A Portland Mid-Century Home is Right Out of the Eichler Playbook

DeSilver House - John Black Lee - New Canaan - exterior front

This house is a lovely period piece. Built in 1950, it looks right out of the original Joseph Eichler playbook. And yet, being as its location is Portland, Oregon—and not California, where the climate corresponds to those conspicuously open and airy homes—it couldn’t possibly be.

Proof that Eichler’s influence on the architecture of the period had already stretched quite far, this house didn’t even have an architect, instead being built by a nondescript developer in imitation of the renowned Eichler home.

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Subtle though it may be, there’s a clear Googie quality to this house. This is perhaps most clearly manifested in the presence in the living room of an IN-50 table by Japanese American designer Isamu Noguchi (created by Noguchi for the Herman Miller furniture company).

Other lighter cues include the starburst clock on the wall of the living room, and the patterned rug behind the pale green Milo Boughman chairs in the living room.

Eichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - livingEichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - living

Its broader mid-century credentials are even more obvious. For instance, the colour palette is unmistakably mid-century, with pastel purples and oranges interspersed with browns. Mid-century is also evident in the terrazzo floor which was added in place of the original dark walnut floors.

And of course, there’s the furniture: an Eames lounge chair, and a pale grey Edward Wormley sofa in the living room, and meanwhile, in the adjoining dining area, a set of Thonet chairs which recall both the original Eames moulded plywood chairs and the Googie style which is present throughout the rest of the house.

Eichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - dining areaEichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - dining area

While it was already quite a striking house when they acquired it, the home’s current owners, Robert and Amanda Nathan, enlisted architect Risa Boyer to remodel it, with a particular brief to expand the interior.

ALSO READ: This John Barthel-designed house is all about extremes

Throughout the remodel, the intention was always to retain the original mid-century impulse. According to Robert, they “wanted a little more space—a larger living room and a master suite. But [they also] wanted all the new things to look like they’d always been here”. They’ve done a fantastic job.

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Eichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland -Eichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - kitchenEichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - kitchenEichler inspired Mid-Century House in Portland - exterior

Photos via Risa Boyer and Curbed

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