Mindy Mitchell – Walking the Walk

by | Sep 16, 2015 | Aging in Place, Designer

If you’ve ever met her, what most likely stands out to you is her infectious laughter. We talk about it often at Sun Design, as we frequently hear it tumbling down the hallway of the office; “Mindy’s here!”

When Mindy came to Sun Design in 2005, she came as an organizer hired to enhance our clients’ closet spaces. With her animated laughter and personality, she was quickly tossed into other areas of consulting and has since been a key person on Sun Design’s Sales team.

In 2009 Mindy expanded her mastery by becoming a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), and began speaking more deeply about how homeowners could enhance their living spaces, accommodating as many different types of people as possible. It has been this work over the past six years, which has greatly contributed to a difficult decision she recently decided to commit to: moving back home.

“I’ve been on the east coast for about thirty years, and my parents are in their ninety’s.” Mindy shares. Having her brother living close to them took some of the pressure off of emergency case scenarios, but as one of five children – and the only girl – they requested their daughter to be closer for their final decision making days. “I just feel like it’s time to go home.”

Mindy also shared one of her personal beliefs, “there are no coincidences.”

Relating to several of her clients, she is leaning into the opportunity to care for and be of service to her family during their time of need. “We teach what we learn. I’ve been teaching this for so many years… helping people create better spaces that will serve them. It’s interesting to be doing this for myself.”

Future planning, as Mindy likes to call it, involves more than designing a beautiful open space. It takes into consideration everyone who will be living or visiting the home, and future generations to come.

Think of converting a room into an Au Pair suite, which later may transition into a guest suite than a caregiver’s suite. This is one of many examples of how one space can be adapted for many uses. Future planning can be as grand as a whole house remodel, or as specific as the type of doorknobs and light switches you chose.

Aging in place is defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Along with Mindy, Sun Design’s Craig Durosko and John Benedetto are CAPS certified and dedicated to this vision.

The average life expectancy in Fairfax County is 83.1 years according to a recent study by SmartAssets. A likely contributor to this longevity is that nearly 63% of the population in the County exercises regularly compared to the US average of 54%. The great reality of this is that people in our area are living healthier, longer lives in their home.

“Around 90% of people want to age in their homes,” says Mindy. Our job is to help those people create a holistic living space which will support them through this transition and augment their health along the way.

“Sun design has fulfilled my desire for a fun, creative, energetic and charitable work environment.   I have loved creating relationships with our clients and helping them realize their vision. It’s been very very fun.”

From all of us at Sun Design – we will miss you dearly Mindy!


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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

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