Modern Furniture Fit for a Classic Eichler

Seeking a modern shell for their mid-century pieces, a pair of collectors found a relatively untouched Eichler in San Rafael, California—and a built-in excuse to acquire more furniture.
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Graphic designer Mark Neely and gastroenterologist Paul Kefalides had spent years collecting furniture for their apartments in Chicago and New York before a career opportunity for Kefalides materialized in California. Neely was game but had one stipulation: "I told Paul, ‘We can move out west if you can find a modern house that the furniture can go into,’" he remembers. It was 2005, during the market frenzy. Kefalides lucked into a connection with Eichler expert and real estate manager Catherine Munson. She showed the couple a house that had only two owners since its construction in 1966; both were architects who had made the home’s conservation a priority. Neely and Kefalides soon found themselves the new owners of the roughly 1,700-square-foot post-and-beam house, designed by architect Claude Oakland for developer Joseph Eichler’s 500-plus-home Lucas Valley neighborhood in San Rafael, California. The pair had found their modern house, but the ongoing journey of furnishing and preserving it had only just begun.

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