More from the Wallingford House: Our First Dining Room


How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was awesome!  We spent tons of time with family and ate like Kings.  Kings eat lots and lots of stuffing, right?  Wilder particularly liked dipping his turkey in the gravy and licking it off.  You might be asking what kind of parent would let their 17-month-old eat straight salty, fatty gravy, but yeah that happened.  Wilder played with all 5 of his cousins like mad and was pretty bummed when they went home.  Like I said, an awesome Thanksgiving!

Since we’re talking about Thanksgiving, let’s take a peek at the dining room where we hosted our first Thanksgiving.  The dining room of our Wallingford House.  I introduced you guys to our first house last week, so today let’s just keep going…the dining room:

The Grit and Polish - Dining Room table 2

The dining room at the Wallingford House is light and bright and big enough to hold a table for 8.  I remember when we first toured the house, it was mid-day in September and sunlight was literally streaming through the 3 double-hung windows on the south side of the dining room.  It made me feel like Seattle was so bright.  Like there would never be another overcast day ever again.  And I think my heart fell for it.

I was so in love with the Wallingford House, I was sure this house would be our’s before we even finished touring the dining room.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford dining chairsThe Grit and Polish - Wallinford Dining Room Collage

When we lived in the Wallingford House, we had the same table and chairs that we have now in the Ravenna House’s kitchen.   We bought the table on mega-sale at Crate and Barrel (discontinued) and the chairs came from Industry West.  Depending on the weather we’d swap the chairs from the dining room to the table on the back patio and back again.

I really love this dining room.  Both for it’s peaceful and bright demeanor and the memories we have in it.  When we hosted our first Thanksgiving here, my entire family – including my sister and brothers, their spouses, and children – sat around our table.  It was tight, but no one seemed to mind.  When my grandfather died that same year, I made a carrot cake – his favorite cake – and we ate it here, telling stories and laughing through our grief.  Garrett and I celebrated highs and lows here, the exciting and the mundane.  We planned and dreamed and endured, all right here, in this very room.

In case you hadn’t noticed I’m a sentimental person.  To me, the space we live in becomes a living and breathing extension of our lives.  This house is so engrained in our story, that it’s part of the family.  And this dining room is at the center of it all.

The Grit and Polish - Wallinford Dining Table with flowers

I know people say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but in the Wallingford House, it’s the dining room.  And I hope that one day in the not too distant future, we’ll host another Thanksgiving in this room.



p.s. Or maybe I want to host thanksgiving here.  Yes, definitely here.

p.p.s. The blogger that got me into Simply White.  Can’t wait to find out what her next white will be…

p.p.p.s. Great tips for keeping your home clean.  With all the guests we’ve been having, these tips are really appreciated and timely!

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Our Previous Patio (Introducing the Wallingford House)


Last week I showed you guys our patio project at the Ravenna House.  It doesn’t look like much yet – the backyard still needs plants, fencing, grass, a little pizzaz – but we’re making progress.  This week I thought it would be fun to look back and show you the last patio we built, which was at our Wallingford House.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio at night 2

I haven’t told you guys much about our Wallingford home other than it was our first, so a quick introduction…

The Wallingford House

Wallingford House Historic Photo

Garrett and I bought the Wallingford House in 2008 with every last penny we could scrape together.  The house, built in 1916, was a small craftsman with 2 beds/1bath, 9.5′ ceilings, an unfinished basement, lots of natural light, and a unique detached cottage/workspace in the backyard.  And I was in love.  Like head-over-heels in love.

We moved-in in September with full hearts and an eight-week-old-puppy named Bubba.  The puppy was cute and energetic but the house was in various states of disrepair.  Originally we planned to live in the house forever and fix it up as we went but I got laid off and our plans changed.  With Garrett in graduate school and me without a job, we were no longer able to afford the mortgage, so I suggested we finish-out the basement, rent the house, and move into the backyard cottage.  And that’s just what we did (more on all of that here).  But let’s get back to the patio.  Here’s what it looks like now:

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio All 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio lavendar 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio benchThe Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio blueberriesThe Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio table

The backyard at the Wallingford House is dominated by a detached, 2-story cottage with a 200sf footprint (I’ll show you that structure another day).  There’s also a cute, small shed for storage, which Garrett built me.  The rest of the yard is really private, due in large part to the green-wall of laurel hedges on our south property line.

The Grit and Polish - Wallinford Patio Collage 1    The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio Table 2The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio fence arbor

We spent a lot of time building this backyard.  We did all the work ourselves and on a tight budget.  When we first bought the property, there was a giant kiln and overgrown-everything in the backyard.  Over a few summers (both while we lived in the house and then the cottage) we removed the kiln with a jackhammer and some family muscle, tidied up the landscaping, fenced the lot with wood from Papa’s scrap pile, planted wisteria and lavender and blueberries, and then laid the patio.  I loved this project.  I loved dreaming up the space.  I loved construction.

Here’s an iPhone picture of Garrett and I rebuilding the back deck, which connects the house’s back door to the patio.  Like all things, the deck ended up being a lot more work than we expected after finding mold in much of the structure.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio Deck construction

The deck was the last major project in the backyard and we were thrilled when it was finished.

The Grit and Polish - Wallingford Patio back deck

We had a lot of fun in this backyard – during construction and especially after.  We hosted large parities and intimate dinners around the farm table Garrett and I built.  We enjoyed sunny afternoons and snowy mornings (well at least one) with friends and family and people from the neighborhood.  But mostly it was just Garrett and I, before kids, spending quiet evenings under twinkling lights, with a cribbage board and some beers.  Ahhhhh I really miss this backyard!

BUT, if we get busy, the Ravenna House will have a backyard to play cribbage in too…



p.s. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?!  Here are some really spectacular recipes from around the country.  I’m excited about trying Nevada’s turkey French Dips with leftovers.  And are you kidding me with Persimmon pudding, Indiana?!  Sounds delicious!

p.p.s. You and I are going to spend a lot of time cooking this week, right?  Well here are a few modern-meets-vintage kitchens I wouldn’t mind baking some sweet potatoes in!

p.p.p.s. Wilder is really getting this renovation thing down.  Now if we could just get him to wear pants…

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