At Home In A Light, Bright Sunnyvale Eichler

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Although glorious mid-century modern homes seem to run rampant on America’s west coast, finding the perfect one can still be something of a challenge for those with something specific in mind. For graphic designer Traci Yau and her family, something specific translated to something by Joseph Eichler, the 20th-century California real estate magnate who is often credited for introducing Modernist design to the masses. Taking cues from legends like Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, Eichler’s homes typically featured open floor plans, large windows and skylights, intended to bring the beauty of California’s nature inside. After an exhaustive search that began five years ago, Traci and her husband, Herman, finally found what they were looking for in 2012—an Eichler original with an open atrium and a floor plan designed by architect Robert Anshen.

“Our goal was to create a clean, modern space that respected the history of the architecture, yet didn’t confine us to being strict preservationists,” Traci says of their Sunnyvale, CA home. “We intentionally picked decor and finishes that would enhance the best things about having an Eichler: floor-to-ceiling windows and massive amounts of natural light.” A clutter-free decorating scheme was enacted (“the windows are almost a work of art themselves,” Traci notes) and white walls, cabinetry, and flooring were chosen in order to enhance light. This simple, subdued scheme allows the furniture and artwork within the home—much of it from other mid-century designers—to shine. It’s just the sort of timeless space that is malleable and adaptable enough to fit the ever-changing needs and tastes of a growing family. —Max

  1. Love the openness, clean space, white and black color with pops of pink and gold. Great choice for a home!

  2. I love how light and bright the house is. I just bought that vase from Target too! I love the Nate Berkus line there.

  3. Casey says:

    As soon as I saw the headline “Sunnyvale Eichler” I thought of your beautiful home, Traci, and sure enough, there you are! It’s nice to see more of your living space and work room. Congrats on the feature!

  4. Absolutely love the place. It feels so light and fresh. Beautiful! x

  5. Colleen says:

    I love that giant calendar!

  6. EllieFunDay says:

    Being that I have the honor of knowing Traci and Herman personally, and got to visit this amazing space before it was remodeled to see the amazing conversion. They’ve done an amazing job curating each space and thoughtfully putting all of their objects of affection into the right places. Makes me yearn to own an Eichler one day!

  7. Camila says:

    I love color, but white truly brightens everything up! love this look and the huge calendar!!!

  8. Lisa W. says:

    The photos with so much white interiors are hard to see clearly and the blog design is much less easy to use. Just my two cents…

  9. gail. says:

    My hometown! I’ve had a lot of love for Eichlers since I was a kid.

  10. I cleaned a home once that looked very similar to this one! It had a huge white carpet, white walls, white couch. I love black and white interiors – they seem so spacious, bright and clutter-free, but truth be told, someone like me has sweated for hours for this home to look so clean and tidy! :) To have a home similar to this one is a step that requires some bravery, especially if you have kids. There is a saying I love very much: “All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.”

  11. n tarantino says:

    Where is the desk in the office from? Love it!

  12. Neely says:

    Love their home — so bright and beautiful! A space that exudes calmness, but is also brimming with creativity!

  13. rktrix says:

    Beautiful home – I think, but the photos are WAY overexposed so I can’t really tell. The photos hurt my eyes as I’m searching for corners that define the space that are washed out by the camera. Can you release this photo essay again with the contrast cranked up a bit, and the brightess turned down?

  14. Jennifer says:

    I love the atrium and the black and white color scheme, (including the adorable cat Dexter, he fits in perfectly!). Daring palette, dashing cat!

  15. Congratulations! What an inspiring and creative space you have created for your family! All the thoughtful details really make for a stunning home.

  16. Judy says:

    I love your house! I love the feeling of cleanes and space. I would like to know if IKEA cabinets are good? I need cabinets but I do not know which brand to go for! Please reply in email address! Thank you

  17. Stacey says:

    Oh wow we just moved into a Eichler house in the same hood although our decor is a bit on the ClockWork Orange side, (minus the giant phallus) I love what you have done with your home, very crisp.

  18. Traci says:

    Thank you all so much for your lovely compliments and comments!

    N Tarentino: The desk is all from Ikea! I got a large desk top, and added the legs and drawers. It’s been a really great set up for me.

    Judy, we’ve been incredibly happy with the cabinets so far. I would love to answer any questions you have. Feel free to email me at tyau30 at

  19. kath says:

    Just wish we could see more of the house and less vignettes … not only here but as a general rule

  20. Michelle says:


    Where are the stools from picture 19 from in the mudroom?
    Your house is awesome!


  21. Leslie says:

    Who was your contractor? We also have an A frame Eichler and looking to bring it up to date. Amazing level of detail! Love the openness.

  22. Ann says:

    Oh, wow. This is absolutely stunning! We’re going to be moving down to Florida, and this is the style we definitely will be looking for…..hopefully we can find something like it! :) And the white bamboo flooring….LOVE it! Love houses that are wide open, spacious and bright! Everything in your house is perfection! Congrats! :)

  23. Paula says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely design ideas!


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