Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

 

I’ve often compared the process of design to the act of cooking – even though they operate on a very different time scale, there is no denying there are clear parallels between the two. In both cases, the right ingredients are key (sometimes we have the luxury of starting from scratch, other times we need to work with what we have – be that the contents of the fridge or the pantry, or indeed – an existing building). This is why I was so pleased to see our old pal Jessica Helgerson‘s answers to the Q&A below, in which she describes the design process for this project “like creating a delicate layer cake without letting any of the ingredients lose their flavours and personality.”

Today’s project is a thorough remodel of a mid-century house in Portland, originally designed in the 1950’s by architect William Fletcher. The current owners bought the house from an artist, which became the platform on which the designers built the concept for the project – being mindful of the existing style of the house as well as preserving the playful eye of it’s previous occupants.

The current owners are also artists with a strong individual aesthetic, which meant the project was “a delicate process of stirring all the various ingredients without letting any of them lose their particular flavour” (there’s that link back to cooking – love it!). The team at Jessica Helgerson Interior Design were tasked with the interiors of the remodel, while Dale Farr, William Fletcher’s former partner, designed a garage and an addition to the front of the house in conjunction with interior designers’ work.

Read on for a little Q&A about the project from Jessica herself.

 

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

 

+ What was your design inspiration for this project – i.e was it a result of client’s brief, a particular concept or an idea etc?’

This was definitely a very client-driven project. Our client was an artist / art director and the house had previously been occupied by an artist. Between respecting and preserving some of the history of the house, plus creating a home that felt right for the clients there was a pretty clear road map as to how to proceed.

+ Your favourite thing about this project

I think my favourite thing is how personal (and full of personality) it is. I also love the history of the project. . . the house was designed in the 50’s by Portland architect William Fletcher who has since passed away, but who at the time was a partner in the firm Fletcher Farr Ayotte. We designed the interior portion of the remodel, but the new garage and addition at the front were designed at the same time by William’s old partner Dale Farr. The connection to the past was very sweet and I think William would have been pleased with the work we did, both inside and out.

 

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

Remodel of a 1950’s House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design | Yellowtrace

 

+ Most challenging aspect?

I think what made it most interesting was also what created the challenge… the careful process of mixing together the history of the original architecture, the strong colourful presence of the artist who had lived there before, and the addition of our clients with their own aesthetic and practical wishes for the house. It was like creating a delicate layer cake without letting any of the ingredients lose their flavours and personality. In most of our projects our office adds its own ingredients (and often our projects wind up being mostly that) but here we were definitely just the careful stirrers.

+ What did you learn during the project?

I think this project was a lesson in letting go and letting other influences, both past and present, guide the process. I don’t see much of myself or our office in the final product, but I do love it nevertheless.

+ Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts you could tell us?

Did you see the film Napolean Dynamite? Our client was Kip… Napolean’s brother. Can you get any funnier or quirkier than that?

 


[Images courtesy of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
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Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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