Eichler-Inspired Home

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Houzz Tour: An Eichler-Inspired Home Rises From the Ashes


After their original Eichler burned down, these California owners rebuilt with both the past and the future in mind



Camille LeFevreFebruary 26, 2018






Modern Exterior by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

Photos by Mariko Reed

House at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple 
Location: San Mateo, California
Size: 2,606 square feet (242 square meters)
Designer: John Klopf of Klopf Architecture

Like the fabled phoenix, this modern California home with walls of glass rose from the ashes of a Joseph Eichler-designed house that burned to the ground. With the opportunity to build anew, the homeowners not only wanted larger spaces than the original home had offered, but they also wanted the exterior to respect the neighborhood and blend in stylistically with the other Eichlers nearby. 

At first, architect John Klopf considered reusing what little was left of the original home and expanding on it. But after discussions with the homeowners and Eichler specialist Henry Calvert, all parties agreed that the last few remaining elements of the house were not practical to reuse, so the team designed a new house that keeps many of the features that make Eichler-designed houses still such a hit today.


Modern Exterior by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

The front of the house maintains an understated profile similar to those of other Eichler residences in the area. Klopf selected the exterior paint color, Iron Mountainby Benjamin Moore, to “let the other materials and colors stand out, such as the cedar trim, orange front door and black aluminum windows, like a true midcentury house,” he says. “The front is very private and closed to the street; then the house really opens up in the back.”


Modern Exterior by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

The chance to build a new house allowed the design team to open the interior to the outdoors with a full wall of glass. It also allowed the homeowners to add a guest suite, enlarge the garage, and create a master bedroom and bath that open to the pool and outdoors.


Modern Kitchen by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

“The property is a long rectangle,” Klopf says, “so while the house is square at the front, we twisted the back glass wall 90 degrees to create a long bar for the interior spaces and take full advantage of the pool and backyard.” The 49-by-12-foot wall of glass from Western Window Systems lets the homeowners, family and friends flow freely back and forth from the house to the pool, hot tub, lounge chairs and barbecue. 

The kitchen cabinets are cherry with two stains: espresso, shown on the tall cabinets, and warm brown, seen on the island. The kitchen countertops are Caesarstone in honed Sleek Concrete.


Dining Room by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

The flooring throughout the house is made out of a structural concrete slab of exposed aggregate that was ground up and sealed. In the living area, the design team created a bump-out in the wall to hold a gas fireplace insert. Behind the fireplace is a pocket door that can close off the master suite. 

Find gas fireplace inserts


Modern Bedroom by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

Large roof overhangs of cedar flow to the cedar ceiling to ensure a continuity of materials inside and out. In the master bedroom, the drapery can cover the floor-to-ceiling windows for privacy.


Modern Bathroom by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

Rebuilding the house allowed the design team to create higher ceilings, airier spaces and larger rooms. The master bathroom has a soaking tub, walk-in shower and separate toilet area. The shower floor is porcelain tile. The tall storage cabinet on the back wall and the double vanity are made out of cherry.

Floor tile: French Clay in Sombre, GranitiFiandre


Modern Exterior by Klopf Architecture
Klopf Architecture

“The pool is the center of the home,” Klopf says. A hot tub occupies one corner of the pool, while abundant seating, landscaping and a firepit complete the outdoor scene. The new home blends in beautifully with its Eichler neighbors while offering a new take on modernism for contemporary living. 

Builder: Henry Calvert of Calvert Ventures