The only reason I want a house (over an apartment) is to have a fun outdoor space that I could actually enjoy on my own (in Florida, it was always too hot, too many bugs, etc.) - I would sooooo use an outdoor space in Seattle!
Have an empty wall? Cover it will slim mirrors, they are cheap and easy to hang. This will have all your guests talking, plus it really adds a lot to your room. These mirrors can be purchased at Target or Wal-Mart.