Life in Portland

Urban Nest Design Tip of the Week: Best Spots to Buy a Sofa in PDX

Where to Start Your Search in PDX for Your Next Sofa

In this series, we share simple DIY solutions for maximum design impact, brought to you by our very own Agent Andy Barlow.


Are you on the hunt for a new sofa? Well, lucky you - it’s a good time to be! It seems something is in the air - everyone (myself included) is sofa shopping and there are so many sales happening, so, I thought this week I’d highlight a few to help you out. 

West Elm: Save 20-30% off sofas

West Elm is known for its modern and midcentury design, and brings a middle-of-the-road price point. My favorite sofa there at the moment is the Leon Wood Frame Sofa. It has midcentury vibes, with a bit of a relaxed twist. On sale starting at $999. 

World Market: Save on all Living Room Furniture

World Market is known for being unique and affordable and that they are! My favorite sofa there is the Forest Green Samara. This is the year of the green sofa according to many design sources, and this stylish glam sofa will only set you back $630 during the sale. 

Joybird: 20% Off Sofas

This online furniture store focuses on sofas and offers a lifetime warranty and 1-year return policy, plus free returns. And, for those on a tight budget, they will finance your purchase over 18 months. My favorite is the Preston Sofa, which comes in different lengths depending on your space. The smaller 68” sofa is on sale starting at $1039 and comes in a wide variety of fabric choices. 

Design Within Reach: Living Room Sale - Save up to 15%

DWR is known for its high-end designer furniture, with no “inspired by” tagline (these are the REAL DEAL). With a selection of modern and midcentury furniture you will surely find the perfect piece, if you can swing the high price (but just remember, furniture is an investment into your daily life, so it can be worth it!). My favorite is the Raleigh Sofa, starting on sale at $2,808.  

Urban Nest's Design Tip of the Week is written by our own Agent Andy Barlow. He divides his time between real estate and interior design, meaning that he can help you buy a house and decorate it, too. Ready to take the leap into a more comfortable space for you and your family? Get in touch with Andy here.

Agent Andy's House of the Week: 5913 NE 11th Ave

A Charmingly Historic Home in NE

In this series, Urban Nest's very own Agent Andy Barlow shares his favorite Portland home of the week. See stunning properties from all across town and pick up valuable insight from one of Portland's most discerning real estate professionals. 


Wow! Another hot week and another hot new listing! This week I headed up to the Vernon neighborhood to check out an amazing 1907 Bungalow just a short walk to everything on Alberta and Killingsworth, like La Taq, Handsome Pizza, Tea Bar (again!), and one of my favorite places - Hat Yai. And, more so, it’s just a short walk to Alberta Park and the Woodlawn Triangle (talk about a great location).

Entering the front sidewalk to the house, which sits far back off the street, you feel as if you’ve entered a sort of magical retreat. The yard is lush and the front porch invites you in to stay for a while. When I finally made it in through the front door, I couldn't even believe my eyes.

I haven’t seen a house that is so rich with details like this in a long time, especially for a price like this. There is woodwork across the entire ceiling, built-ins, moldings, beams, and walls. And, to find such a large open floor plan in home this age is really rare. The main level consists of two seating areas, one with a fireplace, a dining area, and a kitchen boasting original charm. 

Heading upstairs there are three bedrooms and a full bathroom. Each room continues with this feeling of a magical woodsy retreat, and the detailed woodwork continues (literally there is so much woodwork in this house it’s crazy!) And the floors throughout the home are aged Douglas fir, and for anyone who has been following my home blog knows that this is my absolute favorite. 

“It's a really unique house with the open layout and box beam ceilings,” Ashley Shabo, the listing agent, told me. “The whole house is tongue-and-groove wood, which I’ve never seen. It definitely feels like it takes you back in time.” I couldn’t agree more. 

My favorite part? Besides all the details and extreme woodwork? Besides the beautiful main level? The history! Check out this postcard that Ashley found in the wall. I’m not sure who Mrs. Young is, but I bet they threw a fabulous dance party.

Take a look at the full listing here.

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Urban Nest Design Tip of the Week: Pet Hair Solutions for Wool Rugs

Easily Remove Pet Hair From Wool Rugs With One Simple Tool

In this series, we share simple DIY solutions for maximum design impact, brought to you by our very own Agent Andy Barlow.


I want to talk about flat-woven wool rugs this week. I love flat-woven and Kilim rugs, and they are a really popular choice in design right now. However, for those who own one and have pets, you may have noticed just how much they seem to act as a magnet to pet hair. Well, worry no more because I have the solution! 

Meet the Cotton Picker: Strings Attached mitten. My mom actually gifted me one of these a while back and I had no clue why, or what to do with it. But then, after purchasing a flat-woven wool rug and getting frustrated by how quickly all the cat hair was sticking to it, and how unsuccessful vacuuming or lint-rolling was working, I decided to try out mom’s gift. 

My first reaction: HOLY SMOKES! My rug was looking brand new again! All you have to do is put on the mitten and rub it over the rug in circular motions and it literally grabs all the hair like magic. This little mitten is a game-changer when it comes to owning a Kilim rug - gets it looking brand new and causes no damage! And the best part, they are only about $5 and last for about a year. They also work well on other fabricated furniture, so pet hair be gone! Thanks mom! 

Check out the before and after photos below. 

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Design tip bonus: This rug is the Pradeep Flatweave Wool Rug from World Market. This is a beautiful rug, and isn’t outrageously expensive. My favorite is the runner (sized 2.5’ x 10’), perfect for a hallway, and costs just $169. 

Urban Nest's Design Tip of the Week is written by our own Agent Andy Barlow. He divides his time between real estate and interior design, meaning that he can help you buy a house and decorate it too. Ready to take the leap into a more comfortable space for you and your family? Get in touch with Andy here

Urban Nest Agent Insight: Munir Henry on Reframing Escalation Clauses

Munir Henry - Munir believes that being Realtor is about much more than houses. It’s about the people.

Munir Henry - Munir believes that being Realtor is about much more than houses. It’s about the people.

Reframing Escalation Clauses With Urban Nest's Own Munir Henry

In this series, we share home buying and selling advice, insight, and trends from our esteemed agents that keep their fingers on the pulse of Portland's real estate market.


Sometimes buyers ask about using escalation clauses as an offer strategy -- this is where you offer a base price and then offer to beat a competing offer by a certain amount up to a max price -- but many often worry that they're tipping their hand to the sellers by letting them know what they would really be willing to pay. 

There is a chance that the seller would counter the buyer at their max price, without a competing offer being present. 

However, I like to reframe this idea as a chance to 'get the house for less.' For example, say a buyer was going to offer $375k on a house with no escalation clause. Using this strategy, they could instead offer $350k and promise to beat a competing offer by, say, $5,000, up to a max of $375k. 

This leaves them no worse off than if they went with the original offer with no escalation, but gives them the opportunity to possibly get the house for less.

Agent Andy's House of the Week: 4512 SE Ivon St.

A Creative's Paradise in South East PDX

In this series, Urban Nest's very own Agent Andy Barlow shares his favorite Portland home of the week. See stunning properties from all across town and pick up valuable insight from one of Portland's most discerning real estate professionals. 


This week we are heading down to SE to see a pristine and well-styled home in the Richmond neighborhood. Just two blocks off Division, it sits on a quiet and lush street, yet is a 5 minute walk to some of Portland’s best restaurants and coffee shops: Good Coffee, Stumptown, Petite Provence, Tea Bar, Woodsman Tavern, Kim Jong Grillin, Tokio Table (I could keep listing an entire page worth if you wanted...)

When I saw this house pop up online, I knew instantly it was going to win my house of the week. I reluctantly left the house and ventured out into the heat (my car telling me it was 111 degrees - though it may have been exaggerating some) and drove to the evening open house. I was expecting it to be pretty vacant due to the heat, but boy was I wrong.

I walked in the door and the place was in party mode. The listing agent, Lissa Moon LaCroix, warmly met me at the door and guided me into the kitchen to offer wine and charcuterie, and the place was bustling with people touring the home. 

As I cooled down with a nice cold glass of Pinot Grigio I started to tour the place myself. It was pretty obvious why so many people were willing to fight the heat to be here - the place is stunning. 

“The owners are both creatives for Wieden+Kennedy and they put a lot of effort into making this their forever home,” Lissa told me as we stood in the dining room. “They had no plans on leaving, but when Apple calls you can’t pass that up!” 

With almost 2,500 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 3 finished floors, this 1938-built Bungalow has been tastefully updated throughout and not a single corner has been left untouched. The owners really put some fun into the home with pops of color, cool furniture, and tons of art (all of which I would gladly take for my own home). I love that they were able to modernize the house while still keeping it packed with charm. 

My favorite part? This is another tough one. Overall I think the home has been updated so well - this place is literally move-in ready. The main level bathroom had me swooning (love how crisp and clean it looked) and the living room was so inviting. And the location... wow! This is another one that will go near the very top of my list of favorite Portland homes. If you’re in the market, don’t let this one pass you by!