The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Design Plan (ORC Wk 2)


This is post 2 of our Spring 2018 One Room Challenge makeover of Daphne’s bedroom. You can catch up on the rest of the series here: inspiration/before, design. Thanks for following along! 

Sometimes rooms come together super easy and quick and sometimes they just don’t. Daphne’s nursery has been the latter for me. I’ve been thinking about this space for the better part of a year now – both the function and the design – but nothing was clicking. Rather than push it, I decided to put the room on hold, collect a few baby things (how could I not?!), and wait for inspiration to strike. Wouldn’t you know it, all it took was finding a FREE cane bed frame on Craigslist for everything to fall into place.

Of course this old beauty is not without its issues.  A platform must be built between the rails to hold a foam mattress. And the shiny finish and in-between wood tone looks all wrong in person, so we are thinking about painting the bed. Or trying a wax treatment. Or…I don’t know…something!  I asked folks on Instagram yesterday what they would do, and 300+ comments later, I’m no further along in deciding but I did get some great suggestions! Thankfully we did at least make some other decisions this week.

Design elements

Now that this full-size bed is anchoring the room, I literally can’t stop coming up with ideas. Ha! I’ve settled on a feminine and nostalgic nursery design that feels completely at home in a 1912 country Farmhouse. I want it to be youthful and layered but still timeless and historic. Like a fresh summer breeze. And of course there will be a healthy dose of pink and whimsy! Here’s the plan:

sources: paint color: BM Simply White / ceiling light / sheet set / dresser / bunny knob / rug / art: masked girl print, flowers painting, baby’s back print / fabric: velvet birds, linen, floral (navy) / vintage kids peacock chair (similar) / unicorn

There are other finishes for this room too – like say, a crib – but the mood board gives you an overall feel for the finished space. A couple of the design elements you can’t see include layered textures to create interest for little fingers. And all-natural materials such as cotton, wood, and wool.

We made some physical progress in here too. Holes were patched, the ceiling was repaired from a leak last winter (I’ll share more on this next week), and now we’re ready to get busy on some DIY projects.

DIY Projects

Like always, we have quite a few hands-on projects lined up for this room. BUT, these DIYs are a little different from our usual construction projects.

One // build our own large, antique-inspired wood frames

Two // curtains! I’ll be dying and hemming some drapes we have on hand. Plus I’m going to try my hand at sewing a roman shade (or something similar) for the crib nook

Three // Updating old throw pillows with poms (made out of merino and alpaca wool for added texture) and possibly sewing a new pillow or two

Four // hanging large art with velvet ribbon

Five // the bed frame! We’re going to update this beauty with a platform for a modern foam mattress.  And we need to address that finish…

For the record I can’t sew, at least not really. I have a sewing machine – a hand-me-down from my mom – but haven’t made a stitch in a decade. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike…

Video Update

We have a lot still to tackle in the next four weeks. But before we get busy, I wanted to share a video and the floor plan. It can be hard to share the feel of a room in text and photos, so hopefully this video can do more…

We’re trying to create more video content, so let me know your thoughts on that video!

Floor Plan

I talked a lot about the floor pan in the video, so I suppose I should share that too 😉 I actually love seeing rooms in plan view (it’s the structural engineer in me). It can put everything in perspective, you know? Once we finalize the furniture placement – which will be later after we put the major pieces back in – we’ll add that into the plan too. For the time being, here’s the empty floor plan for Daphne’s room:

I sure do love this space and can’t wait to share all the physical progress we’ve made next week! Thanks for following along, and you can check out all the other designers’ weekly updates here.


The Farmhouse // Daphne’s Nursery: Introductions + Before (ORC Wk 1)


It’s One Room Challenge time again and we’re joining in as guest designers. Which means it’s finally time to put together Daphne’s nursery at the Farmhouse. And yes, the word ‘finally’ is most definitely warranted since our baby girl is already 8 months old (ahem #thirdchild).

If you’ve been following the Grit and Polish for long, you know that we’ve done two spaces for the ORC in years past. First we did our master bedroom at the Farmhouse and last Fall we did the Porch House master bathroom. (psst: keep an eye out for one of these spaces to appear on video soon!)

I’ll share more of the design next week, but in case you’re wondering, yes there will be lots of white 😉 Plus a healthy dose of wood, brass, and prints and textures (that feel youthful without being too kid kid, if you know what I mean). And as always, this room will include a mix of vintage elements and new pieces, feel appropriate in a century-old country home, and be budget-friendly.


If you’re new to the Grit and Polish, let me quickly introduce ourselves. I’m Cathy and my husband, Garrett, and I renovate old homes in Washington state. We’ve been at it for a decade now, moving into many of our projects and doing 95% of the work ourselves. A couple years ago we bought an old Farmhouse in the small town where we grew up and left the city and our 9-5 jobs behind. Now we’re full-time parents, landlords, renovators/designers, and country-dwellers. Of course now that we don’t have traditional jobs, we’re busier than ever (ha!) and even filmed our own HGTV pilot last year (stay tuned for the next air date of Master Plan!).

Daphne’s Room, Before & Now

Now let’s get back to baby Daphne’s bedroom. Here’s what the room looked like when we bought the Farmhouse.

Much of the heavy lifting is already done in here. We’ve pulled up the (stinky) carpets, painted, updated lingering nob and tube electrical, replaced lighting, refinished the hardwood floors, and re-wallpapered the closet. Daphne’s older brother, Brooks, used this space for a while but moved in with even bigger brother, Wilder, when we found out we were expecting a baby girl. So now the task is to simply decorate for Daphne.

Quite honestly, I’d be more comfortable if there was major work to tackle in here – giant save-the-house-from-a-wreaking-ball kind of projects are my comfort zone – but it’ll be a healthy change of pace to focus on really decorating a room. In any case, we are all excited to have a finished, comfortable space to enjoy with Daphne!

Here are some pictures of the space from earlier this week.

Stay tuned next week for design inspiration and a mood board (which I’m still working up). But I will mention that this room is going to do double duty as overflow guest space. So we’re bringing in a full-size bed (in addition to the crib), which we already found on Craigslist. It’ll be something Daphne can grow into. Plus we’ll be renting out our home when we travel so more beds the better.

We’re kicking off this project this week and doing it in real time so I’ll be sharing current updates on the blog over the next 5 weeks. Plus if you’re on Instagram or Facebook, you can find more progress over there. Thanks for following along and be sure to check out all the other participants here. This is going to be fun!


Farmhouse Master Bedroom Update // How We’re Surviving Winter


This post is sponsored by Leesa, a company we have used and loved for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that support the Grit and Polish. Use discount code GRITANDPOLISH when you checkout at Leesa! 

Our Farmhouse master bedroom has seen a lot of small, seasonal changes since we first decorated it last Fall. And this winter is no different. We made a few changes. Nothing ground breaking. Nothing too flashy. Just a few minor updates to get us through the long, Washington winter.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update angle.3The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter G Side Bed

A More Comfortable Night’s Sleep

Despite the fact that Garrett and I own 14 mattresses – 5 at the Farmhouse and 9 at our rentals – we were still sleeping on the very first mattress that we bought together. It was 13 years old and well past it’s prime. So we upgraded to a Leesa foam mattress and we love it! But we knew we would because we already own 4 Leesa mattresses, including one at our Dexter House Airbnb and both of our boys’ beds at our Farmhouse.

So why Leesa?

We first tried Leesa on a friend’s recommendation a few years ago and now we’re excited to be recommending them to you. Not only are Leesa mattresses comfortable (our Airbnb guests have seconded that!), but they’re made in the USA and don’t contain toxic flame retardants. Plus Leesa offers free shipping/returns and we love that you order online and skip that awkward trip to the mattress store. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, use code GRITANDPOLISH  for $100 off a Leesa plus if you order by Presidents Day they’ll up that to $125 off and throw in a free pillow.  

Pro tip // for narrow staircases and awkward bedroom entrances, Leesa’s boxed mattresses make for easy installation!

Layers of Warm Blankets

In addition to the new mattress, we’ve added a wool blanket and down comforter over top of our year-round cotton quilt because it gets cold in the Pacific Northwest. Garrett and I actually love sleeping in cold rooms (and saving on energy bills ;), so we keep the house heat at 60 and pull up the blankets (the kid’s rooms have space heaters).

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update LinensThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update G SideThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update nightstand 2

Masculine Updates

One purely-aesthetic change we made was to bring in some masculine elements. I really wanted this room to appeal to its male occupant as much as it does to me, so I layered on the blue-ticking and green velvet throw pillows (the former were made by my mother and the later was a gift from Rejuvenation last winter). Truthfully, the throw pillows don’t always make it back on the bed in the morning – three young kids equals chaos in the early hours – but we do try. A made bed just makes for a better day, you know?!

I also brought in some vintage and nostalgic art for Garrett’s side of the bed. The windmill prints have always been here, but the soldier and George-in-glasses print are new. The former is from my great-grandparents and the later a free download that I printed (see resources at the bottom of this post). And lastly, the rusted horseshoe, which I found in our garage, adds a dose of texture to Garret’s marble-topped nightstand.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update Angle PillowThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Master Winter Update G Nighstand

Where is the sleeping bag?

Long time readers of the Grit and Polish might be wondering where Wilder’s sleeping bag is. Well our oldest son has (finally!) been sleeping through the night pretty regularly, so we rolled it up and stored it away (you can read about that here).  We also moved our Skyline rug down to the living room.  It’s still a favorite rug and as much as I LOVED it in here, it definitely felt feminine for this co-ed space. So now the whole family gets to enjoy it for playing and dance parties in the living room. I’m hoping to find a replacement soon.

It’s my philosophy that good design means a room works for us and not the other way around. For our bedroom, that means a comfortable place to sleep and a relaxing and simple environment that can grow with us over time. If you’re in need of an easy change this winter (or spring!), try swapping around your throw pillows or blankets or bring in some fresh art (like Melissa’s free print or something vintage). And if you’re in need of a more comfortable night’s sleep, we highly recommend you check out Leesa.


Previous versions of this room: original / ORC reveal / the toddler sleeping bag that saved our sanity / home birth and co-sleeping.

Farmhouse Master Bedroom sources:

paint color (BM Simply White) / mattress / bed frame (we bought ours at the outlet because it was missing slats) / marble and wood nightstands DIY / sconces in aged brass / cord cover / green velvet pillow (similar) / sheets / white quilt / wool blanket (similar) / down comforter / duvet cover / white pitcher / small bowl / curtain rods / drapes / George Washington print (free from Melissa) / “smile and wave” print /


Farmhouse Office // Chair + Trestle Desk Pairings


Our backordered office chairs recently arrived and goodness, what a difference they’ve made.  Who knew that a comfortable/tilting/swiveling/rolling office chair would be the key to an enjoyable work space?!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Chairs 6 good

sources // office chair (lower back version here) / trestle legs / sketch book / brass wall frame

Okay that was a facetious question.  A comfortable seat is obviously a key ingredient to any good work space, but honestly, I was surprised just how key they have been.  Suddenly I find myself sitting in the office any chance I get.  And that makes these chairs worth every single penny…especially considering I bought them during a 25% off sale 😉

Strangely West Elm seems to have discontinued our high back Helvetica chairs, but they still have the lower back option plus there’s a TON of other great chairs out there.  So today, I thought I’d share a few great office chairs paired with my favorite style of desk (and what we have in our own office), the trestle desk.

The Grit and Polish - Office Chair and Trestle Desk Pairings

top chair / top desk / middle chair / middle desk / bottom chair / bottom desk

Really all of these pieces could be mixed and matched, but I paired them as I did our own office, with a mix of natural and light elements.  Our desk is of course a DIY project with Ikea trestle legs and a marble countertop (it’s actually the rest of the 3’x8′, 2cm slab we bought for the Porch House kitchen backsplash), but I love these options too, especially the center one even if it’s not technically a trestle desk.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Chairs 6

Well I can’t wait to finish up our office, but in the meantime, you can get caught up with what we’ve done thus far here: office design, office cabinet, and a progress update.



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Master Bedroom Update // Preparing for Baby (and a home birth)


We made a few changes to our master bedroom recently in preparation of the arrival of it’s new tenant, our baby girl.  With her due date just a few days away, I eagerly got this space finished up last week.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom hanging crib

all sources are listed at the bottom of this post

I’ve always liked having my babies sleep near me when they’re little, at least until they slow down on night nursings.  So putting a hanging crib up in our master bedroom was pretty exciting.  Isn’t the crib lovely?  I first saw it here and immediately bought it for Brooks back when space was tight at the Dexter House.  Not only is the crib easy to fit virtually anywhere you have a couple of square feet to spare, but it also helps to soothe the baby by bouncing and swaying whenever they fuss.  (For the record, I’ll pull the pillow and stuffies out when baby arrives.)

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Bedroom Hanging CribThe Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom hanging crib 5The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom baby space 2

The other new addition to our master bedroom, is this old Ikea unit, which we’re using to store baby’s nighttime essentials: diapers, wipes, swaddle blankets, burp rags, and pj’s.  That way we won’t be running back and forth to the nursery (where the rest of her clothes are stored) in the middle of the night. I may eventually swap the shelving unit out for the antique hutch that used to be in our bedroom (and just change her on the bed), but that piece is currently at the Porch House being used for staging (yes, the Porch House is still under renovation).

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom baby space

Those are the essentials we have for baby in our master bedroom, but we have made a few other additions/changes in preparation for a home birth.  We’ve done home births with all of our kiddos thus far (Wilder at the Bryant House, Brooks at the Dexter House, and now baby girl at the Farmhouse) and have enjoyed them.  ‘Enjoy’ is probably not the right word here – labor is labor and they don’t call it that for nothing – but being at home has made for a more comfortable and peaceful birthing process for me.  My favorite part is waking up the next day in my own bed.  Yes, I am a homebody through and through 😉

Speaking of our bed, you may have noticed it’s made a little haphazardly in that photo.  In preparation for labor, I made the bed with sheets and our usual quilt, covered that with a waterproof mattress cover, and then made the bed again with our not-so-nice sheets and a blanket we can quickly pull off.  That makes for easy cleanup and a quick tuck-in after baby is born.  And in case you’re wondering about the sensibility of a wool blanket on our bed in the summer, Garrett needs it since I have the AC on full blast and still can’t stand more than a sheet.  The joys of pregnancy 😉

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom lavendar nightstandThe Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Lavendar on Nightstand

Another addition I’ve made to our bedroom is lots of lavender, which is supposed to be a calming scent, so I have it on both sides of the bed.  My nightstand also houses my favorite Ina May labor-prep book, a couple of kids books, and lots of enjoyable paperbacks for those long nursing sessions to come.  Plus there’s a giant-sized box of Tums tucked on the bottom shelf because pregnancy indigestion is a real thing.

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Home Birth Prep NightstandThe Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Home Birth Prep Nightstand zoomThe Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Home Birth Prep books

Of course there are quite a few other supplies we have on hand for the home birth: a box of medical supplies from our midwife, old towels, trash bags, a large bowl, an inflatable tub, and hoses/adaptors to fill said tub up.  It’s great to have everything on hand, but I’m secretly hoping this labor goes so fast that we won’t even have time to set up the tub 😉

You may remember that our 4-year-old, Wilder, is not much of a sleeper and usually ends up in a sleeping bag on our floor sometime in the night.  Well that hasn’t changed.  I’m not sure how Wilder’s continued tenancy in our room will play out with the frequent night wakings of a baby, but I’m hoping that it will be the kick Wilder needs to finally stay in his own bed.  All night long!

A mama can dream anyway 😉

The Grit and Polish - Master Bedroom Wilder's sleeping bag

Sources: hanging crib, Kindekeklein | pillow in crib, Serena and Lily (color discontinued) | unicorn head, Target | bed, Restoration Hardware (ours is from the outlet) | sconces in Aged Brass, Rejuvenation | cord cover, Amazon |Claire Elsaesser print, Etsy | white pitcher, Le CreusetIna May’s Guide to Childbirth book (highly recommend!) | Skyline rug, Rejuvenation | plaid throw, Pendleton (ours are from the outlet) | overhead light, Rejuvenation (6″ Jefferson in old brass with 14″ Classic Opal Schoolhouse Shade) | curtain rods (on sale!), Restoration Hardware | drapes, Pottery Barn | Wilder’s sleeping bag, LL Bean (similar)



p.s. our master bedroom reveal from last November and surviving a not-so-good sleeper.


Farmhouse Nursery // 9 Finds for our Baby Girl (So Far)


Considering that our baby girl is due in just ELEVEN days, this introduction to her nursery is a little overdue.  But before I dive in, I want to wish you and your’s a very happy Forth of July!  This has always been one of my favorite holidays, and even though we haven’t stayed up late enough to watch fireworks in a few years (four years to be exact…ahem, babies ;), I still love the excitement of the day.  May your holiday be safe and full of perfectly-cooked hamburgers, dazzling fireworks, and spiked sweet tea (or maybe just sparkling water if you have a similar condition to me).

Now on to the nursery…

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Design Ideas Vintage Basket

I’ve been collecting ideas for a baby girl’s nursery since I found out that I was pregnant with my first baby, almost 5 years ago.  In my heart of hearts I always doubted that I’d have a girl – I’m not really sure why – but it made dreaming up a girl’s nursery all the more fun.  And for the record, I am beyond excited to have been wrong!

Collecting dresses, furniture, vintage decor, and sweet accents for this baby has been a real joy.  And I’m excited to show you what I’ve found thus far!

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Dresser and StuffThe Grit and Polish - Baby Girl Dresses Hung on DresserThe Grit and Polish - Nursery Design Etsy Art

Baby girl’s nursery won’t have a theme, per se.  It’s more of a feeling I’d like to evoke: eternal summer, with a healthy dose of country, vintage, femininity, and a sprinkle of whimsy.  That sounds like a lot, but hopefully it all comes together seamlessly, anchored in white, and with the feeling that everything has been collected over time (which wouldn’t be too far from the truth).

So let’s talk about what I’ve found for the space thus far (similar products shown in place of vintage, one-of-a-kind, or items I couldn’t otherwise find):

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1. RUG

I’m reusing a couple of rugs that we already have for this space: the beautiful 5×8 Skyline rug (shown above), layered over a neutral 8×10 jute rug.


I still adore the wallpaper that we put in the nursery’s closet, so it is definitely staying, but this time the closet will function as an actual closet instead of housing the crib like it did for Brooks.  I imagine putting this dresser in the closet, in front of the fun wallpaper, since there is plenty of room in there to change a baby’s diaper and hang up lots of cute dresses on a traditional hanging rod.


This basket came from our local antique store and I adore it!  It’ll be used for extra storage – probably blankets or books.


We should probably all take a moment to appreciate those french shoes.  Seriously, have you ever seen anything sweeter?!  I kinda feel like I need to apologize to my daughter in advance for all the floral dresses and vintage-inspired shoes she will be wearing.  Hopefully she likes feminine outfits.  But if not, I figure I have a good 18 months until she can voice her opinion on the matter, and I intend to live it up 😉


My mom sewed the 2 pillows in the picnic basket (thanks mom!!!) from fabrics I’ve collected.  The floral pattern is a Rifle Paper Co print (I included the pink version in the links above) and the striped pillow is actually 2 dishtowels from Anthropologie sewn together. I’ll layer these pillows over some others that I’ve collected plus I’m hoping to sweet talk my mom into making that fun dragon print fabric into another pillow too 😉


I bought three animal heads from Target a few months back after eyeing them for pretty much forever. They are just too cute and should add a fun, whimsical touch to baby girl’s nursery!

7. ART

You guys may remember that we put art/book ledges in this room back when Brooks was a baby, and I’ll be keeping them for baby girl.  I’m collecting some art from Etsy (shown above) and will likely pair them with some vintage pieces or photographs.


The animal knobs on the dresser came from Anthropologie and were marked down over 75% off (I always love a good deal!).  But I could only find 3 bunnies and 2 lions, so I’m on the hunt for one last nob (the missing nob is conveniently hidden behind the hanging dress).


Speaking of the dresser, I bought this one to store clothes and put a changing pad on. When our boys were babies, I used antique dressers as changing tables in both of their rooms, and both times I regretted it (for the functionality aspect only). When you have a wriggly baby on a changing table and are holding them down with one hand, and the other hand is wrestling stubborn, antique drawers to find wipes and a change of clothes, it’s just not pretty.  So I’m happy to say that this dresser’s drawers open easily!

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Design Ideas Dresser

I always intended to add a pop of color in this room by painting the dresser, but I’ve been dragging my feet because I can’t decide which paint color to use.  I’d love to get your input, so hop on over to Instagram on Wednesday to check out the options and tell me which color you like best!

You may be surprised to hear that even though I’m due in eleven days (!!!), I’m in no rush to get this space put together. Baby girl will probably come late like her brothers did, plus she’ll sleep in our room for awhile after she’s born.  So we have plenty of time to get this room ready and I’m going to take my time to make sure it gets put together just right.  Plus this is almost certainly (like 99.99% certainly) the last nursery I get to design for my family, so I want to enjoy it!

The Grit and Polish - Nursery Design Ideas Vintage Basket and French Shoes

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve collected so far!  Any must-haves you have when designing a nursery?



p.s. What this room looked like when Brooks was in here and where we started from.


Farmhouse Office // Progress Update


It’s been awhile since we’ve looked at the Farmhouse office (besides the beautiful story behind our pantry cabinet) so I wanted to give you a look today.  Even though the office isn’t quite finished, we’re already using it to get some much needed business done.  We manage our rentals and renovation projects from our home, so having a dedicated space for all of our paperwork and office supplies has proven invaluable.  Honestly, I’m not sure how we survived so long without a real office!

The Grit and Polish - Office Update flowersThe Grit and Polish - Office Update 3

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The vibe in the office is moody and historic with the practicality of a modern workspace.  The best of both worlds, if you ask me. This room is right off of our entry and the dark walls provide a stark contrast to the lighter spaces throughout the main floor.  I chose the navy color intentionally to make this room feel like it’s separate from the living spaces (which will all be white), but apparently a single dark room in a house is also a trend (according to Ms. McGee that is).

This room has a large east-facing window, which allows a view of our side yard and garden.  We get great morning light in here but the room takes on a cozier by late morning when the sun is filtered through the large elm tree standing directly outside.  Inside, the room is anchored by the double-sided marble trestle desk – a DIY that Garrett and I put together.  I still have work to do in here, but I love how this room is shaping up so far.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update 2The Grit and Polish - Office Update kids chairsThe Grit and Polish - Office Update detail 1

The framed Oregonian paper is something I remember from my childhood.  The story goes that my grandpa’s beloved dog, Sam, chipped his tooth in a dog fight, so my grandpa gave him a gold crown with diamond inset.  Sam sat in my grandpa’s dentist chair for the procedure, while the Oregonian photographed it for a story, and the whole thing has been a fun part of our family history ever since.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update cabinet 1

For those who have asked, our baskets are from here.  I already shared all about our large cabinet and the lovely story behind it, but for the record, I’m so smitten with it!

The Grit and Polish - Office Update entry doorways

The view from our office into our entryway is one of my favorites.  The white and wood look of the entry is everything I love about our historic farmhouse.  I’m still looking for a larger, brass mirror, but until I find the right one (at the right price), the entry table will stay styled as is.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update Hale Navy

That navy color with the wood trim.  It gets me every time!

Once our office chairs come in (BTW they are on sale right now!) and I finish the room up, I’ll do a full reveal, but in the mean time, I hope you enjoyed this progress shot.



p.s. the Farmhouse office design and storage.

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Vintage Find // Farmhouse Office Cabinet


The largest piece of furniture at the Farmhouse is the cabinet that sits just inside the office.  It’s 5.5-feet wide and 8-feet tall and built so solidly that it took 3 men to move it from the antique store where I found it.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update Cabinet 3

But before I delve into the cabinet, I wanted to tell you the story behind it.  It’s a tale of serendipity – the stuff of old home lover’s dreams.  And it has made me fall in love with our little hometown even more, because this is the kind of thing that could only happen in a small town.

But back to the cabinet.  The moment I saw it, I had to have it.  Not only was it beautiful (SO beautiful!), but the fir wood looked like it would match perfectly with the Farmhouse’s fir woodwork.  Actually the entire piece – from the crown molding down to the old latches – looked as if it would fit perfectly at our Farmhouse.  So much so, that I had the fleeting feeling that the piece had been made for our Farmhouse.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update Cabinet large

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Cupboard 3

But at $1,400 and no immediate need for a pantry cabinet, I couldn’t justify the purchase.  So I sulked away empty handed.

Fast forward two months to our mailbox.  I found a hand-addressed letter there, which turned out to be from a previous resident of the Farmhouse.  She had written to inform us that there was a large cabinet at the local antique store that had originally belonged in our Farmhouse.  Quite obviously, my interest was piqued.  Even if it wasn’t the pantry cabinet that I had fallen in love with, I had to bring whatever piece of furniture she was talking about home.

The former resident went on to explain that the cabinet had originally been in the kitchen and then later moved to a closet.  It had been painted and then stripped.  And in recent years an owner removed the cabinet from the Farmhouse, and placed it on the 3rd story of a local victorian home.  Finally it had been brought in to the antique store to be sold.  And there it sat.

I later found out that the cabinet had been bought while our letter sat in the mail, but thankfully it was returned before they got it out of the store (it turned out to be too big for the buyer’s space).  And there were other interested buyers too.  But serendipity was on my side.  When I went back to the antique store, the store’s owner was delighted to find out that I was the new owner of the Farmhouse – she was familiar with the history of the cabinet – and walked me over to the piece in question.  It was, of course, the pantry cabinet I had fallen in love with all those months ago.  Happy to reunite the cabinet with it’s original home, the store’s owner offered me a discount and I happily brought the cabinet home.

Sweet, sweet serendipity!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Cupboard 4

To say this piece is solid, is selling it short.  It’s built like no cabinet I’ve ever seen.  The backing is 3/4″ tongue and groove flooring strips (no doubt the same material that still graces our floors) and the sides are at least double that thick.  Even the cabinet doors are an inch thick.  Garrett and his dad had to separate the cabinet’s top from it’s base to get it from the truckin to the Farmhouse and even then, they needed a hand cart.

After a little research, I believe this piece should actually be called a stepback cupboard.  But since I plan to return it to the kitchen where it originally sat (someday….years in the future when we remodel the kitchen), I’m going to keep calling it our pantry cabinet.  In the meantime, I love having it in our office.  It looks and functions great as storage and makes my heart swell every time I see it.

The Grit and Polish - Office Update cabinet hardwareThe Grit and Polish - Office Update cabinet 6The Grit and Polish - Office Update fabric

Well that’s the story behind our beautiful pantry cabinet turned office storage.  I’m so happy to have it back home!  Next week I’ll give you a progress update on the rest of the office including all the sources from this post.  Until then, I hope you have a great week!



p.s. a vintage spool bed.


Farmhouse Entryway // the Kids’ Alphabet Wall


With our almost-4-year-old finally interested in letters, I knew it was time for an alphabet wall at the Farmhouse.  I wanted something fun for the kiddos, but also a bit more grown-up for us adults to enjoy too.  I searched everywhere for the right alphabet cards and finally found them on Etsy.  We decided to hang them in the entryway, at least for now.  The letters will surely get changed out for something a little less juvenile as the kids grow, but for now, we all love them here.

The Grit and Polish - Alphabet Wall and stairsThe Grit and Polish - Alphabet Wall ABCThe Grit and Polish - Alphabet Display XYZ

alphabet cards // clipboards // wood push pins

Cute letter cards, right?  I happily paid way too much for them because how can you say no to these sweet animals?!

The Grit and Polish - Alphabet Wall Stairs and EntrywayThe Grit and Polish - Alphabet Display ABC

So far the boys are getting a lot of use out of the alphabet wall.  Wilder likes to sit Brooks and I down on the stairs and pretend he’s the teacher, standing on the bench and pointing out letters for us to repeat.  Sometimes he even lets me switch roles with him and will recite the letters I point out, which couldn’t be more adorable!

The Grit and Polish - Alphabet Wall with Wilder 3.2

Hard to believe that boy turns 4 next week.  4!  Next thing I know, Wilder will be off to college and I’ll be one of those moms who sends way too many care packages and embarrasses him with daily phone calls 😉

But I digress.  This little bench nook of our’s measures only 4’4″ wide and has a sloping ceiling, so it’s awkward to say the least.  But awkward spaces like this are usually some of my favorite rooms in old houses.  They feel so fun and whimsical and I can’t help but think how much I would have loved these awkward spaces as a kid.  This bench nook is no exception.  Our boys love hiding here and have already logged hours of quality coloring/visiting/silly time on the bench.

The Grit and Polish - Entryway Bench Nook

I asked our old neighbor’s daughter what they used to use this space for, and apparently it was the telephone nook.  How sweet is that?  Can’t you just imagine a giant antique telephone sitting on a table back there?  And oh my what fabulous late night gossip sessions must have gone on in here!

The Grit and Polish - Entryway Bench with Lilacs




Farmhouse Office // Design Plan


Somehow we’ve managed to live without a home office for the last 8 years and it’s not for lack of wanting one!  But we really just haven’t had the space…until now!  With baby girl’s pending arrival in July (meaning I won’t be getting out a lot) and paperwork piling up from running 5 rentals and renovating the Porch House, I decided it was finally time for a dedicated office.  And thankfully, Garrett agreed!

Directly off the Farmhouse entryway is a small room (11.5’x9.5′) with large windows and an oversized pocket door.  It has no closets meaning this space has probably always been an office or library (or sitting room?) and it’ll be perfect for Garrett and my shared space.

With Garrett on board, I picked out a paint color and persuaded Garrett to spend one whole kid-free day at the Farmhouse with me.  We painted, pulled up carpets and hung new light fixtures.  Here’s what the room looks like:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Progress

The navy blue is moody and cozy and surprisingly spacious.  It’s perfect for this space.  But that didn’t mean that the color was an easy decision for me!  I was actually very tempted to go with white in here – white looks so beautiful with our wood moldings and really goes with the whole historic, farmhouse vibe I’m going for in this house – but at the last minute I selected BM’s Hale Navy.  The main reason for the darker color is that I wanted this space to feel like a real destination and separate from the nearby living spaces at the farmhouse (which will all be white).  Going dark is so hard for me, but every time we’ve done it (like the Dexter guest bedroom, Julia’s kitchen, and the Porch House exterior) I’ve loved it.  So I trusted my gut, and went with the dark color.  In the end, both Garrett and I really like how it turned out!

I mentioned earlier that we also pulled up the carpets in this room (which, for the record, I’ve been itching to do for a good 9 months now!).  We found spots of missing finish and more of those carpet stretching scars we found in the living room, but thankfully there’s no damage that a throw rug can’t cover for now.  Speaking of a rug, the one in the picture above actually belongs to the nursery (it’s the Skyline from Rejuvenation and has floated around a few rooms here at the Farmhouse), but I had it in here to check scale.  For this space I’m planning to use a cowhide, as you will see in the design plan.  We are also planning to buy real office chairs for this room – say what?! – but I’m waiting for them to go on sale (any day now West Elm…!).

Even though I’ll likely use our office more than Garrett, I really wanted both of us to feel comfortable in here, meaning I picked design elements that we’d both love.  The desk and lights are feminine and airy, which was what I was dreaming of, while the chairs, cowhide, and vintage accessories feel darker and grittier, which feels much more like Garrett.  Hopefully it all balances out to a coed office space where we can both happily design, manage, and do everything else for our construction projects, tenants, and blog.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Design Plan

sources: light // rug // chair // trestle legs // magazine rack // clock // art // floral pad // brass scissors // vintage adding machine

I’m really excited to see how this space turns out!  Here’s a look back at the evolution of this office since we moved in last summer.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before OfficeThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Paint Swatch textThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office Paint

There’s lots left to address in this space like storage, functionality, and how we’re accommodating the kids (because those little buggers are sure to sneak in here from time to time ;).  But I’m really excited to be putting together a beautiful home office that both Garrett and I will love.



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