Bamboo Flooring for Your Home

wood flooring on a deck

One of the hottest trends in home construction and remodeling right now is bamboo flooring, and with good reason. Hardwood flooring is one of the most sought-after features when people are buying a new home, due to its appearance, ease of care, and low maintenance. Add to that the “eco-friendly” moniker that follows bamboo flooring, and you have a good-looking material that our company, Gelotte Hommas Architecture, loves to use.

wood flooring on a deck
Source: Gelotte Hommas

Bamboo makes a great flooring material due to its similarities to other hardwood flooring choices. Not only does it look great and withstand lots of traffic, it also naturally resists moisture, the biggest enemy of hardwood flooring.

It is officially designated as a grass, not wood like other flooring materials. It grows much faster in nature, and therefore is seen as a more renewable material. While bamboo reaches maturity in three to five years, comparable hardwoods need 20 to 120 years. The root of the bamboo plant is not removed when bamboo is harvested, meaning there is no need to replant. Also, from growing to manufacture, bamboo requires fewer harmful chemicals in the form of pesticides and fertilizers. While all hardwood flooring is treated with volatile organic chemicals in the lamination process, bamboo flooring requires far less than other types, and in some cases none at all.

Besides the environmental benefits of bamboo flooring, there’s the unique look and appeal it brings to your home. That’s another reason why our company loves to use it in a variety of styles and applications.

No matter what you have in mind for your dream home, Gelotte Hommas Architecture wants to help you make it a reality. Contact us today and let us get to work on your vision of exceptional design.

Wooden slab into conference room fab: Re-purposing

Re-purposing materials for another use is a part of our architectural practice with our projects, but it doesn’t stop there. When we moved into our current office building four years ago we gained an extra conference room. A bigger conference room, which of course needed a bigger conference room table. The current table that we had was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (of course) and although it is pretty fancy and Frank Lloyd Wright-ish, the table itself posed some problems.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed table


Custom Gelotte Hommas Architecture conference room table

Say hello to our conference room table.

This is a 12 foot long table made out of two 6 feet long re-purposed wood slabs. We have some renderings on the wall and some art, but the thing that most of our clients end up admiring the most is this table (for obvious reasons). We worked with Urban Hardwoods here in Seattle to custom select and create this work of art.

The major problem with our original conference room table was that it was too small. With a growing office came a growing staff and the need to fit more than four people at the table. Once we figured out that we wanted to use re-purposed wood to make our table, as well as the general dimensions we wanted, then Curt went to work designing his masterpiece.

This cantilevered table is more of a joint technology and thus there are no legs getting in the way of our legs or our chairs.

Our table joints. They are attached under the table length wise with the foundation also running length wise.


Eric Drivdahl chose the final pieces that make up this table. As you can see it had some major “blemishes” that we chose to keep. The fine folks over at Urban Hardwoods are master’s at this and thus knew where to install a dove tail, as well as which cracks and crevices to fill with resin and which one’s could be left as is.

One of the two blemishes left on filled with resin

We are just so very pleased with the way the table came out, and most of our clients agree with us.
Do you have anything re-purposed in your home or office? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Winners of the 2011 Solar Decathlon Rejoice in Their Energy Efficient Triumph

Last year in October we discussed some of the happenings at the 2010 Solar Decathlon, an “annual collegiate competition that focuses on solar power and green building techniques”, and how the topic of responsive architecture was discussed. If you’re unfamiliar with the competition, teams work on a project for two years with goals in mind as they build a house that:

  • Is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
  • 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)
This home was created during the Solar Decathlon by the UT Knoxville team. Image via Eco Friend.

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:

  • Maryland 951.151
  • Purdue 931.390
  • 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.

Green Design: The Longevity of Your Home

If you have noticed from our blog posts, Gelotte Hommas puts great emphasis on the power and principle of green living and design. By creating sustainable homes, we ensure that each of our creative and inspired spaces puts as little burden on the environment as possible, while ensuring that its occupants enjoy their space. While we’ve talked about materials, design techniques, and energy efficient additions that make a house green, we’ve yet to discuss another important aspect of eco-friendly architecture and life: Longevity.

Learn more about how one family built their home to last them their lifetime in our next post, as pictured in this photo by Jessica Haye and Clark Hsiao for Dwell.

The longer you use something, the longer you go without replacing it. In today’s world, the concept of having a different home to fit each stage of your life is common. On average, you’ll buy about three homes in your lifetime: A starter home, a home for your family, and an empty nest abode.

Each one of these homes is another space that you’ll use, change, remodel, build, or somehow impact the environment with your time there. Even just hiring the moving truck to transfer from one location to the other detracts from your sustainable lifestyle.

Start thinking about how you can make your home last a lifetime instead of a mere 5-7 years. Check out our blog on Monday to read about one family that built their home for a lifetime, and how you can make your space adapt to you walk in life.

How long have you lived in your home?


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.


Accenting Indoor Architecture With Plant-Infused Green Walls

There’s a new product and trend in architecture that’s positively infatuating: Accenting indoor architecture with plant-infused green walls. These walls are literally walls of plant life to help bring the outdoors in, to infuse more urban spaces with plant life, and to help filter the air indoors.

This plant-lined walk way is colorful, modern, and inviting, with added touches of whimsy to make it something spectacular.

Rather than placing a ficus in the corner, wouldn’t you rather have a mobile hedge as part of your home or office architecture?

This hedge is for your indoor design, and can be moved about at will.

How about a wall of coleus to add color and clean the air of your lobby area?

Help your clients breath easy with this structural accent.

These structural plants are from Green Works, and come in a nice variety of plant life, shape, and form. At the forefront of eco-friendly and environmentally sound architecture, Gelotte Hommas is excited to see  yet another amazing element added to the ingenuity of such projects.

If you’re looking to design a green commercial or residential property, let our firm handle it for you. Gelotte Hommas is well versed in eco-friendly architecture and can create a modern, well-designed space that perfectly fits your needs while working to preserve and protect the Earth around it. Contact us today for more information.