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Posts from the ‘Designer Picks’ Category

Holiday Gift Guide 2019, Designer Edition

It’s not too late to find holiday gifts for the most special people (and pets) in your life! Arciform Junior Designer Sarah Pilcher shares some of her favorite local sources and finds below:

For the pets in your life – Lovingly handmade in Portland and sold on Etsy, Blue Collar Paws has all you could ever need to deck out your pets as thoroughly as you’ve decked the halls! They can outfit dogs and cats with reversible bandannas, turtleneck scarves, bow ties, leashes and more! Thoughtfully selected fabrics make these unique, cozy gifts for furry friends. Each design is well-constructed, like their classic bandannas, reinforced with a snap so it doesn’t fall off if your pet gets a little rowdy. 

For your one of a kind friend – Look no further than Red Fox Vintage on SE Woodstock. With unique antique furniture and home goods to that pair of bell bottoms you should probably just buy for yourself, Red Fox Vintage has something for everyone! Locally-made jewelry, a killer record selection and fun seasonal items like vintage Christmas decorations hide among the many curated stalls that adorn this easy-to-get-lost-in space. Make an afternoon of it!

For the food loverProvidore Fine Foods is a mecca of handcrafted, local and global groceries located on NE Sandy Blvd. They have everything from  chocolates and organic wines to unique condiments and small-batch coffee beans. The perfect place to pick up gifts for food lovers or out-of-town loved ones, you can easily fill a stocking with one-of-a-kind treats. Don’t forget to grab lunch for yourself at their extensive deli counter!

For the nature lover who works Downtown – What would be more relaxing than escaping the office to eat lunch in the Lan Su Chinese Garden every day? Give the gift of no-more-sad-desk lunches! An annual membership to the garden gets you one year of admission with a guest, a 10% discount at their tranquil tea house, access to member-only events and more. Arguably the most beautiful and serene place Downtown, the Chinese Garden will not disappoint.

For your crafty friendArtist & Craftsman Supply is heaven on earth for anyone who loves to create! With locations in both N and SE Portland, this employee-owned store can provide any artist with all the tools they need. Pick up specific supplies or a gift card, if you’d prefer to let your friend choose their own creative destiny.

For your outdoorsy friend that always asks you to go camping with them – You’ve never seen a store quite like this one. Located on NE Alberta, Cord carries the most beautiful version of all the things you’d need to survive in the wild. From knives and axes to waterproof speakers and rainproof paper. You’ll be able to find an elegantly-crafted gift for your campfire-starting friend!

For your favorite book worm – If you want to do something a bit more original than tucking a giftcard from that well-loved city of books into an envelope, look no further than Portland’s newest (and most adorably smallest) bookshop, Melville Books! Carrying used, new, and rare books, this pint sized shop, nestled in a garden pathway on NE Alberta, is a treat. If your friend has a favorite book that inspired and shaped their life, pop in or give this shop a call… there’s a good chance they’ll have a first-edition copy of it.

Here’s wishing you all the best this Holiday Season!

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


Designer Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Part One


Tomorrow we flip our calendars from November to December! If you haven’t already started, it’s time to make or buy holiday gifts for those special people in your life. The Arciform Design Team has some ideas to share with you!

For Part One of our guide, Principal Designer Anne De Wolf and Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth have picked some of their favorite shops and goodies for those on their lists:

Anne: On a neighborhood run, I found some cool places to investigate near our office.

Lark Press is a small letterpress studio with lovely cards made right in the building, books, art prints and other gifts. 3901 N Williams Avenue.

Image result for lark press portland

Tree House Children’s Boutique carries new and resale items for little ones, and is owned by a mom who knows her stuff.  3954 N Williams Avenue.

Image result for treehouse children's boutique

Flutter is a feast for the eyes and a fantastic place to find unique gifts for that someone who has everything. 3948 N Mississippi Avenue.


Just off of busy Interstate Avenue is a small gem called Lowell, where you can find anything from a beautiful vase to Southwestern antiques to clothing: 819 N Russell Street.


Find beautiful guitar straps here in a wide variety of styles and colors. I want one to replace a broken strap on my large leather bag. Feedback Straps

Vintage Folk Flowers Guitar Strap

Who could resist a cooking class from a local chef in a beautiful setting like Middleground Farms in Wilsonville?

Image result for middleground farms

A wearable gift with a conscience: a gift certificate to a store with ‘Radical Transparency’, like Everlane:

A useful gift: a high tech design studio, like this Surface from Microsoft:Surface Studio

A philanthropic gift: for every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways

Winter is Coming Gift Pack | United By Blue

An experience gift: set up a private session or join a drop-in event to paint while drinking wine at centrally-located shop Bottle & Bottega

Private Painting And Wine Parties Portland

-edited by Marty Hegg

Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 4


For Part 4 of our Holiday Gift Guide, Junior Designer Bianca McKelvy shares her favorites local goods…

Not sure where to start? This is a great way to find local businesses, listed by neighborhood.


My nephew loves this sling shot that I got him for Christmas last year (his sister not so much). Boys Fort has some fun, unique things.

cloud nine

Cloud 9 Comics has an amazing selection of comic books. My younger brother was in heaven when he visited, and they have their entire selection listed online.


Löyly Spa has two convenient locations – one in NE and one in SE. I like to go just for the sauna visit which you can buy a sauna visit package for. They also offer a variety of massage and skincare services, as well as gift certificates.

bar ware

Bull In China has nice local made barware for the mixologists in your life and it’s all made in the USA.


Adored Vintage has beautifully curated vintage clothing and jewelry.

paxton gate

Paxton Gate has lots of cool little oddities and pretty minerals.

Next up in Part 5, Designer Jeffrey Kelly and Senior Designer Kristyn Bester share their holiday must-haves.

Missed the first part of our guide? See them here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 3


In Part 3, Design Department Manager Marty Hegg and Junior Designer Tara Keefner share their favorites and must-haves for this holiday season.

Marty’s Picks

pendleton gloves

These Pendleton gloves are festive and long, to keep forearms warm!

light box

For those who have a hard time with the winter darkness, this cheery and therapeutic light box is great!


And maybe a stash of full spectrum bulbs for all of our lamps from our favorite, local light bulb lady, Kay Newell of Sunlan.

star wars rug

For the Star Wars fan with an eye for design, a more refined nod toward the galaxy with this gorgeous wool rug.


Look at this practical and pretty gift: an extension cord with USB ports! The Exto USB by Conway Electric, made in the USA.


And for the person who does not need or want more things, Kiva provides gifts via loan, domestically and around the world.

Tara’s Picks

porch light shawl

I’m recently obsessed with Porch Light on NW 11th & Everett, thanks to Bianca. Specifically, their alpaca shawls and throws.


Not local, but I’m really jonseing for a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve resisted for a long time and still prefer real books, but I’m so out of the habit of reading I’d like to remove my last excuse. Plus the Kindle has WiFi, so if I’m connected I can get a new book almost instantly which is cool!

A trip to the Garage Sale Warehouse in Beaverton. Basically a huge indoor flea market, with new goodies all the time. They have two locations now, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Missed our last posts? See what the team recommends in Part 1 and Part 2!

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Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2

Cleveland Flea - Holiday -100 (2)

For part two of our Holiday Gift Guide, Senior Designer Chelly Wentworth shares her favorite items and places to find something special for someone special.


Danner Boots

I’m inspired by the Movie ‘Wild’, and this boot is made in America! With three stores in Portland, this should be an easy one to knock off the list.

Appetite bag

Appetite Ann Shoulder Bag

This beautiful tote is hand-made in Portland with local Pendleton wool that is so pretty and practical.


Pigeon Toe Ceramic Bowls

These bowls are made just down the street from Arciform! Another pretty and practical gift, and the celedon interior just makes me happy.

pdx nursery

Classes at Portland Nursery

It’s about time I became a better gardener! Portland Nursery offers a wide range of useful and informative classes.

cotton throw

Schoolhouse Electric Cotton Throw

I’m allergic to wool so this 100% cotton throw would be sooo cozy. And it’s pretty!

If you missed part one, take a look at suggestions from Junior Designer Anna Foltz and Senior Designer Anne De Wolf.

Part three of our Holiday Gift Guide will feature ideas from Junior Designer Tara Keefner and Design Department Manager Marty Hegg.

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Designer Holiday Gift Guide: Part 1


The holidays are here again which means it’s time to start thinking about the special people in your lives. The Arciform Design Team has put together lists of their personal favorites to help you get started and satisfy even the trickiest person.

For part one of our guide Junior Designer Anna Foltz and Senior Designer Anne De Wolf share some of their favorite places shop at and items to buy for the holiday season. Take a look and get inspired to brave the crowds to get the perfect gift for the loved ones on your list.

Anna’s Picks

john fluevog

John Fluevog

Canadian shoe designer, John Fluevog draws inspiration from Victorian fashion and Art Deco design. If these funky men’s and women’s shoes are not draw enough, the SW Stark St. store (really more of a shoe “museum”) is well designed and full of eye (and foot) candy. I have a really hard time going in here because I LITERALLY drool over every pair!


The Joinery

With a showroom/workshop on SE Woodstock Blvd., The Joinery uses classic woodworking techniques to create beautiful handcrafted furniture in modern and traditional designs. I find it inspiring that they take pains to honor the classic craft of traditional joinery to make a variety of pieces that are both sculptural and functional, while celebrating the inherent properties of the wood. The Joinery strives to use FSC certified and locally sourced wood and the manufacturing facility runs on solar power!

iron oxide designs

Iron Oxide Designs

Amy Fox is a local Portland artist who creates finely crafted handmade jewelry from reclaimed metals and quartz. I love the edginess of the metal patinas with the sparkle of quartz. Shop her unique, yet affordable Iron Oxide Designs online at Etsy or at Altar PDX on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

andy and bax

Andy and Bax

The outdoor enthusiast in your life will LOVE Andy and Bax, on SE Grand Ave. Andy and Bax is a magical wonderland of old-school military surplus, and the finest selection of high-quality camping and rafting gear that you’ve ever seen! You will not find rows of neon-colored high-tech fabrics in this store, but what I most enjoy is the air of WWII nostalgia and superb customer service that make this feel more like your Grandpa’s camp store.

melissa jean made

Melissa Jean Made

This Portland artist uses hand-dyed, natural fibers to make beautiful, vintage-inspired macramé pieces. They are wonderful for hanging plants or just adding some decorative, organic texture to a room. Shop her website here.

Anne’s Picks


Filling Spaces

Located in NW Portland, this could be the one-stop shop for most of the people on your list! I especially like their poufs, they are the perfect boho-chic addition for your home.


Liebeskind Bags at Ink and Peat

Still a favorite, Ink and Peat offers a wide selection of home goods, jewelry and house plants. My current must-haves include Liebeskind bags, I love them!

That’s it for part one of our Holiday Gift Guide, stay tuned to see what the rest of our Design Team suggests!


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Steal this Idea! Summer Design Contest | Bracket H | Central Eastside

In our last post, Euro-style Luce is up against the trendy Cuban Pambiche.

Whose design details would you steal in our Steal this Idea! Summer Design Contest? Read on.

Want to play along at home and win dinner for 2? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Complete and submit a bracket by July 10th
  2. Vote in the comments for which restaurant’s vibe you’d most like to steal for your own home

Click here for more information and contest rules.


This low-key Italian restaurant and grocery serves housemade pastas and seasonal entrees.

Stealable Idea #1: Checkered Floor

Giving off a 1930’s vibe, this checkerboard floor is a great balance for the white walls.

This mudroom/nook has a fun yet simple checkered marmoleum floor in gray and white tones. Design by Anne De Wolf.

Customize your checkered marmoleum floor and go beyond black and white. Our go-to Portland store is Green Depot.

Stealable Idea #2: Crisp White Walls with Wood Accents

We love how these charcuterie boards are showcased on the crisp white walls.

These boards became art in this eclectic kitchen. Design by Anne De Wolf.

We’d be happy to showcase any of On Our Table’s gorgeous boards. Want to design your own custom piece? Contact Versatile Wood Products to get started.


A trendy Cuban eatery featuring classic dishes served in a snug, bustling space with an upbeat vibe.

Stealable Idea #1: Color: Pop of Red

We’re drawn to the pop of red in this eclectic space.

This client decided to paint their island to add a pop of color and personality. Design by Anne De Wolf.

Painting your island is a great way to add a pop of color to your kitchen. We personally love Real Red from Sherwin Williams.

Stealable Idea #2: Bright Exterior

We love everything about the exterior: bright colors and a mural accent wall.

This client took her mid-century home to a new level with a bright exterior and unique shingle wave.

Ready to add some Tantalizing Teal or Orange Fruit to your life? Head to Valspar to find your color inspiration.

Time to choose, which style would you steal for your home? Pick one and tell us in the comments!

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Steal this Idea! Summer Design Contest | Bracket G | Central Eastside

Our first eastside joints to hit the ring are rustic-modern Olympia Provisions and industrial Biwa.

Whose design details would you steal in our Steal this Idea! Summer Design Contest? Read on.

Want to play along at home and win dinner for 2? Here’s how to do it:

  1. Complete and submit a bracket by July 10th
  2. Vote in the comments for which restaurant’s vibe you’d most like to steal for your own home

Click here for more information and contest rules.

Olympia Provisions

Housemade charcuterie and European-style meals served up in an industrial space.

Stealable Idea #1: Reclaimed Wood Bar

The reclaimed wood bar is rustic yet modern.

Designed to mimic Olympia Provisions, this rustic wood covered bar area adds to the charm of the space. Design by Anne De Wolf.

Salvage Works in North Portland has a great selection of reclaimed wood.

Stealable Idea #2: Marquee Lights

Salvaged or new, marquee lights are a great way to add some fun to your space.

Portland local Tom Seidel makes new lights and vintage lights can often be found at Grand Marketplace.

Stealable Idea #3: Library Ladder

Add permanent accessibility to your attic or shelving unit with a library ladder.

This library ladder accesses a loft with entry to a rooftop balcony. Design by Anne De Wolf.

The Stairway Shop has a variety of library ladder options in different finishes and heights.


A stylish underground restaurant featuring Japanese fusion small plates.

Stealable Idea #1: Custom Wood Bench

These wood booths add a warmth to the industrial space.

Warm tones were added to this basement with a custom built-in wood bench. Design by Anne De Wolf, styling by Shannon Quimby.

Contact Versatile Wood Products‘ Custom Design team to get started on your custom piece.

Stealable Idea #2: Industrial Venting & Polished Floors

Exposed duct work and polished concrete floors give off a modern industrial vibe.

By polishing the concrete floors and leaving the duct work exposed this modern loft has an industrial feel. Design by Anne De Wolf.

A polished, stained or painted concrete floor makes for easy maintenance and gives a modern feel to the space. Finishing products can be found through most large paint retailers. If you are a Portland local, Advanced Heating can help you with your ducting needs.

Time to choose, which style would you steal for your home? Pick one and tell us in the comments!

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