A conversation about Californian mid-century modernist homes is incomplete without discussing Joseph Eichler. Around 11,000 Eichler Homes were developed and built during the post-war housing boom, creating communities of homes characterized by both flair and affordability. The homes emphasized indoor-outdoor living, with single story houses, flat roofs and plenty of wood paneling.
San Mateo has over 900 of these beauties in the neighborhood, channeling sunny modern vibes. The homes attracted a certain type of buyer too, and continue to spark fascination in those who love the style. Almost seventy years on, the Eichler homes are still attracting home owners curious to try an iconic, modern and clean-design home.
The owners of this house snapped up the property in 2010. They were excited about their original Eichler, but saw that there were parts of the home that needed to be updated and added to. From seeing other revamped Eichler homes in the area, they went to mid-century modern architecture specialists Klopf Architecture, to develop the renovation.
Specializing only in mid-century modern style buildings, Klopf Architecture work around California working on renovations, additions and fixing up Eichler homes. Throughout this article we feature some quotes from an interview with Klopf, giving us some delicious insight into the project. Such as this one:
One of the best parts of our job is working with houses we love in a style that we love. That makes a huge difference! We feel fortunate to be leaders in mid-century modern and Eichler home remodeling because it’s our default design mode.
The objective was to work with current materials, and update what was already there. It was things like the vertical-grooves of the exterior wood siding, and its exposed post and beam structure that give it the classic look. Glass walls, floor-to-ceiling windows are matched with interior mahogany wall panels and simple plywood cabinetry.
Now you’ll see that the home has an addition to the property, creating more room but still blending in perfectly with the rest of the house. Klopf Architecture matched the original siding at the addition, as well as removing and replacing the flooring. Panels that had faded were sanded down and stained to look as good as new.
Planning an Addition
When you’re planning an addition, it’s good to know how much space you have to work with. One of the San Mateo regulations means a house has to remain at least 20 feet away from the rear property line. That just wasn’t possible in this home, so this addition was put on the side of the home instead.
The owners had intentionally not landscaped the yard, knowing that they had a house expansion project in mind. It was just plain grass, and ready for an addition. By laying out the addition toward the rear, and stepping it, Klopf was able to maintain a rather large play yard on the side of the house. The owners laid it out on site and were happy with the remaining yard.
Landscape architecture team Outer Space worked with the owners to create a yard that matches the look and feel of the house.
Decorating in a Mid-Mod Style
It’s no surprise that the owners who went for this mid-century modern home are also into the artistic style and decor of this look too. Art and furniture combines with the architectural styles to make it instantly recognizable as mid-century modern.
The home office addition provides just the perfect spot for downtime. Cabinetry and windows frame one another, and a long sofa means it’s easy to stretch out and enjoy a good book, and a quiet place to read.
Piecing It Together
Is there an area of the house that truly stands out?
One element that really worked out well is the cabinetry. The entry cabinets are all custom to the specific needs of the family, and the master closet cabinetry fits the allotted space beautifully
What was the most inspiring part of the project for the Klopf team?
We were inspired by the clients and their love of the style and the home. The improvements really made the house usable for another generation or three – and that is also important to us from a sustainability standpoint.
Want to see more Eichler inspired homes? Check out this Sacramento project also by Klopf Architecture, which is totally immersed in nature. There’s also this Sunnyvale home that sits surreptitiously on the curb, but opens up to a gorgeous little design with a neat courtyard and an angled ceiling.