What’s on Your…Bathroom Vanity


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.



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.


DIY: How to Build a Play Teepee (for $22)!


Hey guys!  I hope you’re not sick of teepees yet, because I’ve got a lot of teepee to show you today.  Wilder and I built one over break and I’m obsessed!

I’ve actually had a play teepee on my mama to-do list for a good few months now (as many of you do too…right?!!!), so I couldn’t be happier to share the results with you.  The good news: it was inexpensive and really easy to build with my little guy.  And if you’re waiting for the bad news to drop, you can stop.  It’s all golden light and fairy dust here in teepee land!

The Grit and Polish - How to build a teepee

If you find yourself in need of a little teepee action, here’s a rundown of the materials you’ll need:

  • six 2″x2″x8′ posts (we used inexpensive white wood, but any wood should do; you can also do taller or shorter posts depending upon your space)
  • at least 1o feet of rope
  • 3 quilts (we used 1 double-sized and 2 full-sized quilts)
  • a well-rested helper and an hour and a half of free time…still waiting on that rested helper myself, but here’s to hoping…!

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee materials

You’ll also need the following tools:

  • cordless drill outfitted with a drill bit that’s slightly larger than your rope (we used a 3/8″ bit)
  • tape measure and pencil (or a ruler stick and purple crayon if you happen to building it in a kid’s room)

Now for the fun part, building a teepee (!!!):

Step 1. Start by marking your 2″x2″ posts about 10″ from one side.

Step 2. Drill out a hole at the center of each post at the marks you just made.

The Grit and Polish - building a teepee collage

Step 3. Set the posts (with the hole you drilled on top) one at a time in the spot you want the teepee and thread the rope through the holes after each post is set.  Keep 6″ of rope before the first post and pull the rope tight between each post.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee drill and chord

Step 4. Once you have the posts set in the shape you want and the rope threaded through all the holes, pull the rope tight and tie a knot using the 6″ at the start of the rope and the section after the last post. The tighter the rope and knot, the less wiggly the teepee will be.

Step 5. Now the fun part…hanging the quilts! Since I didn’t have a full-sized helper to assist with this part, I hung one quilts one at a time.  After placing the first quilt, I wrapped the rope around the quilt at the top (where the rope is threaded through the holes) and tied a knot.  I repeated this with each quilt, making a circle with the rope after each quilt, until all three were secured at the top of the teepee.

The Grit and Polish - building a teepee with quilts collageThe Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee finished

Step 6. Any excess rope can be cut or wrapped around the exterior of the quilts and tied.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee top

Step 7. To create a door (and hopefully keep sticky fingers from handling the antique quilt too much), I pulled the corner of the last quilt back and secured it with a clip.

Then it was game on…for Wilder and Bubba!

The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba 4The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba 7

I love that last picture.  It’s like they both know they’re in trouble, but Wilder’s playing it off like, “who, me?! No, no, no it was Bubba!” But then he feels bad, so he gives Bubba a kiss…

The Grit and Polish - Teepee play with Bubba

Hopefully you can see that teepee land is amazing!  It’s somewhere between Oz and Neverland but without all the scary stuff.  Wilder, Bubba, and I spent the first evening in there cuddling and reading story after story with Otto the bear, Moo the pig and Fox the fox (Wilder is great at naming stuffies!).  And Wilder was jumping up and down with excitement to give dada a tour when he got home from work.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Antique Quilts

Oh and did I mention how cheap this project was?  $22.  That’s right, $22!  Of course we only had to buy the posts since we had the antique quilts and rope sitting around.  But still, it seems crazy cheap compared with the $150-$250 teepees I found at Pottery Barn Kids and Land of Nod.  Plus I’m 100% sure we have already got a whole lot more than $22 of fun out of this teepee!

This was a really fun, inexpensive, and painless project to build with the little guy.  In fact it was so fun, that I’m itching to do another DIY project with Wilder…any suggestions?!

Resources: Large stuffed bear, Pottery Barn Kids | teepee quilts, antiques | quilt on floor, made by my mom | all other room resources, here and here.




December Progress on the Backyard


I sure hope you are all have a great start to 2015!  But before we delve into the new year, I want to get you caught up on all the work we did last month on the backyard of the Ravenna House.

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Work Wilder 1

Despite the rainy weather, we made some good progress on the backyard.  And yes, by we I mean Wilder and his “hammer”.  Plus a little help from Dada 😉

In December we poured a concrete curb at the patio, laid the foundation for a shed, and installed pipping for a future hose-bib.

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Patio Edge 1

That’s a picture of the concrete curb on the edge of the patio.  We put this in to keep the pavers from settling over time.  Unfortunately we poured the concrete just before a massive downpour and we didn’t get a chance to finish the top of the concrete.  So yes, it will always be this rough. But since it’s outside I really don’t care.  Besides with a little landscaping and the right outdoor furniture on the patio, I’m hoping you’ll never even notice the concrete!

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Work Wilder and DadaThe Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed Form

Someday there will be a shed in this corner of the backyard, which will provide some much needed storage.  The picture above was taken while Garrett was forming the concrete pad that will sit beneath the shed.  He used 3/8″ rebar (on the edges) and mats (in the interior) for strength.  We poured the concrete the next day, just as the elusive winter sun was passing overhead.

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed Garrett pouring concreteThe Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed PourThe Grit and Polish - Backyard Shed Handprints in Concrete

We all managed to get our handprints in the wet concrete as it was drying…a first for Wilder!

The pictures above also give you a good shot of the fencing at the Ravenna House.  We plan to replace the green falling-down fence at the back of the shots with a new cedar fence and continue it in front of the chain link fence at right. And with Wilder’s skills with a “hammer”, that fence will be up in no time!

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Work Wilder 2

Oh and one more photo, because I just don’t know when to quit.  These are Garrett’s shoes after pouring the shed’s concrete pad.

The Grit and Polish - Backyard Concrete on Shoes

Up next, a shed!  And a potty-trained toddler.  Okay, I’ll settle for either one of those…

More on the patio here and backyard inspiration here.



p.s. I’ve been trying to feed my Serial addiction with other podcasts and this Ira Glass piece is the trick!

p.p.s. Who knew Richard Gere had such good taste in real estate?!

p.p.p.s. This Cape Dutch renovation does not disappoint.  I am loving all that white…of course I am!


An Antique-Quilt Teepee for the Little Guy


Happy 2015 everyone! We had a great holiday full of food, kiddos, and celebrating in the mountains of Oregon with my sis and her fam.  It was a great start to the new year!

But before we left town for the mountains, Wilder and I got to spend a couple of days hanging out between Christmas and New Years.  And with extra time on our hands, I wanted to do something special for the two of us during the holiday break.  So I planned out a DIY project that we could build together.  DIY is extra special, right?  Right.

So this holiday break, Wilder and I built an antique-quilt teepee in his bedroom!

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Antique Quilts

I’ve wanted to get Wilder a teepee for a long time now, but after seeing the price of some cute options at Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids, I decided we’d build our own.  And since I happen to have an abundance of antique quilts laying around (thanks Mom!), I decided our DIY version would be an antique-quilt teepee.  I’ll share a DIY tutorial next week, but for now, here are some pics of our new favorite play space:

The Grit and Polish - Antique Quilt Teepee with WilderThe Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee Inside

And how about those antique quilts…aren’t they beautiful?  Here’s a closer look:

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee antique quilt The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee antique quilt 2

The first quilt, a hand-stiched double-wedding-pattern quilt, I bought off Craigslist for $50 a few years back.  And my mom, an avid quilter herself, scored the red-white-and-blue lovely from a quilting retreat she attends every year.  It was a real battle with my sis to see who would end up with it, but I guess mom just likes me better! Just kidding of course…;)  But I did promise my sis joint custody of the quilt…so I may need to part with it for a few weeks every year.

The Grit and Polish - DIY Teepee with Wilder 3

Building this teepee turned out to be a really fun and easy project for Wilder and I.  He is really proud of it, and I’m really happy to have a special little nook all our own.  Plus I’m already excited about the other places we can set this teepee up, especially this summer.  Like maybe outside, with an animal skin floor, hanging lights and a garland.  But that’s getting a little ahead of myself!  For the time being, you know where this little family will be hanging out!

Resources: Large stuffed bear, Pottery Barn Kids | teepee quilts, antiques | quilt on floor, made by my mom | all other room resources, here and here



p.s. Loving the sink in this classic meets utility meets old house bathroom!  Okay and their entry is pretty awesome too!

p.p.s. I bought this William Wegman kid’s book for my dog-loving niece,Winnie.  It’s awesome!  And yes, William Wegman really does kids books.

p.p.p.s. In case you missed it over the holidays, I posted about my favorite projects from 2014 and a by-the-numbers year end recap.  Writing those posts sure made me feel like 2014 was a productive year for us at the Ravenna House!  Thanks for following along!


2014 by the Numbers

Happy New Years Eve everyone!  I know I just did a 2014 Grit and Polish recap yesterday, but since this is my favorite holiday of the whole year, I figured one more post is in order!

Ravenna House - Living Room Mantle.jpg

We don’t tend to celebrate New Years Eve all that glamorously, but I love the idea of a fresh-start, a clean-slate and the potential of what’s to come.  But before we ring in the new year, I wanted to do a quick look back at 2014 by the numbers:

1: Number of moves

0: Number of houses we’ve bought

4: Number of permits closed at the Ravenna House

8: Pounds Wilder has gained in the past 12 months

5: Times the repairman has been out to the Ravenna House for appliances

6: Airplane rides Wilder has taken

88: Age of the Ravenna House

1: number of sidesewers replaced at the Ravenna House

0: linear feet of fence built at the Ravenna House

1000: dollars given to us in rebates for switching our windows to double-pane

1: Number of mustaches Garrett has grown this year

1 million: books Wilder owns (estimate)

24: Bottles of wine purchased in Sonoma

4: Number of offers we’ve submitted on houses

1: Number of offers we’ve had accepted on houses.

More on that last one to come in the new year…!!! Hope you’ve had a great 2014, and here’s to an even better 2015!!!

Photo: Ravenna House Living Room



p.s. Renovation thoughts from yours truly in 2013.  I especially love “When choosing a life partner, pick one that knows the back end from the front end of a sawsal. “.  He he he….

p.p.s. If you’re a kinda-lame-New-Years-Eve celebrator like me and plan to stay in, check out these fun game suggestions.

p.p.p.s. The best photos of 2014.  All I can say is wow.!.!


Appliance Mutiny


Guys, there’s an appliance mutiny going on at The Ravenna House.  And it isn’t pretty.

First our stove igniter went out.  Just one day after the warranty expired.  Yes, really!  We don’t know how it happened.  One minute Wilder’s cousin Winnie was playing with the knobs and next thing we knew, the stove was all, “tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…” and it kept on ticking until we unplugged it (it’s a gas stove but has an electric igniter and oven).  We tried everything we could think of to stop the problem, even enlisting Garrett’s electrician dad to mess with the wiring, but all to no avail.  The Ravenna House was full of “tick, tick, tick, tick…” anytime the appliance is plugged in.  So it’s been a lot of pizza delivery and microwaved soup for suppers lately.  Fortunately the repair man came last week and had the thing back up and running after replacing the igniter box.

The Grit and Polish - White and Marble Kitchen with Professional Stove

Next the hot water heater’s compressor pump failed.  Actually it’s been out for a while, but we finally decided to do something about it.  So we drained the heater’s ginormous tank, detached the power and plumbing, and took the whole unit back to Home Depot.  Luckily it was under warranty so they replaced it free of charge, but unfortunately we had to go without hot water for a good six hours.  Not the end of the world, but a bit of an inconvenience.

Next up was the fridge.  That’s a real unfortunate deal since it has been leaking for months…onto my newly-refinished (ish) hardwood floors!  Turns out the filter was clogged causing ice build-up and leakage.  No permanent damage to the floors, thank goodness, but frustrating. Kitchenaid was kind enough to extend the warranty on this particular issue so we had a repair man out free of charge.  The repair man had the filter switched out in approximately 30 seconds and went merrily on his way, leaving me wondering why I hand’t called on it early.  Really, why didn’t I…?!

Kitchen Fridge and Bench

And last but not least we had an error on the washing machine that had our laundry at a standstill.  No idea what caused the error code to keep popping up on the display, although it did strangely coincide with Wilder’s peaked interest in the machine and his ability to reach the controls.  Hmmmmmm….  It took the repair man two visits to get this problem hammered out.  And unfortunately we had to go without a washer for a good four weeks.  Tough when you’ve got a make-a-mess-of-a-clean-shirt-in-30-seconds toddler on  your hands!

The Grit and Polish - Laundry Space Viewed from Bathroom

Amazing how many of our new appliances have had issues in barely over a year.  I suppose this confirms my suspicions that the Ravenna House is haunted.  Except perhaps not by Josephine, the last resident, but by an angry appliance repair man that has some gripe against the remodel.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t have a gripe with cookies, because I’m planning a Christmas-cookie-baking-extravaganza and a stove is kinda essential for that!

But in all seriousness, this is pretty crazy, right?  Have you ever had so many appliances go out.  Especially new appliances, barely a year old?



p.s. Speaking of holiday desserts (oh, weren’t we?), I’ve made this noel log twice and Garrett is obsessed!

p.p.s. New babies are hands down the most special thing ever.  And a new baby around the holidays for one of my favorite bloggers…even better!

p.p.p.s. The cast of Love Actually, then and now.  I knew I’d seen Rick Grimes before…

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Wilder’s Nursery Re-Reveal


Over the past couple of months, I’ve made a few changes to Wilder’s nursery.  Because this kiddo is getting older.  Like noticeably older.  He’s really more toddler than baby now and while I love love love this age, I find myself missing my baby who wanted to be held.  All. The. Time.

I remember when I first got pregnant, I thought I’d do up the nursery and that would be it until Wilder reached say high school.  But now I realize that kiddos change quickly and so do their needs.  Their spaces should evolve along with them, especially when that space doubles as a toy room, a reading room, a hang-out room and a run-around-with-your-pants-off room.  For Wilder, that is!  So I’ve been making steady adjustments like:

  • Removing receiving blankets and other baby paraphernalia
  • Changing the pictures on the walls to things he likes and I can stand to look at too
  • Finding more storage for toys, art supplies, and books, books, books
  • Bringing in the large world map and one of my favorites from childhood – the antique globe 
  • Displaying some of Wilder’s best artwork masterpieces

Here, have a look:

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Nursery Crib     The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Nursery Details Collage 2The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Nursery reading with Mama

I’m going for an adventure theme with elements of travel.  Hopefully that’s obvious.  I think exploring and adventure is an important piece of a well-lived life and I want my kiddo to be surrounded by that.  Plus Wilder is pretty adventurous, so it fits him.

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Nursery Family Photos

Wilder’s never really taken to stuffies, but I keep trying.  Because they really are the cutest.  The stacks of books aren’t just decoration.  This busy kid loves to read (I told you about that last month).  He’ll actually page through books and babble to himself like he’s reading the story all by himself.  I suppose he is.  So sweet Mr. Wilder!

The Grit and Polish - Six of Wilder's Favorite Books

The frame photographs over the crib is from Costco (I did a quick preview of that here) plus one of my Uncle John mountain-climbing in Alaska.  I’m happy with how this mini-gallery-wall turned out.  I love the photographs and the monochromatic-ish look.  I hope Wilder likes to stare at those images as he drifts into peaceful slumber and sleeps all night.  Did you hear me Mister?  Sleeps ALL night!

The quilt on the chair was made by Wilder’s Bunia (my mom).  I leave it there in an attempt at covering the I’m-not-sure-it’s-granny-chic-or-just-plain-ugly cushions on the rocker.  But the rocker is so cozy and essential to our cuddle-sessions that I absolutely could not live without it.  But I’d definitely think about getting it reupholstered some day – anyone have a good suggestion for a local Seattle upholster?

I hope you guys like Wilder’s nursery half as much as I do.  It’s a real pleasure to spend time in there with my little guy.  Especially dance parties.  Pants optional!

The Grit and Polish - Wilder's Nursery play

You can read more about the nursery renovation here.

Resources: Wall paint: BM Revere Pewter | Trim paint: BM Simply White | Door Knob: Home Depot| Blinds: Home Depot | Wool Rug: Land of Nod | Crib: Pottery Barn | bookcase and baskets: Ikea | dresser: vintage, Craigslist | crib sheet and changing pad cover: Land of Nod (similar to) | Overhead light: Amazon | Hanging light: West Elm | letter “W”: Anthropologie | Simon the Whale stuffie:Land of Nod | Porkie Pig stuffie: Land of Nod | Fox stuffie on nightstand: Amazon | Large fox stuffie in crib: old from Anthropologie | Dancing figurines: Ikea | Tassle garland: Shop Sweet Lulu (small foxes from Rejuvenation) | Hanging owl: Etsy | Quilt: made by my mother | Photos over crib: Costco and family | Picture frames: Ikea | Globe: antique | World map: Amazon 

I’d love to hear what you think!  Is the space too grown up for a little guy, or does it fit the bill?



p.s. I get a little carried away pinning nurseries…but there are some really awesome spaces out there!

p.p.s. Are you kidding me with this 1700’s New York home.  Stunning!  I especially love the hardwood floors and the paint colors in the kitchen.

p.p.p.s. This video of the sun is amazing – had me totally entranced.  It’ll be fun to show it to Wilder too!


It’s a Patio…in my backyard!


Well guys it’s officially rainy season here in Seattle.  You know what that means.  We expect a lot of wet weather, day in and day out, for about six months.  But  this year has been different.  We’ve gotten a spell of cold that’s had the sun shining bright and the falling-leaves dry.  So far, it’s actually been a beautiful fall, and we’ve taken full advantage of it to make progress on the patio.

After we got back from New Orleans, we rented a plate compactor and leveled out the gravel base we had laid in the backyard.

The Grit and Polish - backyard patio prep

Disregard the mess along the sagging fences.  Some day Garrett is going to build me a storage shed.  And than a fence.  🙂

We wanted the patio to be long – about the length of the parking pad – and 12′ in width.  That way we can use it for overflow parking if need be.  We prepped the patio area with gravel and after we graded and compacted it, we started laying pavers.

The Grit and Polish - Patio Construction 3

I scored some free granite paver left-overs from a commercial plaza downtown through a connection at work.  The pavers are generally 1’x2′ in size but we also got a lot of miscellaneous-sized cut pieces.  So we fit them together like a puzzle.  I think it looks pretty cool plus they were free.  And free is my favorite price 🙂

To lay the pavers, we set down a couple inches of sand in a small area – about 10sf- and leveled it using a 2×4 and some old yard-tool handles.  Here’s Wilder stepping in the leveled-sand on the first day of laying pavers:

The Grit and Polish - Patio Construction 1

Wilder didn’t actually get to lay any pavers due to the fact that they weigh upwards of 50lbs.  Per piece!  But Wilder did get to throw the small cast-offs around.  Plus he helped by “digging” and picking up leaves.  This kiddo loves to help. When he sees dada put on his work boots, he starts jumping up and down and squealing, knowing he gets to go outside and help dada work.  And when I come out to inspect the work (someone’s got to do quality control after all), he loves to tell me about it in giant hand-gestures and babbled-sentences.  It’s really the sweetest!

Here we are about half way done laying the patio:

The Grit and Polish - Patio Construction 2

And here’s the finished product, Wilder-tested and approved:

The Grit and Polish - Patio Construction 4

I’m noticing our concrete driveway is looking a little lackluster these days.  While I doubt we’ll get around to repairing the concrete, hopefully it gets a good power wash.  Or maybe just a good rain.

We swept sand in-between the pavers.  After a rain storm or two we’ll probably have to lay some more, but for now it’s done.  We still plan to lay some kind of border around the patio – not sure if it will be concrete or just a flower bed.

Well it’s nice to be able to say (finally) that the patio is done.  Done, done, done!  Next up: a shed for mama and a fence for Bubba!

More on the backyard renovation here, here, and here.



p.s. This New Orleans house is amazing.

p.p.s. Have you guys been listening to Serial?  Get on board…it’s awesome!!!

p.p.p.s. I would live in this NYC apartment.  Oh yes, yes I would.

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An Old Photo of the Ravenna House


When we first bought the Ravenna House, I tried to learn everything I could about the history of the property.  I’m a sucker for old house history, and I wanted to know who had lived here before us, how they had lived, and what they had done to the house.  The neighbors shared stories – some funny, some pretty sad – about the previous owner, John and long-time resident Josefa.  But when it came to tracking down a historic photo of the property, I turned to the Puget Sounds Regional Archive, our local source for historic records.

I was pretty excited to find out that the archives had multiple photos of the Ravenna House. I purchased the oldest photo, this one from 1937:

The Grit and Polish - Ravenna House Historic 1937 Photo

The Ravenna House was a quaint little tudor in 1937, right?!  I want to ball up that charm and sprinkle it back in 2014.  Because I’m really not fond of the changes that have been made to the exterior of the house since this photo was taken.  Previous owners added vinyl siding (an actual decrease in the house’s value, according to our appraiser) covered the classic stucco detail at the top of the gable with Victorian-inspired vinyl fish scales, replaced the front windows with large vinyl sliders, and generally ignored maintenance on the house for a few decades…or 8 to be more precise.

This is what the house looked like in 2013, two weeks before we closed on the property (this is the picture our realtor took with my iPhone and we included with our offer):

The Ravenna House Front 11-7-13

Look how little Wilder was.  Ahhhhhh so sweet!

But let’s be honest.  The house has lost soooooo much of it’s original charm.  If I had my druthers, we’d return the exterior to its 1937 glory, but sadly we do not have that kind of budget for this house.  The vinyl siding was installed a few years back and it’s in good shape, so we can’t justify the expense of ripping it off and residing with cedar.  We did pony up and replace the windows with vinyl and reconfigured the front windows back to the side-by-side configuration that you see in the 1937 photo.  That, at least, was a real win for the exterior.   But that’s all we’re planning to do.

I’m not going to show you an “after” photo today, because deep down I’m hoping that we’ll change our minds (or win the lottery…!) and replace the front door with a wood version, reside in cedar siding, and free the gable’s hidden stucco.  Plus it’s really, really cold in Seattle right now, and it’s just too cozy in my house to even think about going outside to take a photo.

So tell me, what do you think?  Do you prefer the 1937 version as much as I do…or is the vinyl siding not as bad as I think?



p.s. A few house exteriors I like better than mine.  Much much MUCH better!

p.p.s. I didn’t know this was possible – one of my favorite ice cream shops teamed up with one of my favorite blogs.  And it sounds pretty delicious!

p.p.p.s. I dig this country house!


The Ravenna House: One Year Later


Guys, we’ve officially owned the Ravenna House for one year.  One whole year!  Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.  The house has come a long way in that time, especially considering we had two 9-5 jobs and a 4-month-old when we closed.  This house is almost like a second baby to us – an Irish-twin sibling to Wilder – one who slept a little more but took just about as much nourishment, work, and protection as Wilder did in his first year.  Well almost…

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, I thought it’d be fun to look back at all the work we’ve done.  So let’s go back, way back, to the beginning of this journey.  If you’ve been following our renovations, you’ve seen these pictures before, but it’s always fun to see just how far we’ve come.

Let’s start with the kitchen.  This room has seen a huge transformation, and I hope you’ll agree with me when I say it’s for the better:

The Grit and Polish - Kitchen Collage Before and After

The living room:The Grit and Polish - Living Room Collage Before and After

And oh Lordy, here’s the pink bathroom (did you forget just how pink this room used to be?!):The Grit and Polish - Bathroom Collage Before and After   Wilder’s nursery:The Grit and Polish - Nursery Collage Before and AfterAnd the basement:The Grit and Polish - Basement Collage Before and After

How quickly you forget those long nights and the constant dust in-between your toes.  The pure physical exhaustion fades and these memories take on an erily-romantic tone.  Like it was the time of our lives, hammering away at walls until ours arms were too tired to do anymore and waking up at 5am on a Sunday to paint ceilings.  Okay, okay, you’ve got me…so it was pretty fun.

You may have noticed I didn’t show you the exterior of the house. That’s because I have a post about that – and what may or may not have gotten done there – planned for Friday.  So for today, let’s just bask in the glory of what’s been done.

And what’s better to bask in after a year of renovations, than signed off permits?!  That’s right, we passed our electrical, plumbing, and final building inspections last month…and on the first try!  According to the city of Seattle, this house is signed off and officially renovated.  And it feels great!  Seriously, it’s incredible piece of mind to know that the work’s done and it’s been done right.  Okay, so there’s still a tiny bit more to do (such as that giant backyard renovation we’ve been snailing our way through), but you’ve got to take the wins when they come.

All those long nights and dusty-days were so worth it!  Thanks for letting us call you ours, Ravenna House!



p.s. This home has popped up on Pinterest a lot lately and I had to share.  If you haven’t seen it yet, this California home by Amber Interiors is really stunning – I especially love the fireplace!

p.p.s. This house is beyond stunning, even if it is new (okay, I can’t actually tell is it new…is it old…but that’s a good thing in my book)!

p.p.p.s. Very timely renovation lessons from another old-house-renovator and blog buddy of mine.  If I made my own list (and I’m sure I will some day, because how great are lists) these would all be on it!

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