How to Organize Kitchen Drawers with TokoDesign

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

This post is sponsored by TokoDesign, a new modular minimalist company fabricating eco-conscious organizers for messy drawers. The name “Toko” comes from the Japanese word ‘tokonoma’, which describes a special alcove for displaying art. As I’ve alluded to in other posts about the home, I believe that our homes should be artful representations of ourselves. I am all about letting the furniture do the decorating, substituting architecturally historic or artist-driven products for hanging paintings, sculptures, or other traditional methods of home decor. By being mindful of the products we allow into our home, we can create art using house items that are equally functional and beautiful. TokoDesign plays an ode to those ideals – mimicking the emphasis on minimalism, versatility, and natural beauty in traditional Japanese interior design. TokoDesign has gifted me a set of organizers so that I may try it out myself. As always, this review and the opinions held within are my own.


I have a secret about my home, and that is, that it’s incredibly messy. However, I have tricks stashed up my sleeve to make it appear clean, neat, and minimal on social media and to my friends and family who visit, one of which is quite simple to do. I create the illusion of tidiness and sparsity by putting things behind closed doors. It doesn’t help that we have a shortage of doors at our home, living in a live-work loft open floorplan that has no door to separate our bedroom nor our bathroom from the rest of the space. It also doesn’t help that our space is tiny, in general.

Even though I don’t own a lot of things compared to the general public, the limited hiding places and my desire to hide everything from plain sight means that our few items still get a bit crowded. One of the banes of my existence are the kitchen and bathroom drawers. Filled to the brim with accessories, utensils, and gadgets, my items get jostled around with every opening of the drawers. Some people find the solution in placing cooking utensils in a beautiful holder on the countertop, but I have this insane itch to keep counterspace clear.

Luckily, TokoDesign has come to my sanity’s rescue. This minimal, modular organizer is probably the best organization tool I have come across since Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy book was published. The wood is made from renewable bamboo and has a beautiful look to it. The rails come in either black or white, which works for different home styles. I personally chose the white, because the exterior of our drawers are a light wood color and the inside is white. I preferred for the rails to blend in rather than stand out (there I go again with hiding things from plain sight!). I can see the black rails working with more modern kitchen schemes, like Ikea’s charcoal grey cabinets, or dark wood finishes.

The design is thoughtfully made so that the organizer can work for different drawer sizes. My qualm with other organizers is the pre-determined dimensions and the need to find ones that exactly fit a space. The rails of the TokoDesign have adjustable lengths thanks to a knob that you turn at the end of the rail to make it flush with your drawer length. There are multiple length options and the width of your drawer will determine which dividers you choose. There are three divider widths available, and even if it doesn’t span the width of your drawer perfectly, the end section can still be used as storage, as I’ve done below.

The rails ended a bit short in my drawer but I used the last sliver of drawer to the right of my last panel as a compartment for rubber spatulas and a TDS measurer.

What makes the process even more fun is the accessories that TokoDesign has produced. Kitchen knives stack neatly in the knife block, cutlery lay neatly in the silverware trays, spices align on the rack, and tiny trinkets and bobbles stay contained in boxed compartments. A person has the ability to create the combination that works for them digitally on their online order form. You can visualize how the items you purchase will look in the drawer before you even order them. I really enjoyed playing around with the different combinations once can make. I was even able to combine TokoDesign’s boxes with my pre-existing bamboo silverware tray, and it blended perfectly!

The versatile box system went well with an already existing bamboo cutlery tray that I had sitting in this drawer. The boxes now hold a number of small items such as our chopsticks holder from Notary Ceramics, my limited number of pipette tips and clips that we use to close coffee bags or chips.

Of course, I used TokoDesign for the drawer that gave me the most grief – the kitchen drawer that holds all our cooking utensils. However, I can see this system working just as well in the bathroom drawers, work desk drawers, and even nightstands. For women who have a lot of jewelry or makeup products, the boxes could prove quite useful for showcasing your favorite things in a way that makes you proud to open your drawers.

Ever so grateful for companies who implement zero plastic packaging.

They ship everything with as little plastic as possible, by the way. Only the side rails were wrapped in a thin sleeve to prevent scuff marks. All the divides and boxes were packaged without plastic, and the big shipping container in came in was also without plastic. I was so excited when the package arrived that I opened it immediately and started playing with the dividers right away. It seriously felt like a new toy on Christmas morning, which goes to show the extend of my OCD. It was easy to set up and assemble and it requires no tools to do! Most importantly, it really stays in place and nothing slides around. When I was finished playing with my TokoDesign, my drawer truly sparked joy.

The final product! Now things stay where they belong and are grouped by similarity in function. The middle tray, for example, are the items we use most when we make cocktails. The whisks are together, as well as the rubber spatulas and can openers (yes, we have two, a friendly reminder that minimalism isn’t a state of perfection.)

My Minimal Work From Home Desk

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Small Space Living: Tip #16: Choose a Minimal Work-From-Home Desk

Creating my ideal from-home workspace has been a long and arduous process. My intentional habits tend to get in the way of progress as I am quite particular in the function, overall look, and general meaning behind each item I introduce into our home. Couple that with my tendency to talk my way out of purchasing things, and it becomes easy to see how I get in the way of myself. It’s all migraine-inducing, but I finally feel like we are getting somewhere.

To say that we haven’t quite come to grips with our final WFH environments after a year-and-a-half into this WFH state does sound laughable. To be honest, I’ve been making do with the kitchen table, eventually upgrading to a tiny $50 Ikea Micke desk. My husband was holding meetings and conferences in our bedroom, and yes, it has been odd having no doors in our home to create any sort of privacy. In order to talk to someone during Mike’s workday, I have been stepping onto our balcony and shutting myself out, imposing my conversation on our neighbors, while the streets around us impose their city noise. We ended up getting Herman Miller chairs sometime earlier this year, and by doing so, cluttered our bedrooms and living rooms respectively. However, with the advent of our roommate moving out at the end of August, we reclaimed the downstairs space which we are now turning into Mike’s permanent WFH area, after the company’s recent extension of remote work.

Meanwhile, I’ve moved from my dark nook in the living room to the bedroom, where Mike used to be. And with this new location comes a bright, shiny new desk. Well, shiny to me, but in reality, it’s quite humbly muted. I upgraded to the ever iconic Work Desk (affiliate link) from the Swedish company, String Furniture, and I must say that I am beyond excited about this improvement.

Famous for the modular system that they created in the 1950’s, the work desk is made up of rails and a large, hanging platform. I chose beige for the rails paired with a classic white desk. Positioned right next to three window panes that look out to the downtown streets below, the rails allow plenty of light to pass into our home and my workspace, where many plants reside. I made sure to position myself right beside the windows, so that I may look out and daydream, as that is part of a writer’s job.

The entire desk took three months to ship from Sweden but came packaged in two thin boxes, lighter than the desk from Ikea. I could lift both boxes easily. Essentially, the desk is founded on the two light-weight side rails mounted to the wall by four nails. The desk sits on four pins hooked onto the rails. The height of the desk can be changed so that it can work for a child as well as an adult. The back bar for the desk holds the platform down, locking it into place.

This simple design and easily shipped product is the reason why they won the national competition in Sweden in 1949, and why they have been classified as Applied Art under the Copyright Act in 2009. So yes, the desk is a piece of artwork itself. This is something I have been trying to do in my home – that is, adding art in the form of furniture and design, rather than the traditional painting, print, or sculpture art. In essence, this is a way for me to add beauty AND function using fewer pieces, thus maintaining minimalism in the home. Let the furniture do the decorating.

String Furniture hasn’t just made a desk, by the way. This modular system was originally designed to produce a shelf (affiliate link), which once decorated the UN headquarters in NYC in the ’50’s and which became the best-selling Scandinavian furniture in Germany in the ’60’s. The shelf has turned into a system that can also be a nightstand, media console, desk, dining table, and kitchen cabinetry.

In true fashion, I’ve ordered the most minimal combination. The rails are floor panels that only reach halfway up, contrary to the original desk design that used panels that reach higher to place shelving above. I have the desk without the drawer as well, just the platform on which to work. Eventually, I would like to put a small filing cabinet in the 12-inch space between the desk and the wall, and I’ve got my eyes set on this one by Branch furniture. I want a filing cabinet that triples as a drawer, a paper organizer, and a side table as well.

Having the desk situated by the windows is useful as the sill doubles for a place to stack my planners and notebooks within arm’s reach. I also charge my phone on the sill at night, further away from my bed, which is a habit I’ve adopted a few years back to create distance between my phone and I. Meanwhile, my desk mates consist of plants which surround me on either side, adding a bit of life and fresh air to this space. Most of the plants I own are gifted, some from The Sill (affiliate link), a company that ships plants directly to your door, pottery et al.

I’ve also loved my Herman Miller chair but I recently saw this modern, ergonomic option by Noho Co (affiliate link)., and have been contemplating switching out my wheels for a more grounded sitting situation. The going is slow in my space but I am so happy with the current state and what I’ve put together so far.

My daily coffee mug is from Hasami Official and the water glass is Pokal from Ikea. The linen coaster is from Fog Linen.

I also wanted to share with you the contenders I had for desk options, in case you don’t love the String desk but are also hoping for your own minimal desk upgrade.

My favorite, runner-up desk options.
  1. Copenhagen 90 Desk by Hay (affiliate link)
  2. Rail Desk by Menu Space
  3. Shelf Library System by Frama
  4. George Console by Skagerak (affiliate link)

How to Deal with Paper Clutter

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

There is a really quick way to deal with paper clutter. That is, to get rid of it. As in, ALL of it.

Paper clutter used to be my biggest problem, next to books and clothes, although not necessarily in that order. But I’ve devised a system for dealing with paper clutter and it’s quite simple, really. Get rid of paper as soon as you can. Keep it out of your home. Digitize it and then begone. Keep a filing system for only a handful, and declutter it twice a year. Paper can become really agonizing and stacks up quite quickly without us realizing it. Have you ever tried to shred ‘important documents’ before? If you have, then you’ll know.

I recommend the following:

Don’t take home flyers.

You know, the one they hand out at events or stick to your windshield? Or worse, the business cards one may pass along to you. I know it’s hard to do, but practice saying ‘no thank you’. For those sneakily slipped beneath my windshield wipers, I find a public trash can right away.

Unsubscribe to mail.

Mail can get a bit unruly. The trick is to limit the mailman’s load. Unsubscribe to all magazines, flyers, companies, etc. Even the non-paid subscriptions are a hassle. I’ve found that these companies somehow regain access to my address and weasel their way into my mail box. I just keep calling and telling them to put an end to it. Do you really need to look at more of the things they want you to buy?

Go Paperless.

Almost every company has a paperless option by now. When possible, we choose paperless. The reason being, these companies are usually the ones that send account information home. Bank accounts, electric bills, and mortgage updates – all paperless for us! The reward is two-fold; less chances of someone else getting access to your information, and less mail to sort through and shred.

Open mail right away, sort and discard.

The most common thing people do when they get the mail is put in a basket ‘for later’. Man, what an eyesore! We don’t even keep a basket. Mail that gets brought in is looked at and discarded ASAP. Those that have tasks associated with them (making a payment or appointment) are completed as soon as possible which kills two birds with one stone – it gets the job done and it clears the table of hideous mail. Voila!

Digitize, whenever possible.

This, I had a problem with for a long time. I was quite fond of paper, even though this post wouldn’t hint at it otherwise. My class notes I kept after college. Letters from friends in middle school were tucked away in a drawer. I have essays that I wrote once, diary entries meant just for me. All of that is now gone. I realized that the more I threw away, the easier it was to let go. For those I couldn’t bear to part with, I scanned and digitized. Since scanning takes work, I decided it would behoove me to be very selective, but also, to vow never again to collect as much paper as I did. Call it a lazy person’s curse, but I hardly wish to keep paper things anymore.

Keep the most important pages in a filing cabinet.

There are a few papers that you can’t digitize, then throw away. My degree, for example. My license. My naturalization papers and my passport. These we keep in a filing cabinet. My motto is: Out of sight, out of mind. This one is my favorite minimalist option, although CB2 has a number of options, too. Pro tip: Declutter twice a year to prevent stock piling. Perhaps what you once thought was necessary no longer feels that way after de-cluttering.

Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Simple Things: Dressing Up Tables

This post is sponsored by Piglet in Bed. They make linen bedding as well as tableware products, and they have made my natural linen tablecloth dreams come true. I chose an oatmeal hue to match our charcoal gray linen napkins, gifted to us on our wedding day. The linen tablecloth is made from natural stone-washed French flax, and are absolutely soft. They haven’t yet shrunk, although as a general rule of thumb, I hang all my linens (napkins, couch covers, bedding) to dry.

I am not one for frills, but I occasionally dabble in dressing up tables for the sake of adding a little extraordinaire to our otherwise simple and mundane lifestyle (not at all insinuating boring or sad – we are quite happily mundane after all). And when I say dressing up tables, I duly mean throwing a textured linen tablecloth over the well-loved, heavily dinged farm table that we salvaged from our wedding, and then calling it a day. Or rather, an indoors picnic, a festive party, et cetera. I festoon upon said linen tablecloth all the ceramic pottery we own from our ever-favorite, East Fork Pottery, and the traditional cafe glasseware that I bought from Ikea, having upgraded my water glasses with a spare $20, after drinking from hand-me-downs for over a decade. We really are on the come-up.

Jokes aside, I count the linen tablecloth as a necessity in a minimalist’s arsenal – not because I feel like tables must always be dressed, but because it is a nice way to switch the look (and feel) of a space without having to buy an entirely new table. To think that folks of my generation and age-group don new dining tables in a similar fashion by which they don new clothing makes me, at-once, weak at the knees. Forgoing all of that in lieu of paying back student debt quicker, I rely on what my mom’s generation used to make mess-cleaning easier. What once was a brown setting is now a rustic bone. Tablecloths stash quite nicely, folded, in the tiniest spaces, and look just as good pulled from their hiding in all their crinkled glory as they do ironed and steamed to perfection. That, and the argument that linen tablecloths are multi-functional and earn their keep in our already tiny home.

Here, a repertoire of all the things tablecloths can be.

  • A vintage linen blanket on a bed. Parachute ones sell at over $200 a pop.
  • A picnic rug, if you don’t mind the grass stains.
  • A backdrop for still-life photography.
  • A means for an escape route from the second story, in case of a fire.
  • A make-shift curtain, to separate spaces or to keep nosy eyes out. Erin Boyle shows the way.
  • A hammock for a cat (we have yet to try this one out).
  • A knapsack for all your farmer’s market finds.
  • A rug, for when you want to repot your plants but wish to make the clean-up a tad easier.
  • An outdoor canopy on a small-city balcony.
  • A couch cover, on days when you dog-sit.

And when it’s lived it’s last breath, here’s a few ideas of what they can become.

  • A table runner, if only a portion is left unstained.
  • A set of napkins, cut into squares and sewn around the edges.
  • A patch on a quilt, because linen quilts have made a come-back.
  • A number of dish cloths.
  • A bib for toddles and babies.
  • A shirt, if you know how to sew.
  • A scarf, because it’s just the right length.
  • And lastly, fabric for a re-upholstery project, perhaps on a dining chair?

Wardrobe Options for a Tiny Space.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

It has been 2.5 years since we moved into our home and we’ve finally got ourselves a closet! You read that right. There are no doors inside our home (not even to the bedroom or the bathroom) and the only closet we own lies on the first floor (which we rent out), tucked underneath a stairwell. Home projects, like all other things in my life, take time. Especially when we insist on doing upgrades ourselves. They also imbue more meaning. I remember the day we bought this space and Mike helped my cousin patch walls and remove wood flooring. I remember my 31st birthday which was spent painting our bathroom an egret white with my parents. I remember that Spring day that Mike and I laid down plastic tiles and fake grass on our balcony, not knowing how long we would be kept indoors … not knowing it would be a year later, and we’d still be wondering. All these things are not only labors of love, but considered essential work for a life of practicality, frugality, and intentionality.

I am a firm believer in the importance of going through the slog, so that we might grow. And rather than paying someone to inlay an undoubtedly beautiful custom wardrobe, we prefer to pinch our pennies and make wishes with our eyes shut tight – so as to be free from the 9-5 grind that most people call life. I mean, decisions such as these are the reasons why I was able to quit a job that I disliked without any future job in place during a pandemic, or why I can afford to work two days a week in my profession in order to pursue other interests such as baking, dog-sitting, and writing.

Despite my exuberance around its inception, it is, after all, just a closet.

All of this to say that the pride I feel from finally having a closet comes from the very days in which I held out “just a little longer” to find the solution that sat well with my values – a solution that was frugal, environmental, practical, and simple. One could never know the would-have-been but I would wager that if I hired a contractor to build me a more beautiful wardrobe inlaid into that tiny crevice behind the showerhead, I might have felt a hint of anti-climactic disappointment or regret at our hard-earned dollars being spent.

When you wait for 2.5 years for the solution that you feel is right in your heart, there is no space left for “what-ifs”. You’ve already imagined and therefore lived out in your mind the alternatives. The right things come to you at the right time. I am a believer in that, too.

This project cost me $149 – which was the cost of the Tarva dresser from Ikea. The labor was donated by me and Mike. We took out the existing built-in cabinet using hammer, screw-driver, and little force. The wall behind it was rough, and the floor was disgusting, a collection of dead bugs, cat litter, and dust bunnies. None of them were a match for my favorite cleaning tool – this vacuum, which is the most expensive and worthy appliance I have ever purchased. Now that the dresser is in place elevated by some legs, I live in peace knowing that I can vacuum the floor underneath it. Mike sanded the walls and added plaster before repainting it our beloved egret white. We had to remove a bit of baseboard, but other than that, the process was easy going and took perhaps 5 hours, including building the dresser from scratch.

In the meantime, these were some of the swoon-worthy dressers I dreamt of, but none of them ended up being the one.

  1. This White Armoire from CB2.
  2. A Vintage Cane Armoire from Anthropologie.
  3. A Cheaper Version of the Cane Armoire from UO.
  4. A Modern Wardrobe from West Elm.
  5. This Slim Minimalist Open Wardrobe from West Elm.

A word to those carving a similar path.

  • Love what you’ve got.
  • Think long and hard.
  • Be patient.
  • Believe in the one.

I live my life as follows. When it’s right, I’ll know.

J. Hannah Jewelry Is For Minimal Millennials

I’ve recently written about how much I fancy the jewelry brand, J. Hannah. Named after a twenty-something Los Angelican, J. Hannah jewelry prides itself in sustainability. They source upcycled gold and refurbished stones for their pieces. J. Hannah’s timeless designs mimic vintage styles from my grandmother’s era while winning the covetousness of Californian millennials, myself included.

The brand encapsulates my ideals of worthy jewelry, which is an outward extension of one’s personality that defines style rather than maintain fashion. Jewelry, in my humble opinion, should not be an accessory, but instead act as a complement to what already exists. I found myself drawn to the brand after recognizing the kindred spirit within its founder and maker, since then acquiring pieces from the collection that are a form of self-extension as well as self-expression. To find out if the price is worth the value that J. Hannah brings, you only need to read below.

Related Posts:

Why J. Hannah Jewelry Gets It

Adorning a modern woman today does not mean what it did during my mother’s time. My mother views jewelry as an embellishment, as well as a suggestion of one’s status and wealth. To a modern woman, the intellect is a better marker for both of those things. This is not to say that jewelry is demoted to something less-than, but it indicates why it is less necessary to be flashy or exuberant. On the contrary, outlandish accessories have negative connotations such as insecurity or a need for attention. In today’s world, boisterous external expression can be misconstrued as a lacking of internal substance. We have the changing times to thank for that.

Jewelry, like any accessory, is best when muted, so as not to detract from the real heroine, which is the wearer themself. Jewelry should not represent beauty, but accentuate it. Likewise, bits and baubles are not meant to mask imperfection and should certainly not usurp the winning qualities of a modern gal. If anything, ostentatious jewelry could compete with more valued traits such as confidence or a winning presence.

J. Hannah understands and incorporates all of these ideals in her jewelry line. If jewelry is a true extension of the self, then it should follow that it remain versatile, timeless, and expressive. A modern woman is an evolutionary being, not than a static representation. Jewelry, then too, should have the same capabilities – evolving in significance while fitting into whatever purpose the wearer chooses to pursue. J. Hannah jewelry is for living with, as well as living in – a style for the vintage inclined as well as the most contemporary of persons. Made for the truest of self-expressive intentions, it is jewelry that was never meant to be taken off.

Why I Love J. Hannah Jewelry

For every wearer, there is a style that has one’s name emblazoned on it. I, myself, gravitated towards the Form Hoop I earrings, for their strong structure and rounded softness. Miniature at best, each classic hoop barely makes their way around the lobe of my ears. They hug so snugly that they are quite literally an extension of myself, always 100% in contact with my skin, so that I forget I am donning them and occasionally fall asleep with them on. Simple, tiny, and understated, but with a solid depth to them and a characteristic certainty, these earrings are exemplary of who I wish to be as a person.

I was also gifted the Objet Pendant necklace by Mr. Debtist, which I think is an appropriate gift from the person who knows me best. The pendant is a seemingly minimalist and simple piece that holds a secret – its complex design as a disguised box. (A similar secret exists in the Niche Ring). The diversity of the necklace comes from its ability to hold both sentimental mementos as well as practical, ordinary objects. This list includes a spare hair-tie, an Advil, a resolution, a precious stone, or a tiny tooth. The flush lid with a snap closure makes the true purpose of the container unbeknownst to everyone except the wearer, its contents made even more private by its illusory, elusive appearance. It is especially representative of my lifestyle, archetypal of both the multi-functional and the abstract, a necklace made for a Gemini.

I wear both of these pieces daily and to every occasion. Marked with the JH emblem as well as a 925 engraving that signals true silver, these pieces are durable enough to withstand boxing classes, professional enough to wear to the dental office, and delicate enough to accompany me to special occasions. Gone are the days of acquiring pieces based solely on beauty, or even value. Jewelry has now transformed into physical translations of your personal statement.

J. Hannah Jewelry On My Radar

On my radar are J. Hannah’s Pivot Ring I, a fidget spinner to calm the anxieties of everyday life, and the Demi Signet. The latter has a Japanese Akoya cultured pearl in lieu of the engravings traditionally centered on such rings. “Historically, pearls have signified the wisdom of experience; they are totems of protection and luck; they are symbols of balance, strength, and calm energy.” Pearls also happen to be my birthstone. The demi signet reminds me of something my grandmother would have worn, but with a smaller profile made for the pinkies of today. I imagine a woman well-versed in proper etiquette, but at the same time, able to voice the most difficult of positions.

If you wish to peruse the collection yourself, feel free to do so using this affiliate link. You may stumble upon a piece that calls your name.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

Spring Forward with Parachute’s Brushed Cotton Sheets

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

About a year ago, we invested in the most laid-back, beautifully wrinkled, perfectly tossed linen sheets by Parachute Home. The color was a rich Terra Cotta that never faded despite frequent washing. The linen stayed intact in the face of a forever-kneading cat whose claws I may have forgotten to trim. And there was hardly any pilling involved. We loved our linen duvet cover, but since then I have turned over a new leaf.

Related Posts:

I know not why, but I go through phases like the ocean tide. I will be really into the easy look and low maintenance of linen, then get attracted to the crisp, coolness of cotton. We had switched to the latter for our duvet cover last Fall, trading in our cozy orange cover on Poshmark for a bit of cash that allowed us to buy Parachute’s clean-cut, double-sided brushed cotton duvet. It has been six months and I have yet to go back.

When they advertised the duvet cover as brushed cotton, I did not realize just how soft it would be. It feels buttery to the touch, and that’s not just baker-talk. It feels akin to sleeping in an old tee. I have slept soundly since making the switch, and my husband has commented that it keeps him quite cool in the evenings, even with a fluffy cat between our heads. Like Parachute’s other products, these are made in a 100% family-owned factory in Portugal. It is OEKO TEX certified which means it does not contain harmful chemicals or synthetics.

We were able to snag the double-sided duvet cover, which is ivory on one side and a dark, sage green on the other. It is low-key still available as a sheet set and duvet cover under the ever-so-secret Last Chance section of Parachute where you can find older products at up to 40% OFF. I had it on the dark side all winter and it really muted the room in a way that supported lattes in bed and hours of sleep. For Spring, I just recently gave it a good wash (which I recommend doing every other week) and flipped it over to it’s ivory side. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially under this mood lighting that teases me with the possibility of rain.

The difference between the linen duvet cover and this one is that the linen cover looks good messy. This does not. Which isn’t so bad since it forces me to make my bed every morning, whereas the linen cover was left alone most of the time. The esthetics were improved after throwing a bright white quilt over it during the colder months. This quilt from Parachute looks like the ticket, although ours was purchased many moons ago when Mike and I had no dollars to our name and we were walking the aisles of Target in search of something to keep us from freezing in the garage we were calling a bedroom. Never mind that our quilt was meant for a Full/Queen bed instead of the California King we now sleep on. Either way, what the brushed duvet cover lacks in careless style, it makes up for in class and comfort.

For the best effect, I would recommend mixing and matching the two fabrics. I have seen photos of the terra linen sheets partnered with the ochre brushed cotton duvet on Parachute’s website, and it is heavenly. We actually kept these linen pillowcases that were gifted to me by my mom on my last birthday, and I find it keeps the room looking less stark. Coupled with the textures of our aforementioned quilt, and the marriage between textiles is pure unicorn magic. Any minimalist could agree that the secret to a barren room is texture.

In the end, it boils down to a matter of what vibe you want in your space. The trade happened around the same time we remodeled our couch with a white linen Bemz cover. It used to be a cotton navy blue color that the Soderhamn couch was sold with. At the same time, we sold our wooden West Elm Mid-Century modern media console on Offer Up and used the proceeds towards this minimalist Ikea one, which better suited our vibe (read also as: better fit our record player). The auburn linen duvet cover that sold out twice from Parachute perfectly matched the previous couch and console, but once we made both switches, the linen cover started to feel out of place.

To be honest, I knew nothing about my home style preferences prior to last-year’s stay-at-home mandate. Initially, I thought I was a bohemian, mid-century modern, Eichler-loving gal. I chose wood pieces in walnut, bright jewel tones for my textiles, and big leafy plants. But after having to actually stay at home for many months, I started to realize that both my space and myself were more aligned with clean lines and simple shapes in the neutral colors of white, beige, gray, and black. It isn’t what I envisioned a creative’s space would look like. But perhaps I need the blank walls to inspire my creations. I guess I feel more at peace when I have a structured space to live and work in.

The best thing I could have done last year to improve my lifestyle was to invest in my home. Little upgrades made big differences, both in my productivity, as well as the quality of my work. Add to that a sense of calm and serenity that helped me relax on my days off, and you’ve got the perfect equation for a well-balanced life. I truly enjoyed my quarantine life and that isn’t because I’m introverted. I believe it has something to do with finding my niche, and when one finds that perfect space where they are most themselves, well, that qualifies as finally being truly at home.

Morning Coffee with Fellow

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

We have been big fans of Fellow for a long time. Our favorite stove-top kettle has been their matte black Stagg Kettle for many years, and we aren’t about the change that anytime soon. Fellow has since then launched their own line of products that allow for an all-Fellow pour-over set-up. The pour-over set includes Fellow-specific filters, a grinder, coffee containers, and even drinking vessels. They’ve also upped their kettle kettle game to an electric version that is efficient in heating water. Luckily, our friends have the entire Fellow line-up and I wanted to share what the experience was like in this honest review.

Related Posts:

Electric Stagg Kettle

One of the biggest upgrades Fellow has made is to provide an electric option for its famous Stagg Kettle. A benefit of an electric kettle is the quick temperature increase as well as accurate temperature setting. This is imperative for coffee lovers everywhere as the temperature of the water affects the quality of the cup of coffee. I am here to attest that the electric version heats up way quicker than the stove-top, taking less than half the time! There is also an option to hold the temperature consistently for up to 60 minutes. You want the water to be consistently at the same temperature during the entire pour-process. And for the more technical coffee drinkers, there is also a stopwatch that allows one to time the pour, which is another important factor for creating the optimal cup of Joe. Nerdier than that? The EKG+ also has Bluetooth connectivity to the Acaia Brewbar Tablet App! Lastly, the electric version is easier to maintain in top-notch condition, as the bottom isn’t exposed to constant scraping against the grates of a stove. Our traditional Stagg kettle has been well-loved and its daily use has resulted in the peeling of the black film on the bottom, exposing the metal silver color. It still works well, but the aesthetics isn’t so great. When the time comes for us to retire Ole Faithful, we may opt for the electric version.

Ode Brew Grinder

In addition to the electric Stagg, Fellow has released its own grinder called the Ode Brew Grinder. The grinder works well for a pour-over, but it isn’t the ideal grinder if you also own an espresso machine. It has a limited range of coarseness when it comes to grinding and it’s finest setting isn’t really that fine. Typically, pour-overs have a coarser setting than an espresso machine and unfortunately, Fellow has created a grinder specifically for pour-overs. However, if you are strictly a drip coffee kind of person, then the Fellow machine delivers! It gets bonus points for it’s matte-black, minimalist aesthetic and simple-to-use dial. One must note that it cannot hold more than a pour’s worth of beans. Unlike other grinders which allow you to dump an entire bag of whole beans into its funnel, Fellow has eliminated the large hopper, likely for improved aesthetics and reduced wasted space. Sadly, their hopper only holds about 40 grams of coffee beans. The grinder also comes with a magnetically aligned catch that would be perfect if not for the rim, which actually causes a good amount of fly-away coffee grinds. At least the built-in knocker reduces coffee retention. A positive note for parents out there: the grinder does display significant noise reduction and is much quieter than the coffee grinder we own.

Pour-Over Set

Fellow has created a pour over set to compete with companies such as Chemex, Kalita Wave, and Hario’s V-60. Let’s start with the dripper itself. Just by looking at it, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of quality to be honest – but I was pleasantly surprised! The dripper has a flat bottom like the Kalita Wave and a very tall column-like shape. I thought that this structure would affect the taste of the pour-over since a majority of the coffee would be sitting at the bottom of the dripper and the column-like shape would keep the grounds stagnant. However, I was amazed at the brightness of the cups of coffee this pour over set made! It may be due to the holes at the bottom of the dripper, which are many and angled at different directions. The dripper works very quickly, moving the water through the coffee and into the glass carafe in half the time that a Chemex would. Perhaps this reduced contact with the coffee and the aeration resulting from the quickly moving, angled drip is what causes the coffee to taste bright. It’s actually a great dripper for novices who aren’t much into the intricacies of creating the perfect cup. This allows for easier, faster brewing with less effort. A great design for the masses! Plus it comes in two sizes. I favor the taller size, so that I could make coffee for all my friends, too!

I am also in love with the 20-ounce double-wall, hand blown, borosilicate glass carafe. It retains heat very well, and there is no condensation at all in the glass. The carafe is cool on the outside and comfortable to hold. Additionally, the lip makes pouring the coffee from carafe to mug quite enjoyable! There is no handle, but the neck is slim enough for my tiny hands. And if you like to sip your coffee, there is a silicone lid included which keeps your “pot” of coffee hot while you enjoy portions throughout the day! It is truly a well-crafted piece.

The only thing I do not like about the pour-over system is their highly specific filters. Since the dripper looks nothing like the other drippers on the market, you essentially have to buy Fellow coffee filters to use this pour-over set. The filters have wide folds, which means when water is poured in a circular motion, some water may be poured outside of the filter. My recommendation is to pour in a zig zag motion, since the circular motion is less relevant with a column-shaped dripper. The set pack includes 30 filters. It may also concern frugalists that the pour-over set is at a higher price point, costing $99.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I would recommend Fellow’s entire line-ups for novice coffee drinkers who primarily drink drip coffee, value aesthetics and can afford the higher price point. It really does make for a beautiful set up in a minimalist kitchen, and you can feel the quality of each product. I can see Fellow’s products lasting and they have a timeless look about them, too. If you’d like to drink great tasting coffee effortlessly, I would recommend starting with this Social Kit, which includes the electric kettle and the pour-over set with the larger sized dripper. Since I do not love the grinder, I am grateful that this set does not include it. You can always buy the Fellow grinder if you want it to match the Social Kit, but I would recommend going with a different one if you have an espresso machine at home. Speaking of espressos, Fellow has wonderful drinking vessels. These stackable Monty Milk Art Cups are so sleek in black and come in three variable sizes for all your favorite espresso-based drinks.