Real Estate / Home + Design

The Anti-Home Flippers Transforming East Dallas Real Estate

Sunscout Studio's Latest Character-Filled Project Just Hit the Market in Lake Highlands

BY // 03.29.24

In 2009, Greg and Chantal Hickman found a small East Dallas home that fit their real estate budget and had good bones. They renovated it on a shoestring budget with “paint, breeze blocks, wood work, and love,” notes Chantal. They became obsessed with the transformation, as did their friends, family, and fans who caught a glimpse of their design work online. They formed Sunscout Studio and have since worked their magic on 10 homes in the East Dallas area, the latest of which just went up for sale in Lake Highlands

Like many of Sunscout’s past projects, 10306 Church Road served as the Hickman’s personal home for years — in this case, seven. They purchased the home in its original 1962 state, linoleum and all, but like the Hickman’s first Dallas project, the bones were deeply cool. 

“What we have touched is really just complementary — just more to today’s standards,” Greg notes. “I think the architect would have been pretty pumped to see what we’ve done to this place over the past few years. We’re proud of it for sure.”

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A double-sided fireplace is a centerpiece in the mid-century modern home.

10306 Church Road, Sunscout Studio’s Dallas Swan Song

“We pick homes that have good lines or great wallpaper; just something we fall in love with,” Greg says. “That sort of sparks what we’re going to do to with the design.”

In the case of 10306 Church, the project’s heart was a brick fireplace the couple transformed into a double-sided, walkaround centerpiece. 

“That one change really set the tone for the whole place,” Greg notes. “It’s walkaround, it’s airy, and the light from the living and dining rooms can interact with each other.” 

Other renovations included swapping dark brown carpet for cork flooring, and expanding the home’s two bathrooms. The Hickmans added countless custom touches, landscaping around the covered back patio, and of course, plenty of love. 

“The linoleum was actually really awesome,” Greg notes. “It was just in such bad shape we couldn’t save it.”

Next up, the young family is headed to buzzy Bentonville, Arkansas. “As much as we love East Dallas and this home in particular, I think we’re ready for a change of pace and a new adventure,” Greg says. 

*Visit our slideshow to virtually to 10306 Church Road.


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The cool covered patio, featuring the 1962 home’s original ceramic sconces, also got a Sunscout refresh.

The Anti-House Flippers

Anyone who’s recently dipped their toes in real estate knows that flipped homes, particularly in rapidly growing cities like Dallas, have flooded the market. The floppiest of the flips are often purchased for cheap, renovated rapidly, and put back on the market for hundreds of thousands more. The properties photograph well but there’s a serious style-over-substance issue due to cut corners and cheap materials. 

The Hickmans don’t identify with the term “house flippers.” The duo, who have typically acquired and sold 1960s-eras homes across East Dallas, prefer to think of their work as preservation. 

“We spend countless hours ironing out every last tiny detail, room by room, color by color,” the duo wrote in a Sunscout Studio Instagram post from November 2023. “The amount of effort both physically and emotionally that goes into a project we finish is so immense that when the time comes to sell, we’re totally spent. Our work is our art — and we thoroughly enjoy getting to share it with all of you. It’s always our hope to boost the neighborhood, inspire others and save whatever character we can house by house!” 

And though the family is leaving Dallas, the Sunscout aesthetic may still be contracted. 

“As we’ve gotten more exposure and more people are catching on to our vibe, we’ve gotten many more inquiries about [design work],” Greg says just 24 hours after 10306 Church Road hit the market. “We’re certainly open to it — in fact, just today we’ve had three different people reach out.” 

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