A recent article about an Eichler renovation brings up a good point and something to keep in mind when planning a renovation, especially of a vintage home. While it is wonderful to update and modernize, it's equally important to keep what still makes sense from the original design. For example...
The owner, Loni Nagwani, (whose kitchen is shown in the photo) was ready to gut the original kitchen and put in a full, modern Italian kitchen. According to the Atomic Ranch article, before the work began, she started to have nightmares - she says, "Every time I tried to make the layout work with the fridge and other things moved somewhere else, I'd end up putting them back where they were in the first place. It makes you realize that actually there's nothing wrong with the design, that maybe you're the problem."
In the end, she and her husband developed a new kitchen that retained the best of the old, like the original "zolatone" cabinetry (which apparently is unusual to find these days) and the vintage cooktop while updating what needed work.
Add this to the list of renovation stories to remember when planning a job of your own - aside from potentially saving money, it can also preserve history and help celebrate what most likely made you love your home in the first place - its history and roots.
Featured in the currently available Summer 2009 issue of Atomic Ranch.
Image: Jim Brown/Atomic Ranch