Jul 3, 2015

5 Questions For: Heidi Helgeson, H2D Architecture + Design


Name: Heidi Helgeson
Title: Principal
Location: Edmonds, WA

Which of your designs or projects are you most excited about right now?
We have such a wide range of projects right now, it is difficult to pick just one! Day-to-day we get to jump between a small restaurant project, a unique six-house development in Duvall, a high end residential remodel on Lake Sammamish, and several challenging small-space projects on urban lots in Seattle. 

Tell us three words that embody your design philosophy.
Listen. Sustainable. Detail.

What's your favorite place in the Pacific Northwest?
The outdoors—beaches, mountains, simple jogs around my neighborhood looking at homes. You really cannot go wrong outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy it year-round.

Who or what are you inspired by right now?
I’m inspired by the restoration of my own midcentury home. We purchased it several years ago and are slowly remodeling the property and designing the interior with period furniture.

What do you think of the color gray?

Although Seattle is gray much of the year, I really do love the color for both interiors and exteriors—usually with a pop of color to set it off.

Jun 29, 2015

Product of the Week: Wood Discs by Barter Design

New from Vancouver's Barter Design, and just debuted at Provide Home's recent One Hot Night event, the Wood Disc Series of wall sculptures is formed from hand-selected Western Red Cedar. The minimalism is in contrast to the live-edge aesthetic we've grown to expect from most artistic treatments of local timber. What isn't minimal is our enthusiasm for this series.

Get 'em while they last at Provide Home, $500 each.


The wood discs at left, during Provide Home's One Hot Night event.
Images courtesy Provide Home.

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.

Jun 25, 2015

Room of the Week: D'Arcy Jones Architecture



Category: Kitchen
Design: D'Arcy Jones, D'Arcy Jones Architecture
Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Goal: Perched on a cliff among treetops in Vancouver, B.C., this modern abode started off as a quirky ode to 70s wood-clad architecture. It’s owned by a pair of art directors who wanted to update their home without masking its offbeat bones.

Inspiration: "My clients love graphic elements," says D'arcy Jones of the creative couple’s influence on the renovation, "and that inspired a new kitchen that is an object but is also a quiet foil for the wacky old house around it."  The sculptural elements of the home’s architecture also proved to be a driving force in the new design, and Jones highlighted them by juxtaposing the existing black structure with an all-white kitchen. "The process was extremely three dimensional since my clients intuitively understand space from the digital worlds they create as art directors,” Jones notes. “The contrasts between our new white sculptural ‘liner’ and the black structure almost create a visual duel."

Breakdown: The kitchen was moved from an existing cramped space to an underused 70s-era sunken sitting area just off the dining room. In order to expand the space even further, the architect cantilevered a new support beam, allowing for the removal of four posts and doubling the size of the room, and selected simple and streamlined materials. "We used Kitchen Aid and Frigidaire appliances, Caesarstone counters, and black Silgranit plumbing, combined with custom cabinets designed by our office," Jones explains, "We also made good use of Douglas fir glulam beams and white painted drywall."

Get the Look: “Don’t be scared of weird or unusual spaces, or see tired and worn-in houses as beyond repair,” advises Jones. “Walk through them with a professional who can see past the superficial. Good bones and interesting architecture that’s unique and site-specific will always be unique and site-specific. A thoughtfully designed house is a great springboard for a fresh new interior or addition, since you don’t need to spend much—or any—of your budget bringing up the quality level of the entire house or building."

Words by Nicole Munson. 
Images Courtesy of Silent Sama Architectural Photography.

Jun 15, 2015

Product of the Week: Ono Light by Propellor Design


Vancouver design studio Propellor made their new pendant light with this question in mind: How do you make metal appear soft? From that compelling design problem, the Ono light was born. At once minimal and organic, this fixture is a superlative example of West Coast contemporary design.

The LED lamp has a solid walnut spindle and is available in raw aluminum, matte white, or matte black finishes.




Images courtesy of Propellor.

Editorial note: Items featured in GRAY’s Product of the Week posts are solely the choice of our editors and are not paid for in any way by anyone associated with the product.

Jun 12, 2015

5 Questions For: Jessica Helgerson, Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Name: Jessica Helgerson
Title: Founder, interior designer
Location: Portland


Which of your designs or projects are you most excited about right now?
We have a lot of exciting work happening right now. We’re working on a hotel just around the corner from our office, as well as a gorgeous limestone (like a brownstone but fancier) in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, a pizza place in San Francisco, a thorough renovation of a beautiful and historic Tudor house in Portland, and a beach house in the Hamptons. I love variety in our work, both in terms of geography and typology, so I’m happiest when we have diversity in the office, which we have in spades right now.  

I’m also very excited about two projects we have in the works:
We are creating a gallery in the front of our new office, called Front of House, which will be a space for one artist at a time to create site-specific installations. I’ve been inspired for many years by Suyama Space in Seattle and am excited to create something similar in Portland.  

We’re also putting together a proposal for a book that will be an in-depth look at JHID’s work process and our collaborations with artists and artisans.


Tell us three words that embody your design philosophy.
Thoughtful. Playful. Beautiful.


What's your favorite place in the Pacific Northwest? Why?
Wild Goose Farm on Sauvie Island! My husband and I fell in love with Sauvie Island just months after moving to Portland. The small scale of the agriculture there reminded me of the countryside in France where I spent all of my childhood summers. We started looking for a place to buy nearly a decade ago, and after a few years found a five-acre parcel with two decrepit houses, two barns, lots of gorgeous old oak trees, and a million projects. My son Max came up with the name Wild Goose Farm, and it stuck.  

We first fixed up one of the little houses, and our family of four lived in that tiny, 540-square foot house for four years. Over the last two years we’ve been building a larger farmhouse where we now live. During all of these years we have been working the fields, getting the soil healthier, planting fruit trees, flowers, berries, and lots of vegetables. It has been a huge undertaking, but it finally feels close to ‘done’. It is a beautiful, happy place where friends are always welcome. I love, love, love to be home.

Tiny House on Sauvie Island. Image by Lincoln Barbour.

Who or what are you inspired by right now?
I really love British designer Ilse Crawford. She can do no wrong in my book. I’m also continuously inspired by the designers in my office. They have wonderful ideas, and do beautiful work. We work together in a positive, symbiotic, inspiring way. JHID is a lot more than Jessica Helgerson!


What do you think of the color gray?
I love it! I love dark green-grays, pale beige-grays, soft blue-grays, warm yellow-grays. What’s not to love? The color gray is subtle, intriguing, beautiful. I even love gray weather! 



Image Courtesy of Parker Fitzgerald.

Jun 11, 2015

New Digs: Seattle’s Meat & Bread

By Laura Aguilera-Flemming

Earlier this spring, Vancouver-based sandwich shop Meat & Bread opened a new location in Seattle’s rapidly redeveloping Capitol Hill neighborhood—their first U.S. location, and the biggest one to date. In just eight months, the design was executed from “top to tail” says Craig Stanghetta, founder of Vancouver’s Ste. Marie, the studio that designed both the Seattle space and the original Vancouver location. With help from Seattle construction firm Dovetail General Contractors, project architect Babienko Architects, and metal shop Architectural Elements, the light-filled space came together with regional flair. Designed with a similar ethos as the initial location (there are now three in B.C.), M&B’s Seattle digs embrace the rugged and historic character of its building, a 1917-built warehouse. Aside from adding lighting, Stanghetta and team left the original concrete wall behind the cook line untouched to highlight the juxtaposition of new and old, or what Stanghetta calls “the best of both worlds.” Other interior details include elements of bespoke art and lighting, including a custom standing lamp, bar stools, and architectural detailing on the ornate matte black walls. A famous Lou Reed quote laser-cut into the back wall adds some pop culture flair: “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.” The spacious 2,000-square-foot cafĂ© provides plenty of seating and a retail area in the center dedicated to merchandise such as meat rubs and condiments. Whether stopping in for a quick bite or staying to experience the laid-back atmosphere, Meat & Bread offers a unique dining experience complimented by a daily selection of four hefty sandwich options—including a grilled cheese for brave vegetarians venturing into the carnivorous fold.

“We wanted the space to feel like the home of a cool friend—one who can cook like a gifted chef, has a great record collection, cares about art, and has a laissez-faire attitude but sharp and focused taste,” says designer Craig Stanghetta of Vancouver’s Ste. Marie studio, describing his design inspiration. 

Meat & Bread’s 2,000-square-foot space was constructed with a variety of raw and rustic materials, including miles of white oak, iron, concrete, unfinished brass, coarse clay-based tile, and matte black-painted metalwork.

A variety of lighting designed by Stanghetta appears throughout the space. The barn door track-light pendants, located under the mezzanine, were designed by Juno Lighting and purchased through ConTech Lighting. According to Stanghetta, the pendants are strategically hung to articulate the height, length, and flow of the space.  

There are no secret ingredients at Meat & Bread. All spices, seasonings, and sandwich components are visible to customers within the shop. According to Stanghetta, “Meat & Bread’s core philosophy is to not ‘hide’ the back of house, but rather to maintain a degree of openness and transparency.” Having an open and connected space speaks to the simplicity of the core ethos of Meat & Bread. 

“We're extremely happy with how this place turned out, and have loved working in Seattle,” Stanghetta notes. “The food, art, and design scene is a great inspiration. We're excited to do it again for the next location—coming soon.” Look for Meat & Bread’s second Seattle location, at 400 Fairview Ave North between downtown and Lake Union.

Photo Credit: Colin Bishop