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Ortal’s New Ways to Frame the Flame

Humans and fire: scholars tell us that over 600,000 years ago our human ancestors learned to control fire. We turned to fire to light the dark, protect from predators, cook food and stay warm. It was a necessity to keep the clan alive and thriving. Over time, capturing and using fire evolved from fire pits roasting meat on a skewer, to the Franklin stove of colonial New England, to charming brick fireside hearths with rustic wood mantles, to the sleek fireplace in today’s home as a symbol of comfort and elegance.

Fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes and can be produced to fit almost anywhere. One leader in fireplace design, Ortal, has been selected to frame the flame for two very different homes at the Street of Dreams this year.

You can find the Ortal Clear front facing H natural gas series model in The Barclay, built by BC Custom Construction. The Barclay’s mid-century space includes a stunning floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the great room that creates modern, contemporary lines. With a glass viewing area of over 77” wide and almost 22” high, and an efficiency rating of over 73%, the cool wall technology promises all surrounding walls remain cool.

Andy Todd, Ortal representative, says, “Ortal is the only manufacturer of gas fireplaces that incorporates ‘cool wall’ technology, which allows complete freedom to decorate the fireplace wall any way one wants....finish in wood, tile, marble, or Caesarstone. TV's can be 12" above the fireplace. “

In contrast, SUTEKI, built by Westlake Development and Suteki America, chose two different Ortal natural gas models, the 130 Island and the 130 RS corner fireplace for their home. In English, the Japanese word “Suteki” means “natural” and “comfortable.” It conveys a philosophy of connectedness and excellence.

In the suteki great room, the island gas fireplace is a 4-sided unit with no posts to block one’s view. All 4 sides are double glass with a decorative hood for direct venting, designed for stunning visuals at every angle.

Andy Todd shared this, “All Ortal fireplaces incorporate Ortal's unique glass to glass design. This allows one to see the flame and have no metal interfere with the view. Ortal has over 80 models to choose from and are made in Israel.”

You can find the Ortal corner model in the master bedroom. This natural gas fireplace adds warmth and elegance without sacrificing valuable space and echoes the home’s Japanese roots of an intimate relationship with nature. What’s more captivating than the flickering light of a bedroom fireplace, with the lights turned down and one’s favorite quilt pulled up?

While time has moved on and technology has evolved, nothing has replaced the charm of a fireplace. Be sure to check out all of the beautiful indoor and outdoor natural gas fireplaces at the Street of Dreams. Be Inspired.


Memorable Monikers for Very Special Homes

Have you ever wondered how names are chosen for homes at the Street of Dreams?

Naming a home began as a British custom. The gentry and aristocrats named their castles, manors and halls, typically based on the location and their family name. Over time, everyday people embraced the trend, and began to name their cottages and farms.

Nowadays, names can vary to reflect the view from the property, the previous usage of the building, or places enjoyed while on a great vacation. They can be based on a feature of the home, or chosen as ethereal and inspirational. The path is really endless on choosing the home’s name.

Recently, builders have embraced Street of Dreams names like Mon Coeur (My Heart), Dolcetto (from Dolce – the root word for sweet), Maison De Reve (a dream home), La Dolce Vita (Sweet Life), Quintessence (the most perfect) and Joie De Vivre (exuberant enjoyment of life).

This year, two builders are inspired by similar themes in the naming of their homes.

Nevaeh. Custom and lovingly built by TA Liesy Homes NW for their friends, the Modjeski family, the home was named by spelling the word, “heaven,” backwards and is the family’s heaven on earth. Nevaeh is their dream home designed for a family of six for fun, comfort and a casual lifestyle. Nevaeh is also a popular girl’s name, and in fact, the home is named after the granddaughter of the builder, Tom Liesy.

The Elysian. Built by Red Hills Construction, the home’s name reflects Greek mythology. According to Homer, Elysian Fields was the place where the heroic and virtuous could rest in a happy after-life in heaven. The entire home and front gallery is flooded with heavenly light using expansive, tall and clerestory windows, a series of windows along the top of the wall, above eye level, providing natural light from above and bathing the room in sunlight. Add 15 feet of accordion glass doors and daily living space that extends outside to become a place of supreme happiness.

From mid-century to contemporary to farmhouse chic to suteki, based on classic Japanese principles, the homes of the 2017 NW Natural Street of Dreams blend organic natural materials with sustainability and style. Attend and be inspired.


Expand Your Living Space with Retractable Doors?

Large open floor plans are what buyers seek today, and a wall of sliding and folding patio doors help to create that connection of indoor to outdoor living that is so desirable. Retractable doors open to gardens and landscaping, a chance to get into the open air to recharge and relax. Now al fresco kitchens, fire pits, fireplaces, grills and heaters can be enjoyed as part of the daily living space.

Check out the accordion glass walls in several of the homes at the 2017 NW Natural Street of Dreams that bring beautiful natural light into the home, yet are efficient and functional. When natural light is increased, the home saves electrical energy and can lower energy bills. And most important, who doesn’t feel better when the sun is shining inside?

Today’s outdoor rooms extend the kitchen, dining and family rooms, and provide opportunities for socializing while connecting with nature.

Grilling with natural gas

Grilling is the centerpiece of entertaining in our summer and mild shoulder months. Guests are drawn to the tantalizing aromas and tastes of sizzling meats, fish, fruits and veggies from a natural gas grill.

Natural gas grills are the secret sauce of gourmet cooking. They offer:

  • -Precision. Complete control of the flame, from low heat for slow smoking and grilling, to high heat for braising and searing.
  • -Convenience. A flame at the touch of a button and you’ll never run out of fuel.
  • -Savings. Today’s cost of natural gas is lower than it was fifteen years ago. Grilling with propane is about three times more expensive than natural gas.

Infrared technology comes to the backyard

Lower energy use and increase flavor by switching to the latest in outdoor cooking technology – infrared. A natural gas infrared grill heats the food and not the surrounding air. This intense heat sears the outside of food while locking the moisture and flavor inside. It cooks food faster, so energy is saved with no pre-heat and a shorter overall cook time. Infrared grilling provides the flavor of a hot charcoal fire with the control of a natural gas flame.

Expand Your Living Space Outside

Here are a few more natural gas fueled products to help customize any outdoor space for entertaining:

  • Natural gas fireplaces are available in styles and sizes to fit almost any space. Surrounds for a fireplace include granite, tile, stone or other materials to match the desired style of the home.
  • Natural gas fire pits. Few things compare to sitting around a campfire with friends and family. And nothing tastes better than a sweet and messy s’more. Fire pits can be built-in or portable and radiate heat in a complete circle.
  • Natural gas patio heaters can extend your outdoor living season without the worries of running out of fuel. And they radiate heat 20 to 25 feet in all directions. There are many choices, including free-standing, or they can be mounted on posts, walls or ceilings.

  • Gas convenience outlets allow for a safe, easy connect and disconnect of outside gas appliances so they can be stored when not in use. An automatic shut off valve prevents gas from flowing until the appliance is correctly connected again.

There are so many choices, from simple to high-tech, to help maximize the living space of a home. Check out all of the features outlined in this blog post at the 2017 NW Natural Street of Dreams.


Direct from Italy, the ILVE 48” Majestic

When you see “Made in Italy,” you know whatever product it is, it’s going to look great. From the brands, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Armani, comes a legacy of Italian passion for exquisite design. And direct from Italy, the ILVE Majestic is the Italian kitchen performance machine, oozing beauty, style and performance. You can find this Italian beauty at this year’s NW Natural Street of Dreams kitchen on Lot #1, “The Oregon Dream,” builder, Stone Bridge Homes NW. The range is customizable with multiple sizes, colors, trims with endless options. The burners are natural gas, with a lava rock electric barbeque grill and cast iron grating. The turnspit offers rotation for fairly large poultry, including pintades (guinea hens) and chickens and the oven is plenty large for a Thanksgiving turkey. The ILVE Majestic comes with these accessories: griddle, barbeque, chopping board, basin for steam cooking, fish grate and wok ring.

And because the oven temperature can be set to 75 degrees F, use it to proof bread. Bakers who have the pleasure of owning the ILVE use ice in a hot tray located at the bottom of the oven to create the same effect as spray. Other bakers keep an old cast iron skillet on the floor of the oven with water in it when baking bread. Great bakers say that introducing steam in bread baking can transform your crust, promote an open crumb structure, and add rich flavor and color.

Enjoy your “passeggiata,” or stroll through the 2017 NW Natural Street of Dreams. Ciao bella.

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