The Farmhouse | Starting the Nursery


I am so excited to show you guys our first project at the Farmhouse, the nursery. Yes, that’s right, we’re finally getting started on renovating this old house, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Unlike our previous houses, we’re taking this renovation slow and will focus on one or two rooms at a time. At least that’s our plan right now.

So about that nursery… I had originally intended for Wilder and Brooks to share a bedroom here at the Farmhouse, and we tried it for a couple of weeks. But they were waking each other up and waking us up and everyone was tired and cranky, so I admitted defeat. We started renovating the nursery the very next day.  Brooks will get his own room until he’s sleeping a little better, or until I get the courage to put him back in with Wilder.

I showed you guys the before photos of the nursery last week, so check out that post if you want to see more, but here’s a little reminder:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery WallThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Bedroom Closet

Not good.  Not good at all.

The room has really great bones, but they’re hidden under those bad paint colors and the wall-to-wall carpet. And the drapes, which were mostly removed by the time I shot the ‘before’ photos, were hung on the top window molding, which really dwarfed the 9′ ceilings. These strange design choices made by the previous owners, made the room feel small and slightly ‘icky’ and there wasn’t much ‘historic farmhouse’ left in here.

Which brings us to what I’d like this room to feel like. I want this nursery to be light and bright and comfortable. And I’d like it to feel historic, but still relevant and modern. We also need this room to function as overflow guest quarters for Rodeo weekend (we’re expecting 3+ families to stay with us during this year’s Labor Day Rodeo, and once word gets out that we’ve got more rooms than we know what to do with, we could get some long lost cousins knocking at the door ;). So I’m imagining a daybed – or at least a daybed-styled bed – in addition to a crib. During the winter, I imagine the kids will play in here and I plan to do some writing in here (it gets the best light!), so it needs to work for everyone, people of all ages and genders. So even though it’s a nursery, you won’t see anything too themed or baby-ish in the decor.

We got around to priming and painting this room last week, and I couldn’t be more excited about how this space is turning out! I shared a couple photos with my sister before she came to visit (like this one, which I also shared on Instagram), and she was adamant that the pictures don’t do the space justice. So, at her insistence, I shot a video for you all.  Let me know if you guys like seeing the space in 3D!

Sorry about the low volume. I shot this during nap time and didn’t want to wake the boys!

Later that afternoon, we got a coat of paint on the walls. I used Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (my go-to white color), because, as I mentioned before, I want the space to feel light and bright. I also picked white because there’s something so intrinsically country about white walls. At least there is to me. Do you guys agree?

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint 1 The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Post Paint 2

We pulled up the carpets after the paint dried and ‘ll tell you about what we found underneath them next week. But before then, I wanted to make one note. After watching the video, I realized that I seemed very negative on wall-to-wall carpet. So a big ol’ sorry to wall-to-wall carpet and the people that love you!  I’m really not against carpet (we used it here after all), I’m just against people laying wall-to-wall carpet over old hardwoods in an old house. Especially when said carpets smell like animal pee and are covered in too many stains to count. Yuck!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Nursery Carpet Pull

I’d love to hear what you guys think about this room! Do you like my ideas for it? Do you guys have rooms in your house that function for so many uses?

Have a great rest of your week y’all! I’m off to buy pillows for the future daybed and I couldn’t be more excited about it!



p.s. speaking about daybeds, I love how Emily Henderson’s turned out in Elliott’s nursery.

p.p.s. What do you guys think about wall murals and stickers? I’m really digging these trees! I’m pretty sure I’d use them in the nursery if our walls weren’t SO textured.

p.p.p.s. This makes me want to fly to Columbus and get a tattoo. Stat.

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The Farmhouse | A Tour of the Living Spaces


We’re settling in at the Farmhouse. And by “settling in” I mean that we’re eating out of pizza boxes and sleeping on the floor. But there’s laughter in the hallways and beer in the fridge, so it’s beginning to feel like home.

And oh goodness what a home it is!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Porch

Today I’m going to kick off a tour of the Farmhouse (I’ve creatively dubbed it “the Farmhouse Tour”), which means I get to show you things like pocket doors and casement windows (!!!).  We are really lucky in that many of the original details in our farmhouse are still intact. That’s impressive considering the house was built in 1912 – the same year that the Titanic sank and Arizona became the 48th state.

Since then, our house has seen a lot of renovations – some good, some not so good – but thankfully, not much work has been done to the main living spaces.  These rooms – the foyer, entry, stairwell, office, living room, and dining room – have been left mostly untouched.

And since these rooms are the first that you’d see as a guest to the farmhouse, I thought I’d start the Farmhouse Tour here.  Let’s start at the front door:

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse front entry door

That isn’t the best photo, but hopefully you can make out the intricate detailing on the front door. Lovely, right?! I’m guessing the little foyer space served as an “airlock” between the heated house and the outdoors back in 1912, but it also serves as a spot to hang coats.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Through Front Door

The foyer leads to the entry, which connects the staircase, office, living room, dining room, and guest bedroom. When you step into the entry, a 40″ pocket door (the first of three that you’ll see today!) greets you on the right and leads to the office.

I have to tell you guys that I’m really excited about the office and have big plans for it. Can you believe that Garrett and I haven’t had a designated office space since our first home? And that was eight years ago! Just imagine, we’re finally going to know where the laptop charger is and have a spot for mail! I’m pretty psyched!

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before OfficeThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Office 2

Now for perhaps my favorite original feature in the whole house: the staircase! It’s situated next to the office and truly stunning (at least I think so). I’m already dreaming about little feet pattering down these stairs on Christmas mornings!

The Grit and Polish - The Farmhouse Staircase 07-2016The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Staircase 2

The living room is directly across from the office and accessed by another 40″ pocket door.  Here’s a look at the living room from the office (and looking through the entry):

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse office to living 07-2016

The living room has windows on two walls and pocket doors on the other two walls.  It’s absent a fireplace, which feels kind of strange (the fireplace is actually in the dining room), but at least the room is large and has lots of original millwork.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Living Rm WindowsThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Living RoomThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Living RmThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Living to Kitchen

The large pocket doors in the picture above lead to the dining room and are 6′ wide.  Can you believe that after 104 years, they still open like a dream?!

The dining room is also a large room – I’m guessing it can fit a table for at least ten – and also boasts the fireplace, a bank of casement windows, and a built-in hutch.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse dining room 2The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Dining Windows 07-2016The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse dining room built-inThe Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Dining to Stairs 07-2016The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Before Dining Fire

So those are the main living spaces in the Farmhouse. Seems like a lot of pictures for only five rooms, but hopefully they gave you a feel for what this old farmhouse is like.

I should also say something about all that original millwork. I’m one of those never-paint-old-millwork kind of people. So as we do work to these rooms, you’ll never see us paint them. It might make updating these spaces (and making them feel current) more difficult, but we’re 100% up for the challenge!

What about you…do you like unpainted millwork? Are you into old and original as much as I am? What would you do to these spaces?

And in case you missed it, check out the exterior of the house here and the story of how we found and bought the house here.



p.s. Did I mention that 1912 was also the year that Julia Child was born?! She just so happens to be the owner of one of my favorite quotes of all time! Profound words, folks. Profound words.

p.p.s. Love the recent trend to renovation-related webisodes and podcasts.  A few of my favorites: Chris loves Julia, Young House Love, and Simply Grove. And I can’t wait to watch Studio McGee’s first webisode (which just released this week). You guys know of any others?!

p.p.p.s. A writeup on our town, Ellensburg WA, in the Seattle Times.  Love this small town!


Introducing The Farmhouse!


Occasionally pigs fly. And lightning strikes twice.  And sometimes, if you’re really, really lucky, you find your dream home (or perhaps it’s the other way around and your dream home finds you…).

That’s my roundabout introduction for quite possibly the most exciting sentence ever written here on the Grit and Polish. We, family of renovation-loving gypsies, are about to settle down. 

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse 1 7-14-16

That’s right! After approximately one thousand renovations and one thousand moves over the past eight years, we found our home. Our dream home. And I’d call it our forever home, but forever is a long time and I’ve learned to never say ever or never when it comes to our family and houses 😉

Our home is old (of course) and big and beautiful (if you don’t mind me saying…) and it needs a little bit work (naturally). But it’s not in Seattle.

So…we’re moving out of the city, 90 miles east, to the small town where Garrett and I grew up and fell in love. Back to the town where our parents still live.  We’re moving to Ellensburg WA.  And my goodness, my heart is so full with all of it.

The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Wraparound Porch 7-14-16The Grit and Polish - Farmhouse Front

A very happy Friday to you all!



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