Join our Instagram Live with Karen on December 14th at 9AM PST, for a discussion about her new book: ‘Midcentury Modern Style: An Approachable Guide to Inspired Rooms’ with photography by Christopher Dibble.
Karen and her husband’s journey into the world of Eichler homes and interior design is a fascinating story of passion, discovery, and transformation.
It all started when they were living comfortably in a 1970s ranch-style home in Walnut Creek, CA, without any plans to move. However, a visit to an open house for a Eichler house, arranged by Karen’s real estate agent friend Angie, changed everything.
The unique blend of cool, modern aesthetics with a homely, functional feel in the Eichler house immediately appealed to them, sparking a desire to live in a similar space.
Their search for an Eichler home led them to a property that had lost its mid-century charm. Despite not being trained in interior design, Karen and her husband, who had experience renovating their previous home, decided to restore the Eichler house’s midcentury allure themselves.
The home’s courtyard and the integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, became the focal point in their renovation efforts.
The journey wasn’t without its challenges. They embarked on a mission to undo past renovations that had masked the house’s true identity, including installing original flooring materials, renovating the kitchen and main living areas, replacing vinyl sliding doors with aluminum ones, and revealing the original exterior wood panel siding.
Similar to maintaining a classic vintage car, finding the right materials that aligned with the original design was a significant hurdle.
Although they didn’t inherit any original furniture, their passion for mid-century design is evident in their choice of furnishings and décor, often sourced from estate sales.
During this time, Karen started the Destination Eichler blog to chronicle their renovation projects. The blog captured significant attention, leading to features in major publications and inquiries for design help.
This growing interest and Karen’s increasing involvement in helping others with their mid-century homes prompted her to transition from her e-commerce career to interior design full-time.
She faced the daunting challenge of leaving a stable job for the uncertainties of running a small business, but her clear vision and distinct voice in design aesthetics – heavily influenced by their own restoration experience – provided a strong foundation.
Her passion to create mid-century modern-inspired spaces that were approachable and practical helped her firm grow from a one-woman operation to a small team.
Translating her know-how into a straightforward guide for midcentury home enthusiasts was a logical move. Keep an eye on our Instagram account for an upcoming live chat with Karen about her debut book, ‘Midcentury Modern Style: An Approachable Guide to Inspired Rooms’ with photography by Christopher Dibble.