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.

Tones

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.

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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.

Imagination

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.

A Home for Tennis

When our clients dream big, Gelotte Hommas Architecture transforms zoning restrictions into creative opportunities.

Overcoming Obstacles

Recently, our tennis enthusiast clients brought us their vision for a home complete with an indoor tennis court. Local zoning laws restricted residential structures to a 25 foot height, so a standard 36 foot high indoor court was out of the question. Instead, our team dug deep and proposed to recess the tennis court beneath the custom home.

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This custom design brings modern elegance to life with a long-span structure set on a deep foundation. The terraced green roof provides an abundance of outdoor space, and a stunning oculus allows natural light to permeate the recessed tennis court and workout room.

Celebrating Innovation

Our “Home for Tennis” model currently sits on display alongside other innovative designs at the (un)Restricted Architectural Model Exhibit. This year, the exhibit focuses on architectural innovation in response to environmental, material, social, and economic challenges. The (un)Restricted Exhibit explores the stories behind the structures, and celebrates local ingenuity.

Eric Drivdahl attended the opening of the (un)Restricted Exhibit and snapped a few photos of the Gelotte Hommas team’s design as well as a few other curiosities. Take a look!

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Architect Eric Drivdahl at the (un)Restricted Architectural Model Exhibit.
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Architects had the opportunity to add “improvements” to the Seattle skyline. Eric Drivdahl suggested adding affordable housing pods to the Space Needle.

You can visit our current model (and many others from Seattle’s best architects!) at the Center for Architecture Design now through September 23.

Interested in other models? Check out our model entry from the 14th Annual Architecture Exhibit!

Cocktails & Mocktails

While we ordinarily spend our days turning our clients’ dream homes into a reality, we also embrace opportunities to flex our creative muscles and apply our skill to other creative ventures.

Last week, we traded our drawing boards for 5-by-5-inch napkins and entered our designs into the Architectural Record Cocktail Napkin Sketch Contest.

The rules were simple:

  1. Create a unique, architecture-oriented design specifically for this competition.
  2. Draw your design on a white 5-inch-by-5-inch paper cocktail napkin.
  3. Use an ink or ballpoint pen.

The rest was up to us!

The Gelotte Hommas team indulged in Zeek’s pizza and Classic Shirley Temple, Arnold Palmer, and Raspberry Fizzler mocktails as we sketched out our best contemporary designs.

Take a look at what we dreamed up, and share your thoughts in the comments!

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David Grubb’s modern design.
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Scott Hommas added a splash of color to his garden scene.
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Eric Drivdahl proved that simple’s always in style.
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Check out the reflection in Curtis Gelotte’s waterfront cityscape sketch!
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Eric Drivdahl “drew” inspiration from Louis Kahn, a leading twentieth century architect.
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Tom Brown contrasted light and dark in his bid for the prize.

Wish us well as we submit our sketches–the winner will receive an Apple Sport Watch! And while we await the results, take a look at our past entries.

Your Guests Will Fall in Love with this European-Inspired Stunner

A Touch of Normandy piles on the charm for your guests with a custom fireplace, exposed wooden beams, and elegant pops of color.
A Touch of Normandy piles on the charm for your guests with a custom fireplace, exposed wooden beams, and elegant pops of color.

A Touch of Normandy, a beautiful guesthouse designed by Gelotte Hommas Architects, proves that guesthouses can be just as stunning as a main home. This romantic cottage plays up classic, elegant design features that draw from both French and English architecture. If you’re considering building a guesthouse of your own, the following are some design inspirations to get your creative juices flowing:

This charming home is chock full of character, thanks in large part to the wood and stone work that is found both in the interior and on the exterior. The outside of the home is built from stately, sand-colored stones. On the inside, custom stone fireplaces add a touch of old world romance. The petit home feels large thanks to vaulted ceilings. Exposed wooden beams give each room a rustic feel.

The bathroom elegantly pairs gray marbled subway tiling on the walls with delicate black and white checkered tiling on the floors. The reclaimed wooden vanity supports an elegant sink while still housing tons of room for storage.

Green and blue pops of color keep all the spaces looking warm. The backs of the built-ins in the sitting room are painted a relaxing sea foam green, while royal blue throw pillows give the traditional living room a modern flare. The kitchen looks soft and classic with beautiful pastel cabinets.

If you’re interested in including any of these design elements into your guest home (or main house), contact Gelotte Hommas today!

Exposed Wood and Warm Tones Exemplify This Moroccan Remodel

The Glassworks Remodel's Moroccan touches include a ceiling covered with an intricate design in warm tones and a stone fireplace in shades of brown that reaches from floor to ceiling.
The Glassworks Remodel’s Moroccan touches include a ceiling covered with an intricate design in warm tones and a stone fireplace in shades of brown that reaches from floor to ceiling.

Intricate patterns, arched ceilings and warm tones give Moroccan architecture its distinct characteristics. This architectural style is known for giving homes a rich, exotic and inviting appearance. A wonderful example of how Moroccan features provide homes with a whole new look can be seen in our Glassworks Remodel project.

This project involved making several changes to a home by giving it a Moroccan-themed design. The home’s outdoor area now has an exterior living space that features several sitting areas and a gas fireplace for added warmth and relaxation. The Moroccan touches that were incorporated into this area include a ceiling covered with an intricate design in warm tones and a stone fireplace in shades of brown that reaches from floor to ceiling. A simple floor with large, plain tiles gives the area an elegant look and a bit of contrast to the brighter furniture and ceiling colors. Exposed dark wood beams and skylights over the outdoor kitchen and dining areas provide an airy, upscale look. The outdoor kitchen area also has warm wood cabinets and a decorative hanging light fixture that adds an even more exotic touch to the space. Accents, such as colored glass lanterns, also keep the Moroccan theme going throughout the outdoor living area.

Moroccan architecture also includes other features that can be used in homes, such as tiled, arched ceilings done in warm hues, stone columns and intricately carved wooden doorways. Tiles and textiles featuring geometric patterns can also add some Moroccan flair to homes. Warm tones in shades of orange, red, brown and yellow are used extensively in this type of architecture.

If you’re thinking of using Moroccan architecture for all or part of your home, please contact Gelotte Hommas to set up a consultation.

Bask in the Summer Sun at Lakefront Splendor

A unique dining table enhances the outdoor entertainment space at Lakefront Splendor.
A unique dining table enhances the outdoor entertainment space at Lakefront Splendor.

Outdoor space is important, especially if you live somewhere as beautiful as the Pacific Northwest. It’s hard to find anywhere that equals the Northwest in sunny, mild summers, and having the outdoor amenities to fully appreciate the good weather is a must. Designed by Gelotte Hommas Architecture, Lakefront Splendor is a stunning, contemporary example of how to make the most of your outdoor space. Here are some tips on how we best utilized the space:

  • Incorporate decks to get your best possible view. Lakefront Splendor includes decks both off the master bedroom and in the living and dining rooms. With retractable floor to ceiling windows, these decks give the rooms great connection to the outside space, even during the winter months. Enjoy a nice breeze from inside, or relax on the comfy outdoor seating.
  • Entertain at night with a cozy fire pit. Surrounded by comfortable seating, a fire pit is an excellent entertainment option for guests. Enjoy s’mores and a bonfire while taking in the beautiful lakeside view.
  • Soak up the sun with a pool and a garden. Instead of having to choose between a luscious lawn and a sparkling swimming pool, this property designed the pool area to be off to the side, leaving room for homeowners and guests to enjoy both areas equally.
  • Host BBQs and formal dinners with an array of outdoor dining tables. This property features both traditional and non-traditional dining tables, including a table that holds a fire pit in the center. Either table is perfect for a low-key BBQ or an elegant evening.

If you’re hoping your dream home will include some or all of these amazing elements, contact Gelotte Hommas today to help you achieve your vision!

Add Drama to Your Front Entrance with a Traditional Gothic Archway

Lakefront Gothic's archway adds charm and character to the home's front entrance.
Lakefront Gothic’s archway adds charm and character to the home’s front entrance.

First impressions are important. When it comes to your home, the first thing guests will see is your front entryway. Having a beautiful and dramatic entrance is an excellent way to set the stage for the many other charming architectural features that friends and family will encounter when visiting for the first time.

If your tastes lean towards the traditional beauty of European architecture, consider adding an evocative Gothic archway. In the Gelotte Hommas designed Lakefront Gothic, the front entrance establishes a romantic and mysterious tone that is carried throughout the rest of the home’s interior design.

A steeply angled roof caps this warm, wooden archway and wrought iron nails punctuate the posts with character. The cutouts over the arch add charm and complete the European-inspired look. This archway also serves as the connection point between two garages on this property, with doors on either side of the arch leading into and out of each garage. Gas lamp style lanterns illuminate the walk-up and provide romantic lighting after dusk. After walking through this archway, guests will feel transported to another time and place.

If you need help getting started on your gothic-inspired dream home, contact Gelotte Hommas architects.

Wooden Beams and Brilliance in Design in this Luxurious Cabin

The Cabin on Lake Wenatchee is filled with wooden beams in several rooms, giving the home an overall rustic and warm look that blends well with the rest of the interior features.
The Cabin on Lake Wenatchee is filled with wooden beams in several rooms, giving the home an overall rustic and warm look that blends well with the rest of the interior features.

Exposed beams are usually associated with barns, but they offer a beautiful addition to contemporary homes. Wooden beams can give these homes a rustic look or a clean, modern one, depending on the design and color of wood that’s used. A great example of the clever use of exposed beams in contemporary architecture is the Cabin on Lake Wenatchee, designed by Gelotte Hommas.

This contemporary lake house is filled with wooden beams in several rooms, giving the home an overall rustic and warm look that blends well with the rest of the interior features. The kitchen, living room, dining room and bedrooms all have different styles of wooden beam designs. In areas with lofty ceilings, including the living room, these beams are highlighted by sunlight that comes in through small rectangular windows up near the ceiling. In areas with lower ceilings, including the bedrooms, these beams create a cozy look and feel.

The Cabin on Lake Wenatchee features a few different styles of exposed beams. Some areas have a traditional exposed beam design that includes several beams slanted up toward the ceiling with other beams hanging over the room horizontally at regular intervals. Rooms with flat ceilings feature a simple exposed beam design, where the beams stretch horizontally across entire ceilings made of wood. The home also has several other wood features, including staircases, wood walls and wood furniture, that help accentuate the exposed beams.

Wooden beams can be used in other ways as well, such as in chevron-style patterns for a striking appearance. They can also be painted white to give homes a more streamlined, airy look.

Interested in using wooden beams for added warmth in your contemporary home? Contact Gelotte Hommas to schedule a consultation, and visit us online to see our portfolio of unique and contemporary projects.

Incorporating Natural Elements in Cedar Haven

Reclaimed wood is transformed into a statement design piece in this Cedar Haven room.
Reclaimed wood is transformed into a statement design piece in this Cedar Haven room.

Building a home in the mountains usually requires chopping down some trees. However, the Gelotte Hommas designed Cedar Haven was not only made with recycled trees from the surrounding area, but the architects also found ingenious and inspiring ways to incorporate these trees into the home’s rustic contemporary design.

Hoping to evoke the feel of a log cabin, while gaining the contemporary appeal of floor to ceiling windows and modern lines, the designers utilized exposed wooden beams in the cabin’s vaulted ceilings and natural wood trim on doors and windows to maintain a rustic feel. The property houses three beautiful stone fireplaces, two indoor and one outdoors, and both fireplaces and chimneys are made from reclaimed stones. Earth-toned tiled floors give the house both a stately and natural feel.

The most breathtaking elements of this home’s design are the pieces of reclaimed trees that are incorporated throughout the house. Gnarled cedar trunks are used as pillars both inside and outside the home. One twisted tree trunk drapes elegantly over the indoor fireplace in the rec room. Another tree stump has an entire room to itself. The curved room encircles the stump, which foregrounds a blue stained glass window and a dramatically up-lit ceiling.

The vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows of the main living area encourage connectivity with the outside living space and allow ample natural light into the home.

If you’re interested in building your rustic contemporary vacation home, feel free to contact us. We are excited to help you get on your way to the home of your dreams!

Contemporary Design with an Emphasis on Views and Natural Light

Wood beams and wood accents throughout that give it a warm and inviting appearance, while the stone fireplace and accent wall offer a rustic touch that adds to the home’s natural look and feel, and it's water bolster it with a soothing atmosphere.
Wood beams and wood accents throughout that give it a warm and inviting appearance, while the stone fireplace and accent wall offer a rustic touch that adds to the home’s natural look and feel, and it’s water bolster it with a soothing atmosphere.

Incorporating natural elements into a modern home is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of contemporary architecture. Using these elements gives homes a warm look and helps blend the interior with the surrounding landscape. One of the finest examples of this can be seen in Gelotte Hommas’ Wood, Stone, Water project.

This project involved designing a contemporary home that includes stone, wood and water features to create a visually impressive and calming environment. The home, located in Medina, has wood beams and wood accents throughout that give it a warm and inviting appearance. Stone features, including a fireplace and accent wall, offer a rustic touch that adds to the home’s natural look and feel. Water features provide it with a soothing atmosphere.

The home also makes use of floor-to-ceiling windows to let in as much natural light as possible, which is another characteristic of contemporary architecture. These windows offer stunning views of the trees around the home and the city lights down below and create a seamless transition from the interior to the outdoor landscape. The home’s lofty ceilings, open floor plan and oversized windows combined with its location perched on a hillside allow sunlight to flood the interior, adding to the overall warmth of the design.

More modern accents throughout the home, such as glass tables and track lighting, add a touch of contrast with its natural elements of wood, stone and water. All of these features together create an award-winning contemporary home that is strikingly beautiful. Wood, Water, Stone won the 1997 MAME award for Best Custom Residence and Best Master Suite.

If you’re considering contemporary architecture for your new home, please contact Gelotte Hommas. Visit us online and view our online contemporary project portfolio to see past projects we’ve worked on.

A Cliffside Retreat That Capitalizes on the Resplendent Views

High Above the Water is a remarkable blending of contemporary architecture and natural space that's located on Puget Sound.
High Above the Water is a remarkable blending of contemporary architecture and natural space that’s located on Puget Sound.

Relaxing at home takes on a whole new meaning when you can take advantage of sweeping vistas right outside your window. It’s even better when you can look off in the distance and see just how vast the deep blue sea truly is. High above the water, your mind will wander and ponder as the scenery recharges you.

High Above the Water is a remarkable blending of contemporary architecture and natural space that’s located on Puget Sound. Designed to blend into the environment, its stone facade and exposed wood make it seem as if the home has always been perched atop the cliff. Inside, gabled ceilings and large windows provide an unimpeded view of the water and mountains in the distance. Coupled with contemporary pendant lights, the living room, kitchen, and master bathroom are always awash in light.Further, the grand fireplace in the living room with it’s stone cladding and natural wood mantel are the perfect place to enjoy a romantic evening at home.

Even when it’s raining, the stone tiled floor of the cantilevered balcony is covered and provides a marvelous setting to gather with family or entertain friends. The flooring on the balcony is an extension of the same tile used within the kitchen and creates a symbiotic relationship between both kitchen and balcony. Indeed, even the shade of the wood floor matches the exposed wood beams, cabinets, and exterior of the home. The result is that everything blends together seamlessly to create a harmonious aesthetic that is simply stunning.

Gelotte Hommas specializes in contemporary architecture and cliffside building. We invite you to contact us to discuss your property and the home we can design and build for you.

French Style Has Lasting Appeal with A Touch of Normandy

Norman architecture stands as treasured testaments to the everlasting beauty of the past as these storied structures blend with the ever changing present.
Norman architecture stands as treasured testaments to the everlasting beauty of the past as these storied structures blend with the ever changing present.

The Norman countryside is filled with chateaus whose architectural elements have proven timeless. From the peaceful lanes of Bayeux, of the bustling avenues of Caen, these homes stand as treasured testaments to the everlasting beauty of the past as these storied structures blend with the ever changing present.

The Norman architecture being built today has its roots in the 11th and 12th centuries when castles and manors were built to reflect the financial prowess and community standing of the owner. As such, Norman structures feature intricate stonework, friezes, and fine details that are brought together to personalize the space and reflect the interests of the person and the family.

Within, Norman homes feature plenty of focal points and points of interest. For example, exposed ceiling beams are commonly stained or painted a different color than the wall and ceiling. This creates interest and visual appeal from a purely structural element. Furthermore, Norman homes in the 1200s didn’t have electric lighting. As such, they were rather dark and their stone construction made them rather imposing. To make them more impressive than imposing, modern designers include hanging chandeliers, wall sconces, and modern layered lighting techniques that flood the rooms with light making them wonderfully cheery places to relax or entertain guests.

It truly is the fine details and finishing touches that give your home a touch of Normandy that is genuinely memorable. The intricately carved mantel framing the herringbone pattern of the fireplace , the gentle scrollwork lining the banister, and the tile patterns in the kitchen and the bathroom are what make Norman style so timeless and charming.

Gelotte Hommas can help you build a Norman estate anywhere in the world. We invite you to contact us at 425-828-3081 for more information about our firm and the services we have to offer.