There is no better way to start off your Easter morning than with Buttermilk Waffles topped with French Strawberry Jam…{courtesy of Williams Sonoma}.

For the strawberry jam:
2 lb. strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the waffles:
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. sugar

Sweetened whipped cream for serving

To make the strawberry jam, in a large bowl, combine the strawberries and sugar and stir until evenly coated. Transfer to a 9 1/2-inch copper fry pan. Using the tip of a knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise to expose the seeds and scrape the seeds into the strawberry mixture. Add the pieces of the pod to the pan. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have broken down, most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture resembles a thick jam, 45 to 48 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the vanilla bean pod and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool until just warm.

Meanwhile, make the waffles: Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 200°F. Preheat a Belgian waffle maker according to the manufacturer?s instructions

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk in the buttermilk, butter and vanilla. Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites. Cook the waffles according to the manufacturer?s instructions. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

Serve the waffles with the strawberry jam and whipped cream alongside. Makes about eight 4 1/2-inch waffles and 2 cups jam.

Buttermilk Waffles with French Strawberry Jam


No. 1 Message in an eggshell; No. 2 Happy Easter and Easter bunny burlap pillows; No. 3 Watchful Rabbit Hook; No. 4 Easter Bunny Tea Towel No. 5 Gold Bunny Stud Earrings; No. 6 Mug Tail; No. 7 Bunny Fold for napkin;



The 2013 Portland Modern Home Tour will take place on Saturday, March 9th!

The self-guided driving tour gives residents of the Portland area the opportunity to explore the inside and out of eight to ten architecturally progressive and contemporary homes in the Portland area. It’s the perfect thing to do on a Saturday, and it’s a fun-filled day of local exploration.

Local architecture expert Brian Libby, founder of, has signed on as Tour Consultant for the 2013 Portland Modern Home Tour, and helped to curate the following homes*:

• • The famous Eyebrow House in Mt. Tabor, featured in an episode of Portlandia and in ReadyMade Magazine and Portland Monthly, designed by Edgar Papazian.
• A historic 1949 home, also in the West Hills, designed by John Dukehart and renovated by its current owner, wood artisan, Patrick O’Neil.
• A house by perennial award-winning Portland firm Works Partnership based on a prototype design the firm hopes to begin building on a wider scale.
• A luxury condo in Southeast Portland’s Clinton neighborhood by another acclaimed local firm, Holst Architecture, sumptuous in its juxtaposition of glass, mahogany and weathered steel.
• A historic 1966 home in Portland’s West Hills that epitomizes mid-20th century Northwest modernism, clean-lined with an elegant simplicity yet teeming with natural wood.
• A house by Portland’s Departure Design that is one of the city’s first built to rigid Passiv Haus standards for energy efficiency.
• A unit in the award-winning Lair Condominiums in Portland’s historic Lair Hill neighborhood just south of downtown, designed by renowned Portland architect Rick Potestio.
• A unit in the North House condominium on Portland’s burgeoning North Vancouver Avenue, featured in Dwell magazine.

Participating homes will open their doors for viewing from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 9, in and around Portland, Oregon. Tickets are $30 in advance; $40 on the day of the tour, available at designated locations. All are invited. Kids under 12 are FREE. For more details and a current list of homes, please visit

*Homes listed are in the process of joining the tour. Final line-up is subject to change.


Francie + Santa

Francie and Santa met and she was in awe.

Wishing you and yours many magical holiday moments.


Now that the summer sunshine has been replaced with the grey skies of fall, we thought we’d bring a little shimmer to your day with some of our favorite brass details:

No. 1, Myojo Lights; No. 2, Kitchen with brass details from Dwell; No. 3, Alexander McQueen Pumps; No. 4, Nars nail polish in Desperado No. 5, Exo brass Iphone case; No. 6, Brass sink; No. 7, Brass glasses; No. 8, Vintage brass stool; No. 9, Bosse fox figurine; No. 10, Twisted brass bracelet by Kelly Wearstler


Open Dining + Kitchen Plan

A bustling home with three children doesn’t mix well with a very outdated, tiny kitchen. We designed this kitchen to open to the dining room for flow and more work-surface areas. The children can decide between the dining table or kitchen bar for eating and crafting. The owners of this home wanted a light kitchen with simple details which is a drastic contrast to their heavy and dark kitchen we started with. The wall between the kitchen and dining room, ceiling beams, soffits, can lights, and checkerboard tile was removed and in it’s place painted gray cabinets, white quartz countertops, Calcutta Gold backsplash tiles, School House Electric fixtures, and simple stainless hardware was installed.

When we arrived to take the photos soon after the remodel, a “For Sale” sign stood in the front yard. When we spoke to the owner’s brother this week, we heard the house was demolished and a new house is being built on the same footprint. It’s slightly surreal to post about a new project that no longer exists….but sharing anyway!

Photos by Parallel Photography

The slate-tiled floor remains in the Kitchen and new wood floor was installed in the Dining Room

Painted Light Gray Cabinets (Benjamin Moore, Sleigh Bells, 1480)

Intrepid's Calcutta Gold 9" x 18" Tiles as Backsplash

The under cabinet lights function as both ambient and task lighting

A white quartz countertop is the perfect finish to this simple and bright space

Here are a couple of before shots…

The kitchen was small and felt smaller because of the many small details and textures

The wall-oven location because the current refrigerator location in order to open the Kitchen to the Dining Room


Aww…the coziest time of year is upon us.  We are slowly acclimating to the darkness, rain, and cold with warm thoughts of the holidays approaching.  My friends and I have an annual tradition of spending time together enjoying the transition by having a Harvest Party in Central Oregon.  This weekend we pressed apples into cider, ate hearty soups, drank pumpkin beer, made an apple and pear crumble and went for long walks with our dogs.  It was also an extra-special year of dressing-up Francie in her Halloween costume as an owl.

Apples for the Cider Press

Stella observing the cider being pressed

The dogs post-autumn-walk

Francie enjoying being carried on our walks



The Nomuras purchased their townhome while under construction…little did they know construction would last nearly two years. I began working with them on their kitchen, bathrooms, powder room and finishes in Winter 2009. It wasn’t until March 2012 they moved into a newly-completed home on the Willamette River. Dal Tile supplied the granite countertops and glass backsplash. Euro American Design fabricated all of the cabinets from Quarter-sawn Maple. The owners are very patient and they are happy to finally be living in their new home with a beautiful view of the river and Fremont Bridge.

Photos by Parallel Photography

Dining Table from Design Within Reach

Maple Cabinets with a Painted-Gray Island

Dal Tile Glass Backsplash + Granite Countertop

Painted Gray Island

Upper Cabinet Hardware from Chown

A view from the Kitchen to the Living Room


A few reasons we love Halloween…

No. 1, Bat Paper Garland; No. 2, Beaker; No. 3, Skull Dessert Plates; No. 4, Hanging Skeletons; No. 5, Spider Web Table Runner; No. 6, Pumpkin Greek Yogurt; No. 7, Pumpkin Whoopies; No. 8, Poe Art; No. 9, Skull Wreath; + No. 10, Gourds



Shirley Loenneker joined Absolute earlier this year. She is hilarious and has a very fun design sense (along with being the most organized human on the planet!). Shirley graduated with a Fine Art Degree in Interior Design from Marylhurst University, lives with her husband, Otto, and her cats Lemme and Bruce. She loves vintage finds, pickled foods, and all things cheese.
Aside from designing, Shirley will be posting concepts and boards to the Absolute ID blog occasionally, please help welcome Shirley to Absolute!