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January 2014

Found 9 blog entries for January 2014.

As I mentioned earlier this week, it seems that the issue of preserving our Mid-Century architecture is becoming a growing concern. The challenge is in keeping the spirit of Mid-Century design alive when remodeling and maintaining the character of Mid-Century neighborhoods – all while acknowledging the time honored notion that “my home is my castle.”  It can be somewhat of a controversial issue and finding a starting point for the homeowner who wants to keep that Mid-Century neighborhood vibe alive and well can be a dilemma.  There is no one "right way" to approach the issue, but here are some thoughts, along with a few resources that might help point you in the right direction.

  • Respect thy neighbor!  There needs to be a consensus among the
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The 1950s were optimistic times.  America’s Greatest Generation had returned from World War II, technology had us imagining jet-propelled cars in every garage, architects were designing futuristic buildings, and developers were providing homes for the growing middle-class.  In the 1960s technology continued to evolve, we put a man on the moon and Mid-Century design, with its open floor plans and large expanses of glass opening onto decks and patios continued to bring us the easy-going informal lifestyle that we had come to appreciate.

Fast forward to the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st Centuries, where it would appear that big is often better and homes built in the 1950s and ‘60s just don’t fill the bill anymore.  The flat roofs, glass

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Luckily for all of us Eichler homeowners, Joseph Eichler chose to build in areas of California where winters are mild and summers are pleasantly warm.  However, even with our relatively warm winters (no ice and snow!), our homes can often use a little curb appeal boost in the wintertime when skies are grey, trees have lost their leaves, and our landscaping is not always at its best.

Following are a few quick tips to brighten up the exterior of your home that are quick fixes you can enjoy now – and continue to appreciate later when spring and summer bring flowers and greenery.

  • Welcome guests with a vibrant front door.  Eichlers lend themselves especially well to doors of simple design and bold color.
  • Dress up the front of the home with a new
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San Francisco architect-turned-artist Michael Murphy is one of my favorites and is fast becoming one of the Bay Area’s Mid-Century Modern treasures.  Best known for his widely acclaimed Forgotten Modernism series, Murphy’s work celebrates Mid-Century and contemporary architecture; but also goes beyond and interprets some of San Francisco’s traditional architectural gems with a modernistic point of view.

Always stylized, Murphy’s artwork includes San Francisco neighborhoods…                                                                                                                 


                                                                     …and Eichlers, including Eichler Summit at 999 Green Street in San Francisco. 

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A couple of years ago the Mid-Century Modern world was set abuzz when Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs revealed that Jobs grew up in an Eichler home in Mountain View, California.  As it turns out, the home that Jobs credited with giving him an appreciation for the aesthetics of simple design was actually a Mackay Home.  Many of the Mackay homes looked like Eichlers and were designed by Eichler’s architects, Anshen + Allen but construction details differed.  So – what, exactly, is an Eichler home?

First and foremost – only a home built by Joseph Eichler is an Eichler.  Joseph Eichler built more than 11,000 homes during his 20+ years as a builder.  Most of them can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area, with another 600 in southern California,

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As winter stretches out ahead of us and the house seems a bit empty after the holiday décor comes down, January can seem like a bleak month.  No need, however, to succumb to the winter doldrums.  I like to use January to get organized for the upcoming year and take care of a few of the little details that seem to be so easily overlooked.  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Organize your paperwork:  out with the old, in with the new.

  • Go through your files and get rid of any paperwork pertaining to 2013 that you don’t need.  Set up new files for 2014.
  • Got new appliances or gadgets?  File the warranties and user manuals in one specific place, and while you are at it, get rid of any paperwork that pertains to things you no longer own.  I
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As we enter the new year I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement for the Eichler real estate market.  Right now the inventory of Eichler homes for sale is low and the rule of supply and demand for Eichlers is in full force throughout the Bay Area, making it pretty much a seller’s market.  Although we expect inventory to improve as spring/summer, the “traditional” home selling season, approaches I anticipate that prices for Eichler homes will continue to be solid.  All in all, 2014 just may turn out to be a banner year for Eichler home sales.

In 2013 Eichler prices in the South Bay and Peninsula were strong, ranging from an occasional home in the $750-$850K range to Eichler homes priced well over $2,000,000.  2013 Eichler home prices in Marin and

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The upcoming program at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art looks like a perfect fit for those of us who appreciate modern architecture.  As part of the Site and Senses: The Architecture of Aidlin Darling Design exhibition that is showing at the museum through March 2, 2014, Icons of Modern Architecture will be hosted by art historian Ann Wiklund and will investigate modern design, including the influence that Bauhaus has had on Modernist architecture.

The program will be organized into four categories:

  • Designs for Living features single and multi-family housing.
  • Centers of Power puts a focus on business and commercial architecture.
  • Places of Worship looks at how modern design and tradition faith interact.
  • Travel, Leisure, and Learning includes
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Living large in a small space is a growing trend here in California. Whether it’s a primary home that extols economy of space, a private vacation getaway, or a backyard studio, tiny homes come in all shapes and styles from classic cottages and rustic cabins to sleek, glass-walled contemporary homes.  Although I haven’t tried them personally, there is even a company out there that sells do-it-yourself kits for a Backyard Eichler that is designed to blend in perfectly with your Mid-Century Modern or Eichler home and can serve as an office, studio, storage space, or maybe even an Eichler-style playhouse for the kids.

Prominent architects are getting in on the tiny house action, welcoming the challenges of creating a space that maximizes functionality; and

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