Design by this duo: Erin Haskell Gourde, former GU basketball player Zach Gourde reflect on their downtown businesses

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“Everyone wants a swivel chair.”

It was a unanimous answer by Erin Haskelgurd and Zackgurd when asked what were the top design trends in Spokane this year.

Interior designers Haskell Gourde and Gourde are former Gonzaga basketball players (1999-2003), 6 feet 8 high, and own the PPL design studio Design for PPL, which started in 2015. 125S a year ago. It opened in Stevens St. and celebrated its sixth wedding on December 12th.

Born and raised in Spokane, Haskel Gourde (“I went to Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark”) is trained in interior design and architecture, and Gourde, who grew up in a small town on the outskirts of Vancouver, Washington, talks about design. Did. Last Saturday morning at a vast, gorgeous and eclectic design studio and retail store, including PPL, industry trends, and Spokane.

Tell us about the design of PPL – and what made you open a retail store a year ago?

Haskell Gourde: I’ve been in business for 12 years and started as a design studio 6 years ago. We bought furniture for every project, but felt we missed the opportunity to reach the masses in Spokane, so we started a retail store here. The design studio still remains, so I added this business.

When I was in Spokane, I grew up next to the owner of Joel, the best furniture store where you can get Danish and international items. I always loved going there. It was a special experience, and I wanted to bring it back to Spokane. Spokane is changing and heading for the better. Great furniture and art, carefully selected from around the world, are ready for you.

Grude: Furniture and art are experiences. You need to be able to see, feel and touch. Shopping online can be difficult. Something with texture and visual interest, you can’t see it on the screen. You need to be able to see it directly. With our design clients, they had to trust us in this pandemic because we couldn’t show them directly to them.

How did the first year of retail stores become a pandemic?

Haskell Gourde: It was great. Most people don’t even know we are here. I think I just put up a sign a few months ago. We really don’t advertise. Probably should.

Grude: We were very soft and opened by invitation-at first only when we were building the place. After that, it opened one day a week by appointment. It is currently open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday.

Haskell Gourde: We did it so that people could be comfortable during the pandemic and feel comfortable being here directly. Therefore, I started only by making a reservation. I didn’t have a vaccine yet.

What were the highlights of the first year?

Haskell Gourde: To be honest, I see people’s faces when I get off the elevator.

Grude: One of the best parts is to see the elevator doors open and people come in and take everything in. It’s surprising that I’m stepping into an old brick warehouse, climbing an elevator, and now stepping into a winter wonderland.

How would you describe the aesthetics of PPL design?

Haskell Gourde: It was named PPL design for that reason. Not designed for Erin or Zack. We are undoubtedly proud to have a variety of aesthetics. It’s more modern eccentric, with many traditional works, mid-century works, and transitional ones. People are in transition of life and are fed up with old oversized leather and huge sofas and lounge chairs that occupy the entire room. People want to be refreshed and promoted, and there’s something for everyone here.

Grude: It’s very rare for someone to come in and walk around, and nothing fits what they’re looking for. Sometimes people come from traditional homes looking for a dress, but we don’t have it. But most people come and realize, “I want it, I want it, and I want it.” We have a little bit of everything. We are an eclectic combination of items.

How did the two meet?

Haskell Gourde: He cold called me!

Grude: We have a lot of common friends that we thought we needed to meet. I’ve been back in Spokane for two years, neither of which was single at the same time. But at that time, we were neither meeting people, and no one was able to take us to the same place at the same time. So one morning I just asked a friend to give me her number, and I called her too early on Sunday morning.

Haskell Gourde: She’s a big fan of GU, so my mother was already in love with him. When I told the person who called me, she was lying next to me and she wasn’t that kind of person, so it was pretty interesting.

Grude: The first date was that Sunday, the second date was that Monday, and the third date was that Tuesday. She had just graduated from graduate school that Friday. Our first date was Steelhead and then we went to Bennedito’s Pizza.

What do you think is the design trend for 2022?

Haskell Gourde: I think it’s a sophisticated space. You really think about what you have in your house other than “that’s fine”. You curate your space and think about accessories and things around you, rather than focusing on one thing. Great European influences such as Greece, France and Spain will surely come. I think that is the next big thing.

Grude: To get to your first point, people are now spending more time at home in their space than ever before. They are surrounded by their environment and are stuck. They don’t go out or travel much, so they’re more focused on what’s around them. People are investing more in their homes because they are in far more homes than they used to be.

What makes the PPL design stand out?

Haskell Gourde: Our biggest concept is called Day With the Designer because our design studio can undertake so many large projects a year. When this space opened, I thought people would come in and say, “I like the chair. I’m going to buy it.” But in reality, they want us to tell us what they should have. That was amazing. People love Day With the Designer because it benefits everyone.

We go to their house to evaluate and consult the situation. It can be one room or all rooms. Find out what they maintain, what their style is, what their lifestyle is, and what they hate. It understands what people want.

Grude: I thought I would just go in and shop, but some people are asking for our help and direction. Day With the Designer is the way we spend time with them because they are worried about making their own decisions. You can put together a blueprint for them to move forward.

Were there any items or trends that were popular in Spokane in 2021?

Grude: Everyone wants a swivel chair.

Haskell Gourde: Everyone wants a swivel chair! Thank you.

Grude: The market tends to cycle, and we don’t know what that cycle will be. For a month and a half, people only want a dining room table, and for months it’s a dresser, and everyone is looking for a swivel chair.

What do you like most about Spokane?

Haskell Gourde: chance. I also call it Spokane Toiland. You can walk outside to take a walk on the Centennial Trail. You can go to the lake or go skiing. We’re not a big city, but we always say we’re kissing open-mouthed with Spokane. That’s what you make with it. What do you think?

Grude: I 100% agree. I’ve bounced around a lot, and this is by far the easiest place to live, and do we have traffic? Yes, but not so bad. Does it take more than 15 minutes to get to the place I want to go? Probably not. What’s happening in downtown? yes, I have. Everything is simple and there is a chance. Here you have the ability to try something new, play and have fun.

What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

Haskell Gourde: Someone who knows where our store is (laughs). I would like to say more about what we are doing now. We love changing people’s spaces. It really makes their lives better. We always say we can’t save your life, but we can change your life. I love understanding how people live and move in their space. It affects their lives and makes people happy. We love amazing people. Zack, how are you?

Grude: We are also in the process of transition and are expanding. I’m looking forward to expanding. Time will tell.

Info: PPL Design, 125 S. Stevens St., 2nd Floor, (509) 864-6638, designfortheppl.com

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