A Loft in Portland Boasts Semi-Minimalist Decor and a Subtle-Femme Palette

Photos by Aaron Leitz
bedroom with built in bed
credit: Aaron Leitz

After Portlander Pam Williams discovered her neighbor's apartment renovation by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, she jumped at the chance to make over her space. Williams had actually been thinking about moving she was so down on her home. But that neighbor's revamp changed her mind. "She needed a true refresh," Helgerson said. "We wanted to create an apartment that could be serene and energizing all at once."

The design process began by Williams giving the team a few adjectives that fit her personality and the team took it from there, deciding to bring in more color and light. The one-bedroom home in Portland's Pearl District now features increased storage space, a large built-in sofa to welcome guests, and a rainy day nook — ideal for a city that receives more than its fair share of rainfall.

Overall, it's proof that if you're sick of your space, but are willing to put in the investment, you can wind up with something that feels right.

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credit: Aaron Leitz

Prior to the renovation, this nook space was a lofted office. Now, a custom-designed sofa fits directly into a recessed wall and welcomes guests. A modernist Souda side table sits next to a pink Fogia chair. Helgerson used Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore, an off-white hue that enhances other colors.

living room
credit: Aaron Leitz

Built-in cabinets designed by the firm increased storage space while creating a clean, minimalist look.

living room
credit: Aaron Leitz

PDX-based Master Furniture Makers crafted a custom coffee table. The rug is from Scandi brand Ferm Living.

dining room
credit: Aaron Leitz

A dining table by Areti sits under an artful mobile by Gam Fratesi. The floors are original to the apartment but were cleaned, polished, and sealed with satin-enhancing sealer for a sleeker appeal.

dining room
credit: Aaron Leitz

A small built-in desk is the perfect way to carve out an office in an open-flow living space.

bedroom with built in bed
credit: Aaron Leitz

Like many other spaces in the apartment, the bedroom was also constructed around custom pieces and built-ins.

bathroom
credit: Aaron Leitz

In the bathroom, square Japanese porcelain tiles create a grid motif. The framed piece is by artist Jen Garrido.

bathroom
credit: Aaron Leitz

While all that tile is gorgeous, it became the biggest challenge of the redesign. Grout lines needed to align perfectly with the architecture of the bathroom, which required a lot of coordination with the contractor and tiler.


Kate Santos

Kate Santos

After interning at Dwell magazine in San Francisco, Kate began writing about arts, design and culture for other national publications. She is based in Los Angeles and San Francisco.