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Steal this Idea! A Summer Design Contest

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Are you one of those people who spends more time at your favorite restaurant surreptitiously snapping photos of your favorite design details than instagramming your dinner?

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With  so many wonderful, stealable design ideas at Portland’s favorite restaurants, we don’t blame you.

We thought it was time to help you figure out how to translate some of your favorite restaurant looks into your own home design projects.

But which design details to steal? This is where we need your help!

With that in mind, we’d like to cordially invite you to join us this summer for our Steal this Idea! Summer Design Contest.

Here’s how it will work: Each week we will spotlight a few pairs of restaurants from a different Portland neighborhood. We’ll highlight some stealable design details from each spot.

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Your job will be to vote in the comments for which restaurant’s vibe you would most like to steal for your own home.

We’ll tally up the results, March Madness style, and everyone who participates will be entered to win dinner for two at the restaurant that gets the most votes in the final match up.

Want to play along? Click here to download your bracket.

Email your completed bracket with your best guesses to to be entered to win dinner for two at the restaurant that wins the contest.

Bonus Round: If you correctly guess the winning restaurant on your bracket we’ll have a little bonus prize waiting for you at our Designed for Entertaining Workshop on August 19th.

Ready to play? The first match -up will be posted Wednesday June 10th at noon. Here we go!

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Meet Junior Designer Tara Keefner

Tara Keefner

Tara is one of three new Junior Designers, she joins us from Portland Community College’s Residential Architectural Design and Drafting program. With an Associate’s Degree of General Studies, she is finishing her Associate’s Degree of Applied Science, as well as a one-year NKBA-accredited Kitchen and Bath Design Certificate. Prior to Arciform, Tara primarily worked in retail and customer service. Most recently, she was able to gain some experience in the field through a local design start-up at which she worked as a freelance drafter. Her primary duties were Revit drafting and office management, and regularly worked through design issues and complications with the owner. Their primary concentration was a residential development in Sweet Home, but also had several remodel projects coming in.

When did you know you wanted to be an architectural designer? Tell us how you got inspired to do this work.

I have had an interest in architecture since childhood. I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Europe during my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school, as my father worked for a German-based company at the time. During those years, I was fully immersed in – and enamored with – the rich culture and history of the villages and cities that I visited throughout Europe.

It was through this experience that my love of architecture was born. Upon returning to the States, however, I was pulled away from this passion for various reasons. It took five years and a cross-country move for me to rediscover my passion for architecture and design. It was then that I began attending classes at PCC, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Describe one of your favorite design projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?

I have not yet had the opportunity to work on a built project. However, one of my favorite design experiences through school was the Residential Design Studio. This studio was the first opportunity to create an entire project from its inception all the way through to a Construction Document set. It was my first exposure to what the process is like from start to finish, and resulted in a portfolio piece of which I am quite proud.

Tell us what you consider the hallmarks of a well-designed project. How do you know when something is “right?”

I am very passionate about blending form and function. I value efficiency in design very highly, so for me a project doesn’t feel quite “right” if there are redundancies or unnecessary elements present. I tend to design functionality first, and then add decorative and finishing elements once I am sure that the design works at its most basic level. This has caused me a lot of headaches, but has also forced me to really think about what I want my design to accomplish before spending too much time on something that may not work.

What’s your working style? How do you like to work with a client?

I tend to be a bit of a loner, however I greatly appreciate and value having a team of people I can approach with questions or issues when they do arise. My position with Arciform is my first opportunity to really work in a team atmosphere and with real projects, so I have not yet had the opportunity to determine my way of working with a client. I’m looking forward to figuring that out as I grow here.

What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?”

In no particular order:

  1. Travel the world. I have wanted to return to Europe since the moment I left, and there is so much more I want to see.

  2. Design and build my dream home. Preferably multiple homes, actually; one in the city, one in the countryside, one on the beach.

  3. Go skydiving/base jumping/bungee jumping at least once. I’ve just always wanted to experience something like that.

    Explore the Arciform Project Galleries | About Arciform | Schedule a Design Consultation