sneak peek: ashley helvey & miles pederson

Textile artist Ashley Helvey (who makes amazing felt area rugs) and Miles Pederson just moved into this apartment in Seattle, Washington, four months ago. Since the apartment is a rental, the couple decided to keep things simple with functional pieces that won’t require too much effort to move. Building their own furniture was the most efficient way to do this. They adopted many pieces from their previous apartment, turning an oversized work table into a magazine rack and stools into a bench. Ashley’s philosophy of decorating is just to focus on nice looking basics, and she says that overdecorating is “like wearing perfume to cover up odor — just keep it clean!” Thank you, Ashley & Miles! Special thanks to Kyle Johnson for the lovely images. — Amy A.

Image above: Bench shot with sheepskin throw and blue blanket. We found this loveseat frame on Craigslist and plan to refinish it. My friend Gabe Magana of Mid Century Mobler gave us some pretty detailed instructions on how to properly refinish it. Actually doing it has been the hardest part!

Image above: The bed platform was designed by our friend Suzanne Stephan who is an architect and artist. We wanted something to keep our mattress off the floor, and stepping onto this platform immediately creates a feeling of calm: time for bed and Teen Mom 2!

CLICK HERE for more of Ashley’s Seattle apartment!

Image above: I designed the couch based around a cushion we purchased at Ikea, and Miles built it from spruce planks that we got at a lumberyard. The pillow is by MeS from Frozen Fountain in Amsterdam, an interiors shop that I went to when I was visiting Claudy Jongstra.

Image above: Our kitchen is where we spend most of our time. We love cooking and experimenting with whatever is in season. Recipe tonight: grilled fava beans and fresh halibut from Pike’s Place Market.

Image above: Coffee is the only thing that gets me out of bed when I wake up to yet another gray day here. Of all the coffee roasters in Seattle, Stumptown is my favorite, and it’s not even from Seattle; it’s from Portland! I prefer the Chemex to a French press because it filters out unwanted sediment and impurities and happens to look really nice.

Image above: These are all my finds from Value Village, a true Northwest treasure.

Image above: Miles designed this bench with some stools from our previous work studio that were too tall to be useful in our new space, so off with their heads!

Image above: This table was again repurposed from our work table in our old studio. We cut the saw horses down and found a beautiful slab of wood that used to be a door at a local shop in Ballard called Re-Store.

Image above: My new studio/workspace; smaller but just as cozy.

Image above: I purchased these from our dear friends Kristin and Shin at Iko Iko in Los Angeles. They got them on their most recent visit to Japan, and being a felter, I instantly fell in love with the woven, indigo-dyed industrial felt.

Image above: My wall of inspiration. I am always on the lookout for beautiful everyday objects: mops, rags, drying racks, fly swatters, spoons, etc. I have fun dreaming of ways to re-imagine these things, too; it’s a constant source for new design ideas.

Image above: Since we don’t have a proper bookshelf, we just have fat stacks of books everywhere.

Image above: Another great Value Village find! Artwork by Perry Lubin.

  1. Creede says:

    Someday I will build all the furniture in my home. Someday…

  2. Emelie says:

    So inspiring! Love it!! Value Village (or VV as I call it) is the best place, but shhhhh — we don’t want everyone to know ;-) Oh and it’s considered a pretty big faux pas to say “Pike’s Place”. It took me almost a year of being ridiculed by my native Seattle friends to learn that it really is just Pike Place Market.

  3. Wat a beautiful home! The arched doorways, the wooden floors, their simple and warm style. I love it.

  4. des says:

    can we be friends? i am seattle gal, i would love to thrift with someone like you! all white spaces have my heart.

  5. Charlene says:

    love the white, the wood, the light and the craft!

  6. Josie says:

    I don’t think I’d like to sit in the middle of that bench!

  7. StarR says:

    Love the clean feel about the space and well, it just has a great vibe. I love living a minimalist life style,with food,clothing and living space.

  8. melanie says:


  9. Jenn says:

    What a beautiful home! I adore the sparseness, the beautiful things really get to stand out on their own (the stunning rugs, Pendleton bedspread, MCM eiffel chairs). The DIY roughness only makes it that much more wabi sabi. Bookmarking this to inspire myself to finish decorating my own home!

  10. Emmett&Amber says:

    Love this place, of course… but where do you keep the BMX bikes??

  11. what a great repurposed table! What flowers were used in the centrepiece?

  12. EHS says:

    Is ANY of that furniture comfortable enough to sit in for hours reading a book?

  13. Schuyler says:

    Love this place.

  14. caroline says:

    wow, what an amazing little home. if I knew how to be organized every second of my life, my home would look like this too. I love the rugs they have in their place and all the natural lighting and woods.. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

  15. I am in love with your house and how it looks like you lead your life. You must be calm, patient, and not too fussy according to how the house looks with an appreciation of history. I live in a mobile home (trailer) in a rural area in the US. I aspire to have an old house like yours one day with that quiet, comfortable lifestyle. You are very blessed. Thank you for sharing…Jill Lovely, RN – Jackson, Kentucky.

  16. jjzach says:

    Love this place. Wondering where the rocker is from?

  17. Ethanollie says:

    Love this to bits. Wonderful job! Those shelves full of wood and pottery stole my heart

  18. Minnie says:

    Love the apartment. Especially the little drawings.

  19. What a great sofa! A simple and rustic element. For some reason it reminds me of something Philip Starck would use in one of his designs.

  20. It’s so calm and peaceful, I love it!

  21. jamie says:

    am completely inspired by the couch…. and am itching to make one like it!
    i’m a lover of Seattle, and a LOVER of stumptown… could see myself transplanting into this exact life!
    thank you for sharing!

  22. Call me crazy…or just blame the fact that I’m pregnant…but how on God’s green earth does one get OUT of that bed in the middle of the night to pee?

  23. Karen says:

    The blanket is a banded stripe from pendleton–part of the heritage collection (re-issues of historic pendleton designs). it is also no longer made, so…nice find.

  24. Samantha says:

    best interior ever.

  25. Michelle says:

    Beautiful home. I love the simplicity. I would love to know the paint colors used on the walls…so nice.

  26. Erin O. says:

    Wondering what you used for the coat rack above the bench? Is it just a handrail with hooks? I love it!

  27. drew says:

    wow! the space of my dreams!!!

  28. molly de Vries says:

    Your apartment is amazing Ashley, WOW. It’s so cool to see here. We miss you down here in rainy California

  29. Chloe says:

    ahhhh i love love love how they so sparingly (thoughtfully) brought in color and warmth. I would love to step foot into this home!

  30. Rachel says:

    The light and colors used are gorgeous, and most of all the simplicity is just beautiful!

  31. I want to know how that bed frame is made. What is underneath the platform and how does it keep from tipping over every time they step on it? I must make this bed! I must know these things!

  32. Shirley says:

    I hate clutter so this has to be my favorite sneak peek ever. It feels so calming just to look at the photos, it’s the kind of space where you feel that ideas can breathe.

  33. Sarah says:

    Where is that hanging with pendant with the teal (or blue?) cord from? The one over the dinning table is just amazing!

  34. tess says:

    Love it. Natural natural natural POW! Pop of color. This is a perfect example of how high impact color can be when used sparingly. This girl’s got it goin’ on aesthetically.


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