Business & Development, Community, Creswell

Creswell interior designer balances creativity, technicality

CRESWELL –– Once Kate Heerspink discovered interior design, it was full steam ahead.

Heerspink grew up in Eagle River, Alaska, and said interior designers were few and far between in the backwoods of the state.

But when she was in sixth grade, her uncle struck up a casual conversation about what she wanted to be when she grew up. After explaining that she likes art and working with people, but that she’s also very type A and technical, he brought up interior design.

She had never heard of it, but from then on, she would never forget it.

“It’s the perfect marriage of the technicality of design and the creativity of it – and that sums up me as a person perfectly,” Heerspink said. “My career basically encompasses my ethos, if you will – the values of creativity and technicality.”

Heerspink is the owner and lead designer of Town Interiors (TI), an interior design firm based in Creswell. At the moment, Heerspink is TI’s sole employee.

TI was founded in April 2021 and focuses on both commercial and residential projects, which she said keeps her on her toes.

“I love working on all types of projects. Commercial can inspire residential and vice versa,” Heerspink said. “I think it keeps me sharp as a designer to have my design hand in multiple types of work.

Although Heerspink physically works from home in Creswell, thanks to a post-pandemic world, she can work on projects all over the country – even all the way in her home state.

“I’m not necessarily limited to one specific town – no pun intended – hence why I came up with that name. I wanted it to be broad,” Heerspink said.

If she has a client in Alaska, she will create two marketing boxes filled with materials: one to be sent to her client, and one for her to have. She then is able to use Zoom as a medium to talk through what is in the box so the client can still have a hands-on experience.

“The beauty of remote work is it’s really given me a lot of fl exibility to be able to design, and I can essentially go anywhere,” she said. In order for TI to work on projects that require building, TI partners with architecture firms. “The world’s my oyster,” Heerspink said. “I’m excited to partner with anybody that fits my design ethos.”

Heerspink works with DC Designs as a consultant, and she is helping it launch its commercial division. Also, TI collaborates with Scott Edwards Architecture (SEA) – which is where Heerspink worked for eight years as a senior designer until her family moved from Portland to Creswell to relocate for her husband’s job.

“The beauty of being a consultant, or being a design shop as I call it, is that I have almost unlimited potential,” she said. “The beauty of being interiors is that I can partner with an architecture firm; I do all the interiors, and we’re able to do what we do best in our own discipline.”

TI has completed three projects with SEA: The Novus, a luxury apartment complex in southeast Portland; John’s Marketplace – Hall, a taproom and bottle shop in Beaverton; and the Douglas Island Residence, a home in Juneau, Alaska.

Peter Grimm, an SEA partner, said he was “bummed” when Heerspink relocated to Creswell, but he has enjoyed partnering with TI.

“If (Heerspink’s) got something that needs an architectural scope, like structural coordination, we’re happy to support her,” Grimm said. “Concurrently, we’ve got some clients that have worked with her in the past that really enjoyed working with her, and we continue to use her on those projects as well.”

Cameron Cruse worked with Heerspink for about four years at SEA on everything from libraries to restaurants. She praised Heerspink’s “ambitious nature,” and her sociability. Grimm also had plenty of uplifting comments about Heerspink, calling her “reliable,” “very creative,” and “incredibly detailed.”

“I wish there were more Kates in this world,” Grimm said. “She does great work, and it’s a pleasure working with her.”

Heerspink said she has been able to work full-time with TI strictly through word of mouth.

“I joke that I’m like a speakeasy designer that people will have to know like, ‘Hey, who did your space?’ ‘Oh, it was Kate! She works at Town Interiors. Let me give you her card,’” Heerspink said.

Having started her family in Creswell, Kate Heerspink expects to work and live in Creswell for at least the next 20 years.

Though she has enjoyed working through professional recommendations, she just finalized TI’s website:

There is much on the horizon for TI with several upcoming projects – including many local luxury residences, a restaurant and taproom, and a design refresh of a local event space – and expansion is inevitable.

Heerspink wants to bring what she learned at big city firms to small towns and give back to the cities she loves – and she would love to have a project on Oregon Avenue.

“My trajectory would be to continue staying busy locally, bring more projects in commercially and residentially, and then be able to open my own shop downtown in Creswell. It would be a dream to do that,” she said. “Maybe it would be another 3-5 years to add employees, but that would be a dream as well.”

Heerspink said she often gets the question, “If you could do anything else, what would you do?”

“I honestly would pick this over and over,” she said. “This is my absolute dream job. There’s nothing else I would rather be doing.”

TI allows Heerspink to feel fulfilled in her work, and she truly loves what she does. Luckily for her, TI’s work is just beginning.

“Because my job is so creative, when I get done with the day, I feel like my cup is completely full,” Heerspink said. “Often, people have jobs where they feel they have to do something outside to fill their cup back up. I feel so lucky that my job gives me all of that.”

Town Interiors picks finishes, or materials, that are cost-eff ective and based on what the client needs, and Heerspink said she will scratch and beat up materials to test its wear and tear.



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