The Grit and Polish New Years Recap

Guys, it's been a great year on the old-house/renovation front for this family.  We've accomplished a TON!   Last year this time, we were spending every spare moment working on the Ravenna House and also juggling a 6-month-old who had just gotten his two front teeth on Christmas day (true story).  The Ravenna House looked something like this at the end of 2013: photo-5-1-



Oh my, I'm glad that's over.  Renovating is a lot of fun, but so is living in a house after it's been renovated!  We moved into the Ravenna House in March of this year with the main floor complete and we've been finishing up the basement and backyard on a snail-slow pace ever since. Here are my favorite moments from 2014 at the Ravenna House

1. The Kitchen.  Hands down, this is what I'm most proud of at the Ravenna House.  It's the biggest transformation and the prettiest room to photograph.  The kitchen also happens to be the most popular subject-matter on the Grit and Polish.  But in case you've missed it, you can get caught up on the renovation here, herehere, herehere and here.

The Grit and Polish - White and Marble Kitchen and Flowers

2. The basement.  This space used to be scary and black and full of who-knows-what-kind-of bugs and rodents.  Now it's a family room, bedroom, and bathroom that Wilder does a lot of playing in (how awesome is carpet?!), I do a lot of laundry in, and Garrett does a lot of Gonzaga basketball watching in.  Plus we have a kegerator down there, so you pretty much never need (or want) to leave.  More on that space here, here, here.

Basement Paint and Carpet - exposed beam

3. Removing the garage.  This isn't a glamorous see-the-finished-space moment, but taking out the old, structurally-comprimised garage opened up off-street parking at The Ravenna House, which is AWESOME in this busy Seattle neighborhood!  So it's definitely on my top-moment list!  Plus we got to have a "tractor" at the house for a few days which pretty much made Wilder's year.

The Grit and Polish - garage removal.jpgThe Grit and Polish - garage demo and tractor rides.jpg

4. The upstairs bathroom.  The transformation on the upstairs bathroom in 2014 was pretty monumental.  It went from all-pink and icky (ala the introduction picture above) to all-white and shiny.  Plus finding those hexagon tiles under the linoleum was one of my greatest old-house-loving moments of all time!  More on this space here and here.


I would be remiss if I didn't include one item from the Bryant House in this New Years recap.  We lived in that house until we moved to the Ravenna House at the end of March 2014 (more on the move here).  And though we didn't actually do the renovation this year, I posted on the Bryant Houses' kitchen so it kinda counts as a highlight of 2014!   Here it is, my last personal old-house highlight of 2014:

5. The Bryant House kitchen and dining nook.  The Bryant Houses' kitchen is actually one of the most popular posts on the Grit and Polish, and it's one of my favorite rooms that we've ever renovated.  We completed the work in April 2013, just before Wilder was born, and oh boy do I have the sweetest memories of holding my brand new baby boy in that wingback chair at the dining table!  The room is light and bright and was constantly full of family and friends.  More on the kitchen here.

The Grit and Polish - Bryant House White Kitchen Renovaiton.jpgthe Grit and Polish - kitchen renovation with built-in dining nook featuring West Elm lighting.jpg

Okay now that I've shown you my favorite me moments of 2014 (at least on the renovation/old-house front), let's move on to the blogosphere world.  There are a TON of great old house renovation and lifestyle blogs out there and I want to highlight a few of my favorites.  But I'd love to hear from you guys...please please please include your favorites in the comment section!!!!

Top Blogosphere Old-House Moments of 2014:

1. Katherine got a new old house to renovate.  Then refinished the dining room floors.  And I fell completely in love.

2. I found an old-house-lover fixing up a giant southern house and got to follow along every week while they renovated it!

3. Manhattan Nest is written by an absolutely-hilarious old-house lover named Daniel, and its full of trials and tribulations of fixing up a very, very old New York house.  And if that wasn't good enough, Daniel bought a second New York House (aka Bluestone Cottage).  Two old house renovation for the price of one (blog)!

4. I found This kitchen.  I'm not sure when the renovation was done, but this Jessica-Helgerson-designed kitchen is my favorite for 2014!  In case you don't remember, I featured this one back in September.

Jessica Helgerson-Alhambra Kitchen

Hope you are all enjoying your last week of 2014.  Happy New Years...I can't wait to see what 2015 brings for all of us :)