Porch House Master Suite // DIY Marble Vanity Top & Other Finishes (ORC Week 5)

THE PORCH HOUSE

This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4

We’re five weeks into this renovation, and I wish that I could say there’s only a few things left to do, but I’m pretty sure we still have ALL THE THINGS left to do!  Not that I’m stressed.  Cool as a cucumber over here 😉  In actuality, we’re in a good spot to finish up in two weeks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a really long to-do list.

This week we put the marble vanity top on the custom vanity we commissioned from our neighbor, Aaron of Munson Cabinetry.  And oh my is it stunning!  I just decided that honed marble and white oak is my new favorite combination.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink 4.2

It’s just so pretty!  Are you surprised to hear that we fabricated the marble vanity top ourselves?  Over the last year, Garrett has honed his stone fabrication skills (see what I did there?), and thank goodness he has because I love natural stone, but I definately don’t love the price tag of natural stone fabrication/installation.  I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone there!  I’ll share a how-to post soon.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink Large .2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink close 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink close 5

We installed the faucets yesterday afternoon.  I went with chrome, wall-mount faucets that have a traditional feel.  The porcelain knobs are pretty fantastic with the oak and marble.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink GThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Sink 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Vanity Faucets

We continued the chrome into the shower too.  In the picture below, we’re flushing out the supply lines, but you can see the shower head in my hand.  You can also see that we went with the Delorean Gray grout in the shower, which we carried to the slate floor as well.  By the way, thanks for all your feedback on grout colors.  You guys overwhelmingly steered me towards gray!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Shower G and C

I don’t want to give too much away, so stay tuned for the reveal.  In the meantime, there’s lots left to do.  Over the next two weeks we’ll be building the closet, finding mirrors, installing lighting, sealing grout, and hanging a shower curtain.  Phew!  Wish us luck.  And in the mean time, check out my Instagram Stories for a few sneak peeks.

xoxo

-Cathy

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Porch House // Lessons Learned from Finishing the Hardwood Floors Ourselves

THE PORCH HOUSE

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we made some mistakes while finishing the Porch House hardwood floors.  Three mistakes to be exact, and it led to some stress-filled days and extra work for Garrett.  In an effort to prevent you from making the same mistakes, I wanted to share exactly what it is that we did wrong.  OR, if you like how our floors turned out (because, honestly I do!), what it is exactly that we did right 😉

All is well that ends well, as you can see from the photo below.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Soup G tasting FLOORS

Before we talk about the finish, let’s talk about floors.  A few months ago, we laid white oak hardwood floors throughout the main floor (minus the master bathroom).  If you’ve been following the Grit and Polish for long, you know that we usually save the original flooring in our old houses – for character, economic, and environmental reasons – but sadly the Porch House’s 117-year-old fir floors were too far gone for a refinish.  So, we called up Uncle Dougie and placed an order for 1100sf of 2 1/4″ wide, grade #2, white oak flooring.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm ProgressThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Floors and belly

We selected white oak because it’s timeless (though it seems to be having a moment in the design world right now) and inexpensive, and that goes for the 2 1/4″ width as well.  We selected #2 grade, which meant lots of color variation and imperfections, a look that fits the bill in our rural community, but was also the least expensive option.  We wanted to stretch our dollars as far as we could since we’re reselling the Porch House and any way you shake it, hardwood flooring will cost more than other options like vinyl or laminate.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm 1

We laid the white oak flooring right over top of the existing hardwoods with a layer of tar paper in between. The new hardwood floors sat unfinished for a couple of months while we worked on the rest of the house. And then it was time to finish the floors, and that’s where things went south

LESSON ONE // avoid drum sanders (or use one you’re comfortable with)

The finishing process began with renting a drum sander, an aggressive sander that removes the top layer of wood.  The only drum sander I could find locally was a Silverline.  I’m not sure if anyone’s had good luck with this type of drum sander, but Garrett didn’t like it and he ended up with some ‘drum marks’ or ‘chatter marks’ in the floor.  The marks aren’t horribly obvious and not too big of a deal, but nonetheless, they’re there.  Sorry, they’re tough to catch with a camera, so I don’t have a picture to show you.  FYI, Garrett prefers any of the drum sanders that don’t rely on velcro to attach the paper.

Along with the drum sander, we rented an edger and sanded the floors with both sanders using 36, 60, and 80 grit paper.  Next Garrett filled holes/gaps/seams with wood filler and let that set overnight.  An orbiting floor sander was next with 80 and 100 grit paper.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish G in Closet 1

At this point the floors were reasonably smooth and ready for their finish.  So we cleaned up the dust and then cleaned again (because man there’s a lot of wood dust and it gets everywhere!) and picked out a finish product.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish me mudroom

LESSON TWO // Watch out for non-clear sealers called ‘Natural’

We opted to find a different finish than what we used at the Farmhouse last year, because those turned out a bit slippery.  Garrett did some google research and landed on a water-based Bona system that had great reviews.  Bona recommends that a foundation be applied prior to the finish to seal the grain and they offer several sealer color options. He picked out the Bona NaturalSeal sealer and the Bona Mega Clear HD finish in Satin.  Garrett picked the ‘Natural’ sealer since the name and description implied a natural-looking finish.  But wouldn’t you know it.  Natural isn’t ‘natural’.  It’s a cloudy sealer that leaves the wood looking slightly white-washed.

The Grit and Polish - Hardwood finish sealer

The Grit and Polish - Master Closet Floors 1

Thankfully, the ‘natural’ finish is actually really beautiful and works well in this house.  But it wasn’t what we were planning on.  Our original goal was a clear finish similar to the floors at my sister’s old house, shown below.

The Grit and Polish - Sissy's Living Room Chair

The walls in both rooms are the same color (BM Simply White) and both floors are white oak. But you can see that the Porch House floors have a slightly white-washed look with less grain showing while my sister’s floors are warmer and have a lot of grain showing through.  For the record, my sister’s white oak floors are wider and a *little* nicer grade than the Porch House’s floors (#floorgoals). Here’s a side by side comparison:

Hardwood finish comparison

Garrett was initially really bummed with the Porch House floor finish. After a week of sanding the floors and dreaming about warm wood tones and grains, he couldn’t quite stomach the cloudy finish. But if he wanted the finish of his dreams, he’d have to start from square one with the drum sander. Honestly, he considered doing just that, but I strongly suggested he reconsider (that’s wife talk for I told him not to do it).  I assured him that the finish really was beautiful and I really liked that it evened out the high-variation in color of our grade #2 floors.  Eventually he wrapped his mind around it and we moved on.

LESSON THREE // buff at your own risk (and if you risk it, do it evenly)

Because the oak grain raised a bit when we sealed the floors, we decided to rent a buffer with a 220-grit screen to knock it down prior to applying the finish coats. The dangerous part about buffing after the sealer is already applied, is that you have to buff the entire floor completely evenly.  If you don’t, or if you have any unevenness in the hardwoods due to say, chatter marks leftover from the drum sander, than the buffing is going to create an uneven finish.  And that’s just what happened to our floors.  There were small areas where you could see more of the wood color and small spots where the sealer was a thicker.  Based on our experience, a tip is that buffing after applying a non-clear finish should be done with the utmost care, super light and evenly.  Our unevenness was fixed, at least mostly so, by Garrett applying another coat of sealer to the light areas and he feathered it into the already-coated areas.  After it dried, he applied two coats of finish to the entire floor.  In the end, the finish isn’t perfect, but after all that work, it looks good.

Hopefully sharing this process helps someone else from making the same mistakes.  And if you’re wondering if finishing your own hardwoods is worth the headache, I will say, it’s not a task we like to do.  But, and this is a big but, the total cost of finishing the Porch House’s 1100sf of hardwoods ourselves rang in around $1200 for sander, rentals, and product.  That’s a savings of over $4,000 from the professional quote we got.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. What the Farmhouse floor refinish cost us

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Happy Friday + Links 10/27/17

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  We spent most of our’s over at the Porch House, as a family, alternating between tiling the master bathroom, playing with the kiddos, and counting down the minutes until Nana is back in town to take these wild boys off of our hands for a few hours 😉  For the record, that’s not until Sunday (#nanacomehome !).  Ha!  It really was a great and productive week!  One of my favorite things about working on the Porch House is that the kitchen is already done, meaning we get to cook and eat and have a finished space to hang out in while we finish up the rest of the house – a real luxury when you’re renovating an entire home.  Garrett brought over veggies and beans and all sorts of other ingredients to make soup this week.  The whole house smelled like Fall and it was pretty special getting to share a meal here, as a family, before we sell the house.  But in the meantime, we’ve got A LOT of work to do!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Soup long

Well it’s Friday again, meaning I’ve found all sorts of great links from around the web.  Grab a cup of coffee and jump in!

Emily just bought a mountain home and I can’t wait to see what she does with it!  Also, love how much she appreciates nature.

Have you seen Ashley’s mural that she’s painting for her home office during the One Room Challenge?  I am obsessed!  My house next please, Ashley!

Brooks’ nursery is on the Boo and the Boy, my favorite source for kids room inspiration.

Speaking of nurseries, I finally pulled the trigger on this wallpaper mural for Daphne’s nursery during their 25% off sale.   Goodness I can’t wait to put it up (after we finish the Porch House)!

Thinking that this might be the perfect way to use up the last of our sausage from last year’s pig.

A beautiful Farmhouse renovation, which started, like so many things…on Instagram.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo

-Cathy

3 Comments

Porch House Master Suite // Tiles, Tiles, and MORE Tiles (ORC Week 4)

THE PORCH HOUSE

This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1, part 2, and part 3

Well, we did it!  We tiled the entire master shower and the bathroom floors.  It was a whirlwind week of tiling, and now my fingers are so chapped that my iPhone can’t even recognize my fingerprint…ha!  But I couldn’t be happier with the results.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles Slate DoneThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tile Shower

tile sources: slate // mosaic // subway

*Ignore the tiny, unfinished spots at the bottom of the subway wall.  We finished those up shortly after taking photos.  And don’t worry, the white streaks on the slate tiles will come off with a good scrub when we’re done.

I opted for classic subway tiles on the shower walls, because they’re, well, classic.  And inexpensive. With 120sf of subway, the price point couldn’t be beat.  However, selecting subway tile also meant that each of these 3″x6″ tiles had to be laid individually.  I definitely cursed Daltile’s name a few times during this project for not offering these tiles on a mesh-mounted backing!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Tiles me in shower

The subway tile alone took us three days to lay, though for the record one whole day was spent on the corners and borders, and another day could be chalked up to the fact we brought all 3 kiddos with us for the entire project and entertaining/feeding/caring for them took precedence.  If you’re new to the Grit and Polish, I should probably mention that we don’t live in the Porch House.  We’re renovating this 1900 house to re-sale (aka flip) later this fall.  Keeping kids entertained and fed at a job site can be tricky, but thankfully the Porch House’s kitchen is functional, and we showed up with a teepee, novel toys, books, and a plethora of Land Before Time movies downloaded on Garrett’s phone.  So far, it’s done the trick!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles WThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Boys in TPThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bathroom mosaic shower floor

On the floors, we used a simple mosaic in the shower, which worked well with the pan slope.  And on the bathroom floor, we laid 12″x24″ slate tiles.  The natural slate is something we haven’t used before but I must say, it’s pretty phenomenal.  I love the natural variation and finish of these tiles.  We laid them in a herringbone pattern, which takes some thinking, but is actually pretty easy to lay when done at a right angle to the wall.  The slate floors are heated too, so they should be pretty comfortable year round.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Tiles Me Tiling Slate

The slate works really well with the white subway and mosaic from a design perspective.  The overall look of the space is classic and timeless and fits in well with the 1900 home.  I’m also hoping that the large-format slate tiles lend a garden-y feel to the space.  And did I mention that not one of these tiles is more than $3.50/sf?  Phew!

Porch Master Bathroom Tiles

Although we’ve tiled plenty of shower surrounds with subway tile in the past, this was our first time capping the top with chair rail.  The tile profile is reminiscent of the picture rail that runs throughout much of the main floor of this house near the same elevation, which is a detail I’ve been dreaming about recreating with tile since first seeing these chair rail tiles at Home Depot.  I love that it gives the shower surround a more traditional feel.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Top CThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Subway DoneThe Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Corner Tiles G

Next up we need to grout these tiles, but we’re still debating on the color.  We picked up both grey (Delorean Gray from HD) and an epoxy white.  I posed the question on Instagram and got lots of great feedback, which pretty much scared me away from ever using white grout in a shower.  But white would look so pretty on the subway tiles.  I know, not as practical as gray, but it would be beautiful.  Oh well.  As of yesterday, I was thinking we’d use Delorean Gray on all the tiles, including the slate, but we’ll see what we decide in the end.

It feels like we have a whole lot left to do for this bathroom, but I’m optimistic we’ll have this bathroom done for the ORC reveal, especially since one extra week was added to the timeline (due to the natural disasters and crazy weather that has affected so many of the design bloggers)!  Still to do: grout the tiles, fabricate the marble vanity top, finish plumbing, vanity lighting, vanity mirrors, build the closet, decorate, and I’m sure I’m missing something else, but that’s enough to get my heart rate up so we’ll stop there 😉

ORC guest

Check out all the other featured designers taking part here and the other guests here.

xoxo

-Cathy

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Porch House Master Suite // Commissioning A Custom Vanity (ORC Week 3)

THE PORCH HOUSE

This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  So happy to have you following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1, part 2

Well we just finished the hardwood floor finish last night.  Ugh.  After a week of sanding the hardwood floors in preparation for their finish, we made the mistake of applying a sealer that was…colored.  Thankfully not a yellow or red color, but a milky/white color, ironically called ‘natural’. The old house gods were laughing at us, because ‘natural’ is far from natural.  If you caught my Instagram stories, you know that we debated whether to leave the floors lighter, or to sand the sealer off and start over on the floors (a 2-week proposition), but ultimately decided on the former.  The whole ordeal set the schedule back a bit and led to a couple of stressful days, but the floors look good and I’m happy.  Here’s what the floors looked like with the ‘natural’ sealer and 1 coat of clear finish.

The Grit and Polish - Master Closet Floors 1

Now that the wood floors are done, I wanted to chat about a design element that has been in the works for a couple of months: the custom vanity.  Early in the design process for the master bathroom, we decided to commission a custom piece.  The nook where the vanity fits is an odd size (about 70″ wide) so a standard vanity wouldn’t fit.  And while it would have been cheaper to customize some cabinetry to fit ourselves, we really liked the idea of using a local craftsman on this remodel to create something nice.  When we discovered a neighbor had a woodworking shop in his backyard, it seemed serendipitous.  Aaron also repaired a pocket door for us that we found hidden in a wall at the Porch House during filming of our HGTV pilot.  And he did it overnight, which pretty much makes him a rock star in my book 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Living Rm 16

For the design of the vanity, I wanted a furniture look, meaning legs and no toe kick.  I also wanted some of the vanity to have open shelving for a little interest and some drawers for functionality.  And because so much of this room is white, I wanted the vanity to be wood, white oak to be precise, to match the floors.  Well, the unfinished floors at least 😉  Aaron and I tossed around an inspiration photo and quickly nailed down the design.  Then he came by the house and measured.  This was done before the drywall and trim were installed so he took that into account for the final dimensions.  He also checked the level of the floor and planned for slight variation in his fabrication.  Aaron then took all that information, and drew a sketch of the vanity.  I gave him the go ahead, and he got busy building.

Oh man guys, I can’t express just how beautiful this vanity ended up.  When I saw it for the first time, I had a moment of jealousy and told Garrett that we had to take it home to the Farmhouse.  I was just kidding of course, because this piece is perfect for the Porch House master suite!  Well, mostly kidding, at least 😉

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 3The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Vanity Test Fit 5

These pictures were taken during a test fit of the vanity before we finished the hardwood floors.  And while the vanity looks beautiful in these pictures, it’s so much better in real life.  The finish and feel of the piece is truly something special and it’s sooo solid.  We moved the vanity out of the way during the floor finishing process and have yet to set it back in place, but we will tomorrow so we can get tiling underway.  The vanity is still going to get a marble top (to be fabricated by Garrett), undermount sinks, and wall-mounted chrome faucets.  The only thing I’m still debating about are mirrors and hardware.  Regarding the later, I’ve been going back and forth between chrome hardware (to match the lighting and faucets) or mixing metals and brining in antique brass, which is prevalent elsewhere on the main floor.  Here are a few I’m considering:

Hardware Roundup - Porch House Master

one // two // three // four // five

Decisions, decisions…  For the record, $29 is a little out of our budget for this bathroom, but I sure wish it weren’t!  Don’t be shy about weighing in on your pick.

Alright, we’re off to tile this temple of a shower.  Wish us luck!

ORC guest

xoxo

-Cathy

15 Comments

Porch House Master Suite // Paint and Hardwoods (ORC Week 2)

THE PORCH HOUSE

This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along! You can get caught up on previous posts here: part 1.

We’re back to the Porch House today, in another installment of the One Room Challenge.  I’m not one to branch out too much with paint colors.  Honestly, I wish I was a little more fearless with picking colors, but I usually stick to a handful of trusted colors.  And that’s exactly what I did here.  We painted the closet and bathroom in a bright and warm white – Benjamin Moore’s Simply White – with the walls in an eggshell finish and the trim in a satin finish.  You may be thinking, “satin…on the trim?!” and my answer is, yes!  Satin is in-between a matte and gloss finish and it looks beautiful on trim.  We used it throughout the main floor of the Porch House (both in BM’s Simply White and C2’s Vex colors) and it’s definitely my new go-to trim finish.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 3

Speaking of trim, you may have noticed that the trim is up now too.  We replicated the original trim profile in places where it was lacking and reused the original trim everywhere else.  Our goal is that you can’t tell where the trim is original and where it’s new.   Hopefully, all you notice is that it’s beautiful!

I should mention that Garrett is the one who installed the trim and painted, while I hung out with baby Daphne.  She isn’t taking a bottle yet, meaning it’s a 2-for-1 deal with us right now, so messy/smelly tasks are out.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Suite Paint 4The Grit and Polish - Porch Paint Mask Removal C

I did get to help remove all the masking after the paint was dry, which is a task I actually really like because it’s instant gratification.  It was extra fun this go around because I’ve missed out on so much of this renovation due to being pregnant and then having a newborn.  Honestly, I’m just psyched to be doing anything these days.  Of course, Daphne wasn’t far away when Garrett snapped this photo – she was napping in her carseat in the next room.  Ha!

This week we also working on finishing the hardwood floors.  Way back this Spring, we deemed the original floors in too rough of shape to refinish, so laid new white oak flooring throughout the main floor of the house (minus the master bathroom).  Uncle Dougie once again hooked us up with 2 1/2″ wide flooring, which admittedly took a long time to lay, but feel really appropriate in an old house.  This week Garrett and my dad finally got around to finishing all those hardwoods, about 1200sf in total.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish G in Closet 1

In the past, we’ve often hired out refinishing the hardwoods, because it’s just such a messy, unpleasant job.  But on this project, we couldn’t justify the cost.  We were quoted $5.75/sf (in Seattle it was more like $3.50/sf) which wasn’t in the budget.  So Garrett tackled this job with my dad’s help and he should be finishing up today or tomorrow.  They followed a similar method to what we did at the Farmhouse, which you can read about here.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Hardwood Refinish G in Closet 3

That’s a hardworking fella there.  I’m pretty sure he wanted to fire me as ‘budget master’ when I told him there wasn’t money for hiring out the refinish, but he didn’t say anything.  And that right there is the secret to our 13-year marriage 😉

Next week I’ll share all about our experience commissioning a custom vanity and stay tuned for the finished photos of these beautiful floors!

ORC guest

xoxo

-Cathy

3 Comments

Porch House Master Suite // Introductions (ORC Week 1)

THE PORCH HOUSE

This post is part of a 6-week series for the One Room Challenge, a blogger makeover challenge hosted by Calling it Home every Fall and Spring. We’re tackling the Porch House’s master bathroom and closet this go around.  Thanks for following along!

Without a doubt, the biggest renovation that Garrett and I have taken on to date is the Porch House.  Not only did we renovate a big chunk of the house in 16 days for our HGTV pilot (which should air soon!), but we’ve been tackling the rest of the house ever since.  Every square inch of this house needs work, but one of my favorite projects has been reconfiguring the main floor to accommodate a master suite.  Master suites were a rare commodity in 1900, when the Porch House was built, and adding this feature should make the house a whole lot more relevant in 2017, not to mention help with resale.

Since some of you may be new to the Grit and Polish, let me do a quick introduction.  My husband, Garrett, and I renovate old houses in Washington state, but our start on this path was less than auspicious.  Like many young couples, we bought our first old house with the intent to fix it up and live in it forever. But the recession made quick work of those plans and through a series of unpredictable events, we turned into landlords (you can read more about that here).  Thankfully, we liked being landlords, and as rental income began filling our savings account, we saw a new path forward for ourselves.  Over the next few years, we purchased and renovated 3 more homes, and eventually turned them into rental properties (the Bryant, Ravenna, and Dexter houses) all while working full-time jobs and having babies.  In 2016, it was time to slow down, so we quit our jobs, moved to a Farmhouse in the country, and became full-time parents, landlords, and renovators.  This year, we also picked up our first flip project, filmed a pilot for HGTV, and had our third child, a baby girl named Daphne.  Apparently we’re not that great at slowing down 😉

Okay, back to the One Room Challenge.  Last year I joined in the Fall One Room Challenge as a guest participant for the first time and made over our Farmhouse master bedroom, shown below.  It was a really fun experience as a blogger, and I’ve been eager to join in ever since.

the-grit-and-polish-master-bedroom-open-windows-2

I’m excited that this go around, I get to do a bigger renovation project.  See when we bought the Porch House, it needed a lot of work, and the future master bathroom and closet were no exception.  The space was dark and dull and totally uninspired.  Take a look for yourself:

The Grit and Polish - Porch Bedroom Coversion 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bathroom 2The Grit and Polish - Porch Before BathroomThe Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bedroom to Bathroom 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Before Bedroom to Bathroom 3

That last photo is of the second main-floor bedroom, which we’ll also be working on during the One Room Challenge.  We are planning to convert both the existing bathroom and this second bedroom into the master bathroom and closet plus a powder bathroom.  That may be a bit confusing, so here is what it looks like in plan view.  This is the original layout:

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

And here’s what we’re planning:

708 E Tacoma_Floor plan3

Thankfully we are a little ahead of the curve and have already finished demo, framing, drywall, and rough-in plumbing.  So we are ready to hit the ground running with this 6-week makeover!

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Framing 1

That little bit of navy blue wall you see is the master bedroom, which is a darker and moodier bedroom than I’ve ever done before.  That space was made over as part of our HGTV pilot, so you can catch the reveal when the show airs (slated to be this Fall!).

The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Drywall 1The Grit and Polish - Porch Master Bath Progress Framing 2

So let’s talk about my design plans for this master bathroom and closet.  I’m envisioning a bright, classic space that feels at home in an old house, but yet also fresh and relevant.  There will be lots of white, per my usual, plus chrome, wood, marble, and a bit of slate.  Here is the inspiration I’m drawing from.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Master Suite Inspiration

Inspiration, clockwise from top left: 1 // 2 // 3

The top, left inspiration photo is from a design duo out of Portland called Kaemingk Design.  They create amazing bathrooms (and all spaces, really), and we’ll be using similar tiles in our shower and a long cloth curtain in lieu of a glass enclosure.  I’m planning on laying a slate tile floor in the bathroom just as Studio McGee did in the mudroom image.  And lastly, we’re planning on a custom wood vanity in a similar style to the one shown.

Next week I’ll catch you up on paint and hopefully recap the hardwood floor refinish (we laid hardwoods in the closet).  The refinish is going down right now, so you can catch a peek on my stories. I can’t wait to share our progress with you!

ORC guest

Be sure to check out all the featured designers and the guests designers here!

xoxo

-Cathy

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Life Around the Kitchen Sink

THE PORCH HOUSE

this post is sponsored by Elkay

Our boys, Wilder and Brooks (4 and 22 months) are little rascals.  They are curious, loud, bold, adventurous, and a wee bit wild.  But best of all, they have the most amazing ability to turn just about anything into a good time.

In fact, that’s one of my favorite things about being a mama, watching these two turn the most mundane, dirty, or boring of activities into something exciting.  They can make messes out of chores and fun out of work, and I am certain it will serve them well in life.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 1.2

sources // sink / faucet (in lustrous steel)

Thankfully, our boys have this same attitude about their baby sister.  Whether it’s diapering, feeding, or putting Daphne down for a nap, they want to help and have fun doing it.  I can’t even get Daphne’s diaper off quick enough before Brooks has the wipes out and Wilder is comforting her tears away.  And when I ask Wilder to throw away the dirty diaper, he makes us all laugh by plugging his nose, holding his breath, and grinning all the way to the trash can.

Earlier this month, when the kids and I stopped by the Porch House and Daphne overheated, the boys were eager to help.  August is the heat of the summer around here and temperatures hit 104 degrees that day.  With the AC yet to be installed and Daphne’s skin flaming with a heat rash, we decided a quick bath was in order. The Porch House has a super-deep, Elkay Crosstown stainless steel kitchen sink and Elkay Explore faucet which couldn’t be better designed for a newborn bath.  Honestly, I’d been dying to test them out since we installed these beauties back in April, and I wasn’t about to miss our opportunity before this house goes on the market.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen G and Daphne legsThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen G and Daphne bathThe Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Sink Parents

We were lucky enough to discover Elkay right about the time our HGTV pilot started filming.  They offered us a sink and faucet for our kitchen renovation and after doing a little research, I happily picked these out.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink and FaucetThe Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink and Faucet Top

I can’t tell you how pleased Garrett was with the strength and durability of Elkay’s products (they are heaaavy and well made!) and I was thrilled with how effortlessly they fit in our historic/crafted/welcoming kitchen design.  We went with an undermount sink and a faucet with a pull-down-nozzle sprayer for ease of use and I only wish we had gotten to install both of these in our own home 😉  I’m really digging the look of the mixed metals (both brass and stainless steel rule in this kitchen) and am so happy with the style.  I toyed with the idea of using an apron-front sink in here, but in the end, I wanted something a little more modern and utilitarian.  Something a little unexpected and fresh.  And I love how they turned out!

But enough about design.  Let’s get back to Daphne’s bath…

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Sink Bath all kids 1

No surprise here, but our little rascals turned that bath into a chaotic sprayer-fight/splash-contest of a good time within seconds.  Daphne wasn’t having much of it, so I took her out and let her brothers play for a bit.  For the record, this is business as usual for our family.  We let our kiddos play anywhere and everywhere at home (as long as it’s not too messy), especially in the kitchen sink.  Dinner dishes commonly turn into an hour long bubble-making and/or see-how-many-pots-fit-in-the-sink session.  And it’s almost a daily occurrence that we wash these kiddos’ feet in our kitchen sink after they find, yet again, all the creatures there are to discover in our backyard pond.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Elkay Sink Brooks Feet 2

But that mess I prefer to the game that Wilder and Brooks like to play of seeing how many of mama’s baking utensils they can pull out clean from the drawer, cover in soap and water, and put back away wet and soapy.  Ha! rascals indeed.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Sink Shoe 1.2The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 5.2The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Boys in Elkay Sink 4.2

Pretty soon there will be three little rascals around our kitchen sink, making messes out of chores and fun out of work and my mama heart can hardly wait!

Thanks to Elkay for sponsoring this post and making really sturdy and beautiful sinks and faucets.  And thanks to you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

xox0

-Cathy

p.s. the Porch House kitchen before + inspiration and the butcherblock

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Porch House Kitchen // The Island Butcherblock

THE PORCH HOUSE

As I mentioned last week, I love the look and feel of natural materials in a kitchen.  Not only do they seem more historically-appropriate in old homes, but natural elements add warmth, character, and a timeless appeal that you just can’t get with the man-made stuff.

When it came time to pick out the Porch House kitchen countertops, I knew right away that I wanted to use wood on the island.  Garrett and I went back and forth with whether to go with something basic and fairly inexpensive (like a classic edge grain butcherblock) or splurge on a custom design.  In the end, we decided to splurge.

The Grit and Polish - Porch Kitchen Butcherblock Close

The white oak, end-grain butcherblock on the Porch House’s kitchen island is a custom design we did with Hardwood Industries, my brother-in-law’s family business.  You may remember that Uncle Dougie always provides flooring and/or butcherblock for our renovations (like at the Bryant House, Ravenna House, and the Dexter House) and this renovation was no different. Once Garrett talked me into splurging on the kitchen island, I immediately called Doug to start the design process.  Over a few days and a dozen or so emails, Doug and I settled on a 2 1/2″-thick butcherblock in an end-grain pattern (which is reminiscent of a real butcher’s cutting block) in white oak to match the floors.

Over the following weeks, the butcherblock was crafted by Juan, a long-time employee at Hardwood Industries.  I can’t imagine how many hours he put into this piece – cutting, gluing, and sanding it over and over again – but when he finished, it weighted more than 250lbs and was pure beauty.

The Grit and Polish - Porch House Butcherblock Close

With such a short timeline to complete this kitchen renovation (the 16-day schedule was set by the producers of our HGTV pilot), we didn’t get a finish on the butcher block before we had to film the reveal.  But we will eventually seal it with a food grade wax before we put the house on the market.

Thank you to the talented folks at Hardwood Industries for making such a stunning addition to the kitchen (and for giving us the family discount ;)!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. more about butcherblocks

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Porch House Kitchen // Before + Inspiration

THE PORCH HOUSE

It’s been awhile since I talked about the Porch House here on the blog, and it’s high time we get back to it. As a quick reminder, Garrett and I bought this 1900 home early this year as a flip project.  We quickly got down to the business of renovating, tackling the kitchen, sunroom, living room, master bedroom, and exterior, which were filmed by HGTV as a pilot for a new show, ‘Rehab Crazy’ (more about that experience here and here).  The pilot is still in post-production and I don’t want to give away too much until we hear if it will air or not, so we won’t be getting around to the reveals for a little bit.  But that won’t stop me from sharing the kitchen design and inspiration today.

The kitchen at the Porch House is one of my favorite rooms that we’ve ever renovated.  I’m pretty sure I say that about every kitchen we do, but this project was definitely special.  Not only did we complete the transformation in 16 days (a timeline required by our production company), but we had some great help in the form of talented contractors, learned some new DIY skills, and put in a lot of my dream kitchen finishes.  It’s a good one guys, and I can’t wait to show you the finished space!

But let’s start at the beginning.  Here’s what the kitchen looked like before we got out the sledge hammer.

The Grit and Polish - Flip House Kitchen Before 2The Grit and Polish - Flip House Kitchen 2The Grit and Polish - Porch House Sink BeforeThe Grit and Polish - Flip House Kitchen Before 3

Not awful, but not exactly a chef’s dream.  As with most century-old homes, the Porch House kitchen had been previously renovated.  The ceilings were dropped to 8′ (the rest of the original main floor has 9′), the moldings were stripped, and a back ‘storage’ room was added on behind the kitchen.  The general affect was a blah kitchen that was completely closed off, dark, and anything but inspiring.

Right away we knew this would be a gut remodel because there really wasn’t anything to save.  And that was okay in my book, because kitchen renovations are my favorite.  Plus we intended to flip this property, and kitchens sell homes, so we needed an amazing kitchen.

I will say that for all it’s negatives, this kitchen did have one thing going for itself: it’s size.  For an old house, it was pretty spacious, and right away I saw the potential to enlarge it even more by opening it up to the adjacent storage room (aka future sunroom).  The end result would be a bright and family-friendly kitchen/living space, which would surely be the heart of this home.

Modernizing the kitchen was also a top priority, which would entail new electrical, lighting, gas piping, plumbing, appliances, etc.  But modern amenities didn’t mean I wanted a modern-feeling space; quite the opposite in fact.  I’m a firm believer that renovations should fit the vintage and style of a home, so making this kitchen feel like it belonged inside a 1900 farmhouse (while still having all the luxuries of a 2017 kitchen) was the most important goal of the entire renovation.  Another design goal was to bring back some of the ‘old house charm’ found elsewhere in the Porch House, mainly replicating the original chunky moldings and the 9′ ceilings.

If I had to wrap up the kitchen design in a few words, I’d call it a subtle, current, and welcoming space.  This room is all about craft, simplicity, and understated elegance, much like these inspiration images:

The Grit and Polish - Flip Kitchen Inspo

clockwise from top left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Pretty, right?  Everything feels simple, muted, and vintage, but also well-crafted, fresh, and clean.  I decided pretty early on in the design process to nix tiles from this kitchen, opting instead for a marble slab backsplash behind the range and a short 4″ marble backsplash everywhere else.  There were two reasons for this.  First, I wanted to keep the shine and gloss to a minimum so that the crafted elements would stand out.  And secondly, with only 16 days to complete the renovation for the cameras, setting and grouting tiles just wasn’t in the schedule.

Another major element of the kitchen design, was the use of natural materials.  Not only do I always gravitate towards natural materials, but they also lend an authentic and character-rich feel to old spaces that the man-made alternatives just can’t compete with.  Thus I relied heavily on marble, wood, and brass.

This is what all of that looks like:

The Grit and Polish - Flip House Kitchen Elements

I put this board together even before we started demo, and while a couple things changed during the course of construction, it still holds pretty true to the end product.  Goodness, I’m dying to show you the ‘after’ photos!  Soon enough.  In the meantime, I’ll be sharing more about the butcher block countertop and the appliances we picked (with a few sneak peeks of the finished space thrown in)!

xoxo

-Cathy

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