What a Place for a Party!

Clever lighting, cocktails and that ‘hole in your house’ kick off holiday revelry

Holiday Party

With a click of the remote control, and a little sleight of hand, Conny Marx can convert the otherwise placid atrium in his San Jose Eichler home into a discotheque.

Planning a holiday party? Consider Conny’s tale.

The remote causes the retractable atrium cover to slide into place, sheltering partygoers from the nighttime cold. Soon the disco ball is emitting lights timed to the music, and LED lights are washing walls and atrium cover with ever-changing colors.

“It looks like a colored dome over the house,” Conny’s wife Andrea says.

The retractable cover didn’t come easy, though. Conny, an engineer, designed and built it himself. So impressed were neighbors with Conny’s handiwork that several, after trying to copy the Marx retractable roof, suggested Conny go into business building them.

We recently visited several other Eichler owners who, like Conny and Andrea, were so taken by their atriums that they took them to the outer limits—as a yoga studio, concert hall, Halloween spook-a-thon, orchid-filled jungle, aviary, and more. It’s all here in our new story ‘Living the Atrium Life,’ a sneak preview of the new fall issue of CA-Modern.