Passion: Mid-Century Modern Home Design and restoration
Background: Robert is passionate about using his home to create a space to welcome and entertain friends and family in the vintage style of Mid-Century Modern design. Robert’s warm and meticulously curated home was designed by Carter Sparks and built by the Streng Brothers in Northern California. Robert’s generous, engaging personality is the perfect complement to the clean, functional design of his home.
“I was probably 9 or 10 years old when we used to go to this little flea market and I was drawn to older things. I would find some things that I liked and I would barter with them. They would love it because I was so young; they would say things like ‘Thanks for making a deal!’”
I feel connected to the Mid-Century Modern style. I like that it’s about bringing the outside to the inside. From a design standpoint, it is clean and relatable.
“When I got my place pretty well dialed in, I lined up a home tour to celebrate the Streng Brothers’ 60th year of making these homes. I got in touch with a local organization called SacMod, they were really great with organizing the logistics. The Streng brothers were both still alive at the time, in their 90s. I searched through Instagram and found people who posted photos of their Mid-Century Modern (MCM) homes. I reached out to see if they wanted to be on the tour, and they all agreed! That really brought out MCM enthusiasts out of the woodwork from all over... up and down the coast of California, Seattle, Reno, etc. We sold out all of the 1,000 tickets. There were just lines of folks going down the sidewalks to go through the houses, we had some really great conversations about where they were from, about their own MCM homes, or if they had different types of mid-century homes. I had the best time talking with people that day, talking about their passions, about how they want to renovate. Everyone was just so inspired by that tour.”
“One part of what draws me to this is nostalgia. It reminds me a lot of my grandma. I was super close with her. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen together, and that’s a big part of my aesthetic, which is entertaining people.”
“I don’t ever want my house to be a museum or a time capsule. I can appreciate pristine places, but I don't ever want someone to come in and be like, ‘This is sterile, not comfortable… can I sit on this chair?’
No, you come here, and you live. I live here. When people arrive, my place will be dialed in, but then we’re going to have fun, and not worry about it, and things will get back to their places afterwards.”
“I’ve always cared about the space that I’m in, whether that’s a small apartment or my previous home, etc. Here, it’s been a ton of work, but it is always relaxing.
Physically, it’s not relaxing, but in my mind, I want something to work on. It’s kind of my residential DisneyLand. It will never be complete, it’s meant to change and evolve with how I live.... I think the renovation, the little projects, making a meal, throwing a party, it’s what it brings to me. I want something going on. It’s just constant entertainment.”
“I get messages from people all over the country and the world, who tell me how they are inspired and how much they love the work. It’s not about contacting me for anything in particular, or consulting, we just have really great conversations talking about cool pieces that they may have from their grandparents, etc.”