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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Linda’s Chewy Ginger-Molasses Chocolate Chunk cookies


Recipe modified from Martha Stewart’s December/January 1997 issue

INGREDIENTS (makes 8 dozen – you’ll need alot for the Holidays!)

64 TJ pieces (4 bags Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chunks)

6 cups plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

5 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 sticks of butter

4 tablespoons freshly grated ginger (ginger from the tube in the produce section works great!)

2 cups dark-brown sugar, packed

2 cups unsulfured molasses

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cocoa
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined
  3. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 5 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with plastic wrap; refigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Roll dough into 2-inch balls; piece 2 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and return to baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 13 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



The Holiday Party

We’re excited to celebrate another year here at Arciform and this year we held our holiday party at the De Wolf’s new home: The Isam White house. Here’s a peek inside the home and festivities:


Junior Designer Stephyn and Designer Tara share a smile


“We chose Benjamin Moores’ Slate Teal for the walls, paired with green couches from Anthropologie. The chandeliers were restored from the previous owners.” -Anne De Wolf


Project manager, Joe Hoffman and site lead Jamie Whittaker’s wife, Jill enjoy the night


Richard De Wolf’s mom, Michal Ann Russell, shares the home with her son and daughter in-law, as they remodel the second level. Nick Truog and lead carpenter, Eric Delph are ready for a refill!


“We kept the tree in the basement to add cheer as you enter the not so cheery ‘chapel’ and create lighting for the ping pong table,” says Anne.


“The Chapel”


Richard and Anne received some wonderful gifts from their team; a donation to the Oregon Humane Society and a brick inscribed with their names in Pioneer Square.


The Morris Marks Diaries: Moving Day

If you were downtown on Saturday, September 30th, you may have noticed a 2,860 square foot historic house moving through the street… in two pieces. Don’t believe us? Check it out here:


That’s right, we cut an 1880 Italianate in half, and with the help of OXBO, moved it 1.5 miles through PSU’s park blocks across the 405 freeway and to its new home at the intersection of Southwest Broadway Drive and Grant Street.


“The original location of the home placed significant development pressure, causing the house to sit vacant for years without investment and placing it under constant threat of demolition.” says Arciform co-owner, Richard De Wolf.

After ten years of levying for the homes preservation, Arciform started work in preparing the Morris Marks House for its new location on Friday, September 22nd.


“Cutting a house in half is no easy task. The intricacies involved include making sure services are out of the way, determining engineering requirements, predicting how the house will behave while traveling and then doing the actual cut and shoring of the building. The process took us 4 weeks, with 3 team members working on it from 7:30am-4pm each day.” says De Wolf

Lifting Morris_MM House 24

The Morris Marks house weighs approximately 84,000 lbs. Steel beams were inserted underneath the home’s foundation and each half (42,000 lbs each) was lifted using hydraulic lifts.

“It may look a little run down right now, but don’t worry, we’ll have this home shining like it once did years ago. At the same time, all of its services and foundation will be engineered for the future.”


“I’m happy they left the ivy on!” owner Karen Karlsson exclaims as her home moves through the PSU park blocks.



Inside the home there are many examples of wallpaper spanning several generations. The woodwork is mostly intact, the original wood floors will gleam again soon and the curved staircase and rails will show its craftsmanship to new generations to come.


Outside the home, the wide projecting cornices with heavy brackets and richly ornamented windows, porches, doorway and single bay define the classic Italianate style.


The plan right now is to convert this home into office space on the upper floors and an apartment in the basement level.

“We’re in the permitting stage right now, there is amazing potential for the restoration of this incredible home and we’re so happy to have saved it from demolition,” says DeWolf.

Originally built for a shoe merchant, it’s last use was a boarding home and in recent years, it has avoided demolition by the thankful efforts of the Blindheims (previous owners), Rick Michaelson and Karen Karlsson (current owners and developers), the City of Portland and all of its departments, OXBO (the team that rolls it down the street) and the tireless efforts of the Arciform crew.

Stay tuned for the exciting transformation as we continue to update you here!

Six Local Decor Shops for Interiors

Does your rec room need refreshing? Maybe the bedrooms feel blah or your mudroom is miserable? Don’t fret. No matter what your style or which of your rooms need attention, Junior Designer Amy Wigglesworth has six fabulous furnishing finds right here in town.

1. Canoe  offers “simple, beautiful, & functional objects that can be used & enjoyed everyday”. As you wander through the showroom, it’s easy to see the essence of the  Pacific Northwest in the most fundamental ways. Their selection of Oregon-designed housewares is a must for any contemporary living space. You’ll find them across from the Portland Art Museum, at 1233 SW 10th Ave.

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2. You don’t have to be a historical furniture nerd like me to appreciate the work of designers such as Pierre Jeanneret, Mies van der Rohe & Ray & Charles Eames. Hive Modern, located at 820 NW Glisan, represents some of the most trusted & innovative furniture brands including Herman Miller, Cassina, & Knoll. So whether you are in the market for high end luxurious furniture or not, I highly recommend stopping by & immersing yourself into the Womb Lounge Chair,  Wassily Lounge & the Barcelona Couch.


3. Just down the street from Hive is another fanciful showroom, EWF Modern. This furniture showroom explores the symbiotic relationship between modern & organic aesthetics. The playful combinations of form & texture support their philosophy that “design takes its cue from nature”. Check them out: 1122 NW Glisan St.

EWF facade

4. Looking for a more eclectic vibeCielo Home is a treasure trove of new & antique furniture & housewares. This classic Portland shop has everything from sophisticated Louis XVI chairs to enchanting light fixtures. I mean, what more could you ask for? Located at 528 NW 12th, this is a place to get lost in.


5. Another great shop for those with a more eclectic palate is Digs Inside & Out at 1829 NE Alberta St. This showroom is perfect for interior & garden design.  Digs believes in lots of color & combining old with new. This is evident throughout their boutique, mixing contemporary hanging planters & light fixtures with vintage furniture & classic posters.

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6. For those of you who hold sustainability close to your heart, look no further than Salvage Works.  Lumber from deconstructed homes, warehouses & barns here in the Pacific Northwest are curated into selections of heritage lumber, wall cladding, & custom furniture here. If you are in the market for a reclaimed beam, live edge shelving or a custom made table, check out Salvage Works at 2024 N Argyle St.


This is just a little taste of remarkable showrooms here in the Portland area. Whether you’re due for a whole house overhaul or want a special piece to perk up your home, there is a showroom here for you. Let us know, in the comments, your favorite spots to shop, & keep an eye out for future posts on more great resources both here in town & online.

–  by Amy Wigglesworth; edited by Stephyn Meiner

Envisioning Your Basement and Bonus Room’s Potential

As the seasons change, many of us dream of creating cozy spaces for our families and guests to curl up in. Your basement has the potential to add the living space your family needs and get you that bonus room you have been dreaming of for years. Here are some considerations to help you look past the cracked walls and cobwebs of your basement.


1. Work the structural elements into the design

When looking at the layout for your basement remodel, try not to fight the location of the existing structural members. Moving posts and beams can be costly and trigger upgrades to meet current codes. Your best bet is to integrate the posts and beams into design elements. This can be as simple as hiding them within new walls. Posts can be used as an end point for half walls or could be exposed as design features.

2. Don’t forget the rest of your home

In finishing your basement, you will be restricting access to the systems that service the rest of your house. This is the perfect time to look at the state of your electrical, plumbing and HVAC. If your remodel requires these systems to move, then think about what upgrades can be combined to get the most out of your investment. Central air, re-piping of your house and additional outlets for the floors above are great additions to the scope of a basement remodel.

3. Level of finish

It’s up to you to determine what level of finish and investment you want to put into this project. If you are not looking to add legal livable square feet, there are plenty of ways to clean up your basement and make it function better for you and your family. You’d be surprised how big an impact you can make by cleaning and painting the walls and ceiling. Pair this with a lighting plan to brighten the dark corners and add warmth with furniture.


4. Classic or Contemporary?

Understanding the architectural details that define the era of your home will help you when planning the aesthetic of your remodel–whether you want to design within the style of your home or move in a different direction. Looking at the architectural elements, like existing millwork and built-ins, can help. Think of your basement as a blank canvas and have fun making it reflect your personal style.

5. Flexibility is key

One great way to approach your basement remodel is to plan for the spaces to have multiple uses. Do you need a dedicated guest room or can that also be a home office? If you are adding a bathroom and currently have laundry on this level, think about combining these rooms to save on plumbing costs and space. Are you comfortable with your new guest suite being used as a part time rental? Better to ask yourselves these questions now than later.


6. Creative Storage

It’s easy to focus on how much space you will be gaining by finishing your basement, but don’t forget about what you are giving up. The typical basement acts as a catch-all for the items that we don’t want in the rest of our house. It is important to plan on how and where those items will get stored once the basement is finished. Hidden doors, built-ins and creative pantries are all great options to keep your basement looking spic and span after the remodel.

7. Does your remodel have the potential to work for you?

It’s hard to escape the ADU and Airbnb discussion when considering a basement remodel. The first step will be to assess what the current structure of your home lends itself to. There are differences between the requirements for an attached ADU and converting your basement to a livable space. Make sure you explore how each option affects the scope of work and what benefits you will see once the project is complete before moving forward with your design.

These are just some of the topics that will be addressed at Arciform’s Basement and Bonus Rooms Workshop on November 9th at 6pm at the Hotel deLuxe.

Contact to be added to the event wait list.

Click here to hear more from the Arciform design team.


Understanding the Design Process: Final Steps

Whether you’ve never tackled a remodeling project before or you’re a seasoned home-improvement pro, the design process can seem daunting at times. Many firms have their own way of doing things and sometimes these methods are a bit convoluted or mysterious.

In this series, we’ll take you on a step-by-step tour through the Arciform design process so that you know what to expect when planning a home improvement project. In case you missed them – be sure to start with Part 1 which covers measuring and documenting existing conditions, and part 2 which covers conceptual design & details.


Step 5: Construction Documentation

Most of the projects that we design require city permits, and many require engineering. We take care of that for you! As the design process unfolds we have multiple scheduled check-ins and walk-throughs with our construction team members & subcontractors to get eyes on the project from all parts of the process. Our goal is to address as many potential issues as possible long before the hammers start swinging.

RUNYON & ENGLE.18x24-Layout

Here you can see an example of a structural page for the nook addition on the cottage we’ve been talking about.


Accurately developing the plans and getting all of the details onto paper is the most critical step in our process. We do this to make sure that every detail of your project gets built as closely as possible to the finalized design. There’s no way to catch everything, but the more we address from the beginning the fewer headaches there will be during construction – something our Project Managers definitely appreciate!


Step 6: Build & Enjoy!


As you can see from this side-by-side comparison, the rendered perspective is remarkably close to the finished product!

There’s a whole new ball game to go along with this last step (the entire construction process, for example!) but you’re now equipped with a highly detailed set of plans and specifications to get you through. Our designers make it a priority to remain available to you during the construction process as well; you can rest assured that you’ll have the help of a professional to deal with anything unexpected that may come up during the course of building your project. Because of all the steps you’ve taken to fully flesh out and detail your design plans, you’re well prepared for construction!

-Tara Keefner, co-author

Understanding the Design Process: 2nd Steps

Whether you’ve never tackled a remodeling project before or you’re a seasoned home-improvement pro, the design process can seem daunting at times. Many firms have their own way of doing things and sometimes these methods are a bit convoluted or mysterious.

In this series, we’ll take you on a step-by-step tour through the Arciform design process so that you know what to expect when planning a home improvement project. In case you missed it – be sure to start with Part 1 which covers the first steps in the design process, measuring and documenting existing conditions.

Step 3: Conceptual Design

After documenting the existing conditions, Senior Designer Kristyn Bester was able to come up with a number of options for this cottage remodel based on the client’s wants and needs for the space. Here at Arciform it is important to us to respect the history and architecture of your home, so the designer will always keep that in mind when designing.

One of the client’s main goals was to open up the kitchen with an addition off the back of the house. After coming up with a few preliminary designs, Kristyn presented the client with some options like the one above here in the design office. This first design meeting covers the schematics and general layout of the design. You will get to see what it feels like to be in your remodeled space.

Sometimes it can be hard to visualize your remodel from just a floor plan; luckily, the program we use enables you to see perspectives like the one above which are very true to how the final product will look.

Step 4: Details, details, details! 

The steps following the first meeting can be very fun, or at least we designers think so! We will pick out the materials, finishes and fixtures that give the remodel flare and character. You can have as little or as much involvement in this process as you like. We find Pinterest to be a particularly great tool for clients and designers to use during the initial design stages; see the joint board that Senior Designer Kristyn Bester and the client started together here.

Once the space planning and layout for the kitchen and the nook addition was complete, it was time to get into the details of the plans and specifications. The specifications help to create a purchasing “to-do” list for the items which need to be selected. The plans include elevations of all walls to help detail out spatial needs for the rooms affected, including any special notes of concern for our field crew. Designers will often sit down with the client to go through each elevation within the remodeled space, addressing any aesthetic and spatial concerns.

This elevation example shows the type of details that need to be addressed which aren’t always easy to see in plan view, such as how the lights & shelves line up and the relationship between vertical elements such as backsplash and mouldings.

The final phase of design is the technical jargon that provides “instructions” for what is to be built and what that entails, such as permitting and engineering and the like. Stay tuned!

-Tara Keefner, co-author

Understanding the Design Process: 1st Steps

Whether you’ve never tackled a remodeling project before or you’re a seasoned home-improvement pro, the design process can seem daunting at times. Many firms have their own way of doing things and sometimes these methods are a bit convoluted or mysterious.

In this series, we’ll take you on a step-by-step tour through the Arciform design process so that you know what to expect when planning a home improvement project. As you follow along with this 1928 English cottage remodel, you will learn what to expect, how we work and why we do what we do!

Step 1: Measuring the Site and Recording Exiting Conditions


After the Initial Design Consultation, Senior Designer Kristyn Bester and the Arciform design team visited the home to measure the existing floor plan and site footprint of this charming cottage. The goal of the site measure is to document every single detail down to the nitty-gritty. We document the existing materials, millwork profiles, door and window styles, etc – and occasionally get into your dusty crawlspaces – all in an effort to mitigate any issues with the unforeseen during the construction phase.

Thomas_1927_B_ (127)

The client had multiple phases in mind for this cottage project, making a whole-house site measure the best solution. A whole-house site measure allows the design team to understand how all floors of a home are being affected when designing; it also helps to smooth the transition between phases and, of course, you will have a set of current and accurate plans for your house!

Step 2: Turning the Measurements and Documentations into a Drawing

After measuring the space and documenting the details, we bring all of the information back to the office to draw up in our CAD software. This “as built” drawing then serves as a canvas for the design. Our computer program also creates a 3D model which lends the opportunity to generate different types of drawings & renderings, making it easy for the designer and client to visualize an accurate depiction of the possibilities.


Above is the “as built” floor plan for our example cottage, which gives a good idea of the kind of information you can expect to find on this plan. Different symbols & tags help the designers easily identify what is going on in the space. For example, the red symbols & lines represent mechanical, electrical & plumbing elements; the blue hatching means that there are no changes being made to the space.

Stay tuned for the next installment on our journey through the design process, outlining the “conceptual design” phase of this Laurelhurst home remodel.

-Tara Keefner, co-author

Help Us CanStruct for the Oregon Food Bank

Every year, Arciform collaborates with Ankrom Moisan Architects to create a cool structure built entirely out of canned food for the Oregon Food bank.

Last year we made this:

CANstruction_2013_ (23)

This year our goal is to win the prize for most food donated and used in the creation of our project. Will you help us meet our goal?


Click here to donate towards our Canstruction Project this year.


All proceeds go to purchase canned food for the Oregon Food Bank.


You’ll get to see the results of your contribution at the Pioneer Place Mall April 7 through the 13th.


We appreciate your help and support!


Here’s more fun pictures from last year’s project:

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CANstruction_2013_ (12)CANstruction_2013_ (14)CANstruction_2013_ (19)

Give Thanks for All that Twirls and Tumbles in Arciform’s Custom Workshop

Did you know that Arciform’s shop, in addition to crafting custom cabinets and millwork, also provides space for the creation of wild aerial dance performances?


Thanksgiving weekend you’ll get a chance to check out AWOL Dance, the aerial dance troupe who make their home in our building, along with Polaris Dance and the Circus Project in a benefit party and performance featuring Vagabond Opera that will take place right in our wood shop!


Join us as we give thanks for all that twirls, tumbles, twists and delights on December 1st starting at 6 pm at Arciform’s building (2303 N. Randolph Ave).


We’ll be hosting complimentary beer and wine so join us in raising a glass and raising some money in support of these three excellent organizations.

Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here.

Thankful Poster