Finding balance: Couple renovates Marietta home while retaining its unique look
by Sally Litchfield
November 16, 2013 10:25 PM | 5923 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hicks and Dana Poor have totally renovated their Whitlock Heights house, taking a place that needed a little TLC and turning it into a well-known home in the Marietta neighborhood. <br> Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Hicks and Dana Poor have totally renovated their Whitlock Heights house, taking a place that needed a little TLC and turning it into a well-known home in the Marietta neighborhood.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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The back patio of the Whitlock Heights home of Dana and Hicks Poor offers a nice place for a fire on cool evenings and a fun place to entertain friends and family.
The back patio of the Whitlock Heights home of Dana and Hicks Poor offers a nice place for a fire on cool evenings and a fun place to entertain friends and family.
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 A playroom is brightly decorated with fun things like a swing between the two upstairs bedrooms of their daughters.
A playroom is brightly decorated with fun things like a swing between the two upstairs bedrooms of their daughters.
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A hand blown cotton-wrapped glass fixture hangs over the dining table at the home of Hicks and Dana Poor’s Whitlock Heights home in Marietta.
A hand blown cotton-wrapped glass fixture hangs over the dining table at the home of Hicks and Dana Poor’s Whitlock Heights home in Marietta.
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In 1957, when Marietta resident Ross Reeves bought the California style modern home on Whitlock Drive it surely sparked interest in a neighborhood of traditional homes.

Dana and Hicks Poor currently own the home that remains a conversation piece.

“We had our eye on the house for years. We liked the style. It was different. It was interesting. We saw the potential. When we first walked into it, we realized that it was laid out like we would have laid it out if we had built it,” said Hicks, a General Contractor and owner of Poorter Group.

“We both liked living in an older home. We have always like it from the outside but had never seen the inside. When we walked in we were really excited,” said Dana, an interior designer who owns boxtree Designs Inc. The couple has two daughters, 7-year-old Sidney and 5-year-old Holland who attend West Side Elementary.

The Poor’s home is typical of mid-century modern architecture from roughly 1933 to 1965.

“This was the time when mid-century modern was established so it was very period but not as common in this area. If you went to California, there were tons of houses built like this. The ones built in this area are primarily ranches,” said Dana, a 1997 Walker School graduate, who grew up in east Cobb.

“There are a handful of homes in the area that fit this genre. We had our eyes on all of them. This one stands out with the flat roof and is more California modern,” said Hicks, a Marietta native who grew up a quarter-mile down the road from this home. He graduated from Marietta High School in 1993.

The Poors received most of the history on the home from Reeves. Gloria Kidd Brown, who lived on Whitlock Drive, collaborated with Reeves’ wife on the design of the house.

“We read that (Brown) was one of the first female architects to graduate from Georgia Tech. She briefly did work for John Portman, and then she went to work for WP Stephens (Lumber Company) as an architect. Back then, they were more full service. Her father was superintendent at WP Stephens and built the house,” Hicks said.

The couple purchased the home out of foreclosure in November 2012, started renovating mid-January and moved in June 2013. They restored the home to a new condition by replacing the drywall, electrical, insulation, roof and windows. “We gutted the house,” Hicks said.

“We knew we planned to raise our girls here. We knew the house was 60 years old. We made the decision to gut and renovate it. In 20 years, we wanted to live in a 20-year-old house,” he said.

The Poors stayed true to the architectural integrity of the home by incorporating original architectural details such as the fireplaces, doors, hardware, the girls’ bathroom fixtures and vanities, hardwood floors and period-appropriate lights.

Although they combined and reconfigured an area in the downstairs for a master bedroom and bath, the only area structurally changed was the addition of a deck. “We didn’t add to the footprint at all,” Dana said.

The Poors also returned a porch glassed in by a previous owner back to its original state.

Through careful thought and design, the Poors found balance in their modern home.

“A modern home can feel very rigid, cold and sharp,” Hicks said. “We tried to find the balance between maintaining the clean lines and also having a comfortable home to live in and raise our kids in. You don’t want it to feel sterile and cold.”

The couple painted the walls a light, neutral color in order to display their artwork.

“We add a lot of color through the art and furniture,” Dana said.

The Poors are making their new home their own.

“Our house is a storyboard. Everything we have has a story behind it. This house allows us to show off those pieces of furniture or art or pictures,” Hicks said.

“We don’t really own anything that doesn’t mean something to us that doesn’t have a story. It’s connected to family or we purchased it on a trip or bought it together. We just didn’t fill it with stuff. It’s fun to have those connections,” Dana said.

“This is my dream home. I can’t imagine living somewhere I’d like better,” Dana said.

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