The Appeal of Modern Architecture

Clyde Hill Project Gelotte Hommas
Clyde Hill Project Gelotte Hommas
Source: Gelotte Hommas

What do you think of when you hear the words, “modern architecture”? For many, modern architecture evokes images of museum-like spaces without much warmth, instead of a home made for happy times and laughter. It doesn’t have to be that way. Modern architecture can inspire living spaces which hold a great appeal for everyone.

Modern architecture represents a snapshot of the materials and designs suited to the time in which the structure is built. The time period measured in the word “modern” has less to do with years than it does with the ways in which current technologies and methods of construction change lifestyles. These include the ways in which space is used in modern living, avoiding trends which don’t suit both geographic area and lifestyle.

Today’s times dictate open, bright spaces with wide windows and plenty of light. Bring the beautiful landscape into your home with the vast windows allowed by modern design. Floor plans have been simplified to remove extraneous rooms, and instead dedicated use of space to great rooms which allow kitchens, dining areas, and gathering areas to flow together. Gatherings and meals become closer and more social.

While many architectural designs draw from both the past, and the natural geometry found in the world around us, modern architecture presents the opportunity to take a fresh view of how homes are planned. By eschewing trends in favor of creating a home which captures both the time and the desires of the ones planning it, a modern design leaves a tribute to imagination and originality while building a beautiful living space.

Learn more about how to incorporate modern architectural designs when planning your new Seattle home by contacting Gelotte Hommas Architecture.

How Your Homesite Impacts Your Home Design

anacortes project Gelotte Hommas
anacortes project Gelotte Hommas
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Selecting a design for your new home and finalizing the plans is an exciting prospect. However, a suitable homesite is as important as the prospective design. Selecting an incompatible site for your new home can impact your plans in ways you never imagined. A bit of homework beforehand will ensure you enjoy your new home for years to come.

The lot size has the most obvious and immediate impact on home design. Make sure the lot you choose is suitable for your home plans. Your new home should not dwarf its surroundings. It should fit in well. This includes making sure the design style blends with other homes in the area as well. You probably would not want to build an ultra-modern home in a neighborhood of Craftsman style homes.

Another consideration is the zoning regulations of your potential homesite. Certain areas have stipulations on what type of home can be built. In addition, some zoning regulations may impose unwanted restrictions on your allowable use of the property. Eliminate surprises by researching first.

If you are not building in a pre-planned subdivision where viability has already been predetermined, the topography of the land on your future homesite may impact and/or limit your design choices. The quality of soil, drainage, slope of the land, rocks, trees, and other natural land characteristics can inflate building costs or make building your new home cost prohibitive altogether. The architectural firm or builder you have chosen can help assess the feasibility of your homesite selection.

If you are in the process of designing a new home, we can help ensure the process will be an enjoyable experience. Contact us, Gelotte Hommas, for guidance on designing a home you will cherish forever.

Taking Inspiration From Nature’s Lines

seattle cottage
seattle cottage
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Many people go camping, take hiking trips, and use the outdoors as an escape from the indoors and as a space to clear their minds. Why not make your home an indoor space that makes you feel the same way by reflecting the great outdoors? Take into consideration all the following ways that the interior design of your space can be inspired by nature.

Point to Outdoors

One of the most obvious and easiest ways to make your home feel more like the outdoors is to have lots of windows that actually show the outdoors. If done correctly, this can also save money by having natural lighting brighten up your home and using less artificial lighting. Many people also prefer natural lighting, and some studies even suggest that natural lighting is healthier.

Use Plants

Actually keep plants in your home or office! This will help inspire more designs and are a great way to make your space smell fresh in a more pure way than artificial air fresheners.

Copy Plants

Use plants as inspiration to your furniture and room layout. If you are using dogwood plants, have the furniture match with parallel or perpendicular lines to match.

There are a lot of advantages to having the interior design of your home replicate the outdoors. For people that love to spend time outdoors, it’s a great way to still experience a little bit of nature during all seasons without dealing with bad weather or insects. With the use of large windows and open spaces, it helps a space feel bigger and aids in avoiding the sense of confinement.

Gelotte Hommas Architecture has been designing rooms for 30 years, with a very creative and functional approach to our design workflow. Take a look at our portfolio for examples, and contact us with questions!

Balance Privacy and Style in the Bathroom

using half walls in a bathroom

Each zone within your bathroom serves a different purpose; the toilet, the shower, the sink and the vanity all have important roles to play, and displaying these zones as the independent functions that they are can be a great way to promote bathroom privacy without compromising style.

using half walls in a bathroom

Here are a few ideas to help you plan the perfect bathroom:

  • Walls and doors: Using walls or sliding doors to separate the toilet from the rest of the room is the most common way to increase bathroom privacy, but can be done in not-so-common ways, too, like using glass walls or shelving.
  • Half walls: Half walls are good for bathrooms that don’t have a lot of room to spare. They can separate the toilet from the rest of the room without closing it off thus maintaining a more “open” feel.
  • Plants and sculptures: If you’d like something a bit more unique, you may consider using tall plants or sculptures to keep your toilet separate. This bathroom design trend will be both relaxing and inspiring, and may even help purify the air.

The bathroom is where that people relax, relieve, and renew in the most private of settings, and the unique function of this room should not go unappreciated.

If you’ve been planning your dream bathroom, contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture and let us help make your dream a reality.

Ensure That Your New Kitchen Has Plenty of Space

preventing small kitchen problems

Anyone who has ever dealt with a cramped or poorly laid out kitchen knows just how frustrating it can be. Small work spaces make cooking with a partner near impossible and little to no storage means things get stored on counters thus reducing what little work space you already have. But, carefully planning your kitchen floor plan before you build or remodel can make the time you spend in your kitchen much more enjoyable.

preventing small kitchen problems

Before tearing into your kitchen over-haul, remember to plan the following:

  • Walkways: Make sure you include ample room to move around your kitchen by providing walkways that are at least 36 inches wide. If you plan on having an island with stools or chairs, be sure to take into account the walk-space when chairs are pulled out to help prevent tripping or spilling.
  • Work space: Work spaces also require extra room to move, which includes 42 to 46 inches of work room around prep areas such as cutting boards and sinks. Because the refrigerator is also a hot spot in the kitchen, give that plenty of breathing room, too, by keeping it away from easily congested areas such as your kitchen’s entrance or dining area.
  • Storage: You don’t have to have a lot of storage space to get good use out of it. Consider clever ways to add storage to the space you have, like using pull-out shelving or up-right storage. Because, even a small kitchen needs to be functional.

See that your kitchen is designed with  high-traffic needs in mind by planning the perfect floor plan.

Learn more about how to create the perfect kitchen floor plan by contacting Gelotte Hommas Architecture.

Architecture with Pets in Mind: Designing a Cat-Friendly Home

incorporate a cat scratch post in your Seattle residence

Cats are not so much pets as they are roommates, and their attitude about your home – and your things – shows that. That’s why you should design your new home or remodel with your cat in mind; give them his or her space and he or she will (hopefully) give you yours. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a cat-friendly home design:

incorporate a cat scratch post in your Seattle residence
  • Provide a perch: Cats love to tower over their surroundings, and having the perfect place to perch will be a great opportunity to do so. Provide the furry animal with ample perching places with the use of high shelving, or add a custom perch for your cat by mounting “cat cubbies” to the walls.
  • The cat wants windows: Your little kitty is just like any other cat and wants a place to watch the world, ideally a window sill. When designing your home, make sure to include plenty of windows with large ledges so your cat can watch the world outside from the comfort of his home.
  • Scrounge up a scratching post: The beast loves to massage his or her paws, and she’ll do so whether you approve of the location or not. To avoid damaged furniture, add scratching areas to all of her favorite hang-out spots. If you need a little help convincing her to use them, just add some catnip to the area.

Show your cat how much you appreciate her by giving her her own space with these simple ideas.

To learn more about planning a cat-friendly home design, contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture, where art meets architecture.

Why You Should Consider Bamboo Flooring

bamboo flooring in seattle

When people typically plan their flooring, a few different options come to mind: carpet and hard-wood. There is another flooring option that is both affordable and durable: bamboo. And because bamboo is renewable, using it to cover your floors is environmentally friendly, as well.

bamboo flooring design

There are three different types of bamboo flooring, each with their own appearance, durability, and price:

  • Flat grain: The most common bamboo floor is the flat grain, featuring broad strips of bamboo which is actually many strips laminated together.
  • Vertical grain: Vertical grain floors boast a sort-of “cutting board” appearance by stacking planks on end.
  • Strand planks: By far the hardest of the three, strand flooring is composed of “leftover” bamboo by weaving together scraps then lamenting them together.

While gluing or nailing planks is  the most sturdy option, it is certainly not universal. For example, if you’ve got concrete flooring, you obviously couldn’t nail your bamboo down. If your floor is prone to moisture, glue will not permanently adhere and will likely cause the floor to buckle. In these cases, installing a “floating” floor may be the best bet.

Carpet flooring is a fine way to help keep toes cozy, but anyone with a child or a pet knows that they are also a magnet for stains. To avoid this, many people turn to hard wood flooring, but steep prices make this a less-than-ideal option, too.

Hence the appeal of bamboo; it boasts the same beauty and durability of hard-wood, but comes at a fraction of the cost.

If you are considering different flooring options, we strongly recommend bamboo flooring for its beauty and easy maintenance. For more information about designing and installing bamboo flooring, contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture, where your home is our passion.

Creative Bedside Lighting Ideas

custom lighting in Seattle

Nothing rounds off the look of a room like good lighting, and your master bedroom is certainly no different. Choose the best lighting for your bedroom by incorporating style and function. Here are a few bedroom lighting ideas to help shed light on the subject.

custom lighting in Seattle
Tampa Contemporary Bedroom by Interiors by Studiom via Houzz
  • Get it off the table: Table lamps are a common accessory to any bedroom and for good reason: it’s much easier to relax with a good book in bed if you don’t have to get up to shut off the light afterwards. But, table lamps are certainly not the only option for this. Consider an updated look by using sconce lighting to serve the same purpose while freeing up valuable space on your nightstand.
  • Hang your lighting: If you’re feeling a little reluctant to put permanent light fixtures in your walls, then think about going at it from a different angle: your ceiling. Pendant lights are an elegant way to accent tall rooms. They come in a variety of styles to match your décor and can be switched out relatively easily should you choose a different design later.
  • Add dimmer switches: Recessed lighting and dimmer switches are great way to add varying amounts of light to your room. Whether you need bright lighting to work or low lighting to relax, dimmers can solve your bedroom lighting problem with the simple turn of a knob.

Your master bedroom should be both inviting and relaxing; your ultimate retreat after a long day’s work. Reduce stress in your life by incorporating these bedroom lighting ideas.

For more great ways to design your home, speak with us at Gelotte Hommas Architecture, where we see the art in architecture and want to share it with you.

New Home Sales Are On the Rise

As the economy struggles to right itself, mortgage rates have steadily increased after record lows just a few years earlier. Though many people were still reluctant to make a home purchase at the first sign of the increase, the trend seems to be reversing as an increase in August new home sales indicates.

housing market
Source: Shutter Stock

Up by almost eight percent, the housing market is finally picking back up again in three out of four regions – the Midwest, and the Southern and Northeastern areas of the nation – despite increased interest rates. This is believed to be because people are coming to terms with increasing interest rates on home mortgages.

Apparently, potential home buyers have realized that, as interest rates continue to climb without a break in sight, buying a home now is more important than ever, and waiting too long to take the plunge could result in thousands of dollars worth of additional interest throughout the life of the loan.

Another factor contributing to the increase in new home sales, as opposed to the purchase of older homes, is the modern push towards energy efficiency. As the price for crude oil rises, the pull toward energy-efficient, or green, homes becomes a necessity. Fortunately, many designers understand the appeal of sustainable housing and design new homes accordingly.

Despite rising mortgage rates and increased new home sales tags, more and more people are continuing to buy. And because rates will continue to climb, there has never been a better time to make the move to home ownership.

If you are considering the purchase of a new home, or if you just want to increase the value of your existing property, Gelotte Hommas Architecture can help. To learn more about what Gelotte Hommas can do for you, contact us today!

How to Pick the Right Light Fixtures for Your Home

picking the right lighting

A home without good lighting loses it’s beauty as soon as the sun sets, but a home with great lighting never skips a beat. Give your home the shining personality it deserves with the right lighting. To choose the right lighting for your home, consider the following:

picking the right lighting
  • Style: It’s important to remember to incorporate your light fixtures into the rest of your design scheme, and choosing the right style is key to doing so. Is your home’s architecture modern with smooth, flowing lines and curves, or is it more traditional featuring simple roof-lines and symmetric design? Whatever the architecture of your home, choose lighting fixtures to match.
  • Shape and size: Careful consideration needs to be given to the shape and size of lighting fixtures, so your rooms don’t appear awkward or disproportionate. You might choose pendant lights for rooms with elevated ceilings, but table lamps for more intimate rooms.
  • Function: The purpose of the room should play a major part in your lighting choices. For example, you would probably not need strong or harsh lighting in your dining room, but you might like to have the choice for strong lighting in your kitchen or craft room.
  • Color: Lastly, consider your color scheme when choosing light fixtures. Can you paint your light fixture to match your rug or find a lamp shade that accents the color of your wall-art? Matching your lighting with your color scheme will give your room a seamless appearance.

The right lighting not only improves a home’s physical appeal, but can actually increase both the optimism and productivity of its inhabitants.

Learn more about choosing light fixtures for your home by contacting us at Gelotte Hommas Architecture today.