House of Many Colors - Page 4

Drawing earthy inspiration and seamless indoor-outdoor flow from Eichler's original paint palette
House of Many Colors
Using stain instead of paint allows siding to show off its wood-grain texture, an attractive, rustic look (like with the two homes above and immediately below). However, wood-grain cosmetic is lost once siding is painted.

An overlooked area of the Eichler exterior is the narrow concrete foundation, mostly visible from the street. This area tends to get painted the same color as a home's exterior siding. Palladino finds that it can look sharp when painted a dark charcoal or black. "If that lower edge is visible, this technique can really give the house added definition," he says.

Two of Palladino Painting's most memorable Eichler projects were the interior restoration work of longtime Eichler Homes design consultant Matt Kahn's 1959 home on the Stanford campus, and the rehabilitation of the X-100.

"Two of our crowns, for sure," says Palladino. "Kahn's home had the original color palette of earth tones—deep sages, sage grays, deep sage browns."

House of Many Colors

Kahn, incidentally, was instrumental in building Eichler Homes' original paint color palette, which later became the focus of a research project for Palladino, beginning in 2007.

At that time, Marty Arbunich of the Eichler Network recruited Palladino to help create a helpful guide for homeowners—rediscovering and reidentifying many of the paint colors found in Joe Eichler's elusive original color palette, and matching them to contemporary paint colors available from the Benjamin Moore brand. It proved to be a valuable breakthrough.

"Marty had sourced a lot of original Eichler homes that still had their original colors on them, and we found vendors who had original Cabot Stain brochures from the 1950s."

House of Many Colors
The color black (or charcoal), as used for house above and immediately below, is a hue in the Eichler palette that, with proper presentation, can look rich and sophisticated.

Using the detailed information from those findings, and other sources as well, they embarked on an ambitious project—compiling many of the original product samples and piecing together many of the original Cabot colors from the era.

Today, newer Eichler homeowners may not be familiar with the original Eichler paint palette. But having access to those colors provide a rich resource that can guide authentic restorations, spark the imagination, and lead to classic or contemporary looks for Eichler exteriors. (See many of the original Eichler body and accent colors grouped throughout the pages of this article.)

At Eichler's Upper Lucas Valley neighborhood, in San Rafael, there are strict architectural guidelines in place that apply to the exteriors of Eichlers. The Lucas Valley Homeowners Association, which is comprised of nearly 550 Eichler homes, works to preserve the originality and charm of their community with, among other things, paint specifications that preserve the historic character of their homes.

House of Many Colors

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