Roundup // our favorite cabinet hardware under $7

Cabinet hardware has often been referred to as the ‘jewel of the kitchen’ and I couldn’t agree more.  It’s pretty, functional, shiny, and usually one of the most complimented details in a kitchen.  But it doesn’t have to be expensive.  Cabinet hardware is one of the places we like to save money during a kitchen renovation.  In the 6 kitchens that Garrett and I have renovated, we’ve rarely spent more than $7 on a pull/knob/latch.

Here’s a look at five of my favorite classic and simple cabinet hardware options under $7.

sources Martha Stewart: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Beautiful, right?!   I’ve used most of these options more than once, and will use them again.  Kitchens shown are: Ravenna, #6daykitchenreno, Bryant, and Ravenna.

The only piece I hesitated to include was the latch pulls (item 1).  I love LOVE the look of these classic pulls on flush mount cabinets, but we’ve had a couple break.  I’m not sure if it was because of faulty manufacturing or a certain toddler who made a game out of twisting them.  But we’ve found it useful to have a couple of extra latches to replace any that break.

Garrett and I were in Seattle recently and stopped by the #6daykitchenreno for a visit with our friends, and my goodness how lovely the space looks!  Julia added a Skyline rug (which is the same rug I’m using in the master bedroom and nursery at the farmhouse) and I couldn’t stop staring at those brass pulls (item 2).  The pulls are gorgeous and will definitely be making a repeat appearance when I get my hands on another kitchen to renovate!

How about you, what’s your favorite cabinet hardware?



p.s. Loved this article about building a home and NOT keeping up with the Jonses. That Kim has a good head on her shoulders!

p.p.s. Julia of Chris Loves Julia called me “seriously great” on her blog last week (!!!!). Did you see it?  She also posted a picture of our Dexter kitchen on her Instagram account.  She is such a great designer and blogger, I couldn’t be more flattered!

p.p.p.s. This old house tour is soooo good!


Dexter Kitchen Renovation Part 1: the Renovation Process


This is part 1 of a series on the Dexter House kitchen renovation.  Part 2 (the Reveal) can be found here.

When we first toured the Dexter House in October of 2014, one of the things that stood out to me the most was the kitchen.  It had to go.  Complete with black mold and a horrendous layout, the kitchen was going to be a gut job. And that was exciting for this renovation-loving gal.  Kitchens are my favorite!

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel - Before

We got the keys to the Dexter House on a Friday and Garrett and I spent our first evening at the house demoing the kitchen.  This happened to coincide with filming our mini-TV pilot, so producers caught all the action on film, adding a bit of extra excitement to the event.  With or without the cameras there, it was a pretty awesome night.  I love those first few moments in a house, when all that potential is there staring you in the face before demo starts and turns everything dusty and messy and looking like a ton of work.  So spending the first moments at the Dexter House with Garrett (and Brooks in my belly) was perfect.  Here’s an iPhone picture that the producers took of us on that first evening.

The Grit and Polish - Demo night 1

Once demo was complete and the camera crew went home, I spent some time coming up with a layout for the kitchen.  This remodel is unique because in the end, we decided to remove square footage from the kitchen.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out.  As I mentioned, the layout was horrendous.  The kitchen had four doorways and very awkward geometry, and there just wasn’t any room for cabinets or prep space or even a dishwasher.  So, we made the kitchen smaller, enabling us to recapture wall space.  We closed off the attached eating nook (and converted it to a master bathroom…!), framed in the doorway to the hallway, and demoed a small closet that encroached into the kitchen.  This got us the wall space we needed to bring in more cabinets and create a nice workflow.  The kitchen is now an efficient 10’x11′ square, with only two doorways.  You can see the general floor plan here.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Remodel - Progress 3

It seems like I try to save original cabinets in every kitchen remodel we take on.  And by ‘seems’ I mean ‘do’ – like at the Bryant house and the Ravenna house and now, naturally, at the Dexter House.  Right from the get go, we discussed saving the bank of original cabinets on the south side of the kitchen, but as time and planning went on, this was widdled down to saving just the floor-to-ceiling pie safe and the upper cabinet next to it (seen in the photo above).  Sure it would have been faster and easier to just demo everything, but what’s the fun it that?

The Grit and Polish - kitchen demo completeThe Grit and Polish - Kitchen DemoThe Grit and Polish - Kitchen Cabinet demo 2

With demo complete, a layout established, and a tuxedo design plan in the works, it was time to start building the kitchen back.  We began by framing in the old entrances to the hallway and dining nook and then enlarged the opening to the dining room, exposed the brick chimney, laid a new hardwood floor, roughed in electrical and plumbing, cut in skylights, drywalled and installed cabinets, vented the hood, tiled the backsplash, added butcher block countertops, installed the sink and faucets, painted everything, removed the door to the mudroom, added lights, brought the appliances in, built a dishwasher panel, hung the open shelves, and installed the cabinet hardware.

The Grit and Polish - Progress Collage

Phew!  That was a lot of work.  We spent the better part of the summer renovating this room (along with the rest of the house) and finished the project just after moving into the house at the end of September, which happened to be about a week before baby Brooks was due.

I’ll show you the entire finished kitchen on Thursday.  But for today, here’s a peak at the kitchen and the family that built it.

The Grit and Polish - Dexter Kitchen Family 2

I’ll tell you what, renovating old houses is a dusty job, but I’m really glad we get to do it!



p.s. I gathered a lot of inspiration for this tuxedo kitchen remodel on Pinterest.  Here are all of my favorite kitchens!

p.p.s. Did you catch my DIY on coco+kelley yesterday?! We photographed this project right here at the Dexter House and it was a blast!

p.p.p.s. So much truth about renovating and collecting and marriage is wrapped up in Victoria’s post.  Seriously though, read this!  She will have you laughing out loud.

p.p.p.p.s. And one more because this is pretty dang awesome…an extinct species is found again!

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A Bit of Fall Stowed Away


Last weekend I went grocery shopping and a couple of Fall foods stowed away with me. Heirloom tomatoes, black mission figs, chantrelle mushrooms, and squash.  What, you’re probably wondering, was I going to cook with all that?  No idea.  But they sure do make beautiful Fall decorations in the kitchen…

The Grit and Polish - Bright Colors for Fall

Not that I told Garrett that.  I have a tendency to buy groceries on a whim – whatever looks good goes in the cart – and it drives a certain person nuts.  So I told Garrett I had no idea how those tomatoes, figs, mushrooms, and squash ended up in my cart.  It was one of those great mysteries of the world.  Like “how did they build the pyramids” or “where do all of Wilder’s binkies disappear to”.  

I’m not sure he bought my story.  

But much to my liking, the kitchen is feeling more like Fall.  Plus I came up with a plan for those chantrelle mushrooms, so Garrett’s a bit happier too.  In case you find yourself in the same predicament, I followed this recipe to sauté the mushrooms and then tossed them into angel hair pasta with cherry tomatoes, garlic, prosciutto, and olive oil.  It was delicious!  Now what to do with those figs…

The Grit and Polish - Kitchen Open Shelves with Figs The Grit and Polish - Kitchen Open Shelves Fruit Bowl

I should probably do the grocery shopping more often!  Happy almost-Fall everybody!

And in case you’re interested, kitchen resources here, open shelves DIY here, kitchen renovation hereherehere and here.



p.s. Fascinated by this Pennsylvania farmhouse and the mama who lives there.

p.p.s. Look, I found something to do with those figs!  Or maybe I’ll preserve them or bake them or roast them in prosciutto.  So many delicious options!  See Garrett, totally not a wasteful purchase.

p.p.p.s. Alert the world…royal baby #2 is on it’s way!!!!

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