Like HGTV’s reality show “Good Bones,” local renovation specialists ICON Custom Builders have a real passion for transforming older homes into stunning remodels.
Readers may remember meeting ICON’s Chuck Hicks and Shawn Bowman-Hicks five years ago when the couple invited Winston-Salem Monthly’s Step Inside team into their recently remodeled home in Buena Vista (“Open House,” May 2015). Always on the lookout for the next renovation, they discovered a home right around the corner from them on one of their favorite streets — Roslyn Road.
Hidden from view, the couple didn’t even know the house was there until they discovered a For Sale sign.
“Shawn was the one who saw the wonderful white brick cottage behind the trees and bushes and dreamed of saving it,” Chuck says.
After two years of waiting, and with a promise not to tear the house down, their patience and persistence won the day; ICON Custom Builders was the proud owner of a home that had been in the Vogler family since 1936. In need of some serious TLC, or as Chuck describes it, “A total and complete renovation from top to bottom,” ICON’s in-house architect, David Meyer, got to work on renovation plans.
“We wanted to honor the original house design,” he says, “to renovate it in a way that looked like it had always been there.”
As workers began to take the house down to the studs, Chuck reached out to his friend, neighbor, and interior designer Amanda Hiatt, and asked if she would be interested in taking a look inside. ICON had just finished a major kitchen remodel for the Hiatts, and Chuck and Shawn were impressed with Amanda’s design talent.
“For years I walked past that home and wanted so badly to see inside,” she says.
Overgrown with ivy and azaleas, Hiatt had always imagined the hidden house as a secret cottage and just knew it must have had a powerful backstory. To no one’s surprise, Hiatt was hooked the moment she walked through the door.
Chuck and Hiatt agreed that the primary goal of the renovation was to preserve the historical integrity of the house and create a home for a modern family to enjoy. Walking the thin line between making conservative design choices and remaining true to her own design integrity, Hiatt occasionally pushed the envelope in pursuit of the wow factor.
“Like the paint color in the libary,” she says with a smile. “The painter must have said ‘Are you sure?’ a dozen times.”
Of course, Hiatt dreamed of bolder choices in some rooms, but in the end the classic looks she created — like navy cabinetry and white quartz countertops — made design statements of their own.
For the two new bathrooms added to the second floor, David Meyer designed an accommodating side dormer to match the steep front gables of the house. And when the decision to open up the first floor staircase was made, he again borrowed from existing handrail and baluster designs from a second floor stair.
Helping to meet the challenges of a new kitchen design created from four smaller rooms was Jenny Roush Newman with West End Cabinet Company.
“It was a space in stark contrast to any open kitchen concept,” she says.
Instead, the cabinet designer helped create a beautiful transitional kitchen that boasts, among other things, an original breakfast nook transformed into a large butler’s pantry with ample storage and a wet bar.
The finished renovation proved to be a perfect balance of historical charm and modern amenities. Chuck, Shawn, and ICON were happy to hear from so many Vogler friends and neighbors who were excited to see what had been accomplished — and they couldn’t believe it was the same house. In addition to being showcased on the Home Builders Association’s Parade of Homes and playing host to a soiree for members of the Buena Vista Sipping Society, ICON hosted a luncheon for its employees, subcontractors, suppliers, and associates as an expression of their gratitude.
“I still run by it often,” says Hiatt of her secret cottage. “But now I just smile knowing that she’s doing just fine.”