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Holiday Decor

house doctor, originally uploaded by gathering spriggs.

The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to decorate your home, both for yourself and for your guests. If you live in Seattle you know that it's often dark and gray. All the more reason to bring candlelight into your home, and other ambient lighting. I sell real estate in Seattle and get to go in many homes. The most beautiful houses are those with ambient and indirect light. Harsh overhead lighting is often unattractive. Take advantage of the holidays to bring soft light inside your home!


French Interior

This is a museum interior at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, but it is so beautiful and could easily be an actual French home. I have smaller Louis IV chairs very similar to those pictured, but I don't use them much as they're somewhat fragile, and I get nervous if larger people sit on them. Might break!

Red Velvet Zombie Wedding Cake!

Jenny Jeffrey Mason made this the really delicious red velvet zombie attack cake and brain/finger/eyeball cupcakes last night for my friends Darcy and Spike's Seattle wedding reception.  It looked cool and tasted wonderful!  (Photo by John Leach)  


Fantasy murals by artist Adriane Headley

Adriane Headley, a Boise, Idaho muralist, has been doing various forms of art professionally for forty years.  Within that time, she has painted over 500 murals, all across the country. Adriane's done a ceiling in a lottery winners home, a replica of Monticello and she has painted event centers, attorneys offices, vacation homes, exterior walls, children's rooms, and even swimming pools. From billionares to mobile home owners, Adriane has a design for everyone.

One of her most recent commissions was a mural for her daughter, novelist Maria Dahvana Headely and her husband, playwright Robert Schenkkan.  Before starting the project, she asked them questions about what they liked and they talked a bit about what kind of mural they would want, what sort of imagery they would like to live with.  They ended up choosing a fantasy mural, including birds, flowers, animals and theatrical players. 

Murals are Adriane's mainstay and she often does a mural in a home and then ends up selling her more personal canvas work to the same people. The mural work is usually a collaboration between the client and her own vision, but the client often uses her ideas as fuel to really play with the project. 

Maria's and Robert's room was a 6 layer process, which gives more of an old fashioned oil painting look to the walls. Says Adriane,  "You get light reflected through the layers. I used large amounts of bird books to find the right birds. This mural was a wedding gift so it took a few trips to get it done within my schedule. We put the cats in as well as a peacock from Maria's early life."

Adriane has raised 3 accomplished children and is now free enough to begin pursuing mural art around the country.  If you'd like to reach her, you can visit her webpage at ALHE Studios.


Party Partners Holiday Party Dec. 4th

Drinkies, snick-snacks, fun & merriment at the annual Party Partners Holiday Party and Sale! The location is at 1807 E Jefferson Seattle Wa 98122 in the Central District.

Come and enjoy the Four F's: Felt - Fun - Friends - Food!

Early Bird Special (11 to 1pm) get 25% off your purchase $25 or more. wowza!

And door prizes! Did we mention the door prize!

Browse and buy delightful doo-dads from their exclusive stock of Party Partners Holiday Ornaments, Trims, Gifts other specialities not available at their retail shops or online.

Puffy felt ornaments (customed designed for Bloomingdale's)
Lazer Felt Decorations (exclusively designed for MoMA NY)
Glow Bows! Light up Fibre Optic .bows for your holiday gifts!
New Years Tiaras and Tooters!
Surprise Balls!


Cute Pink Stuff

Cindy is a Los Angeles ex-attorney who paints everything in sight Pink!  Here is her delightful blog Cute Pink Stuff.


Gingerbread House Contest!

Enter our Gingerbread House Contest and win a $75 Gift Certificate to use towards KODAK Gallery Photo Books with new SMARTFIT Technology -  the smartest way to create, share and 
preserve your photos.

There are two ways to enter!  Either create a real Gingerbread House or create virtual Gingerbread House in Photoshop or other photo imaging software. 

There will be two prizes awarded, one for each category.  Each winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to use towards a KODAK Gallery Photo Book, provided by Kodak.

The best entries will be posted here for all to see and enjoy.

Deadline is Midnight, December 20th.  Send all entries to along with a photo, your name and media (real or virtual?)  Please include your mailing address and we will ship your prize to you snail mail.


Seattle House Boats

Seattle House Boats, originally uploaded by Kin On Friends.

This is such a peaceful scene. Owning a houseboat in Seattle is such a fantasy. On one hand, you're living right on the water, able to keep a boat outside your door. You're one-on-one in nature and you're totally in touch with the elements. On the other hand, they're usually very small, tend to be damp and rock when it's windy.

There are less than 500 houseboats on Lake Union, and there are just a few cooperative communities where you own not only your houseboat but the dock too. I wouldn't recommend buying a house boat on leased dock space, as you can be asked to leave at any time.

Click this link to view Seattle houseboats for sale.


Japanese Gardens in the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle

Japanese Garden in Seattle, originally uploaded by pov_steve.

This is a beautiful Spring photo looking North in the Japanese Gardens in the Arboretum. If you go certain times of the year, you can participate in a Japanese Tea ritual and you can also buy a little bag of fish food for $1 and feed the huge koi.

We used to live in a mid-century modern home just West of the Arboretum, so we could walk down here whenever we wanted. The pond was full of turtles who would sun themselves on the lilypads, along with the huge bullfrogs. The neighborhoods adjacent to the Arboretum are full of beautiful homes and this is precious Seattle real estate around this area.


Kelly Lyles art opening Candyland at Twilight Gallery

Kelly Lyles, a Seattle artist and painter, has a great show at the Twilight Art Collective in West Seattle called Candyland. Get yourself down there to view it before it closes!

Kelly lives in West Seattle and owns a little house down near Delridge with an art studio and it's very quirky and eccentric and cute, just like her!


Donuts at the Daily Dozen, Pike Place market

This is one of my favorite donut shops in Seattle, the Daily Dozen located across the way from Delaurenti's in the Pike Place Market, near the newstand at the entrance.

They're not "gourmet", but they're always fresh and warm and the mini-size goes far to alleviate any guilt!

There are a lot of great places to live within walking distance of the market, including Harbor Steps. Most condominiums for sale in Downtown Seattle are expensive, with one-bedrooms starting in the $400K price range. But often, owners are able to sell their car because they can walk to everything they need.


The Mountain

The Mountain, originally uploaded by papalars.

This is an awesome Fall photo of Mt. Rainier, in incredible clarity and light. You can view The Mountain from many neighborhoods in Seattle, especially those that hug Lake Washington: Seward Park, Mt. Baker, Madrona, Madison Park and also from a lot of West Seattle neighborhoods that have views South.

If you're looking for a home to buy in Seattle that has views of Mt. Rainier. Laurelhurst is also a great neighborhood, though pricey. Also consider Windermere, Sandpoint and Matthews Beach. Any neighborhoods that overlook Lake Washington facing South are going to have a view of this fabulous Mountain.

By the way, Mt. Rainier is not an "extinct" volcano. It's just dormant. It is actually overdue for an eruption! I hope when it happens, no one gets hurt, but I do hope I get to see it!


Washington Park, Seattle

What a lovely old home with twin gables. Unique cut-outs in the facade and a big front porch. I imagine there were a lot of happy memories in this home! I've seen some large homes for sale like this in Washington Park, and Seattle real estate in general seems to favor the older home. I'm guessing this was built in about 1910. Wonderful house!


Modern Home on Queen Anne in Seattle

Modern.Homes.002, originally uploaded by Tyrven.

Look at this cool mid-century modern home on Queen Anne in Seattle. I wonder if this house is for sale. I love modern Seattle real estate.

Particularly attractive is the red door with the red fire hydrant to match. Cute!


Streissguth Gardens on Capitol Hill in Seattle

Streissguth Gardens - Seattle, originally uploaded by brewbooks.

The Streissguth Gardens is a family maintained garden located on the northwest side of Seattle´s Capitol Hill, on a steep hillside offering great views over Lake Union, of downtown Seattle, and of the Olympic Mountains in the distance. The oldest gardens surround our two houses on Broadway East, just north of the East Blaine Street stairway. These gardens remain private, but they welcome visitors by appointment. The newer portions of the gardens lie south of the East Blaine stairs and they are now publicly owned, open to visitors at all times. The family still maintain these newer gardens for their new owner, the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.

The gardens are in the desirable North Capitol Hill area, a neighborhood that has some wonderful old homes, some for sale. It's a great place for Seattle real estate, and to enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Union.


Count Kody Entertains at the Ruby Royale Broadway Grill

Our friend Count Kody is a party planner supreme, and he recently had a fabulous party at the Broadway Grill, where he created an artful entertainment installation with the theme "Ruby Royale".  His website, details his involvement with party planning all over the world.

He can transform any space into a glamorous party palace and he decorates with style and panache.  Sometimes, you'll find that this is just what your Seattle home needs, a little glitz and glamour to make it really shine.  And every home looks better with candlelight!


Greenlake Guest House

This is a darling home in Greenlake, currently being used as the Greenlake Guest House. It has two twin gables and is very romantic and charming. Homes by the lake are very desirable, as you'll find out if you're doing a search for Seattle real estate, especially around Greenlake, Wallingford or Phinney Ridge.

Library From Another Dimension

You can't get much cooler with Seattle architecture than the downtown Seattle public library. Built by Rem Koolhass, this piece of modern architectural art is as amazing on the inside as it is outside. I've heard rumors that the librarians don't find it particularly well-thought-out, but it's certainly a dramatic piece of Seattle real estate.


Beautiful Victorian-era Home in Seattle

Summery, originally uploaded by ShelleyMAG.
What a fine example of Victorian architecture, located on Capitol Hill, just across the street from Volunteer Park. Note the beautiful wrap-around front porch and the turret. I bet it's as gorgeous inside as out. I love Seattle real estate!  Call me for a complete list of Victorian homes for sale in Seattle.


Child's Play

for a little boy, originally uploaded by lakbdesign/fergusandme.

What a cute room for a little boy named Teddy. Love the old hardware store cabinet and the white plastic egg chair. What a lucky boy!


A little sculpture for your parlour

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami installed his wacky work in the Chateau of Versailles. The images are so completely contradictory that the juxtaposition is breathtaking. These colorful anime-inspired sculptures are so out of place and crazy in Palace of Versailles that they would make Marie Antoinette blush!

More photos on Trend Hunters


The Penthouse- ESCALA Seattle

The Penthouse- ESCALA Seattle, originally uploaded by choiyeewong.
This penthouse is a unique Seattle home for sale at the Escala. The Escala at 5th and Madison is unique in that all of the units, except the three penthouses, are one-bedroom or one-bedroom + den layouts, ranging in size from 808 to 1,244 square feet. The two- and three-bedroom penthouses range from 1,957 to 2,164 square feet in size.

With the exception of the 2nd and penthouse levels (24th floor), each floor accommodates only 6 units, all facing North, West or East. Units on the upper-levels, particularly the “00″ and “01″ stacks on the West side offer spectacular city and Elliott Bay views and have abundant light. Residents will need to be higher than the 12th level to over look the library on the North side.

Amenities include a restaurant on the lower level, resident fitness center, activities/club room, guest suite, dog run and landscaped walking paths with a water channel. Homeowner dues run $.55/sq ft, on par with other higher-end projects and it does include central air and heat, hot water and gas for cooking. 5th and Madison is striving for LEED-Gold certification.

Interior features include upscale finishes, Bosch & Amana appliances (Sub Zero standard for homes on the 20th level and above), Lutron shades, 10.5′ ceiling height and kitchen islands as standard.

The project will appeal to true urbanites who have a penchant for in-city living and love Seattle real estate. Living at 5th and Madison will provide a different experience with fewer residential amenities compared to Belltown or the Market district, so buyers should keep this in mind.


House Boats Lake Union

House Boats Lake Union, originally uploaded by hopeisalot.
This is a great shot of some of the colorful houseboats down on Lake Union in Seattle. Houseboats are very rare and expensive real estate in Seattle, due to the fact that they are not allowed to be built anymore. So the 400 or so remaining have become very valuable.  If you are looking for a Seattle House Boat for sale, please give me a call at 206-329-3795 for a complete list of houseboats for sale in Lake Union in Seattle.


Sunrise at Point No Point Lighthouse

What an absolutely beautiful photograph of the lighthouse at "Point No Point" in Admiralty Inlet. I love Whidbey Island and the Kitsap Peninsula, especially this time of year.


Seattle in Motion at Sunset

Seattle in Motion at Sunset, originally uploaded by Surrealize.

This photo is shot from the Jose Rizal bridge going up to Beacon Hill. Without the Space Needle in the shot, some people may not recognize the city of Seattle!


Turquoise Decor Seattle WA

This is a home staging company, two women, one from South Africa and the other from Israel, who do home decor and staging in the Seattle area. Enjoy this Flickr photo set from "Turquoise Decor".

If you would like to discuss staging your Seattle home for sale or staging Seattle real estate to get top-dollar for you home, please give me a call at 206-329-3795.  Thanks!


Building Green in Seattle

The City of Seattle is promoting architects, designers, contractors, and homeowners to pursue green, sustainable construction projects through their Green Permitting process. Green permitting is designed to assist applicants through the permitting process to make obtaining a permit quicker and easier. The program hopes to raise awareness of the green movement and bring sustainable construction practices into standard practice. There are several components of the program that will benefit sustainable development projects.


To qualify for expedited Green permitting, the project must be:

- LEED silver, gold, or platinum
- Built Green 4 or 5 star
- DPD's Green Q Alternative Path


Deconstruction versus demolition of the existing structure is also a preferred method for addressing structures that will be removed. The Residential Deconstruction Program allows a demolition permit to be issued prior to the new construction permit to be approved. To qualify, a percentage of the existing structure is to be salvaged and recycled.


The Priority Green Permitting program is designed to ease permitting for innovative projects. Projects qualifying for this program are on the cutting edge of green design and must meet the 2030 Challenge. A DPD contact person is assigned to the project to streamline the review process and assist with questions.

Regardless if you are homeowner, architect, designer or contractor, now is the time to make your project green. For more information on the program or to find out if your project will qualify, visit the City of Seattle DPD website.

One such partnership who went through the extra trouble and expense of building a new Green dwelling is architect Karen DeLucas and builder and principal of Brixton Builders, Neil Chapman. They built an exquisite little gem of a home in Madison Valley, in Seattle's Central District, and made it a 4-star BuiltGreen/Energy Star home, with lots of sweet extra features like increased insulation with Blown-In-Blanket-Insulation, energy efficient compact fluorescent light fixtures, low VOC paint and Energy Star appliances.

The house was designed as a "Not So Big House", with less material and maintenance, and is located in a neighborhood with a Walk Score of 74, which places the home in a very walkable neighborhood, close to shops and restaurants, parks and schools.

You can follow along with Karen and Neil's project on their site

Queen Anne "Rising Sun House"

QARisingSunHouse, originally uploaded by Chas Redmond.

This old Victorian-era home on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle shows a sense of whimsy and humor. The lines are actually more Craftsman style, but the shingles and "rising sun" detail look inspired by the Painted Lady homes. An interesting piece of Seattle real estate!