A Midcentury Eichler in San Mateo Is Turned Into a Functional Family Home

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By Julia Brenner
An Eichler just south of San Francisco is carefully renovated in a way that respects the minimalist beauty of the original design.

When a young couple with two small children and a deep appreciation for their midcentury-modern Eichler came to Klopf Architecture, they were looking for ways to mindfully update the materials within the home and add a bit more living space. The team embraced the idea of creating an updated modernist home that would respect the original design while increasing functionality. 

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As the homeowners are minimalists who enjoy a modernist aesthetic, the project goal was to maintain the Eichler style while updating the home for improved livability. Some other necessary renovations included replacing leaky steel radiant-heating tubes with a new radiant-floor heating system (in both the existing and new concrete slabs), installing new flooring throughout, and replacing damaged areas. 

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The team took fastidious care to preserve the integrity of the midcentury design elements, preserving original wood paneling where possible and replacing only damaged paneling. All of the panelling was re-stained to freshen up the space and bring out the wood's natural richness.

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The entry and existing bathrooms were expanded to allow for more living space while following the lead of the existing structure. 

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The largest alteration made by the Klopf team was an additional room added to the house to be used as an office and guest room, making the total size of the house to be 2,285 square feet. They worked to make the room appear transparent and to follow the lines of the existing house, which meant adhering to the Eichler-specific profile siding, dark bronze door frames, and "post-and-beam rhythm" of the original framework.

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One of the challenges the homeowners faced when considering an addition was the home's location on an irregular lot, which didn't allow for a clean expansion off the back of the home. As a workaround, the Klopf team opted to create a new side yard addition, which would flow seamlessly from the original house and allow the family to retain their yard space. 

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The newly updated home is an example of how a renovation can work in service of a legacy home. In this case, an Eichler has been lovingly updated to preserve the original quality and to function as a modern and vibrant home for a growing family of four.  

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Project Credits:

-Architecture: Klopf Architecture, John Klopf and Angela Todorov

-Builder/General Contractor: Coast to Coast, Inc.

-Landscape Architecture: Outer Space Landscape Architecture

-Structural Engineer: Brian Dotson Consulting Engineer 

-Lighting, Interior, and Cabinetry Design: Klopf Architecture

-Energy Consultant: Energy Compliance Services