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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

It Takes TWO

AN EICHLER REMODEL WAS SPLIT INTO TWO CONSTRUCTION PHASES, BEAUTIFULLY COMBINED TWO ERAS— AND TURNED OUT SEAMLESSLY.
AN ADDITION TO THE FRONT OF THE HOME ALLOWED THE FRONT BEDROOM TO MOVE FORWARD, CREATING ENOUGH SPACE TO FIT A HALLWAY BATHROOM WHERE THE BEDROOM WAS ONCE LOCATED. THIS ALSO AFFECTED THE FRONT ENTRANCE, WHICH WAS EXPANDED.
Photography by MARIKO REED/OTTO

“Two engineers walk into a midcentury home…”

And so, the transformation began. For Sophie Zhu and Brendan Higgins, their Palo Alto, California, home represents their first foray into owning a midcentury property. “We love the minimalist style, and as engineers, we appreciate both the design philosophy and being able to see the structural elements as a feature,” says Sophie. While they adored the beam-filled home, they desired to brighten the dark spaces and make it feel as open as possible. “But we absolutely wanted to retain the Eichler characteristics we loved when we started our search initially,” she says.

The couple found an ally in Klopf Architecture, which has prepared designs for more than 150 Eichler and midcentury homes. Respectful of the Eichler aesthetic, founding principal architect John Klopf is nonetheless confident when making changes. “Part of the reason to renovate these homes is to bring up the quality of the homes overall,” he says. Eichlers were built quickly, as production homes. They have a lot of style, but insulation—not so much. There are few electrical outlets and dangerous plate glass. “Fifty years later, you can certainly do better,” says John. Upgrades like tempered glass and spray-foam roofing helped make this home “more appropriate with the expectations we have for comfort in the 21st century.”

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Atomic Ranch Renovation Guide 2019, The Renovation Guide, Front Yard Fundamentals : The Curb Appeals, Add Personality : To Reno with 40+ Retro Products, And More.....