The Outside is Inside


The Eames House, Southern California

The Eames House, Southern California

I spent the brief plane ride to Los Angeles last week drooling over a copy of Dwell, a forward looking magazine of modern design, and when I arrived at my friend’s  Hollywood bungalow, she pointed out that the house behind hers was the Freeman House, a Frank Lloyd Wright. So Mid-Century Modern design was a running theme of the weekend and triggered my imagination about the ways my future crib can embody a love for the outdoors.

What resonates with me about Wright is that he understood the interconnectedness of our lives with the spaces we occupy. He believed that dwellings should integrate seamlessly with the natural environment, rather than shriek away or dominate it. So his designs fly in the face of cloistered ideas of ownership and property lines, and blur the contractual boundary between “inside” and “outside” with floor to ceiling windows often appearing in his designs in lieu of walls.

Designers such as Ray and Charles Eames and developer Joseph Eichler tailored Wright’s design fundamentals for everyday people, and many others followed in his philosophy to inspire a new generation of design.

For me, a home that combines the charm of a child’s tree-house with grown-up necessity and sustainability like an Eichler (pictured below) equals bliss…

In what ways does your home reflect your passion for the outdoors?

Inside an Eichler House

Inside an Eichler House

Curbside View of an Eichler

Curbside View of an Eichler


6 Thoughts on “The Outside is Inside”

  • My dad, born in 1925 and an art student at Berkeley in the late 40’s/early 50’s, designed and built several houses in this mode. Very interesting and unusual, but growing up in them could have its challenges. He was a person who needed no private space, so he didn’t account for other people perhaps wanting some. In every house that he moved into, he immediately removed as many doors as he could, and if possible, walls too, to open the spaces and let in the light.

  • I love mid-century modern homes! The larger rooms and floor to ceiling windows create a fresh and airy vibe. I live in a 1951 ranch house that is shaped like a horseshoe. We definitely have doors, when my husband and I painted the hallway, we had to tape off 10 door jambs. I feature mid-century modern homes in Oakland and Berkeley as much as possible on my website.

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