Transforming a neglected 1970s house into a colourful family home

Posted on Wed, 24 Apr 2024 by midcenturyjo

The Sauvie Island River House project by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design saw a comprehensive overhaul of a house’s interior and exterior slated initially for demolition. Dating back to the 1970s and having undergone poorly executed remodels over time, the core structure held promise in the eyes of the design team. Their approach focused on reimagining the flow within the house to achieve simplicity and clarity. The long great room was partitioned into distinct kitchen and living areas, cleverly connected by a two-sided fireplace clad in earthy glazed brick. Responding to the clients’ request for warmth and lively hues, the walls were adorned with douglas fir panelling, paint and wallpaper in a recurring palette of terra cotta, mustard, teal and blue reminiscent of the house’s original era.

Photography by Aaron Leitz.

katia says:


What an exceptional job – an exquisite home. It holds a nod to a retro feel while feeling thoroughly modern. The tonal scheme is [chef’s kiss]. Colourful and yet utterly soothing. Absolutely stunning.

Sheri says:

Beautiful. What a remarkable space and they have decorated it so artfully. I could move in without changing a thing.

Beth says:

There are so many wonderful things about this home–the warmth, the wood, the paintings, the textiles, the wallpaper, the tile, the color palette, the sense of humor. The clay lights in the dining room. Oh my gosh, I just love it.

barbward says:

Stunning renovation by JSID
Honor the past, it matters

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