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5.16.2020

A Honest West Elm Harmony Sofa Review


It has been one year with our West Elm's Harmony Sofa so I wanted to give an honest, not sponsored review. Before we decided on this sofa, I looked around the internet for other opinions since it was an investment. That's my goal in this post - is to help you decide if it is right for you!







What Sofa Did You Get?


The exact sofa we have is the Harmony Extra Deep 82" Yarn Dyed Linen in Stone White.

First thing to know is I love a deep sofa. When ordering in the store, they tripled checked that I wanted the extra deep option. It is very deep (47") and I love that because it is for lounging, living and a kick-off-your-shoes-and-curl-up-with-a-book type home. When we have friends over I offer them extra pillows to put behind them if they aren't as comfortable to settle in at first...but my favorite thing is when a friend leans back into the giant couch with a cup of tea and stays for a while to chat. That is why I love a deep couch: it invites. So if that isn't your vibe, I recommend getting the standard depth (41") because it is still deeper than most!

Deciding On a White Sofa

A white sofa is a risky decision to most. We decided we would take the risk only if we were willing to stain treat it immediately and take the extra time to care for it. We used seven cans of Scotch Guard the day it arrived to cover every inch of the couch and it has made a huge difference! You can also check locally for professionals to come in and treat your couch. This usually comes with a warranty and is a great option if you don't want to use Scotch Guard.

Two other reasons we took the risk of white are because of the removable cushion covers and choosing a linen fabric. In one year of having our sofa, I've only machine washed the covers once but they came out brand new!

The linen fabric we chose is also forgiving. It is great because it is breathable and won't trap stains like other fabrics.

How We Clean Our Sofa

Depending on the dirt, stain or spill, I just use a wet magic eraser on the spot. Usually, it comes right out! If it is a bigger spill I will throw the cover in the wash. I regularly vacuum it as well.

There is natural piling that happens just like with your favorite sweater. That's when I use this sweater shaver and the piling is gone in seconds.

I also use a lint roller to pick up hairs and little crumbs. I'm interested to see if a chom chom roller would do the same thing!

Comfort

This sofa is so cozy. The depth makes it as big as a twin size mattress and is perfect if you have guests. The filling is not too soft and not too firm, over time it has settled in to the perfect comfort level - which I can attest to from spending countless hours on this couch postpartum. I asked Jordan his honest thoughts and he just added it is so comfortable, no complaints!

Just go to your local West Elm and you'll see what we mean.

Last Thoughts

If white isn't for you, they have so many color and fabric options! It takes time to take care of it but honestly I think you should have that mindset for any piece of furniture that you want to last for a while.
This is a larger couch and even at first I was shocked at how much bigger it felt in our space. Over time I got used to it but this is something to note and make sure you double check the measurements for your space.

I really don't have anything negative to say about the West Elm Harmony Sofa. I would choose it again if given the chance. I hope this gives you confidence in your investment, I know how it can be scary taking a risk on a sofa!

3.26.2020

How To Begin Baking Bread At Home




Over the past year or more I've set out on my own bread journey. We love to have people in our home for a meal and making a fresh loaf of bread has been something special to welcome people in with.
Baking bread is therapeutic, rewarding, inexpensive and a great practice to share with others. I've loved seeing others start their own bread journeys and really feel like it brings us all together - as sharing a meal undeniably does.

Since we are all quarantined at home, I've had many reach out with questions about bread and what tools I used. With the state of things, most online stores are sold out of flour and yeast but if you keep them in your cart on Amazon you can see when they're restocked!

Below are some of my favorite bread tools. Of course, the only things you truly need are flour, water, yeast, salt, a mixing bowl and a scale.




Proofing basket and tools, Bench scraper, Pyrex mixing bowls, Ceramic Mixing Bowl, Danish Whisk, Dutch Oven, Tea Towel, Bread Baking For Beginners, Bread Box, Bread Knife, Oil Cruet, Scale


Here are just a few tips as you get started:

1. Gather all of your ingredients and measure them beforehand.

2. Set aside a whole day to your first loaf. Don't try to do it in between a lot of other projects going on. Leave space for each step, step away to read a book or drink some tea and then come back. It will keep your mind focused and you'll enjoy the process much more!

3. Don't worry if you don't do every step perfectly but be mindful of each step. I call this my bread journey because it is just that - a journey!

4. Don't throw out a bad batch! Make croutons instead.

5. Bake with a friend! Swap your favorite recipes, taste test together and share tips.

6. Take notes. I like to take notes every time on temperatures and different results.

7. Start simple. I love the book Bread Baking For Beginners because it starts with a no-knead recipe. I think we often want to jump to the end sourdough goal but starting simply helps you understand each component of bread and the simple tricks of the trade that will yield a much better loaf!


If you start baking bread, please share! Tag me on instagram, we're in this together!

3.12.2020

The Knox Cottage: Before & After

It's reveal day for our beloved Knox Cottage! I introduced this project last year in this post along with some progress photos. We renovated a garage apartment that was falling apart in our backyard over the course of five months with the help of Cardinal Construction and many talented hands to bring our vision to life.

We initially started discussing this project because someone came to give us a quote on our house for new siding and a new roof. The more we talked about it, we realized we would definitely enjoy new siding but it wouldn't bring us an instant return. That is when we opened the conversation to what would bring us a more immediate return on our investment...the cottage.

Now this is a project we've dreamed about for over five years so it is surreal to see it finished and ready for tenants! Since it was something we dreamt of for quite some time, we've always wanted to see our vision fully come to life by styling it out completely with the help of some local brands and artists. Their work shines here and it has been fun to see it all come together!
I've linked everything at the end of this post for you!

Here is the full before and after of our Knox Cottage project:

This view above shows the same view looking towards the back of the house. We opened up the space into the garage to the left and made one large living and kitchen area. The far back wall was originally where the kitchen was but we moved it towards the front by adding a wall and creating an L-shaped kitchen. You can see my walk-through on instagram to get a better feel for the space before. 

The flooring is a laminate flooring from Build Direct. It doesn't have that hollow sound most laminate flooring has and I know it will stand up to some wear and tear! We found our cabinets, paneling and appliances at Lowes during holiday sales and by shopping the scratch and dent section.

The backsplash is Formica's new Calacatta Cava line and it was such an easy solution that I thought brought in some great texture. For $80, I was willing to take the risk on it since we could easily remove it and add tile in the future.

The cabinet hardware and shelf brackets we found on Amazon.

The kitchen faucet*, shower head* and kitchen sink were all open box finds from Wayfair. Shop their open box site to find a lot of products 40% off or more!

*I've linked most of them here to amazon because currently that is where the best deals are found. The open box site changes daily so be sure to check there when you're eyeing something specific.

We found that cute little pendant from Article!

For the styling, I love the mix of local shops here. Modern Cottage Tulsa, Jenkins and Co, Jake Fowler, and Craig Proper Home complete the space. The framed print is a film photo my husband Jordan took on our recent trip to Australia.







I love this handcrafted table by Jake Fowler and the vase is from Craig Proper Home! Another print by Jordan fits perfectly on the paneled wall.
The wood ladder is from Modern Cottage. The chairs, sofa and white side table are from West Elm! 

I love that print by my good friend Rachel Andersen and the ottoman from Jenkins and Co.

The jute rug is from Amazon.


Those baskets on the wall from Modern Cottage are perfect in the entryway!


I love how the bathroom came together. I tried to think of long-term renters here which is why we went with a tub surround instead of tiling the shower. The tile from Bedrosians is perfect and although it came on sheets, it was easy to peel them off and lay them in this cross hatch pattern.

We originally planned a vanity with storage but during the demo process we found out we needed a pedastal sink because of the plumbing. Our solution to this was adding a niche in the wall for a few little bathroom necessities to live. 


The tile against the wood floor is one of my favorite details!



At the back of the cottage, where the kitchen previously lived, we turned the back door into a window and created a bedroom with a closet for utilities and storage (not pictured). 

That stunning painting is by Leah Payne and is so captivating. I'm honored she let us show off her piece in this space!


This rattan hook, stool and wall hanging are all from Modern Cottage. They go so well together!

The rug and pillows are from Jenkins and Co. I love how peaceful and simple this room turned out.
 The before and after of the exterior always gets me. When we were cleaning out the cottage we found quilts and old newspapers from the forties insulating the walls!



On the exterior, we wanted to make sure we chose something that would eventually coordinate with our main home's style. We went with Swiss Coffee by Behr and Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams for the doors. Finally, the deck just pulls it all together!

That's it for the cottage! What a ride to see this whole project come to life and we finished it just in time for our baby girl to arrive!

SOURCES

Entry: Baskets | Credenza | Table | Pottery 

Living Room: Sofa | Chairs | Side Table | Ladder | Stool | Rug | PrintPillows | Laminate Flooring






Paint Colors: White - Swiss Coffee by Behr | Green - Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams