Satisfied Clients

From workplace romance to perfect location

By Cecily Hastings
July 2024

Six years ago, working as attorneys at the same Sacramento law firm, Heather and Dan Baxter fell in love. They married and decided to purchase their first home together.

Dan was raised in Carmichael. Heather comes from suburban Southern California. Dan was partial to the Arden-Carmichael area. Heather had been renting in Land Park and loved the tree-lined neighborhood filled with historic homes.

“I had to strongly encourage Dan to consider Land Park,” Heather says. “This neighborhood just was not on his radar.”

When they toured the Swanston Drive two-story home, both realized it was what they wanted. “It was built in 1937 and was in almost original condition, and we loved the floor plan,” Heather says. “And it had the charming vintage features that I loved and knew we could enhance with interior design changes.”

The couple purchased the property in July 2022 and moved in that October. The home is about 2,400 square feet with four bedrooms and two full bathrooms.

“The biggest changes we made to this home was in terms of paint. We repainted every surface both inside and out,” Heather says. “But we also ripped out old carpeting and refinished the original hardwood floor throughout.”

The living and dining rooms are open with windows that fill the space with natural light. Heather’s design concept was to introduce multiple colors, textures and patterns, and create a tapestry of vintage charm.

The room is centered with a vintage Ushak rug of teal, lavender and other non-traditional colors. “I was always drawn to traditional Persian rugs, but this vintage one has unique coloring I’d never seen before,” she says. “It grounds all the various color in the room.”

The fireplace was resurfaced with Moroccan tile in soft shades of bone and white. The effect is a somewhat British approach to design.

The dining room has hand-painted wallpaper with scenes of waterlilies, grasses and swans in shades of light blue, teal and grass green. The wainscoting is dark teal. A French door opens to the backyard. “We selected the wallpaper early and it became a color theme of sorts for the rest of the house,” Heather says.

A structural change opened the kitchen to the dining room by expanding the passage. The remodeled kitchen kept the same footprint but rearranged the appliances and sink. Highlights are whitewashed alder cabinets and marble counters. Rather than a new island, Heather opted for a stainless-steel rolling cart that gives flexibility when entertaining.

A wide-wall cabinet hides the refrigerator and stacking washer and dryer.

Bathrooms upstairs and downstairs were renovated. The downstairs bath has dark tone tiles and a colorful bird wallpaper. A unique copper wall-hung sink from Morocco fits perfectly in the compact space. “I used Etsy for so many great purchases for this home,” Heather says. “It’s a tremendous resource for interesting vintage finds.”

She continues, “We were so lucky to find a wonderful contractor in Benito Uribe. He totally understood our vision for this house and every step of the way he performed better than we could have imagined. And he brought in trades people that had that same attitude.”

The color scheme is more neutral in the master bedroom, bath and dual offices, where the couple works primarily from home. An exception is Dan’s self-described “man cave,” a room with dark colors, television, bar and sectional sofa.

“It was my contribution,” Dan says. “But Heather also trusted me to select the freestanding bathtub in our master bath. Since I’m the one who enjoys the bath, it only made sense. Heather gets credit for 98% of everything selected for this home.”

Heather made the experience a good one for the newlyweds. “I treated Dan like he was my client. He had to approve all my decisions,” she says. “And I knew comfort was important to him.”

“My favorite thing about this house is that it reflects Heather so perfectly,” Dan says. And Heather appreciates the freedom she had to design. “But overall, it is the neighborhood we live in,” she says. “Land Park has so much history and character. I’m just in love with it. And Dan now certainly understands the appeal.”

With the Baxters, the neighborhood has another generation of homeowners to preserve it.

To recommend a home or garden, contact Follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

Stay up-to-date with our always 100% local newsletter!

* indicates required
Type of Newsletter
Share via
Copy link