The Grit and Polish | Guest Post

Hi there! I’m Cathy the old-house-loving, renovation-crazed blogger behind The Grit and Polish. My husband and I are serial renovators living in Seattle with our young son and energetic pup. We’re just wrapping up our third full-house renovation, a 1926 tudor we call “the Ravenna House”. When we bought the property last year, it was un-livable. There was no heat or operable windows in the house, and a colony of rats lived in the attic. It’s taken us 12 months but we now call this giant fixer our little home.

Mary asked me to do a house tour for you guys today, so let’s get started in the living room. We didn’t need to do a lot of work in this room – just paint and refinish the floors – but this room has been a little contentious for my husband and I. I want a couch. He doesn’t. And what do you know, there’s no couch in there, but I’m not giving up yet.

Ravenna House - Living Room Mantle.jpg

Ravenna House - Living Room Layout.jpg

And here’s a peak into our kitchen. This space has seen the biggest transformation over the past year. We removed the original cabinets, demo’d a wall, re-plumbed and wired the room, had custom cabinets built, bought new appliances, infilled and re-finished the wood flooring, and tiled the enormous backsplash. Phew, I’m tired even thinking about all that work, but it’s beautiful, right?!

The Grit and Polish - White and Marble Kitchen and Flowers

The Grit and Polish - White and Marble Kitchen

The Grit and Polish - White and Marble Kitchen with Professional Stove

I’ve received a lot of great feedback on the herringbone backsplash, but if you want to know the truth, it was a pain in the ass. It took us two days just to lay the tiles. And I’ll have nightmares about those custom, angled cuts for years to come. This will be our one and only herringbone tile install.

Let’s move on to the bedrooms. The Ravenna House has a small footprint – about 800sf – with only two bedrooms on the main floor. Here’s the “master”:



And here’s our son’s nursery:



Truthfully, those photos are a little outdated. I’ve been working on a little update of my son’s bedroom but haven’t quite gotten it finished yet. You can expect new photos of the nursery up on the Grit and Polish in a month…or so.

The last room on the main floor is the bathroom. When we began renovations a year ago, we were thrilled (THRILLED!) to find original hexagon tiles below the pink linoleum flooring. It was a real trick to pull up the linoleum, but worth every grueling, sweaty, second. We also relocated the sink, tiled the shower surround, had the original tub refinished, updated the plumbing and electrical, painted, and added wainscoting over the cracked plaster. Here it is, the great white bathroom.


Bathtub Refinish with Baby 3

In the year that we’ve owned this house, we also finished the basement into a family room, bathroom, and bedroom (a tour for another day), and completely transformed the backyard. Well that last bit might not quite be done yet, but it’s in progress! I mean, are you ever really finished with an old house?!

Thanks for hanging out with me today! If you’re interested in our renovations, you can get caught up here.

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