Open to the outdoors

A 1950s Eichler home gets a seamless update

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Reassigning space

Enter Mark Marcinik ― a neighbor, fellow Eichler owner, and an architect whose practice specializes in modern design. Marcinik essentially kept the center of the house intact and made changes all along the edges.

The biggest change was to flip the location of the front and back entries.

The original front entry was located along the side of the house, rather than the front, so it faced the next-door neighbors' fence. "There was a small entry patio that no one wanted to use ―  it was lost space," Olga says.

The original back door, and a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows in the living room, exposed the interior of the house to two streets due to its angled position on a corner lot.

"It was illogical and confusing," Olga recalls. "First-time visitors would enter through the backyard gate and find themselves on the back patio, looking in at us through the big windows."

A bold orange door facing the street now marks the new front entry and leads through the patio, which was made private with tall plantings. This reshuffling of entries made it possible to add bedrooms and a bathroom in place of the old entrance path.

Marcinik converted a bedroom just off the kitchen into a dining room and designed a wall-mounting system for Olga, an artist, to easily change out displays of her colorful abstract paintings.

He transformed one stall in the two-car garage into a new family room, which connects to the open living area but can be readily closed off with a sliding barn door.

The master bedroom was expanded; the original master bathroom is now the laundry room, accessed from a hallway behind the kitchen. It also opens to the backyard, allowing it to double as a mudroom. "We can come in from the backyard and leave a lot of the dirt right here," Olga says.

Marcinik devised ways of building storage into other features ― under the living-room side of the kitchen bar, along the back of the kitchen cabinets. The Seybolds then supplemented that with affordable Ikea shelving systems for bedrooms and the family room.

"There's a transparency about the house ― what you see is what you get, and there's not much opportunity for clutter," Olga says. "I don't want to live in a museum, but I want to be able to put things away."

Next: A twist on a classic

 

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