This is not one of an average Joseph Eichler home. Built on an H-plan, it is described as a “Super Eichler”.
This is mainly due to it being built on a larger scale than the typical, smaller Eichlers we’ve come to know and love (which were, of course, pared down in order to meet the budget of the burgeoning American middle class of the mid-century period).
Built in 1959, this Eichler house was designed by Claude Oakland, who spent much of his career designing homes for the famous developer.
Yet despite his central role in constructing some of the best-remembered mid-century architecture, Oakland isn’t exactly the most well-known modernist architect. Mind you, given his role in Eichler’s organisation, there are also few architects responsible for designing as many modernist homes, over 5000 throughout his career.
Compared to a typical Eichler, the super Eichler’s scale allows it to be a little more attuned to its surroundings. This is most obviously demonstrated in the H plan itself, which is oriented around a large tree. But it’s also evident in the sheer number of rooms and overall spaciousness.
Turning specifically to the interior design, the main standout feature is the use of colour. It’s not overdone, but instead applied sparingly, and in just the right places. Some of our favourite touches are those bright yellow doors, and the three vases, in orange, green, and blue, sat at the centre of the kitchen table.
Building on this, there is also quite an interesting tendency for colours to be repeated through various motifs.
Starting in one of the hallways there is the first of a number of abstract paintings, featuring irregular shapes in bold primary colours. The effect is to take the edge off a room that is mostly brown in colour, and quite plain.
Meanwhile, in one of the lounge areas, a similar painting sits amongst a room that is mostly coloured in grey, brown and white. Also in this room, a couple of orange chairs accompany a white Tulip Table by Eero Saarinen.
This theme is remixed in the dining area, where there is another abstract painting, this time of multi-coloured squares. The painting overlooks another white Saarinen Tulip Table, under which sit a set of Eames Molded Plastic Chairs. Of these dining chairs, there are just two in orange, with the remaining four in beige.
This same colour arrangement can be found in the garden chairs, where the furniture is mostly muted, except for a couple of orange Butterfly “Hardoy” Chairs by Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy for Knoll.
As a final note, it’s worth underlining how much good mid-century modern furniture there is in the house. Besides the Saarinen, Eames and Hardoy chairs that have already been mentioned, there’s also an LC2 Chair by Le Corbusier in the kitchen. All this tops off a house that takes the Eichler brand to the highest level.
Photo by Mark Haddawy