Secret to Raising Happy Kids

As promised long ago, mid-century modern homes continue to be ideal for family living
Power Up for Hi-Tech Living
Robin Schick and son Ethan 'horsing around' in their Walnut
Creek Eichler kitchen.
(photo: David Toerge)

Shelter magazines all too often present mid-century modern homes as elegant showpieces, sparsely decorated and barely lived in. But families who inhabit these homes know differently.

When Joe Eichler, the Streng Brothers, and others built these open-plan homes, they aimed them at growing families. The builders bragged about their quality of light, ease of maintenance, and access to the out of doors.

Today, several generations later, parents and children say the builders were telling the truth.

"There's more of a sense of being familial in our house," says mother-of-two Melissa Beard of her Streng home in Sacramento. "We all see each other all of the time."

"Sleeping in the living room, it's like camping," says Isaac Schick, a teenager who lives in Eichler's Rancho San Miguel neighborhood in Walnut Creek. "You can see the moon bringing light into the room, you can see the hot tub, the trees."

Living the modern life does, of course, present challenges—especially when kids toss balls inches from walls of glass.

For more about the joys and perils of raising kids in mid-century modern homes, see this sneak preview of the upcoming fall '13 issue of CA-Modern magazine, 'Space to Grow.'