Jessica Helgerson completed the development of the Library House, an inspirational private refuge in Oregon, USA. This project was a complete remodel plus an addition to a small structure which was originally the public library in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. Many aspects of the design are fairly traditional, in keeping with the vintage of the house, but with very modern pieces layered on: “We were struck by how lovely the volume of the old library was, and decided to keep the big open space to house a great room, with kitchen, dining and living areas. We enclosed the open front porch to create an entry and powder room, and added on to the side of the building to create two small bedrooms and a new bathroom”, the designer explained.

In keeping with the theme of the original library, the designer added bookshelves throughout; they define the entry, flank both sides of the great room, and surround the little desk in the guest bedroom. Since the volume of the main space was so tall, library ladders at both ends of the room were integrated to provide access to the tall shelves. Because of the tight lot, the bedrooms needed to be quite small so the designer built in useful cabinetry wherever possible, including around and under the bed. A warm palette of jewel-toned color is introduced in the furnishings and art, which include paintings by Portland artists Anya Spielman and Jocelyn Rahm. [Photos and information courtesy of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design]