Architect Spotlight: Joseph Eichler

If you follow along with our blog, you know that we've been diving deep into the history of modern architecture and the architects who have influenced it. This month, we're looking at Joseph Eichler, one of the most influential names in the mid-century modern movement and, most interestingly, tract housing. 

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Eichler wasn't really an architect at all, but rather a real estate developer. Throughout the early 20th century, he was a major advocate of bringing the modern architecture that was popular in corporate buildings and larger, pricier custom homes to the general public through his company Eichler Homes.

Eichler Homes built more than 11,000 homes in Northern and Southern California between 1949 and 1966, and eventually these homes became known simply as "Eichlers". These homes were built in large developments of multiple identical units, but we love them because unlike similar developments, Eichler found a way to inject major modern style and design elements influenced by architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. By hiring architects and instructing them to create these affordable homes with the mid-century modern elements that Eichler appreciated, he created an entirely new type of tract housing.

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Most of Eichler's homes are known for a few key factors. Many of them are constructed with flat, gabled roofs and low lines that line up with the horizon. There are few (and sometimes no) windows on the front facades, but large, floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the interiors. These homes were private from the street and open and full of light inside, while the public rooms were spacious with few walls and the private areas, such as the bedrooms and baths, were smaller and cozier. 

Today, Eichler's homes are synonymous with Californian architecture, and many people even refer to his style as "California contemporary". While Eichler sourced local elements such as redwood in Northern California, he also sourced materials that he loved from overseas, such as the mahogany he used on many of his homes’ walls.

all images via      Dwell

all images via Dwell

A Craftsman Home Renovation in East Nashville

We recently took on one of our biggest home design projects to date, and we wanted to give you guys a glimpse into the beginning stages of the project. It's always been a goal of ours to be able to take on full-scale home renovation projects like this one, and it's been something that we've been working towards for a while now. This particular project is just a few minutes from our own home in the Greenwood neighborhood of East Nashville, and it involves a pretty but admittedly kinda crumbly craftsman bungalow with tons of charm to work with. 

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Our in-house interior designer Leah is taking the reins in a big way on this one, working with the homeowners to reimagine the entire home and make the floorplan more open and modern (while still maintaining the original charm — you know us). We're also adding a bathroom and expanding on the kitchen, adding some functional space without actually adding an addition to the home itself. 

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The homeowners are going to be the general contractors on this project, but we’re helping with the big stuff, including the custom trim, build-outs, and demo. In the next phase, Leah is helping the homeowners to design a new, opened-up kitchen to make it an open concept first floor, as well as adding custom built-ins and vanities (with sinks!) in the bedrooms. We'll also be renovating both of the existing bathrooms to make them more modern, functional, and a little less dusty.

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On the outside, we'll be cleaning her up and doing some general maintenance and TLC. The home will get a fresh coat of paint, some new landscaping and if we have any say in it, a ton of plants lining the perimeter of that killer front porch. 

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Are you interested in working with 1767 on your home renovation? Check out our other design projects here or let us know here

Road Trip to Chattanooga With Treetop Hideaways

After the craziness of Porter Flea (our largest market of the year), our design and marketing team needed a little break and a bit of a creative reset. We've had our eyes on Chattanooga for some time now, and since it's only a little under two hours from Nashville, we decided to hit the road for some R&R in the mountains.

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We reached out to a local company called Treetop Hideaways after seeing their modern treehouses on Instagram and they kindly let us take over their beautiful Elements Treehouse for the weekend. It was the perfect place for us to recharge our creative batteries. We found ourselves pretty well aligned with their mission because just like we recycle wood from Nashville's old homes to create our wall art, the Treetop Hideaways team incorporates reclaimed barn wood, antique windows and an old-fashioned, barn-raising construction style to create a modern look in their two treehouses.

The treehouse that we stayed in was cozy but spacious, with an open floor plan, tiny kitchen and one of the most luxurious showers we've seen just about anywhere (there's a mature tree growing up right through the center of it!). Upstairs, there's a loft space with skylights that allowed us to watch the rain fall during the night. 

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While we mostly stayed cozied up in the treehouse enjoying the serenity and the beautiful view of Lookout Mountain, we ventured into Chattanooga for dinner and drinks at the Dwell Hotel and breakfast in the morning at The Bitter Alibi, both of which were delicious. We did some window shopping along Frazier Avenue, and we found some seriously good denim at Collective Clothing

On our last day we peeked over at the other treehouse next to ours and lusted over the floor-to-ceiling windows and the way-up-high deck. We'll definitely be back for another stay with Treetop Hideaways, and if you'd like to book your own stay, you can find them online here

This post was written in partnership with Treetop Hideaways. We received a free stay in exchange for our honest review. 

Architect Spotlight: Richard Neutra

We look for inspiration in lots of different places, but there's no better place to go for inspiration than straight to the source. When 1767 started moving into the design world, we began learning all we could about history's best architects, picking up bits and pieces of their styles and finding new and creative ways to approach our own projects.

We frequently post inspirational shots from these architects over on our Instagram page, and lots of you seemed just as interested in them as we are. That's when we got the idea to feature one of our favorite architects each month here on our blog to help share what we're learning, show you where our inspiration comes from and (of course) give you some serious #HousePorn to look at. 

via Getty

via Getty

Our first featured architect is Richard Neutra — master of modernism, lover of art and fellow Californian (though he was originally born in Austria). Neutra worked briefly under Frank Lloyd Wright, but he owes most of his education in architecture to European architects like Gustav AmmannErich Mendelsohn and Rudolf Schindler. Neutra worked under Schindler in Southern California in the mid 1920s, and the work that they created together was so far ahead of its time, we'd swear it was from the mid century. 

via Getty

via Getty

via Getty

via Getty

Neutra first worked as a landscape architect when he arrived in California, designing gardens throughout areas like Newport Beach and Hollywood. After his architecture skills began catching up with his mentor Rudolf Schindler, the two went into business together (along with Carol Aronovici) to form the Architectural Group for Industry and Commerce, or AGIC. Their work was geometric, yet airy and open, creating what became known as the West Coast answer to the mid-century modern style. 

We love that Neutra emphasized function for the client, not just style — he was known for asking endless lists of questions before beginning any build so that he could really understand how the family would use the home. He created multipurpose rooms, blended the landscape into the home's design and made the floor plans open, accessible and airy. In a Los Angeles Times interview, Neutra famously called his homes "ready-for-anything".

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

via Dwell

Design Travel Guide: Asheville, NC

Just a few hours from Nashville (and with a name that sounds crazy similar), Asheville is a great getaway for East Coasters or Southerners looking for a low-key road trip. This quirky mountain town is full of literary and music history, acclaimed restaurants and design-savvy cabins that make for the perfect weekend away. Here are a few of our favorite Asheville spots. 

Image via  Sovereign Remedies
  • The Airbnbs. There are a few hotel options (like the luxe Windsor Boutique Hotel), but in such a friendly, communal city, we love to stay in an Airbnb. Options like this, this or this are quintessential Asheville, or if you're not set on staying right in the city, there are a ton of mountain cabins just outside. 
  • Sovereign Remedies. We love this cozy, narrow bar and restaurant for its eclectic vintage decor and its cool history (it was once the New Medical Building and a drugstore/barber shop). Grab a spot on the couch for a too-pretty-to-drink cocktail and an order of bone marrow tater tots. 
  • Burial Beer Co. Asheville is well known for its breweries (there are tons), and while you'll often hear about the totally worthwhile Wicked Weed, we're partial to Burial Beer Co. for its cool, industrial taproom, colorful murals and outdoor patio. 
  • Cúrate. This incredible tapas spot is pronounced "coo-rah-tay" rather than like the often-overused "curate," so let's get that out of the way first. Moving on to the food: if you're looking for seriously creative Spanish cuisine in a seriously stylish downtown Asheville location, this is the place. 
  • Tupelo Honey. If we had to bet on one restaurant in Asheville that you're going to hear about, it's this one. With cookbooks and press galore, this small chain of Southern-style breakfast spots originated in Asheville before expanding all the way to Texas, but we think it's still worth a visit to try the incredible biscuits and baked goods. 
  • East Fork. Being an independent artisan company, we love to find independent makers to support in other cities, and we think East Fork Pottery is doing it best in Asheville. Stop into their new downtown storefront to pick up handmade pour-overs, sets of dishes or their Instagram-popular mugs
  • The Black Mountain College Museum. This progressive college began in the mountains outside of Asheville in 1933, when artists were being persecuted all over the world. Refugees made their way from Nazi Germany to Asheville to form this experiment in artistic education, and it spawned some of the most influential writers, artists and leaders in American history over the next two decades. Today, the The Black Mountain College Museum is worth a visit to learn about the inspiring story and admire its graduates' art collections. 
  • The Grove Arcade. If you're looking for more architectural history, the Grove Arcade is one of the city's most interesting spots. This downtown marketplace was built in 1929, and today it's full of restaurants, shops, and an awesome outdoor artists market. 
  • The Biltmore Estate. It's huge. It's insane. It's pretty much everything you'd expect from the largest home in America. Even if you're the type to avoid "tourist" attractions, this one is worth a visit. 

 

Where to Find Frank Lloyd Wright Homes Near Nashville

If you're anything like us, then you likely love Frank Lloyd Wright's incredible architecture. We take a lot of inspiration from the clean lines and natural elements of his homes and buildings, but it wasn't until recently that we learned that there are a few FLW sites within driving distance from our hometown of Nashville. 

If you love design and you're looking for an out-of-the-ordinary road trip destination, then you might want to consider planning a design road trip to check out a Frank Lloyd Wright home. Here are a few FLW spots within a few hours of Nashville to add to your summer road trip bucket list. 

via Wikipedia/Jim Roberts

via Wikipedia/Jim Roberts

  • The Seamour Shavin House
    334 North Crest Road, Chattanooga, TN
    Around 2 hours driving

    This private residence was built in 1950 for Seamour and Gerte Shavin, and it's the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in all of Tennessee. It's built of treated Louisiana cypress wood and a similar stonework to Wright's famous Fallingwater, and it offers incredible views of the  Tennessee River and Lookout Mountain. 
via Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

via Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

  • The Zeigler House
    509 Shelby Street, Frankfort, KY
    Around 3 hours driving

    This is the only FLW building in Kentucky, and it makes a fun little pit stop if you're heading up north. It's a private residence that someone still lives in today, but it's a great example of Wright's "prairie house" style.
via wcpo.com

via wcpo.com

  • The Boswell House
    8805 Camargo Club Drive, Indian Hill, OH
    Just over 4 hours driving

    This L-shaped home is one of our favorite FLW houses. It's located just north of Cincinnati, and it's one of the few FLW houses that was still inhabited by the original owners (up until a few years ago, at least). The Boswell house was built in 1957, and it still has all of the incredible mid-century built-ins and textiles. 
via Curbed

via Curbed

The Gerald Tonkens House
6980 Knoll Rd, Cincinnati, OH
Just over 4 hours driving
It's one of many FLW houses in the Cincinnati area, but it's definitely one of the coolest. The exterior of the "Usonian Automatic" home is made of concrete blocks and more than 400 windows, and the interior is made up of detailed ceilings, an open layout and original mid-century furniture. 

via Fallingwater.org

via Fallingwater.org

  • Fallingwater 
    1491 Mill Run Rd, Mill Run, PA
    Just under 9 hours

    This one is a far one, but if you're making the drive to a Northern city like Pittsburgh, New York or Philadelphia, it's well worth the stop to see the most iconic home in American history. 

The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club Build

As a company, we've always dreamed of venturing into the interior design and commercial design world, and recently it's felt like the next logical step for 1767. Unlike building that first coffee table or wall art piece, however, it isn't something that we could jump into headfirst. We've slowly been building up our skills and experience with designing interiors through smaller projects (such as the floor at the Thompson Hotel and the installations at Urban Cowboy Nashville), but it wasn't until we signed on to design the Fox Bar & Cocktail Club earlier this year that we really got to take on an entire design project from start to finish. 

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Our good friend decided to open the Fox just a few months back, and we got behind his vision right away. He took over the space underneath Nicoletto's Pasta Co. in East Nashville, and despite its relative emptiness and somewhat cozy size, we knew that it was the perfect space for the type of bar he had in mind. The Fox would be a low-key but high-style hangout for Nashville local and visitors alike, complete with classic, handcrafted cocktails, booths large enough for your whole crew to camp out for an evening and a sleek bar area perfect for grabbing a drink before a show nearby. 

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We started by gutting the space to make room for built-in booths along the wall, as well as a large bar and intimate tables throughout. We created custom orb-style light fixtures over the bar itself, distressed mirrors behind open shelving and brass fixtures on all of the doors. Next, we covered the booths with a luxe green velvet and marble inlays at the center of the tables, while the bathroom got the wallpaper treatment with an art deco-inspired print that instantly made us want to take a mirror selfie. Antique Persian rugs and low, leather seating create a cozy nook in one corner, and the brass light fixtures over the back door make the space feel like a hidden gem or a seriously stylish version of your favorite hole-in-the-wall bar. Once all was said and (almost) done, the Fox ended up with a vibe that's somewhere between a 1920s speakeasy and a laid-back, locals-only dive bar. 

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This was by far one of the most challenging projects that we've worked on, but also the most rewarding — although the real reward will come once we sip that first Old Fashioned at the Fox when it opens for business later this month.