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Walnut Creek Eichler Is a ‘Zen’ Retreat for Under a Million

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The San Francisco Bay Area is known for neighborhoods full of Mid-Century-style homes designed by Joseph Eichler. A standout Zen gem in Walnut Creek that’s on the market is at one with nature—and possibly with your budget. Ken Fox at East Bay Modern is the listing agent.

Those seeking a McMansion should look elsewhere. The 2,037-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath residence is many things, but humongous it’s not. That goes for the price tag, too: just $ 850,000—a relative bargain in the Bay Area.

“Eichlers … represented a value,” Fox told us. “Joseph Eichler, the developer, wanted to bring high-end architecture to the middle class. In the Bay Area housing market, it’s still serving its purpose.”

The 1956 courtyard-style home at 91 Los Cerros Place is part of the Rancho San Miguel development in the city 30 minutes east of San Francisco. The neighborhood has around 100 to 200 Eichler houses built between 1954 and 1956, according to Fox.

The exceptional lot lies at the end of a cul-de-sac with lush landscaping, a backyard, and floor-to-ceiling windows that visually merge the indoor and outdoor spaces—perfect for your morning sun salutations.

Fox noted a general rise in interest in modern architecture, which could be due to a certain TV show. “More people are interested in Mid-Century with shows like ‘Mad Men.’”

Of course, the three-piece suit and three-martini lunch are optional. The era doesn’t matter when your home “plain out looks cool,” according to Fox.

This Walnut Creek retreat certainly fits the cool bill. Walk in, Fox said, and you’re immediately overcome with a sense of calm. “With floor-to-ceiling glass, it transcends the indoors and outdoors. The yard has a Japanese landscape design, and so that peaceful, calm, Zen feeling through the glass is also accessible. The outdoors is indoors with this Eichler.”

With just three owners over the life of the house, there’s been only one addition. Fox called it the “meditation room.” The sun-filled section was added in the ’60s or ’70s. With large glass walls and a cathedral-type ceiling, the room “is one of the best additions I’ve seen on an Eichler, because it’s so true to the period in the design,” Fox said.

Other updates include new tile, new fixtures in the bathrooms, and new bamboo flooring in the bedrooms. And here’s a nice touch: a state-of-the-art, radiant wall heating system that includes the towel racks.

If you ever leave the bathroom, head to the master bedroom. “The master has floor-to-ceiling glass out to the backyard, to the courtyard,” said Fox. “That’s a wonderful bedroom to me. It’s like you’re sleeping outdoors.”

Say “om.” Or maybe just “Home.”

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