As a design build firm, we get to work on lots of cool projects. Every so often, we get an interesting and iconic home on which to work. This Walnut Creek, CA Eichler is a recent remodel that we completed and love the results! If you live in Northern California, you are probably familiar with Eichlers. If not, read on…
So, who is Eichler?
In a nutshell, between 1949 and 1966, developer Joseph Eichler’s company, Eichler Homes, built roughly 11,000 homes in nine communities in Northern California. Most of these homes were modern, one-story wood and glass, architect-designed subdivision homes. Emphasizing casual, indoor-outdoor living, some of the design elements included flat roofs, floor to ceiling glass walls and exposed beams. Often the living rooms and bedrooms faced the rear of the house, while the garage faced the street.
We hadn’t remodeled an Eichler in a few years, so when our delightful clients walked in the door, we were pretty excited. And mid-century modern being so on trend, we knew this would be a lot of fun!
Above is the kitchen wall that faces the street, with the old double oven, sink and dark wood cabinets. Around the corner to the right, they have an eating nook, which they wanted to keep.
Across from this sink and oven area, there is a quirky wall leaning into the living room that doesn’t run all the way to the ceiling. Look closely at the top of the wall and you can see space between the wall and ceiling, not uncommon in an Eichler. It’s a lot more noticeable from the living room.
Our clients wanted to open up that wall into the living room, thereby inviting light into the kitchen from the floor to ceiling glass walls in the living room. Additionally, they wanted a peninsula with an electric cooktop, oven and contemporary hood. This way the family of three could eat at counter stools, as an alternative to the dining nook, and enjoy one another’s’ company in the living room while cooking. They exceeded all expectations with their material choices and the integration of the mid-century modern theme throughout their home.
The Completed Design
Looks different, doesn’t it? The homeowners had great ideas, and our lead designer, MSK Design Build’s Kelly Morisseau worked closely with them to create this gem of a home!
Some design elements that we love:
- the Benjamin Moore Mediterranean Breeze blue soda glass backsplash that adds a stylish and elegant touch to the kitchen wall
- the Blanco Performa undermount Silgranit sink in white, with the smaller bowl and disposal on right
- the simple Caesarstone quartz countertop in Concrete
- the Zephyr 36″ Island Hood
- the stainless steel Thermador and Bosch appliances
- the lovely white painted Crystal Cabinetry
- and our favorite, the European White Oak flooring. These 7 1/2 inch planks are wire brushed, hand distressed and scraped, and add a beautiful and distinctive look to the room
In addition to the kitchen remodel…
So we weren’t done yet!
- the cinderblock fireplace was updated
- the wood floors continued throughout the living room and hallway
- new electrical throughout
- tile in the entryway
- painted the entire downstairs (kitchen, family, laundry room, kitchen nook, office, and hallways.
Now from the kitchen, you can see the floor to ceiling glass walls on either side of the fireplace, letting in sunlight and allowing access through a slider to the outdoor kitchen and living room, another great feature of the Eichler home’s emphasis on indoor/outdoor living. And of course, made possible by the ease of living with California weather!
To Sum it Up
- Kitchen remodel investment range: $70,000-85,000 (excluding appliances)
- Timeframe: 9-12 weeks
California is substantially higher than most of the country in terms of real estate prices and remodeling costs, and the San Francisco Bay Area higher than most of California. This kitchen design build project would cost much less in most areas of the country.