An “Ode to the Pacific Northwest” in a Portland, OR, Craftsman

A while back, Annie wrote about a loft rehab in Portland, Oregon, by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design that manages to feel of-the-moment yet not trendy at all. While perusing Helgerson’s site, I came across another inspired project that masters this rather difficult balancing act.

As it turns out, it shares the same lead designer as the loft overhaul, Mira Eng-Goetz, who went above and beyond for this renovation of a 1907 Craftsman: Aside from sourcing furniture and lighting, choosing paints and palettes, redesigning the layout, and other decorator-y tasks, she also hand-painted tiles for a botanical backsplash in the kitchen.

Painting the mural of sword ferns, which took her six days to complete, was her favorite part of the project. “The mural creates a ‘garden view’ in a kitchen with windows that look out onto the facade of a neighboring apartment building,” says Eng-Goetz, who studied fine art before getting a degree in interior architecture. “This was the first time I’ve been able to integrate some of my art into an interior design project, and I’m so grateful to my clients for trusting me enough to take it on.”

Evidence of her artistic eye can be seen throughout the rest of the home as well—in the moody palette of rich greens and dusky pinks, in the selection of sculptural furniture pieces, and in the emphasis on artisan-made products. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Aaron Leitz, courtesy of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.

Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Dining Room Above: The two-story house had been at one time converted into apartments. Though it had been turned back into a single-family home by the previous owners, there were still awkward remnants of its rental past, including a second, extraneous staircase. “The biggest challenge on this project was re-imagining the circulation throughout the house, which required removing the back stair, opening up the kitchen to the dining room, and adding a master bath where a balcony used to be,” says Eng-Goetz. The walls in the dining room are painted Benjamin Moore Storm Cloud Gray.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Dining Room Above: A wall of glass cabinets, which can be accessed from both sides, separates the kitchen from the dining room. The dining table is from BDDW, the Neva chairs are by Artisan, and the Trapeze ceiling light is by Apparatus.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Kitchen Above: Benjamin Moore’s Storm Cloud Gray is repeated on the cabinets in the kitchen, which features Western walnut countertops. The showstopper here, of course, is the mural. “We collaborated with the talented team at Tempest Tileworks here in Portland,” says Eng-Goetz. “Tempest hand-cut each tile, which I then painted with ferns before they were glazed and fired.”
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Kitchen Above: The mural extends to every wall in the kitchen—and even covers the built-in refrigerator “to achieve a seamless fern-scape throughout the room,” she says. “Our clients were onboard with our aesthetic direction for the house, which was ‘an ode to the Pacific Northwest.’ This led us toward furniture and decorative lighting that are markedly modern with lush mossy tones and plenty of Western walnut.”
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Family Room Above: A casual breakfast room is just off the kitchen. The house had been stripped of its period details over the years; the design team made sure to add back in architectural interest, like coffered ceilings and columns. In the forefront is the family room.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Family Room Above: The family room is anchored by a built-in sofa, big enough to comfortably fit the clients and their two children, topped with plush cushions in a sumptuous green velvet.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Living Room Above: “The curved sofa in the living room was inspired by a Vladimir Kagan design that we then reinterpreted and custom made with the help of Master Furniture Makers and Trio Upholstery,” says the designer. The Neva lounge chairs are by Artisan and the ceiling light is by Shanghai-based Neri & Hu. On the walls is Benjamin Moore Gray Mirage.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Bedroom Above: Neri & Hu also designed the bed with built-in nightstands. “It’s upholstered in cotton velvet and capped with walnut,” she shares. The bedstand lamp is by LA-based Nino Shea.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Bedroom Above: Two mirrors by Marrow hang over the fireplace in the master bedroom. The fireplace surround features handmade ceramic tiles by Pratt and Larson. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Heather Gray.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Bathroom Above: In the bathroom, a custom-designed vanity “made from some beautiful figured Western walnut” steals the show. The sconces are by Michele Varian.
Jessica Helgerson Johnson Street House in Portland, Office Above: “Almost all of the furniture and decorative lighting is new. The gorgeous old desk in the study is a piece that the clients owned before the renovation, and I love it,” says Eng-Goetz. The botanical wallpaper is by Morris & Co.

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