (his dad and grandfather built it).  He shared a little history of the house every time we crossed paths at our mailboxes, and I found myself really looking forward to those run ins.  Garrett and I planned to have our neighbor over for dinner once we settled in, but unfortunately he passed away before we could schedule a time to visit.

We were fortunate to also meet our neighbor’s daughter and grandson (the latter of whom we actually went to high school with…how can you not love small towns?!).  Neither of them ever lived in the Farmhouse, but they spent plenty of time here visiting family and inherited the family photos.  We had the two of them over for dinner with their families last month and let me just say, it was absolutely magical to have the fourth and fifth generations of the original owners of our home, sitting around our table.

Farmhouse with two in front 1965

Thank you Debbie for sharing these amazing photos!  It’s so special to get a peek into what this old home looked like and see the people who lived in it.  And for the record I think this old house is about the prettiest country home I’ve ever seen, back in the early 1900s and today (and yes, I realize I’m 100% biased!).  Garrett and I are still pinching ourselves that we get to raise our kids here and call this beauty home.

Farmhouse Man and Cars

I’d love to hear from you guys.  Do you love the history of old homes like I do?  Any good stories from your own home or family’s home?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. we’re halfway through the Porch House reno already (well, the main parts of the home, at least).  You can see my increasingly- frantic daily progress updates here 😉

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Wilder’s Farmhouse Bedroom // The Reveal

THE FARMHOUSE

Wilder’s bedroom was one of those magical rooms that came together like, well…magic!  After coming across the matching twin bed frames on Craigslist and finding the perfect overhead light and drapes, the rest of the room just fell into place.  Most of the decor and small furniture items came out of storage or Wilder’s previous bedrooms.  The funny thing is, this room is my favorite of all of Wilder’s bedrooms and it was by far the easiest to put together.   Isn’t that the rub?  How can a space you think about and plan for the least be the easiest to finish?  Craziness.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom 4

Resources: overhead light | drapes (LOVE these!) | roman shade | hanging chair | animal heads (no longer available, cute alternatives here) | dinosaur backpack (no longer available, cute option here) | plaid blankets | table lamp | ukulele | stuffies: bear (similar), fox, monkey (we love the Jellycats brand!) | kids ranger vest | Dinosaur figurines: Giganotosaurus, Sauropod | Dragon lego kit | books: see below scrolling bar

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom LampThe Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom 1

This east-facing room gets intense morning light, which made blackout drapes essential.  Wilder is already an early morning person, so anything we can do to combat even earlier mornings is worth Every Single Penny!  But even with the great morning light, bedtime is my favorite time of day in Wilder’s room.  Wilder has always loved story time and snuggling, so bedtime, spent together in his bed with a favorite book, has made for some of my favorite moments of parenthood thus far.  In case you’re interested, I put together a few of our current favorite bedtime stories below:

If you have a little one with an active imagination and an interest in dinosaurs (can you tell we’re into dinosaurs?!), I cannot recommend Dinotopia and it’s sequel, the World Beneath, enough.  Garrett’s mom passed these down to us last year and they’ve become some of our favorite bedtime stories.  What I love about these books is that they are wonderfully imaginative, well written, beautifully illustrated, and best of all, they keep both our 3-year-old and us parents engaged.  Check them out!

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom NightstandThe Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Vintage MapThe Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom ladder

That vintage toolbox is a find from the Dexter House, and it’s been Wilder’s favorite box ever since.  He stores all sorts of things in it – tools, hair clips, bugs – so not surprisingly, it’s one of his most prized possessions.  Wilder has a bit of a collector’s disposition (which sometimes borders on ahem…hoarding) so boxes and containers are his thing.  I joke that we have to shake his pockets out when we leave friends’ houses, but it’s not far from the truth!  Right now Wilder stores his collections in his large closet, but I haven’t come up with a good organization system yet, so stay tuned for a look into that space another time.  In the meantime, maybe the fact that we’re finally settled in one house forever will help Wilder get over his ‘collector issues’ or maybe it’ll bring out the hoarder in him…

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Tool BoxThe Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Hanging Pod

As I mentioned last week, this is Wilder’s forth bedroom at the ripe old age of three.  The Grit and Polish didn’t exist back when he was a baby at the Bryant House, but here’s his room at the Ravenna House and his room at the Dexter House.  The latter was also featured on coco+kelley last year.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Nightstand 2     The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Hanging Chair 2

When the boys play together in here, that hanging chair is Brooks’ favorite spot.  He loves to fall into it and swing around.  It’s such a cozy seat – it literally hugs the occupant – that it makes a great space when either of the boys needs a little quick comfort.  Nana gave the hanging chair to Wilder for Christmas a couple of years back, and I’m so glad that we finally have the space to enjoy it!

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Fox on Bed The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Chairs The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Deer The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Closet Door  The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom Beds  The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom 2

I just noticed that we still need to add the base shoe molding in here.  Plus I’m still toying with painting the bottom of Wilder’s walls in a gray/green color.  There’s always something, right?  I should also mention that we usually have a thick, 8×10 jute rug in here, which really cozies up the space.  I temporarily stole it for the living room since we do more playing down there.  Here’s a link to our rug, but since it’s currently unavailable, here’s a similar one.

Someday soon, this will be Wilder and Brooks’ room and I’m really excited for that day to come.  There’s bound to be all sorts of important late-night talks in here.  And arguments.  And adventures.  And memories.  Isn’t that what growing up with siblings is all about?!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. what Wilder’s room used to look like and what we’ve done to it.  Also, how we handle Wilder not sleeping through the night.

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Master Bedroom Update // How We’ve Survived Our ‘Not So Good’ Sleeper

THE FARMHOUSE

In honor of last weekend’s Daylight Savings – the bane of every parent’s existence – I thought I’d share a little peek into the minor change we’ve made to our master bedroom that has made all the difference in how our toddler sleeps at the Farmhouse.  Spoiler…he and we sleep much better!  I’ll be back back next week with Wilder’s Farmhouse bedroom reveal as promised.

Our toddler has never been much of a sleeper.  I can probably count the number of times that Wilder has slept through the night on two hands (plus maybe two feet) and he’s 3 1/2 years old!  Lack of sleep is one of the things that Garret and I have struggled with the most as parents, especially in Wilder’s first year, but we’ve finally found a way we can all survive.

The Grit and Polish - Sleeping Bag 2

sconce / cord coverbed frame / velvet pillow / accent pillow (similar here) / sheet set / rug / curtains / lion / books: Pajama Time, Lama Lama Nighty Night, The Little Blue Truck / sleeping bag (no longer available, but my favorite alternatives are at the bottom of this post!) / paint: BM Simply White

Yes, that’s a sleeping bag on our master bedroom floor.  I didn’t exactly include that in my master bedroom One Room Challenge reveal, but it gets used Every. Single. Night!  Somewhere between midnight and 4 am, Wilder slides out of his bed, crosses the landing, and tucks himself into his sleeping bag next to Garrett’s side of the bed, where he proceeds to sleep the rest of the night.

And that right there, is the best thing that happened to my night of sleep since becoming a parent!

Let me explain how this all came to be.  Sometime last year, we were at our pediatrician’s office, and the doctor asked us how sleep was going.  After I stopped laughing, I launched into it: Wilder has never been a “sleeper”.  Wilder has woken us up almost every night of his life.  At 5 months old he was sleeping in his crib and waking up 5 times a night, and though sleep got better as he got older, Wilder has never taken to the all-nighter.  We’ve read and tried just about anything, including sleep training, but nothing seemed that helpful.  At 2 1/2, we were putting Wilder down in his own room but he was sneaking into our bed sometime in the middle of the night, and it worked okay, except that Wilder was a restless sleeper, often kicking us and steeling blankets.  Once Brooks came along, our bed was too full and our nights were too short.  The doctor heard us out and then surprised us by saying that she had similar issues when her sons when they were young.  She recommended we put a sleeping bag next to our bed and teach Wilder that it was his own (and *only*) special sleeping place in our bedroom, when he needed it.

It wasn’t a new or particularly creative solution – I’m sure many parents have done something similar in the course of history – but it was a respectful solution we could all live with, and one that had a profound impact on our family’s sleep and thus our lives.

The Grit and Polish - Sleeping Bag 3

The first couple of nights were rough (Wilder really wanted to get in bed with us), but soon his middle of the night antics were reduced to tip-toeing into our room and quietly tucking himself into his sleeping bag.  The best part was that he didn’t even wake Garrett and I up.  It’s worked so well that the sleeping bag is still our policy for Wilder today (thankfully Brooks has proved to be a happier sleeper in his crib), except when he’s sick or needs cuddles after a bad dream.

The Grit and Polish - Sleeping Bag 7The Grit and Polish - Sleeping Bag 4

So that’s the minor change to our bedroom that has made our household majorly happier.  I’m a big proponent of doing what works for your family and your child (because goodness knows they’re all different) when it comes to sleep, so please don’t take any of this as advice.  It’s just fun to show you guys the full story of how we use our bedroom space.  And if you’ve come up with your own creative kid sleeping solution, I’d love to hear about it!

Wilder’s shark sleeping bag (a 2nd birthday gift from Nana) is no longer available, but I found some fun alternatives.  Check out the roundup below.  I’m thinking about getting number 1 or 2 for Brooks (for traveling not for our bedroom floor!).  Or maybe 4.  Goodness, they’re all cute!

The Grit and Polish - Sleeping Bag Roundup

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

I’ll be back next week with Wilder’s bedroom reveal.  In the meantime, you can get caught up on what we’ve done to his space at the Farmhouse here.  For all you parents out there, I wish you an easy Daylight Savings transition.  But if it’s not, you can sign this petition to end Daylight Savings or this one to stay on summer time permanently, aka Daylight Savings time…just saying.

xoxo

-Cathy

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Wilder’s Farmhouse Bedroom // Progress

THE FARMHOUSE

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom 4

This is Wilder’s bedroom at the Farmhouse.  It’s a space that I haven’t shown much of on the blog, and I’m not entirely sure why.  But I aim to fix that.  Over the next two weeks, I’m going to show you how we took this space from dark and carpeted to light and comfortable.

This bedroom is the smallest of the three upstairs rooms at the Farmhouse, but Wilder claimed it as his immediately.  His decision had little to do with the bedroom itself and everything to do with the attached giant “closet”.  With low sloped ceilings, no windows, and no heat/AC/insulation, this closet is just the kind of space kids go gaga over 😉

When we bought the Farmhouse, Wilder’s bedroom had pretty great bones.  There are 9′ ceilings, architectural windows, wood moldings, and so much potential if you could almost look past the carpet and purple curtains.  Almost.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Boys Room WindowThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Boys Room Closet DoorThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Boys Room Closet

When we first moved into the house, we threw a couple of mattresses into this room to make sure Wilder had a comfy spot to sleep while we settled in.  It didn’t take long until Garrett and I found time to work on this room.  Wilder got to camp out on our floor while we took down the curtains, painted the walls and ceiling with Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (the same color as the master bedroom and nursery), replaced the lighting and electrical sockets, and ripped up the carpets.  We had hoped for pristine hardwood floors underneath, but that’s not quite what we got.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Room Painted

These floors are actually in much better shape than the other upstairs bedrooms (you can check out what the nursery and master bedroom floors looked like), but they still needed a sand and refinish.  Anyone who’s refinished their own hardwood floors knows that it’s a big, dusty job and we just weren’t quite ready to tackle it.  We were still busy moving into the house and enjoying the warm weather outside, so I threw a big jute rug down and put off the refinish for a couple of months.

During the months leading up to the hardwood refinish, I continued to decorate Wilder’s space.  First we installed the matching vintage bed frames I had bought on Craigslist (for $150 if I remember correctly), which Garrett retrofitted with slats.  And if you are wondering why there are two beds in here it’s because this space has always been intended for both Wilder and Brooks.  But Brooks is sleeping so well in the nursery that we’ve been reluctant to move him into this big boy room just yet.  Of course now that we have a baby girl on the way, Brooks’ move is inevitable…

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Room Curtain Hanging

Decorating continued with a new overhead light fixture – my favorite schoolhouse pendant from Rejuvenation with blue stripes – along with new linen blackout drapes and a curtain rod.  Otherwise, most of the furniture and decor in here are things we’ve collected over the years or found in storage.

The small chairs are from my parents storage barn (apparently from my elementary school).  That vintage school map is one that I bought a couple of years ago and have been looking for a good space to display it ever since.  Wilder made the T-Rex and Pterosaur with Nana (the later of which has sadly since broken) and the books are an ongoing collection kind of thing.  Of course all of the furnishings and decor we put up had to be taken down when we began the great floor refinish of 2016 a couple of months later.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Room Map Install

Before getting into the hardwood floor refinish, let me explain why I went to the effort of decorating Wilder’s bedroom for two months, just to take everything back out.  This is Wilder’s 4th bedroom in 3 years – a statistic that I’m not proud of, but one that was necessary to make our retiring by 35 a reality.  If you have young kids, you know that change can be really hard on them and Wilder is no different.  In fact, his sensitive nature might make change even harder on him.  Wilder has always felt such big feelings and been so sensitive to his environment, making our previous move from Ravenna to Dexter very hard for him.  We didn’t want to repeat that when we moved into the Farmhouse.

Okay, on to the hardwood floor refinish.  We tackled this project at the same time we did the master bedroom and nursery floors.  It required that Wilder and Brooks as well as Garrett and I move out of our bedrooms, and sleep hungajunga style in the guest bedroom for a couple of weeks.  The set up was not ideal, but the floors were definitely worth the sacrifice.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Bedroom FLoor RefinishThe Grit and Polish - Floor Close Up

Refinishing the floors was a big job that we DIY’d ourselves.  I won’t go into the nitty gritty here since I posted about it last year (you can read about the process here and see what it cost us here).  We opted for no stain on the floors, just the natural wood color, finished with a latex sealant.  I’ll show you the finished product next week along with what Wilder’s space looks like now.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear if you guys have ever moved with young kids, and if so, any tips to helping them adjust?

xoxo

-Cathy

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Farmhouse Living Room // The Prettiest Chandelier

THE FARMHOUSE

It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked about the Farmhouse living room, and I’m dying to show you what came in the mail!  The prettiest chandelier I ever did see…

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier GlobeThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Chandelier 1Sources: Chandelier | Sofa | Rugs, top and bottom (similar) | Side table | cotton blanket (aka the softest blanket ever!)

When it came time to pick out an overhead light fixture for this space, I knew I wanted something sculptural and eye-catching.  I briefly thought about trying a more modern-shaped light like this, but I was skeptical that it would feel appropriate in our 105-year-old home or be something that fits in with my decor style.  So instead I focused my search on something timeless, pretty, circular (to break up all the square lines in this room), and brass.  When I saw the Rose City Chandelier on Rejuvenation’s website, I knew it was the one!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Chandelier 3

Being the reformed blogger that I am, I immediately approached Rejuvenation to see if they’d be interested in partnering with us on this project.  To my utter amazement and joy, they agreed.  So I’m thrilled to tell you guys that this post is in partnership with my all-time favorite lighting store, Rejuvenation (who also has awesome house wares too, by the way…I mean, could this and this be any more beautiful or perfect for my home?)!!!

Of course, installing new lighting in old homes is tricky.  You never quite know what will be behind those switch plates/fixtures/outlets.  Not only is there sometimes extensive out-of-date wiring (I’m looking at you knob and tube), but often you get a mix of old and new wiring, which makes even the simplest task, like swapping out a light fixture, super unpredictable.  In our master bedroom, we found extensive knob and tube when installing the new overhead light, and decided to change it out, which lead us to rewire most of the upstairs.  When we took down the fixture in the living room, we unfortunately found more knob and tube.  But this time we decided to take the easy road: install the fixture now and add rewiring the living room light to our to-do list.  So we got to work taking the old and not-so-pretty fixture down (finally!).

The Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install

After we removed the old fixture, we opened up that giant Rejuvenation box.  To Wilder’s utter delight, it was filled with those water-soluble peanuts, which entertained him (and Brooks when he woke up from his nap) for hours.  Thank you Rejuvenation!

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier package The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier hottub

Installing the new chandelier was quite easy, although the sheer size of it made this a 2-person job (it’s 36″ wide).  We started by turning off the power to the fixture.  Which for Garrett meant turning off the switch to the light, but most responsible (and safe) adults would turn off the breaker.  For the record, I’d always suggest you take the responsible adult route and turn off the breaker when working with electricity (that applies to you too, Garrett)!  Next we removed the back panel of the fixture and installed that to the ceiling, finding both joists and lathe to attach to.

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier install smThe Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier Install 2The Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install Screw

Garrett connected the fixture’s wires to the house wires using wire nuts, and then screwed the chandelier to the back plate while I held it up.  To keep the fixture protected, we left the bubble wrap on while mounting.

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier install 1The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier InstallThe Grit and Polish - Chandelier Install FInal

Lastly, we screwed in the light bulbs (okay, so we drove to town, bought light bulbs, stopped by the taco truck for lunch, returned home, and then screwed them in), affixed the globes and voila!  The prettiest chandelier I ever did see…in my living room!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Chandelier cropped

As with most Rejuvenation fixtures, the length is customizable so we went with 40″ measured from ceiling to bottom of globe (for reference, our ceilings are 9’6″).  It’s definitely on the low side for a living room fixture, but since we’re planning to add a large, board-game-friendly coffee table beneath, I think it’ll be the perfect height.  We also have a ‘no ball throwing’ rule in our house (technically more of a guideline), so I’m hoping we won’t have to replace any of those hanging glass globes anytime soon.  But I suppose it’d be a small price to pay for having such a beautiful fixture.  And for having such fun, energetic little kids 😉

The Grit and Polish - Rose City Chandelier 3The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living Rm Chandelier 2

Now that the chandelier and sofa are in, I cannot wait to finish decorating this room!  Garrett mentioned that he doesn’t like the jute rug (something to do with too many browns in here), and I see where he’s coming from.  I’m planning to keep the rest of the finishes light in color, soft to the touch, and lots of vintage to make sure we achieve a comfortable, welcoming, farmhouse-esque feel.

I’m off to scour my favorite vintage and salvage shops (not to mention our garage) to finish up this room.  Wish me luck!  And in the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few other rooms we’ve remodeled using Rejuvenation lights (BTW none of the fixtures below were sponsored, we just really love their stuff!).

The Grit and Polish - Rejuvenation Lighting Projects

Dexter kitchen, Imbrie | Wilder’s bedroom, Jefferson | Dexter bathroom, Fords Mill Double | Farmhouse masterImbrie

Thank you Rejuvenation for making such beautiful lighting and partnering with us on our Farmhouse living room!  I love you guys <3

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. more on this room: pulling up the carpetspaint, picking out the sofainspiration, and getting the sofa!

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Farmhouse Nursery // The Current Version

THE FARMHOUSE

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, DinoblockThe 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!

xoxo

-Cathy

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

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Farmhouse Living Room // Our Sofa is Here! + A Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.  

THE FARMHOUSE

The Farmhouse living room is really coming along!  The walls are painted, the black and gold outlets are updated, the carpets are gone, and…the sofa is here!  As I mentioned on Friday, having a sofa is a game changer for my family.  How we survived for this long without one, I’ll never know, but I’m beyond excited that we finally have a cozy spot for the whole family to gather for story time, movies and maybe, just maybe, an afternoon nap or two (a mama can dream)!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 2

You may recall that we chose Interior Define’s Harper Sofa in Oxford Blue velvet back in November.  We debated something more formal for our space (like their Rose sofa, which we love at the Dexter House), but in the end, we opted for the Harper because we wanted the space to look and feel inviting and comfortable.  The sofa is all soft edges and low profile coziness, and we couldn’t be happier with it!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 4

At 8′-6″ long, the Harper sofa can fit our entire family plus some (as in three more kids, according to Garrett…not going to happen), which was definitely a requirement for us.  The beautiful dark blue color, a choice I was a little apprehensive about, gives the sofa a slightly more-formal feel, which is prefect in our space.  The sofa is deep enough to really curl up on, which I love, and Garrett couldn’t be happier with the firm seat cushions.  Perhaps the prettiest detail, if I have to pick just one, is the back of the sofa, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 7.2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 8 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 9

Our Harper sofa retails for $1,900, but Interior Define has customizable-pieces starting at just $1,000 and that includes free white-glove delivery and a 365-day return policy.  Pretty awesome, right?!

And speaking of awesome…today we get to give one lucky reader $500 to Interior Define!  To enter, check out Interior Define’s collection, register your email address here, and then leave a comment below with which item you’d choose!  The winner will be announced on 2/8.  Good luck!

  • Giveaway open to continental US readers only
  • Entrants must enter their email address here
  • Giveaway ends Tuesday, February 7th
  • Giveaway winner will be randomly selected from the email entry list
  • Credit must be used in a single purchase.  Returns will be refunded store credit minus any restocking fee.
  • Credit must be used by July 15th

A giant thank you to Interior Define for partnering with us on this post and giveaway.  They make great sofas and we love having them in our homes.  I hope you do too!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 6The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse ID Sofa 5

Resources for this room: sofa (in Oxford Blue velvet) | side table | rugs: (which I snagged from the nursery until we find a permanent solution for this room) top rug, bottom rug.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. more from this room: pulling up the carpetspaint, picking out the sofa, and inspiration.

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Farmhouse Living Room // What We Found Under the Carpets

THE FARMHOUSE

Well, we finally pulled up the living room carpets late one night last week.  My oh my, what we found beneath was glorious!

The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Hardwood Floors 2

The living room hardwood floors – softwood technically, since they’re fir – are far from perfect, but they look pretty darn great considering that they’re 104-years old!  We had to remove approximately 1,000,000 carpet pad staples, and there were some gouges that needed fixing (I’ll share our DIY spot repair method with you guys another time), but the rest of the floors were in great shape. Phew!

From the picture above, it’s obvious that the living room hardwoods were refinished at the same time as the dining room floors, and I’m guessing that a subsequent owner laid the carpets.  I can’t tell you how much more I like both of these rooms now that the flooring is continuous between them!

The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Hardwood Floors 1The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Hardwood Floors 3The Grit and Polish - Living Rm Hardwood Floors 4

Full disclosure, Garrett and I pulled up a corner of the living room carpet months ago, so we knew that the floors beneath were in pretty good shape.  But we’ve been renovating old houses long enough to know that just because a corner looks good, doesn’t mean you won’t run across significant staining, large gouges/scratches, or other anomalies that may require a full floor refinish.  Needless to say, I breathed a deep sigh of relief when we pulled up the rest of the carpet and found the floors in such good shape.

Now that the carpets are gone and the walls are painted, I cannot wait to start decorating this room.  The sofa arrived yesterday and now I’m looking for the perfect chandelier (the current one is killing me!), side chairs, and vintage furniture.  As I mentioned on Friday, I don’t expect this room to be done for a good month or two (or three?) so this room will keep evolving, but I’m pretty excited to finally use this space for more than toy storage!

In case you forgot what the carpeted room looked like 6 months ago, here’s my original house tour.  You can also catch up on this room’s paint, sofa, and inspiration.

xoxo

-Cathy

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