Design: Discovering Potential in a 1950’s Mid-Century Modern Home

by | Apr 24, 2018 | Creative Design Solutions

Clients, Kelly and Mike, who wanted to live within the Lake Barcroft community of Falls Church, had been looking for a lake front property for several years. After viewing many homes on the lake, senior design consultant, Roger Lataille, was asked to view a piece of property with them to help identify a home’s potential. “The first home I looked at with them wasn’t a waterfront property. It didn’t have the character and style that Kelly and Mike seemed to be drawn to,” explains Roger. “The inside was choppy and they would have had to make a significant financial commitment to get it close to what they wanted, it just didn’t make sense.” While that property wasn’t the right fit for Kelly and Mike, it was within this mid-century modern, split-level home that they found inspiration and reached out to Roger once again to see what the possibilities could be.

“We met with three different companies. We walked away from the first two feeling “good, ok, decent”, but we walked away from Sun Design knowing that they were the one,” Kelly shared.

Having remodeled over 30 homes in the Lake Barcroft community, we asked Roger what made this home the one. Roger said, “While the kitchen area was walled in with hardly any views to the lake, it was easy to envision an open space that would work well for the family. Wanting a place to stay and raise their children in the Lake Barcroft community, they had a wonderful opportunity when this home came on the market. The purchase of this home made perfect sense for the financial commitment.” Kelly and Mike expressed their desire for more space for themselves, so the design team proposed a master suite addition/pop-top with lake view, large walk-in closet and master bathroom.
Kelly commented, “Seeing the 3D renderings during the planning phase definitely helped us envision what we were doing.” From there the design evolved even further.


The wall separating the kitchen from the family room was removed, not only opening up the interior space, but also enhancing the sweeping views to their waterfront property.

Steel moment framing was added to the rear window wall to support the new level above, along with new fixed window panels.

Previously a long narrow hallway ending at the entrance to their master suite, the hallway was widened. By slightly reconfiguring the entrance and modifying one of the closets to the original master suite, it was within these modifications that space was found for the added laundry closet. The old laundry room in the basement was transformed into a much-needed home office, where dad can now work from home and spend more time with his family.

Features within the master bath addition include a free-standing tub, carbon finish poplar cabinetry, and a shared double-sided entry shower separating his and her bathrooms. An enormous walk-in closet with organized shelving and transom window for natural lighting rounds out the master suite addition.

The new kitchen layout not only provides a welcoming environment where the children can do their homework, while interacting with mom and dad, but has become the central hub for most all daily activities.

It was promptly after these extensive projects were complete that a new screened porch was designed and built.

We asked Kelly if a friend was looking to remodel, what should they consider before picking a firm? “Call at least three references. If you aren’t feeling 100% about a firm, there’s probably a reason why. Speak up and be specific! The employees of the firm aren’t mind readers. If you want something, say so, and don’t assume they think the way you do.”


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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