When these homeowners first moved in to a 1959 Eichler home in Walnut Creek, they knew they wanted to bring back the mid-century feel --- but not right away.
Renovating the mid-century house was more than updating the design. Karen and her husband John wanted to create a space that truly spoke their lifestyle and needs to raise two young boys, entertain friends and maximize for indoor/outdoor living.
“We lived in our home for a year before starting any major renovations. I’m really glad we waited. Some of our original thoughts changed after we started to settle in,” explained Karen. “When we had company over, we observed their needs to understand how to maximize the space and layout. Where did people like to hang out? Where did they gravitate towards?”
The couple was inspired by the simplicity and minimalism of mid-century homes. “There’s something really timeless about these homes,” said Karen. “The clean lines. The way mid-century design fit needs of families then and still fit today.”
After a year of planning, the couple embarked on the journey to lovingly renovate to their vision to “Destination Eichler,” one step at a time. As self-taught DIY enthusiasts, Karen and John did extensive research online and consulted with contractors to learn how to restore their Eichler home.
They began renovating the shared living spaces --- kitchen, dining and living room areas. It soon became a family project. Karen and John’s sons were allowed to help with smaller tasks such as hammering and carrying lighter objects. The family lived in the house through it all --- the tear down and removal of the old and installation of the new.
One of the first things to go was an old vinyl sliding door installed by prior owners. Karen and John picked up a new Milgard Aluminum sliding door at a yard sale from Eichler homeowners who decided not to replace an old door after all.
John looked up installation manuals online and called Milgard for some extra parts. After installing the door, they noticed how it accentuated the house’s modern design and allowed for a seamless view to the backyard. “The new doors transformed the look of our home. You can look right outside without getting distracted by the trim.”
The family liked the door so much, they ordered three more. “We liked the durability,” said Karen. “When you shut the door, it’s very solid. Our old patio door had stickiness to it, it didn’t slide properly. The new door is very solid. Price-point wise, it was a good value, plus it's closer to the original sliding doors that were once part of the home. ”
The couple's favorite feature of the house is the integrated indoor/outdoor living with a central atrium. Glass windows fitted the entire back of the home to look out to the backyard.
The furniture was carefully selected to reflect a mid-century feel and kept simple to make best use of space in the 1600 sq ft house. Karen and John plan to tackle renovating the bathrooms next.