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The Benefits of Building a New Home vs. Buying a New Inventory Home

Categories: Home Design Trends, New Home Selections, New Homes | Posted: September 21, 2018

Imagine buying a home and immediately moving in, no waiting for paint to dry or for the builders to finish up final touches. For people buying ready-to-move-in inventory homes, this is a wonderful benefit.

But some homebuyers desire the customization that comes with designing their perfect home and overseeing the construction. These folks are fine with the wait because the final product is often as close to a dream home as possible.

Neither of these options is necessarily better than the other. It truly depends on what’s important to you and your family. If you’re looking to move and aren’t sure which option is right for you, take a look at some of these benefits of each. It may help you with the decision.

Benefits of Building Your Dream Home

Complete Control

Building your own home gives you full control over every detail, big and small. Everything from the building layout to the countertops and cabinets is up to you. Design an enormous kitchen with a walk-in pantry or a master bedroom complete with a shower and hot tub. Whatever you want, you can have.

Location, Location, Location

When buying an inventory home, you don’t have much say over the location. After all, the building’s already there. You can’t just move it. When you build your own home, you can choose where to build. Find the perfect neighborhood or build on a larger plot of land. It’s up to you.

Do You Have a Handy Friend?

Okay, this benefit may not be for everyone. But handy friends can come in, well, handy when building your own home. You can save money by calling in favors from friends and family who have construction, electrician, or plumbing experience.

Ready-To-Go Inventory Home Benefits

Move-In Ready

This one may seem obvious, but you can’t overstate how great it is to find a beautiful home and move in right away. As soon as you close the sale, you can start packing up boxes and shipping them over.

Lower Cost

One significant benefit of purchasing an inventory home is the cost savings. Since you’re not paying for contractors, materials, or labor, you’re already saving money. An inventory home is already built, so you don’t have to worry about construction going over budget. That’s a big win.

Way Less Stress

When shopping for inventory homes, your biggest worry is finding the right place for your budget and style. When building a house, you’re likely worried about everything. With so many building projects going on at once, the whole thing can be incredibly stressful.

You Can Still Customize

Remember too that an inventory home isn’t necessarily going to be a generic, cookie-cutter house. Many inventory home buyers can add personalized touches, like hardware, appliances, wall color, and fixtures. The benefit of a ready-to-go inventory home is that you don’t have to worry about all the details that come with building a house.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of every benefit of both, it should give you an idea of what to expect. If you’re looking to completely customize the perfect home for you and your family, great! Opt to build that custom home. Think of how rewarding it’ll be to settle in by the fireplace at night or brew coffee in your sunny kitchen in the morning, in the home built just for you.

Maybe you’re looking to move right away and want to put your savings towards other expenses (a new furniture set or landscaping, perhaps?). Or maybe you’re not looking for the added stress of overseeing a 4-6 month construction project. Either way, go for a ready-to-move-in inventory home. You’ll be ready to move as soon as you close the sale without any of the added hassle.

Whatever you choose, there’s really no wrong answer. You’ll love your new home no matter what.

Why Sammamish is One Of The Best Places To Live in Washington State

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Sammamish Homes, Sammamish Washington, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 17, 2018

Sammamish, Washington was just awarded the honorable spot of #9 out of the top 50 Best Places to Live in America for 2018 by Time.com! And it’s not the first time Sammamish has won a place in the heart of the its residents in the USA. In 2015 Sammamish was voted the Best Suburb to Raise a Family and in 2012 it was also voted America’s Friendliest Town.

Peppered with stunning lakes and the Snoqualmie River running nearby, the towering green rolling hills of Sammamish act as a perfect escape from the big city life of Seattle. One of the many reasons the Sammamish is booming is its proximity to beautiful spaces, miles of trails, access thousands of acres of parks and some of the most pristine lakes in Washington.

Sammamish has been proved time and time again as a picture-perfect place to raise a family while keeping an easy commute around to the top leading corporate campuses.

If you look through reviews written by residents about what it’s like to live in Sammamish, you’ll see that not only do locals overwhelmingly love it here, but it’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in the entire state. It’s located a short 10-minute drive to Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah and only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. It’s a suburb with all of the conveniences and benefits of living next to a large city.

Sammamish is growing quickly like all of the surrounding Seattle areas, with the growth have come beautiful new community centers, a new library was recently built with floor to ceiling windows, a glassed in fireplace and even a bicycle repair station. A beautiful new YMCA was just built complete with a nursery and several pools including an Olympic sized lap pool. The popular farmer’s market is held during the summers with live music and local produce for a family friendly filled day. Sammamish has everything you need is within arm’s reach: parks, schools, lakes, nature and culture.

 

  • Sammamish Landing is the best place to swim on Lake Sammamish and allows exhilarating boating opportunities to launch your boat from the park. Unobstructed views of Mount Rainier can be seen above the lake on a clear day. Two public docs are available for swimming and docking. The East Lake Sammamish trail is located right next to the park, a paved 11 mile trail wide enough to bring the family with their bicycles to enjoy the lake while getting exorcise. Travel on your bike all the way from Redmond through Sammamish to Issaquah on this beautiful trail that was part of the rails to trails program.

 

  • The Evans Creek Preserve is 179 acres of a stunning, natural park with 3.5 miles of trails or more if you choose to weave through the different options of paths splitting off into different directions. It’s great for small children and dogs, the footpaths are an easy walk with a mingling of nature, meadows, forests, streams and hidden forest gnomes to keep the little ones on their toes.

 

  • Ebright Creek Park is a gorgeous 12-acre gem hidden in a neighborhood. With three distinct areas. You’ll find basketball and tennis courts in the front, from there you’ll find a well-built wooden walk way guiding you to a large playground and climbing wall up to a giant slide. Keep walking to find a quiet meadow and trails in the back. Two streams run through the park making peaceful bubbling noises adding to the tranquility of the space.

 

  • Pine Lake Park, is a popular, 19-acre, waterside park with a long public doc to walk along and sunbathe. The Lake is flawless and reflective, showing cedar trees along its shores. Sometimes the lake has misty mornings with low laying fog rising up above the water. Go swimming on a hot day and bring your rafts and kayaks in the summer. This is a good lake for small kids as it has designated swim spaces with shallow water and lifeguards on duty. Big shady trees give shelter on sunny days while you picnic.

 

  • Beaver Lake Park, has 83 acres of trails and fishing year-round (with a permit). This is yet another waterside gem in Sammamish. With two parking areas and street parking, it’s easily accessible. Beaver Lake Park has everything; waterside grills, shelters, ball fields, a dog park and of course, the forest. Clear your head after a long day by spending some alone time in the trees drinking in the soft breezes and scent of evergreens. With no accessible boat ramp, only boats you can carry can be brought to this tranquil spot. The small lake size means that it warms up well in the summer for swimming.

 

  • Duthie Hill Park, If you’re not into mountain biking, it’s time to start. This park is amazing! 120 acres of trails connected to three other parks making a total of 2,000 acres of trails to cover. Duthie Hill is the mother of all mountain biking parks, with beautiful guided jumps, wooden bikeways and smooth, root free bike trails under a soaring canopy of evergreens. There are regular cross-country paths here for beginning riders, so there’s no need to feel intimidated if you’re new to the scene. For advanced mountain bikers there is no end of technical jumps and turns to practice your skills. It’s open year-round, so come get nice and muddy when you need a winter pick-me-up.

 

  • Soaring Eagle Regional Park covers 600 acres, with 12 miles of trails. Make your walk in the woods as difficult or as easy as you’d like with a wide flat trail available or rolling hill options. This park is great for any form of road or mountain biking as it has paved and unpaved trails, running or hiking and if you have a horse bring her out as well. This is a popular place for equestrians. The grounds are loaded with wildlife, if you are lucky, or not you might spot a bear, cougar, mountain lion or dozens of birds that live here and pass through. Bring bear bells or a can of bear spray just to be on the safe side, but it is frequently used, so most of the animals know when to stay away.

 

  • Big Rock Park is a whimsical new park with natural themed play structures. A slide is built right into a hill, different heights of logs to jump on, tunnels are built through slopes, there’s a giant bird’s nest where you can pretend to be a bird and a hulking wood gnome built of sticks. Big Rock Park designers had beautiful visions of natural and imaginative play for kids. The trails are easy and enjoyable. Try making a woodsy scavenger hunt for your little ones, find a rock shaped like a heart and a big leaf maple tree. The city is planning to use this space as a place for educators to bring classes. It’s a fun and interesting park, feeding imaginative play in children by using the labor and education of high school students to create it.

Sammamish is an exceptional place to raise children, while adults love it here just as much. With friendly neighbors, safe neighborhoods and tons to do, it’s refreshing to know there are still places like this.

Best Bars to Discover If You Are New To Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 12, 2018

Seattle is known for its massive amount of transplants, so we want all residents (new or established)  to make themselves familiar with all that Seattle has to offer. We all work hard, so we all deserve to play hard as well, which is why we want to pass along our recommendations for the best bars to check out in Seattle.

Most “Interesting” Bar

Unicorn is a florescent carnival themed bar, it’s ridiculous in an awesome way. Who ever heard of a carnival themed bar? It’s eccentric, colorful and has large, reasonably priced, unicorn themed drinks. The menu is full of non-traditional, greasy themed bar food. A word of caution, it’s very hard to look cool while eating a corn dog, but between the taxidermy heads, pinball machines and blinding colors you might sneak by. Check the calendar for karaoke, drag queen bingo and trivia nights.

Best Relax and Game Bar in Seattle

Come play at Mox Boarding House, with an extensive library of board games available for check out, play a different game every week without filling up your closets. There are two locations with bars, restaurants, private rooms, a board game store and a family area to play. Games can build young minds, quality time with kids and friends and make long lasting memories. Gaming tournaments are hosted in stores regularly and it’s open seven days a week almost all the time.

Best Bars to Bring Groups of People

Flatstick pub, with exposed brick, colorful, cartoonish paintings, indoor mini golf, giant Jenga and foosball. Unique games called duffleboard, stick putt and cup hunter created by the Flatstick pub owners are only available here. Kirkland, South Lake Union and Pioneer Square. Each have locations that partner with different restaurants, some neighboring restaurants will deliver to your table, but all offer a great place to have large groups of people. A huge selection of draft beers from independent, local breweries line the walls. And note it’s ok to bring your dogs to the Kirkland and Pioneer square locations.

Art Marble, built in a revived 1920’s building, a beautifully restored space houses a variety of events. A bar and restaurant serving local beers and locally sourced ingredients. A 3,000 square foot game room holds pool, shuffle board, bocce ball and over a dozen other games. The best thing is, the games are completely free!  Reserve a table in a room with a round fireplace or the posh bourbon room.

Looking for an unbelievably cool bar with artwork, funky speakers, and a bathtub filled with ping pong balls that’s perfect for any instagram post? Then Spin is the place to be. And yes this ping pong bar is amazing and we love it, Spin has a small, locally sourced menu with special attention to detail is on order between games.

Go down memory lane with classic arcade machines at Add-a-Ball in Fremont. It’s a hole in the wall, a legitimate vintage arcade. Revisit 1982 when pin ball was the best game out there and realize again that it still is.

Best Artsy Bar

For a modern, artsy dive, Jupiter Bar in Belltown is your hipster hero. Huge murals from a large number of artists grace the walls and front of the building. Hilarious vintage pinball and arcade machines line the walls. You can often find DJ’s, live music or live painters, painting while you drink.

Best Dog Friendly Bar

If your dog is feeling lonely or stressed and needs a bone after a long day of terrorizing mailmen, bring her to Norms for dogs. Norms has an entire menu just for dogs including chicken feet and bacon pupcakes. Bring friends on her birthday and get the hound dog cake it serves six dogs and is gluten free for those with celiac disease.

Best Themed Bar

Octopus Bar; awesome, tiny, nautical themed bar. The patio is bigger than the inside. Not only that, but the menu is affordable, delicious and fun. The décor is eclectic and unconventional. In a big city like Seattle reminders of the city’s roots to the sea are welcome.

Best Drink Bars

Be sure to make a reservation for Canon, this little gem has beautiful décor, amazing drinks and flavorful food. It is to liquor what a great library is to books. With every bottle on display the presentation is entertainment itself, Canon has a great reputation as food and liquor artisans and it doesn’t disappoint.

Don’t get caught up by the title, the whiskey is awesome, but so is everything else at Radiator Whiskey. Tucked away upstairs in Pike Place. Mixed drinks are flavorful and well balanced. The food is equally impressive. If you’ve been wondering where to pre-order a pig’s head for your 16 friends like everyone else on a Wednesday, search no further. It’ll set you back $500, but it will leave you with a lifetime of delectable pig-headed memories, but Radiator Whiskey isn’t just dinner it’s an experience.

This is just the short list. Seattle is an artistic and culinary delight with a never-ending array of entertainment for every type of interesting person.

Join Us Today: Twilight Grand Opening in Wallingford from 5-7pm

Categories: American Classic News, Events, New Homes, Open House, Real Estate News, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 7, 2018

Join us tonight for the Twilight Grand Opening of our Brand New Wallingford home from 5pm-7pm.

This stunning Wallingford home offers amazing views of Lake Union and Downtown Seattle as well as it has an impressive walkability score of 85! The well-thought-out Meridian floor plan features 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms spread over 4,625 square feet and 3 stories of spacious, luxurious living. This beautiful craftsman inspired home has stunning details such as rich millwork, stonework, 10′ ceilings on the main level, and more.

Feel free to grab some family or friends tonight and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality, and style from American Classic Homes.

Where: 3632 Meridian Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
When: Friday, September 7th
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Wallingford home tonight! . If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own home private tour at a more convenient time for your, please give us a call at (206) 966-6429 or email Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

 

Want to learn more about this move-in ready home? Click here to view the listing for this home and to get more details.

 

 

 

Tips for Preparing Your Family for the Big Move

Categories: New Homes | Posted: September 6, 2018

We all know that moving is stressful. Between coordinating moving trucks to organizing belongings and tracking details (did you submit a change of address form?), it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. As adults, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel: soon, we’ll be settled into a new home, in a new neighborhood, full of exciting opportunities. It’s harder for kids to see the big picture.

Changing homes can be traumatic for kids. For big moves – whether across the state or the country – they’re switching schools, breaking a routine, and maybe even experiencing new weather. It’s important to talk to them well in advance and prepare them for the move. But how can you get them excited about it? Here are some tips for getting your kids revved up about the big move.

Get Them Involved in Household Decisions

Does your new kitchen need a fresh coat of paint? Are you ditching your old couch in favor of shiny new furniture? Let your kids be part of the decision-making! You may be surprised at how much fun they’ll have helping you pick out furniture, fabrics, and colors. And it gives them a sense of control over their new surroundings.

Give Kids An Important Moving Job

Kids love feeling helpful. So on the day of the move, assign them an important job or let them be your assistant. Let them pack up their toys, carry small boxes into the house, and keep things organized. Younger children may need some extra supervision, but that’s another way to get older kids involved. Create family teams and finish jobs together.

Want to go the extra mile? Print up a to-do list or organization chart for them. With each completed task, they can check it off the list and see their accomplishments pile up.

Unpack Their Bedrooms First

You’re probably familiar with the sudden dread of being in a new space surrounded by full boxes. It can be daunting to anyone, especially after an exhausting day of moving. Don’t burden your kids with this on top of everything else. Be sure to unpack their rooms first and set up their favorite things – books, toys, or favorite pictures. Get them feeling comfortable in their new room right away, and they’ll feel at home in no time.

Take Breaks for Family Time

Tensions run high on moving day. Siblings fight, parents’ patience goes out the door, and frustration runs rampant. This is the point when moving days can turn disastrous.

Be sure to take breaks between packing, moving, and organizing for some family time. Take a 5-minute group stretch break or grab an ice cream cone together. Anything that helps relieve the tension, get everyone to relax, and have fun. When you’re ready, get back to the tasks at hand.

Take a Walk Around the New Neighborhood

Once the moving trucks have pulled away, and the last boxes are hopefully in the right room, why not take some time to explore your new neighborhood? Take a family walk around your block. Be on the lookout for parks or community centers close-by, and maybe even stroll past your children’s new school if it’s within walking distance.

By taking the time to introduce your kids to their new neighborhood, they’ll be more comfortable with the change. Maybe you’ll even discover you’re close to a nature center, an arcade, or a cool museum!

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful or traumatic. Prepare your family ahead of time, keep them on task and focused during the move, and settle them in right away after. Not only will the entire process go smoother, but you’ll also have a happier family ready for what lies ahead.

The Best Wineries That Are Only Around 30 Minutes From Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Events, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: September 4, 2018

Why go to Napa, Italy or Walla Walla, when there is so much to offer West of the Cascades?

The Sammamish River valley is a lush, green, fertile lowland that runs through King County just North East of Seattle. Like many great river valleys, the Columbia, Rhine, Mosel and Rhone to name a few, it has become famous for its wine. Similar to European wine rivers, the Sammamish River valley is also known for its bike trails, green sweeping views and numerous wine tasting rooms. Unlike these places however it’s only a short, 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, $1,200 plane ticket not required.

As the weather begins to change and the leaves turn orange and red, it’s a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn scents. There are a whopping 130 tasting rooms and wineries to visit in Woodinville. Washington State has an unbelievable range of grape varietals grown from sweet dessert wines to bold, robust dry varieties. The fall harvest season is upon us and with it brings more reasons to come out to enjoy changing leaves and cozy, stone fireplaces while drinking your weight in wine. With these many wineries, you can come every day for months.

Many of the Woodinville wine tasting rooms are actually satellite vineyards from the Columbia Valley wineries. They were nice enough to bring their wines to the main Washington hub, so you don’t need to go so far to enjoy them. Woodinville has so many wine tasting rooms that it is separated into four districts in order to distinguish each region and help tourists to find their way around.

The Hollywood District is known for the landmark Hollywood Schoolhouse. It is no longer a schoolhouse, but currently is a lovely event space rental. The Hollywood and Warehouse Districts have the largest number of tasting rooms.

The Warehouse District has more wineries per square foot than anywhere else in the world! Don’t be fooled by appearances, on the outside it appears just as the name implies, a warehouse district. But, within each door there are intimate, cozy spaces each with its own personality, charm and friendly face pouring wine behind the counter.

The West Valley District is the newest and smallest district with fewer rooms to choose from and a little more space in between. A pretty place to drive, sit outside and not feel rushed to make it to the next space. This district is growing quickly and is the new hot spot for winemakers coming to the valley.

The Downtown District has its fair share of wine tasting rooms smattered around with everyday downtown-y living things like grocery markets and a famous, locally owned, gift and garden store named Molbaks.

Don’t feel left out if you’re a beer or whiskey drinker, there six local breweries, two cideries and four distilleries here in Woodinville as well. Pouring local rum, vodka, whiskey, gin and even absinthe, if the prohibition ever returned the entire city would fall into the ground.

Many of the wineries have their own calendar of events and each has its own charm.

Afterhours Woodinville is an event on September 13th & October 11th in the Hollywood District and September 27th & October 25th in the Warehouse District on Thursdays from 4-8, for $25 a ticket you can taste 14 or more wines from 12 cellars, with a total of 35 cellars participating, it’ll be easy to find a new favorite.

Gorman Winery gives a feeling of a Tuscan countryside villa with its open-air doors, overhead pergola and stone façade. With live music almost, every Friday and Saturday and happy hour prices.

The famous Chateau Ste Michelle made Washington wines what they are today by starting it all. They were the very first winery in the State and are proudly one of the most famous. Come see the beautiful grounds and French style castle hosting September concerts with a very impressive line-up including Lake Street Dive and Lyle Lovett. Check their busy calendar for concert dates, olive oil tastings, wine releases, cheese classes and Oktoberfest for wine lovers to name a few.

Columbia Winery, is another of Woodinville’s most famous, with an impressive façade bold event space complete with wine barrels adorning the walls, large hoop candelabra chandeliers and beautifully manicured gardens. Stop in for live music every Friday night through September and on October 12th.

Although most of the tasting rooms close early around 5:00 p.m., dinner is right around the corner. Not only is Woodinville famous for libations, but where there’s a vibrant wine and beverage scene, dynamic restaurants and local nightlife are sure to follow. Woodinville has over 100 restaurants in every form, specialty and price point concentrated close by, some bringing renowned chefs into town. Have your choice of any cuisine you can imagine from Vietnamese, Indian, taverns, fine dining, bistros, Italian, pizzerias, burgers, sushi or anything else your heart desires.

Plan your visit now for Woodinville wine, catch a fabulous dinner and the tail end of the live music scene for the year. Just don’t forget to take a ride share when you go!

Top 5 Furniture Layout Apps

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: August 30, 2018

Whether you’re moving into a new home or simply feeling like redecorating, finding a great furniture layout can be challenging. Nobody wants to play a real-life game of Tetris, moving bulky pieces of furniture around to find the best fit.

Luckily, most of us (pretty much everyone, if we’re being honest) have a handy device in our pocket that can help. Need help organizing furniture in your home? Just like ordering pizza, checking your credit score, or turning on a security light – there’s an app for that!

Here are our top 5 picks for furniture layout apps.

1. Planner 5D(Android and iOS)

Are you looking to get hyper-detailed? If so, then Planner 5D is for you. This app lets you create both 2D and 3D floor plans based on the dimensions of your home or yard. That’s right; you can plan both interior and exterior layouts with this handy app. Create a floor plan based on your home’s dimensions, choose furniture from an extensive catalog, and create the layout of your dreams. This free app is available for both Android and iOS users.

2. Magicplan(iOS only)

The Magicplan app puts the power of 3D design in your hands.  You can turn pictures into floor plans, and then plan out your space in 3D. Add and arrange furniture with ease. The app itself is free, but you’ll be required to pay for a download version of your planned space ($2.99).

3. RoomScan Pro(iOS only)

For realistic, no-frills layout planning, go for RoomScanner Pro. This app boasts three different methods for capturing your exact floor plan: touching your phone against walls, scan the room and add in details via augmented reality, or manually draw the plan with added dimensions. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll get a completely accurate digital version of your home, ready for fast furniture layout planning. The app is currently free to download but will require in-app purchases to access many of these features.

4. IKEA Place(iOS, link to Android below)

Real talk: how much do you love IKEA? Do you ever find yourself clicking through their website or wandering through the warehouse-sized store wondering if that pine desk or stainless steel bar cart would fit into your home? Good news! The new IKEA app lets you literally place their furniture into your house using augmented reality. Check it out and place an order right from the app.

For Android users, here’s another App similar to this one (but without that neat AR functionality): IKEA Home Planner App.

5. Plan Your Room

Okay, so this technically isn’t an app. But Plan Your Room is such an easy-to-use layout-planning platform that we just had to mention it. Using a grid, you can map out your room and then add furniture pieces (represented with minimalistic line drawings) based on what you own – or want to own. It’s easy to use and free.

With these apps in hand, you have no reason not to give your home a little makeover. Or, if you’re moving into a new home, no reason not to get organized beforehand. There’s nothing worse than moving things around after the movers have left because you weren’t prepared to tell them where things needed to go.

So relax, download a new app, and play around. You’re sure to find the perfect layout; no heavy lifting required.

Why Laurelhurst is one of the Best Neighborhoods for Raising Children in Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: August 23, 2018

The beautiful Laurelhurst neighborhood is known for its meticulously manicured lawns and stately homes. Home owners here have a sense of pride and community, many of which have grown up in this neighborhood and stayed to raise families of their own.

Schools here are no less impressive. Roosevelt high school is ranked the best high school in Seattle and seventh in the State. The Seattle Children’s Hospital, in Laurelhurst is famously one of the best in the country.

Laurelhurst covers an entire mini peninsula jutting into Lake Washington creating phenomenal water views on two sides. It’s an exclusive location close to the University district, Sand Point and only minutes from downtown. A boutique neighborhood that’s been around since the early 1900’s, it’s age only showing through the variety of architecture and charm.

The Laurelhurst Community Center is situated on top of a hill with views of Lake Washington below. The center offers toddler, preschool and afterschool programs and year-round events for kids. Located in the large Laurelhurst Playfield Park. The center creates a community linking neighbors together through events and play.

  • September 6th the Community Center is holding its very popular, annual Backyard BBQ Salmon bake. Attended by 600 people last year, the BBQ is an entertaining community event including a carnival and kids bounce houses.

Next door to Laurelhurst is the University of Washington Botanic Gardens the gardens are beautiful resources for educating young minds. With programs from toddlerhood all the way through teens. The botanic garden offers summer camps, night hikes, free educational weekend walks, story times and a forest school.

  • Forest schools are quickly becoming popular in Seattle, children learn to love nature by spending all day outside learning about botany, moss, bacteria, bugs and wildlife. Check the calendar for an extensive list of family activities.

Magnusun park is a 350-acre gem located only 2-3 miles away. Previously a naval base, the City of Seattle turned it into a recreation dream with the largest playground in the city including a climbing wall and a wading pool for toddlers in the summer.

Magnusun is the second largest park in Seattle, next to Discovery. Come enjoy the mile-long Lake Washington beach, boat launch, kite boarding and trails through marshes. Art installations and art deco areas give the park a feeling of cultivation. Off leash areas for dogs and beautiful sports fields are top notch thanks to a 13 million dollar make over in 2012. Not only did the city make life better for humans, they created wetlands for birds and wildlife to find refuge amid a growing city after breaking up landing strips and large amounts of concrete the navy left behind.

  • Bring your kids to enjoy miniature golf in the summer.
  • An architectural sound garden plays on the NOAA campus making music in the wind.
  • Summer nights in the park have classic movies and food trucks.
  • Kite hill is the perfect place to make lasting memories. Build a kite together and come fly it over the peninsula while enjoying views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainer in the background.
  • Don’t miss the Children’s Garden and the Children’s Community Garden this is a perfect place for kids, four acres of fun with free events including family fun days, gardening classes, a community garden and continual educational opportunities keeping little ones bodies and minds busy in nature.
  • Activity camps are open for older children.

The Laurelhurst Beach Club has a gated, private beach and is available exclusively to residents of Laurelhurst and Windemere who pay the annual dues. It’s a social hub of the neighborhood and an easy way to get acquainted with the community. They offer a junior sailing program for kids 8-14 to learn the ropes and youth swim lessons for kids to get comfortable with their sea legs.

The Burke Gilman trail connects the North side of the neighborhood to safely access the rest of the city by bicycle. Take the trail to parks all over the city without worrying about straying child bicyclists on busy city streets.

Laurelhurst is a haven for families within a big metropolis. Where you can enjoy all that Seattle has to offer while feeling safe on quiet streets. Known for good restaurants, friendly people and peaceful, treelined boulevards. Laurelhurst is a neighborhood where families build warm, happy memories so much so that kids might just stay to raise their own children.

10 Best Bars to Soak in the Final Rays of Summer in Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: August 16, 2018

In a city the size of Seattle beautiful bars, chic restaurants and funky rooftops are often found. It takes a little bit of digging and local knowledge to find the right places, you can’t stumble upon a funky rooftop bar with the front door open. This quick guide will tell you about a place for every personality of friend or visitor on your list.

  1. Impress a date with an inside view of Seattle’s past. The iconic Smith Tower is arguably better than the Space Needle. Smaller crowds at a fraction of the cost to enter will leave more money for dinner and drinks up top. Enjoy a history lesson about Seattle while walking through the building, which was once the tallest high-rise outside of New York City when it was completed in 1914. Make your way to the bar with beautiful speak easy period décor, rich colors, thick textiles and opulently embossed ceilings. Take in city views and sunsets with professionally blended cocktails and charcuterie plates.
  2. For more unencumbered views of the Seattle Skyline try The Nest. On a clear day you can see the Olympics jutting out from behind the Puget Sound. A swanky cocktail bar with small plates and a pretty skyline are left wide open to view over the clear glass railing.
  3. For a rooftop bar that doesn’t take themselves quite as seriously as the others. Go up above the Motif hotel to visit Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails. Located on top of the 5th floor, Frolik gives off a business casual vibe surrounded by high rises. Frolik has a fresh, modern, American menu and invites you to stay after for a drink by a fireplace while playing lighted ping pong, giant Jenga and bean bag games. Musicians and classic comedy movies play in the summertime on a giant screen.
  4. If you’re looking for a low key, unpretentious locals bar try the Lookout on Capitol Hill. Known more for its views and cheap drinks than for the food. Come here for a drink with a view of Lake Washington and Mount Rainer while meeting your neighbors.
  5. For a fancy rooftop downtown bar with a menu full of Middle Eastern infusion dishes check out the mbar. It gets very busy late nights with the off-work techie crowd, so reservations are recommended. Look out over city lights while enjoying the swanky fashions of the young afterhours crowd.
  6. The Monkey Lounge is where to be for DJ dance parties and techno music on the roof. A funky, grunge atmosphere known well in inner Seattle techno circles. Dance floors are on the roof deck and inside along with tufted red leather and unfinished wood walls. Be prepared for long lines outside, cash only cover charges and long bathroom waits, this place is hopping. With nothing more than a Facebook page as advertisement, it is well known in the dance scene.
  7. As the name implies, Rooftop Brew Co is on a rooftop in Seattle. With a rotation of food trucks visiting out-front, you can always enjoy a different meal while sipping homemade brews and enjoying free popcorn at your table. This is a little known, low key gem on a roof, with beer brewing in the basement. Bring your dog to enjoy the view. The majority of the brewery is outdoors, and heated, so come in the winter to savor the fresh air under cover from rain with good prices and space to enjoy the company of friends. This one is a clear winner for one of the easiest spots to sit back and enjoy a fuss free afternoon. Not only is it dog friendly, but it also has a parking lot for easy access and is almost never too busy to find a table.
  8. If you’re looking for a nice meal out, The Pink Door will impress. You’ll likely recognize the bold mural of a bearded man in high heels swinging from a chandelier on a wall in Pike Place. Located behind a very non-descript pink door down Post Alley you’ll find a hidden restaurant behind. Guests are asked to dress for dinner. The Pink Door offers indoor and outdoor views over Pike Place Market and brings nightly entertainment. This is an experience worth finding. The fresh menu changes seasonally, with reasonable prices it’s high quality Italian food. A Pike Place staple that’s been in business for 38 years. Reservations are recommended especially for outdoor seating.
  9. A newer Pike Place gem is the, terra plata. A warm, urban patio in Capitol hill where you sit surrounded by office buildings, herbs and garden plants. Go on a Monday night for paella or Saturday and Sunday for brunch. Terra plata creates daily farm to table meals change daily changing with the chef’s mood and fresh, available ingredients. Come every day and never have the same meal twice. Eat with the seasons while basking in them on a rooftop. Terra plata is known for such amazing meals you will be talking about it around the water cooler tomorrow and maybe even a week later.
  10. Another Capitol Hill eatery with a rooftop in the trees is Monsoon. A beautifully blended menu fusing the Chinese, and European influences in authentic Vietnamese cuisine with flavors from the Pacific Northwest. The overall menu is packed with many layers of flavor and the décor is relaxed, artistic and inviting.

Seattle has a venue for everyone, even if you’re looking only for rooftops there is one for all ages and lifestyles. As fall is fast approaching it’s time now to get out and enjoy the last days of summer or stick around as the leaves change colors. They’re beautiful from rooftops as well.

5 Kitchen Design Trends Foodies Will Love

Categories: Home Design Trends | Posted: August 13, 2018

Okay foodies, here’s the deal. We all know the kitchen is the cornerstone of your home; it’s where you’ll spend most of your time, both alone and with friends, cooking and eating. You’re likely more excited about decorating or upgrading your kitchen than any other room.

Farmhouse sinks and Pinterest-inspired flour sack dish towels are great, but for someone who spends most of their time in the kitchen (or thinking about their kitchen), function is as important as aesthetic. With that in mind, here are some kitchen design trends guaranteed to make your cooking life easier.

Take Your Knife Storage Seriously

Where would you be without your trusty Chef’s knife? Having a reliable and sharp blade is cooking 101, but improper storage can quickly lower the life expectancy of this likely-spendy knife. Storing knives down on their blade can actually damage them over time, so instead consider a magnetic knife strip. These handy strips attach directly to your wall, keeping knives at the ready and out of the way. Besides their usefulness, a magnetic strip turns your knife collection into a flashy kitchen showpiece.

Hang, Don’t Stack Pots and Pans

Is there anything worse than getting down on your hands and knees to pull out every pot and pan you’ve ever owned to get to that one specific saucepan? Instead of resigning yourself to sorting stacks of cooking gear, hang those pots and pans from hooks. If you’re keeping a minimal vibe to your kitchen, apply sturdy hooks to the back of your cabinets. Bonus: this organization tip will clear up space in your cabinets too.

Boldly Cook Anything You Want (Without Lingering Smells)

Some foods are more pungent than others, lingering hours and even days later. No matter how great a meal tasted, it’s never pleasant to smell it the next morning. Invest in a proper ventilation system above your oven to rid yourself of these unwanted odors. A few things to know when making this purchase: If you have a gas range, you will need a more powerful vent than if you have an electric one, and there’s no need to buy a vent that’s larger than your oven.

Shine a Light On It

A kitchen is no place for mood lighting. You need to see what you’re doing, especially when cooking on your range. There are so many beautiful lighting options available that there’s no excuse for under-lighting here. Make sure your hood vent has a light, add a light over the sink, and maybe even additional runner lights under cabinets or above counters. You’ll never regret having strong lighting in the kitchen, especially when chopping and slicing.

Spend Extra on the Best Dishwasher Possible

Whether you’re constantly entertaining on the weekends or just cook elaborate meals for your family, a dishwasher is a must in every kitchen. But not all dishwashers are created equal. Consider purchasing one that includes a utensil rack above so you can wash spatulas, serving spoons, and whisks without taking up too much space elsewhere. Nowadays, dishwashers are nearly silent, which is a must if you have an open floor plan and don’t want to hear it running while watching TV on the couch nearby.

If you love food and love cooking, then now’s the time to invest in your dream kitchen. Consider designs that are both functional and beautiful to create a room you’ll never want to leave.

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