Happy Returns

East Sac home becomes a magnet for this family

By Cecily Hastings
December 2023

East Sacramento pulls you back. Noelle Dear and her husband Ben joined the returnees.

“As our family grew, we both decided East Sac was the best place we could be,” Noelle says. The family has two children, ages 5 and 14 months, with Noelle’s parents just a few blocks away.

The couple moved from the Bay Area in 2020 and loved the charm of the 46th Street home they purchased and remodeled. Designer Ricki Stevens helped create a master plan to add some modern touches.

“I was visiting my folks, and, on a walk, there were two homes for sale, side-by-side. I looked at one and ruled it out. My dad suggested I check out the other home,” Noelle says. “I walked in and could envision the possibilities in a heartbeat. I contacted Ben immediately and said, ‘Call the mortgage broker, I just found the best home for us.’”

The home, built in 1938, was 2,581 square feet. It’s now almost 3,000. During the remodel, the family lived with Noelle’s parents. They moved into their new home about a year ago. “The perfect time to be on the Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour this month,” Noelle says.

“We reconfigured the entire upstairs,” Stevens says. “We added a laundry room, previously in the basement, and two bedrooms with their own bathrooms.”

With space from a former balcony off the bedroom, they created a generous primary bedroom with large bathroom and walk-in closet.

“Downstairs we reconfigured the existing kitchen, using some existing cabinets and adding new where needed,” Noelle says. “The family room fireplace received a facelift, and we used the original built-in niches, just making them more functional by adding more depth to the shelves.

“We also created a larger entry facing the street, added a front courtyard and walkway from street to the front door,” Stevens says. The original entry faced the driveway and lacked a formal walkway to the front door.

The house received new doors and windows, paint, lighting, plumbing and stucco. “We refinished the floors and added new where needed to match original,” Stevens says.

The couple tore down the garage and built an ADU for a home office as both work from home. New landscaping was installed.

Noelle is a fan of designer Stevens’ creative designs. “She just was awesome,” Noelle says. “The theme was casual, elegant using natural materials. In addition, it had to be family-friendly. Ricki succeeded on every level.”

Of note are focal points of color, texture or pattern unique to every room.

“My favorite part of the house is the floor plan flow for social events. It’s just amazing,” Noelle says. “We host a lot of parties. We have a very large family. And we have amazing indoor-outdoor space that expands the home tremendously in good weather.”

The Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour celebrates its 50th anniversary Dec. 1, 2 and 3. Tickets are $35 to $45, available online or at Sacred Heart School at 856 39th Street on event days. Visit sacredhearthometour.com.

Cecily Hastings can be reached at publisher@insidepublications.com. To recommend a home or garden, contact cecily@insidepublications.com. Follow us on Facebook, X and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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