Buyer quickly grabs unique Sacramento area mid-century modern home listed at $1.25M (2024)

A mid-century modern home loaded with custom-built elements is under contract after being on the market for only three days — exemplifying the appeal of Carter Sparks-designed residences in the Sacramento area.

The 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Carmichael, listed at $1.25 million, may be among the iconic architect’s best work, real estate experts said. An offer is pending.

“It’s so unique,” listing agent Peter Rice of Lyon Real Estate said. “Every one of Carter Sparks’ homes is completely different. I think this one was so personal to the owners.”

From the use of rare wood throughout the home to the intriguing atrium that leads to the front door, there are striking details everywhere the eye falls.

“He hasn’t done anything like this,” Gaby Moreira, a Realtor with Mid Mod Sacramento specializing in mid-century modern homes, said. ”It’s definitely one of the more special homes that Carter Sparks built that was custom-made.”

From the mid-1950s to early 1990s, Sparks brought his contemporary style of design to more than 4,000 residences and commercial and civic buildings in the Sacramento area.

The residence at 2200 Shelfield Drive hasn’t changed hands since it was built 62 years ago, in 1962.

The property’s only owners — Dr. Stuart Steinberg, an anesthesiologist, and his wife Sandy, a social worker who had a private clinical practice — exquisitely maintained the home’s original details while upgrading the kitchen, primary bathroom and other living spaces. Stuart died recently; his wife passed away in 2007.

The property is perched on a hill overlooking Shelfield Drive, but it feels completely private from the driveway tucked behind mature trees and bushes out to the pool in the far back of the yard. Concrete steps lead through the gated atrium up to the front door.

Days after receiving multiple offers on the house, Rice gave a tour of the home, which sits on a half acre.

He began in what he called his favorite room, a sunken formal living room at the front of the house with a wood-burning brick fireplace with a gas insert. Set up for entertaining, the room is equipped with a stereo-speaker system, soft lighting, sliding doors that lead out to a deck and post-and-beam framing.

The home has abundant floor-to-ceiling windows and tile and teak floors throughout. There are two fireplaces.

Two of the guest bedrooms have built-in closet drawers and shelving and their own private decks.

The expansive primary bedroom opens out to a private patio, as well. The remodeled primary bathroom has an enormous walk-in closet, three-panel glass tailor’s mirror, built-in vanity, elevated soaking tub and a glass shower.

The rebuilt kitchen features original custom walnut cabinetry, a large island with eating space, a separate large fridge and freezer and skylights. The remodel kept some fun original amenities intact, such as indoor grill and blender station.

The family and dining room opens up into the backyard and its beautiful gardens. The yard can also be accessed through three of the bedrooms.

The quiet backyard “provides an oasis of privacy and serene beauty,” according to the property description. Next to the pool is a cabana with changing rooms and an outdoor bar. A secluded hot tub sits in another location in the yard.

The large greenhouse has running water, misters, overhead lights and heaters.

If you don’t look up, you might miss a very special detail in the house: the copious use of so-called pecky wood.

“It looks like a woodpecker has made (little) holes in it — that’s the nickname for it — but it’s actually made out of cypress trees that had this fungus create the holes,” Moreira said. “The wood is super rare and expensive to get. It’s very water resistant, too, so the fact that they got this much of this kind of wood” is uncommon.

The pecky wood is also on the exterior of the house, with a flat roof and no gutters in the rear. The gutter-less roof creates another one of Rice’s favorite features of the house. Rainwater trickles off the roof and softly down the wood like a light shower in a rain forest, Rice said.

“I’ve been here two or three nights when it’s been pouring rain and I just sit inside, and there’s some lights on out (in the garden),” Rice said. “It’s like either you’re under a really quiet waterfall or you’re just totally out in the wilderness.”

Buyer quickly grabs unique Sacramento area mid-century modern home listed at $1.25M (1)

Buyer quickly grabs unique Sacramento area mid-century modern home listed at $1.25M (2)

Buyer quickly grabs unique Sacramento area mid-century modern home listed at $1.25M (3)

Buyer quickly grabs unique Sacramento area mid-century modern home listed at $1.25M (2024)
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