House #1 is EurekaModern world headquarters, currently undergoing a variety of repairs and renovation.   This house has been our laboratory of trials and errors, as we find our way in renovating a modern house and it has provided us with material for this website.    

The house originally included a variety of features that were the pinnacle of style in 1959.  There was a built in dining banquet adjacent to the kitchen, a built in bar,  indoor barbeque, a folding suspended  fiberglass screen to separate the dining room, and  a number of interior and exterior planters. The most striking of these was a glass-enclosed atrium measuring roughly 6’ x 10’ that was more or less open to the outdoors, partially sealed by a filon skylight.  All of these items have been removed over the years.   Most recent to go was the atrium, which we removed in order to bring more light into the house by virtue of much larger clear glass skylights, and generally provide a greater sense of space at the central core of the house.   It was a tough call to make the decision between retaining the integrity of the original design and making changes to make the house better suit our needs—a common dilemma for owners of any vintage house.   

While many changes are afoot, our goal is to restore the house to its original character as a show case of modern sensibility—just  redefined and updated by forty years.  Our plans include a proper laundry room,  larger kitchen,  more windows,  and deluxe appointments and finishes throughout.  Except for the addition of more glass at the rear, the exterior will remain unchanged. 

Things are always happening here so back again for again soon for updated photos.  

 A  Front view at night, when  the clearstory windows are most dramatic.

This house features the common arrangement of carport and single garage.

C  Inside the carport, the structure of open beams is readily apparent,  The same ceiling detail is visible throughout the interior of the house. Kitschy fountain, property of previous owner.

D  Rear view. Massive redwoods dwarf the house.

E  The glass enclosed hexagonal atrium as it was.  A filon skylight capped the space.  Integral bookshelves and a built-in desk flank the perimeter. Interesting, distinctive, noteworthy… but it really constrained the main traffic hub off the house , and visually, it seemed  like an oddly vertical element in an otherwise horizontally oriented structure.

F  Where the atrium was—and soon to be the grand entryway, flooded with light from 6 (!) new clear glass skylights.  The long sight lines through the interior and the change in perceived space of the house is dramatic.

G H  The kitchen and dining room 10 minutes before demolition, 7:50 am 9/20/2002.

The kitchen had been remodeled in the 1970's, a time when apparently orange formica and floral wall paper was the ticket.  Time to cancel that trip.

J  The area that had once been laundry room, kitchen, bar, family room and dining room is for the time being one unobstructed space. Two gaping holes in the floor await reconstruction. One had been the atrium, the other had been the foundation for the indoor barbeque where the pellet stove was installed around 1990. Removal of the wall that separated the laundry-- such as it was-- opens the view to the clearstory windows.

K  The kitchen walls have been framed and sheeted with plywood to give the freestanding structures adequate rigidity.

L  Dave finishes up the kitchen island walls as the sun sets on day  seven.

M   Fast forward several months to the completed kitchen.  Island serves as main food prep area, with easy view across to living room.  New windows at rear wall of dining room open view to back yard and redwoods.

N   Revised entry way is now wide open and creates sense of spaciousness at the center of the house.

Beautifying a bedroom hallway may not seem like a huge accomplishment-- unless of course you had seen the before shot.  The walls had been given an amateur texture job (as had most of the walls in the house), holes had been crudely cut over each bedroom and bathroom door in an ill-conceived plan to improve ventilation, and the holes were fancied up with Victorian style spindles for an odd fancy prison-ike look.. The hall was lit with a cheap neo-vintage motif ceiling fan, and pet stained dark brown carpet was on the floor.  So getting the dramatically tall space just back to normal was indeed an accomplishment.  Hardwood floors extend from the entry way down the bedroom hall. The hallway experience is brightened with a collection of period colors used on each of the doors.  Cable track lights span the length of the hall way and sparkle on the new brushed-aluminum finish mini blinds.

P- Q  Exterior painting is underway. The color of Ace bandage selected by the previous owner is slowly being replaced by a muted green that is very similar to the original color of the house.  All beams inside and out are dark charcoal gray, and all ceilings and under-eaves are white inside and out. Check out how staggering cool it is to have the exterior under eave painted the same as the interior ceilings-- a scheme that was probably originally envisioned but never achieved until now.

Q  Current winter season interior project:  the hall bath.  Everything needs attention.   Here I am sanding the knotty pine ceiling.  Hey-- maybe that's why my neck hurts!  Unlike the rest of the house which has white ceilings, I thought it be sort of sauna-like to have natural wood in the bathrooms.

 

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