Streng Homes: Mid-Century Modern Design

Mid-century modern architecture and interior design have distinctive appeal to today’s home buyers, but often, homes built during the 1950s and 60s lack the live-ability of newer construction.

In most parts of the country, it’s rare to find authentic mid-century modern homes that were designed in a forward-looking way that makes them both aesthetically appealing and functional for modern families, but in Davis, California, and the surrounding Sacramento Valley, there are roughly 4,000 homes that offer that perfect mix of form and function. Those homes are Streng style homes, and once you know what to look for, you’ll easily spot them as you drive through Davis.

Streng homes are the result of a collaboration between brothers Jim and Bill Streng and modern architect Carter Sparks. Built between 1959 and 1989, the homes are found throughout Davis as well as in many other Sacramento Valley cities and towns, including Woodland, Carmichael, Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks. You’ll see Streng homes clustered in communities with their own parks and neighborhood associations as well as dotting streets here and there throughout the region.

Jim and Bill Streng moved to California in the 1950s after graduating from Dartmouth University. When local builder Phil Heraty retired in 1957, the brothers were given subdivisions in the Sacramento Valley to oversee. At that time, the area was dominated by ranch-style homes, most of which were just cookie cutter, basic designs. The Streng brothers knew that in order to make their developments successful, they needed to offer something distinctly different.

The Streng brothers didn’t have to search long for an architect to help them bring something new to residential architecture in the Sacramento Valley. The perfect partner was right in front of them, attending the same childbirth class as Jim with their expectant wives. Conversations began between Carter Sparks and the brothers quickly, and soon, the vision for what would become Streng homes had begun to form.

Streng Home Living/ Dining Room

Today, Streng homes can be identified by a number of key exterior features, including:

– Low pitched, sloping roofs with high windows

– Overhanging eaves that provide ample shade

– Use of natural materials to allow the homes to fit in perfectly with the landscape

– Sparse window placement in the front of the home to maintain privacy

– Private backyard areas with many windows in the rear of the home for admiring the view

Streng Home Backyard

Streng Home Backyard

Sparks and the Streng’s were ahead of their time when it came to the interior design of their homes, adding elements that help to keep indoor temperatures cool during the hot summer months without requiring high energy consumption. Such features include:

– Interior atriums that feature tinted acrylic domes to brighten the home without excessive heating

– Exposed aggregate flooring that is cool to the touch

– Flowing, open living areas that allow air conditioning to circulate

With their distinctive mid-century modern design and interiors that are ideal for today’s families, Streng homes are highly sought after. Whether you’re considering purchasing a new home or simply want to see some impressive examples of forward-thinking mid-century modern architecture, it’s worth taking a drive through Davis to check out Streng homes for yourself.

Contact me today to learn more about Streng Homes that are for sale.


Images: MetroList MLS, Homes listed by Coldwell Banker Doug Arnold and The DeMasi Group