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Arciform is Your Resource for Historic Review Expertise

As the built environment of Portland evolves at an astonishing pace, we place an immeasurable value on the preservation of our city’s architectural integrity. One of the ways that Portland protects the charm and character of our city is through the designation of Historic Districts. These are neighborhoods that have been deemed to be of particular historic or cultural significance and are protected by certain rules and regulations. If you are lucky enough to own a home in one of these special districts, (or if you are considering buying a home in one), you need to know what this means for your house and potential remodel projects. Luckily, you have a team of experts at Arciform to help you stay informed!


If you are considering a remodel that will alter the exterior of your Historic District home, it is very likely that your project will have to pass Historic Review. During this process, we are required by the City to produce detailed drawings and documents that demonstrate how the proposed project will enhance (and not degrade) the historic architecture of the home and neighborhood.

Whether you are building a dormer or adding a window and door (as in the above Alphabet District home), the City will carefully analyze the proposed design to make sure that the historically significant details of your home’s architecture are preserved and incorporated into the design. These details include (but are not limited to) such things as: balance, proportion, massing, roof pitch, building materials and millwork profiles. As experts in historic remodeling, Arciform is well-versed in the requirements for Historic Review and thus, we are able to effectively get ahead of the process and set client expectations for budget and timelines.


The beautiful home pictured above (located in the Irvington District) underwent an extensive Historic Review process for the proposed exterior work and new back steps and patio. Upon completion, the homeowners had a newly invigorated and more functional space, while maintaining the integrity of the 1915 Prairie Style architecture.

If you have been considering a remodel on your Historic District home, we are the firm for you! We can educate you about tax incentives and the Historic Review process, as our experienced Designers and expert carpenters ensure that your very special home will stay true to its unique character and to the intrinsic value of your neighborhood.

-By Anna Foltz

Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part Three

Today brings you our final edition of our Designer Holiday Gift Guide for 2016. Over the weekend we put up lights, festive greenery and baked gingerbread unicorns, angels and crustaceans, naturally. Now it’s time to for us to check things off of our gift lists!

Part Three of our guide brings goodies selected by Design Associates Anna Foltz and Bianca McKelvy. Maybe you’ll find something for someone on your Nice List?

Anna’s Favorites:

For your Favorite Dog 
Do you love outdoor adventuring with your canine companion? Ruffwear dog boots are a wonderful way to protect your pal’s paws from the elements. Find an assortment of colors and sizes locally at Pet Loft on SW Macadam Ave.


For the Kitchen

Out of the Woods of Oregon
These beautiful wood cutting boards and utensils are made in Eugene, OR from sustainably sourced native red alder. The cutting boards are available in the shape of any of the 50 states, so offer a home-state gift to your friends and family in any part of the USA! Purchase locally at Presents of Mind on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

For that Quirky Friend

In a city that prides itself on weirdness, Paxton Gate is a source for oddities and ephemera for those who might appreciate a gift that’s a little. . . different. The shop feels a bit like a neo-Victorian biology lab, with eclectic displays of framed insects, taxidermy, exotic plants and jewelry/apparel inspired by nature. This is a fun and funky shopping experience that you don’t want to miss!

Image result for paxton gate


For the discerning fashion enthusiast in your life, Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique  is a gem on SE Clinton St. This charming boutique features a choice array of vintage apparel, jewelry and accessories, all in impeccable condition.

19Black Bette top .jpg

For the Home

Obsidian Windchimes
Handmade in Portland, these unique wind chimes are made of obsidian dug from lava beds in Eastern Oregon and driftwood from the West Coast. The delicate music they make is as enchanting as their organic sculptural designs.

Image result for obsidian windchimes

Bianca’s picks:

Something to Make

I love getting my hands dirty and am always trying to learn how to create things instead of buy them. Gifting a workshop from WildCraft Studio School would be great for a crafty friend.


For the Home

Maven Collective on SE Stark in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood always has a well curated selection of vintage home goods, furniture and plants.

Image result for maven collective

Last Call at Jimmy Maks

Jimmy Maks, one of the last great jazz clubs in Portland, is closing at the end of the year. So if you’ve never been, I highly recommend you make it down to the Pearl District and treat yourself to the awesome sounds of the Mel Brown Quartet before their closing night Dec 31st.


Ace & Jig creates some of the most beautiful and eclectic textiles and turns them into comfortable, fun garments.

beatrice dress | anisette


I found local artist Martina Thornhill on Instagram and fell in love with her beautiful ceramic pieces.


Animal Handmade


Have you ever seen embossed leather this fun and creative?! I want one of every bag, in every color.

Here’s wishing you all the best as you create or look for that special something for all you hold close in your hearts this Holiday Season!

-edited by Marty Hegg

Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part Two

It’s Friday, and time for Part Two of our Designer Holiday Gift Guide! Today we feature picks from Design Associate Tara Keefner and Design Department Manager Marty Hegg. You might find inspiration for your weekend shopping or crafting below.


Clothing and Home Goods

Modcloth is a vintage-inspired online retailer I am unreasonably obsessed with. They recently had a pop-up store in Portland, and will soon open brick-and-mortar locations in a few lucky places around the U.S.!

Kitchen & Dining Accessories - Thanks So Matcha Tea Set in Rose Garden

Date Night

Little Bird Bistro serves French cuisine (the seared duck breast is my favorite). The atmosphere is intimate and they have a great wine list! There are gift certificates available, and they take reservations: a great idea for someone who deserves a night out. 215 SW 6th Ave in downtown Portland.

Image result for little bird bistro

Charitable Donation

Cure Tay-Sachs Foundation (or a charity organization of your choosing): make a donation in someone’s name! My aunt and uncle started this foundation when my cousin was diagnosed with juvenile-onset Tay-Sachs disease. They discovered that not much was being done to find a cure, in spite of progress made in genetics and disease research. This particular cause is near and dear to my heart, but any donation to a good cause, made in the name of a loved one, is a meaningful gift for someone who doesn’t want more material goods. Every donation, no matter how small, can do so much and go so far.


For the Kitchen

For the baker on your list, Williams Sonoma carries the 11-lb capacity digital scale by OXO.

OXO Food Scale, 11-Lb. Capacity

For the home

You can’t go wrong with a wool blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills. I like this Crater Lake design. Wool is durable, resilient, a natural flame-retardant, and long-wearing.










For your favorite Portlander

A brick in Pioneer Square is a fun way to commemorate someone in Portland’s Living Room. My dad loves seeing his name out and about. He was born here in 1934 and has always loved living in his special City of Roses.
Image result for buy a pioneer square brick










For the homebody

A few years ago, my daughter broke her leg. A wiggly child in a cast + so much time on the couch = one shredded upholstery job. I would love to have it reupholstered locally by Revive!

For the coffee lover

I have two favorites to share, both smooth, dark and spot-on:

First, the Kobos Bistro Blend, served by my favorite local spot, the John Street Café.  

Second, by Nossa Familia, is Mathilde’s French Roast. This is what we drink at home. Muito obrigada, Mathilde!


Rain Gear

People say true Portlanders don’t use umbrellas. Well, this native who walks a lot AND wears glasses loves umbrellas. Panorella lets you put a 360 degree view inside yours. Remember when you hiked the trails of the Cinque Terre, took your first look at the Grand Canyon or saw an amazing sunset at your favorite beach?


Gifts for kids

The Art of STEM is a small but mighty gem in St Johns. They have toys, books, events and camps to encourage young, creative minds to learn while they play.

Homemade Gifts

If you’d rather make than buy gifts, here are some winning ideas!

Your favorite berry jam, fresh bread and cloth napkins make a sweet gift, via Martha Stewart.

A fragrant culinary herb wreath would be lovely and fun to make, year-round.

Make a fresh herb wreath that smells terrific

Charitable Donation

Give in someone’s name via a microloan through Kiva. Enterpreneurs in 80 countries (US included) apply for loans, Kiva takes it through the underwriting and approval process and posts to their site for crowdfunding. After funds have been raised and granted, the borrower will repay the loan. Then the lender can re-lend to another cause, donate or withdraw their funds.

Brand book - Kiva press

Did you know you can donate the sound of your voice? This is quite amazing. Check out vocaliD and help someone who cannot speak be heard in more than a generic, robotic tone.

We’ll wrap up our Designer Holiday Gift Guide series with Part Three next week. Enjoy your weekend!

-edited by Marty Hegg