Home Decor That Can Boost Your Mood

room with natural light

The way you choose to decorate your home says a lot about your personality to the guests who come inside for dinner parties and gatherings. However, your home décor is also something you live with on a daily basis, and it can greatly affect your mood in a positive or negative way. If you want to boost your mood while making your home look the best it can, use these home design inspiration tips from Gelotte Hommas Architecture to help you do exactly that. You’ll feel better about every minute you spend at home.

room with natural light
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  • Make sure your home has plenty of lighting options and gets as much natural light as possible. Use a combination of overhead lighting, task lighting like floor lamps or table lamps, and accent lighting like sconces on the wall. Using dimmer switches can also give you more control over how your home is lit from morning to late at night.
  • Bring the outside of your home in. One simple way to do this is to add French doors from your living room or kitchen to the backyard. If your home is very contemporary, large glass sliding panels may be more appropriate and produce the same effect.
  • Add more pieces of furniture with soft, rounded edges instead of hard corners. This works because rounded edges tend to make people more content. For items like glass tables or countertops, a bevel or bullnose edge can provide a rounded look.
  • Include more personal items in your décor. Small items like family photos or unique pieces of memorabilia from a trip you took can work with your home décor and make you smile each time you see them.

Contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture for more home design inspiration you can use to elevate the look of your home.

How to Think Through Your Master Bath Plan

master bath design tips

Master bathrooms allow homeowners to enjoy some quiet and privacy at the end of a busy day, and they also provide a comfortable and luxurious place to get ready in the morning. There are several possibilities for designing a master bath, depending on the homeowner’s preferences and the layout of the home.

master bath design tips
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Homeowners can use the following tips to help them think about how they want their master bath set up:

  • Space. Ensuring enough space to move around comfortably is important. The room should have clear pathways that are at least 36 inches, especially around sinks and bathtubs. More room might be needed if two people will be sharing the master bathroom.
  • Placement. Sinks should be easy to get to as soon as the occupant enters the room. Bathtubs can serve as a focal point, especially if they feature an unusual design. Showers should be placed in areas that are the most resistant to water. They can go in a more open area of the bathroom or be installed with more privacy in mind. Toilets should be installed where they will be out of sight, and an exhaust fan or window should also be included. If there is enough space, a linen closet can also go in a master bath.
  • Measurements. Sink cabinets are typically between 24 and 36 inches wide, although they can be up to 48 inches wide. Standard tubs measure between 60 and 72 inches long and between 30 and 42 inches wide. Comfortable showers are generally between 36 inches deep and 48 inches wide.

Our Houghton Contemporary project showcases the possibilities involved for a master bathroom. Visit our online portfolio to view images.

Ready to get started on your master bathroom project? Contact Gelotte Hommas for a consultation, and follow our Facebook page.

Architecture Ideas: Making Your Walls Into Art

Concrete design tips

Instead of covering your walls with art, why not make the walls themselves a part of your home’s artwork? At Gelotte Hommas Architecture, we take an artistic approach to every home design, and we have designed many homes in which the choice of materials, placement, and shape of walls have played vital roles in the home’s overall artistic nature. Here is a look at a few artistic wall architecture trends that you can use to enhance your home’s look.

  • Choose wall materials of contrasting textures. Some materials, such as traditional drywall and metal, have smooth textures that cause them not to call any attention to themselves when used alone. When you pair some of these smooth wall surfaces with a rough wall made of wood, concrete, or brick, you suddenly notice the artistic contrast between the smoothness and the roughness.
  • Concrete is the key to simplicity. Less is often more when it comes to designing artful walls. A few well-placed flowers against a concrete exterior wall can create a balanced and modern look. If your goal is simplicity, then there truly is no better choice than poured concrete, which is also an affordable option.
  • Consider adding some greenery. If you want to give your concrete exterior wall some more personality and help it blend into the scenery for a more natural look, then install a trellis on all of part of your building’s outer walls. Plant a beautiful vining plant at the base, and within a few seasons, you will have a beautiful building covered in greenery.

At Gelotte Hommas Architecture, we are proud to design homes that are true expressions of your inner artistic nature. Contact us to learn about more modern architecture trends and how to take advantage of them in your home.

Get Inspired to Add Some Outdoor Living Areas to Your Home

Outdoor Lounge Design

Do you often look out your window and wish you spent more time outside in the beautiful sunlight? A great way to embrace the outdoors is to incorporate some outdoor living spaces in your backyard. The architects at Gelotte Hommas can help you design the perfect layout! Here are a few trendy outdoor living ideas to get you started:

Outdoor Lounge Design
Source: Freshome.com
  • A sauna makes outdoor living feel like a vacation into the land of luxury. Outdoor saunas help melt away the stress of a long day. While far more common in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States, saunas are becoming more popular and are a great investment in terms of increasing home value.
  • If you’re not a sauna person, consider installing a hot tub. They’re the perfect place to relax with friends on summer nights, and a great setting from which to observe the beauty of your gardens.
  • A fire pit or outdoor fireplace can transform your backyard into party central in the summer. Fireplaces also allow you to use your backyard when the weather is cooler, so you get more outside time in the spring and fall.
  • Do you love the look of greenery and flowers but lack the space for a sprawling garden? Wall gardens are more popular than ever. They’re also easy to care for and maintain.
  • If you want your backyard to look beautiful at all hours of the night, there’s one secret: great lighting. This is a chance to get creative. Try using ambient lighting under seating or on garden features.

When you’re ready to embrace the great outdoors, keep Gelotte Hommas in mind. Contact us to learn how our beautiful designs can transform your yard into a luxurious outdoor lounge.

Use These Tips If You’re Still Undecided On Your Floor Plan

Deciding on a Floor Plan

Choosing a floor plan for your new home is not an easy task. Since floor plans are very difficult to change once the home is built, there is a lot of pressure to make the right choices. However, solidifying your floor plan is a very important step in the home building process, so it’s important that you make these decisions in a timely manner. Use these tips to guide your mind in the right direction:

Deciding on a Floor Plan
Source: Gelotte Hommas
  1. Decide how much space you need for your family. Consider your family’s space needs realistically, and then choose a size range in square feet that meets those needs. How many bedrooms do you need for your children and possible house guests? It’s not realistic to build a 5-bedroom house for a family with one child or a 2-bedroom home for a family of five.
  2. Consider your design style when choosing a floor plan. If your home has a more modern style, try going with a more open floor plan. If your home’s style is more traditional, square rooms separated by solid doors are often the best option. Remember to consider decorating needs when deciding between open and closed floor plans. If you choose an open floor plan, colors will need to flow across your space.
  3. Keep location in mind. Look around your city, and observe the types of floor plans in your area. Are there mostly single family homes with big yards or attached multi-family homes? No one says you necessarily have to blend in with the crowd, but it doesn’t hurt to use others’ plans as inspiration.

Contact Gelotte Hommas Architecture to talk to our talented designers about your floor plan ideas.

Building a Home? Elements of the Coastal Style

At Gelotte Hommas, we specialize in turning your dreams for your new home in to a reality. No matter what style you are looking for, we know that fully capturing the feel of your new home lies in more than just making the exterior reflect a certain style. From the materials used to the form, rhythm, and light, there are a number of aspects that we take in to consideration.

Coastal design tips
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Take for example coastal-style homes. A lot more goes in to effectively achieving this style than simply locating your home near the coast. The look is sophisticated, but that does not mean it is difficult to pull off. Picking the right color palette, along with the right accessories, and you can capture coastal style no matter how far you are from the beach.

Setting the tone means picking colors that adhere to a palette based in whites, neutrals, grays, blues, and blacks. Couple that with large windows that let in lots of natural light. That natural light is the perfect highlight to the accessories that round out the coastal feel. Finishing coastal style homes involves introducing pieces of coastal art, or even just specimens collected from that last walk on the beach. There are any number of ways that they can be made a part of your new home’s decor, and they round out that coastal feel.

No matter the style, we have designed and built dream homes that double as works of art for our clients. If you are looking for someone to perfectly transition what you have in your heart in to reality, contact us.

Living on Island Time: The Multi-Island Kitchen

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?

This spacious kitchen fits three island stations, allowing you to designate specific functions for each space. Photo by Roger Davies, via Architectural Digest.

Having multiple islands or a multi-level island will make your kitchen even more efficient and accommodating, by adding such features, you also add:

  • 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.

Home For a Lifetime: Creating a Home For All Stages in Life

When designing a home, many people consider what they need right now, whether it’s a two bedroom starter home for a new couple, a small cabin for empty nesters, or a four bedroom house with a spacious layout and nice backyard for a growing family. Gelotte Hommas tries to leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible when designing a new home for someone or while remodeling their current one. Though you may take care to examine green design for the homes that you build, it’s also important to think about the environmental impact of the number of homes you’ll inhabit. One family decided to design their first home as their “forever home”, creating a space that they plan to enjoy as they raise their children and on into their elderly years.

David and Mayuku plan to enjoy this home for the rest of their lives. Photographed by Jessica Haye and Clark Hsiao for Dwell.

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.

The Artwork of Gelotte Hommas: Envisioning a Home

When you trust an architect to build your home, you’re trusting their creative eye. They often times will show you the plans that they have, but if those don’t go beyond simple sketches or blue prints, you’re stuck trying to let your imagination picture a place that you’re expecting to live in for the next few decades.

Trying to picture a home from a blueprint, especially if you’re not used to reading them, it can be like picturing your favorite character from a novel, and then watching the book to movie version. No matter how you pictured the character, the silver screen version isn’t quite what you thought it would be–Picturing a house without a clear image to go by can be the same way.

Gelotte Hommas goes beyond the blueprint with clients to show them a clear image of what direction their home is taking, and how they plan to see the finished product. We do so with colorful renderings of the home, so that you can see exactly what to expect. Here are a few examples for you; click each image to see a larger version. Too see more rendering please visit our website.


Get Ready for the Seattle Design Festival

As a member of AIA, Gelotte Hommas Architecture is more than ready for the Seattle Design Festival, coming up next month in Washington state. This year’s event is sure to be as wonderful as years past, if not better. Also this year, our firm will have a wonderful surprise to announce.

The Seattle Design Festival promises to be an amazing event.

The 2011 Seattle Design Festival is now set for September 16-25, so be sure to mark your calendars and to arrange your schedule so that you can attend. The festival is put on by AIA Seattle, and will feature a theme, “Beneath the Surface”. The festival is a lengthy event, with “10 days of tours, films, events, speakers, and more…all about architecture and design.”

So, what is our big announcement? You’ll have to attend the conference or keep an eye on our blog to find out. The best way to do the latter is to subscribe to our blog, getting the entries sent to your blog viewer or your email. Stay tuned for more exciting information!

GHA announced as an award of Merit winner for the 2011 Gold Nuggets

The Gold Nugget Awards are the largest award ceremony of it’s kind – not to mention the longest running. Based in California, the awards are geared to give recognition to exceptional individuals in the areas of design, planning and development.

We are very honored to announce that our project Lakefront Splendor is one of seven merit awards in Category 10 – Renovated or Restored Single House orProject.
This is truly an amazing home.

Lakefront Splendor - 2011 Merit Award Winner

The Grand award winners will be chosen out of the Merit Award winners for each catergory on June 23rd.
Check out the rest of the Merit winners by clicking here.

Seattle thinking about reuse. Good or bad?

Could adapting office buildings to residential be a viable solution in downtown Seattle? That’s a questionPublicola.com recently asked given the city of Seattle’s goal of bringing more housing to downtown.

The one recent example of a large-scale conversion from office to residential in Seattle that the author cites as working: The Cobb, at 4th and University.

And although adaptive reuse is a buzzword of late, the author writes that “In Seattle, both the economics and market are totally different, and it will likely be rare for all the factors required to make conversion from large-scale office to housing attractive to align. It worked at The Cobb mainly because the building is historic—it had become obsolete for modern offices and it qualified for historic tax-credit financing. In most cases, simply getting office floorplates to lay out well for residential units would be a serious encumbrance.”

What do you think? Would it be a smart strategy for urban planners and developers to keep the possibilities of reuse in mind? Could this truly triumph over demolition? Check out Publicola.com to voice your opinion.