Neskowin Beach House


The Oregon Coast vacation house was designed for a family of four with ample room for guests. Site limitations constrained the size of the house to two bedrooms but a Media room and a Library were added as potential guest rooms. Height limitations also restricted the roof design but helped to create ample but cozy spaces. The Oregon Coast weather dictated the decision to make the plan “L” shaped to create a sheltered courtyard space on the south side of the house. The north side of the property abuts a future National Fish and Wildlife Preserve. The spectacular views of these undisturbed dunes and the nearby ocean determined the location of the major living space.

Exterior finishes had to be very carefully chosen because of the harsh coastal weather. The house was to be as “maintenance free” as possible. Untreated white cedar shingles were chosen for the siding and a composite polymer modified fiber cement (PMFC) shingle with a 50-year warranty for the roofing. The decks are “Trex” deck, a material made from recycled plastic bottles and wood fiber and the windows are “Milgard” vinyl for their durability and their lifetime (yes, lifetime) warranty. Exterior light fixtures are natural brass, which will weather to a dark gray and also last “forever”.

Exposed, locally grown and milled Douglas Fir framing is used throughout the house. The Living / Dining / Kitchen area is defined by wood trusses spanning to posts with infill windows. A local metal craftsman welded the custom designed truss plates and soffit hanging brackets. The trusses were designed to highlight the use of the rough cut lumber. They support rough sawn fir planks that serve as the structure as well as the ceiling finish.

Interior finishes include the exposed rough sawn wood framing as well as clear vertical grain fir trim used throughout the house. Careful detailing was done to allow the rough sawn framing members to meet the finishes in a seemingly effortless way. Cabinets and doors are also vertical grain fir. To complement the wood, earth-toned slate and wood toned linoleum were used as floor surfaces. Sheetrock walls infill between the wood framing and in some cases float below the wood ceiling above.

Stair Landing Bed

A slightly larger stair landing has a window seat  that’s the size of a twin bed. It’s a cozy place to read and a handy place for that extra guest to sleep.

Interior Details

To make the house more casual and friendly to visitors open shelving was used throughout the house. The open shelves in the kitchen help guests know where to put things without asking. This was also the idea for linens and towels in the bedroom and bathroom areas.

Toy baskets under the window seat in the living room invite anyone who wishes to come and play.

Outdoor Shower

The best place to rinse sandy beachgoers is the outdoor shower on the back deck. No more clod hose water! Adjacent to the Laundry / Mud room this is a fun and practical option for sunny days.