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Interior Design Tips & Inspirations for Eichler & Mid-Century Modern Homeowners

August 07 2015
August 07 2015

Interior Design Tips & Inspirations for Eichler & Mid-Century Modern Homeowners

What attracts people to Eichler homes is that there's an everlasting quality portrayed in the design where old and new blend together in a harmonious way. In essence, Eichlers respect the era they originated from, while staying true to the wants and needs of today's homeowner. Since Eichler homes were quite innovative for their time and reflect the underlying philosophy of modernism, which was to create a new way of living during a pivotal time in our country's history, it's important for homeowners to take this same approach when designing their home. Now this doesn't mean painting the whole living room with an eye-catching color because it stands out. But rather taking the time to initially investigate the history of the home, the era it was built in and the overall flow of the architecture...and then deciding upon a color that fits cohesively into both your preferences and the comprehensive design of the home.

It's important to also remember that one's home is a reflection of oneself, so feel free to leave your own thumbprint on the design. If you don't feel a real connection to your Eichler, there's something wrong with the foundation of your design. The structure of these homes were built to be unobtrusive so that homeowners could successfully portray this idea of modernism in whatever way suited them best. There's a way to respect your home's original design integrity without forgoing a modern-day perspective, so it's important to be strategic yet true to yourself when coming up with the design. Whether a homeowner is moving into a new space, or remodeling an existing home he or she has lived in for decades, it’s important to be honest with oneself in order to have a home perfect for their needs. So with all this in mind, here are some interior design tips to get your Eichler home truly looking and feeling like an Eichler. This article will also be useful to those of you who are trying to get some midcentury modern interior design inspirations for your home. 

1. Balance is Key

Balanced Eichler Home

When you're blending pieces from different eras or cultures, the key is to find balance through universal elements such as size and color. For example, if you have a large, bold piece of furniture in a room, pair it with a piece that's more delicate in detailing but vibrant in color to balance out the difference. Strategically blending pieces together will help to create space in all the areas of a room that are inviting and interesting. Start by figuring out what your fundamental needs are in a home and get a feel for how they will play into your decor space. Do this by reflecting on how you currently live in your home's space and filter out what works for you and what doesn't. Once you've solved the bigger picture, you can then start to narrow down on the smaller spaces and accessories layer by layer. So all in all, when you're in doubt just remember the equation: Bold and large with little color equals vibrant color with small delicate detailing.

2. Choose the Right Colors

Eichler Colors



We cannot emphasize how important color cues are when it comes to making your home look and feel like an Eichler. We do plan on writing a separate blog post entirely on choosing the right color combo for your Eichler's interior, so stay tuned for that. However to summarize the main points, mid-century colors tend to combine darker neutral tones with saturated accent colors. This is why often times you'll see an Eichler with mostly white or tan walls accented by accessories with bold, bright colors such as orange or green. We personally love using blues and greens as accent colors because it alines with the Eichler aesthetic of bringing the outside in. If there's a pool in the backyard, we'll draw out color combinations from that and use them on the interior. All in all, a good balance between warm and cool colors is extremely vital so play around with some oranges and reds as well. Also remember to follow the usual interior design color picking tip, also called the 60-30-10 rule. Your room colors should be 60% dominant base color, 30% secondary color, and 10% accent color. Avoid picking more than 3 to 4 colors.

If you're interested in learning about Eichler front door colors in particular, refer back to one of our previous posts on Front Door Color Ideas for Eichlers.

3. Pattern & Texture in Decor

Pattern and texture in Eichler

Identifying mid-century patterns is critical when picking the decor for your home. As the harbinger of the modern design movement, Eichlers loved asymmetrical, abstract patterns. You'll typically see a bold abstract painting hanging from the wall to give the room a more dynamic feel or a carpet/rug with this type of pattern. Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form and color to create a composition, which meshes well with the whole concept of creating balance with different elements.

If you're not comfortable with too much spunk, feel free to use rugs and decor with just a solid color. The point is to think outside the box and use your judgement to identify what fits with your mid-century pieces.

Eichler design












A common decor piece we tend to see in Eichler is either a sputnik, artichoke or sunburst shaped piece. The fine lines and design of these types of pieces gives a room more personality (or spunk as we like to call it), while still upholding an elegant look. Try sprucing up your dull dining room table with an artichoke chandelier or placing a starburst clock right above a wooden table. You'll be surprised to see the level of dynamism these types of pieces can add to a room, and how well they pair with large furniture.

For information on where to shop for midcentury modern furniture, refer back to one of our previous posts on Best Places to Find MidCentury Modern Furniture.


4. Less is More - Aim for Simplicity

simplicity in Eichler

Since there was a lot of thought and strategy that went into coming up with the structure for an Eichler, you want to allow these elements to shine by not cluttering your home with too much decor. The structure was built around the concept of bringing the outside in, so in that sense, less is always more when it comes to design. You don't want to keep adding unnecessary furniture or accessories because it'll detract from the beauty of the outside world. Keep things simple by adding one or two artistic metal wall plagues or a large graphic oil canvas to your wall. This approach complements the clean, simple lines of the house and produces a calm, peaceful environment for living.

5. Retro Yet Contemporary


Vintage pieces are also commonly seen in Eichlers because it brings back the integrity of the original design. Visit your local flea market to see if you can find some unique timepieces with fine lines and bold graphic fabric that'll give your Eichler somewhat of a 50's feel. One of our clients said he found an old record player in his garage and used it as a decor piece in the living room. It's now his favorite piece in the whole house because it adds a whole different feel to the room. Play around with globe lights, groovy wallpaper, walnut cabinetry and a pegboard backsplash. Be inspired by the past, but also be in the moment.

6. Light Fixtures Matter

Light Fixtures

Look at any Eichler or midcentury modern home and you will surely see dazzling modern marvels dangling from the ceilings or lighting up sleek side tables. Unique pendant lights and fixtures are not only functional; they are pieces of sculptural art. Mid-century floor lamps and table lamps feature either very straight, geometric lines or round, curved contour. The very contrasting shapes offer a very bold position for lighting in your room and creates that level of balance we keep emphasizing. Globe pendant light fixtures are very commonly seen in Eichlers and their design consists of exposed bulbs on straight rods. Although they work well as single pendants, they're especially head-turning when hung in pairs or multiples at different heights.

For a list of where to find globe pendant light fixtures, visit our previous post on Best Places to Find Globe Lighting Fixtures.

If you need any assistance on Interior Design Tips or Inspirations for Eichler Homes or MidCentury Modern Homes, Contact the ERDAL TEAM today.



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