Interview: Pahlisch Homes Interior Designer on Bringing Modern Coastal Design to Central Oregon
In May of 2023, Pahlisch Homes unveiled a brand-new model home in the popular Easton community. Situated in up-and-coming southeast Bend, Easton is just minutes from the best of what Central Oregon has to offer, with easy access to beautiful parks, delicious restaurants, and more.
With its modern coastal aesthetic — including cool wood tones and a soothing neutral color palette — this model home represents a unique yet stunning design choice for the area. We sat down with Andrew Fisher, our Central Oregon Design Specialist, to discuss the decision to bring modern coastal interior design to Oregon’s high desert, some easy ways our readers can bring the coastal look to their homes, and so much more.
Pahlisch Homes: Okay, Andrew, why don’t we start off with introductions?
Andrew Fisher, Central Oregon Design Specialist: My name is Andrew Fisher. I work for Pahlisch Homes and design for our Central Oregon region. So I’ve got five or six different communities that I work with. I manage everything from the exterior street scenes and specifications to meeting with the actual buyers once we’ve sold a home to make all their design selections and help pick out any upgrade options we offer for the house.
When I’m not meeting with buyers, there are a lot of special projects that will come up, like this Easton model home. This is where I really get to flex my design style and use my expertise. I work with our Marketing team to determine the buyer profile for the community, then we work to create a home that will suit the majority buyers’ needs.
Pahlisch: Thanks for that clarity! I think that will help our readers understand all that goes into the interior design process, and that it’s more than just picking colors and finishes.
Previously, you’ve helped us determine our 2023 interior design trend predictions, and coastal design was your pick to make a big comeback. What are the hallmarks of the coastal design aesthetic, and what inspired your decision to bring it to Central Oregon’s high desert with this model home?
Fisher: So one of the defining features of the coastal design is going to be natural materials. The space should feel light, bright, and pretty airy. For me and the way I wanted to interpret it, I didn’t want it to be your grandma’s coastal house: no royal blues and whites. I think we took a softer approach, a little bit more of a minimalist, natural approach. So instead of using a royal blue, we’re using more of a sea foam, a lighter, softer green.
Also, avoid super heavy, rustic materials. So instead of using rough-sawn lumber, in the model home, we’re using more of like a clear alder, which has a cleaner look but still gives you that texture of wood. And then the metal finishes, use more chrome or satin nickel, those lighter, kind of warmer tones as well.
Pahlisch: To follow up on that, where did you draw your inspiration for this Easton model home?
Fisher: A lot of our cottage floor plans are named after Oregon coast cities. So with the Arcadia plan [used in the Easton model home], I was like, Oh! Oregon coastal town. Let’s play into that. Let’s use fun coastal colors. But not your Martha Stewart coastal vibe. [laughs]
Pahlisch: [Laughs] Perfect. That makes so much sense. When I heard we were doing a coastal design, I envisioned baby blues, sea glass tones, and beiges. So when I went in and toured the model home myself, I immediately fell in love with it. Not only because it was different than what I expected, but also because I feel like it really blended well with the high desert color palette. The terracotta colors you accessorized with kind of reminded me of Central Oregon cinder, the sea foam reminded me of the sagey tones of the juniper trees and sagebrush. It totally blends in well while giving that beachy vibe.
Fisher: Love it, I’m so happy that was your experience.
Pahlisch: Okay, there’s a lot to be proud of with this home. What is your favorite feature?
Fisher: Probably the thing I’m most proud of is the way the staging team and the design team worked together. I walked in after it was staged and I was like, oh my goodness, I’m so proud of how this turned out. I mean, you’ve got white backsplash, a white kitchen, some fun fixtures, but nothing crazy. I feel like this house became what it became because of staging.
As for features, I think the fireplace is probably the coolest thing in the house.
Pahlisch: Yeah, the staging really does bring it together so well. Speaking of favorite features, were the exposed beams an aesthetic choice or a practical one?
Fisher: Fully aesthetic. They serve no structural purpose. It’s just an added textural element that paint can’t give you. It just adds more dimension and character to the space.
Pahlisch: It really adds to the coastal vibe too. I feel like any beach house you walk into is going to have exposed beams of some sort.
Okay, so let’s talk about the kitchen. So we know that white cabinetry is kind of becoming a trend of the past, but you’ve bucked that trend and paired white cabinets throughout the house with color in a really exciting way. Can you explain your thought process when choosing what materials and finishes to pair with the seemingly “out” white cabinets color, and making it cool again?
Fisher: You’re right, we are starting to see a transition back into the warm tones and wood-stained cabinets. But at Pahlisch, I’d say the home buyers we work with still want white cabinets about 90% of the time. So in this home, we went with white cabinets as a neutral backdrop which lets the fixtures and the furniture speak for the space. We get that more on-trend wood tone and feel from the mantle and other features.
Pahlisch: Moving on upstairs, there’s a beautiful pop of color in the flex space. I love the sea foam green as well as the texture added by the batten wall, which is echoed downstairs in the primary bedroom. Why did you choose to reserve the use of color for this particular space?
Fisher: We typically stage the upstairs flex space as a kids’ playroom or a movie room. Downstairs we allow the white tones to be more neutral, including on the batten wall in the primary bedroom, whereas upstairs we can lean into that more fun and playful style, allowing us to bring color into the house without it being so overwhelming. I wanted to use that particular color because I think that it really speaks to the coastal design and makes that upstairs space more fun and youthful.
Pahlisch: Absolutely, it definitely feels that way too. When I walked up there, I went [gasps]. It’s just so fresh, so inviting. I just want to hang out up there with my friends. [laughs]
Okay, last question before we let you go. We know our customers are just going to love this house. When they start walking through it, for those who feel inspired by its design, what are some easy ways they can bring that coastal look and feel to their own home?
Fisher: I think paint goes a long way; you can do a lot with paint. If you want to do coastal design the way Pahlisch did it, you’d be looking for more of those lighter paint colors. If you like the color we used in the upstairs flex space, it’s Sherwin Williams 7621 Silvermist. The rest of the home is the Sherwin Williams 7636 Origami White.
A little more difficult of a home remedy could be switching out hardware. We use a lot of satin nickel in the model home, but I feel like coastal could also go for brass tones. So that’s as easy as a quick trip to the hardware store to pick up some new door handles or cabinet pulls.
And then I’d say staging! Baskets, blankets, pillows, and other pieces can all give you a lot of added texture and create that coastal vibe. *links to similar staging items provided below
Pahlisch: Definitely! We’ve received lots of positive feedback about the items picked to stage this home. We’ll share links at the bottom of this interview in case our readers want to use some similar decorative items in their homes.
Andrew, thank you so much for your time. This was wonderful. I look forward to talking to you in the future about other model homes and successful projects.
Fisher: Totally! Thank you for having me!
Thanks for reading our interview with Andrew Fisher. If you loved what you saw from our model home and want to learn more about finding a home in Easton — or any of our Pahlisch communities — we’d love to talk with you! Reach out to one of our New Home Specialists to schedule a tour and find your dream home.