Eich­ler L Artistry

Atomic Ranch - - Atomic Kitchens - By Sarah Jane Stone • Pho­tog­ra­phy by John Shum

OOKING TO DO A CARE­FUL RENOVATION ON THEIR 1962 JOSEPH EICHLERBUILT HOME in San Rafael, Cal­i­for­nia, home­own­ers Joe West, a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, and Mark Kem­ler, a lawyer, turned to Karen Nepacena of Des­ti­na­tion Eich­ler.

Previous ren­o­va­tions traded the kitchen’s orig­i­nal de­tails for a tra­di­tional-style de­sign, some­thing Joe and Mark were ready to re­place in fa­vor of a more pe­ri­o­dap­pro­pri­ate aes­thetic. They also wanted a mod­ern, multi-func­tional space with a good flow that would blend seam­lessly with the home’s mid­cen­tury roots.

“The home­own­ers wanted to ap­proach their renovation in a thought­ful way, keeping in the spirit of their Eich­ler-built home, but to pro­vide in­creased func­tion­al­ity and use of the ex­ist­ing space,” says Karen. “Since I spe­cial­ize in work­ing on Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern and Eich­ler homes, we were a great fit for one an­other.”

RE­IN­STAT­ING ORIG­I­NAL

What do you do when pe­riod charm has been re­moved? “In the case of this par­tic­u­lar Eich­ler home, we brought back pre­vi­ously used ma­te­ri­als—such as alu­minum slid­ing doors and win­dows—and re­in­stalled floor-to-ceil­ing glass where a vinyl win­dow and dry­wall had been in­stalled by previous own­ers.”

So, out went the non-eich­ler style ma­te­ri­als and in came ma­te­ri­als that look as if they could be orig­i­nal. Karen sourced pe­riod-friendly prod­ucts that are up­dated to bet­ter suit mod­ern func­tion­al­ity, such as ther­mally bro­ken alu­minum win­dows, tem­pered floor-to-ceil­ing glass panes and an en­ergy ef­fi­cient slid­ing door. “The orig­i­nal tongue and groove ceil­ing and beams were kept in­tact, which are some of the most revered de­tails of Eich­ler homes,” she says.

Re­in­stat­ing mid­cen­tury lines and pe­riod charm is no small task.

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