Starting in the late '40s, a builder named Joseph Eichler, developed and built over 11,000 homes in California. He had an idea that inexpensive, quality, modern homes with open floor plans, atriums and skylights would appeal to the post war families who could appreciate new ideas in living. His homes were mostly single story, with very plain facades. Usually only a door, and a simple garage door or two, were all that could be seen from the front. No windows. But open that door, and you entered an atrium area, that served to bring the lush outdoor garden indoors with huge windows and sliding glass doors.
(photo purloined from an Eichler real estate website, so sorry)
This patio atrium, was designed to be a living space, like any other room in the house. Most of the Eichler homes, actually about 10,000 of them, are in Northern California. The other few hundred are in Southern California, in only three locations. I'm happy to say that just a few miles from our house, in Thousand Oaks, is one of these neighborhoods. I learned about Eichler homes about 10 years ago, when a friend of mine from Mattel, told me about his home in Thousand Oaks. I've visited it a few times, and although it's very plain on the outside, inside it's beautiful and airy. I've never been a huge fan of modern architecture or design, but I'm developing a real love and appreciation for these amazing homes. Yesterday, I decided to go to the Eichler area for a photo shoot for a project at work. I was shooting exteriors (rats!) so I wasn't able to sneak any peeks into the wonderful homes I saw. The fronts are plain, but the owners add their own fun little touches like whimsically colored doors, interesting landscaping, a mailbox that's a replica of the house. I put together a quick view of some of the front doors and interesting entryways into these fabulous and fun homes.