Porch House // Introductions & the Exterior

THE PORCH HOUSE

**update: I got a little ahead of myself in sharing the exterior transformation of the Porch House with you guys.  I’ve been asked to wait to publish the photos until after our pilot airs so that you guys can see the transformation first on HGTV!  Thanks for your patience 🙂

The camera crews have gone home and life has *almost* returned to normal around here.  Even now, we’re still catching up on sleep and family time from all those looong days.  Filming a pilot for HGTV was a whirlwind!  Exciting and exhausting but soooo much fun.  Our whole town seemed to find out about the pilot, and excitement was palpable in the community.  While we felt so lucky to be in the talented hands of our film crew, production company, HGTV exec, and contractor, I wouldn’t have minded a couple more days in our 16-day filming/renovation schedule just to cut down on all the late, late nights and to eat dinner sitting down once or twice.  If this pilot airs and you notice that I look a little disheveled, know that I was in do-makeup-in-the-car mode, was up at night a lot with a sick kiddo, and I fully admit that you’re seeing 8-day hair with plenty of renovation dust in it (don’t worry, I did shower every night).  Ha!

HGTV pilot aside, I wanted to introduce you guys to the Porch House because it is an awesome house in its own right.  I’ll be sharing more of the renovation that we completed in front of the cameras if/once the pilot airs, including the kitchen/sunroom, living room, and master bedroom.  You may have gathered by now that we didn’t actually complete the whole house renovation in those 16 days, so we’ll be continuing the renovation over the next 2 (ish) months at a more reasonable pace while we prepare the house for sale.

The Porch House was an off-market property, meaning it wasn’t listed for sale, but our realtors had an inside scoop that the owner might be interested in selling.  The house had been a rental for many years and was in a bit of disrepair.  Thankfully lots of the original charm was in tact like moldings, windows, tall ceilings (except where they had been dropped), and a wrap-around porch.  The home was built in 1900 but the history is a bit of a mystery.  We’ve heard from previous owners and neighbors that the home was actually built somewhere else in Ellensburg and moved here in the early 1900s by oxen cart.  The house definitely has the look of a farmhouse, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was originally built in the country, but one neighbor thought it was built in the historic district by the university, which is where I grew up.

With this renovaiton, my goal for the exterior was to highlight the farmhouse charm and historic feel of the home.  What that meant was improving the landscaping, replacing anything that had been updated in the 70s (i.e. the front door and the upstairs windows), and giving the color a drastic change.  The original wood siding was in okay shape, but blown-in insulation holes, cracks, and general wear over the years had left it in less than ideal condition.  Garrett had the great idea of painting the body of the house in a dark, matte color to hide some of the wear, which I liked because it would also serve to give the HGTV cameras a big ‘before and after’ transformation without us having to do a ton of big changes.  Turns out the painters and pressure washer did such a nice job prepping the siding for paint that we wouldn’t have needed the dark color, but I’m so glad we did because the end result is stunning (if I do say so myself)!

The landscaping also went through a big change.  We are lucky to have some great friends who are killer landscapers (you may remember Julia and Garrett from their kitchen renovation last year).  Julia and I designed the landscaping to fit in the space and use what was available locally at this time of year.  Julia and Garrett put in some loooong days with us, and by the time they left, the landscaping was done!

Soon I’ll show you guys how the exterior turned out (spoiler: it’s SO good!).  In the meantime, here’s a look at the colors and materials I selected.

the Grit and Polish - Exterior Inspiration Collage

sources: porch light | metal basket | mailbox | corbels (similar to our’s)

I’m planning to be back on my Tuesday/Friday post schedule so stay tuned for that, at least until baby arrives and we’re back to turmoil 😉

xoxo

-Cathy

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We’re STILL Filming a Pilot for HGTV

THE PORCH HOUSE

Sorry for the radio silence around here.  It’s been a busy (and exciting) couple of weeks.  In case you’ve forgotten, we’ve been working away on the Porch House renovation under the watchful eyes of HGTV cameras.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm Progress

Renovating a house – well the majority of it, at least – in 16 days, is crazy.  Renovating a house in 16 days and filming the process for HGTV is pure insanity.  We have put in some looong, hard days at the Porch House over the past 2 weeks.  We’re renovating, landscaping, and staging this house at light speed all while filming scenes and interviews in front of the cameras.  Yup, insanity!

Luckily, this whole experience has been as fun and rewarding, as it has been exhausting.  We’re fortunate to have a great show runner and crew behind us, who keep things moving smoothly and the mood light and fun.  We also have a great contractor on board who knows old houses and does amazing work. Lots of family and friends have stopped by to lend a hand, which always makes the job site more fun.  Oh and did I mention that the Porch House itself is really amazing and full of hidden gems?!  We found a 5-foot-wide pocket door hidden in a wall two days ago, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited in my entire life.  Garrett may even have referred to the door as my unborn child :0

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Floors and belly

Thankfully, we’re in the final stretch now.  Construction and staging wrap up on Wednesday (or more likely, early Thursday morning) and the reveal will be filmed on Thursday.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this renovation turns out (and finally getting some sleep!!).  But I’ll definitely miss the folks that we’ve shared this journey with and the excitement this pilot has brought to our community.  I’ll share tons more about this renovation and the whole HGTV pilot experience later this month, but in the meantime check out my Instagram Stories for daily updates.  And wish us luck in this final stretch…we’re going to need it!

xoxo

-Cathy

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We’re Filming a Pilot for HGTV!

THE PORCH HOUSE

We’ve been working on something really big behind the scenes around here and I’m so excited to finally share it with you. We’re filming a pilot for HGTV!

The Grit and Polish - Sizzle Filming 3 10-2016

The pilot is for a 30-minute show currently titled ‘Rehab Crazy’, and if it gets picked up, it will focus on Garrett and I as we renovate old houses in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  The kiddos will make an appearance too, of course. But before I get into more details, let me back up and start at the beginning…

Last year I got an email from an HGTV exec asking if we’d be interested in doing a TV show.  It was totally crazy, but not altogether unprecedented.  We get emails from production companies asking us that same question about once a month or so (and we aren’t the only ones).  We even filmed a sizzle on HGTV’s dime in 2015.  A sizzle is a short, 5-minute clip that gives the network an idea of who you are and what you do and takes 2+ days to film.  The first sizzle was a really fun experience, but didn’t lead anywhere (you can read about that experience here).  It was the type of opportunity that doesn’t usually come around once let alone twice so we never expected to get that email from the HGTV exec last Spring.  But we were sure flattered when we did!  So we happily filmed a little introductory video of ourselves and our projects and sent it to her, which she pitched to her team.  Can’t you just imagine a bunch of HGTV folks sitting around a conference table watching yours truly and my peeps in a self-produced iPhone video?!  Talk about a cringe moment!  Thankfully they liked it and we found ourselves filming another sizzle, which was shot over two days.  During our road trip last Fall, we got the call that HGTV commissioned a 30-minute pilot about us!

The Grit and Polish - Sizzle Filming 2 10-2016.jpg The Grit and Polish - Sizzle Filming 1 10-2016 The Grit and Polish - Sizzle Filming 4 10-2016

Garrett and I were immediately tasked with buying an old house to renovate for the pilot, which was convenient timing since we were already looking for a renovation project in Ellensburg. We closed on the Porch House in February and dug into pre-production for the pilot.  Let me just say, that I had no idea how much work goes into a 30-minute show!  Both the network and our production company have been busy preparing for the shoot and making sure we craft the best show possible. The filming timeline is super tight so Garrett and I have also been deep in construction prep to make sure we can actually pull this whole thing off.

We don’t know if our pilot will air yet or not – I’ve been told that HGTV makes plenty of pilots that never see the light of day – but we hope it does!  Either way, we’re excited to tackle our renovation on the Porch House, put together the best possible pilot, and soak up this crazy experience.

The Grit and Polish - Sizzle Filming 5 10-2016

I’m hoping to share updates during filming over the next couple of weeks via Instagram Stories.  Once the crew goes home and we can take a breath, I’ll share more of the Porch House renovation here on the blog.  In the meantime wish us luck!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. these photos are from the Sizzle filmed last Fall and taken by me and our great onsite Producer, Michael.

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