Porch House // Dining Room Before + After


Even though we bought the Porch House a year ago (an entire year!) and have already sold it, there are still a ton of spaces we haven’t gotten to on the blog yet. There’s the living room, the entire upstairs, the kitchen, the exterior, and the dining room.  Phew! I’m chomping at the bit to share these, so today we’re going to look at the dining room.

Believe it or not, this dining room saw quite a bit of renovation work even though we didn’t have to do any major changes. This was one of those rooms that just needed to be cleaned up and left alone as much as possible. Here’s what the dining room looked like when we first bought the Porch House.

This room had great bones: original moldings, hardwood floors, a large window, and a built-in hutch. It was so good that we didn’t need a design plan, we just needed to bring it into the 21st century. And indeed, besides the ceiling fan, baseboard heater, and floors – which were all of the wrong era or in too rough of shape to salvage – we saved everything else.

Even with our small design agenda, there was still a fair amount of work to do: electrical, heating, paint, lighting, fixing up the old hutch, plaster repair, and of course the new hardwood floors.  This room wasn’t part of our 16-day HGTV pilot, Master Plan, so we had the luxury of time to finish this room.

Most of you know that we sold the Porch House to Garrett’s parents so we never had to stage this space, but I did bring in the couch and table from the sunroom to give you a bit of scale. In hindsight I wish I had taken more photos of this room finished, like of the window and the opposite vantage point. Ugh. At the end of an extensive renovation like this one, we’re always so busy with the punch list and super eager to pack up and be done that sometimes (read: almost always) photos are the lowest priority. More often than not, I find myself wishing I had taken more photos when I finally get around to downloading them. But so it goes in the glamorous life of DIY renovators 😉

One thing I love in this dining room is the light fixture. It’s far more modern than I usually select for our spaces, but it’s sculptural, bright, and focal – everything we needed in here. We opted to leave the fixture high instead of dropping it over the table, because we didn’t know where the future owners would put the table or even if they’d use this space as a dining room.

I’d love to know where you stand on the modern-light-in-an-old-house look, championed by Old Home Love among others. It was definitely an uncharacteristic move for me, but I’m surprised by just how much I love it!

Sources: wall paint – BM Simply White // trim paint – C2 Vex // chandelier // velvet pillows // latch on hutch // vase (similar) // table and couch vintage (from Craigslist) //

Related Posts: Porch House hardwood floors // Porch House floor plan // We’re Filming a Pilot for HGTV // Dexter House Backyard //


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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