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Whether you’re celebrating a mother, grandmother, sister, or friend this May, we find that homemade gifts really hit the spot for any mother figure in your life. And with Mother’s Day coming up on May 8th, a DIY gift is perfect for those on a time constraint or budget. For the less crafty audience out there struggling to get a grip on this whole DIY craziness, don’t be scared because we made sure that these gifts are indeed easy to make. The best part of it all is that it’ll accentuate the one thing mom works so hard to maintain every day: Your Home. So get your toolboxes out and get ready to use those hands because here are 6 simple DIY Mother’s Day gifts that’ll glam up your home.

1. Mini Photo Magnets

Mini Photo Magnets
Photo source:

Supplies Needed:

1. Photo Printouts – Make sure to get them in the size that you want from any Walmart/Walgreens/CVS etc.

2. Glue – Use PVC or UHU for refining edges

3. Cardboard Backing/Mounting Board – You can find this at any art store or just use any thick paper that looks nice

4. Magnets – You can find these at Benjamin Franklin or any craft store

5. Cutting Supplies


1. Glue the photo printouts onto the cardboard backing so that you have a sturdy surface to glue the magnets on

2. Cut out the photos with the cardboard backing into any shape or design you want. You can even leave a little room at the end to write little memos for mom reminding her about the events in the photo.

3. Glue the magnets onto the backings

4. Stick them on your fridge and use it to hold up a Mothers Day card or a message for mom

2. Gardening Gift Basket

Gardening Gift Basket
Photo source:

Supplies Needed:

1. Empty Bucket – You can find these at Lowes/Michaels/Target

2. Gloves

3. Shovel/Gardening Tools

4. Seed Packets – Choose your mom’s favorite flowers

5. Skewers – You can use popsicle sticks too

6. Tape

7. Ribbon

8. Tissue Paper – This is to fill the bottom of the bucket


1. Tape the skewers or whatever type of stick you use to the back of the seed packets

2. Fill your bucket with the tissue paper to give it stabilization. Then fill it with the gardening tools and seed packets. Check out Target’s dollar section to find some great gardening steals!

3. Tie the ribbon around the bucket to give it some decoration

4. Glue your mother’s day card on a stick and then place it in the bucket as well

3. Mason Jar Sewing Kit

Supplies Needed:

1. 3-4 Small Mason Jars – You can get these from Target

2. Your Mom’s Favorite Fabric – You can also use old clothes if you don’t have fabric

3. Cotton Balls/Pillow Stuffing/Fiber Fill

4. Scrapbook paper

5. Hot glue gun

6. Straight pins and any other sewing material small enough to fit in the mason jar

7. Pen/Pencil


1. To get started, trace the lid of the mason jar onto the wrong side of the scrapbook paper.  These circles will be used on the inside of the lid to give the jar a more finished look.

2. Do the same procedure for the fabric. This doesn’t have to be perfect since you’ll be cutting the excess trim off.

3. Cut both the paper and the fabric along the tracing

4. Lay the rim of the lid on a flat surface (top facing downward) and then place a piece of fabric on top of the rim, wrong side facing up.

5. Place a small handful of cotton balls/fiber fill on top of the fabric.

6. Position the lid of the mason jar over the fiber fill.

7.  Push the lid, fiber fill, and fabric slightly through the mason jar rim.  It should pop out a bit so you’ll have an area to poke straight pins into.

8. Once you’ve gotten the lid pretty secure inside the rim, trim any excess fabric and use your hot glue gun to get the fabric to lay flat.

9.  Cover the inside of the lid with the scrapbook paper circle you cut out first to hide all the jagged fabric edges and hot glue.

10. Stick some pins on the top of your jar and place small sewing materials inside the jars. The beauty of this is that mom now has her sewing kit all in one place and can see which jar contains what.

4. Ombre Wooden Spoons

Photo source:

Supplies Needed:

1. Set of wooden spoons – You can get these from Walmart or Amazon

2. Masking Tape

3. 2 Bottles of Paint – Your mom’s favorite color + White (to get different shades from one color). Check out Martha Stewarts Craft Paint

4. Paint Brush/Foam Brush

5. Mason Jar

6. Pretty ribbon


1. Get the masking tape and mark off where you want the paint to end on your wooden sticks (do this to every stick). Make sure that the tape is straight so that the paint will be straight.

2. With your paint brush/foam brush, paint even strokes of your mom’s favorite color onto the handle of your first spoon.

3. Add some white paint into your mom’s favorite color to go one shade lighter and then paint the next spoon handle with this color

4. Keep adding the white paint into your mom’s favorite color until you get a different shade for each spoon

5. Take the tape off the spoons once you’re happy with the lining

6. Allow the spoons to dry for about an hour or two and then wash the spoons off

7.  Tie a bow with the ribbon onto the mason jar and then place the spoons in the jar

5. Recipe Card Holder

recipe card holder
Photo source:

Supplies Needed:

1. Picture Frame – You can get one that’s just laying around the house or find one at a thrift shop

2. Pretty wrapping paper

3. Glue gun

4. Forks

5. Paint (optional) – To paint the border of your picture frame


1. Cut the wrapping paper to the size of the picture frame and then place it behind the glass of your picture frame (If you don’t like the color of your frame, you can always paint the border a color of your choice)

2. Bend the two middle tines of the form upward (you may need some extra manpower for this)

3. Hot glue the fork onto the glass and then wait a couple of minutes for the glue to dry. You can use one or two forks depending on how much support you want the holder to have. If you decide to use two forks, make sure that they are aligned the same on the board.

4. Place the recipe card on the fork and you’re done.

6. Mason Jar Picture Frame

Mason Jar Picture Frame
Photo source:

Supplies Needed:

1. Mason jar

2. Pantone’s Radiant Orchid paint by Valspar

3. Paintbrush/Sponge brush

4. Vinyl shape or sticker and picture

5. Tape

6. Clear spray paint

7. Plastic cup


1. To create your picture frame window on your jar, place vinyl or painter’s tape on the area that you don’t want to be painted. You can cut the vinyl into any frame shape you desire.

2. Paint the outside of the jar and immediately remove your sticker. You do not want to wait until the paint is dry or else it will be difficult to remove your sticker.

3. Cut the picture you want to use to the size of the vinyl and then tape it to the inside of the jar so that the photo is facing outward

4. Seal the outside of the jar by spraying it with clear paint.

5. Place a paper cup inside the jar, fill the cup with water, and place your flowers in the cup. Your picture will be ruined if you fill the inside of the jar with water.

6. Allow the spoons to dry for about an hour or two and then wash the spoons off

The whole Atria Real Estate team wishes every mother a very happy Mother’s Day!

When developer Joseph Eichler first started building, he probably had no idea that his homes would turn into prized collector’s pieces. Eichler employed a series of talented architects to create beautiful and well-thought-out designs with features such as radiant heating that were not widely used at the time. His contribution to the mid-century modern movement during the 20th century gained worldwide recognition and is still appreciated today amongst Eichler homeowners and architects alike. After several decades of helping a numerous amount of our clients become Eichler enthusiasts, we’ve come to realize that Eichler’s overall philosophy for modernistic designs can be applied to any home in need of a renovation.  In other words, you don’t need an actual Eichler home in order to take advantage of his stylistic and aesthetically pleasing design techniques.  Keep in mind that there are obvious renovations that may be too costly for you to make, such as his exposed post-and-beam construction and anything related to the actual structure of the home, but you can still apply his design philosophies to the interior of your home.  With that being said, here are our suggested design ideas that’ll turn any home into an Eichler inspired home.

1. Bring the Outside In

Eichlers are like living in a piece of art. It blends the shelter on the inside with the serenity of nature on the outside so that it’s more than just a residence. “Bringing the outside in” has been one of Eichler’s known philosophies and really ties into the idea of opening the world to Eichler homeowners without requiring them to actually leave home. Whether you have an atrium or not, the openness to nature is always noticeable in an Eichler. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows that double as walls grace the rear of many Eichlers. This has the effect of opening the kitchen and the spare room to the backyard. While Eichler kitchens tend to be small, they never feel small because your gaze is on the world outside.  If you have a backyard, make sure you take the time to maintain it and upkeep its visual appeal.  Well-placed skylights and transoms also systematically bring the outdoors in. Hallways that would otherwise be dark become bathed in natural light, which complements the wooden tongue-in-groove ceilings, natural wood, and post-and-beam construction. Even the formal dining room found off the kitchen in many homes receives natural light flooding in from the kitchen. So when you’re remodeling your home just remember two key components that’ll allow you to achieve this Eichler philosophy: Natural lighting & Visuals of the outside world.

2. Open Floor Plans

Eichler’s idea behind this open floor plan concept was to encourage a more modern relationship between the kitchen, traditionally considered a working zone, and formal spaces such as the living room and dining room.  This type of floor plan combines the kitchen and adjacent living areas into a single, large gathering space where family members and guests can interact during the entire course of a visit, not just during the sit-down meal.  An open layout is a great way to maximize space in a small plan and will provide more natural lighting because the removal of interior walls allows sunlight from windows in the exterior walls to permeate throughout the house. Open layouts are becoming more and more popular, making up the majority of today’s bestselling plans. If your existing floor plan isn’t meeting your needs, think about where in the home it can be broken down differently. There are many ways to make the kitchen accessible to the living and dining areas: You can widen a doorway, create a pass-through, knock down the upper half of a wall, or remove an entire wall.

3. In-floor Radiant Heating

Radiant heating systems supply heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. It’s more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses. What usually happens in a conventional forced-air heating system is air blows out of the registers at a well-baked 120 degrees, rises to the top of the room where it quickly sheds heat, then drops back down as it cools. This means that your head can be bathed in warmth while your toes lie in the frozen zone.  Also, people with allergies often prefer radiant heat because it doesn’t distribute allergens as forced air systems can. 

We recommend hydronic (liquid-based) systems because they use little electricity which is a benefit for homes off the power grid or in areas with high electricity prices. Hydronic systems can use a wide variety of energy sources to heat the liquid, including standard gas- or oil-fired boilers, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or a combination of these sources. However, keep in mind that once the system is in place, it’s best to have hardwood or tile finished floor since the heat would have a hard time getting through the thick padding of carpets. Although hydronic radiant costs more to install than other types of heating systems (can cost anywhere from $6 to $15 per square foot depending on the method and where you live) just remember that once it’s up and running, a radiant system can be up to 30 percent more efficient than forced-air heating, depending on how well insulated a house is. And there’s no comparison when it comes to comfort. In that category, radiant always wins, feet down.

4. Get a Fresh Paint Job

We could spend all day talking about the different paint jobs that’ll make your home look more modern, but we’re saving those details for later.  However, we can’t emphasize enough how much this will change the look and feel of your home.  A fresh coat of paint can give any room an instant makeover, and one part of the room that lots of people overlook is the ceiling. If you repaint the ceiling in a clean bright white, it will make the entire room look immediately brighter. You can even paint it a similar color to the walls, just go one shade lighter. Remember that in order to create a modern and fresh look, a bright and light base color with added contrasts of accent colors throughout the home is key.  And don’t be afraid to go a little bold with the accent colors because greens and oranges are some Eichler favorites! If you want to take it one step further, look at our blog on Eichler front door colors.

5. Modernize your Furniture

This is probably one of the easier projects you can take on in order to make your home look more like an Eichler. The Mid-century Modern Eichler home style is a unique reminder of the suburban lifestyle of the 1950s and the 1960s and so even the furniture that you consider “outdated” could be revamped into a more modernistic piece. You can even consider updating your entire interior design to match the magic look of Mid-Century Modern homes. Check out our blog on top interior design tips and inspirations for Eichler and Mid-Century Modern homeowners.

Written by PotlucK Productions

A beautiful 1962 Eichler has undergone extensive home improvements to fit the near-zero carbon emission life of its homeowners, Geoff and Bev Ainscow.

Meet the Ainscows

In 1968 Geoff and his wife, Bev, sailed from their birthplace in Manchester, England to the San Francisco Bay Area to become embroiled in the technological and social new age revolution taking place in California.  They set up their home in Sunnyvale and raised two children.  Geoff’s life travelled on two tracks, one a daytime engineering and management career at Hewlett Packard in Silicon Valley, the other studying the human maturation process and the condition of life on planet Earth. Both richly combined into a life of activism and teaching to spread the knowledge of a living Earth and what humans must do to bring about a sustainable, just, and meaningful life. Explosive change best describes Geoff’s life, from being born into WWII, to a life of free-thinking in California. Geoff and a team designed, produced, and published the Deep Time Walk, an app describing the history of Earth. He has been an active member of the Elders Action Network since its beginning in 2016.

The Sustainable Project: How To Be A Good Ancestor

Geoff and Bev filmed the Good Ancestor video of their Sunnyvale Eichler, just 4 weeks before Bev tragically died in 2021. The aim was to inspire viewers to think and act like Good Ancestors. Geoff and Bev have been curious seekers with a desire to be conscious global citizens for a lifetime in large part by constantly finding ways to improve their home to be more environmentally sustainable. Wanting to share what they’re doing and hopefully inspire others, they partnered with Potluck Productions to share how they’ve achieved their sustainable life.

The humorous video follows Geoff and Bev with a tour through their home, touching on several topics:

Good Ancestor Video Team: PotlucK Productions

Dan Damman and Chris Thomas, as Potluck Productions, have been producing branded content, documentaries, comedy sketches, and other films from the heart, like “Good Ancestor” since 2004 for clients like Mother Jones, Senator Barbara Boxer, She the People, Democracy for America, DailyKos, and Netroots Nation. Other clients include Levi Strauss & Co., the Red Tab Foundation, Tides Foundation,, Dockers, and many more.  They are in development on an amazing feature film project encouraging self-awareness, a dramedy called “The Yogi Trademark” that explores our culture’s competitive nature through competitive yoga.

Like many home designs, people will either fall madly in love with Eichlers or just find no interest in them. Many people thought that Joseph Eichler was ahead of his time with his designs, and turned off those who were seeking more conventional rather than innovative homes. However, what a lot of people don’t seem to know is that Joseph Eichler stood for much more than just the revolution of modern architecture. He stood for equalism and nondiscrimination, which is probably why he saw so much resistance in the 20th century. The message we want to convey with this blog article is that there is so much more than what meets the eye. To truly fall in love with an Eichler, you need to understand the history behind it and the symbolism behind being an Eichler homeowner. We’ve grown such a fond appreciation for Eichler homes after specializing in Eichler Real Estate for over 30 years and we want to share that appreciation with all of you reading this article. If you don’t get all the answers you’re looking to find about Eichler homes by the end of this article, contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information. So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the past, present, and future of Eichler Homes.


As we’ve mentioned, to truly appreciate the unique features of an Eichler home, it’s important to understand the history behind it. We can talk a blue streak about the rich history of Eichlers, but we’ll focus on the creation of the home’s design. Let’s start with the man behind this revolutionary modern architecture: Joseph Eichler. Between 1950 and 1974, Joseph Eichler built over 11,000 homes in nine communities in the Bay Area and three communities in Southern California. Although his design ideas are replicated in states all over the country, the heart of Eichler communities resides and is predominant in the Bay Area. One of our clients, who has been an Eichler homeowner in Sunnyvale for five years, states: “The sense of community between Eichler homeowners is very empowering and I’m proud to be a part of such an interconnected group of individuals. We all work together to keep the neighborhood safe and we’re always there to help each other out.” Joseph Eichler aimed to construct an inclusive and diverse community that worked as one unit, and you can tell that goal was achieved by looking at Eichler neighborhoods in the Bay Area. This whole idea behind taking separate elements and making them flow as one unit is also reflected in the architecture of his homes.

Eichler floorplans

He used open floor plans to encourage a more modern relationship between the kitchen, traditionally considered a working zone, and formal spaces such as the living room and dining room. This type of floor plan allows more interaction between family members and their guests and makes everything more accessible. The removal of interior walls also allowed more natural lighting to permeate throughout the house, which tied into his signature feature of “bringing the outside in”.

Whether an Eichler has an atrium or not, the openness to nature is always noticeable in an Eichler. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows have the effect of opening up rooms to a private backyard, where homeowners can enjoy the outside world without having to leave the comforts of their home. At the same time, the use of fences and solid panel entry doors provided the sense of privacy homeowners needed. Every aspect of the home was strategically designed to replicate an indoor-outdoor type of feel to reflect a modern aesthetic that may have been a bit ahead of Eichler’s time.

Some other innovative features to note include: exposed post-and-beam construction, integral radiant heating for the floors, sliding doors, flat and/or low-sloping A-framed roofs, and outdoor features such as atriums/patios/gardens/swimming pools.

If there’s one thing we’d want you to take away from the history of Eichlers, it’s the fact that Joseph Eichler was an influential advocate of bringing modern architecture from custom residences to the general public. He wanted everyone to be able to enjoy living in an Eichler and was one of the only real estate developers of his time to offer his homes for sale to anyone of any religion or race. Surprisingly Eichler homes actually never brought large profits for Joseph Eichler, which shows that there was no monetary motivation behind the development of these homes. He did, however, leave behind a legacy that would revolutionize the design of homes for many years to come.


If you’re an Eichler homeowner or looking to buy an Eichler, you’re probably wondering how these homes are holding up in today’s real estate market.  Long story short, most Eichler homes are selling 10-20% over the listing price and sales continue to set new records as prices continue to go higher and higher. Since it’s almost impossible to buy an Eichler in Palo Alto for less than $1.7 million, we’re seeing the sales spillover into Sunnyvale. With more people moving into the Bay Area for the strong job market and the continuation of heavy cash offers, we will continue to see this trend of the low inventory of Eichlers for sale with more buyers than sellers.

Eichler homes are quickly becoming like the classic cars within the housing market. They are rare and unique with different models and vintages, they are highly sought after in original condition and their owners take great pride in them. More importantly, the buyers interested in Eichler homes are part of a wave of successful business people who work for companies like Google, Apple & Facebook. You can only imagine how much more competitive the market will be in a couple of years, so if you’re looking to buy an Eichler, we recommend that you do it soon.


Although Eichler is no longer here with us today, appreciators of his homes will be happy to know that Bay Area development visionaries are here to carry on his legacy with a 21st-century twist. One visionary even has Eichler’s blood running through him, being that he’s the grandson of Joseph Eichler himself.


Steven Eichler, who is a principal of Eichler Designs and the founder of Eichler Living, is dedicated to preserving the works of his grandfather. Last year, Steve stepped forward to fight to tear down threats that would destroy Eichler homes in Palo Alto and plans to continue fighting future tear-downs by helping to educate the public about the value of these homes. He has installed an exhibition about Eichler homes, their history, and their beauty at the new Rejuvenation store on 323 University Ave in downtown Palo Alto. If you’re ever looking to get more in-depth knowledge about Eichlers, that’s the place you want to go.

When it comes to selling your home in Sunnyvale, or any home, in fact, it’s really important to tune into the mindset of a buyer who’s looking to move into the area. Keep in mind that your potential buyers could either be the couple from a nearby town or a family coming from halfway across the country. In either case, you’re going to want to highlight the aspects of your home that truly give it that Sunnyvale feel so that it’s a comfortable transition for your potential buyers. With over 20 years of real estate experience in the Sunnyvale/Silicon Valley area and watching it blossom into the city, it is today, we’ve figured out what the key is to sell your home for the most money in today’s market. Note that it’s a combination of these things that’ll allow you to sell your home for above your asking price. So aside from hiring the right real estate agent that knows how to get top dollar for your home, here are some of our secret tips to selling your home for 15% more in Sunnyvale, California.

1. Make your home smart

If you’re planning to sell a home that’s located in the midst of the world’s largest tech companies, you better make sure that it comes with some smart appliances. Chances are that the buyers looking into homes located in the Silicon Valley are either future or former employees of a tech company, so think of how much more value you can add to your home by tuning into your audience’s needs. According to a study done by Coldwell Banker, 64% of agents are noticing that buyers are asking more frequently about connected features than they were two to five years ago. Although the tipping point isn’t quite there yet where smart features will help a home sell more quickly, agents predict that these tech investments will soon pay off.  What better place to start that tipping point than the place where technology was pretty much founded?

2. Tune in to the “Prius Effect”

Have you ever noticed how many people own a Prius these days? You’ll probably see a handful each time you hit the road. Although owning a hybrid car has many perks in terms of mileage and carbon footprint, a big reason why people choose to drive a Prius is due to their desire to show off their green bona fides. This ideology of being prideful for making the world more green is known as the “Prius Effect”, and it has made its way into the world of real estate. On top of pragmatic reasons like lower utility bills, green homes are more valuable because it’s a type of status symbol for homeowners. Green certified homes sell for 9% more than regular homes in California and their premium is highest in the hottest and most eco-minded areas. Single-family homes with green certifications sold for an average of $34,800 more than comparable homes from 2007 to 2012 when the average California home was priced at $400,000, according to the University of California research. Anyone who has visited the Bay Area can tell you that we are the leaders when it comes to living a green lifestyle. Heck, we have to bring our own recycled bags every time we go grocery shopping! If there’s any place worth investing in a green home, it’d be the Bay Area.

3. Upgrade your kitchen

If had to make one renovation that’ll appeal to home buyers, we’d recommend upgrading your kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of any home, so it’s worth it to spend some money on upgrades if necessary. About 69% of homeowners said they were willing to spend more money for new kitchen appliances, and this usually amounts to 1.5x more than what your investment will be. Add in some granite countertops and hardwood floors and you’re looking at a significant increase in your home’s value. In Sunnyvale, food really is where the heart is so highlight that in your home. Additionally, during the Covid19 pandemic, there’s been a large influx of people cooking all their meals at home, instead of ordering in or dining out.

4. Price it right the first time


Make sure that your home is priced right to sell from the get-go because your listing will attract the most attention from qualified buyers the first day it goes live on the market. Statistics show that the most favorable time to generate a sale on your Sunnyvale home is between three to seven weeks after the home is listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing System). Time on the market can significantly impact the sale of your home so it’s important that your listing doesn’t become stale or stagnate on the market for months. If this is the case, buyers will assume there’s something wrong with your home and will most likely ask for a discount. Avoid the discounts, price it right, and increase your chances of having multiple interested buyers.

5. Don’t save repairs until the last minute

Repairs left undone will cost you more money than the repair itself, so it’s better to get it done before you sell your home. Once a needed repair becomes evident to a buyer, they’ll start to wonder if the home was really maintained properly and probe around to find hidden repairs that are not visible to the naked eye. This will lead to them asking for reductions in your asking price which will end up costing you more in the end. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection, so don’t give buyers a reason to want a discount. It’s also important to not try and hide a defect because you think that keeping it to yourself will help you sell your home for more money. Buyers can sue you for not disclosing a home’s structural issue, so be honest and avoid getting slapped with a lawsuit.

6. De-clutter & Depersonalize

In real estate, space is money so the more room you make in the home, the higher it’ll sell for. Make sure to clean out all areas of your home before open house time comes around because buyers will spend that time analyzing how much space they have in the home to fit all their belongings. They’ll look through your closets, cabinets, and even storage spaces (garage, attic, basement, etc.) so double check to make sure everything’s been cleared out. A big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little extra leg work. Also, keep in mind that what you love may not be what a prospective buyer loves. For example, you may think that your mounted hunting treasures gives your home more curb appeal when in reality buyers find it to be a distasteful distraction. When it comes to selling your home, it’s better to play it safe by neutralizing it and removing personal belongings so that it’ll appeal to a larger pool of buyers.

7. Bring the outside in

View of living area

Whether you need to install some well-placed skylights or invest in a renovation that’ll give your home more floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s important to give your home as much natural light as possible. As you may have already guessed, it’s usually sunny here in Sunnyvale and the people have grown accustomed to a certain type of lifestyle. Sun is a necessity and the more it’s accessible at home, the more appealing it is to buyers. We’ve sold hundreds of Eichler homes above the asking price in the Sunnyvale area all because the design concept was based on bringing the outside in. Just remember two key components that’ll allow you to achieve this Eichler philosophy: Natural lighting & Visuals of the outside world. For more information on Eichler homes, click here.

The proliferation of technology is not only changing the way Americans live, it’s also changing their tastes and expectations when shopping for real estate. As smart home technologies and appliances are becoming more mainstream within homes, it’s important to understand how this growing trend impacts you as a home seller. A recent study performed by Coldwell Banker shows that 64% of realtors surveyed agreed that buyers today are more interested in homes with smart features compared to two to five years ago. On top of that, 33% of realtors noted that homes with smart technologies sell faster than those without them. What’s interesting is that the generation showing the most interest in smart home features is the Gen X group (ages 35 – 49) with 57% of them saying that it’s a desired feature in homes these days.  So get ready for some home upgrades because here are the 10 smart home technologies that every home buyer is looking for.

1. Smart Locks

Imagine the feeling of never having to scramble for your keys or lose them ever again. With smart locks, you can control access to your home with just a click of a button on your smartphone. Need to let your babysitter, neighbor, or relative into your home while you’re at work? You can give them access to a specified door for a designated time on your smartphone. Smart locks are a dream come true for any home buyer because it provides safety and convenience at all times. If you’re interested in installing a smart lock, a few interesting options are Goji Access or Kwikset Kevo Smart Locks. Goji Access will even send photos of whoever rings your front door straight to your smartphone.

2. Smart Temperature – Thermostat

The Nest Thermostat does away with all that button-pushing you have to do with programmable thermostats by automatically programming itself. The thermostat learns your temperature preferences and routines, turning itself down when you leave the house and prepping your place with warmth before you come home. The idea is to save energy and money without having to think about it. Tell a home buyer that your home comes with a Nest thermostat and watch their ears perk up.

3.  Smart Security


Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, which makes it worth it to invest in top-notch home security. A high-tech surveillance system is designed with incredible features such as continuous 720p video, crisp night vision, two-way audio, and powerful digital zoom. With a security monitoring system, a homeowner can see activity inside or outside the home and receive alerts when specific sounds and motions are detected. iSmartAlarm is an easy-to-install system that’s great for small homes or apartments. You can now make sure your family and belongings are safe at all times by protecting your home intelligently.

4. Smart Lights

Although some people might think otherwise, we believe technologies that are integrated with your smartphone have greater curb appeal to home buyers. Smartphones are becoming the universal gadget that can control just about anything, even the lights in your home. With smart light technologies, you can control the lights, shades & temperature in a room all through an app on your smartphone. One such technology is Lutron Caseta Wireless if you’re looking for smart lights because it’s an easy DIY system that’s also very affordable.

5. Smart Safety – Smoke Detector


Many of us live busy lives and can use the reassurance of knowing that our home is protected at all times. And although it’s not every day that a house catches on fire, it’s better to be prepared in the case of an emergency. The makers of the Nest thermostat released a second smart home device, the Nest Protect. The Nest Protect is a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm. It talks before it starts screeching, a handy feature for those mornings when you’d rather not wake the whole household just because you burned your toast. It also connects to your phone so you can track battery life and get alarms when you aren’t home.

6. Smart Appliances – Refrigerator

These days we are seeing a growing demand for smart fridges with tablet interfaces for monitoring the fridge’s contents. Both LG and Samsung offer refrigerators that go beyond cooling food. These smart fridges come equipped with a tablet computer in the door, so you can make notes, track your fridges’ contents and check the news and weather while standing in your kitchen. If you spring for a smart oven, too, you can even choose recipes on your fridge and signal the oven to start preheating, because a roast is coming its way.

7. Smart Entertainment – Television

We’ve all heard about how Roku changed the television game by allowing people to stream online movies & shows right on their TV. Well, they recently released a comprehensive smart TV known as TCL Roku TV that has an easy-to-use interface that gives you a selection of more than 2,000 streaming channels. It’s a favorite amongst most because of its price and features. You’ll never complain about not having anything to do with the number of TV channels this gadget has to offer.

8. Smart Beds

If you think about it, you spend about a third of the day of your sleeping, so why not invest in a gadget that’ll allow you to have a good night’s sleep without any interruptions?  The Sleep Number bed tracks your heart rate, breathing, snoring, and movement while recording your ambient environment, including noise and temperature.  It’ll then adjust its settings to prevent any distractions from getting in the way of your beauty rest.  It also responds to commands through a voice-activated remote, allowing you to stay in control without having to get out of bed. The best command of all? Stop snoring! If your bedmate is sawing logs, you can activate the bed’s anti-snoring feature to gently raise the head of your partner’s half of the bed.

The color scheme of an Eichler is one of the primal elements that separate it from any other home because it reflects the emergence of a new and unconventional era.  The mid-century time period exhibited a new American outlook of optimism, with bright and cheerful colors that symbolized its breakage from the drab war years.  Joseph Eichler took this concept and ran with it, mixing subtler colors with bright, bold colors in a way that hadn’t been done before. Since Eichler homes have a lot of glass, post-and-beam construction, and concrete floors, natural colors and materials are a good starting point to make them feel homey.  However, an Eichler wouldn’t be an Eichler without playful wall accents and eye-catching front door colors.

We get a lot of questions from both Eichler and Mid-Century Modern homeowners about suggestions for front door colors and we start by telling them that they must think in terms of complete home palettes that complement both the exterior and interior of their home.  For example, if they choose to go with a bright yellow front door color, we suggest they put a yellow accent wall inside the home or jazz it up with yellow furnishing.  We also mention that they should choose a color that reflects their personality, hopes, and dreams, whether it be a color that stands out or a color that’s more calm and elegant.  We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite front door colors using the Original Eichler Exterior Color Palette as an inspiration:

Although Benjamin Moore doesn’t have all of the exact Eichler colors in their inventory, they have a wide selection you can choose from that stay true to the colors that Eichler originally used.  They also allow you to buy samples (1 pint) for around $7 so that you can test the colors out and see if they’ll compliment the overall color palette of your home.

One last thing we want to mention is that color is something you should have fun with, so step out of your comfort zone and let your front door reflect your optimistic, wild side!

Fun, Bold & Eye-Catching Colors

Color Details: Pumpkin Cream.
Color Details: Galápagos Turquoise. Paint: Benjamin Moore
Color Details: Sunflower. Paint: Benjamin Moore
Color details: Hot Tamale. Paint: Benjamin Moore.
Color Details: Tequila lime. Paint: Benjamin Moore.

Simple, Neutral & Elegant

Color Details: Buckland Blue. Pain: Benjamin Moore.
Color details: Desert Green. Paint: Benjamin Moore.
Color details: Terrazzo Brown. Paint: Benjamin Moore.
Color details: Snow white. Paint: Benjamin Moore.
Color details: Gray. Paint: Benjamin Moore.

For more information about Eichler front door colors, contact us today

People are attracted to Eichler homes because of their 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 needs of today’s homeowners. 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 in an eye-catching color to make it stand 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 was 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, they are honest with themselves 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

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 filtering out what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you’ve solved the bigger picture, you can start to narrow down on the smaller spaces and accessories layer by layer. 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

We cannot emphasize how important color cues are when it comes to making your home look and feel like an Eichler. Mid-century colors tend to combine darker neutral tones with saturated accent colors. This is why oftentimes 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. 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, we’ll post a blog about this soon.

3. Pattern & Texture in Decor

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 judgment to identify what fits with your mid-century pieces. 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 give a room more personality, 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.

4. Less is More – Aim for Simplicity

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 designing your Eichler. 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 home somewhat of a 50’s feel. One of our clients 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

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 contours. The very contrasting shapes offer a very bold position for lighting in your room and create 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.

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

It’s pretty much established that most of us like a beautiful home. It’s our safe space where we let our hair down and recharge from the madness that is Life.  Not all of us can rely on the acute eye of an interior designer and while some of us have a knack for colors and sprucing things up, a few of us are simply hopeless in that department. We are here to offer some guidance to help even the most design-impaired. We want to share with you a secret that cheers up any space and that will leave all your friends in awe about your decorating skills. What is this special secret you might ask? Well, it’s all in the details.

These are little things you can add to your home that will make all the difference. We’re talking about accent lighting, rugs, pillows, and a little bit of paint.

A more fleshed out list of things you can add to your home include:

How Do I Start?

We recommend focusing on one room at a time. Take the surroundings in, make an intake of what you have in the room, what you like, and where you’d like improvements. Simply hopping online or going to a store and buying what pleases the eye could possibly leave you overwhelmed and you could lose track of the space and measurements. 

A design board is very useful. You can use software, Pinterest, or simply draw your space on a piece of paper. Having a visual cue really helps our brains sort and organize and keep track of the project at hand. It will also help not to end up cluttering a room even more.  

One of our stagers, Rochelle Dutsako, recommends considering what style complements your lifestyle. If your job is very stressful you may want to create a peaceful space with calming colors and minimal furniture and accessories; If you have a dull job you may want to create more excitement with color and pattern in your home. If you are not a very good housekeeper, adding tchotchkes to every surface in your house may make dusting an overwhelming chore, and perhaps embracing minimalism may work better for you.

It’s also ok to have fun with it. Mixing in some natural materials can really help balance a room that feels cold and uninviting. Even very modern rooms can benefit from a mix of natural elements.

The Details

1. Light

Lights are details that must never be overlooked. Let’s see a few examples:

People tend to focus too much on the hardware of their lighting. Don’t get caught up in only the light fixture, pay some time on what type of color the lightbulb should be, i.eHalogen, compact fluorescent, and LED come in a range of warm or cool hues. The type of glow you, just like your wall color should be based on your personal preference and personality.

If your walls are painted in cooler tones, you might want to warm the room up with a warmer glow and you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.

2. Accessories

This is the fun part. You can select a theme or even stage all your souvenirs. This can also fuel your new obsession with antique shopping. Some typical accessories include:

According to Rochelle, a tray can be a game-changer for your coffee table. “It can bring a few smaller items together and ground the table, a large coffee table book can do the same. Liven up your coffee table with a combination of different heights, shapes, sizes, and materials. You can also add succulents or fresh flowers to your coffee table to add an organic element and if you don’t have a green thumb, there are some really great realistic-looking faux succulents available today.”

She also advises practicing restraint. “Less is more. If you have a collection of a lot of little tchotchkes, consider rotating them, keeping some of them away in a cabinet, and bringing out different ones each season, this way your collection is not overwhelming and you’ll feel excited again about each piece as you display them.”

3. Accent Furniture

“It is better to invest in a few nice pieces that you really like than to fill your room with things just to fill spaces. Take your time in selecting things that bring you joy. Your home should be a reflection of you.”

A colorful accent chair can make a world of difference. We don’t need to follow the old norm of matching furniture sets. We can go bold and mix and match. Have fun with color, patterns, and styles. You also don’t need to buy everything new or secondhand, you can also consider reupholstering some existing furniture. 

Rochelle suggests adding a statement piece to command attention. It should be the star of the show but also reflect your style.  A statement piece should draw the attention first to itself then the eye should look around to secondary things and the rest of the room should flow with the statement piece and the secondary pieces. “Your fireplace, for example, tiled floor to ceiling with dramatic tile could be a statement piece, your sofa might be the secondary piece in the room that draws attention then the eye flows to the rest of the items in your room that play the supporting roles.” 

4. Walls

Color affects our mood. A nice shade of blue can send us into a tranquil state of mind on a lazy Sunday afternoon, while yellow cheers us up and energizes us. Use color to create the mood you wish for each room in your home. Accent walls look stylish and cost less. Wallpaper is also coming back into style. Museums don’t need to be the only place with art walls, group all of your art together or make a family wall. But Rochelle warns that you should also resist the temptation to fill up all the wall space with art.  “Provide space for the eye to rest, when a space is too full it can feel too busy and claustrophobic.”

A useful tip that Rochelle offers when selecting paint colors is to try samples on the wall and live with them for a couple of days. “The color might look different in the morning than it does in the evening.” Speaking of paint colors, be aware of the undertones in the colors and make sure they all work together. There are many neutral paint colors to choose from but one neutral may have a blue undertone whereas another one may have a pink undertone. If a room feels cold, consider a paint color that has a little warmth to balance it out. “Paint is an easy thing to change and can make a big difference.”

Halloween is lurking around the corner and this year will look much livelier than the last. We wanted to spare you the arduous task of researching the best haunt(ings) this Halloween. So sit back and feast on the 14 fun Halloween activities in the Bay Area this year:

  1. California Great America has Fall Daytime admission or Bring-A-Friend tickets for families and Halloween exclusive experiences here. They also have The Great Pumpkin Fest for families.

  2. Pirates of Emerson is this year’s theme at the Alameda Fairgrounds. Gen admission is 37$. You might want to leave the little ones with grandma.
  1. For the sports enthusiasts among us, there is the BARC Spooky Cemetery Halloween Run at Quicksilver and Zombie Runner in San Jose.
  1. Wushu Central’s Monster Hunt in San Jose is for children ages 3 and up who want to practice their monster-hunting skills in a maze.
  1. A family-friendly Halloween event with a spooky animal-themed scavenger hunt at Oakland zoo‘s Boo at the Zoo.
  1. Goblin Jamboree celebrates the spooky season at Bay Area Discovery Museum. It’s a week-long celebration with Halloween-themed programs and frightful delights for families.
  1. No one celebrates this season better than the Winchester Mystery Museum. Attend their All Hallow’s Eve Fest with their The Lost In The House Tour or Jack O’ Lantern Trail.
  2. San Jose’s History Park’s Halloween Haunt Light Show will delight guests with the sights, sounds, and smells of Halloween. During the Epic Light Show, jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, bats, and more will amuse visitors with their Halloween songs and jokes
  1. Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland offers a kookier than spooky​ experience, at their Halloween Jam.
  1. Cupertino’s Quinlan Community Centre offers a Monster Mash for both children and parents to have a fun time.
  1. It’s the ultimate Great Pumpkin Hunt at Gamble Garden in Palo Alto. There will be arts and crafts, games and lots of food.
  1. Santa Cruz’s boardwalk will be buzzing with fun with their Halloween on the Boardwalk event.
  1. Sunnyvale will celebrate the Halloween season with a costume pet parade in downtown Sunnyvale.

Atria wants to wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!

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