Once home to a single ranch-style house, the sprawling 2-acre lot is now a luxury gated community. Situated off Fair Oaks Boulevard in the heart of Wilhaggin, Plaza de la Fuente features eight home sites overlooking a Spanish-style stone-paved square. A striking water fountain lends credence to the development’s name.
Four homes have been completed featuring mission-style architecture, white stucco façades, red tile roofs and bell-shaped gables. Among them is a 2,900-square-foot abode with two bedrooms, three baths, a library, family room and state-of-the-art kitchen that opens to a generous great room. Ceilings soar to 10 and 12 feet throughout.
Multicolored lights against an all-white bathroom. A painting of tiger’s eyes glaring down as you enter the study. An I-beam spanning the entryway ceiling. These were just a few of the eclectic elements you would find in Kristan Otto’s Campus Commons home.
The daughter of John Otto, Kristan and her family were well known in the community as the folks behind Otto Construction. When Kristan Otto passed away last spring, she left an unforgettable legacy—part of which was displayed throughout her home. Every feature was unique and custom created, not found in any other house.
In 2006, my husband Jim and I embarked on a dream-of-a-lifetime project. My career prior to publishing was interior design, and I always wanted to design and build a home from scratch. Before the age of 30, I had already bought, rehabbed and sold four houses. When we moved to McKinley Park in 1989, we remodeled a lovely circa 1925 Tudor home over the course of 16 years.
While my wish to design and build was brewing, Jim made it clear he loved our home, our street and our neighborhood. He’d worked for IBM and was transferred every few years. Now he wanted to put down roots. And as luck would have it, we both were able to find satisfaction.
With three growing boys and two big dogs, homeowners Kristen and Eric Bassett were running out of space in their 47th Street home.
“It served our family well,” Kristen says. “But as our boys got bigger, the house got smaller.”
Wanting to stay in East Sacramento, the family came across a duplex for sale on a stately street only a few blocks from their home. “We obviously were not going to move into a duplex, but we saw the potential. We could make it exactly what we wanted and needed,” Kristen says.
The Carlaw, one of the newest additions to Sacramento’s vibrant R Street Corridor, is a 26-unit building with apartments above and offices and retail below. The complex is across from Fox & Goose Public House and Arthouse Gallery & Studios, and walking distance from Warehouse Artist Lofts and Ice Blocks, both with abundant shopping, dining and entertainment.
“I pretty much have been a part of this community for a long time,” says David Saalsaa, who moved into a studio apartment at The Carlaw this past August. “I have always been impressed with how they developed the R Street corridor.”
Reminiscent of New Orleans, the upstairs balcony of the 1950 Land Park home is ideal for enjoying Sacramento’s cool breezes and waving to neighbors from a social distance.
“We sit out there every evening,” homeowner Tamara Kaestner says.
Rocking chairs, three long rugs and a row of potted and hanging plants add to the convivial atmosphere. Look up and marvel at a starlit night sky hand-painted on the balcony ceiling by Tamara’s husband, Ken. “It was just dead space,” he says. “So we said let’s turn it into another room. Now we spend more time up there than just about anywhere else.”