Desert Eichlers

I like to casually (obsessively) glance over (inhale) photographs of houses, and my favorite this week is a new Eichler built in Palm Springs. Not because I am in love with the house but I’m undoubtedly intrigued with the concept of reproduction vintage homes and here is one in the flesh.

Not familiar with Eichler? Joseph Eichler was a mid century developer who brought the functionality and beauty of modern architecture to the masses. Thousands of beautiful homes filled with light, glass, wood, atriums, beams and ball lights rose up in pockets throughout California in the 50’s and 60’s, dotting the suburban sprawl of the Bay Area, the San Fernando Valley and Orange County. If you’ve lived in any of those places, you’ve undoubtedly seen these ubiquitous and glorious neighborhoods. A 1950’s poll by Sunset Magazine, a lifestyle magazine dedicated to wonderful life in the West, revealed that 60% of their readers owned Eichlers (according to Eichler Homes: Design for Living). Whaaat? And, now, one has risen up in the desert. A new one. Based on old purchased plans.

Does it truly qualify as an Eichler? I don’t know. The location and architecture make a happy pair, though. Apparently, it was a quick and pricey sale and I can see why.








all photos from Curbed and

Things I love: the modern interpretation of the classic Eichler kitchen is right on, the tongue and groove ceilings and thick beams, the atrium, the lighting, the wood/luan walls and that cheerful circle pool! Things I’m not crazy about: the flooring (I kind of hate the carpet and don’t love the tiles) and that concrete fireplace/chimney is pretty bad in my opinion (so contemporary looking). I think I’d rather have an original Eichler, fixer upper problems and all, in the same way that I’d rather have an original vs a reproduction. But this beats any new construction by leaps and bounds.

About 10 years ago, I was determined to live in an Eichler but instead I had to move to North Carolina. I guess the closest I’ll ever get was in the 3rd grade when I lived one street over from the OC Fairhills Eichlers and went to school with all the Eichler kids but didn’t get to go home to their sweet Eichler lifestyle.

Funny, I remember my mom recalling the mixed reactions to the OC tracts when they were built…some thought they were ugly, odd sore thumbs. And now here they are being recreated and sold for $1M+.

What do you think? Love it or hate it? Old or new? Or none at all?


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