Pacific Northwest: An Architect’s Perspective

PNW home designed by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl architects
Our architects provide custom home design services for the Pacific Northwest region.

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest, often referred to by locals as the PNW, is a region in western North America between California and Canada. Nestled between the jagged Cascade Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, the smattering of natural beauty, moderate climate, and the vibrant communities make it one of the nation’s most desirable regions to live in. The Pacific Northwest’s reputation is well earned and we are honored to serve as Pacific Northwest architects.


Pacific Northwest Highlights

  • Top tier school systems: The Pacific Northwest hosts some of the nation’s most highly ranked school systems with extremely high graduation and continuing education rates. Some of these districts include the Lake Washington School District, the Bellevue School District, and the Mercer Island school district.
  • Perfect climate: Another highlight of the PNW is the moderate climate. The summers are mild and beautiful with greenery persisting throughout the entire year thanks to the high density of evergreen trees. The winters are also mild, with temperatures usually remaining above freezing. Even periods of rain keep the region luscious and lovely year-round.
  • Thriving tech industry: As home to Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing, and hosting campuses for Google, Ebay, Expedia, and Facebook, the Pacific Northwest offers rich opportunities for technological innovation and advancement.
  • An ideal place: The Pacific Northwest is renowned as a perfect place for both professionals and families to set down roots and call home as well as a vibrant tourist destination. It is consistently ranked as one of the most desirable places to live in the country
  • Ample recreation: The Pacific Northwest is home to thousands of parks, beaches, recreation areas, and destinations. In this environment, engagement in the outdoors is unavoidable. From the Olympics to the Cascades infinite options for exploration and travel abound.

Featured Pacific Northwest Communities

PNW custom home by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
As architects, we draw inspiration from the natural beauty that dominates the Pacific Northwest.


No other city demonstrates the dynamic offerings that have come to signify the reputation of Washington State quite like Bellevue. Bellevue represents an intersection of the natural beauty of the Northwest environment and the technological ingenuity of its residents. Marked by the signature high-rise Lincoln Towers, Bellevue residents have convenient access to the bustling commerce district, shopping at Bellevue Square Mall, and an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars. The surrounding neighborhoods are all exceptional places to live. Bookended by Bridle Trails to the north and Newport Hills to the south, most neighborhoods have high livability scores and low rates of crime.



From the luxurious Woodmark Hotel to the gorgeous waterfront views at Carillon Point to the convenient access to quaint and quirky shops on Market Street, Kirkland residents have an eclectic mix of restaurant, bars, and entertainment options spanning the length of the shoreside. The Market Neighborhood is the historic and geographical center of Kirkland and was once home to city founder Peter Kirk. The summer highlight for many residents is the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Marina Bay Park. The arts are woven into the cultural fabric with the Kirkland Arts Center located just downtown.



The Pacific Northwest’s largest city is marked by a massive and growing skyline highlighted by the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, the signature Colombia Tower. Seattle residents have convenient access to a bustling commerce district and shopping from Westlake Center to Pacific Place. Home to one of the country’s most adored restaurant and bar cultures, residents are never more than a few steps away from truly spectacular cuisine and nightlife. The arts are an essential piece of Seattle’s cultural heritage and as such are guarded sacredly. The Seattle Art Museum hosts great works of art and premiere exhibits traveling the world to display their majesty. Benaroya Hall is just a few blocks away and is home to the Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Opera is located at McCaw Hall and shares grounds with both the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle – destinations for locals and tourists alike. Always in visible sight is the city’s famous waterfront, where millions of tourists come each year to visit the Seattle Aquarium, dine on fresh seafood, shop for local produce at the legendary Pike Place Market, and tap into urban northwest beauty with ease.



The world is quickly discovering that life in Medina is exceptionally good, leading to substantial growth of this community. Home to many professionals, entrepreneurs, and tech billionaires, the homes here are stunning and showcase extraordinary care in design. The city is heavily planted with beautiful trees and well-planned landscaping. Medina is a community that takes great pains to care for their special surroundings with a rare sense gratitude and purpose.

Pacific Northwest Architects Provide Home Design Suited to Your Tastes

Pacific Northwest architecture is just as diverse and dynamic as the residents who dwell here. Early Pacific Northwest architects were the English settlers who saw the purpose of their homes primarily in terms of the function that they served. The homes were simple and designed to satisfy the inhabitants’ need for leisure and family connection after a long day’s work.

In the late 20th century, the tech explosion took over and the Pacific Northwest became the choice neighborhood for many local professionals. Pacific Northwest architects freely to adapt their designs to suit the complex tastes of the clients they are designing for. These residential architects often lean into contemporary modern design aesthetics—tasteful and chic. They also find demand for traditional designs and pull inspiration from the natural environment. Sprawling mansions developed with total creative originality and cutting-edge technology dot the shoreline and highlight the beauty and diversity of thoughtful architecture.

Custom home designers are always in high demand from residents seeking to make a statement in this beautiful area. Pacific Northwest luxury architects have made their mark with spectacular homes from the Colombia River to the North Cascades.

Featured Project: Lakefront Splendor

Outdoor living space designed by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
A large firepit and ample seating make this the perfect place to host and entertain on a warm summer night.

At Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl Architecture, one of our premier Pacific Northwest custom projects is Lakefront Splendor. Scott Hommas breathed new life into Lakefront Splendor’s former dated, monochromatic design. Fine details—including stained soffits and flush-based wall trim—invite warm sophistication into the remodeled home. Hommas reclaimed awkward space between the house and garage, transforming it into a spacious home office.

PNW interior design by Gelotte Hommas Drivdahl
Fire and stone elements continue inside, bringing warmth into this custom home no matter the time of year.

Custom designed steel railings ensure continuity throughout the interior, and cedar trellises lend dimension and warmth to the exterior. On warm summer days, the living room’s glass wall folds away and the home extends onto the deck with the lakefront view beyond.


Pacific Northwest Architects for Your Home

As local Pacific Northwest architects, we constantly pursue the art of architecture as the calling for our work.  The constantly evolving community of Pacific Northwest provides us with an endless opportunity to answer this calling in original and dynamic ways.

We delight in the process of merging the preferences and imaginations of our clients with the distinct character of the Pacific Northwest location that they select to build their dream home. Every project presents a new opportunity to consider more deeply how we merge form with function, and to paint a portrait in architecture of our clients’ unique lifestyles.  Serving that purpose is our life’s work and greatest honor.

To learn more about designing your custom home, contact us.