sneak peek: jess loraas

Photographer Jess Lorass grew up on the Canadian prairies before relocating to Calgary. She moved into this apartment in 2009, after completing a gut renovation to create a more open and seamless flow between the spaces. She hadn’t considered high-rise living before, but the apartment’s location bordering Calgary’s Mission District and the city views sold her. Jess is always up for an adventure and now juggles photography with competitive show jumping, and in May, she’s off to New York for a summer program at Parsons! Thanks, Jess, and a big thanks to Liz Ikiriko for connecting us to Jess!  — Amy A.

Image above: The second bedroom doubles as my office, as well as being home to one of my favorite pieces of art. The bed is vintage Ikea, circa late 90s. I painted it white and never want to see beech wood again! The simple white bedding is paired with Danish teak nesting tables from my grandfather that I cherish. The Tolomeo reading lamp is by Artemide, and the hanging pendant is the Mechanic’s Beacon Cage Light from Anthropologie. Finally, the fabric wall piece is from the early 1950s and not much information regarding the artist was ever found. The piece is made of vintage vegetable-dyed army fatigues and was a special find at one of my favorite stores in Palm Springs, Hedge.

Image above:  Although I rarely use the dining table officially, I can’t imagine not having the spot for tossing things before I head out or when I get home. The Saarinen dining table is by Knoll, the pendant is the Non-Random by Moooi and the Series 7 dining chairs are by Fritz Hansen.

CLICK HERE for the full home tour after the jump!

Image above: The living room is a relaxed space for guests to chill out in, especially with the Eames lounger. The Eames lounge chair and ottoman by Herman Miller are accompanied by the Saarinen side table by Knoll. The lamp from Ikea was somewhat of a disappointment when I discovered the light source was a harsh LED bulb. I softened the LED with gels, and it makes for a great reading light (Stockholm lamp by Ikea). The shelving unit was a custom piece I designed after being inspired by a similar wall unit at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. And finally, the amazing artwork behind the chair is by Marigold Santos.

Image above: The kitchen was originally galley style and now functions as a workspace and informal dining spot. The faucet is Karbon by Kohler, the counter stools are Harry Bertoia by Knoll and the sofa is the Goetz by Herman Miller.

Image above: The main bedroom is great for south exposure and beautiful morning light. I’ve kept the bedding simple and crisp to let the wallpaper stand out. The wallpaper is a historic map of Paris that I had custom printed by the company Rollout. They were great to work with, and it turned out better than I could have asked! The wool blanket is a Hudson’s Bay blanket —essential for the Canadian winters we have in Calgary. The bedding is Mateo, the throw pillows Liberty and the reading lamp is the Archimoon Soft by Flos.

Image above: The office makes it really easy to be productive as well as creative. I’ve managed to get all the printers and technology behind closed doors so that the space can be a relaxing bedroom, as well. I had the shelves built overhead running the full length of the room for stashing books and magazines. The tack board was a project that a friend helped me source through a local upholstery shop; it was the finishing touch. The Eames Management chair by Herman Miller is definitely a comfortable choice. I know that I can spend a lot of time in it!

Image above: This room is referred to by most visitors as “the snug.” It’s the ultimate in hideaways in the house and usually leads to someone napping. Electrical was very hit and miss in what I could and could not do, but this room really came together with the swags of Edison lights running from the track above. This room features many special pieces to me, like my vintage camera collection, old photos from college days, Airdrie antique mall finds and the Hermes blanket my friends got me for a recent birthday. The sofa is the Drop In by Bensen, and the bench is a George Nelson platform bench by Herman Miller.

Image above: The master bathroom moonlights as my closet with the tub surrounding all the activities. The tub is the Happy D by Duravit, and the pendant is the George Nelson Bubble Light by Modernica. This room fills with amazing amounts of natural light and overlooks the green space below as well as the city skyline. The walnut-framed mirror at the left was a custom build by Rectangle. I’ve been known to find friends drinking wine and sitting in the tub during parties!

Image above: Rideau Towers was built in the mid 50s and was progressive architecture in Western Canada at the time. The four buildings used a suspended concrete-slab construction technique that allowed them nearly a column-free floor plan. The seven-story buildings were designed by a German-trained, Toronto-based architect, Peter Caspari.

  1. donna says:

    I would love it if one of the Canadian decor mags would do a feature on your home if they haven’t already.

  2. Alex says:

    I have the same ikea Stockholm lamp (also next to an eames lounger– they are perfect together!) and agree the light is way to harsh. It feels like a dentist’s examination lamp.

    Does anyone know how you soften LED lights with gels, as described above? Or any other ideas for softening LED lights? I love the style of my ikea lamp, but I’m afraid to turn it on!

  3. Cara says:

    I’m a prairie girl who now lives in Toronto and loves Toronto homes, but thanks for reminding me there is beautiful architecture and creative spirit all across this country!

  4. Anita says:

    I love what you have done with the space in this home and am completely enamored with the Eames Lounger!

  5. great design …awesome design…


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