Choosing the Best Floor Plan for Your Family

by | Aug 12, 2016 | Aging in Place (Thriving in Place)

When we think about remodeling our home, often what comes to mind is a classic image of a plain room transforming into a gorgeous picturesque open space, straight out of a magazine. Yet underneath the glamour there is another important piece to a remodel for every homeowner, and that is functionality.

The greatest priority for Lisa and Rusty, Arlington homeowners, was moving their parents into their home.  They knew they needed an addition to accommodate Rusty’s Father, both of Lisa’s parents, and both of their children along with themselves in their current space.  They didn’t know how to best use the space they had or how best to add to it, so they reached out to Sun Design.

Incorporating existing space into the design, we began the magic of reinventing their home for how they want to live – today and for years to come.   We planned to accommodate private areas for each family unit’s needs, while taking into consideration the amount of space we could add on to the home to keep within the strict zoning regulations for Arlington County.

Another factor was their family budget.  Expenses weren’t unlimited, and there were areas that could be expanded but didn’t have to be, such as the single restroom on the second floor used by Lisa, Rusty, and their two daughters.

We came up with three options to achieve their intentions for greater space with added privacy and continuity.


Keeping within their budget, option 1 added a private area for Lisa’s parents on the first floor, while giving Lisa and Rusty a private balcony off of their master suite, and a family outdoor space on the main living area.

Option 2 offered a decorative hipped roof as well, and closed in the main level deck making it a screened in porch.  By giving them a screened porch, we also added the option for Lisa and Rustys private balcony to be more spacious, utilizing the full footprint of the screened porch roof as their balcony footprint.

Option 3 offered less outdoor options by making the back deck smaller and pushing the house back further.  This gave more room for the common family area on the main floor (to include the kitchen and dining room) and gave both Rusty and Lisa’s master suite, as well as enlarging their daughters’ shared bedroom.  For this option the decorative hipped roof design was removed and the top area expanded back further.

It was a difficult choice for the family as each design provided a different specialty to be cherished.  In the end, it wasn’t the picturesque artsy designed roof or the enhanced outdoor connection but the functionality of the interior space that won their vote.

Having larger interior spaces for each unit to enjoy together, with larger interior gathering areas made everyone feel as though they would continue to prosper as individuals and a family unit together.

Going through the design process with Sun Design gave Lisa and Rusty the creative alternatives they needed to make an intelligent decision on their future home. Lisa was able to integrate a home office area in their master suite, their daughters gained a study off of their shared bedroom, and Lisa’s parents were able to achieve a much desired heritage room off of their bedroom.  With Rusty’s dad at the front of the house, able to take advantage of the front living room – it was a win-win for all!

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We were thrilled with the work performed by Sun Design. We had used a different contractor to build a porch and it was an awful experience with long delays, so we were cautious. The Sun Design team listened to all our needs, presented multiple options to meet those needs at different price points, and delivered on time and on budget for our first floor renovation. They are exceptional at communicating with their clients on what to expect during each stage of the journey and carry our strongest recommendation.

Brendan Mahon



10/10 would highly recommend Sun Design. We found our kitchen layout was too small and wasn't working for us. We told Sun Design what our issues were and what was important to us, and their amazing design team created the kitchen of our dreams. It turned into a whole first floor transformation, moving kitchen, dining room, and living room around to a configuration that worked best for us.

Ashley Norman



I am a HUGE fan of Sun Design! The first time that we worked with them was over 15 years ago. We were ready to have a deck built, but not just any deck, and of course, Jeremy was the designer at that time and I remember how he went about designing it so that it looked like "part of the house" - It is beautiful. We recently refurbished it, and it looks absolutely beautiful!

Josie Zamolyi Caldwell



Sun Design transformed our "cookie cutter" house into a spectacular, unique home. Working with Ericka was a delight - her confidence and fun personality made the process enjoyable. Ours was a complete remodel - kitchen, family room, powder room, upstairs bathrooms, and some primary bedroom work. We loved working with Sun Design so much that we will be working with them again in the future when we are ready for an addition that will add a garage and in-law suite. Highly recommend!

Patti Ahlstrom



SunDesign came up with a creative design for our screened-in porch that beautifully fits into our existing landscape. Project was executed on budget and their craftsmanship is superb. Their responsiveness to a warranty issue we had with the door was immediately addressed. We highly recommend SunDesign — their teams are awesome to work with.

Gisela Ulmschneider



We had a fairly big project to build out part of our house. Sun Design has done a phenomenal job so far. We are getting close to complete. The design process was very collaborative and the execution of the build has gone well so far. Every part of the experience has been top quality and the team we are working with is amazing. The team is expensive but they are able to walk you through where every cent goes and why and they will look at different options to try to help reduce cost. They are well worth every penny. I would want to use Sun Design for any future projects and I highly recommend them.

Jen Navarro



Maryam and Jeff from Sun Design home care department are great to work with. Maryam is very responsive and attentive to all my inquiries. Jeff is my to go guy whenever I need work or maintenance in my property, very professional and thorough with his work. I have been a satisfied customer for 2 years now.

Brigitte Siegall



Sun Design handled the renovation of our large basement several years ago. We finished our laundry room and added two walls of built in cabinets, reconfigured a storage room and run-down kitchen into a guest room and sitting area, and finished a large rec room. Everything was redone - the floors, walls, ceilings, electrical work, etc. Sun Design did a terrific job - the rooms look wonderful. Our house was built in 1962 and we had a number of glitches along the way. But Sun Design made sure that, at the end, everything looked and worked properly. I highly recommend them.

Susan Louis



I have been working with Sun Design for over 15 years. They are a great company to work with, very friendly and professional staff. They are very clean, responsive, respectful of your property and I have nothing but the great things to say about Sun Design.

Goran Zukic



This review is to introduce you to Sun Design services and to recommend them for your next project. We used Sun Design for a deck – sunroom redesign, and the end result exceeded our expectations. Sun Design is easy to work with, thinks creatively, and effectively communicates ideas to enhance projects, and thus Sun Design has my highest endorsement. The staff is knowledgeable, courteous, and friendly. They truly care about every aspect of the projects they do. They arrive on time and leave the place spotless when the work has been completed.

H. Milton Richardson

Our experience with Sun Design has been nothing short of wonderful. From our initial meeting with Craig to working closely with Morgan & Emily, every stage of the design process has been refreshingly easy despite the fact that our kitchen restructure was complex. With thoughtful consideration to our 124-year-old home, Sun Design presented plans that maintained the character of our farmhouse & resolved issues with functionality & form— all while respecting our desired budget & overall objective.

Sarah & Erkan Orman

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