Want to Build Green? Follow These Sustainable Home Trends

Green Home Design

Green building is more popular than ever, and this trend is certainly beneficial to both the planet and your wallet. At Gelotte Hommas, our talented architects are experienced in green architectural design and can help you create solutions that conserve energy and promote sustainability in your home. Here’s a look at some of the more popular sustainable home trends that you’ll want to consider incorporating into your plans:

Solar Power

The sun is an infinite source of energy, and solar panels allow you to harness that energy for a very low cost and without producing any harmful emissions. Integrating solar panels into a new build is fairly simple, and doing so is likely to result in both tax breaks and energy savings.

Cool Roofs

One of the biggest trends in sustainable building is the construction of roofs from materials that reflect sunlight. This helps cool the home in the summer time, reducing your air conditioning costs. There are many different cool roof options, but the most popular choices are slate roofs, white tiles, and special cool roof membranes.

Recycled Materials

Building a home demands a lot of materials, and it’s certainly good for the environment to make sure as many of these are recycled as possible. Gelotte Hommas can help you include recycled insulation, reclaimed wood, recycled glass, and other green materials in your green architectural design.

Water Conservation

Clean, fresh water is a limited resource. When building new homes, water can be conserved by installing fixtures and appliances designed specifically for water conservation. Outside, rain water collection devices are handy for watering your gardens.

When you’re ready to build the greenest home on your block, contact Gelotte Hommas to learn more about our services and discuss your plans.

Get an Amazing Kitchen by Using These Ideas

Kitchen Design Tips

The kitchen is the heart of the home. When designing a kitchen, it’s important that it becomes a room that you cherish and appreciate. Try using some of these kitchen inspiration ideas to create a room that’s both functional and attractive:

Kitchen Design Tips
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  • Modern kitchens almost always include a kitchen island, and it’s a good choice to stick with this trend. An island gives you extra working space, which is especially important if more than one person will be cooking at a time. It also gives you extra storage space underneath the counter.
  • It’s important that you’re able to see what you’re doing as you slice and dice. LED lighting installed above counter tops helps achieve this goal, while also providing a delightful ambiance. Make sure you pair these lights with some beautiful stone counter tops, as the colors in them will really bounce when the LED lights are on.
  • Your kitchen does not have to rely on geometric shapes and right angles. Deviate from this traditional look by incorporating plenty of curves. You can have a curved counter top, ergonomic drawer pulls, and even uniquely shaped tables for a room with incredible modern character.
  • Forget about windows that are completely vertical. Modern kitchen take advantage of slanted windows, which control the angle that light enters the room to prevent unwanted glare.

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new one as a part of designing a new home, the architects at Gelotte Hommas can help give you kitchen inspiration and assistance. Contact us to learn more about our home design services.

Get Inspired to Add Some Outdoor Living Areas to Your Home

Outdoor Lounge Design

Do you often look out your window and wish you spent more time outside in the beautiful sunlight? A great way to embrace the outdoors is to incorporate some outdoor living spaces in your backyard. The architects at Gelotte Hommas can help you design the perfect layout! Here are a few trendy outdoor living ideas to get you started:

Outdoor Lounge Design
Source: Freshome.com
  • A sauna makes outdoor living feel like a vacation into the land of luxury. Outdoor saunas help melt away the stress of a long day. While far more common in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States, saunas are becoming more popular and are a great investment in terms of increasing home value.
  • If you’re not a sauna person, consider installing a hot tub. They’re the perfect place to relax with friends on summer nights, and a great setting from which to observe the beauty of your gardens.
  • A fire pit or outdoor fireplace can transform your backyard into party central in the summer. Fireplaces also allow you to use your backyard when the weather is cooler, so you get more outside time in the spring and fall.
  • Do you love the look of greenery and flowers but lack the space for a sprawling garden? Wall gardens are more popular than ever. They’re also easy to care for and maintain.
  • If you want your backyard to look beautiful at all hours of the night, there’s one secret: great lighting. This is a chance to get creative. Try using ambient lighting under seating or on garden features.

When you’re ready to embrace the great outdoors, keep Gelotte Hommas in mind. Contact us to learn how our beautiful designs can transform your yard into a luxurious outdoor lounge.

Use These Tips If You’re Still Undecided On Your Floor Plan

Deciding on a Floor Plan

Choosing a floor plan for your new home is not an easy task. Since floor plans are very difficult to change once the home is built, there is a lot of pressure to make the right choices. However, solidifying your floor plan is a very important step in the home building process, so it’s important that you make these decisions in a timely manner. Use these tips to guide your mind in the right direction:

Deciding on a Floor Plan
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  1. Decide how much space you need for your family. Consider your family’s space needs realistically, and then choose a size range in square feet that meets those needs. How many bedrooms do you need for your children and possible house guests? It’s not realistic to build a 5-bedroom house for a family with one child or a 2-bedroom home for a family of five.
  2. Consider your design style when choosing a floor plan. If your home has a more modern style, try going with a more open floor plan. If your home’s style is more traditional, square rooms separated by solid doors are often the best option. Remember to consider decorating needs when deciding between open and closed floor plans. If you choose an open floor plan, colors will need to flow across your space.
  3. Keep location in mind. Look around your city, and observe the types of floor plans in your area. Are there mostly single family homes with big yards or attached multi-family homes? No one says you necessarily have to blend in with the crowd, but it doesn’t hurt to use others’ plans as inspiration.

Contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture to talk to our talented designers about your floor plan ideas.

Give Your Home Extra Use by Building In a Flex Room

Designing a Flex Room

Have you ever wished that you could trade your dining room for a study? Are there times when your back hallway goes unused, but you think that it would be a great library? Building a flex room in your home is a great way to solve these problems. A flex room is a room that has a range of uses, depending on your needs at the time. Many homeowners change the function of their flex room throughout the year, but you can switch yours back and forth as often as necessary for your situation.

Flex rooms are one of this year’s leading architecture trends. They offer several key benefits:

  • Flex rooms are great when you need a segregated area in which to house long-term guests or live-in grandparents. Architects are great at designing rooms or small areas that can be sectioned off from the rest of the home as a separate unit, and later opened to serve a different purpose when that person moves out.
  • Make the most of your building budget: instead of superfluous rooms that will see only occasional use, focus your money into a more flexible space.
  • People today live fast-paced lives and their needs and circumstances always changing. You don’t know today where your needs will be in three years. Designing your home in such a way that it’s easy to change the function of several rooms if needed may help keep you in that home for longer.

The talented architects at Gelotte Hommas are experts at keeping up with the latest architectural trends including the use of flex rooms. Contact us to discuss your building needs today.

How Your Home’s Windows Will Impact the Interior

Choosing windows is a common part of the process you go through when designing the exterior of your home. However, the windows that you choose also impact your home’s interior look. Picking the right windows can help ensure that your home’s interior decor coordinates well and fits your personal taste. Use these home design inspiration tips to help you make the right decisions:

Window Design
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  • Work with your designer to choose windows that complement the walls they are placed on. Tall ceilings, for example, offer the perfect place for multi-story windows. Take advantage of a voluminous room with a wide wall by using a picture window as a focal piece.
  • Is there a beautiful tree in your backyard or a scenic forest across the street? Place windows in such as way as to allow unobstructed views of these natural wonders.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of using the same style and size of windows throughout an entire room or your entire home. Using a variety of shapes and sizes of windows adds a lot of visual appeal to your home. They keep your eye moving from place to place, and they allow for many different views of the outdoors.
  • Humans, like plants, need natural light in order to thrive. Make sure you place enough windows in each room to let plenty of light shine in. When you can, place windows on several walls so that light shines in throughout the day as the sun moves through the sky.

The architects at Gelotte Hommas are experts at designing homes with windows that accentuate your interior design. Contact us for more home design inspiration and building tips.

Building a Home? Why You Should Go for Wood

If you’re planning on building a home in the coming months or years, you probably find yourself looking around neighborhoods for unique designs that you could mimic. Most people take special notice of wood-based designs when deciding upon a style for their home, but few are aware of the many benefits of wooden homes. They offer far more than just beauty!

Building a Wooden Home
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Insulation and Energy Savings

Wood homes seal in the heat, especially as the wood ages and becomes drier. Other building materials such as steel and concrete allow a lot more energy leakage. When you choose wood, you can expect lower energy bills.

Quick Construction

Wood homes are quicker to build than those made from steel, brick, or concrete. This saves you money when it comes to labor expenses and also means that you could be moved into your home a couple of weeks sooner.

Durability

As a foundation ages, it shifts a little. Wooden homes are able to flex slightly to make up for this shifting. Other materials don’t have as much give as wood, so they may crack or weaken as the home ages.

Great Acoustics

Whether you play guitar professionally or just like to listen to music in your spare time, you’ll appreciate the great acoustics in your new wooden home. Wood is a good sound insulator, so it keeps sound from traveling into nearby rooms. It also prevents echos by absorbing sound waves.

At Gelotte Hommas, our talented architects and designers are committed to helping you see the art in your home. Contact us when you’re ready to discuss your upcoming building project.

The Appeal of the Modern Home: Architecture Styles

Gallery Home defines Modern Architecture Design

By definition, modern architecture is an ever-changing style. Current modern design encompasses new technology to make homes easier to build and more efficient to operate using less traditional materials like concrete and steel.

Modern design is always on the hunt for clutter, looking for ways to reduce it and eliminate it altogether. Elements of nature and the outdoors are always welcome whether it’s through the use of glass and windows to make walls transparent or by bringing the elements directly indoors.

Modern designs often display engineering feats like soaring cantilevers and allow much of the structure of the home to be visible including beams, posts, pipes, exposed wood, and other structural elements.

Gallery Home defines Modern Architecture Design
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Characteristics of Modern Architecture

  • Sleek designs, no wasted space or rooms that do not get used.
  • Earth-friendly materials and construction techniques.
  • Engineered and renewable materials instead of harvested wood.
  • No-frills decorations: everything has a purpose and the beauty lies in simplicity.
  • An air of honesty or authenticity. Modern homes have nothing to hide and are not trying to imitate another era or style.

Living Architecture: The Gallery

The Gallery Home in Kirkland, WA, is one of our projects that serves as a stunning example of how modern architecture can be both beautiful and practical. The simple boxed design allows for each individual detail stand out, from the creative use of glass to bring nature and light to the entire home to the use of metal throughout to keep spaces separate yet connected. Every inch of the home is useful space while retaining an open, airy feel throughout.

To learn more about incorporating modern architecture into your next design, contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture.

The Effect of Spirals: What the Shape Adds to Home Design

The spiral has been used to depict spiritual concepts for thousands of years. Some ancient cultures used the spiral to represent the path from basic consciousness to the enlightenment of the inner soul and to represent the journey from the material world to the spiritual one.

Incorporating the spiral into architecture dates back centuries and was often used to restore balance and connection to the earth inside the home. Because it is such a bold statement, usually only small or single examples are needed to achieve the benefits.

The Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase and Spiral Design
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Aside from the symbolic benefits, the spiral staircase is an attention-grabbing feature of any home that can be fun, elegant, and even rustic depending on the materials chosen. The spiral staircase incorporated into our Hillcrest Farm home uses a combination of stone and wood to anchor the feature and give an air of permanence and stability to the home.

Other Examples of Spirals in the Home

Spirals aren’t limited to staircases, there are a number of ways to incorporate this energizing shape throughout the home.

  • Decorative Wrought Iron. Anywhere that there is an arch or an opening such as a cut-out between two rooms or staircase railings, consider adding a wrought iron decoration that includes curlicues.
  • Furniture Pieces. Racks in the kitchen or bathroom can include curlicue decorations and are an easy way to incorporate spirals into any room.
  • Spirals Outdoors. Spirals can be included outdoors by laying out patio bricks into a spiral pattern, through the use of fountains, or by adding gardens with spiraling plants.

To learn more about adding a spiral staircase or incorporating spirals into your design features, contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture.

Consider a More Modern Bungalow Style for Your Home

bungalow style home

Every area of the country has its own interpretation of the bungalow-style home. From the long and lean brick bungalows in Chicago to the light, wooden West Coast bungalows with airy porches, this style of home has made its way from one end of the country to the other.

No matter where you live, the core design feature of bungalow style homes is cozy living and a few consistent features:

  • Detached garages that are accessible from a back alley or side driveway.
  • Living and sleeping areas all on one floor.
  • Living rooms anchored by large fireplaces nestled between built-in cabinetry.
  • Modest kitchens with stained wood and cozy breakfast nooks.
  • Basic bathrooms with minimal decorative features.

    bungalow style home
    Source: Gelotte Hommas

Upgrading and Expanding Bungalow Style Homes

In spite of their modest roots, most bungalows feature beautiful open floor plans that make them easy to update and fit modern living expectations. Expanding the kitchen is a common upgrade to give homeowners more space.

Another common upgrade is the conversion of attic space into additional bedrooms. The angled walls practically beg for built-in dressers, shelving, and cabinetry and the lowered ceilings make each room cozy and comfortable.

While the original bathrooms in bungalow homes were modest in decoration, they typically have ample space to accommodate additional features and fresh finishes.

Sturdy Charm and Built-In Style

If you have a bungalow home or are thinking of purchasing one and updating its features, let Gelotte Hommas Architecture show you how to take advantage of the natural sturdiness and beautiful craftsman and arts & crafts style to modernize your living space without losing the charm.

For more information on this style of home or for information on starting your dream-home build, contact us today.