Pride Runs Deep - Page 3

‘Eichler Homes of Saratoga’—an enclave where appreciation and respect have never gone away
Pride Runs Deep
Pride Runs Deep
Top: Nicole Chang, Pak Chau, and son Ethan are among the development's newest arrivals. Their Claude Oakland 'gallery' model sports a 35-foot-long lap pool (above), put in by a prior owner.
Pride Runs Deep
It's not modern, but it's the 1915 Cox bungalow, which adds a touch of history to the neighborhood.

The Binen art-filled home, curated by Joyce, is a joy to visit. Although the couple's atrium has been topped by a skylight, it remains open to the outdoors visually, in the otherwise largely original home.

'When the weather's nice, it's nice to see the sky,' Lloyd says.

Nicole Chang and Pak Chau, among the neighborhood's newest arrivals, live in a model that was striking even before a previous owner added an indoor swimming pool.

Theirs is a Claude Oakland gallery model, with a gable-roofed central space Eichler Homes dubbed a 'gallery,' which is 'ideal for entertaining or as any uses as can be imagined,' according to the tract's original brochure. The gallery is an impressive 52 feet long.

With its warm tongue-and-groove ceiling, the room comes across as both spacious and cabin-like. Nicole and Pak and their son, Ethan, live in the large space, eat there, enjoy entertainment, and use it as the gateway to their 35-foot-long lap pool, put in by a prior owner. It replaced what had been an outdoor courtyard between the bedroom and living room wings.

Lots in the subdivision are super-sized as well, some 12,000 square feet or more, and many are pie-shaped. Trees abound. This is a neighborhood where, even if someone added a second story, there's a chance no privacy might be lost.

It's also a neighborhood where gardening is big—and generous, as in beautifying the neighborhood for your neighbors. Not only has Lloyd Binen filled his home and atrium with cacti and succulents, he has arrayed them beyond the fence of his property, a sweeping, curved corner lot.

Liz Owen, a landscaper who has turned her own yard into a showplace for her services, has helped Lloyd with his designs. And Lloyd, a semi-retired real estate broker who spends time caring for his ailing wife, in turn has shared with his across-the-street neighbor Nicole.

'Nicole is a terrific neighbor,' Lloyd says. 'She gives me food and I give her plants.'

One of the more striking sights in the neighborhood, for 44 reasons, is the home of Li Xu, Wenchi Fang, and their two daughters. Reason one is their gleaming stainless-steel front door—which might not warm the heart of an Eichler purist, but it sure attracts attention.

'People knock and ask, where can you get such a door?' says Li, and Wenchi adds, 'It is a very cool door.' They bought the home in 2007 and love it. A prior owner, whom Li calls a man with 'artistic taste,' added the door and made other changes, including a wall of water illuminated by uplights in the atrium.

In footprint the house is original, though the interior has been whitened. Li and Wenchi love the home, which they regard as a work of art. Li laughs. 'I take credit,' he says. 'I didn't change anything.'

Reason two is their atrium, which like Lloyd's is in the center of the house, not at the home's entry. Li and Wenchi's atrium is immense, 28 feet long and ten feet wide, truly the dominating feature of the interior.