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This Softly Updated Eichler Trades Austerity for Livability

It's understandable if the word "renovated" raises a few eyebrows when it comes before "midcentury modern," given how often an update can alter the character of a classic home for the worse. Even though lauded modernist developer Joseph Eichler built over 11,000 striking tract homes in subdivisions all over California, the stakes are still high when trying to revise an Eichler, especially now that a host of new ones could be coming to Palm Springs, heightening the need to separate the authentic from the less so. When design principal Stephen Shoup of building Lab, a design-build firm based in Oakland that specializes in residential remodeling, took on the project of renovating an Eichler in San Rafael, he seemed to have all this in mind, working with a "less is more" approach to bringing it into the modern age. Some of the updates seem like no brainers, which makes sense, after all, given that the home was built more than half a century ago.

The biggest change that Building Lab made to this Eichler was the addition of a large window in the dining room, which opened up the home to the backyard even more than an Eichler's back-facing wall of windows usually does. This revision allowed the soft color palette of the dining room to benefit from a greater amount of natural light.

The kitchen, which is the central hub of any Eichler, saw the addition of a ¼" Richlite Grays Harbor countertop. Building Lab also added in a new backyard fence, which is visible through the back of a living room grounded by grey and russet brown furniture.

The back of the home exudes a soft, warm light in the evening thanks to WAC Recessed lighting, and lamps by Nelson Bubble and Vibia. The five-foot slatted Eichler Breckenridge Thinline fence also wraps around the front of the home, addressing the greater exposure of the added window and unifying the indoor and outdoor sections into one enclosed space.

· A Renovated Eichler Home in San Rafael, California [Dwell]
· All Joseph Eichler coverage [Curbed National]