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
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
Things are always happening
here so back again for again soon for updated photos.
Front view at night, when the clearstory windows are most dramatic.
B This house features the common arrangement of carport and
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.
I 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.
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.
kitchen walls have been framed and sheeted with plywood to give the
freestanding structures adequate rigidity.
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.
Revised entry way is now wide open and creates sense of spaciousness at the
center of the house.
O 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
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.