No Place Like Home

In a SoCal canyon edged with rolling hills, the laid-back Eichler neighborhood of Thousand Oaks echoes the best of mid-century living
No Place Like Home
Vista of the Thousand Oaks Eichlers shot from atop Tarantula Hill, a popular hiking area adjacent to the Eichlers.

Driving up Olsen Road towards the Eichler neighborhood in Thousand Oaks, street names like Moondance, Floating Cloud, and Wildwood offer a taste of the enchantment that lies ahead.

It's easy to imagine, surrounded by the gently sloping hills dotted with oak trees, living the good life right here. The folks who reside in these 100 or so Eichler homes—19 miles north of Malibu's beaches, in Ventura County—certainly wouldn't disagree.

Among those Eichler owners are Phyllis and Gary Rautenberg, who, while raising their family in nearby Agoura Hills, spent several years looking for the ideal house to fulfill their needs.

"I had been torturing a realtor for seven years looking for just the right house," says Phyllis. Then, in 2007, "I saw this Eichler advertised in a local paper."

No Place Like Home
Steve Eden (left) and Jon Tanaka, Thousand Oaks Eichler owners since 1999, enjoy the mid-century ambience of their pool and backyard.

The couple made the decision to buy pretty quickly after discovering their double-gable model on Thousand Oaks' Fordham Avenue, Gary recalls. "Even our dog, Jackson," he says, "appreciated the move to a single-level home."

"I wish we had known about it sooner," Phyllis adds. "I would have loved to raise our kids here."

Professional musicians who perform with the Moorpark Symphony and Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, the couple bought their home with one important consideration—they wanted a quiet place to play their music. To be sure, they tested out the sound situation before making an offer, Gary blowing his saxophone at one end of the house, and Phyllis listening from the other. It worked.

"The sound doesn't go through ducts or anything, since we have radiant heat, which we love," explains Phyllis, who also teaches music at local schools, and yoga out of her home studio.

Nearby, at the corner of Lynn Road and Camino Manzanas, an imposing sign with a formidable concrete-block backdrop reads 'EICHLER HOMES,' hinting at what was waiting just around the bend. Eichler folks are particularly proud of their sign, which was installed in 2014, a community project shepherded by owner Janice Kish Kenton and her late husband, Pete.

No Place Like Home
Eden (left) and Tanaka, surrounded by art, glassware, and all the things they love, in their island-themed 'Hawaii Room.'

Looking around at the neighborhood's cared-for homes and landscapes, it's clear that this 1960s-built tract on five adjacent streets is indeed a treasured haven.

Robyn and husband Joe Moshier moved to Thousand Oaks in 2019, relocating from a mid-century home in the Palmer & Krisel Corbin Palms neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.

"I'm a total island girl, born in Oahu, but it's always so nice to come home," says Robyn, who recently returned from a trip to Hawaii.

Inside their double-gable model on Campbell Avenue designed by architects Jones & Emmons, rays of natural light stream in, illuminating a credenza painted in pink and white shades that resemble Neapolitan ice cream.

No Place Like Home
Inside the living/dining room of the Eden/Tanaka main house.

"Sitting in this living room is my most favorite place to be," says Robyn. "Whether it's raining or sunny, I like to sit in the corner, with my feet up, and have this view."

"Our daughter, Emi [short for Emiko], misses climbing the crepe myrtle tree we had [at Corbin Palms]," she adds. "But here we love looking out our windows—plus we have a view of Tarantula Hill."

Keep in touch with the Eichler Network. SUBSCRIBE to our free e-newsletter