It’s important to have inspirations when renovating a home, and Jim Cross and Dave Pearson brought several inspirations in tow when they purchased this Eichler getaway located in Orange, California. For years, the couple couldn’t get enough of their weekend getaways at California’s Parker Palm Springs Hotel. They were drawn to the cheerful, kaleidoscopic interiors designed by Jonathan Adler—not to mention the many mid century homes that the city is known for.
In fact, they were so inspired by the surroundings that they held their wedding at their beloved mid century-inspired hotel. From the colorful design aspects of the hotel to the mid century homes they viewed throughout Palm Springs, both became inspirations for their home.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
The house was part of a whole neighborhood of Eichler tract homes built in the early 1960s. Joseph Eichler was a real estate dynamo during the mid century era, taking a page from Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of “Usonian” homes. Thousands of middle-class homeowners gravitated to Eichler’s sleek, yet affordable, homes with the highest concentration found in northern California.
When Jim and Dave first stepped into the 1,735-square-foot home—also known as Eichler’s LJ-144 model, which was featured as LIFE magazine’s Home of the Month in a 1961 issue—they knew it was meant for them.
Everyday Weekend Getaway
The couple says, “When we first saw our home, it checked all the boxes. We were drawn to the low-pitched roofline and the iconic mid century carport. Then, when we walked through the front door into the atrium, we were drawn to the post-and-beam construction, the walls of glass and how bright the home was. From the atrium, we could look straight through the home to the backyard and pool. We had the feeling of being on a weekend getaway in Palm Springs. It was exactly what we were looking for in an Eichler home.”
The two purchased the 1960 Eichler getaway home in May 2016 and moved in just a month later, knowing they would be making renovations along the way. Prior owners had remodeled many original Eichler features, including the kitchen and bathrooms. The previous homeowners painted over the stained redwood ceiling and all the interior doors, woodwork and mahogany paneling. Jim and Dave made it a goal to preserve as many remaining original Eichler features as possible.
“Our goal was to create a home with a Palm Springs feel and bring back some Eichler interior features,” the two say. “We knew anything original we would keep if possible (we stripped a lot of paint). Anything that was already altered, we replaced—taking inspiration from the past.”
Repairs and Renovations
Luckily, the home didn’t require any major structural alterations. The first change the couple made before they moved in was to remove the tile flooring and carpet so they could check the condition of the concrete slab. It was in good shape, so they chose to keep the concrete floors and polish them up.
They also made updates to the home that were in line with mid century design and freshened up the visuals for modern times. To make the home feel airy and open, they painted the walls white. They installed a kitchen with Ikea cabinets and Semihandmade walnut fronts. The original living room paneling sported a large hole where the television had been, so they removed it and replaced it with similar paneling that matched the material seen in the atrium. Throughout the home, they installed globe lighting and hung African mahogany doors.
The couple would like to update the bathrooms next. But in the meantime, they’ll be throwing plenty of parties in their Eichler getaway.
If you need more Eichler inspiration, check out this colorful 1960s Eichler tour.