Eichler Ensuite Retreat, Midcentury Interior, San Jose Renovated Home, North California Architecture
Eichler Ensuite Retreat in San Jose
Mar 2, 2022
Renovation Design: Blaine Architects + Marshall Interiors
Location: San Jose, Northern California, USA
Photos: Jean Bai
Eichler Ensuite Retreat, CA
Homeowner and interior designer Karina Marshall enlisted the help of friend, neighbor, and architect Megan Blaine to help sneak a luxurious ensuite bathroom into the existing footprint of the primary bedroom. The design included a peek-a-boo indoor/outdoor double shower and outdoor bathtub that created a boutique hotel-like experience.
The design paid homage to the homeowners’ love of international travel, and of Bali’s eco-modern retreats in particular. The project was completed in 2018 in the very first Eichler neighborhood in San Jose, California. It became the first project between Megan and Karina that launched a creative partnership that is now the full-service architecture and interiors studio Blaine + Marshall.
What was the brief?
The project brief was to fit in a second bathroom within the existing footprint of the house. The idea was to utilize 42sf of the existing 144sf primary bedroom to fit in a luxurious ensuite with a boutique hotel room experience while staying true to the A. Quincy Jones Eichler mid-century modern aesthetic.
What were the key challenges?
The main challenge was how to make a small 42sf, 43” wide bathroom feel luxurious,
What were the solutions?
The challenge of how to make the extremely small and narrow bathroom feel special and luxurious was solved through every design decision in the space.
The first solution was to flood the space with natural light with a skylight the length of the entire bathroom. The second was to fade the lines between the bathroom, bedroom, and private patio. The glass door and peek-a-boo shower into the bedroom create a meaningful connection between the two spaces and give an illusion of more spaciousness–and add some playfulness and intrigue.
It was important, however, that looking through the glass into the bathroom did not immediately reveal that a bathroom is on the other side, so the choice of materials and the black on black palette were selected to make the plumbing fixtures disappear at first sight.
The challenge of the narrow 43” depth was solved through designing custom cabinetry that was only 11” deep under the sink and a long medicine cabinet that internally fit within the existing studs in the wall to reduce the amount of structural work that needed to take place. We also had to source the smallest wall-hung toilet available on the market at the time, the New Zero 45 from Ceramica Catalano that extended only 18-⅛” from the wall.
Placing a tub outside in the private patio allowed us to carry the experience of the ensuite past the confines of its small square footage and create an unforgettable experience.
Key products used:
As an homage to her family’s love of international travel and design, Karina Marshall sourced materials from around the globe that fit seamlessly into Eichler’s mid-century modern aesthetic. These included:
– Custom double Nest sink from Neutra Design in Bianco Carrara manufactured in Italy.
– Progetto Buddy plumbing fixtures in Matte Black manufactured in Italy and sourced from Plumbline in New Zealand.
– Custom Brazilian Ipe slat shower tray.
– New Zero 45 wall-hung toilet by Ceramica Catalano.
– Retro 1″ x 1″ Porcelain Mosaic Tile in Matte Black by EliteTile.
– Custom Mahogany vanity, medicine cabinet, bed, and nightstands, designed by Karina Marshall and made locally by Ermin Hodzic of Woodcraft Plus.
– Custom Naval Brass countertop and shower shelves.
– CR Lawrence Essence headerless sliding shower door in custom matte black.
– Custom linear strip sconce designed by Karina Marshall and fabricated by NuVision Construction.
– Flos IC Pendants in Brass.
– Pivot glass door system from PortaPivot in Belgium.
– Existing polished concrete slab.
– New 1/4″ Mahogany panels.
What’s interesting about this client/architect partnership?
Karina Marshall had a long career in strategy consulting and tech but has also followed her passion for Interiors. This project, Karina’s own home that she shares with her husband and young son, became a launching pad of a partnership with Megan Blaine of BLAINE architects. After four years of working on ad-hoc projects together, in 2021 Karina and Megan merged their studios to become BLAINE + Marshall, a full-services design studio that’s built on their shared belief that interior design and architecture are inextricably linked. Karina brings to the table a naturally modern and sophisticated aesthetic that reinforces Megan Blaine’s honest architectural vision, and vice versa.
What are Eichler homes?
Between 1949 and 1966, Joseph Eichler’s company, Eichler Homes, built over 11,000 homes in nine communities in Northern California and homes in three communities in Southern California. Later, other firms worked with Eichler’s company to build similar houses. Together, they all came to be known as Eichlers. During this period, Eichler became one of the nation’s most influential builders of modern homes.
Eichler homes are prime examples of Modernist architecture that has come to be known as “California Modern”, and typically feature glass walls, post-and-beam construction, and open floorplans.
The Eichler home featured in this project was designed by A. Quincy Jones, one of Joseph Eichler’s most prominent architecture partners, and built in 1953 in the Morepark (currently known as Roseglen) Eichler development. This was the first Eichler development in San Jose and was considered experimental by Eichler, allowing him to test new floorplans and materials.
Eichler Ensuite Retreat in San Jose, California – Building Information
Design: Blaine Architects + Marshall Interiors – https://blainearchitects.com/
Project size: 144 ft2
Project Budget: $100000
Completion date: 2018
Building levels: 1
Construction: NuVision Construction
Custom Millwork: Woodcraft Plus
About Karina Marshall:
Karina Marshall, Principal and Head of Interiors at BLAINE + Marshall, followed her passion for interior design after a long career in strategy consulting and tech. After a careful and considered renovation of her Quincy Jones Eichler home in Silicon Valley, and after a lifetime of interest in interiors and architecture, Karina launched her career into interior design. Prior to merging with BLAINE architects, Karina Marshall Interiors took on extensive Eichler, mid century modern, and historic home interior design projects along the West Coast in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles.
About KMegan Blaine:
Megan Blaine is Principal Architect at BLAINE + Marshall, a multidisciplinary practice that strives to deliver timeless and honest designs. Before starting her own practice in 2017 partnering with Marshall Interiors in 2021, Megan’s diverse architectural background included large scale commercial projects at Foster + Partners, exclusive hospitality design at WATG in London, and countless high-end residential projects. Megan also chaired the Women in Architecture Silicon Valley committee from 2016-2017 and continues to be an active member.
Photography: Jean Bai
Eichler Ensuite Retreat, San Jose images / information received 020322
Location: San Jose, California, United States of America
New Architecture in San Francisco
Contemporary San Francisco Architecture
San Francisco Architectural Designs – chronological list
San Francisco Architectural Tours by e-architect
San Francisco Architect Offices – architecture firm listings on e-architect
Big Ranch Road Retreat in the Napa Valley
Design: WDA (William Duff Architects)
photograph © Matthew Millman Photography
Napa Valley Barn Renewal
Bing Concert Hall, Stanford, south of San Francisco
Design: Ennead Architects with Fisher Dachs Associates and Nagata Acoustics
photograph © Jeff Goldberg
Bing Concert Hall Stanford
Comments / photos for the Eichler Ensuite Retreat, San Jose designed by Blaine Architects + Marshall Interiors page welcome