Creative Problem Solving: More Than A “Kitchen Remodel”

by | Aug 27, 2018 | Creative Design Solutions

Christopher and Cynthia Heimann purchased their 1950s home over 15 years ago.  Like so many of our clients they love where they live with family and friends nearby. Cynthia explained, “Chris’ family lives in Arlington, so dinners of 6-10 people are not uncommon.” However, the layout of their home just did not accommodate their lifestyle. Christopher shared, “Although we had remodeled our galley kitchen about five years previously, it still was a bit tight when we entertained more than a few people or cooked with our adult children, particularly since everyone wants to hang in the kitchen while we prepare food.”

Both the original and previously remodeled kitchen design had a galley style kitchen with the family room positioned at the diagonally opposite end of the main level.  Entertaining comfortably was out of the question.  Christopher explained, “Cynthia and I both very much enjoy cooking and entertaining, and like to explore new and different cuisines. Consequently, we have a lot of specialized equipment, which we had to store in different locations because we lacked sufficient space in our kitchen.  We wanted to create a larger space that would accommodate the different ways we like to cook and provide space for multiple people to cook at the same time, in addition to allowing space for guests to be in the kitchen without being under foot while we prepare food.”



The Heimanns were looking to add an addition to the back of their home to enlarge their galley kitchen and add a porch to extend entertaining outdoors, but this was not what their design consultant, Founder & Chairman – Craig Durosko, suggested. The design he envisioned relocated the kitchen to the opposite side of the home and utilized a small enclosed sitting room (seldomly used) and hall bath.  This suggestion not only provided sufficient space for a large gourmet kitchen, but also adjoined the kitchen to the family room, allowing for easy and comfortable circulation when the Heimanns entertain.  It also enabled them to have a quiet, separate sitting room in the space previously occupied by the kitchen, as well as a library gallery to the new sitting room with a powder room off to the side. Creating their kitchen to be the “Hub of the Home”.  From there the screen porch was added with an open deck that included a pizza oven, with easy access from their new kitchen location.

After asking Craig how he came to present this particular kitchen design idea he stated, “I really didn’t approach it as a ‘kitchen remodel’. It was much more than that. When you walk into anyone’s home and get a better understanding of why they want to do a project, the design can take a different direction than what the homeowners were originally anticipating.” Christopher confirmed by stating, “I in particular was impressed when we talked with Craig about what we had in mind (simply pushing out the back of the house to enlarge the existing kitchen, and add a porch to the side of the new kitchen space) and Craig (after walking around the house) asked if we had considered completely reorienting the house – eliminating a small sitting room and the original bathroom in the house, incorporating those spaces into part of the kitchen, using the rest of the old kitchen space for a powder room, and relocating the back door to be opposite the front door. That was not something I had considered (I think Cynthia had, but we had not discussed it), but, upon consideration, it seemed to make the most sense. It would allow us to achieve all of our objectives and provide a better flow and sight lines.  I think I was pretty well sold after that because Craig did not just reflect back our thoughts (as some firms do) but provided a new perspective (at least new to me) that worked.”


About the Author:

Beth Walters, Director of Communications, joined Sun Design in January 2011. As the Director of Communications she analyzes the local market and proposes and implements strategies through market research, advertising and sales promotion programs. This involves designing, implementing, and facilitating annual marketing plans for the firm, translating business objectives and strategies to develop brand portfolio objectives, developing strategies to facilitate business growth, and developing all promotional and marketing materials.

She brings to Sun Design and its clients over a decade of experience in land development, community associations management, new home construction, remodeling, interior design and marketing. Before joining Sun Design, Beth was Marketing and Designs Manager for a leading new home builder in Virginia Beach, VA. Prior to that, she was the Community Associations Manager for KETTLER in McLean, VA. She has earned certifications from a number of urban planning, real estate and development organizations.

“I’ve always had a passion for architecture and then developed a craze for generating buzz. When my husband and I decided to move back to our home town I interviewed at a couple places, but when I met with Sun Design, it was love at first sight. The atmosphere in the office is electric… very addicting to one that likes high energy.”

Beth is married and has three little ones at home to keep her on her toes 24-7.

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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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