Contemplating Craftsman Style

The craftsman style values less manufactured perfection and more intentional, hand-crafted artistry. With current trends favoring the real and untouched–unphotoshopped images, organic foods, and experience over excess–it’s not surprising to see a corresponding resurgence in the popularity of craftsman style homes. Their beauty, intentionality, and incorporation of natural elements ensure enduring architectural splendor.


Craftsman homes are “based upon the simplest and most direct principles of construction.” Emerging out of California in the early decades of the twentieth century, they emphasize organic patterns, textured materials, found items, and earthy tones. They sit just as well in a neighborhood and as in a quiet corner of the forest.

Banks of windows, open floor plans, rustic and textured materials, and exposed, decorative beams exude the authenticity and laid-back sophistication so cherished in the Pacific Northwest.


The home’s furniture mingles with the architecture with well-placed built-ins. Dormer bench seats and shelves framing dramatic fireplaces maximize the home’s space and imbue an additional level of comfort and stability in the home’s design. The arts and crafts style goal is, after all, functional, natural craftsmanship. Its earliest proponents believed that a return to a simpler home style leads to a healthier, more productive life.


Of course, the craftsman home isn’t exempt from striking touches of personality. While natural browns and greens dominate the home’s exterior, a pop of contrasting color on the trim highlights the architectural features. Intentionally imperfect stone in both exterior detailing and interior tile work exemplifies the charming, handcrafted nature of the home.


You don’t need to go all-in to incorporate a craftsman vibe into your custom home. Choose your favorite craftsman features and let them mingle with your unique style. Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl is happy to help you find your perfect merging of styles for your dream home.

Blurring Boundaries

Stunning scenery graces so much of the Pacific Northwest, and natural beauty is a splendid asset to the design of any home. Even on the rainiest of days, rich home design unites the refuge of home with the wonder of the outdoors.


Make effective use of glass. Glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light and can make the outdoors feel like part of your home. Glass creates fluid movement between interior and exterior spaces. To make this flow even more effective, install the same type of floor inside and on your patio or outdoor living space.



Install a corner window. Putting a window in the corner of a room provides an uninterrupted view of your surroundings and allows more sunlight to reach the interior of your home.


Secret Gardens

Add an entrance to a private garden. If you’re planning on having a small garden off the master bedroom, consider glass sliding or French doors. These doors let you see the garden at all times and make it feel like a natural extension of your room.

Work with a View

Give a home office spectacular views. Place your home office on the upper floor instead of having it tucked away on the first floor. Put the desk in front of large windows that provide beautiful views of the outdoors.


Our Sandwith Estate project offers additional home design inspiration. Visit our online portfolio to view images of the completed project.

The Music of Architecture

Sometimes the best way to truly understand one art form is through the words of another. Although the finished work doesn’t move, architecture trends still retain a rhythm, a beat, a tone, and a style. Understanding architecture through music is natural, and applying musical terms to architectural ideas brings greater understanding to both art forms.

Here are some overlaps in music and architecture in Seattle:


In music, this term lets the musician know to play delicately and with a light touch. In architecture it refers to the intricacy and the craftsmanship required to create delicate but powerful details.

using dolce in architecture

Ma non troppo

Literally stated, this means “not too much.” In music, it is added with another direction to mean not to go too far. To play “allegro ma non troppo” means to play fast, but not too fast. Architecture trends often reflect this idea whenever restraint is used and a “less is more” approach is taken.
incoporating Ma Non Troppo in architecture


Loud and strong. Music that is played sforzando is meant to be heard; it is played with force and is aggressively seeking attention. Architectural features that are sforzando are similarly aggressive–sharp angles, contrasting colors or textures–elements that are designed to stand out and stand alone.
using Sforzando in architecture


Lively and upbeat, it is easy to imagine music that is vivace. Light notes and higher tones skipping along in a quick tempo. Architecture that is vivace is similarly busy and light. There may be several complimentary elements throughout one space, many different spaces that are connected, or lots of interesting objects and focal points to keep the eye and the mind busy.

using Vivace in architecture

Gelotte Hommas has been bringing art to architecture for more than 30 years. We’d love to help you incorporate some of these musical notes into your next project.

A Bright, Seaside Getaway for All Seasons

Sunshine, sand, and glorious alpine views–what more could a person desire in a vacation home—especially amidst our recent Washington cold snap? This Coastal Cove House offers outdoor luxury for the summer and cozy, scenic comfort for the winter.

Outdoor Entertaining

A spiral staircase leads from the second floor of the home to its impressive ocean-side backyard. Guests can sail out into the Puget Sound, rinse off in the outdoor shower, then savor a scrumptious halibut fillet fresh off the covered BBQ. When the warmth lingers in the summer, resident vacationers can lounge on the deck and bask in the sunset.

Coastal Cove House
Coastal Cove House
Coastal Cove House

Indoor Entertaining

Inside, the common living spaces invite the outdoor beauty into the comfort of the home. The windows above the cabinets send light into a bright, modern kitchen. White cupboards and sand-colored countertops keep the space feeling coastal, while a reclaimed wood bar adds character. Dramatic up-lighting draws the eyes towards the dynamic, curved ceilings.

Coastal Cove House
Coastal Cove House

Open-Concept Comfort

The open-concept living room completes this ocean-side getaway with exquisite views of the Cascades. The kitchen flows seamlessly into the living and dining areas. Cream colored sofas gather around a stately stone fireplace and the dining room table sits under elegant, peach-colored lights. The greatest part of this space, however, is its breakfast nook, which provides homeowners with a stunning, circular view of the ocean beyond. Whether summer or winter, guests can enjoy the local beauty from the cozy comfort of the living room!


Coastal Cove House

If you’re interested in capturing romance and beauty in your dream vacation home, we’d love to make your dream getaway a reality!

Finding Warmth in an Eclectic Home Library

A rich color palate and unique design elements are sure to entice any reader to this Gelotte Hommas designed library.
A rich color palate and unique design elements are sure to entice any reader to this Gelotte Hommas designed library.
All avid readers dream of a relaxing home library where they can get lost in the pages of a good book. The eclectically designed Seattle lake house, Hitari, showcases a unique, romantic` library that is sure to make any book lover salivate. Here’s how this homeowner blended tone, structure, eclectic interests, and imagination to create a vibrant library.


Rich tones make the space feel warm and intimate. From the lush, red Persian carpets, to the brown leather armchair and the golden finish of the bookshelves and balconies, rich textures and colors fill this space.


The balcony within this library invites readers to explore a seemingly endless array of books.
An indoor balcony displays the vast collection of books. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves fill not one, but two stories in this expansive library. With the addition of the indoor balcony, one can admire the entire collection from either level.

Eclectic Unity

A custom fireplace ties the space together. By visually breaking up its wood surroundings, this gorgeous fireplace makes a bold statement while simultaneously drawing the eye up towards the second floor.


A travel motif ignites the imagination. Exotic animals are featured all over the space, with a zebra painting on the mantle and a taxidermy grizzly grinning at the books. Globes are also prominently featured in the design, with several globes of various colors and sizes adorning the floors, and a giant map covering the ceiling of the upper story. The entrance to the upstairs portion of the library is guarded by two figureheads, perhaps warning that adventure lies within the pages of these books!

If you’re hoping to add the library of your dreams to your home, contact Gelotte Hommas today for a design consultation.

Exposed Wooden Beams Enchant in this Striking Home

The exposed wooden beams in Wood, Stone, Water highlight the home's dramatic cathedral ceiling.
The exposed wooden beams in Wood, Stone, Water highlight the home’s dramatic cathedral ceiling.

Wood, Stone, Water is a dramatic, award-winning custom home by Gelotte Hommas Architects. Its most engaging features are the ubiquitous wooden beams that encase the interior of the home. Below are three spaces where these beams are best utilized:

  • The upstairs hallways showcase a dynamic combination of wood and stone. The ceilings in this home appear to go on forever thanks to exposed support beams and the open nature of the upstairs level. The crisscrossing beams that support the ceiling elegantly intersect the giant stone wall that stands in the middle of the home. The wall provides a strong contrast to the light and airy feeling the wood evokes.
  • The dramatic cathedral ceiling creates an awe-inspiring effect. Rows of pillars and beams symmetrically frame the main living area of the house. The open, two-storied living area has several beams that run from the bottom of the room, all the way to the top, highlighting the impressive height of the ceilings. Large windows in the space connect the room with the light and nature outdoors.
  • wood_stone_water_master
    The master bedroom stuns with an intricate latticed canopy that surrounds the raised bed.

    The master bedroom stuns with its unique wood detailing. The bed in this room sits on a raised wooden platform that’s connected to a latticed canopy of the same colored wood. Up lighting and a warm brown color palette highlight the singular shapes and structures in this master suite.

If you’re hoping to incorporate impressive wood detailing into your dream home, contact Gelotte Hommas Architects today for a design consultation.

A Little Curve

Modern architecture tends to be a proliferation of straight lines but it doesn’t have to be. Adding curved elements can create whimsy and interest to the home. Rounded doors with windows are particularly nice for creating a welcoming entrance or focal point for a room.

A Storybook Cottage

These curved top french doors leading to a small balcony make the room feel romantic. A subtle curvature adds interest but it not overly dramatic or attention grabbing.

Westview Manor

To spice up this elegant entryway a double door was chosen with rounded glass at the top. This is an easy way to get this look without having to customize the door frame.

Prairie Style Architecture

For a more unique and dramatic look, a large semicircular window can cap the entryway doors. Stained glass in both the doors and the overhead window make this a truly stunning doorway.

Whether you go all out with a large semicircular window or just add a hint of curve in the door, breaking up the straight lines of a house can add interest and charm.

Erasing the Line Between Indoors and Outdoors

The world outside has always been separated from the interior of the home by walls and windows. This is great in the winter, when keeping the elements out is a home’s top priority. But what about when the weather is nice? Then the most that can be hoped for is an open window and a screen door, right? Not anymore. The newest home trend is to get rid of the wall- when you want to.

Northwest Perspective

Accordion folding doors are a growing tend that allows a larger space to be open between the outside and inside. When closed they are a solid barrier from the elements but when opened they tuck neatly away and allow two separate spaces to become one.

Glassworks Remodel

This may seem a style suited only to contemporary homes but the doors can be made to fit any style and size of home. French doors have long been the staple for opening the home to the outside but now there are more options.

Lakefront Splendor

And you don’t need to stop at just one set. This home has a combination of traditional double doors in the middle with accordion doors on either side to effectively make the entire wall disappear. They also offer wonderful views and ample natural light. Is there a place in your home that could benefit from a large accordion door?

Soaking in Serenity

A bathroom is a necessity but it can also be a luxury. A well designed layout with expertly styled decor can transform a simple bathroom into an awe inspiring space. Here are some bathrooms that are so luxurious you may never need to go to a spa again.

Classic on the Green

This traditional bathroom features a large soaking tub complemented by marble flooring and counter top. An open and airy space welcomes you to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Lakefront Splendor

For a more contemporary feel this bathroom uses cement and tile along with straight lines and darker colors. The glass shower almost disappears to create an open feel.

A Storybook Cottage

If an even more contemporary design is your style then this white minimalist bathroom might catch your eye. A unique tub and faucet are the centerpieces to the bathroom with only a few small items on the windowsill adding color.

Hillcrest Farm

For the complete opposite of the minimalist bathroom there is this grotto inspired room. The shower is tucked into a faux stone alcove while the bathtub is filled by a spring from the rock wall. A delightfully interesting space.

Whether your taste goes towards the ultra minimalist, over-the-top or somewhere in between, the architects at Gelotte Hommas can help design you a bathroom that fits your needs and style.

Setting the Stage

The area around a home can impact the way the home looks almost as much as the architecture. Landscaping that severely contrasts with the style of the home can detract from the beautiful aesthetic so it is important to give the yard some thought when designing a home. A solid plan does not have to be in place until the home is completed but getting ideas now will help the process.

Classic on the Green

A formal home deserves a formal garden. This Italian inspired home is elegantly framed with small shrubs, a perfectly manicured lawn and a few hits of colorful flowers. The landscaping intentionally draws the eye to the entrance of the home. The addition of two tall potted urns give just a hint of drama to the visual.

Woodway Manor

For the landscaping of this English manor house a mixture of formal and informal design is used. The lawn and driveway are precisely maintained but the climbing plants on the house are left to wander as they wish. The plants are trimmed so that they do not cover the windows but otherwise they are left to give the home a softer facade and to make the home look as if it has been there for a hundred years.

The Woods Outback

Not every home must be so formally landscaped. This contemporary home tucked into the woods has a meadow like feel to its landscaping. The plants and design used mimic what might have grown there naturally but with more intention of the placement. The overall effects is to pleasantly blend the home into its surroundings.

Prairie Style Architecture

Not every home has a completely flat lot. Hillsides provide an excellent opportunity to create a textured and fun landscape. Here, large stones were placed to add interest while varying textures of plants were used for contrast. Flowers are not the only way to grow a beautiful garden.

All of these homes have vastly different landscaping that compliment their architecture and bring the overall feel of the home into the outdoors.



Work-from-home Options

The home office use to be the realm of CEO’s and intrepid entrepreneurs but these days things have changed. Of course, a home office can still be used for running your business but it doesn’t have to be. Having a space to store important documents and work on home budgeting can be just as important. With the complexity of life these days sitting down once a month at the kitchen table to make a budget just won’t cut it. A home office, no matter how small or large, creates a space to get work done.

Lakeside Lookout Office

This first office is almost more of a nook than an entire room. Two work spaces with ample storage puts everything you need within reach. The style is clean and uncluttered while still being highly functional.

Classic on the Green

If a larger, and more traditional look, is what you have in mind then this office might be just the thing. The dark wood and fireplace give the impression of a banking tycoon’s office is the late 1800’s but the flat screen tv playing the financial news is all modern luxury.

Sammamish Tuscan Estate

Another office that channels that old elegance is this stately room complete with bookcase and leather tufted chairs. There is a decidedly more masculine feeling to this home office.

Home Office of Cedar Haven Home

But if a large and modern space is more to your liking then there is this home office. There is plenty of storage in the room but also incredible floor to ceiling windows for those times when your mind wanders and you need something beautiful to look at.

No matter the size or style, a home office is a functional addition to your living space which can improve organization and work flow. If a home office is in your future then let Gelotte Hommas design you one to fit your needs.

Pool Party

With the 4th of July holiday this weekend many people are probably wishing they had a pool in their backyard in which to cool off. You may think that a pool will only fit a certain type of house but these days a pool can be designed to fit with any architectural style.

Classic on the Green

When designing a pool area it is great to have multiple levels of patio and poolside space. These stairs create a dramatic entrance to the pool area and continue the classic design of the home into the outdoors.

Prairie Style Architecture

A prairie or craftsman style home is not necessarily one we associate with having a pool but they fit quite nicely together. The design here is much less formal but still creates a relaxing ambiance with plenty of space to entertain.

House in a Mountain Meadow

And contemporary homes accommodate pools particularly well. If space allows, such as it does here, having grass near the pool area extends the space and allows for games and other activities.

Keep in mind that the pools featured above are all standard sized rectangular pools. Other shapes and sizes abound that can turn your backyard into a water playground. If you are considering a pool for your new home, or hope to remodel an existing space, then contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture to learn about more options.