Can you believe it’s the depth of winter time in Seattle? It feels as though Spring should be around the corner at this point! But with this new snowfall, it’s now time to pull out those fluffy blankets, light apple cinnamon candles, and start using that slow cooker. In the colder months, it can sometimes feel as though you can’t get your home to feel warm and cozy, but here are some easy ways in which you can embrace the winter chill.
Dimmed Lighting. When it comes to ambience, it is all about lighting. There is so much you can do to change the entire feel of a space just by adjusting its illuminance. Replacing overhead lights with low voltage bulbs will do wonders for your home’s level of visual warmth.
Bake, Bake, Bake! There is something very nostalgic and comforting about walking into a room aromatic of fresh baked goods. Sense of smell is often something we overlook when creating a cozy space, but it speaks (or smells) volumes to overall coziness and ambience. If you’re not much of a baker, you can create this feeling with scented candles or pre-packaged cookie dough. We guarantee a change in your overall mood and warmth levels!
Add Texture to Your Interiors. One very basic way in which you can create warmth within a space is by implementing textural details. Wooley throw blankets and shaggy rugs create both visual and acoustical warmth, not to mention tactile.
Explore New to You Areas. Sometimes it is fun to re-explore small areas in your home. We often spend most of our time in the main functional spaces, and forget that there are other spots that you overlook daily. Whether it is a guest bedroom with a new perspective of the outdoors, or a small chair and floor lamp in the foyer, you’ll find yourself with a new sense of appreciation when you spend time in these otherwise neglected areas. Read a book, sip some tea, and rediscover what made you love your home in the first place..
Find Your Sparkle. Who says strings of lights are only for the holidays? There is nothing more charming than adding sparkle to your space using lighting, mirrors, and surfaces- and we mean year round. When you implement extra reflection, your space takes on a sense of magic while simultaneously feeling warmer and more welcoming.
Calming Music and Sounds. In today’s world, we are exposed to so many senses throughout the day, we often find ourselves overstimulated by the time we get home. One of the easiest ways to turn off the static in our minds is to change the sound in our surroundings. Turn off your appliances and electronics and focus on the sounds nature outside. Put on soothing, repetitive music that is somewhat predictable, and simply unwind.
We are all a little star-struck, fascinated by the jet-setting, luxurious lifestyles of the rich and famous. We can only imagine what it would be like to spend a day with our favorite musician and truly get to see their real personality off-stage. Some of us may have this opportunity at some point in our lives, but unfortunately most of us will not. But, here is a little peek into their pasts.
5 Celebrity Musicians: The Homes They Grew Up In
1. Madonna. Currently she travels between her gorgeous homes in New York and London, but Madonna grew up in a modest, middle class home in Rochester Michigan. It was here that she was raised with her seven siblings, an all-American upbringing in a small town outside of Detroit. This four bedroom, two bath home is complete with a library and garage, and on 1.3 acres. You don’t suppose that since we are living in a material world, is why Madonna had other plans for herself?
2. Elvis. The King of Rock and Roll spent the early years of his childhood in the small town of Tupelo, Mississippi in this small home, built by his father in 1935, with $180.00 that he had borrowed from his employer. It was a two bedroom flat, lit with just a single light in each room. The city of Tupelo purchased this home in 1957, and it is currently a museum that has been fully restored with period furniture. If you’re ever in the area, check it out!
3. Michael Jackson. It is hard to believe that such a large family lived in such a small house. This little home in Gary, Indiana, was home to the Jackson children for most of their early childhood. Michael, born in 1959, was one of five children (hence the “Jackson Five”), and had a modest upbringing prior to fame. The town of Gary is an old mill town; quiet, with a small population. It is speculated that the Jackson children were raised by a “stage father,” who demanded they get their “Jackson Five” act perfected under any consequence.
4. Johnny Cash. This small home in Dyess, Arkansas, is where Johnny and his siblings would reminisce about a happy childhood. His brother, Tommy recalled to a local radio station, “Mama was a great housekeeper, and she made it very homey for us.” Johnny was only three when they moved to this house that was situated on 20 acres of farmland. His family was relocated to the town of Dyess as a new start in an “Agricultural Resettlement Colony.” It is here that Johnny speaks about, in his songs about the Arkansas plains.
5. Jimi Hendrix. The house that Jimi grew up in was on a neighborhood corner in the Seattle suburb of Renton, Washington. His father secured the home in 1950 with a $10.00 deposit, and it is where Jimi found his passion for music. He grew up there with his large family, who still to this day have fond memories of their childhood there. Unfortunately in 2009, the home was demolished by investors based on complaints by neighbors that it was an “eyesore and had to be removed” from their neighborhood.
I’ll never forget a former design client
I was working with who was determined to place some shipping containers
on his tenth floor penthouse roof to make extra rooms for himself. I
remember thinking he must be crazy! Why on earth would he want this?
Well, in doing my research, I came across an entire shipping container
culture. Many people are building homes and commercial properties with
these simple, rectangular boxes. So today, I am going to share some of
my favorite shipping container architecture!
Here are my top five picks of shipping container buildings across the world:
1. Shipping Container Guest House. San Antonio, Texas. How
cool would it be to spend a weekend with these folks? Your very own
shipping container guest house? You could check that one off your bucket
list. This little gem has its own bathroom, tons of windows, and a
sleek, contemporary design.
2. Shipping Container City. Cholula, Mexico. This
shipping container shopping center features restaurants and bars,
galleries, residences, and stores! It is painted colorfully, and has an
eclectic spunk to it. There are lounge areas with ping-pong tables and
places to relax. On weekends there are live bands that showcase in the
common areas as well!
3. Shipping Container Holiday House. New Zealand. This
vacation home was designed to close into a perfectly sealed box. When
in use, the walls come down, and there are pull-out beds, a patio, and
windows in tact!
4. Oceanscope Scenic Observatory, Songdo New City, Incheon, South Korea. These
containers were placed at fixed angles, providing different views of
one of the most popular harbors in the city. This architectural delight
attracts tourists from all over the world.
5. Multi-Container House, Redondo Beach, California.This
beachfront property is built with eight fabricated shipping containers.
One of the coolest attributes to this home, is that one of the
containers was converted into a swimming pool!
not often you come across a home that takes your breath away because it is so
unique. But when it does happen, it resonates with you for times to come. Every
home tells a story, and it’s intriguing to learn of its past and present. This
is why we thought it would be interesting to research some of the most unusual
homes across the US.
White House Replica |Virginia
directly across from the Potomac of the real one, this wannabe home consists of
6 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, a resort style oasis and a meager 12,000 square feet. It
recently sold to a new owner at the price of $2,985,000. Can you imagine waking
up in the morning with a view of the larger version of your home?
Seattle Spite House |
this is an interesting story. Rumor has it that a couple was going through a
bitter divorce and the husband only left the wife a sliver of the land. So
spitefully, she built a house that fit perfectly into that narrow triangle.
Another story is that the neighbor offered such a low price on the entirety of
the land, that the new home owner put that house there, simply as a wall
blocking them out. Either way, it is a
fascinating home that literally makes the best use of every inch of space.
Fairytale Home | Port
you’re from the Pacific Northwest, I’ll bet you didn’t know you could purchase
Snow White’s home for a mere $600K! Words can’t do justice to the meticulous
detail that went into building! There’s not a square corner anywhere. Wood
beams are hand carved, stained glass windows are everywhere, and the walls
appear to more like a magical cave. A short ferry ride from Seattle can take you
to a fairy tale.
Flinstones House | Malibu, CA
Once owned by Dick Clark, this house sits on 23 bluff top acres; built to replicate the actual Flinstone’s cartoon house. Initially when he was working with the architect to build on this land, the city was against it as they wanted to preserve its natural beauty. So with that being said, he built a home that “fit in” with the land, taking inspiration from the popular tv series. The result is a one bedroom, two bathroom structure with 360 degree views through giant glass expanses.
The Smith Mansion | Wyoming
nearly 30 years ago, this home was inspired by stories of Buffalo Bill. This
home has an almost eery vibe upon seeing it. The owner, Francis Lee Smith,
wanted to build something unique and eye catching that would make for a
monument in the small town. He worked on the home single handedly for 12 years,
until he fell to his death from a balcony (one of several falls) due to not
being tethered in high Wyoming winds. He never used a single blue print or
floor plan, adding to the home randomly until his fate. It is a jigsaw puzzle
of rooms and materials with no rhyme or reason. There are no dedicated
bedrooms, no plumbing, and electricity only provided from a generator through
one single extension cord. Currently no one inhabits the home and the town is
working to raise money in which to turn it into a museum. If you’re ever in the
area, it is definitely something worth taking a look at!
The Munster Mansion | Texas
fans of the 1960’s tv show, “The Munsters,” Charles and Sandra McFee decided to
build an exact replica of the house featured on the show. The plan began in
2001 when they were looking for a home and were having trouble finding the
right one. “I said to him, ‘You know, we could just build the Munster Mansion’
and to my surprise, he said okay,” Sandra said. “I just ran with it before he
could change his mind.” And off they went! They didn’t realize the
popularity that would come from it and now host parties and tours.
It is always fun to poke around our beautiful city and play tourist for a day. It seems as while Seattle is ever evolving, new and exciting attractions are making their debuts. But, there are some attractions that have been sitting under the radar, and we promise you won’t be disappointed if you check them out. Here are some of our picks.
of the Prohibition, this Speakeasy style lounge sits incognito in an alley way
off of 2nd Avenue in the Belltown neighborhood. Known for its eclectic style interior and
scratch cocktails, Bathtub Gin is the perfect hideaway (literally) for a date
night or just cozying up with a good book. It’s a little bit of a treasure hunt
to find this hidden gem, but when you do, you’ll find it’s worth it!
Jose Rizal Park.
there are soaring viewpoints across the city, the photo opportunity that comes
with visiting this Beacon Hill Park is unparalleled. Views of the Seattle
skyline from this perspective overlook the Puget Sound, Downtown, and the
Olympic Mountains. The park also features an amphitheater and picnic area.
Mystery Soda Machine.
you want to surprise your guests on their visit to Seattle, you should bring
them to Capitol Hill’s Mystery Soda Machine. Take a jaunt up to the 900 block
of East John Street and marvel in its beauty. This 1980’s machine has gained
national attention. Why, you ask? Because to this day, no one can figure out
restocks, maintains, or collects the money from it. Whoever they are, they
recently upped the price of a previous mere 75 cents, to a whole dollar.
Steve’s Weird House.
called, “Seattle’s Strangest Home and Museum,” Steve’s Weird House takes the
cake when it comes to unique attractions. A local Seattleite, Steve lives in a
gorgeous Victorian home which lives up to the term, “Horror Vacui,” meaning a
fear of empty spaces. This eclectic Fremont neighborhood house is decorated top
to bottom (literally) with some of the strangest and unique finds he has
collected over the years. While his home is not open to the public, you can see
a 360 degree tour here: http://www.bohonus.com/special-projects/virtual-tour-steves-weird-house/
one of a kind concept is noted as Seattle’s first Cat Café. The beauty of their
mission is to bring cats in need of homes into their “cat lounge,” where you
can enjoy a cup of locally roasted coffee and pet the fur-babies at your
leisure. If you end up falling in love with one or five for the matter, you
have the option to adopt and bring home. Such a clever, heartwarming idea!