Designing for Entertainment and Future Outdoor Needs

by | Mar 10, 2017 | Holistic Design (Universal Design)

When Bryan, his wife Tracy, and their two girls moved into their new home, they set to work searching for a remodeler who could match their kitchen space to their lifestyle. Surrounded by acres of land, the homes interior was as vast and welcoming as the space around it, apart from the small dark cramped kitchen space.

Bryan loves cooking and he loves entertaining. In addition, he loves spending time with his family.  With a passion for sharing, he needed a space to host large groups, offer samplings from his extensive wine collection, and tend to his family’s daily needs.  All of these details came into consideration with the planning of their new kitchen/dining space.

In addition to the family’s kitchen needs, they wanted a future outdoor space off their second level kitchen with cascading stairs down to their large backyard patio. Let’s move the party outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  It wasn’t time for adding the outdoor space yet but none-the-less it needed to be accounted for in the design.

The clearest design decision was removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen, integrating them together and bringing in more lighting.  It was decided French doors would be added to the designated dining area, adding a temporary railing for safety until the back deck could be added in the future.  With the sweeping space now open to the rest of the home, multiple tray ceilings were integrated into each of the kitchen and dining areas, designating each zone.  This design aspect broke up the long ceiling and rope lighting was added to supplement the space with a soft upward hue.

Tracy was tasked with picking the counter material for their custom designed island. She chose a beautiful exotic Staturietto Marble, opting for beauty through the “imperfect” instead of a more traditional and easy-to-maintain countertop. Weighing 2,500lbs, it was necessary to support the built-in island with the use of a wall truss system.

Their island is not only unique in its slate finished cabinets and marble top.  Two bow front cabinets – one on each end – were designed at specific heights to encourage socializing during entertainment and cocktail hours.  One was retrofitted with a built-in charging station within the curved drawer, serving as a hidden space where the family can easily charge their phones and tablets. Storage space was augmented throughout the island as well, reducing the number of trips Bryan would need to make to the pantries while preparing a meal.

Other areas throughout the kitchen were customized for the family’s ease.  Coffee lovers, a coffee bar and beverage center was added along the pantry wall with a pot-filler for their Keurig and space for their children’s Soda Stream.  A collector of fine art, the dining room buffet was designed to feature an “Art Piece of the Month” at the center of the built-ins to easily highlight ever changing pieces.

Taking full advantage of a design-build firm, Bryan and his family were able to make their kitchen uniquely theirs.  It now brings in an abundance of natural lighting, has the specific appliances they needed (including a wine column for their collection) and the capacity to create culinary masterpieces while the kids and wife are close at hand.  It’s everything they envisioned, and ready to unfold into a future outdoor haven.

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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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