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.
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!
While Facebook and Twitter keep you up to date with friends, news, and memes, and Pinterest has you planning your yoga strategy and cookie recipes hand in hand, Houzz is the go-to corner of the web for the architecturally minded. Showcasing beautiful spaces and the teams behind them, Houzz catalogs well-designed and interesting spaces from around the world. Gelotte Hommas was extremely flattered to find one of our designs featured as an exemplary “man cave,” especially with Father’s Day right around the corner.
Our whimsical garage for a Seattle-based professional Porsche driver was featured as a “man cave” dream space. In their feature, Houzz focused not just on the design, but the client behind it, an essential element to any personal architectural space.
The garage blends in with the other homes and structures in the area from the exterior, employing natural tones and architectural features typical of cabins and farmhouses to make the garage seem more approachable and at home that a stark, more industrialized design. Inside, the space becomes a burst of color and life, creating an environment of encouragement and creativity for the homeowner as he resurrects dilapidated cars into a renewed glory:
We’re flattered to have been featured so prominently in Houzz and happy that the homeowner can enjoy and take advantage of a “man cave” designed specifically with him in mind and to meet the needs of his passion for restoring older cars.
Is your dream man cave a garage? Theater room? A library? Tell us about your ideal in-home getaway. Want to learn more about this specific project? Read the full article on our garage design on Houzz.
We’ve already told you that we’re making changes to our website, but now we’re happy to announce that the new website is up and running! This is a great chance for you to re-familiarize yourself with Gelotte Hommas and our projects, as well as to learn about our new ideas and projects.
The new Gelotte Hommas website, like our architectural projects, is sleek and well defined, while making you feel at home. On it you will find useful facts about our firm and who makes up our design teams, as well as which principles we prize in design. You’ll get to see the latest work on all of our projects in ourportfolio, as well as learn about initiatives in the community and more that we’re leading or are involved in, like arc i tek.
The new website serves as your information highly on all things Gelotte Hommas. Visit it to learn more about our firm and our projects, then keep up with the blogs for a more personal touch and to hear more about design in general, as well as detailed facts about each project.
The island. It has become an almost essential feature in any kitchen. It provides extra work space, an attractive, centering element in the room, and often times offers extra storage. Most everyone can agree that an island is useful. So what would you do with multiple islands?
Work space that can be designated for different functions. The island closest to the door acts as a catch all for groceries, work bags, and more, while the island near the sink works perfectly for food preparation.
Multi-levels work especially well for allowing you designate a space for guests and kids while you prepare tapas or a meal. It keeps the “too many cooks in the kitchen” space issue under wraps, and allows you space to work with the food or beverages while you can still interact with your onlookers.
If you have an open, spacious kitchen, consider redesigning and using some of that space for a second island. You’ll appreciate the space and comfort.
Many of our designs from Gelotte Hommas are nature inspired homes with lots of exposed wood and traditional lines, interpreted in a modern way. Still, this natural look isn’t for everyone. If you’re more about sleek lines and smooth surfaces, contemporary architecture is probably more your style, featuring sharp angles, lots of light, and open space.
Contemporary design is both beautiful and functional, but some homeowners shy away from the style out of worry that it will be too clinical or sterile in feel rather than relaxing and inviting. In our work for The Gallery in Kirkland, we worked to make a contemporary space still feel natural and cozy without losing the spirit of a modern space:
Click each image to enlarge it:
What do you find to be the strengths of contemporary architecture? What about the weaknesses?In each room you can follow the natural floor which keeps the space grounded in natural elements while allowing it a sleek and modern look. The organic layout of each room helps to accent these details from the space itself, highlighting the architecture and keeping each room at ease.
Maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
Supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment
Provides adequate hot water
Produces as much or more energy than it consumes. (List via Solar Decathlon Website)
The contest was judged and run from September 23rd until October 2nd. Here are the last recorded scores for each team, within the top 5:
New Zealand 919.058
Middlebury College 914.809
Ohio State 903.938
One of the most intriguing aspects of this competition is the charting of the energy balance, taking a look at the created village to see how much energy was produced and how much used to help better understand energy needs and efficiency.
Have you competed in the Solar Decathlon? Share your team’s story in a comment.
On our new website, you can see both completed and in progress Gelotte Hommas projects. While looking over the photos, it’s important to remember that these aren’t just spaces that are designed for the sake of beauty and having a place to rest your head or to go to work–They’re spaces that our team works to tailor for you so that you can’t wait to get home or into the office.
As you look over our projects, get into our perspective by reading our notes.
In the notes on the Northwest Perspective home, you’ll see items that you expect. Dimensions, “4,535 SF custom home”, style, “ Contemporary Northwest style”, and placement, “In the “Infinity” development in Kirkland”, are all expected. Where Gelotte Hommas goes further is in keeping our clients and the family that will live in the space at the forefront of our minds throughout the design process, even sharing a bit about the space in our notes as it effects them.
•”Light filled great room style living” that’s “designed for a family with young children” tells you what the goal of the property is. We want to create a space that is natural, open, and welcoming for a young family as they grow and prosper. This space needs to be adaptable, as the young children will grow up in the home, and need to have a space that grows with them. There should be plenty of room, in case the family expands, and lots of space for entertaining, as birthday parties, club meetings, and more will probably be enjoyed within these walls.
If you’re looking for a home that is custom designed to fit your needs in a modern and eco-friendly perspective, please contact us today.
Earlier this week we officially announced arc i tek, our youth program to be held in conjunction with the Seattle Architecture Foundation. While we know that you’re excited, we didn’t want to leave you waiting for wonderful kid friendly activities involving a passion for architecture. If you want to get into something right now, try the Family Model Making Workshop with the Seattle Architecture Foundation.
The workshop series is holding their “Family Model Making Workshop, More Building” and helps families take a 2D model to a 3D model.
“ Using a variety of materials and techniques, young architects and their families will build several types of models in this workshop. Participants will learn how architects and designers use models to imagine a building. “
Get the entire family involved in the creative process of architecture and design with this wonderful program. The next workshop of this kind is set for November 5th, 11 AM – 2 PM. The cost is $15 per attendee.
So what is a Zero Energy Home? A ZEH is a home that is self sufficient–It provides what it needs to consume, and has its own cycle that allows the people within it to save on costs and to lesson their carbon footprint on the planet. Though a home that generates the same amount of energy as it consumes may seem more futuristic, there have already been plenty of homes built that meet this criteria, or at least come within reach. The Zero Energy Home is a great goal for the eco-friendly design and architecture community, and we look forward to seeing how it develops.
When people look at homes in shelter magazines, they discuss how beautiful a space is, and how much they would love to have aspects A, B, and C in their soon to be constructed space. Yet, when you sit down with someone to discuss what features they would like in their home, they’re likely to discuss issues they have with their current space, and what problem solving, functional features would be great to have.
Built in bookcases in the library keep the the space uncluttered and unencumbered, while the spacing of the shelves allows for larger titles and a sleek, spacious modern feel that keeps the room from feeling stuffy.
Single level islands often put anyone on a bar stool in the thick of food preparation rather than allowing them a place as a comfortable spectator. By raising a portion of the island, we create an interesting silhouette while also adding seating space and more room to work.
This dining room has a recess that may seem just for show, but it also keeps a buffet out of the way of the main room, so guests can walk without dodging furniture. Closets in the dining room provide great storage for special china, linens, and more.
Add function and beauty to your home to create a harmonious and beautiful place that you’ll cherish for years to come. For help with this aspect of your new home’s design, contact Gelotte Hommas today.
David and Mayuko Lai, as featured in Dwell, took five years to design their home. In it they feature elements of universal design so that it will accommodate their young family now and them as they age. One of the most interesting aspects of their story was that they had the freedom to give the home little touches that they knew would be great for them, without having to consider how it might effect future residents or the resale value of their home.
What kind of changes would you make to your home, or what features would you include in a new build, to make it more of your forever home? Tell us about them in a comment.
Architects are an active, engaging group that thrive on interaction, creativity, and the exchange of ideas. Any given month, there’s usually at least one big event in the world of architecture, but September is looking to be an intensely busy month. To keep you up to date on the happenings at Gelotte Hommas, we’ve included our up and coming events:
The Built Green Conference is just days away on the 14th at Pickering Barn in Issaquah. Our very own Eric Gelotte will be speaking at the conference, discussing how using local merchants add to the greenness of a home, as well as offering information on who/what they are in the area.
On the 17th of September, we’ll be attending an open house for a client that we assisted with a wonderful remodel on the Sammamish plateau. We designed the space and then the client built the design over the course of five years–An open house is definitely earned after a half decade of labor!
Our big event for September, The Bungalow Fair, will take place on the 24-25 in Seattle. We will be attending and speaking at the fair, with Scott and Eric leading a discussion on “How to teach an old house new tricks”. The talk will focus on how you can add bungalow charm to an existing newer home to add vintage elements and character. Gelotte Hommas loves bungalow style, as you can see from our work on the Medina Bungalow, Bungalow on the Beach and Kirkland Bungalow.
We’re ecstatic about these upcoming events, and are excited to share them with you here. Will you be attending either of the conferences or the open house? If so, tell us in a comment!