amy azzaritointerior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: jessica helgerson interior design

by Amy Azzarito

we always get excited when we have a new home from jessica helgerson to share. based out of of portland, oregon, jessica creates spaces that somehow manage to be both welcoming and glamorous. (jessica first shared this dreamy home with us and then last spring, this portaland four-square.)  the whole space is lovely, but kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms – that is where jessica absolutely shines. i would seriously sell my soul for that laundry space. and that kitchen?! there are no words. when i grow up, i want a jessica helgerson kitchen! santa? {thanks, jessica! and thanks to lincoln barbour for the lovely photographs!}amy a.

[The clients for this project were a young family with a very modern aesthetic.  The trick was to take their hundred-year-old Northwest Portland house and make it feel fresh and current while avoiding a remodel that would feel dated,  trendy, or not work for somebody else if they were ever to move out.  I’ve always had an environmental side to my work, but my philosophy lately has been to try to do the absolute right and best thing for each house we work on so that it will never have to be remodeled again!   Then I think it’s fine (great in fact!) to put in very special lighting and furniture that is exactly right for the people who live in it now, but could be easily changed by someone else.  The color palette is a simple gradation of whites and cool grays with a bright entry fading to a darker living room and a dramatically dark dining room and library.  During the course of the work the clients also became dear friends, which makes this project very special to me.]

[In the entry we had mirrors laser-cut to form organic shapes that dance along the walls reflecting surprising snippets of the house.  The living room opens up to the entry space. The knitted poufs are by the amazing Christien Meindertsma who knits them by hand with GIANT needles.  The lamp is by another super talent – furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue]

[The family room with a cozy cotton velvet upholstered sofa we designed, based on one by ligne roset but customized to fit into a bay window.]

[The dining room is a dramatic dark grey but manages to feel bright and fresh.  The light fixture is a custom piece with tiny three watt lights that glow softly.  The glass work is by super talented local Portland artists Andi Kovel (Esque Studio)  on the table and Andy Paiko on the cabinet.]

CLICK HERE to see the full Jessica Helgerson peek and all the images on one page!

[We gutted a dysfunctional ’70’s kitchen.   The new kitchen has lots and lots of storage but no upper cabinets which keeps it very open feeling.  The lights are by Niche Modern. We opened the kitchen to the dining room with two-sided glass front cabinets and a generous doorway.]


[We removed a full bath downstairs and  converted it to a powder room, opening up a back hall that had probably been original and vastly improving the flow of the house.]

[I hand-painted the master bedroom with my mendhi-inspired technique.  This is the fourth project I’ve done this on and I love it.  It is contemplative, quiet, peaceful work, very different from a usual day in our office.]

[The clients asked us to add a master bathroom to the second floor if possible.   Luckily for us one of the bedrooms was larger than it really needed to be and we carved out a master bathroom with double sinks, tons of storage, and a generous shower.]

[The other thing the clients were hoping for was an upstairs laundry.  There was nowhere left to put it but the hall, so we we designed a pretty cabinet that conceals a washer, dryer and lots more storage at the top of the stairs.]


[The library is cozy, moody, and inviting with walnut wallpaper http://walnutwallpaper.com/ and lots and lots of shelves painted to match.]


[We did a total remodel of the second bath, with black and white marble hex tiles on the floor and a white tile wainscot.    We designed a little niche for the tub.  The super cute (and waterproof!) window shade is from Delia Shades.

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  • I’m into everything BUT those curved mirrors. The kitchen is INCREDIBLE!!!

  • Good lord. I vividly remember the other posts of her work. I love absolutely everything here. What an inspiration! Thanks for brightening up a stressful Monday!

  • What a beautiful home! It truly is a mix of classic and modern in the best way. I agree with Lauren about the mirrors in the entry, though.

  • My word! This is one of the coolest spaces I have ever laid eyes on…and I’m an architect. I would love to dwell in this house. It just feels so serene.

  • hundreds of times have I felt moved by a d*s post and never commented…this is my first intro to jessica’s work and my first time commenting…ever. all I can say is

    …the stuff dreams are made of

  • Beautiful work!
    Is it possible to know the paint colors used in the Entry, Living Room, and Family Room? They are gorgeous as is everything in the house, except the curved mirrors. Feel a bit superficial.

  • WOW. This house is stunning. Not a single detail was overlooked. I love the bathrooms, that red bed and the laundry cabinet. Thanks for sharing!

  • The work of Jessica is breathtaking! i would want to work with her someday…
    what a sense of balance and taste in every possible way. Yin and yang met in this home. Lucky owners.

  • What can you tell me about the white light fixture in the family room (third photo)?? It’s gorgeous!

  • Wow, great stuff. I actually kind of like the mirrors, though it took a few minutes of looking at them to decide.

    I love love love that shade in the bathroom! I checked out the website, but the “pricing on request” kind of scared me. Does anyone know of a place that sells something similar that’s not above $50?

  • OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (I have not words to descrive my feelings about this exquisite opera)
    Jessica, you are magnificent…!

  • Glory Glory Hallelujah!

    I love everything but the mirrors, I would freak out on a regular basis thinking I see movement when it is just myself.

    I love MOST the grey tones on the walls, it make it all flow so nicely and lets the colors pop in the decor without being boring. Love the knitted poufs too, I hope when you buy one it comes with a picture of the knit in process!

    Lastly, I love the sinks with built in toilet rollers and places to hang hand towels, reading material, etc.

  • Love this house, and especially the kitchen & the lights. Would love to know the names of the greys/paint that was used in the living room, dining room and library and the whites (or what look like white) that go with them. Tx! Oops I see someone just asked this too.

  • Wow! I always love seeing Jessica Helgerson’s work on this site. It’s beautiful, but also because I live in Portland and these people certainly run in a different income bracket crowd than me! I am always curious who these (obviously) rich young parents are who can afford remodels like this, and even to live in these neighborhoods. I can decorate vicariously through these posts!

  • I actually really like the mirrors in the hallway. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

    What a STUNNING home.

  • I can’t stop gazing into this pictures… lovely, mature, peaceful. and i’m swimming in the mirrors, and will buy my first home dependant on the ability for mirrors to float around the walls! (don’t hold me to that:)

  • Love everything but the mirrors….interesting, but I think its something I would tire of.

  • I love that such a fresh look has been achieved without sacrificing the resale value of the home (I think you are a lucky person if that is not something you have to think about!) It has traditional bones still, with all those modern touches to add character… The mirrors? I quite like them – in someone else’s home. They do a good job of transforming an otherwise mundane entrance way.

  • there is nothing better than a white/ black and gray house with little bits of color. thank you for this killer inspiration. i have that orange “womb” chair and it’s awesomely comfy. now i have to hand paint my whole house.

  • I love this house! What are the paint colours used in the entrance, living room, dining room and bathroom? Thanks!!

  • For the love of God, someone tell us what the paint color in the family room and entry way is…I’ve got my coat on and one foot out the door to the paint store!
    Gorgeous home.

  • Love! The kitchen in particular is drool-worthy. I love the gray, the mix of modern and traditional, everything. Wow!!!

  • I would live there in a second…but im having a tiny issue with the mirrors…I love them visually, but they seem kinda dangerous…and if I chipped an edge and a kid was running there hands and cut themselves..eh…

    BUT with that said, I honestly think this is one of the best Sneek Peeks ever done…every color I adore. the kitchen, the dinningroom, the bathrooms are all so wonderful…and everything looks wonderfully crafted, I also love the laundry area.

  • P.S. I think I would like the mirrors more if they were inset into the walls…the fact that they were glued on makes it seem cheap..either go all the way with the design or not at all…

  • I agree with Avril! PLEASE what are all the paint colors!!!
    I have never seen a home that I
    loved more. Absolutely breathtaking! Mirrors included!

  • Love this home, I would pass on the mirrors but overall it’s amazing!!! Well done.

  • and, WOW. Boy, do I concur with WOW.

    Jessica hit operatic high notes with these rooms. She had me at the mirrors!

    When do I move in?

  • I love the all the lighting in the house – especially the Kenneth Cobonpue one – uber cool!! Can I live here??

  • This is beautiful. I really like the idea that the remodel looks to the future–it will be easy to adapt to someone else’s taste. I love the lighting, but I can see how some folks wouldn’t. And the mirrors would be easy to change up also. Very thoughtful and beautiful.

  • I think the mirrors in the entry are amazing and gorgeous! They immediately let you know that you’ve arrived somewhere special ;)

  • I cannot get this house out of my head. I’ve been staring and studying for hours! The wood floors, the attention to detail, and the modern twist make it worth gawking. The colors are clean and fresh. The lack of clutter — my personal favorite — is refreshing. It’s kinda…perfect. Thanks for sharing. I’ve bookmarked the designer. xoxo

  • please stop painting 100 year old WOOD built-ins and moulding! and cold white of all colors – ugh!

  • so i’m with Kim – where is that gorgeous fixture in the family room from? i’ve got the charge-card in hand…

  • I love Jessica’s work so far. I can definitely say this is one designer that could work on my house – anywhere, anytime. I too have a bathroom that has a window in the shower – it’s driven me nuts! My current and very temporary solution, as it’s for a seldom used guest room, is to duct tape up a piece of plastic — horrible! I also feel that when anything says, “price upon request” it usually means I can’t afford to go near it. It started me thinking tho’, what other ideas could I/we come up with that would have a similar look? Okay, a trip to Home Depot and a thinking cap are definitely in order…..

  • While I have slightly different (less modern) taste than the homeowners, I must say the remodel itself is absolutely stunning. I love that their pieces work in it but that I can just as easily imagine my own more traditional furniture there too. Also, my new dream kitchen. Seriously. And I’m dying over the white moulding in the living/dining/family rooms. So gorgeous, and sets off the moody walls perfectly. And the poufs. And the pendant in the entry… Ok, I’ll stop gushing now.

  • may absolute favorite, too , of all the homes I’ve seen- and I too would love to hear about the gray paint colors- is it possible we can get them? thanks!

  • thanks to all of you for your feedback!

    as far as the mirrors go, the clients really love them and we had lots of fun designing and installing them but we realize they’re not for everybody. I personally love the fun glimpses of the house and its inhabitants that they catch (see the last photo).

    and Pamela just to let you know none of it is 100 year old wood. The house had hardly any interior moldings and no original cabinetry except the little corner cabinet in the dining room so it really was all new inside.

    for those of you curious about the paint colors, we started with Benjamin Moore 1478 (very pale grey) in the entry and went all the way 1484 (nearly black) in the dining room. The woodwork is Benjamin Moore Mascarpone a gorgeous creamy off-white that I really love and use a lot.

    The family room fixture is the ‘big bang chandelier’ available at ylighting.com

  • Your work is absolutely inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing. I’d appreciate knowing the color of the gray woodwork and the white walls in the small bathroom as well as the name of the paint(s) in the attic room. Thanks in advance.

  • I love the grey and white paint, it feels so fresh, clean, bright! I also love the sconces in the bathrooms. Where are those from?

  • Jessica,
    You’ve done an AMAZING job with this one. It’s fresh, it’s livable, it’s inviting! Is the globe light fixture in the entry way a Moooi ramdom?

  • Jessica,
    the house looks amazing! I love LOVE everything you’ve done!!

    Just wondering where the chandelier hanging in the dining room is from. Thanks!

  • I guess I’m the only person that doesn’t really like this. I love mixing new and old but many of these combinations do not work for me. The lighting in particular – while stunning, I don’t think they work well in the spaces.

  • Wow, I fell in love with Jessica’s work after having seen the four square this past spring. This house is just as beautiful. Wow, I’m impressed. Lucky owners.

  • I absolutely ADORE this home! Jessica is amazing & definitely inspiring. From the color palette to the mirrors to the clever placement of lamps… this is great.

  • Gorgeous home! Jessica, would you mind sharing where you got the bathroom sconces, and what materials were used for the kitchen backsplash and countertops (particularly the countertop next to the stove). Many thanks,

  • The house would feel decidedly old and possibly even staid without the modern mirror art. With the mirrors we are reminded that it is a BOLD OLD home.

  • So many perfect elements. I love the quality of the work and the touches of the extraordinary like the knitted poufs, the farmhouse sink, womb chair and all of the light fixtures.

  • i love your place!!!! is simple and yet it doesn’t feel empty, its completely cozy and inviting feel like heaven! total love!

  • This is perhaps the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen – simple, stunning, quirky. The combination of bold and elegant is breathtaking.

  • A voice of dissension here compared to a lot of comments – I LOVE the mirrors. When I first saw the picture I was blown away, and couldn’t quite put my finger on what it made me feel, but I think the best I can say is Contemporary Fairytale…lol…there’s something very dreamlike, slightly off-kilter – I think it’s the way the light falls (and maybe the wardrobe looking like Narnia is on the other side!), but it’s not a traditional fairytale.

    The whole house is pretty close to what I’d want for myself (maybe not the floor tiles in the master bathroom, but that’s being really nitpicky!)

    My desire to visit the PNW hasn’t gone away, thanks to this post!

  • Beautiful work! I am dying to know the source of the living room coffee table. I am on the hunt for something similar—oversized and white.

  • So many times designers will shy away from white and try to use lots of color. I appreciate white and love the way Jessica has melded it with soft grays. She managed to give it a designer look without bold, overpowering hues. I especially love the powder room and library!

  • The plant is a “fig” – commonly called “fiddle leaf fig” and botanically named ficus lyrata.

    Can anyone ID that toilet please? Quick, before my husband buys one at the hardware store!

  • Jessica, beautiful job!!!! Wow, I am simply stunned. Can you give us the source of the pendants in kitchen. They are gorgeous! Also, not a typical question, but I want to do a similar thing with my washer/dryer, and those look pretty compact without being totally micro. Do you know the brand?

  • How could you not love those mirrors.? It is like a river runs all over the house!

  • Absolutely gorgeous!!!
    I would love to know where I can buy the nightstand in the master bedroom.

  • OMG. What color is the family room with the huge couch? looove. Love everything. Ready to dump buckets of paint on my entire house. OMG.

  • This so cool. I love the color scheme, the blend of old and new, and the apparent functionality of it all. Plus, the best part for me is that the house is, in some ways, quite similar to my own. Now I’ve got some GREAT ideas!!!

  • This is a beautiful house. I really like the white and how bright and open it makes everything seem.

    Also I don’t know where Pamela lives, but it’s extremely hard to find 100+ year old houses in my neck of the woods that haven’t been stripped of much of their original character (including the original wood) in the 60’s or 70’s if not earlier. My 130 year old house has nothing original due to a gut reno around 1962.

  • Everything about this home appeals to me. So crisp and clean while having unexpected interesting items around every corner.

  • Yes, I too am looking for those beautiful sinks in the bathroom and powder room. Would love to know a great resource.

  • It is sooo beautiful! I cannot stop drooling over these images. I absolutely love the paint colors that were used throughout the house, so soothing and airy! Does anyone know what color was used in the living room? I must paint my own living room that color!!!!!!!

  • Hi,

    Two questions.. where did you get the WHITE COFFEE TABLE in the living room ?

    What GREY PAINT color did you use in the little powder room ?

    Thanks, !

  • Love your work! I am dying (like everyone else) to know the paint color in the room with the huge sofa and the bay window. Obsessed!

  • Love the black and white hex floor tiles in the picture above! Can you tell me the grout colour you used? Thank you.

  • Yeah, it is totally uncool to post this peek of this beautiful space with such awesome colors and NOT SAY WHAT THE COLORS ARE!! I need to know!! Particularly, what color is the family room!?!?

    • hyzen

      we don’t always get full details from designers, but i’ll check with jessica and see if we can get them ;)


  • Thanks, Grace–I hope you could read the smile through my panicky color demands–we are repainting my daughter’s room soon and that family room shade is just about perfect! I have looked at a million shades of blue/gray/green and it has become a huge blur at this point.

  • Love, LOVE, love, LoVe, lOvE, lOVE the red poster bed!! I just painted a poster bed that I found at a thrift store.

  • Gorgeous! I am so in love with the red bed and find the wall color so perfect in that same room is it also BM 1478 Horizon?

  • A genuine blend of sophisticated, classy, modern, quirky and fun. The house is beautiful, bright and SO cozy looking. I would never look twice at that huge coffee table in a store but in that family room it couldn’t be more perfect.

  • Please please please… I need to know the paint colors in the kitchen (the light blue) and in that family room with the big square coffee table. I love this look and would love to put these colors in my new home.

  • Lovely house – and I’d love to know the source of the dining room chairs, they’re wonderful!

  • Great interior by Jessica Helgerson! Thanks for sharing. Look forward to seeing more on D*S. Does anyone know where one could still buy the arc floor lamp by Kenneth Cobonpue. His website no longer shows them…since that was 2009 and I am writing in 2011.

  • can we get some details on kitchen stuff too…like countertops, backsplash, pulls…personally I just really really want to know what that grey countertop is ?????? I’m doing that exact treatment with a marble backsplash and would love love to know what those countertops are…THANKS!!!!

  • Just gorgeous….I particularly LOVE the kitchen and the living room….that coffee table is calling my name! :) What a gorgeous brightness to the whole look and I think the mirrors are a fun risk to take. Thank god folks are willing to take risks, otherwise everyone’s house would look the same. Right? Beautiful work, Jessica. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Beautiful. Details, contrast. Everything. Two questions- what countertop material did you use on either side of the range? And pendants over island… where did you find those? Thanks for the peek at your lovely inspiring home.

  • I love the backsplash in kitchen, could you please tell me name of tile