An Eichler in the desert? Joseph Eichler never built his tract homes in Palm Springs during the midcentury. However, KUD Properties has recently acquired a license and is the exclusive builder of these “Desert Eichler” homes in the greater Palm Springs area.
Troy Kudlac, founder and broker of KUD Properties and KUD development, shares his inspiration for the new-build homes. “On the quest for furthering our architectural knowledge, we ventured to Los Angeles and Orange County. We came across the Fairhaven tract of Eichlers. I was in awe and in love with the neighborhoods and their space age, Jetsons-like feel.”
From there, KUD eventually worked out the licensing details and now offers five different Eichler home models. They have plans to expand their available options in the future.
There are currently seven Desert Eichlers located throughout the Coachella Valley. This particular home attracted buyers from across the country. Homeowners Linda Rowe and her partner, Betty Eng Lee were living in New York City and hoping to retire in the sunshine of Palm Springs.
They came across a listing for Desert Eichler #6. The couple, who also own a post-and-beam home in the Hamptons, were impressed by the central location and drawn to the Mid Century Modern plans. “The concept of bringing the outdoors inside, especially with the atrium—which the Eichlers are known for—affords the experience of the out-of-doors inside,” says Linda.
The couple purchased the home before building, allowing them to be a cohesive part of the process. They enjoyed personalizing the space along the way. “Being longtime design enthusiasts, [we] worked closely in collaboration with the teams led by Troy Kudlac, and Steven Shields, the builder,” Linda says.
Make it Personal
“We personalized the home, choosing the bold, vivid MCM colors of avocado green, burnt orange, black, white and anthracite,” says Linda. Along with the vibrant color scheme, Linda and Betty collaborated with the team on lighting and finishing selections, including the stunning Kerf cabinetry. The couple utilized both vintage and modern décor to achieve their impressive mid mod look.
While they didn’t change the footprint of the home, they adjusted some of the floor plans to better fit with Betty and Linda’s lifestyle. “Instead of a large extra space, we added a powder room and laundry area to keep [the laundry] out of the garage. We also removed the wall between the dining area and kitchen to create a more 21st-century home and feel,” explains Troy.
They completed the updates with much thought toward the home’s legacy. “Every change we make and have made, we looked through the lenses of Joseph [Eichler’s] glasses: What would he do? He was a developer; he was in the business to make a profit but also to provide a functional and desirable place to live.”
With their love for a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, Linda and Betty knew that landscaping would also be integral to their home design. “[We] felt fortunate to be able to keep the five palm trees that were originally on the lot. It was no easy feat for the builders,” admits Linda.
They had to transplant three of the large palms. The trees narrowly made it to their new locations, but the team’s efforts paid off. Perhaps the success was due in part to Betty and Linda’s decision to name the home “PS Five Palms” upon arrival at the empty lot. “The name and the five palm trees did survive and ultimately thrive,” says Linda.
In early 2018, Betty, Linda and their two French bulldogs, Sadie and Petie, moved into their newly-built home, and they’ve been enjoying it ever since. “The home is bright and lively with a 360-degree beauty,” says Linda.
If you need more Eichler inspiration, tour this Eichler getaway in California.
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