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!

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  1. Kristin Johnson says:

    I’m glad to hear you’ll leave the beautiful millwork unpainted! What a treasure to find it all in such good shape. Looking forward to see how you bring it to life for your family! Our 1925 house came to us with all the millwork already white. While I do love the brightness, I would love to have seen what it looked like before paint!

  2. Alison G says:

    I am super relieved to hear the wood and original details will remain original. Soo many people go and paint everything. I don’t think it will be harder to decorate. I am looking forward to watching you settle in. I am happy for you all. I like the unpainted millwork, I really like the old and original. What would I do? I would add a narrow bench and hooks above it in the entry way. I would nix the carpeting(I hope there is hardwood under them). If privacy is no issue, remove the short drapes. And add color to the walls! Is the kitchen on the main floor? And thanks for the links, a couple of them are new to me.

  3. This place is AMAZING! I love the stair case and the deep porch and the woodwork and the pocket doors, and….

    The BF and I travel through Ellensburg quite a bit [we live in Edmonds] and there are some GREAT places to eat there. We do an annual float down the Yakima river every September. Eastern WA is such a more relaxed way of life. So looking forward to whatr you do with your new place!

  4. Love, love, LOVE! I’m so happy that you’re not touching the old millwork, it’s one of the features that make the house so unique. Is the fireplace original? That’s the only part I’m not crazy about…it looks a little bit “medieval” and too large for the space. I can’t wait to see how you transform your little slice of heaven!

  5. Be still my heart!!! I had not checked your website in a couple weeks, so what a delightful surprise to see your news & all the lovely pictures of your new home!! I, too, live in a 1907 home that my husband & I have spent the last 25 yrs renovating & raising our two children. It is not as large or grand (no pocket doors or as regal a staircase) but it was virtually untouched, so we have ALL the millwork (which looks almost identical to yours) & two beautiful ornate front doors, etc. We also have not been able to bring a paintbrush to the millwork. All I kept thinking as I read each post was, “Are they going to paint all that beautiful woodwork?” So, I was so happy to read that you don’t plan to. I will anxiously await your progress to see how you do “update” & decorate. How fun for you, your family & now, us, as your followers!! So happy you have moved “home!” There truly is no place like home & to raise your children near grandparents & family….wonderful!! Also…..I’m sure you already know this, but those antique doors w/the oval glass are very, very rare. Congratulations on your new & exciting adventure!

    • Loved hearing this Lynn! Thanks so much for the sweet words about our home. Glad to hear other people agree with my “don’t paint the millwork” stance too 🙂

  6. I am currently experiencing house envy like never before. You really found a treasure in this house! I usually love white trim, but I’m so glad you’re going to keep it as is. It’s truly stunning. I can’t wait to see the rest of the house and what you do with it!

  7. Beautiful home, congrats! Your house resembles an American Foursquare style…my last house (1910) and current home (1912), more atypical, were/are foursquares. I LOVE these old homes! Can’t wait to see what you do with it! I, too, have found it more difficult to decorate with the all natural woodwork, but painting it would be a sin! There’s nothing more beautiful than walking down those staircases in the morning with the sunlight bouncing off the woodwork. 🙂

  8. Cliff Richards says:

    Cathy, it’s refreshing to see what you’re doing to our grandparent’s home and where we spent so much time as we grew up right next door. Really strange to see again and brings back many fond memories. I’m glad you’re restoring it back to near original.

    • Thanks so much Cliff! That means a lot to me. I bet it’s really odd seeing a home from your childhood look so different, but at least you know it’s loved!

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