Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

What’s Old Is New: A Pearl District Loft in Portland Gets a New Shell

Search

What’s Old Is New: A Pearl District Loft in Portland Gets a New Shell

May 31, 2019

What’s old is new—and, in this case, really quite of-the-moment. When Pam Williams wanted to make a change from her tired loft in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon, she was thinking of moving—until she saw another unit in the building that had gotten the Jessica Helgerson treatment. Inspired, she decided to commission the Portland-based interior designer to overhaul the dated insides and re-fit the space to suit her needs.

Helgerson and Mira Eng-Goetz, the lead designer on the project, stripped the loft back to its original brick walls, then gave it a new shell: built-in furniture and storage in every room that provides flexibility and a sense of calm, even playfulness. The new space is finished in subtle washes of pale and grey—a bit pearl-like, fittingly enough.

Join us for a walk through the newly fashioned interiors.

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

The kitchen, with the entryway just behind, has glimpses of the old—red brick, an arched window—among the new, including a custom concrete countertop and sink by Cement Elegance. A whimsical mobile designed by GamFratesi hangs above the table.
Above: The kitchen, with the entryway just behind, has glimpses of the old—red brick, an arched window—among the new, including a custom concrete countertop and sink by Cement Elegance. A whimsical mobile designed by GamFratesi hangs above the table.
A counter-to-ceiling backsplash is made up of tiny, square-inch Japanese tiles, plus two inset niches for essentials.
Above: A counter-to-ceiling backsplash is made up of tiny, square-inch Japanese tiles, plus two inset niches for essentials.
The kitchen opens into the living room, at right. Williams gave away nearly all of her furniture as part of the process, &#8
Above: The kitchen opens into the living room, at right. Williams gave away nearly all of her furniture as part of the process, “except for the tulip dining chairs and the cute wicker chair in the bedroom,” Eng-Goetz says. “Pam already had these and they worked really well with our concept.” All of the other fittings were chosen by the design team.
&#8
Above: “Before the renovation, the flooring was floating bamboo,” says Eng-Goetz. “We removed that to expose the concrete below and polished it.” The living area is grounded by a large, low built-in sofa with drawers underneath and a pale pink Kinnasand rug from The Future Perfect. A built-out wall behind offers storage—and a visual change from brick.

Above: The team stuck to a tight palette of greys and dusky pinks, with the occasional black or brass detail. For a similar light fixture, see 10 Easy Pieces: French Industrial Wall Lights.

Off of the kitchen is a raised niche; Williams&#8
Above: Off of the kitchen is a raised niche; Williams’ “rainy-day room”, she told The New York TimesThe space is petite but multi-functional, with a nook, at left, doubling as a pocket-sized desk, and another built-in sofa that also serves as a guest bed. A wall of sleek cabinetry and drawers, at right, takes advantage of the vertical space. The mirrored back wall makes the whole room feel much larger.
The loft&#8
Above: The loft’s sole bedroom also has new bones, with cabinets and bookshelves that turn into slim bedside tables—no need for extra furniture. The felt headboard is a custom design by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.
Even more storage, at the end of the bed—and Williams&#8
Above: Even more storage, at the end of the bed—and Williams’ caned chair.
The bathroom is tiled in the same square-inch tile as the kitchen, for cohesiveness, and the sink is also by Cement Elegance.
Above: The bathroom is tiled in the same square-inch tile as the kitchen, for cohesiveness, and the sink is also by Cement Elegance.
Schoolhouse&#8
Above: Schoolhouse’s Alabax Surface Mount Light Fixture appears in the bathroom and throughout the apartment, in white. Next to the shower, a tiled linen cabinet features a discreet alcove for the cat’s litter box.

Take a tour of a few more Portland favorites:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network