Joseph Eichler was a 20’th-century real estate developer. Between 1946 and 1966, he built over 11,000 homes in Northern and South California.
Eichler homes are examples of Modernist Architecture that has come to be known as “California Modern”. Eichler mixed Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe open floors style and added a twist to his buildings making them both affordable and desirable to a large audience.
The Eichler homes were airy and modern in comparison to most of the mass-produced, middle-class, postwar homes built in the 1950s. At first, potential home buyers, many of whom were war-weary ex-servicemen and women seeking convention rather than innovation, were resistant to the innovative homes. Today we are very lucky of counting on this distinctive architecture in our neighborhoods, although most of them need remodeling, a good understanding of the original concept and the new materials in the market, the final results can be stunning.
These are some of our favorites Eichler characteristics:
Most of these homes feature few, if any, front-facing (i.e., street-facing) windows; instead house fronts have either small, ceiling-level windows or small, rectangular windows with frosted glass. This adds privacy to the interiors and creates great greenery areas.
Other Eichlers feature big windows from ceiling to floor that make the rooms feel bigger and give the low pitched roof with exposed beams continuity beyond teh interior walls.
The atriums and interior patios give the option of adding green and natural elements to the inside of the house bringing the outside inside.
Kitchens are a very important part of the house as they are very often incorporated into multipurpose rooms, with a swiveling kitchen counter that could double as a dining area and provide a bar area.
Wood cabinets provide a warm accent to the room, white lacquered cabinets, instead, mix seamless with the rest of the room .
One of the most rewarding parts of an Eichler remodel is having the possibility of modernizing the house keeping the original spirit of the building. These houses never feel cold or sterile, no matter how minimalistic the interior decoration can be.