Saturday, June 18, 2016 –a day we’ll never forget. We’d been building-up to this date since last fall, when the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour was confirmed. Since then, this looming deadline stressed and motivated, in equal measure –not helped by me setting our broken flip-clock to tour day, a while back.
But the motivation was welcome –it pushed us to complete way more projects than we otherwise would have. We still prioritized, abandoning non-essential stuff, while making time for little touches, like designing tour-day postcards. We have some left, actually –if you’d like a couple, please email us and we’ll mail them. You can also buy this 2016 tour guide.
It profiles featured homes and neighborhoods, notable local architecture, MCM shopping, and all that stuff. It’s pretty awesome. Seeing it was a shock –”holy moly, we’re on the cover!” is the child-friendly version of our reaction. No going back now. Not that we wanted to. Good job, ’cause tour day came quick. And while we didn’t finish everything on our list, we were ‘done’ enough.
But we were still worried. What would people think? Would they hate our bland palette and minimal decor? Would they say horrible things? Sure, we get validation here, and on Social Media (thank you!) but you get pretty paranoid in the run-up to something like this. At least we did. People were expecting to be wowed, and we offered them a dead front lawn. Way to make a first impression.
Luckily, we had this gorgeous 1958 Triumph TR3A convertible to distract people! Huge thanks to the owner, Dan, for the kind loan, and kudos for navigating our ski-slope driveway. Also thanks to Nick, on the SacMod team, who heard our picky and unrealistic (we thought) request for something “black and British” and delivered. Big time. Beautiful car. Just a shame we don’t get to keep it.
Once people got beyond the driveway (and some did struggle to find our front door) they were greeted by one of two Eichler-owner friends, from a few doors up –G, in the morning, and Frank (pictured here), in the afternoon. Both did a fantastic job of welcoming guests, telling our story, and setting the scene. And all for no pay. Thank you SO much guys!
Incidentally, those are Frank’s balls in the foreground –he kindly loaned them, while we source our own. Backing-up Frank on the door, another friend of ours, Don. AKA “the enforcer” –not sure why I jokingly gave him that tag, or why I found it so funny. It was later in the day, and I was kind of delirious by that point. Though they do look like a couple of nightclub bouncers here, don’t they?
Once inside, nobody mentioned the lawn (to our faces). They just said nice things. Really nice things –about the house, our furniture, our artwork, our candy (conveniently placed at kid height). And in case you were wondering (and we were asked a few times) these are “Cherry Sassy Spheres”, from The Candy Warehouse. Tricky to open, but oh so worth it.
It got pretty darn busy, and we soon regretted our decision to skip breakfast. Surprising how exhausting constantly talking/standing can be. Around noon, I cracked –grabbing a muffin from the kitchen cupboard, hopping across to next door’s front lawn, and stuffing it into my face…while simultaneously covering my “homeowner” badge. Yes, that was me. And I was back in the game.
I decided to populate most of this post with other people’s tour photos (all have linked credits underneath, except for our own pics). We found most through the #SacMCMHomeTour tag, on Social Media –if you have pics from the day, please share/tag. We (and everyone else involved) would LOVE to see them. Several pics here are from local photographer, Ski Taylor, who shot a whole Flickr set for SacMod.
Ski came later, when the madness had subsided, and got some good shots of the house and landscaping. She even managed to (stealthily) capture a few pics of us –that’s me, above, in the navy top. And here’s Karen, in the kitchen –which isn’t usually her domain…and she won’t mind me saying that.
And that’s me again, at the end of our long corridor –flapping my arms around, for no apparent reason. People loved these Pantone prints, along our corridor wall. Many asked about buying their own. I was going to post the link here, but just checked and they’ve been discontinued, sadly.
More Pantone in our office –in fact, more color than the rest of our home combined (and I’m not talking about that shirt). These are our friends, Andy and Melissa, who posed for a pic (photographer unknown). They also kindly volunteered at our place on the day, and did an awesome job –thanks so much for your help and support, guys! And we love the outfits.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming/meeting a couple of local retailers –Erin and Stefan of Scout Living (a store we’ve adored since moving here) plus the guys from Lumens (who we’ve been fans of since way before arriving). We mentioned both here way back. Sarah, from Lumens posted her own tour recap, with some great pics –this one of our coffee nook. Yes, we’re addicted to Pantone.
Here’s Kelly, patrolling the corridor –another Eichler-owner friend, who volunteered with husband, G, the morning doorman (who somehow avoided having his photo taken). Kelly and G live two doors up, and were homeowners on the last tour, in 2013. They knew the drill, so it was reassuring to have them around. Thanks for your continued support, both!
Here’s Melissa again, taking a seat in our master. Outside, Anglo-American neighborhood friends (to the left) plus another friend/volunteer, Adrian, in the center –also English, and our neighborhood’s newest Eichler owner. You may recall his home, and we plan to share his amazing transformation soon.
While we’re in the master, I must mention that stunning Samara Clock on the wall –a kind loan from our supremely talented friend, Brian, the creative force behind Schmitt Design. We wanted to hang this above our fireplace, but didn’t get hold of it ’til tour morning, and struggled to drill into the cinder-block . We plan on commissioning a custom version (tweaking the colors) for that spot.
And remember that Montreal Metro print we mentioned, a while back? Here’s where we hung it –in our guest/reading room. Several people commented how much they liked the print, by talented photographer, Chris M Forsyth –here’s the full view, and more of his incredible work.
This has become our ‘blue room’ so it’s a natural fit for the print. Here’s the opposite side, with a rare wall of color, and an even rarer touch of brass, courtesy of our flying ducks –they migrated from our living room, as you may recall. And that’s our Dixie dresser, which we love.
While we’re on blue, our flamingos went down well, and enjoyed their close-up. People seemed to love the outdoor space –so rewarding to get positive feedback, with this being our first ever landscaping project. The lots (or plots, as us Brits call them) are so small in England, you rarely get much space to work with. People also asked who our landscape designer was, which means they must’ve liked it, right?
That reminds me, someone also asked if we’d staged our home or actually lived like this! We seriously do, though it’s not always quite this clean/tidy. Sticking outside, I love this cropped shot, found on Instagram. Truth be told, the no-mow has taken a battering from the early summer sun –we’ll be over-seeding come fall. But it looks so lush and green here. We need a camera like this.
Liking this angle too. That’s our Eichler siding-clad planter to the right, filled with clumping bamboo that’s really starting to take-off. And that’s our front gate, which served as the exit on tour day –though people still tried to enter that way…despite our (hastily made) “exit only” sign.
On the other side of the cinder-block, a good spot to pose for a pic –kind of bizarre (in a good way) to have people photographing each other in and around your home. Even weirder (to us) that so many of them wanted to talk to us. In a very, very small way, we felt like minor celebrities for the day.
Talking of celebrities, we were honored to welcome Jim and Mary-Jo Streng into our home. Jim, with brother Bill, built 3,000+ modern (Eichler-like) Streng Homes, in the Sacramento area. Such lovely people, and very complimentary about our home…which made me like them even more. Son, Steve Streng (who also visited us on tour day) was the listing agent when we bought our place.
We met so many people during the day, some already online friends, many new connections. It was overwhelming. In a good way. That reminds me –if you came to our home, and we spoke to you, or even if we didn’t, please feel free to say hello via email (as some of you already have). We love to connect with like-minded people. And when we reply, it’ll likely be from here –how’s that for a tenuous link, and an excuse to show this nice pic of our office? And there’s that ‘tour day’ flip-clock.
No excuse for the next photo, except to give a big thumbs up to SacMod, led by the amazing Gretchen Steinberg –without whom, none of this would be possible. We’re especially thankful to Jon (pictured) the homeowner coordinator, plus Zann, Dane, Nick, Justin, Susan, and José (sorry if I missed anyone!). Also the people who helped us on the day –our friends/neighbors, Kelly+G, Frank+Brian, Adrian, Don, Andy+Melissa, and our SacMod volunteers, Mark, Jon, and Karen –you were all wonderful.
Two other shout outs –first, to our fellow homeowners; Sean+Carrie, Will+Dave, Mel+Shane, Zann+Jeff, Lauren+Rob, and Sarah. So fun being in this together –we’ll always be linked by this special day! While this post focuses on our own tour experience, we do plan on profiling other tour homes,. In the meantime, do click the #SacMCMHomeTour tag, for more of all the homes.
And a final thank you to the tour-goers –without you guys, there’d be no tour! There were 1,000+ visitors, plus VIPs, volunteers and homeowners. Thanks for your support, your respectfulness, your kind words, and your enthusiasm for mid-century modern. Wonderful to see so many people that truly ‘get it’ and appreciate the many ways of embracing this style of architecture and design. Kudos.
As the day drew to a close, the crowds thinned-out. At this point (around 2pm) someone suggested we open some beers. This began the drinking portion of tour day. If you visited around that time, I can only apologize for our apparently casual approach, and assure you this didn’t reflect the day’s professionalism. But it did get worse from there.
Some familiar faces started showing-up, for our informal ‘after party’. Not everyone is in this pic, but these guys traveled the farthest –from Walnut Creek, San Jose, and Palm Springs! L-R, Karen @fogmodern, Blaine @_modernrestoration_, me, Karolina @kbbuchner, Karen @destinationeichler (be sure to check out Karen’s own tour roundup) and her Eichler-owner friends, Christy and Brian. There are several shots of this grouping, and this is the only sensible one…mainly thanks to the pair on the left.
The drinking continued, and the photo frequency diminished, thankfully. So that concludes this tour…of the tour. With the day itself in the rear-view, we’re kind of sad. No deadlines. No urgent projects. So now what? Well, plenty. We still have big plans for our home –including projects behind our two “no tour entry” doors, front yard landscaping, a pool (and pool house) in the back, and more glass here and there. For starters.
We also have plans for this site –in addition to our own projects, more neighborhood and home tours, profiles on Eichler/MCM people, and much more. For now though, we’re taking it easy. As I write, almost a week later, we’re still exhausted. That said, we did pick-up some paint samples the other day, and will likely change our door color this weekend –we just can’t help ourselves. More soon…