Design: Relocating a Kitchen to Connect Family Spaces

by | Jun 9, 2017 | Holistic Design (Universal Design)

Disconnected family space is a complaint we hear over and over again in the Metro DC Area.  Having separate spaces for formal cooking, living and dining are no longer a priority or requirement.  Instead, most families require connected space where they can spend tie together while doing homework, preparing meals, and sharing the ins and outs of each day.

For Jennifer’s family, the detached feeling was a problem that needed a real fix.  However, with limited time for managing the scope of what she wanted done, Jennifer needed help, and so found her way to Sun Design for her kitchen-area remodel.

Jennifer’s kitchen seemed as if it was randomly placed within the hallway on the way to the family room of their home.


It was entirely detached from any other family space.  As you were prepping food you had to either shout to the unseen space towards your right, or the unseen space to your left to try to speak to anyone else; it was not ideal.  There was also the placement of their furniture within the family room, which resulted in their round dining room table sitting right in front of the fireplace, obstructing its view from the family seating area.

When we proposed to move the kitchen entirely out of the “hallway” and into the family space, Jennifer wasn’t quite sure what to do.  She liked some of the privacy of keeping food prep and dishes hidden from the main space, but spending time with her family was vital to her.  We ended up co-creating a space together that satisfied her desires to keep the main space clutter free, while bringing the family together in a new way.

The innovative design Jennifer settled on has a large walk-in pantry complete with a wet bar and dishwasher, and the new formal kitchen has been incorporated with and designed to enhance the family room space.

Rearranging the furniture layout, to include relocating the family television viewing area with the added gourmet kitchen, really brought the space together.  The island allows for four stools, blending the family room nicely with the kitchen.  Jennifer’s kids can now do homework at the island while dinner is being prepared, and guests have additional seating to interact, watch television, and enjoy the ambient heat from the fireplace in the cold winter months.

Jennifer enjoys hosting gatherings in her home.  She has since shared that having access to the additional sink and dishwasher in her pantry closet has been a lifesaver for parties.  She loves the ability to tuck unsightly dishes and clean-up items away in the pantry, so she can focus on her family and friends when they’re there and address the mess at another time.

Jennifer’s new kitchen area is a beautiful open extension of her family room, where she can now socialize with her family and friends from the island or join them on the couch while water simmers on the stove. Between sports, school work and friends they now get to spend what limited time at home they have together.  You would never suspect the space was originally designed any other way.

To view before and after photos of this and other kitchen projects, visit our Kitchen Portfolio Page.

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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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