Navigating a Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is one of the most used—and most loved—spaces in the home. It’s also a unique opportunity to perfectly merge the best of form and function. Kitchen remodels can be simultaneously exciting and daunting, yet they’re a great way to breathe new life into your home.

Here are a few points to consider before embarking on a kitchen remodel.

The Layout

Classic style kitchen remodels from Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

Functionality is essential in the kitchen. If your design doesn’t work with your lifestyle, you’ll regret the time and resources you poured into the endeavour. As you contemplate a kitchen remodel, pay careful attention to your current setup. What works and what doesn’t? What feels effortless and what feels inconvenient? The classic work triangle suggests that kitchens should arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove in a triangular pattern to save unnecessary steps. Also consider how often you have multiple people working in the same space—do you need more than one workstation in the kitchen?

The People

Bright, artistic kitchen remodels from Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

While Pinterest and HGTV make DIY kitchen remodels seem doable, it’s important to be honest with yourself regarding skills, abilities, and time. In order to create a space that truly works—on time, on budget, and for years to come—consult the experts. An architect can help you approach your kitchen design more strategically. Architects help you explore designs that reflect your style and meet your needs. Even after the initial design, a residential architect works with you to navigate the remodel process, track your budget, manage the project, and hire the right contractors to execute your vision, ensuring that your remodel gets done right.

The Unexpected

Pacific Northwest style kitchen remodels from Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture

As with any major home project, expect the unexpected. Approach your remodel with an adventurous spirit, knowing even with meticulous planning, interesting problems often arise. These unexpected moments are opportunities for creative problem solving that lead to beautiful results. To be on the safe side, however, budget extra time and money for contingencies.

We’re privileged to walk with homeowners through the remodel process. From first dream to final design, we help our clients craft the perfect space for their unique lifestyles—one that’s timeless, beautiful, and functional. Contact us to learn more.

Grandeur and Elegance in Lake Sammamish Architecture

Designed to meet the unique needs and tastes of the homeowners, this Tuscan style home brings Old World charm to Lake Sammamish architecture.

First Impressions

A spacious auto court featuring the best of Lake Sammamish architecture.

From first approach, Lake Sammamish Tuscan transports visitors and residents to the shores of the Mediterranean. The sprawling, brick-paved auto court sets the scene with exotic flora and a classic arched entryway leads to an ornately carved front door.

Through the Front Door

The elegant entryway of a Tuscan style home.

Inside, the foyer sets the stage, introducing warm elegance and luxury with archways and the sweeping curves of the ceiling. Classic sconces highlight the architectural elements of the Tuscan style home.


Lake Sammamish architecture featuring a spacious great room.

The timeless home embraces wide open spaces in the central living area. The kitchen boasts a 15-foot island that looks out into the living room beyond, allowing the residents to move seamlessly between casual appetizers at the counter and comfortable conversation on the couch.

The living room features a second-story arched gallery along with coffered ceilings, ensuring that the welcoming, comfortable space never loses its sense of luxury.


Tuscan style home office.

Off the main living area lies a private study. A grand desk and well-appointed leather chairs bring a sense of formality to the room, and floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves provide storage and display space for the residents’ book collection. A discreet staircase leads from the study to the master suite.

Master Suite

Master suite bathroom in a Tuscan style home.

Upstairs, the master suite perfectly maintains the Mediterranean motif. Unlike the central living spaces, low ceilings with classic crown molding create a greater sense of intimacy and comfort. A faded pastoral mural adorns the master bathroom and mosaic tiles continue to breathe story from the very walls of the Tuscan style home.

Out Back

Lake Sammamish architecture from one of Seattle's premier architecture companies.

Lake Sammamish Tuscan fully embraces its waterfront views. Decks and balconies allow residents to easily move between outdoor and indoor spaces, enjoying the lakefront view from every height. A poolside patio with exquisite landscaping provides an ideal destination for summer guests to lounge and enjoy the best of Pacific Northwest living.

If you’re interested in designing a Tuscan style home of your own, we’d be honored to guide you in that journey. Contact us now.

Design Inspiration: 5 Home Offices

With advancements in technology making it ever easier to work remotely, an increasing number of professionals are taking advantage of the ability to work from home. Yet working from home presents its own unique challenges. Professionals still need a dedicated, distraction free space to focus and be productive.

We’ve gathered a few of our favorite home office designs.

Pop of Color

Ratio House mingles natural wood and stone tones with pops of color. A bright red chair and rich textured door add life to the designated work space and a subtly curved wood desk softens the stark lines of the ribbon fireplace.

Into the Woods

Cedar Haven merges home and forest at every opportunity. The spacious home office boasts floor to ceiling windows that look directly into the woods beyond. Classic wood cabinetry imbue an understated beauty along with ample storage space.

Bright Nook

Classic on the Green’s home office makes the most of a bright nook. With elegant symmetry, the white desk and cabinets offer space to work and stay organized without feeling overly formal.

Formal & Friendly

Ravenswood Farm embraces a spacious, classic home office design. Light pours through the wall of windows and the French doors that lead out onto the lawn. Ornately painted Windsor chairs bring a sense of classic charm to the space.

Artist’s Retreat

Prairie House in the Virginia Woods makes space for creative work. Bright nooks and and walls of windows allow the homeowner views of the natural world outside, bringing inspiration within reach.

If you have questions or want to talk through options for boosting your home office design to fit your needs, contact us.

A Step Above: Beauty in Staircases

Great staircases exist for more than mere function. They’re a statement, an expression of style. They require space in prominent areas of your home, after all, so they should be beautiful.

Here’s a collection of our favorite staircase designs to inspire you:

Classic Charm

Classic staircase design in Kirkland, WA.

Classic on the Green‘s elegant staircase wraps squarely around the entryway. The wood steps are classically dressed with a thick stair runner and finished with a dark wood and metal bannister.

Simple Elegance

Classic staircase design in Bellevue.

Canvas and Light presents a clean, timeless staircase design, favoring the contrast between white and dark wood. The simplicity of the stairs allows the large painting on the wall to take center stage.

Perfect Spiral

Rustic spiral staircase design in the Pacific Northwest.

Cedar Haven‘s staircase gives homage to to the forest outside, mimicking a grove of trees in the descending railing posts. The curvature of the sculpted light fixture flows with the staircase and perfectly reflects its spiral.

Contemporary Symmetry

Modern staircase design in Meydenbauer, WA.

Meydenbauer Place embraces symmetry and function in staircase design. Two sets of stairs lead up to the two private wings of the home. Metal and glass create a clean, modern aesthetic for this family home.

Tansu Steps

Staircase design in Seattle.

Asian Ambiance maximizes potential storage space by honoring the home’s Japan-inspired style. The staircase models a traditional tansu hutch, complete with shelving, drawers, and display steps for the homeowner’s art.

Eclectic Tones

The eclectic Hatari project embraces color in its patio staircase. Rich wood stain catches different tones in the wood and sprawling landings create a leisurely path to the dock below.

Staircase design presents a wealth of opportunity for creativity and expression. Traditional and modern, straight and spiral, a staircase can be as unique as your custom home.

At Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl, we carefully tailor every part of a home to suit our clients’ unique needs and style. Contact us to begin your own custom home journey.

Casa del Sol: An Island Vacation Home

Regardless of season, knowing that you’ve got a quiet place to escape to makes all the difference. Vacation homes in the Pacific Northwest capture the wonders of our region, inspiring us with days by the beach or afternoons breathing mountain air. They provide space to disconnect from work and the busyness of modern life.

Pacific Northwest vacation home design in the San Juan Islands.
Pacific Northwest vacation home design in the San Juan Islands.

Casa del Sol embodies the best of Pacific Northwest vacation home design. Tucked away in Washington’s San Juan Islands, the home merges the best of indoor comforts with outdoor living.


Casa del Sol's light-filled living space.
Casa del Sol’s light-filled living space.

Built for community, Casa del Sol features a bright, spacious living area cased in windows and sliding walls. An organized kitchen lies at the center of the open concept area, with dining space and a seating area on either side.

A stunning master bedroom in a Pacific Northwest vacation home.
Bringing luxury comforts and stunning views to the master suite.

Yet while the vacation home offers ample space to mingle, it doesn’t neglect opportunity for solitude. The master suite offers its own views of the Strait. A large stone fireplace anchors the bedroom’s soaring ceilings and imbues the room with a sense of rustic timelessness.


Great vacation home design makes every effort to draw visitors outdoors.
Great vacation home design makes every effort to draw visitors outdoors.

Casa del Sol beckons its visitors outside. Off the dining room lies a stunning covered patio. An outdoor dining table and seating area look out on the San Juan Islands and a stately stone fireplace offers the promise of cozy, warm evenings outside.

A Pacific Northwest vacation home with quiet spots to lounge in the sun.
A quiet spot to lounge in the sun.

Elsewhere, decks offer lounge chairs and nooks to read, talk, or simply bask in the sun.
We’re honored to design our clients’ ideal retreat, and we’d love to hear about your dreams for the perfect vacation home. Contact us to learn more.

Redmond Retreat: Beauty in Design

Perched atop a secluded hill, Redmond Retreat feels like a world unto itself. While only minutes away from downtown Redmond and all the amenities the city has to offer, the custom home maximizes its location and landscaping to create a scenic shelter from the world around it.

Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this Redmond custom home with an eye to the natural beauty around it.
Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this home to take advantage of natural light from every side.

As Redmond architect Scott Hommas approached this project, he sought to capture the beauty of the landscape from every room of the home. Each space frames the beauty of the natural world outside its windows, and each side of the home takes advantage of sunlight at various points in the day.

Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this Redmond custom home with an eye to the natural beauty around it.
The front walkway frames the custom home with lush landscaping.

From first approach, landscaping frames the home, sets the scene, and guides visitors to the front porch.

Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this Redmond custom home with an eye to the natural beauty around it.
Stone anchors the Redmond custom home with a sense of permanence.

The the custom home’s core materials reflect the surroundings. Stone anchors the home with a sense of permanence and timelessness. The natural imperfection of the rough-hewn stone walls and columns brings texture and intrigue to the home’s design.

Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this Redmond custom home with an eye to the natural beauty around it.
The living room windows look out into the treetops.

Expansive windows allow light to pour through the house and connect each space to the outdoors.

Rich wood trim, beams, and flooring bring a warm contrast to the cool stone and glass textures and bring elements of the surrounding trees inside.

Redmond architect Scott Hommas designed this Redmond custom home with an eye to the natural beauty around it.
A secluded private garden offers residents a quiet, sun-bathed retreat.

Redmond Retreat’s master suite echoes the front walkway with a secluded garden path. Small patios offer quiet outdoor spaces for reading, eating breakfast, and basking in the sun.

From front door to back garden, Redmond Retreat embraces its surroundings. It draws inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s innate beauty and leans into the comforts of home.

We consider it a privilege to work with our clients to create homes uniquely suited to their needs, taste, and lifestyle. Contact us to begin your custom home journey.

Destination Bathtubs

Master bathrooms are a place of retreat. They’re often one of the first rooms you enter in the morning and one of the last you see at night. As such, they should be beautiful and uniquely suited to your style.

Current design trends place ever more attention on the master bathroom as a space of luxury and relaxation, and an increasingly popular feature is the destination tub. Destination bathtubs carve out a unique space in bathroom design. These freestanding tubs capture views, light, and luxury.

The ever-popular freestanding tub is now more like a free-range tub, out in its own pasture, creating a destination all its own, with a great view and other accessories to turn bathing into a significant event.


Chic and Modern

Sharp, modern bathroom design from Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture
Chic, modern master bathroom design from Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture.

One of the most fantastical elements of our Seattle Storybook Cottage remodel is its blending of the whimsical and the modern. The freestanding tub creates a stunning focal point in this sharp, clean bathroom.

Light and Classic

Destination bathtubs create spaces of luxury and beauty in the master suite.
A classic clawfoot tub anchors Woodway Manor’s master bath.

Woodway Manor shines light on a classic clawfoot tub with an expansive skylight that allows sunshine to pour into the space. Sconces and chandeliers add to the luxury ambiance as nearby windows allow for clear views of the Pacific Northwest scenery.

Wild and Free

Hillcrest Farm takes destination bathtubs to new heights with a grotto-style tub overlooking an indoor garden.
Hillcrest Farm’s grotto style bathroom, by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture.

Hillcrest Farm’s master bathroom allows its occupants to step into a private grotto, where water cascades from the rocks and the tub looks out on an interior garden. It’s a world unto itself.

As you rethink your master bathroom, consider which features add the most serenity, comfort, and enjoyment to your life, and think about how those features can become a focal point for aesthetic beauty. We’d be honored to help you design your ideal master suite. Contact us for more information.

Best of Houzz 2019

We’re excited to announce that Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture was awarded “Best of Houzz 2019” in the Design category!

The Best of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community.

It’s an honor to know that both design professionals and homeowners looking to improve or build new homes have found inspiration in our designs.

Ratio House

Ratio House, by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture. A contemporary style home in Seattle.

Our most popular design image on Houzz has been Ratio House’s exterior. Ratio House was born from a dated 1970s home desperately in need of transformation. The homeowners trusted our architectural design team with the extensive remodel, and we embarked on a creative partnership to create their dream home.

Outside, we replaced and adjusted the roof, allowing for more natural light to pour in through the windows. The limestone entry flanked by wood and stucco walls mixes color and texture for an appealing façade, and a Japan-inspired front walkway brings water, stone, and plant-life together complement the house.

Kirkland architects use texture in home design
Ratio House, by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture. A contemporary style home in Seattle.

Both in plan, elevation and detail the contemporary style home is designed using rigorous proportioning systems including Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio, imbuing the home with scale and beauty via grids and patterns shown on the front door, the luminous entry ceiling, and throughout the interior. The extensive use of natural stone, steel, and richly stained woods creates a warm, inviting, and simultaneously dynamic interior, highlighted by the owners’ collection of art.

As Houzz users find inspiration in our project images, we find inspiration in our clients. We pursue the art of architecture by crafting homes that uniquely suit our clients. Each home reflects the specific style of the homeowner and moulds to the way they live life.

Follow us on Houzz as we continue to pursue the art of architecture!

Why Daylighting Matters

“Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.”

Walt Whitman

Home design is much more than creating a beautiful space. It’s the art of crafting a space that works for you, and it challenges us to consider how we can merge healthy living and architecture.

Natural light is one of the most abundant and accessible features you can add to any home. It transcends passing fads. It compliments any design style. It highlights beauty. It adds to the health and quality of life for everyone who uses that space. And as we progress into the 21st century, more and more homeowners are prioritizing their desire for a light-filled home.

Natural light merges the best of healthy living and architecture

In architecture and interior design, we place specific emphasis on a need for daylighting, that is, using natural light to illuminate interior spaces. While there are countless design tactics to welcome natural light into a space, we’ll first explore how natural light is central to a healthy home.


Daylighting has a tremendous impact on health and lifestyle. One study revealed that individuals who spend most of their waking hours exposed to daylight are significantly more alert at the beginning of the evening and those who spend their days under artificial light experience greater levels of sleepiness.

Other research suggests a link between prolonged exposure to artificial light and obesity. Natural light reduces the inclination to overeat and encourages increased movement and engagement with the outside world.  

Fresh Air

Natural light merges the best of healthy living and architecture

Daylighting contributes to fresher, cleaner air throughout the home. A lack of natural light is one of the most common causes of stale smells within a home. However, sunlight naturally kills bacteria and mold. Windows, window walls, and French doors offer great architectural solutions to maximize sunlight and, in the summer, circulate fresh air throughout the home.


Daylighting contributes to a greener, more sustainable home design. As technology advances and high-quality glass materials continue to evolve, daylighting becomes a practical solution for home energy usage. Inviting natural light to flood the home reduces reliance your home’s daytime energy usage.

As you plan for your dream home, consider how your home design can optimize your health and lifestyle choices. It’s part of looking at the big picture of home design and merging healthy living and architecture.  

5 Home Trends for 2019

2019 is here, and as with each new calendar year, the design world is rife with predictions on the top trends for the coming year. Here are a few to watch for.

Window Walls

2019 home trends to watch: kitchen window walls

Natural light is always an asset. It brings a space to life with natural warmth and intrigue. Watch for an increase in kitchen window walls in this year’s home remodels and new builds. These banks of windows offer excellent opportunities to frame the room with stunning views of your Pacific Northwest surroundings.


While subway tile’s popularity is by no means diminishing, it is taking on creative twists. Larger blocks set in a herringbone, chevron, or stacked pattern create a fresh take on a classic kitchen backsplash.

For a bolder look, full tile backsplash walls with colorful patterns create a visual focal point in an open-floor plan.

Mediterranean Style

2019 home trends to watch: Mediterranean style interior designs
2019 home trends to watch: Mediterranean style interior designs

Houzz predicts a growing interest in Spanish and Mediterranean style interiors. The light-filled, comfortable style offers a timeless aesthetic for a home’s living space. Mitchell Parker describes the style as merging of “creamy white plaster walls, linen upholstery, a collected look, wrought iron light fixtures, large fireplaces and natural wood architectural elements like ceiling beams.”

Quartz Counters

Quartz counters are surging in popularity. With durability, diverse design selections, easy cleaning, and low maintenance, they’re a practical alternative to natural stone countertops.

Focal Tubs

2019 home trends to watch: destination tubs

As larger master bathrooms remain a priority in home remodels and new builds, bathtubs are receiving extra emphasis. Free standing tubs are getting their own space in the bathroom, creating a luxury spa experience for everyday use. These destination tubs are set against stunning views, beneath light-filled skylights, or nestled up to an electric fireplace insert.

At Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture, we don’t focus on design trends alone. While they do inform and impact home choices, we work with our clients to create great designs that push beyond fads and into timeless beauty. It’s part of pursuing the art of architecture at every turn.

Let’s see what 2019 brings!