Design Blogs
The Urban Ranch

For the past couple of months we’ve been working with a client on developing plans for his new home. He lives just outside the city limits on a small ranch and felt like he wanted the home to look like a “Texas Hill Country” home. After a few drafts, meetings and some revisions we came up with a plan he really loves and it’s actually not “Texas Hill Country” at all. I’m calling the style “Urban Ranch” (I just made that up). It’s pretty exciting working on something that is so new and different. I feel like I get to define a genre of style, though in interior design, nothing is really new; it’s all just a reinvention of use or perspective. Anyway… I’m busy exploring materials to use on the exterior and there are lots and lots of options. I know I want to mix modern elements with earthy natural materials. Some thoughts are stainless, clear coated cedar, galvanized metal, ipe, concrete and of course glass. If he likes my suggestions we will use ipe on the deck with a cable rail system around it with an ipe top rail. I like the idea of carrying some of the exterior materials to the inside and think using the cable rail system on the stairs inside would look awesome too. We are still working out many of the details but here’s a picture of the front and rear elevations as they stand now.

It truly is an exciting time so keep a look out on the Blog for more on our Urban Ranch project. Meanwhile, work on the Guest House at the Ranch will continue and I’ll show you more on it maybe next time on the Blog.

Peace and Love,


I’ve been missing the beach a lot lately. It’s because the end of summer is near. My angst to make the most of it before it’s over probably harkens back to the days when I was a kid and dreading going back to school. Thankfully back to school is far behind me, but I still get that sense of urgency to squeeze in every last minute of summer. We have a trip to the beach coming up soon to celebrate Keith’s birthday but, until then I’ll happily work on some coastal interior looks - one of my favorite design styles. Below, I’ve put together some pics of some of my favorite coastal looks and a story board for coastal dining which includes some great items from Matthew Izzo, Pottery Barn and All Modern. Take a look and find some inspiration for your home, whether your coastal style is beachfront, lake front or river front.

Peace and love,

1.Worlds Away Capiz Shell Floral Jupiter Pendant from MATTHEWIZZO.COM 2. BROWNSTONE JASPER DINING TABLE from MATTHEWIZZO.COM 3. Ride Waves Framed Wall Art by ALLMODERN.COM 4. Lorraine Dresser from POTTERYBARN.COM 5. Valencia Chair from 6. Loom Dining Chair from DESIGNDIRECTIONS.COM 7. Kason Rug from POTTERYBARN.COM 8. Mirabelle Rug from SERENAandLILY.COM
Brooke Wagner Designs
Becki Ownens Design

Blackband Design
Muscoga Living Interiors

Spinnaker Development

Design Directions

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I’ve been thinking the last couple of days about writing a blog, but I’ve struggled with what I might write about. What’s my point of view, what do I need to communicate and does anyone care? Do I have to be a serious writer??? If that’s the case this is definitely not going to work out… I am not a serious writer. What I do know though… is that I have lots of ideas, tips and shopping finds I can share that I think you’ll like. Maybe I’ll share what’s happening on our job sites, some before and after pics or some pretty story boards that you can try in your home. Perhaps it’ll be some DIY project’s you can take on, advice on choosing the right paint color or maybe even a recipe I think you can’t live without. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m sure the blog will change and evolve as all things do in interior design and life. Hopefully something I write or share will enrich your life in some way and you’ll walk away having learned something useful or have been left feeling creative or motivated.
As for this, my first blog, I will start with this…

I am Valerie Helgeson. I own a design and remodeling company that I founded in 2000 with the encouragement and support of my handsome husband Keith. I live and breathe design. It’s what gets me going in the morning and keeps me motivated to work 7 days a week. I even dream about it when I sleep. I get chills when an idea comes together in a cohesive “ah-ha, this is it” kind of way. I love the smell of fresh paint, lumber, and new textiles. I love being able to see the potential in a home or space that others struggle to see. I adore tearing down walls and creating big open floor plans where families can live and play together. More than anything though, I love helping people make their dreams come true. It’s hard work and rarely glamorous, but it’s all worth it when the pretty stuff goes in and my clients walk in to to see their finished home or space for the first time. So check back in often. Take this blog ride with me and let’s see where we’re going.
Peace and Love,

P.S. Check out West Elm’s sofa, chair and sectional sale