Karakter design journal

A visit to Eames House in the Pacific Palisades

Simran Saseve-Dale, our Marketing and Sales Manager, recalls her visit to Eames House in the Pacific Palisades

Eames House is located at the end of a long driveway, off a very busy, steep road in the Pacific Palisades. The neighborhood has an air of exclusivity about it, full of impenetrable high walled gates and security cameras. It's a surprise then, that upon approaching the Eameses' property, I was greeted by a welcoming, warm and open energy. Towering eucalyptus trees are dotted across the clifftop site, creating a softly swaying canopy above. As I passed through the gates, the house slowly revealed itself. The closer I got, the clearer I could see that every surface was full of so much detail and had something different from the last. I found it impossible to take one image that truly captured the home as a whole.

The structure itself is made up of two glass and steel boxes, separated by a Japanese inspired courtyard. The facades of the two boxes are grids, with different sized inserts of glass, grey cemestos panels, stucco (painted in highly pigmented shades), aluminium and specially treated panels painted in gold-leaf. There is a wonderful play between transparency and translucency, matte and shine, open and closed. To me, being able to pour over the exterior is reason enough to visit. I absolutely loved taking in every detail and was in awe of the way the Eameses had combined so many elements, so harmoniously.

The interior of home is filled with classic Eames pieces, along with an eclectic collection of textiles, art, dishes, objects and books. Ray was an avid collector and she clearly was skilled at finding a way for everything to be arranged in a complimentary way. The interiors feel considered and instead of cluttered or busy, the space was meditative, reminding me in some ways of a chess game or a chanoyu tea ceremony in large scale. What has stuck vividly in my mind is the scent in the home. Fresh ocean air mulled with the unmistakable fragrance of decades old belongings. The kind of thing you cannot take a photo of or bring home as a souvenir. Instead, it becomes one of those wonderful memories of a place, that you hope to one day be able to revisit.