Emily Henderson Header Image Emily Henderson

Girl Crush

Designer Spotlight – Jessica Helgerson


If I had to, scratch that, if I had the ultimate pleasure of hiring an interior designer, myself, I would put Jessica Helgerson at the top of a very short list. EVERY SINGLE THING she and her team does is beautiful and just dripping with talent. Of course I’d probably want to furnish and style it myself, but man, I’d love to move into a space that has been designed by her. Over the next few months I want to feature the designers and artists that let us shoot their work/homes, because their work is a huge part of why this book is a success. So without further ado please feast your eyes on Jessica’s work.


This house is in Portland, Oregon and had I known I would have begged her to shoot this house for the book while we were up there. The tile, the island, the mix of old world and modern amenities … very few can pull this off without it looking try-hard. 


This house was designed a few years ago, too, before the whole cement tile craze began. Please note the wood cabinet inside the black built-in. Details, folks. This is why you hire a designer. 


For more on that space go here: Alhambra Kitchen

Then there is modern farmhouse that holds my family-friendly-home dreams (one level, lots of clean simple lines, soft finishes and oh-so-open).


For more of that house go here: Brush Prairie House


This space goes more masculine and urban. I’m not sure I’ll ever have the balls to paint a ceiling black, but Jessica does (and continues to).


Typically interior designers portfolios have mediocre photos that have been distorted and certainly no styling was involved. But most, if not all, of Jessica’s work has been either shot for a magazine or she had professionally shot by someone good (not your typical real estate photographer). The end result is seeing a well designed AND shot AND styled space which is rare and refreshing.


To see more of this space head over to here: NW 13th Avenue Loft

I have dreams/fantasies about living in a mid-century style house in Portland (which the trees look to be Oregon-native), so yah, this would work.


I don’t know what wood is on the walls (below) but that is how you do it. Light and simple, but irregular enough to look unique and not cheap.


See more of this house here: Saul Zaik House

This house, below, is unbelievably adorable and happy. I’m pretty sure this was years before shiplap swept the nation.



It’s a teeny tiny farmhouse on Sauvie Island outside of Portland, Oregon and she left enough character and charm to make it a total dream, but added enough modern amenities to make sure it makes sense in 2016.


For more go here: Tiny House

Lastly, is the house that we shot for the book, in Portland. This house is an old library from the early 1900’s that she turned into a home for a darling couple.


It’s striking and dramatic, at the same time totally homey and inviting. Again with the balls to paint things black. Kudos. We were only in this house for one day but all day long we would find new things to fall in love with and all of us (designers, assistants, photographers) were insanely impressed. 


It quickly became one of my top 3 houses in the book and in my dreams.


For even more photos of that house (Including the bedroom) go here: Library House

Thank you so much Jessica Helgerson, for letting us feature your work in the book. The first round of printing left off the crediting which was nauseating (thank God there have been 5 rounds since), so I want to make sure that all of you who have that first edition of the book know that Jessica and her team designed this house, and she did it beautifully. To see her whole portfolio go here. 

****Photo Sources: Alhambra Kitchen, Brush Prarie House, NW 13th Ave Loft, Saul Ziek House, and Tiny House photography by Lincoln Barbour, Library House photography by David Tsay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. These images are so inspiring! Her design is incredibly sophisticated while still being inviting and warm. I really look forward to this series!

  2. Fab to see some refreshingly different styles on the lovely EH blog! Doesn’t detract from the quality of the blog one bit, in fact I think it complements your usual style.

    My favourite is by far the modern farmhouse – simple, stylish, airy and uncluttered. Dream on Marian….

  3. That kitchen blows my mind!! I didn’t even know that was an option. It is all I want know. I will sleep on a rug by the stove to get a kitchen like that!

  4. I’ve had 4 of the interiors featured here stashd away in my inspiration folders for what feels like an eternity, but I never knew who the designer was (or even that they were all designed by the same person).
    Thank you for highlighting Jessica’s stunning work, and I’m really looking forward to this blog feature!

  5. Amazing – love love love everything! And she and her family LIVE in the tiny house, in less than 600 square feet! She appears to be one of the coolest people on the planet. Her firm is made up entirely of women, except for the token male (the office manager). I am so impressed by everything I could burst!

    1. Are you serious? Because I’m moving into a 700 square feet soon and my dream is to be an interior designer. 🙂 Awww…such inspiring woman..

  6. She is my design idol. She creates the exact feel I strive for in my home – edgy, dramatic, moody, with tons of genres mixed together in the right balance that makes everything feel comfortable and collected. That living room is my favorite shot from your book! Thank you for featuring her on your blog so I could be re-inspired!

  7. I loved this post! I’m really excited to see which designers are notable to you, and I love your commentary on what makes each space so special.

  8. Jessica has hands down been one of my top 5 favorite designers for quite some time… Her spaces are stunning, so glad you featured her and her team.

  9. Although most of it is not my style (I cringe at painted brick & timber) her tiny house is sweet & Earth friendly..how great is that moss & fern roof? I do envy her land & growing her own food.

  10. Had seen some of her work before but thanks for bringing to my attention again. I LOVE it. And where did she get that island in the first kitchen. My new inspiration for my kitchen DIY.

  11. For so long I have adored that tiny house and pinned any image I found of it. Thank you for sharing the link and designer. I didn’t know the 5th edition also contained additional information the 1st edition of your book didn’t. I guess I’ll be purchasing a 5th edition too.

  12. Emily — you are indeed a generous spirit, it is in featuring these other gifted designers that sets you a part from the “usual” designer. Classy and inspiring, thanks for spreading the love and sharing other people’s work.

  13. Hey there, do you know what the tree (or plant) is in the green vase in the 6th photo down? I love it and I would love to get one for my place. Great post! I love this designer and your whole site 🙂

  14. Jessica Helgerson is brilliant. I gain great happiness from poring over the photos of her work on her website (and her Instagram). She inspires women everywhere!

  15. I have pinned SO MANY of these photos and not realised they were all the same designer! Thanks for exposing me to her full body of work. Awesome, would love more in this series.

  16. This is huge “ohhhh” moment. First, I’m catching up (you had me at HGTV design star:) on your blog and after seeing you post about the new place and the kitchen ideas you had it reminded me of my most loved kitchen inspiration images I came across a few years ago – the Spanish but new world thing. I wondered if you had seen them too – and now I know you have! I never knew the designers name. Thank you. Your design has had great influence in my life. xoxox

  17. BTW you mentioned couple times that you don’t have the balls to use black like she does, however with your new home and the old world vibe it has I think you really, really could!! xo