Interiorssneak peeks

A Designer’s 370 Rennovated Square Feet in Portland, OR

by Lauren Chorpening Day

Change of any kind gives opportunity for beautiful results. I think problem-solving and a variety of experiences brings out a unique creative edge. Having interests in several fields gives way to a new take on design. Mira’s career and condo have both changed drastically since she began them and each have been transformed by her background and vision.

Mira Eng-Goetz is an interior designer at the Jessica Helgerson Interior Design in Portland, Oregon. She moved to the city to start her career in interior design four years ago but her artistic drive has taken her all over the world. “My path towards a career in interior design has been anything but straight,” says Mira. “Prior to working for Jessica Helgerson, I studied egg painting in Ukraine, French in Toulouse, glass painting in Senegal, sculpture in Oakland, sushi in London and interior architecture in North Carolina.” Her renovated 1927 condo shows off the way her creative experience has helped her to approach problems and has added to her abilities as a designer.

Mira moved in three years ago and got to work. “My home needed some serious love when I first moved in. The original oak flooring was worn thin, the plaster was cracked throughout, the interior storm windows were broken, the cast iron tub had been painted way too many times, the plumbing fixtures were shot and the kitchen was incredibly cramped. I camped out for the first few months, with my trusty electric kettle, camp stove, rice cooker and futon.” Mira completely redesigned the layout of the kitchen and main room to add storage and flow throughout the space. She kept a consistent palette of blues, whites, wood tones and greenery. The apartment now is cool, bohemian, industrial and refined. Her use of white in the space helps it feel bigger, brighter and fresh. This change in Mira’s home has transformed the way she lives in a beautiful way.

Photography by Malcolm Lee

-Western walnut countertops and shelving
-Custom foil finish cabinetry
-Refurbished 60’s french door range
-Ikea hood
-Ikea sink basin
-Blomberg fridge
-Daltile subway tile in matte
-Salt dining chairs
-Ikea dining table
-New white oak flooring
-West Elm free standing shelving unit
-Kingston Brass wall mounted faucet
-Moroccan lanterns from Marrakech
-Schoolhouse Electric Alabax ceiling lights
-Schoolhouse Electric Satellite sconces
-Hand sewn pillows from African and Japanese indigo textiles
-Benjamin Moore paper white paint in regal matte finish

-Ikea free standing shelving unit
-Original hex flooring
-Toto toilet
-Kalista tub
-Schoolhouse Electric Satellite sconces
-Antique stool
-Fishtail palm
-Custom linen shower curtain
-Reclaimed sink
-Original medicine cabinet
-Benjamin Moore Moonshine in regal eggshell finish

-Coyuchi bedding
-Western walnut shelving
-Vintage metal desk
-Vintage task chair
-Schoolhouse Electric Alabax ceiling lights
-Restoration Hardware sconces
-Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace in regal matte finish

When Mira moved in, her kitchen was a small space where the bed is now. She made the space cohesive and functional by adding walls and giving the kitchen and living area a more pronounced presence.
"The refurbished range is from the 1960's. I love it because you access the oven through a pair of french style doors, which are perfect for tight spaces where a conventional single oven door that's hinged at the bottom would feel cumbersome," says Mira.
"My counters are solid western walnut. I appreciate the warmth that wood counters can bring into a kitchen," says Mira. "I know it's not for everyone, but I enjoy the ritual of oiling my counters every Sunday evening."
The bedroom and office space off of the main space in Mira's apartment. "The extra deep window seat is my favorite place to read and nap. Occasionally, friends have been known to crash here for the night as well," says Mira. "The pillows are covered with indigo textiles from West Africa and Japan."
Mira's palette of shades of dark blue and white keeps this small space cohesive from room to room.
"In a 370 square foot home, storage is a true challenge. Drawers under the window seat are perfect for stashing art supplies and tools, piano hinged hatch doors on my bed platform access deep storage for camping gear and luggage, extra deep drawers at the foot of my bed are stuffed with quilts and linens and a wall of bookshelves and cabinetry house my books and dreaded paper files/electronics," says Mira. "In the end, I can honestly say that each object in my home has a place, which is a really good thing because otherwise, it would be a complete mess! I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, 'if it doesn't have a place to go, I'll leave it out.'"
Mira kept the original hex tiles, installed a salvaged sink, styled with global pieces from her travels and has added greenery wherever there is space in the bathroom.
Mira used glass doors to keep the brightness throughout the space.
"The white on the walls vary in shade going from darker to lighter as you move from the bathroom, to the kitchen and then to the bedroom," says Mira.
"Although small, my home office suits me just fine, especially with the view looking out over the rooftops of the neighboring buildings," says Mira.
When Mira took the kitchen from this part of the apartment, it left old plumbing that needed to be covered up. She built a custom platform bed with hatch doors to cover the fixtures and add additional storage to the bedroom.
Mira has created a bohemian, industrial and minimal space all in one. The pieces she has designed her home with work together so well without being from the same or even similar styles.
"I'm thankful for the steel casement windows and their old, wonky glass," says Mira. "They're set back considerably in the thick concrete walls, which makes for nice deep interior sills - perfect for placing a coffee mug, potted plant, paperback novel or elbow."
Mira Eng-Goetz in her renovated space.
Mira's current floor plan.

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  • This home is fantastic. Amazing job making over a place that needed a lot of love. Very inspiring for those of us who want to pare down our possessions- 370 square feet is small but you really make it work!! Also love your Coyuchi hand towel in the bathroom, I have the same one :)

  • So beautiful! I love absolutely everything – your blue textiles are soooo enchanting! Your place is so beautiful and calm – a real treasure. I would hunker down on your window seat and never leave!

  • This place is incredible. I love and seek out any small space post and I went back to double, triple, quadruple check that this one is actually 370 sq ft. Stunning.

  • Beautiful space! Love the walnut counters – I can see why you’d want to spend time oiling them :) What’s the plant in picture 14?

    • Hi Em,
      That plant was given to me by a friend and unfortunately I don’t know what it’s called. Sorry to disappoint!

  • Just the most perfect use of space; it’s like being on a ship, everything stored beautifully, yet lighter and bigger than you’d expect

  • Beautiful house and even more beautiful kitchen! Could you please share what oil you use to keep them so beautiful?

    • Thanks for your kind words Madhavi.
      The oil I use is a mix of beeswax and mineral oil.
      I get it at Ace Hardware.

  • WOW! I am duly impressed! This is all so, so good without being overdrawn, overstyled or overmanipulated. Truly “less is more” and you make it a worthy goal. Well done!

  • LOVE this space! It’s small, but the thought put behind the renovation and the materials make it look open and spacious. I love everything about it, especially the subway tiles with the wood counters/shelving. Also that she kept the floor in the bathroom and installed the gorgeous vintage sink. Gorgeous.

  • This is absolutely awe-some! So inspiring and lovely! I am curious, does it look like that all the time???;)

  • This is the most well done layout I have seen in this size space. I love all the plants and neutral palette, the countertops are absolutely beautiful, I really love everything she has done!

  • Your fantastic home is both tidy and full of life. I would love to see a picture of the view over the rooftops.

  • beautiful home, thanks for sharing mira!
    one of my favorite features is the recurring black linen throughout the space. did you order it online or purchase it in a store?

  • I am just about to move into my gigantic tiny apartment (550 sq ft) and can’t wait! I’ve already scoped out many multifunctional pieces of furniture such as a kitchen island that doubles as a counter so my daughter can do homework while I cook. Thanks for this inspiring post! I may steal the color scheme. <3

  • i am in awe of this amazing house! what a fantastic use of space. I love that big tree in the bathroom…she really knows how to live luxuriously in a little bit of space.

  • Hi, do someone know how can I contact Jessica Helgerson studio? I need an email to write them down about some project inquiry. Thank you!

  • I’ve been following Jessica Helgerson for years, hoping someday I can afford to hire her for my PDX home. Mira you are an incredible addition to the team, from what I’ve seen.

    Your place is darling, but more importantly you had the taste and vision to select the place to begin with. Those windows are breathtaking–I love steel casement windows! I love the black trim on the one. Beautiful, lovely, vibrant but calm space. I hope you stick around!