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Eichler Homes Blog

It’s almost time for the 5th annual AIA East Bay Home Tour. Scheduled for Saturday, August 8, the self-guided/self-driven tour will visit spectacular homes in Oakland, Berkeley, and Piedmont in a celebration of design and East Bay living.

Two new homes will be featured on the tour, as well as 4 Mid-Century homes that have been renovated to varying degrees. One of the new homes, dubbed “Courtyard Retreat” because the house wraps around a central courtyard is set in the Berkeley Hills. The second newly constructed home on the tour is a boldly modern home in the Oakland Hills.

The most extensive remodels on the tour include a home that was built in 1937 and has been completely revamped into a home suitable for a 21st Century family; a

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After 60+ years in a property that has been dubbed a “laboratory for Western living”, Sunset Magazine is moving from its Cliff May designed headquarters in Menlo Park to Oakland’s bustling Jack London Square.

Originally a travel magazine, Sunset has, over the years, spread its wings to become a lifestyle media showcase that embraces just about every aspect of living in the West from architectural design, landscaping and home gardening, to recipes, travel, and trend-setting eateries.

Sunset’s move to Oakland is just part of its relocation process. In months to come, Sunset will establish its main test garden and an outdoor kitchen in Sonoma where they will host events, classes, and maybe even some wine tasting – after all, Sonoma is in wine

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Summertime brings thoughts of outdoor parties; and as an Eichler owner who has hosted a few parties myself, I think that Eichlers were designed with partying in mind. That casual, easy flow between inside and out is what summer get-togethers are all about. Preparations can be as simple or elaborate is you want – ranging from putting out chips and dip and throwing a few beers and soft drinks into a cooler to a catered affair with fancy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Start with invitations. In addition to letting your friends know when and where, invites help to set the tone and let your guests know what to expect. Although there is nothing wrong with traditional printed invitations, I’ve become a fan of evites, which spread the word electronically.

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If you are looking to inject a little Mid-Century glamour into your Eichler or Mid-Century Modern home, your options are expanding. Mid-Century style has become popular – and as its popularity grows, so do your options for furnishing and décor.

Some Mid-Century Modern homeowners strive to recreate the retro Mid-Century look of the Rat Pack era; meaning simple lines, bold colors, and geometric shapes. Other MCM aficionados go for a sleek contemporary modern look, which can be eclectic and incorporates Mid-Century concepts into what is currently popular.

One way to develop your style is to do a little daydreaming online or visit shops that offer up-to-the-minute items. A nice site for wishful thinking is Dwell is dedicated to modern design

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Many Eichler homeowners take the Mid-Century vibe of their neighborhood for granted, but as time takes its toll on homes – and it inevitably does – renovation, remodels, and complete teardown/rebuilds are affecting many Eichler communities. I guess the best example of that is in Palo Alto, where there has been a good deal of controversy recently, with Eichler residents squaring off with neighbors who want to build 2-story homes that will loom over the single-story, glass-walled Eichlers. Last week the Palo Alto City Council agreed to officially remove the fee for petitioning for neighborhood single-story-overlay zoning.  This should help make the process easier for Eichler homeowners seeking to ban 2-story homes from their neighborhoods. Even with the

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It is always a treat to visit Heath Ceramics. On the off chance you haven’t heard about them, Heath Ceramics is an historic tableware and architectural tile company that had its beginnings in Sausalito, CA in 1948. It has since added a new tile factory and showroom in San Francisco and a showroom in Los Angeles. Always valuing thoughtful design and quality over quantity, Heath Ceramics is a treasure trove for anyone looking for unique, classically modern design.

Now would be a great time to pay one of the showrooms a visit. If you are going to be in the LA area this month, Japanese potter Akio Nukaga will be returning to Heath Los Angeles with a bevy of new pieces along with a few of his signature designs. Along with Akio’s work, sculptural

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One of the truly great things about living in an Eichler neighborhood is the sense of community we find in so many of them. Easter egg hunts and pancake breakfasts, holiday tree lighting and cookie decorating parties, community BBQs and luaus, neighborhood-wide garage sales, wine-tasting celebrations, and outdoor music events happen year round in Eichler communities, creating fun and memories for residents young and old.

One such celebration is the 4th of July blowout hosted by Palo Alto’s Greenmeadow Eichler neighborhood. This year the public is invited and rumor has it that the mayor will be there as well. The day kicks off with a kids’ triathlon and continues with 1K and 5K footraces. Events will also include a parade, field events, and

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We have become a lot more energy and conservation aware since Joseph Eichler began building his homes. Eichlers were built during an era when cars were big, energy was cheap, and worrying about our carbon footprint was a thing of the future. Most Mid-Century homes, including Eichlers, weren’t stellar examples of energy efficiency. Today, as Eichler homeowners are renovating their homes and bringing the Mid-Century aesthetic into the 21st Century, a major concern has become creating a comfort level inside that maintains environmental conscientiousness.

With that in mind, I want to take a minute to share a very timely article I found on the Eichler Network website. Dan Smith contacted two South Bay contractors who are experienced in in upgrading

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Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 27, 2015 when the American Institute of Architects, Orange County will host the 2015 Eichler Home Tour. The five featured homes are on a mile-long route in the Fairhaven neighborhood in the city of Orange. I don’t think it gets more convenient than that! Park once, then stroll through the neighborhood as you visit these iconic MCM homes.

The hours for the tour are a bit nontraditional. The event begins at 5 pm and extends through 8:30 pm, with an after tour reception for AIA members at 8 pm. Tickets for the tour are $25 for AIA members, $35 for non-members, and $10 for the reception.

Not part of the tour, but open to all participants is a pre-event Happy Hour, hosted by Eichler SoCal and Better Living SoCal.

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Recently I’ve discussed how to choose a great agent if you are selling your Eichler. But what if you are interested in purchasing an Eichler? Basically, as in selling a home, a good realtor is an important first step when you are looking for any home. Finding a knowledgeable agent is particularly important if you have your heart set on buying an Eichler. Eichler real estate is a specialized market; and your agent should know the local real estate market, understand Eichler homes – both the good and the bad – and be able to notify you immediately when an Eichler that looks promising is put up for sale (or, better yet –be aware of advance listings, which might help you get a jump on a particularly appealing home).

In choosing a buyer’s agent, you can

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