Colour and light transform renovated Palo Alto Eichler home
Architect Gustave Carlson and interior designer Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis give a new lease of life to a Palo Alto Eichler home
A Palo Alto Eichler home has been transformed into a 21st-century domestic haven, by a team comprising architect Gustave Carlson and interior designer Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis. The house was originally one of the schemes of seminal 20th-century real estate developer Joseph Eichler, which sought to bring modernist architecture to the everyday family home. Examples of its type can now be found all over California and are often affectionately called ‘Eichlers’ – yet this is possibly the only one of its kind in the hills of Palo Alto and Los Altos.
The home’s current owners, Florie Hutchinson and her husband, were after a spacious, comfortable and stylish base in which to raise their four children; when they spotted this property on the market, they snapped it up. With Carlson, Davis and landscape designer Kasorn Piamsukon of Ground Cover Landscaping, they worked to redesign the space into a robust yet elegant interior, light and at the same time sturdy and suitable for family life.
In order to enhance the sense of space, Carlson removed partitions and cleaned up the interior space, while adding puncturing the structure to create an atrium skylight above. This completely transforms the living area below, flooding it with natural light. Strategically chosen pieces of furniture, such as the swing hanging from the roof structure, further accentuate this height and generosity.
Keeping the architecture clean and fairly monochromatic, using black, white and off-white tones in materials such as wood, cork and natural stone, creates a sophisticated backdrop for a decor that adds colour in layers, employing blues, corals, and yellows throughout. Meanwhile, an art collection comprising primarily (some 90 per cent) female artists further elevates the space.
A fresco by Mariel Capanna in the hallway, for example, welcomes guests. ‘Every element of the fresco makes us smile and is a time capsule of our family and this bizarre time of global instability,’ says Hutchinson. §