When Vickie Rosok first launched Premier Home Builders, she was hesitant to publicize the fact that she’s a woman. But in the last 5 years, she has literally built a name for herself, and her award-winning home designs have earned the respect of men and women alike. A member of the HBAL (Home Builders Association of Lexington) and winner of the 2014 Best New Home Design Award, Premier Home Builders specializes in custom home building and design, from the foundation to the throw pillows. “In the beginning, men would call and ask to speak to my husband. So I wanted to wait until I had some product out there. But people are starting to take notice.” And rightfully so. Vickie’s thoughtfully designed homes all have a common goal: to make life easy, elegant, and enjoyable.
One of the myths Vickie wants to dispel is that a custom home is not affordable. “If a client provides us with a ballpark amount of square footage and a price point, we will build and design the home around their needs. Some people are all about square footage, while others want less space, but more amenities.”
Originally from Eastern Kentucky, Vickie grew up in a family of builders and renovators, so there was always a project going on and opportunities to watch and learn. After moving to Lexington and graduating from college, she and her husband bought their first fixer upper and flipped it. During that time, she was working at a local architectural firm. After renovating and flipping several other properties, Vickie realized that the time was right to jump into the business with both feet. Now she and Jim McKay, of McKay Snyder Architects, often collaborate on projects for Premier Home Builders. Her first spec home was completed four years ago. “I figured if it didn’t sell, we would live there. It sold in thirty minutes with three backup offers.”
When asked about the challenges of working in a predominantly male field, Vickie stresses the importance of mutual respect and treating people right.
“I treat everyone with equal respect, regardless of their position in the company. I feed them well, and I don’t make them wait the typical 30-60 days to be paid. When they nail the last nail, I write them a check. That costs me money, but it has come back to me time and time again.”
Her 3,850 square foot home in Hamburg’s Tuscany subdivision proves that it’s not necessary to sacrifice luxurious touches for easy maintenance. As with all her homes, Vickie designed the space to best suit her lifestyle. She lives with her husband Jim, an assistant manager at Toyota, and her Golden Doodle, Chelsea.
“I hear it all the time – people tell me that it’s obvious that a woman designed this home.” And undeniably, the house is full of thoughtful touches that facilitate effortless, stylish living.
The Rosok home opens into a bright, welcoming entryway, with an office space to the right and dining on the left. “I often meet with clients here, and having the office near the front entryway is convenient.” The office features a chic animal print rug and large abstract painting, both curated from interior designer Holly Hanna. According to Holly, working with Vickie on the design of the home was a blessing. “Vickie is very fun and open to new ideas, making it exciting to collaborate with her on projects,” Holly said. The wrought iron and crystal chandelier, as well as all the lighting in the Rosok home, was chosen with the help of Stephanie Wolf at Brecher’s Lighting. “Lighting is the jewelry of the home,” said Vickie. “It really sets the tone.”
Vickie and Jim love to entertain, so they chose an open floor plan for the kitchen, dining room and great room. “I don’t have a lot of free time, so this is all about maintenance,” she said, gesturing to the kitchen. When asked to elaborate, she explained that she chose a dark colored granite (purchased from Artistic Granite & Marble) for the countertops because it didn’t have to be sealed and re-sealed later. Like the countertops, the backsplash was designed to be low maintenance. Unlike many backsplashes which are made from natural stone, Vickie has chosen a glossy porcelain tile that will resist stains and splatters over time.
The kitchen cabinets were designed by Danny Castle at Castle Cabinetry. “He is excellent. I cannot say enough good things about him,” said Vickie. “He can get within a millimeter of what you want, and he has a great eye for detail.” The cabinets feature European style shelving (no space-wasting center bar) and soft close doors and drawers. The layout of the kitchen was clearly designed by someone who loves to cook and entertain, from the easy clean-up of the stainless steel, to the way the appliances are placed in relation to one another. Every inch of the kitchen is packed with storage, yet there is still plenty of room to display fine stoneware and serving pieces. The high-end Bosch dishwasher is so quiet that it has an indicator light to tell it’s running, and the island sink is located a good distance away from the seating area to prevent splashing.
Clearly, Vickie is full of good ideas to save time, space and maintenance so her clients can relax and enjoy their homes. One more example is the side panel of the kitchen island. “Usually, this is just a dummy panel, to create leg space,” said Vickie. “But there is no reason to lose valuable storage space, so I created a shallow cabinet for cookbooks and other small items.”
The outdoor relaxation area located off the kitchen is complete with a covered porch, fire pit table, and flat screen television. The outdoor furnishings came from the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina.
One of the most ingenious details of the outdoor living area is the covered porch that leads directly into a bathroom. “During tours, men would ask why there is a door leading from the bathroom to the yard, and women would see a picture of Vickie’s dog, Chelsea, on the wall and say, “That’s a great idea!”
The pool area is reminiscent of a tropical hideaway. “This lot sat for five years because no one could figure out what to do with it,” Vickie explained. “It’s a corner lot, and you can see all the way around. But I designed the home with a side view instead of a back view, which makes the best use of the space.”
Truly one of the most visually striking aspects of the home, the pool features a cascading waterfall and is flanked by privacy shrubbery and a collection of tropical plants, a variety of palms, and hibiscus trees. “It’s just a matter of getting creative,” said Vickie, who worked with Landscapers Paradise and Nature’s Expressions on the landscaping. “Once we discovered that, Pemberton’s delivered, we now have a lanai,” she laughed. The pool was designed by Sam McAdams of Aladdin Pools in Cincinnati.
The master bedroom is painted a soothing shade of taupe, with custom bedding and drapery selected by Holly Hanna. This was one of Holly’s favorite rooms to work with Vickie on. The recessed ceiling is painted a contrasting dark gray, which beautifully sets off the Brecher’s chandelier. Twin glossy black end tables adorned with sleek silver lamps complete the look.
The closet is truly a girl’s dream come true, with plenty of custom-built shoe and bag storage, another chandelier and a full length tri-mirror for perfect views at any angle. It is connected to the laundry room, which features more custom cabinetry and a clothing bar for hanging delicates.Off the laundry room and master closet area is a mudroom, where Jim can come in straight from the garage. “Sometimes he’s behind a desk all day, and sometimes he comes home covered in grease, so this is another way to keep the house clean and save time.” Placing the laundry room close to the master closet is a great idea, but at the same time, it’s not too close to the bedroom so that the noise disturbs.
The master bath features an open shower with two entry points. This is another one of Vickie’s maintenance tricks. Having no shower doors means you never have to clean them. When people ask if an open shower is cold, she explains that taking the shower all the way up to the ceiling and creating angled walls holds the heat in. Again, the use of tile over natural stone makes for easy cleaning.
The landing to the upper level is much larger than most, allowing for ample space when moving furniture. The windows are blissfully free of any coverings, letting the natural light flood in. There is no closed-in hallway, but instead a balcony, letting in more light.
Since Vickie and Jim don’t have children, they have made excellent use of the upper level bedrooms and space. “We wanted the bedrooms to be big enough to function other than just a bedroom. We kept our guest suite, but converted one bedroom into a home gym. Separate from the bedrooms is a climate controlled storage room, and a home theater with a golf simulator.”
Yes, you heard that right. The theater room boasts a row of comfy recliners, projector and an impact screen with a golf simulator program. When Jim is not practicing his swing, with the push of a button, a 140” movie screen drops from the ceiling for them to enjoy movies. With a built in beverage center and wet bar, it makes for the perfect home entertainment room. “This is where we come to spoil ourselves,” said Vickie.
After touring the Rosok home, it becomes apparent that a little creativity goes a long way in creating a customized space that is both beautiful and stress-free. “I like for things to be pretty, but I also want something I can maintain. I don’t want to be sweating details. We have a dog, we entertain often, so it’s all about livable elegance.”