Design Layout: “We were only living in two rooms…”

by | Jun 30, 2017 | Holistic Design (Universal Design)

Seasoned remodelers, BJ and his wife Jodi weren’t planning on purchasing another home.  It wasn’t until their realtor introduced them to the quaint 1939 Cape Cod style home a few miles away that they decided to make the move.

They knew it needed work, but fell in love with the neighborhood, the lot, and the charm of an older home.  It had so much potential in becoming their own.

Construction weary yet intent on making it work, they decided to split their remodels into phases making it a little easier on their home living during the process.  When a friend gave them a pool table for their basement, Phase 1 and Phase 2 swapped making the basement priority over the kitchen, and they began their hunt for the right builder.

“We had four estimates for the basement and were ready to make a decision when one of Jodi’s coworkers told her about Sun Design.  When we invited Craig over and heard his ideas and Sun’s design process we were sold.” BJ shared.  “The questions he asked got us outside of the typical contractor mindset and really made us consider how we use our home and what we really wanted the space for.”

Completing the space for their pool area, a bar was designed and crafted for their basement.  In 2016 it was recognized for its creativity in terms of storage, craftsmanship and design – highlighting the two-tiered granite countertop – with a Grand ‘level’ Contractor of the Year [CotY] Award.

“The previous homeowner had done some handy work throughout the house, and all of the bathrooms on each floor were completely identical.  Same toilet, same mirror, same linoleum flooring, same everything!” In completion of Phase 1, the basement level bathroom was updated to accommodate the clients personal tastes and overnight guests.

Two years later Jodi and BJ brought their trust and faith back to the Sun Design team, ready to begin phase two of their home remodel: the kitchen.  With the previous homeowners modifications throughout the main level of the home, it wasn’t clear why or how things were done the way they were on the main floor.  The flooring wasn’t continuous throughout the main living space; beams and structural points weren’t easy to identify; bulkheads left the ceiling bumpy; the basement entry way was only a few feet in from the front door.

Walking through the home with the homeowner as if going through ‘a day in the life of’, the space was dark and the rooms cut off from each other.  Within such a small footprint, the interactivity of the space was heavily underutilized. “We were only living in two rooms on the first floor.” Jodi said.

Jodi and BJs residence is more than a home for them – it’s a home for their neighborhood.  They have neighbors at their home several times a month and want their home to feel like a welcoming place for everyone to stop by and enjoy their company.  Keeping this sense of welcoming presences, several layouts for a new kitchen and main living area were drafted during their design phase and they settled on the most spacious and cohesive layout for their lifestyle.  Phase two of their remodel included opening their staircase to the upstairs, changing the entry place of their main-floor bathroom and updating it, and opening walls from the kitchen to both the living and dining rooms allowing more natural light into the center of their home.

Jodi commented after their remodel was complete, “When we look around [our home] we get a huge smile on our faces.”  When asked what makes them smile the most she answered, “All the rooms are connected and open to each other now.  I love our living room and that it’s open to the kitchen.  I can sit in the swivel chair while BJ cooks and we can easily have a conversation.”

When asked about visitors Jodi shared, “neighbors often compliment the general ‘good vibe’ of the space and compliment us specifically on the selections and craftsmanship.”  Even more seasoned now in what they like and how they care for the artistry of their home, they enjoy day-in and day-out the charm of having an older home enhanced through superior workmanship and devoted talent.


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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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