April 26, 2013

Seeds: Couple's labor of love part of Curtis Park home tour

Home is where the heart and body relax. With that in mind, Carrie Sage and Paul Miller made their Curtis Park home into a personal sanctuary.

Home is where the heart and body relax.

With that in mind, Carrie Sage and Paul Miller made their Curtis Park home into a personal sanctuary.

"We moved here eight years ago, shortly after we were married," said Sage, a massage therapist. "I was living in Tahoe Park; Paul had 5 acres in Rescue. We asked ourselves: Where do we want to live the rest of our lives?"

"We spent two years before making that decision," said Miller, a transportation planning consultant.

Since then, the two-story house has been an ongoing project and outlet for their creativity. Built in 1920, the 2,200-square-foot home became their labor of shared love.

"The couple who originally lived here spent almost 50 years in this house, practically their entire lives," Sage said. "That's what we're hoping for us. We could grow old in this home, but we'll be known by our neighbors and not alone. That's what makes Curtis Park so special, that feeling of close community."

Today, Curtis Park celebrates that community feeling with its 27th annual home and garden tour. The Sage-Miller house on Donner Way will be one of five featured homes.

"We're in total love with Curtis Park," Miller said.

"It's my dream community," Sage added.

Attracting more than 1,000 patrons, the spring tour has become a huge neighborhood event with food, music and vintage cars.

Funds raised by the event support programs at the Sierra 2 Community Center, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary. As part of the party, a special commemoration of the center – a former school – will be held at 2 p.m.

"The houses are all very nice – and all very different," said Janice Calpo, who helps organize the tour. "It's really special this year with Sierra's 90th birthday.

"We hold our tour on the last Saturday in April every year when everything is in bloom," Calpo added. "It's spring, and people are happy. We're the first home tour of the season and sort of kick things off. Curtis Park has that reputation; people come from far and wide to see these homes."

Modernized yet retaining its original feel, the Sage-Miller cottage exemplifies that thoughtful touch.

"We're both creative people," Sage said. "But together "

"We have this synergy," said Miller, completing Sage's thought. "It's amazing. We usually end up with the same vision."

In remaking their house, Sage and Miller blended an Old World look with contemporary comforts. Travertine and granite flow through the rooms. Rough-hewn 19th-century country antiques mix with modern California paintings and stainless steel appliances.

Wood that Miller salvaged from a century-old barn became parts of the décor. Well-weathered shutters frame a window on the garage.

Sage sueded the walls with warm brown tones, reflected in the rich, red- cherry flooring. Custom wrought-iron railings lead to a remodeled upstairs master suite.

Originally two small bedrooms, the top floor is a personal oasis with a view of the couple's courtyard pool.

The new upstairs master bath, an award-winning design by Kent Eberle, features a repurposed Indonesian teak cabinet turned into a double vanity with twin porcelain basins. Under a new skylight, a stand-alone tub is made for a deep, relaxing soak. More travertine tile lines a steam shower. A century-old tobacco-drying rack holds towels.

Outdoors, the couple created another "living room" under canvas awnings.

"The house is cozy but a little small," Sage said, "When we blew out the backyard, we knew we wanted an outside living room. We spend a lot of time year-round outside. We love to barbecue, like most Sacramentans."

With no room for a full-size pool, the backyard accommodates a hybrid therapy pool equipped with a current mechanism for lap swimming. Twin fountains flow into the pool, framed by stone seating.

"We didn't want a yard that was all pool," Sage said. "This gives us room for seating along the walls. It's great for entertaining."

Judo and Zephyr, the couple's boxers, have their dog run in the former driveway. The garage houses the pool equipment, and will someday become an artist studio, Miller said.

With patio tables and dwarf citrus trees, the front yard is paved with decomposed granite and offers a slice of Mediterranean ambiance.

"We love how intimate our house is," Sage said. "Every night, we have candlelit dinners."

Said Miller, "We love that whole sense of sanctuary."

"We're really into ambiance," Sage added. "There's nothing in this house that doesn't define us. We're artists. We love color. We love to cook. This is our little haven."

And for one Saturday, they're willing to share.


Where: Start at the Sierra 2 Community Center, 2791 24th St., Sacramento

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today

Admission: $25

Details:, (916) 452-3005

Highlights: Hosted by the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, this event features restored homes in the historic Curtis Park neighborhood.

Slideshow: Curtis Park Home on Tour

Call The Bee's Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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