'Reimagined' Eichler in San Jose Features Interior Zen Garden

Mid-Century Modern remodels can easily fall into the trap of "remuddle" when owners update. Avoiding an era-filled jumble and design touches that don't fit the aesthetic is tricky. This renovated Eichler in San Jose, CA, currently on the market for $1.7 million, didn't suffer the ignominious fate of a renovation gone wrong.

"It's the best I've ever seen," listing agent Ken Fox says of the five-bedroom, three-bathroom home's re-design, which includes a second story, adding to the exterior roofline. "People who hadn't seen Eichlers before would think the addition was an original design characteristic because it was done so well."

The "reimagined" home, as Fox puts it, was redone in 1980, and the interior atrium was converted to covered space for additional square footage. Plus, a staircase and second story with two bedrooms and a bathroom were added.

Downstairs, the changes are also apparent with a larger master bedroom that opens to the garden, and a "luxurious" bathroom, definitely unheard of in original Eichler builds. The residence also features an office, guest room, and plenty of entertaining space.

Eichlers, as they're called, are named for the developer Joseph Eichler, who built now-iconic modern tract homes in communities around California, which are known for having a small footprint, indoor-outdoor flow, walls of glass, and indoor atriums.

This 2,600-square-foot home is located in the Willow Glen neighborhood. Fox calls the area "a really quaint community." He adds that the nearby "little town center" includes restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Along with being part of an Eichler enclave, this property has many trademark details, including original wood paneling, an open first level, and slate flooring that continues outside.

In fact, the bamboo landscape out back ties to the "dry-scape" garden inside, which the seller added. A platform next to the staircase displays a serene Zen garden, currently featuring an infinity symbol drawn in the sand. "Most people who buy Eichlers are sort of into that way of living," Fox says.

We'll let you meditate on whether the Zen garden is the coolest feature in this eye-catching Eichler, but our intuition tells us an enlightened buyer will snap up this stylish home soon.