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.

Getting to Know You

Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture thrives on relationships. Our clients trust us with their dream homes, with the ideas they’ve been gathering and treasuring for years. We take seriously that trust. We strive to build on it and to create an environment where our clients (you!) feel heard, understood, and valued.

30th Anniversary 197
Curtis Gelotte (far right) at the annual Gelato, Hummus, and Drinks anniversary celebration.

As we enter into your vision for your home project, we learn about your preferences, your lifestyle, and your vision. Here’s how we begin every home project.

Understanding Your Life

We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your home. Your needs are unique. As we get to know you, we ask you to fill out a Lifestyle Questionnaire that walks you through many of the details that go into a home. It’s full of prompts and questions that begin to uncover your unique story.

Understanding Your Ideas

Your dream house ought to be uniquely you. To understand your long-held dreams, we ask for your scrapbook of ideas–those images, articles, and other items that you’ve been collecting as you ponder your project. Houzz and Pinterest are great tools for collecting your images and notes in a format that’s easily accessible to the rest of your design team.

Understanding Your Vision

Most importantly, we listen. In every meeting, our ears are attuned to your preferences, your concerns, and your vision. You’ve essentially invited us into the your home–although that home’s yet to break ground–and your input is vital. We are artists, and your vision is our inspiration.


Ultimately, our goal is to partner with you in your custom home design journey. As one of our architects wrote, “We are doing our job when you can go home in the evening and not worry about what you should be doing next in the process. Our goal is to accept all of that responsibility so you don’t have to worry.”  

Crafting a Healthy Home

A healthy home is a happy home. So goes the old adage. And there’s truth to it. We spend forty to fifty percent of our lives in our homes–sleeping, cooking, entertaining, viewing Netflix. That’s why the healthiness of a home is crucial to the well-being of its inhabitants. Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture understands the importance of a home’s overall health, and we factor this into the design and materials we incorporate into each custom home.

Despite the advances in our understanding of human health and how various chemicals and materials impact the environment, modern homes often still lack the details necessary to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. We’ve gathered a few simple, healthy living tips to help you maintain a healthier home.

A Touch of Normandy Tradtional + Design Design + Interior

Watch Where You Sit

Cushions, throw pillows, and upholstery collect dust, dander, and skin cell particles over time. Factor these plush items into your cleaning rotation, and replace them when they get too worn.

Reduce Clutter

Unnecessary clutter collects dust, creates stress, and hampers productivity–all negative factors for your health. Donate items you don’t use regularly and clear up space to enjoy the home design you so diligently crafted.

Designing an in-home art gallery


Light refreshes the body and soothes the soul, especially in the Pacific Northwest where winter brings an increase in seasonal affective disorder. When designing or remodeling a home, make natural light a priority. If you still need more light, add mirrors and bright-colored finishes to your decor to maximize what natural light is available.

…and Airy

When building a healthy home, selecting the perfect HVAC system is important. However, that HVAC system must be regularly maintained to ensure that it provides proper ventilation and keeps the air clean. Consider a quarterly maintenance check to ensure you’re breathing the best, most efficient air. Adding houseplants to your interior decor adds vibrant life to your home and further cleanses the air, ensuring that your HVAC circulates the purest air possible.

Clean Cleaners

Nearly 85% of the dirt in your home comes in on your shoes. Place doormats outside entrances and remove your shoes as soon as possible to significantly decrease the amount of dirt you track in. For the dirt and germs that do cross your threshold, opt for nontoxic cleaning agents. More and more nontoxic cleaners are emerging on the market, and choosing them can help reduce indoor air pollution.

The Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture team constantly collects information on the healthiest, most effective building materials, and we’d be honored to create a safe, happy, healthy home for you and your loved ones.

This Seaside Bathroom is Sure to Wow

Asymmetrical ceilings add charm and character to this New England-inspired bathroom.
Asymmetrical ceilings add charm and character to this New England-inspired bathroom.

Dreaming of a spa-like master bath? Gelotte Hommas architects designed a stunner of a bathroom in their Cape Cod inspired home, Northeast by Northwest. Here are some of the design features that make this beautiful bathroom so enviable:

  • A dramatic ceiling brings a touch of romance. Traditional Cape Cod’s include sharply steepled roofs. This design aspect is apparent in Northeast by Northwest’s master bath, with a few additional twists. The sky-high ceiling is punctuated where walls were added to include a water closet and walk-in shower. The area above the bathtub is also steepled, creating an alcove with recessed lighting that highlights the area. A simple chandelier and sconces add to the charm.
  • Sand tones compliment the stunning ocean views. This bathroom has several windows, including those above the bathtub that let in light and views of the crystal clear ocean water below. The sand toned tiling, countertops, and walls underscore these relaxing views. The mirrors on the adjacent wall give the appearance that the sea is surrounding the room on three sides.
  • Elegant white built-ins add character and plenty of room for storage. The crown moldings that appear along the top of the built-ins add to the period charm of the room. With the built-ins concentrated along one wall, the room feels open and spacious.

If you’re interested in including a luxurious bathroom in your dream home, contact Gelotte Hommas Architects for a design consultation.

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!

Impress Your Houseguests With a Beautiful Firepit

Backyard firepits are sure to please the homeowners fortunate enough to have them on their premises.
Backyard firepits are sure to please the homeowners fortunate enough to have them on their premises.

Even though fire can no longer claim the same importance in our lives that it commanded from our predecessors, it still retains something of its primordial appeal. Perhaps it is the beautiful visuals of its ever-changing existence or perhaps it is the storied relationship between home and hearth. Whatever the cause, backyard firepits are sure to please the homeowners fortunate enough to have them on their premises.

If you are interested in learning more about how firepits can impress, then you should consider the example of the one found in Lakefront Splendor. There is nothing about it that has not been chosen to strengthen the firepits’ symbolic significance with symmetry. Something that can be seen in how the firepit is situated in the center of a square-shaped cutout, surrounded by a square-shaped table that is surrounded in turn by eight chairs positioned two to each of the table’s four sides.

This pleasing symmetry is both a contrast and a complement to the rest of the home’s backyard. The cool hardscape of the firepit stands out in contrast to the ornamental plants that cover much of its surroundings, even while its angular lines serve to complement the greenery’s orderly and well-maintained appearance. Likewise, the firepit both contrasts and complements the nearby pool, which also sits in a four-sided enclosure.

That said, this particular firepit is also as safe and secure to use as backyard firepits should be. The presence of the table ensure that people cannot hurt themselves by proximity to the fire. Similarly, the stone tiles in the immediate surroundings serve to keep potentially flammable greenery at a distance where sparks cannot reach. Combined, these characteristics make this particular firepit as practical as it is pleasing to the senses.

To learn more, please contact us once you have the time.

Love Art? Build In the Perfect Art Gallery to House Your Favorite Works

If you love art, there is no better way to indulge your appreciation than to build your own collection of paintings and drawings. Once you have this collection, however, it deserves a place of honor in your home. Use these home design inspiration tips to create an art gallery where your favorite works can be appreciated and enjoyed by your family and guests.

Designing an in-home art gallery
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  • Create an artistic and revolutionary look by using micro-cement to create sculpted structures, including sinks or a bar area. It’s important that everything in this gallery room flows, and using one medium to create the entire space helps ensure this. The art work will really call attention to itself on the walls without you having to create elaborate displays.
  • You’ll want plenty of natural light to shine into your gallery. This makes the colors in the artwork really pop and all of the details stand out. Floor-to-ceiling windows are a good choice, as are large, multi-paned windows.
  • When you have guests over, you’ll likely want to enjoy some cocktails while admiring the newest addition to your collection. Make this easier by incorporating a hidden wine or liquor cabinet into your art gallery design.
  • Industrial lighting gives an art gallery a truly modern feel. Use simple, hanging pendant lights on the ceiling. You can also integrate some ambient lighting around pieces. Wall sconces underneath or above paintings can make them stand out with a splash of light.

The Architects at Gelotte Hommas have years of experience designing special purpose rooms including art galleries. Contact us to discuss these and other home design inspiration ideas that can make your Seattle home unique.

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.

Keys to Decorating a New Home

Gelotte Hommas Architecture - Living room and Kitchen:dining

Gelotte Hommas Architecture -  Living room and Kitchen:diningIf you’re moving to a new place, you’ve obviously got a lot of things on your to-do list, and we understand that decorating a new home may be last thing on the list. But taking time now to plan your new home’s layout will make the decorating process much easier.

To make decorating a new home as easy as possible, we’ve outlined some of what we feel are the most important steps in the process, courtesy of

  • Plan your layout: Furniture is heavy, but newspaper or cardboard cut-outs are not. Use them to plan where your furniture will go prior to moving in, or create a virtual floor plan online so that all of your heaviest things can move straight to their new locations without a lot of shuffling around. Trust us – your back will thank you.
  • Make a budget: If you’re up-sizing, it’s easy to get carried away with new furniture and accessories, but a “get it now, pay for it later” approach could leave you paying off your purchases well after their prime. Instead, tackle each room individually by following a budget and using home-made or second-hand accessories when possible.
  • Show your colors: Off-white walls are a safe way to sell a property, but too much of it can leave you feeling bored. Kick things up by adding color to your home through the use of colorful accents, rugs or window coverings. Use our Autumn-inspired color palette to help you decide what colors work best for you.

Many emotions accompany the move to a new place; from excitement and anticipation to fear and panic. But you can help make the transition smooth and enjoyable by planning for it in advance, including plans to decorate.

Do you have questions about decorating a new space? Contact us today at Gelotte Hommas Architects.

Creative Ways to Add Accent Colors in the Home

Gelotte hommas colorful bedroom

Gelotte hommas colorful bedroomWhether you’ve been in your home for years or are just starting out, taking the plunge into a fresh color scheme can be a bit intimidating. But it certainly doesn’t have to be when you have a game-plan and a few extra bucks in your pocket. Use some of these ideas to bring color into your home with these easy ways to add accent color.

Choose your color scheme: Choosing a color scheme that works well in your home is easier than you might think – just leave the paint swatch isle for a few days. Seriously. Instead, spend this time looking at your things — accessories, wall art or rugs, for example, and choose your scheme from there. This will not only save you hours in the paint isle, but will help pull your room together by incorporating like colors throughout it.

Paint something – or don’t: Yes, paint is a great way to add color to a room and can be done fairly easily and quickly, but it isn’t the only option. You can also add color to your room with the use of throw pillows or a complementary piece of furniture which falls into your color scheme. Still itching to paint? Try painting a window frame only, or give accessories or lighting a face-lift by painting those.

Treat your windows: Curtains or other window coverings are a great way to add a splash of color to any room for relatively cheap, and can even help save on energy costs, too! Best of all, you can switch out your curtains as the seasons change giving your home fresh color year-round.

There are many easy ways to add accent color to your home including these ideas from For more great home design advice, contact Gelotte Hommas today!

GHA featured on Materialicious right now – go check it out! (no really)

Materialicious is an online mecca for all things design, and today some homes by Gelotte Hommas are being featured.

Hillcrest Farm being featured on Materialicious

From architecture to fashion, automobiles to wood, and everything in between.  If it’s made of material, design related, and trendy you will find it on Materialicious.

This is one more amazing resource for design inspiration we send our clients to.