You’re Invited!: Gelato, Hummus, and Drinks

Gelotte Hommas Architecture warmly invites you to join us this Friday, March 31, from 3 PM to 6 PM, for an afternoon of gelato, hummus, drinks, and celebration.

When looking back over GHA’s history, residential architect Curtis Gelotte reflected that, “Somewhere over the years, it became less about the projects and more about the people.” We value the relationships we build in our work, and each year, we look forward to celebrating another year of artistry and design with you, our clients and colleagues. It’s our opportunity to catch up with you, to celebrate success, to reflect on past projects, and to joyfully anticipate the start of a new year for the GHA family.

This year, on our 34th anniversary, we’re pleased to make a special announcement at 5 PM. We look forward to seeing you!

Please click here to RSVP.

Address: 3025 112th AVE. NE, Suite 110, Bellevue, WA 98004

Below, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite moments from past Gelato and Hummus celebrations. Enjoy!

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Architectural Artistry

In the world of home building and ownership, obstacles are almost a given. If this were not so, there wouldn’t be an entire television channel devoted to home remodels! But the Bellevue architecture firm Gelotte Hommas embraces design challenges and creates opportunities for artistry.

Steve Jobs once said that “design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Whether technology or architecture, function is an integral part of great design. A home shouldn’t merely look good. It should work well.

When designing the Asian Ambiance custom remodel, Scott Hommas discovered that two key facets of the home needed to reside in the same space: the downspouts and the exterior lighting. So, Scott picked up his pencil and began to sketch.

The result? Custom exterior lights.

The outdoor light fixtures straddle the sleek downspouts to consolidate space and maintain balance in the overall design. What’s more, Scott designed lights reminiscent of Asian lanterns. The custom light fixtures uniquely complement this home’s Asian design theme with coordinated lines, colors, and functionality.

Gelotte Hommas’ Seattle-based architects view design challenges as opportunities for architectural artistry. Not long ago, we discussed another example of creative problem solving in the face of space constraints.

We’d love to discuss opportunities for creativity design in your new home or remodel project.

A Pinch of Green

“For everyone is a visionary, if you scratch him deep enough. But the Celt, unlike any other, is a visionary without scratching.” W.B. Yeats

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For more than 300 years, green has been the color of leprechauns, shamrocks, and (for more than 50 years) the Chicago River on March 17. Yet the fresh, vivid joy of green need not be restricted to St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The natural beauty of green features well in both interior and exterior home design. We’ve collected a few of our favorite verdant features.

Vibrant Bedroom

This bedroom comes to life with lime green walls, purple bedding, warm wood tones, and a glistening black concrete floor. The verdant theme continues into the adjoining room with a spacious green rug. Even throughout the rainy days of winter, this bedroom is a constant reminder of spring!

Lively Playroom

Green walls infuse a fresh, vibrant look into this spacious playroom. White trim and built-ins paired with beige carpet balance the room and ensure vibrance without overwhelming visitors.

Inviting Furniture

Use green to add a sophisticated splash of color to an overall neutral room. A pale green hutch and a mossy green chair cushion remain consistent with the natural, French country style while providing contrast to the neutral colors and natural woods throughout room.

Indoor Garden

Bring natural greens inside. This custom Seattle home invites the warmth of the outdoors into the comfort of a luxurious master bathroom. The stone walls and walkway of the private courtyard merge into the master grotto shower and bath. Small trees, vines, potted plants, and a rhododendron create a serene setting in which to enjoy a warm bath.

Top It Off

Bellevue architect Curt Gelotte topped off this custom Cabin on Lake Wenatchee with a green seamed metal roof. Crowning wood trusses, metal siding, and a stone wall, the green roof adds further intrigue to the home’s exterior design. The pine green roof melds with the surrounding woods without disappearing into them.


Gelotte Hommas Architecture wishes you a splendid St. Patrick’s Day!  

O Romeo, Romeo: The Delights of a Juliet Balcony

Get Storybook Cottage Style

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Juliet balconies blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. Bellevue architect Eric Drivdahl took full advantage of a Juliet balcony when he transformed an attic bedroom into a master suite.

During his Seattle remodel of a custom storybook house, Eric sought ways to maximize light in this renovated master suite. The Juliet balcony provided the perfect opportunity. It invites natural light and fresh air into the home. The owners can fling open the French doors, curl up in nearby chairs, and enjoy a warm summer breeze as they sip their coffee and read their books.

What’s more, the Juliet balcony increases the perceived size of the room. By adding the French doors with a steel railing, the room extends beyond the strict lines of the walls and invites the lake view into the home.

The Juliet balcony also increases the exterior aesthetic of the home. The dramatic, red-cased French doors situated just under the roof peak draw observers’ eyes upward and encourages them to enjoy the full beauty of this custom house. In this instance, the Juliet balcony’s steel railing continues the line left off by the full balcony.

Because Juliet balconies don’t protrude from the building, they’re a simple way to increase the enjoyment of your living space without the rigors of structural evaluations or considerations of exterior space. The reward of an open, light-filled, airy space makes Juliet balconies a worthwhile consideration.

An Architect’s Perspective on Asian Ambiance

Each Gelotte Hommas custom home offers a story, and our architects are meticulous in remaining faithful to the established stories and themes of each project. Seattle architect Scott Hommas recently discussed his process for designing a timeless, Pacific Northwest home with an East Asian motif.

How did the Asian Ambiance project come to you and what’s the story?

This project is actually an older project, but it’s timeless. It’s as modern today as it was when we designed it, right around the year 2000. The project was a remodel–one of those homes that at the genesis of it was a one story shack on the water. We had to determine how it all stood up. There was a deck that wasn’t even attached to the house; it was just leaning up against it!

By the time we got to it, it was a two story shack. The house’s structure was fine. Some of the things attached to it weren’t great, but we worked very hard to maintain the home’s original geometry. We took the roof off and added a third floor with a bedroom, a large office, and a media room.

Then the fun thing about this house is the stairwell. We wrestled with, “How do you get the main entry–which is on the upper floor–to graciously bring people down to the main floor? So we created a stairway that is more like a piece of furniture than a stairway. The owner had an interest Asian art, so this custom stairway is designed after an Asian tansu hutch. We followed through on that Asian theme and created a cozy library sitting area.

The owner approached you with the Asian art theme. Was the East Asian architecture style familiar to you, or did you have to do a bit of research to achieve it?

Asian and craftsman styles are kindred spirits. The craftsman movement was largely influenced by Asian design, so I think I was very familiar with the concept and the overall design philosophy. It wasn’t too much of a stretch for me. And it was fun! It was the first project I worked on that had  budget enough to execute details like that stairwell.

Talk more about the evolution of the staircase.

It was a question of how do you make it gracious, how do you make it meld well with the library down below, and how do you use every inch of space in the house? It’s actually not a large house. And it all fell together. It felt natural: the tansu hutch idea and using every bit of storage possible. Making it look like furniture instead of a stairway. It felt like it evolved naturally, with very little effort. I spent a lot of time detailing it out, but I think it turned out well.

What challenges did you face in crafting this home?

The lighting. You start putting a lot of wood into the home along with the muted colors, and, especially in the Pacific Northwest, it can quickly start to get dark. We focused on lighting the displays and lighting the ceilings to make sure that the home stayed bright. I think we did a good job. We were working with some low ceilings and a lot of dark wood, yet it still feels like a light, bright space.

What’s your favorite part of this house, and what did enjoy most about designing it?

The owners really did have an appreciation for good design, and they allowed me to foster that. One of the most successful things in this house is the library. It’s a warm, cozy place, and it’s timeless. I think the owners appreciate all the little details that went into it. It’s an example of how a house can have a waterfront view, but it can offer other things, too. It doesn’t have to be all about the water. Although, we didn’t lose any opportunity to take advantage of it on the other rooms!

Closing Thoughts

Scott’s thoughtful design efforts on this custom project reflect the care we take with each client’s dream home. Our clients’ interests, preferences, and lifestyles are our primary inspiration for crafting timeless, welcoming homes.