One of the first things that attracted Tyler and Jessica Wichmann to their Sacramento area home was a space they could turn into an MCM atrium. “It was the biggest draw for us. My wife and I are big plant people, and we’ve collected cacti, succulents and houseplants over the years,” says Tyler.
The Streng Brothers, Bill and Jim Streng, built the home in 1976. Along with Carter Sparks, the home’s architect, they built nearly 4,000 homes in the area during the mid century. The architect built the three-bedroom, two-bathroom 2,100-square-foot home to flourish in its climate. Sparks placed indoor atriums (rather than an exposed courtyard) and AC units in his designs. They both make the home especially suitable for the hot Sacramento summers. “The atrium is built for the valley, as it gets us that indoor-outdoor feel without scorching us with the heat,” says Tyler.
MCM Atrium Renovations
After closing on the home in August 2019, Tyler and Jessica got to work on renovations. The home’s original features were in good shape, but it needed some 21st-century updates. “The house had amazing bones,” says Tyler. “We were only the second owners of this home.”
Tyler and Jessica decided to turn their atrium into a dry garden, planting euphorbia, cacti and succulents. “It was one of the most humbling things to be able to put our plants into our new atrium and watch them grow, as our house and family grow alongside them,” says Tyler.
Another space that needed lots of TLC was the kitchen. It was important to them to keep the original footprint, so they worked with Kerf Design of Seattle, Washington. They were able to restore the kitchen’s original charm, while making sure it was up to 21st-century standards. To accomplish this, they added new raised quartz countertops, appliances, cabinets and hardware. “We knew we wanted to work with Kerf … and we couldn’t be happier with how [the kitchen] turned out,” says Tyler.
A Blissful Bedroom
But the bedroom is where Tyler and Jessica’s personal style really shines. “We’re into the color black. It’s a prominent color we use, and so in our bedroom you see that a lot,” says Tyler. The wall that sits behind the bed is covered in a gray siding, a nod to the MCM atrium and the home’s exterior, where it is also used.
The furniture and fixtures were carefully curated and are some of the couple’s favorites. The George Nelson lights were something they had wanted for a long time, and they give the space warm light with a mid century look. The Glen of California dressers were another long-sought-after piece, and they provide stylish storage to the pared-down and relaxing space. “We wanted to make sure our bedroom was a retreat,” says Tyler.
Together, Tyler and Jessica have created a home that embraces its mid century roots while still providing modern comforts. It reflects the couple’s personal style. And rather than being covered up or ignored, the home’s most unique feature—its MCM atrium—finds its place with Tyler and Jessica. “That atrium will grow into a botanical desert garden over the years … and watching ourselves grow with the plants, that will be such a cool thing,” says Tyler.
Tour another Sacramento home designed by Carter Sparks and built by the Streng brothers with this SacMod Makeover.
Looking to infuse your mid mod makeover with authentic period style? Don’t miss our Summer issue we explore the ingredients for renovating and decorating with the perfect retro ingredients. From a groovy Palm Springs getaway complete with vintage furniture, wallpaper and collectibles to a remuddled Pacific Northwest kitchen restored and refreshed with nostalgic style you’ll find expert tips, product picks and inspiring ideas. Plus after a year-long journey, we finally reveal the completed Project House in Austin, Texas. See how the architect and interior designer left no modernist stone unturned to creating and recreating Mid Century Modern style for a new build. Order your copy today!
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