sneak peek: jessica helgerson interior design

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 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.

  1. efia says:

    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.

  2. Sonia says:

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

  3. Laura says:

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

  4. Diane says:

    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!

  5. Natasha says:

    Very nice, very talented.

  6. Ellen monfredi says:

    You win!

  7. Sea says:

    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.

  8. amy says:

    the sofa is the living room is great. do you know who makes it?

  9. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Does anyone know what kind of plant/tree that is to the left of the big white desk?

    Maybe some kind of fig?

  10. Julie says:

    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!

  11. Selina says:

    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!

  12. Joyelle says:

    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?

  13. Cathy says:

    AMAZING! I love everything! I want to move in.

  14. Kathryn says:

    Serena – the toilet looks like an Aquia by Toto.

  15. Katie says:

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

  16. Teresa says:

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

  17. Laurie says:

    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.

  18. Lanisa says:

    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!!!

  19. Leila says:

    Favorite powder room and laundry nook EVER!

  20. Erin says:

    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.

  21. Jocelyn says:

    can you tell the source for the bathroom sinks? gorgeous!!!

  22. Michele says:

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

  23. Kristin says:

    What is that color in the living room with the bay window?

  24. Susan says:

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

  25. kelly kaufman says:

    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!!!!!!!

  26. kelly kaufman says:

    Sorry, I meant the family room paint color!

  27. Christine Rothenberg says:


    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, !

  28. Robyn Roberts says:

    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!

  29. Nicki says:

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

  30. hyzen says:

    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!?!?

    1. grace says:


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


  31. hyzen says:

    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.

  32. Ray* says:

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

  33. Kristine Jarosz says:

    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?

  34. Alisha says:

    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.

  35. Eliz says:

    Absolutely lovely (and yay Portland!), but I’d love to see a floorplan!

  36. Beth says:

    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.

  37. anne says:

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

  38. Adrienne says:

    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.

  39. aruna b. says:

    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!!!!

  40. 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!

  41. Jennifer says:

    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.

  42. kristine riccio says:

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


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