1 of 18
Every three years, SacMod organizes an amazing tour of Modernist homes local to the Sacramento area. This year, the organization hosted a special edition tour that celebrated the 60th anniversary of residential developers Streng Bros. Homes and the design genius of Architect Carter Sparks.
I had the pleasure of touring six homes while on the 2019 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour. If you follow @TheAtomicRanch on Instagram, we covered the event on June 1st and you’ve already had a sneak peek!
Each house is designed by Carter Sparks, and has been faithfully preserved or renovated to maintain the spirit of the era. I enjoyed seeing how the current homeowners embrace the mid mod aesthetic, and express their personalties through their decor.
Special thanks to the SacMod team, who put together an amazing event, and compiled information mentioned here.
2 of 18The Custom Design - 1959
This home is a unique addition to the house tour lineup, as it was a custom design by Carter Sparks and not built in conjunction with the Streng Bros. Homes neighborhood developments.
The front elevation is already dramatic, playful and mysterious, but I think this vintage Rolls Royce adds to the curb appeal.
3 of 18
Rita and Robert E. Wulfert originally commissioned this tri-level home for their large family. Though the structure has a deceptively small footprint, the design uses “spacial compression and expansion” to give living spaces a dramatic sense of openness.
4 of 18
The current owners are keen to preserve the home’s original features, such as the mahogany wood paneling and original kitchen cabinetry, and have only upgraded fixtures and finishes when necessary.
Those openings in the mahogany paneling are “spy holes,” designed to allow Mrs. Wulfert to keep an eye on the six children from the kitchen.
5 of 18The Transitional - 1974
Homeowner Robert Maurer has just completed a two and a half year renovation to bring this Streng Bros. Homes “Transitional” model up to his own ambitious and creative standard.
His efforts have perfectly blended the preservation of period details—like the original kitchen cabinetry and vintage furnishings—with current-day practicality, using quartz countertops and a more open floor plan.
6 of 18
This sculptural screen took my breath away! I love the way the bold orange hue contrasts against the deep charcoal gray fence. I’m calling it: decorative wood screens in the backyard are this summer’s hottest must-have. Impressively, this screen is a DIY project that Robert completed only weeks before the event.
7 of 18
I was particularly excited to visit Robert’s house, because I had seen photos of it in layout for the upcoming Atomic Ranch Fall 2019 issue only days before.
It will be exciting to see the home again when the issue hits newsstands! I can’t wait.
8 of 18The Classic - 1968
We can all agree that—in one way or another—every home is an expression of the homeowners’ personality and interests. As soon as I walked into the technicolor dream home that is @this.pink.door, I knew right away that I was in for a delightful experience.
9 of 18
The home is filled with color, kitsch, music, patterns, and all the mod staples that could be on any enthusiast’s checklist.
A small room just off the entry is dedicated to sewing, with authentic retro furniture like the desk and these Eames Molded Shell Chairs. The homeowners are a creative couple with a love for vintage Disneyana, so I’m willing to bet that dress is giving The Little Mermaid’s signature look a Mod twist.
10 of 18
The sofa certainly makes a statement, but the shelving across the back wall caught my attention! I loved all the pieces by Orla Kiely and Catherine Holm arranged with other fun vintage items. I’m adding an Eames House Bird to my wish list.
11 of 18The Classic II - 1964
Houses designed by Sparks and built by the Streng brothers were customizable at the time of purchase and planning, so this Classic model layout is quite unique from the house preceding it.
I’ll admit, I have a thing for doors. This bold orange specimen with its three geometric windows is the perfect first impression for what’s inside.
12 of 18
And what’s inside? A cleanly curated collection of authentic period treasures, with fun accents of color and pattern that add a lively pop to the otherwise neutral palette.
The house has an oasis vibe to it, with lots of potted plants. Of course, that means Hip Haven Bullet Planters!
13 of 18
The textured wall in this guest room is a playful touch!
14 of 18The Two-Story - 1971
Love a little drama? Look no further than this roofline!
Apparently, two-story homes are rare among those built by Streng Bros., although this particular model was awarded “Home of the Month” in Sacramento Home Builder Magazine (July 1965).
Adding to it’s uniqueness is the fact that the structure is still in its original state, having suffered no ill-conceived renovations during the last several decades.Courtesy of Travis Pacheco Photography
15 of 18
West Elm Sacramento sponsored the home’s interior styling for a look that layers comfort into the dramatic architecture. These chairs swivel toward the sofa for conversation and toward the TV for entertainment.
16 of 18
The home’s open concept continues to the loft upstairs, where you can see the kitchen and living area below through the divider railing.
17 of 18The Atrium
Indoor atriums are the stuff of my mid mod dreams, and I was excited to see this one on our tour!
In this video, Jim Streng describes how Carter Sparks was inspired to adapt their homes’ atriums for the heat of Sacramento summers.
18 of 18
The homeowners’ playful tastes and sense of humor are on full display throughout the house, blending iconic period pieces—like the starburst clock and Eames Lounge—with art and accents from a variety of eras.
See you later, Sacramento! We’re looking forward to the next home tour.