Bathroom Updates: Plants, Pictures, and Potty Training

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Wilder is officially potty-trained so we hang out in the bathroom quite a bit.  Spending so much time in there was a constant reminder of all the projects I wanted to finish up but hadn’t gotten to.  It was the perfect motivation to get this room finished.  We didn’t do anything major, just some decorating and a chance to incorporate potty-training basics.

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom from hallway The Grit and Polish - Bathroom collageThe Grit and Polish - Bathroom from hallway 2I’ve always loved plants in the bathroom.  I think it helps liven the space up, and keeps a white bathroom from feeling too sterile.  Plus if there’s one benefit to having a window in the shower, it’s that you can grow a plant in there!

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom shower plantThe Grit and Polish - Bathroom plant

The open shelves were one of the things that constantly bothered me about the bathroom.  They are a leftover nook from an old medicine cabinet and always seemed like an afterthought and were full of too much stuff.  So I restyled the shelves, paired down the clutter, and I’m finally happy with them.

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom open shelvesThe Grit and Polish - Bathroom picture

The mirror is a new addition from Anthropologie.  We never intended for the previous mirror to be a permanent fixture, but it ended up there for over a year.  I always wanted something circular here, but never spent the time to find a replacement.  So when I saw this one hanging up on the wall at Anthropologie, I knew I needed it!

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom mirror

That brings us to the topic of potty-training, something we discuss way too often here at the Ravenna House.  We have a very essential item that we leave in the bathroom at all times for the kiddo.  We call it the Duckie.  Yes, it’s got red eyes and as my sister said, “it’s creepy as hell”, but heck, anything that gets a 20 month-old out of diapers is a-okay in my book.  It’s actually the same potty chair that Garrett and his sister’s used.

The Grit and Polish - Bathroom duckie on toilet

It’s kind of creepy, right?!  What do you think about the other bathroom updates, I’d love to hear!

More info on the Ravenna House bathroom resources and renovation herehere and here.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. If you’re interested, we followed a modified version of this potty-training method.  The no-pants thing really worked for Wilder and the no-diaper thing really works for mama!

p.p.s. Zooey Deschanel’s Hollywood home. All I can say is that kitchen is wow!

p.p.p.s. And speaking of kitchens (aren’t we always?!) I really dig this classic, English kitchen!

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Ravenna Living Room Reveal (Take #2)

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Well guys, as I mentioned last month, I finally won the debate and we now have a sofa in the living room. And let me just say that everyone – seriously, everyone – has mentioned how much better the layout is now.  Oh how good it feels to be a winner!

The Grit and Polish - Living Room CouchAdding the couch led to full on redecorating escapades that culminated the morning before we had some special guests at the Ravenna House.  Here’s a look at the new and improved living room.

The Grit and Polish - Living Room FireplaceThe Grit and Polish - Living Room Wingback ChairsI’m pretty obsessed with gallery walls.  I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to these lovlies and never ever get sick of them.  So I thought why not put one in the Ravenna House?  I built this one with black and white prints from Costco’s art collection and frames from Ikea.

The Grit and Polish - Living Room gallery wallLets talk about toy storage.  I bought two baskets from Ikea for like $20 a piece and they are a godsend.  Where we used to have toys strewn about the living room, hiding in every nook and cranny, they’re now almost completely contained in those two baskets.  Now if I could just get Wilder to put away his own toys…some kids actually do that, right?!

The Grit and Polish - Living room toy storage

If you’re interested, take a look back at our old living room layout.  What do you guys think?  Is the redo new and improved or just new?

Resources – Sofa: Pottery Barn, discontinued | Pillows: West Elm | Black, patterned throw: Anthropologie | Cowhide: Ikea | Red Alpaca blanket: wedding gift | Trunk: Vintage | Silver Candle: Anthropolgie | Toy Baskets: Ikea (similar to this) | Lamp Shades: Pottery Barn, discontinued| Wingback Chairs: Vintage | Bronze side table: Urban Outfitters | Mirror: vintage | Black and White Photography: Costco | Picture Frames: Ikea | Green inlaid box: Serena and Lily, old | Lantern: Ravenna Gardens, old | Blinds: Home Depot | Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter, 50% tint | Doors and Trim Paint: Benjamin Moore Simply White

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. I’m down with Cuba!  Especially Justina Blakeney’s design inspiration!

p.p.s. What will become of Seattle’s most famous house?!  I’m secretly hoping someone renovates it and moves in!

p.p.p.s. Love this transformation.  What a beautiful LA home!

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Backyard Before and After

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

After a long, long backyard renovation, we are finally done!  And I’m really excited to show you the ‘after’ pictures.  But first, let’s look back to a year ago:

Ravenna House Backyard 2 Ravenna House Backyard at House

Pretty awful, right?!  I’m a little embarrassed to even show you guys those ‘before’ pictures, but that’s what it really looked like while our attention was focused on the interior renovation.  Oh so messy and wild!  After a good 6 months of work, here’s what the backyard looks like now:

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard PatioThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna BackyardThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard towards houseThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard at GateThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard concrete name printThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard shed

We did a lot of work back here.  First we tore down the unstable garage, removed quite a few trees, laid a patio, fenced the yard, built a shed, and finally installed the gravel path and landscaping.  You may have noticed the patio is outside the fence.  The patio doubles as overflow parking for guests so we decided to only fence in the yard area–a compromise to allow a fully fenced space for little legs to run.  Unfortunately we did a lot of work during the winter, meaning we fought with the rain over the colder Seattle months.  But we lucked out with a couple nice Spring days this month to lay the sod.

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard sod The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard sod projectThe Grit and Polish - Ravenna Backyard workers

We are absolutely loving having a space to play outside, even if it is small.  Wilder likes to run around in the grass and take care of the plants – or should I say stomp around in them?  He often goes into the shed and picks out a couple of tools to “fix” stuff with.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder in his work boots 22 monthsThe Grit and Polish - Wilder in his work boots 22 months 7

He’s a pretty special little guy, that one!  Those Timberland boots (aka his “work boots”) have been glued to his feet!

The Grit and Polish - Wilder in his work boots 22 months 5

Oh and lest I forget our other boy, Bubba is pretty satisfied with the new backyard too.  He likes to run around in the grass and bark – I’m pretty sure he’s just expressing his excitement to be outside without a leash!

What do you think…do you like the new backyard?  Please tell me you think it looks better than it did a year ago!

xoxo

-Cathy

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A Reclaimed-Wood Shed

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

While Garrett and I are busy working on the plans for the Dexter House, I thought it was a good time to show you the backyard shed we built at the Ravenna House.  If you follow along on Instagram, you know it took us a good 3 months of weekends to build this thing.

The Ravenna House is, like most small old Seattle houses, a little light on storage.  So Garrett and I planned on building a shed from the get go.  We discussed a few different design ideas, but ultimately ended up with a sloping roof with an overhang big enough to leave the stroller under, and salvaged-wood siding (saved from the garage tear-off).

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed

I should mention that we’d still like to finish out the shed’s soffit with some sort of bead board and add a facia piece, so we’re not 100% done.  But I’m really not sure we’ll ever get to it, so we’ll just call the shed done enough.  Did you catch that sneak peak of the fence and grass?  Don’t worry, I’ll get to that in another post!

Here’s what the process of building the shed looked like:

The Grit and Polish - Shed 1The Grit and Polish - Shed 3The Grit and Polish - Shed 4The Grit and Polish - Shed 5The Grit and Polish - Shed 6The Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed Siding

After the siding was complete, we built an oversized (about 40″x8′) door, hung it, and covered it in old fence slats (removed from the Bryant House), which we laid in a herringbone pattern.  I wish I had taken pictures of the chevron-laying process, but we installed it during one of Wilder’s naps, so we were a tad bit rushed.  The door actually turned out to be my favorite part of the whole shed, but really I’m happy with the whole thing.  It’s functional and big and a tad bit whimsical…perfect for a Poshusta backyard shed!

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed

Wilder, as always, was a big help on this project.  He “worked” on the shed, rain or shine, as long as there was a tool for him to hold and a dada to follow around 🙂  Really that kid loves tools and building more than any youngster I’ve ever known.  I’m not sure if building is just something that he loves or it’s how we’re raising him, but I often think that at the ripe old age of not-even-2, Wilder is already destined to become a contractor or an architect or something in the building industry.  Dare I say, it’s in his blood?!

The Grit and Polish - Wilder with Hammer 2

Who needs toys when you’ve got a hammer…!

Here’s a look back at earlier progress on the backyard and even farther back.  What do you think?  Do you like how the shed turned out?  Stay tuned for a full backyard reveal,  including that grass yard and cedar fence!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. loved this eclectic house tour, especially the reclaimed shelves in the kitchen!

p.p.s. What you’ve always wanted to know: why asparagus makes your pee smell.  You did want to know, didn’t you?!

p.p.p.s. Best real estate markets for buyers and sellers in the US.  Seattle ranks 4th as a seller’s market.  Not super surprising, but still pretty crazy!

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New Addition in the Kitchen

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

I’ve been threatening to hang antlers above our range hood for a long time now.  Well that day finally came!

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Kitchen Antlers

I wish I could say that these antlers have some personal connection, but they don’t.  We ordered them from Ebay.  Garrett mounted them on a wood panel, which we stained to match the floors (well kinda close to the floors at least) and that was it.

Yes, antlers in the kitchen of an old Seattle home could be considered strange, especially since we don’t hunt.  But I dig it!  Here’s the thing: my design taste tends to the feminine (something I’ve worried about in this kitchen before) and I don’t want our house looking like I’m the only one living here.  Garrett and Wilder and even Bubba get some input, so when Garrett said he wanted antlers, I was 100% in.  The antlers add a little masculine touch and bring in a down-home feel.  Honestly, I love them!

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Kitchen April 2015 Update The Grit and Polish - Ravenna Kitchen Antler Close Up

Antlers deserve a name.  And I’d like to call these Wanda.  Cool?  Cool.

xoxo

-Cathy

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What’s on Your…Coffee Table

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

This post is part of a collaborative series called, “What’s on Your…”.  It’s a real-life glimpse into 9 bloggers homes – the good, the bad, and the messy.  Each month we’ll focus on a new surface like a bedroom nightstand, a kitchen counter, or a bookcase.  And today, we’re looking at a furniture staple in the living room:

Coffee Tbale

Oh the living room.  This space has caused quite a stir over here at the Ravenna House.  We’ve had it arranged every which way, but we’ve finally settled on a layout that’s comfortable and practical.  This includes an old trunk that we use as our coffee table. It was Garrett’s mothers and has been in the family for decades. It’s got an aged patina and it’s big and boxy and the perfect height for lazy feet.  Besides, looking at the well traveled trunk gives me a bit of wanderlust, which is always welcome around this house!

The Grit and Polish - Coffee Table 2

We usually keep the coffee table top pretty simple. Just a tray, some reading materials, a candle, and whatever toys Wilder’s thrown on it.  I really love having fresh flowers up there, but we haven’t quite figured out how to do that without a certain someone tipping over the vase and pulling the flowers off the stem.

Currently, this book is my coffee table reading material of choice along with a stack of current This Old House, House Beautiful and Country Living magazines for those free moments of reading.  Okay, so free moments may be wishful thinking when you’ve got a wild toddler on your hands, but a girl can dream!  I top my coffee table off with my favorite Anthropologie candle and one of Wilder’s animal figures, which I tend to find in unexpected spots all over the house.

Check out these other ladies coffee tables!

xoxo

-Cathy

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Outside Projects

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

We’ve been really lucky to have 4 straight sunny weekends here in Seattle.  With so much of the nation experiencing record-cold-and-snowy-and-just-plain-awful winters, it doesn’t seem right that Seattle – a city known for wet and gray winters – should be having such lovely weather.  But there you have it.  I’m certainly not complaining!

Needless to say, we’ve been doing a lot of work outside lately.  First we built a shed and then a fence and now we’re planning landscaping.  I promise you guys more updates as our outdoor space comes together.  But for now, here’s a picture from Sunday’s gate-building project.

The Grit and Polish - gate construction

Yes, Wilder’s wearing snow boots.  He’s only been in snow one time this winter, so at least we’re getting some use out of them!

Hope you’re staying warm!!!

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. I am literally drooling over this salvaged house!

p.p.s. How to make your kid smarter.  Sure, why not.

p.p.p.s. I always love reading about real estate in Manhattan.  It’s just so old and lovely and expensive!

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What’s On Your…Kitchen Counter

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

This post is part of a collaborative series called, “What’s on Your…”.  It’s a real-life glimpse into 9 bloggers homes – the good, the bad, and the messy.  Each month we’ll focus on a new surface like a bedroom nightstand, a kitchen counter, or a bookcase.  And today, we’re looking at another hard working surface in the house:

Kitchen COunterOur kitchen is truly the heart of our home.  We spend a ton of time in here cooking, eating, playing, petting the dog, and everything in between.  And it often looks like it.  Usually there’s a stack of dishes drying next to the sink, apple slices on the counter, and a half-finished art project or two by the window.  Last week our countertop was full of baking supplies as I whipped up a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread.  This cinnamon swirl bread to be precise.  And yes, it was delicious!

The Grit and Polish - What's On Your Kitchen Counter 4The Grit and Polish - What's On Your Kitchen Counter 6

Later that night, Wilder and I hung out in the kitchen and enjoyed hot-from-the-oven cinnamon swirl bread.  It was glorious.  One quick look at our kitchen counter after all was cleaned up, because who doesn’t love a clean countertop (especially because this seems to only happen when company comes over…)?

The Grit and Polish - What's On Your Kitchen Counter 1

Don’t forget to check out these other ladies’ kitchen counters!

More on our DIY kitchen renovation and resources here.  Did you catch our Q&A about the renovation over at Bob Vila?

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Do you follow Andy and Candis on Instagram?  Do it!  Get the back story on their old house renovations before their new show breaks on HGTV!

p.p.s. A beautiful new old farmhouse in Connecticut.

p.p.p.s. Here is some serious kitchen eye candy to get you through your day.  You’re welcome.

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Bob Vila and the Ravenna House

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

Guys, the Ravenna House kitchen remodel is on Bob Vila today!  Yes, that Bob Vila!  His awesome editor, Kathleen Corlett, tracked me down for a Q&A and you can read about it here.

The Grit and Polish - Marble Herringbone Backsplash and Industrial Faucet xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?  These brunch ideas are sweet and easy!

p.p.s. I’m pretty obsessed with this Maui plantation.  I could live with sun and warm weather every day.

p.p.p.s. Have you guys watched Carl Segan’s Cosmos mini-series?  Blew my mind!

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What’s on Your…Bathroom Vanity

THE RAVENNA HOUSE

This week marks the first post of a new collaborative series called, “What’s on Your…”.  It’s a real-life glimpse into 9 bloggers homes – the good, the bad, and the messy.  Each month we’ll focus on a new surface like a bedroom nightstand, a kitchen counter, or a bookcase.  And to start things off today, we’re looking at one of the hardest working surfaces in the house:

What's on Your Bathroom VanityLike so many old houses, our little bathroom vanity is a pedestal sink.  We don’t keep a lot on it, just a bar of soap, a towel, and occasionally some fresh cut flowers (or evergreen trimmings in the winter).  And since 19-month-old Wilder just started potty training, including washing his own hands, he is often on, in, and under the vanity.

The Grit and Polish - Whats on My bathroom vanity 3

The potty-training thing often involves no pants (to Wilder’s complete joy).  So you’re welcome for those sweats 😉

For the moments that this bathroom is sans kiddo, our vanity looks more like this:

The Grit and Polish - What on Your Bathroom Vanity 7The Grit and Polish - What on Your Bathroom Vanity 8

So tell me, what (or who) is on your bathroom vanity?!  And check out what’s on these other ladies’ vanities:

Brittany at Brittany French
Kristy at Design Chic
Brenna at Domestic Charm
Elizabeth at Little Black Door
Mary Keller and Heath at Southland Avenue

More info on the Ravenna House bathroom resources and renovation herehere and here.

xoxo

-Cathy

p.s. Check out all these other awesome bathrooms I’m drooling over!

p.p.s. What it’s like to have four kids.  Looks like I owe my mother a big ol’ apology for being her fourth.  *sorry mom*

p.p.p.s. A lovely updated old farmhouse in Maine.

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