20/10/2020

Kakiq

Giving your Home a new Option

Before & After: Another A. Quincy Jones Eichler Is Returned to Its Former Glory in Oakland

When a historic Eichler popped up on the market three years ago in Oakland, California, designer Indhira Rojas, along with her partner, Jason, immediately put in an offer with a shared mission in mind: to restore the home to its original splendor. Sited on a large lot in the “Lost Eichler” neighborhood of Oakland, California (an enclave that contains the only Eichlers in the area), the double-gable house was designed by famed architect A. Quincy Jones in 1965. Yet as a result of previous renovations, the property had regrettably lost touch with much of Jones’s original design.

Designed by A. Quincy Jones in 1965, the recently remodeled double A-frame is located in Oakland’s “Lost Eichler” neighborhood. With fewer than 50 homes in the development, this enclave represents one of the smaller Eichler housing tracts in California.

“Our main goal was to return the space to its timeless design,” explains designer and current homeowner Indhira Rojas. “The previous owners had enclosed the open spaces, leaving the atrium, pool, and backyard completely covered. Fortunately, the simplistic layout hadn’t been altered much, so it became clear that if we just removed a lot of these layers, we could restore the house to its original intent.”

Before: The Front Entry

A look at the front entry before the renovation. “The atrium looked like a mini golf course with an astroturf floor and a wooden fountain at its center,” describes current owner Indhira Rojas.

While the plan seemed fairly straightforward, the process was anything but short and easy. “On the advice of our friends, we took our time to live in the house and get to know it before making any big renovations,” says Rojas. “As typical designers, we started with a research deep-dive, and became obsessed about all things midcentury-modern. We read about Eichler and the architects who collaborated with him, specifically A. Quincy Jones who designed the model of our home. We went on multiple midcentury home tours in the area and in Palm Springs, and, filled our Pinterest boards with inspiration.”

After: The Front Entry

The couple restored the original open-air space between the two gables. 

“We decided to open up the atrium before we even moved in, which was enough of a step to help give us a sense of the potential of the home,” she continues. After consulting with numerous architects and interior designers for advice and guidance, the duo were able to hone in their vision and put their plans in motion. 

Before: The Living Room

“The floor was another interesting challenge, as it was previously covered with a fake wood texture,” describes Rojas. “We always assumed we could just remove that and reveal a beautiful raw concrete floor that’s characteristic of these homes. Yet when we took it out we realized there was a mix of materials underneath.”

“We decided to focus on the key areas that would elevate the house and bring back the Eichler feel. After opening up the atrium, fixing up the pool and the backyard was essential,” Rojas explains. “We also wanted to install a new modern kitchen, which felt like the central gathering place in the home. Lastly, we felt that remodeling the master bathroom, vanity area, and guest bathroom would complete the experience.”

After: The Living Room

The couple became inspired after touring the John Lautner–designed Sheats Goldstein House in L.A., and decided to apply a microtopping coat on the floors. “We spent a long time testing samples with our concrete vendor,” says Rojas, “but when we achieved the right mixture it really brought the house together.”

“Being designers allowed us to put some of our skills in practice to pre-visualize our ideas,” says Rojas. For example, her partner Jason was able to model the house in 3D, which allowed the couple to get to know every detail of the space. “For quick design iterations, we worked in Photoshop building on top of 3D renders or photographs to find the right house colors or mock up landscaping ideas.”

“For the interior design, we made the decision to keep the palette light and airy,” explains Rojas. Some midcentury homes in this style go for a more woodsy or darker palette, but we felt the wood planks on the ceilings combined with some brass details would provide enough warmth to allow the larger surfaces to remain white.”

“In the end, we felt we were able to honor the midcentury style of the house by removing the extra layers and modernizing the common areas with details that felt current yet true to the Eichler aesthetic,” concludes Rojas. Now that the restoration is complete, the couple are ready to hand over the keys to a new buyer that’s eager to appreciate the architectural beauty of the space. Keep scrolling to see more before & after photos of the home, which was recently listed for $1,550,000. 

“We wanted the home to have a feeling of openness and simplicity. The white walls, combined with the modern cabinets and the lighter colored concrete floor turned out to be the perfect balance.”

The current homeowners, Indhira Rojas and her partner, Jason, in the living room.

Before: The Dining Room

Pre-remodel, the dining room felt outdated, featuring wooden cabinetry and mirrored walls.

After: The Dining Room

The couple tore out the cabinets and painted the walls a crisp for a simple and cohesive solution.

Before: The Kitchen

As part of the home’s transformation, the couple completely gutted the kitchen. Here is a peek at the space prior to the renovation.

After: The Kitchen

Now, the kitchen features new quartz countertops, custom cabinets, and all new appliances.

Floor-to-ceiling windows usher an abundance of light into the 2,421-square-foot interior, while enhancing the home’s intimate indoor-outdoor connection.

“Renovating the inside of the house was a little easier because the original layout is just so wonderful,” states Rojas. “We consistently made our design choices based on what would let the architecture shine and not do anything that would take away from the beauty of the clean minimal forms already present.”

After: Bedrooms, Baths, Living Areas, and Outdoors

A peek at one of the four bedrooms, all of which offer direct outdoor access.

Both of the two bathrooms have also been completely updated with modern finishes.

A bright office space is nestled in one corner of the home.

Another living area features a built-in bar. Doors open to the atrium. “Standing inside and watching the hummingbirds zip around is magical,” states Rojas. “This space is a true gem.”

A closer look at the kidney-shaped pool that awaits in the backyard.

Here is a rarely seen copy of the original blueprint by A. Quincy Jones, recovered from the UCLA archives.

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