It’s in the Process – Communication, Trust + Design for Main Level Living

by | Jan 13, 2017 | Aging in Place, Kitchen & Bath

Jeff and Jenny were on the search for their forever home. In spite of having several options to choose from, their forever home had to accommodate their personal style and needs.  They fell in love with a Mid-century home in Hollin Hills, Alexandria, and came to Sun Design to ask Roger Lataille to walk the home with them before signing on the dotted line.

A previous home of theirs was designed by an award-winning architect known for a particular style. They knew they wanted the same design expertise and attention to detail, but they wanted this home to be theirs – designed and created for their personal needs and style.

When Jeff and Jenny began talking to Roger their main focus was to keep the characteristics of the mid-century home they loved and modernize it, keeping the master suite on the main first floor aging in place.  They were willing to live off-site while the renovation was being done but requested consideration be taken around the costs of temporary housing nearby. Efficiency was the name of the game. With trust established, Jeff and Jenny purchased the home and moved into temporary housing, leaving the team to tackle their visions.

Kitchen before remodel

Placing a master suite on a main level requires a certain amount of delineation between public space and private space.  The main floor contained a hall bath that served both the bedroom and living/kitchen area. The goal was to get a comfortably sized master bath within the master suite area and a separate powder room for guests without needing to build an addition.

Wall in Master Suite

The house also suffered from compartmentalized spaces. The kitchen was walled in from the dining and living area, blocking the natural light both within the kitchen and surrounding living areas.  There was also a “u” shaped wall in the center of the master bedroom, creating two equally sized rooms with pass-ways on each side.  Opening up these areas was also part of the master plan.

For visual people, renderings are one of a designers’ greatest assets. They allow designers to communicate through drawing the observations and perceptions they have gained from the clients’.  For the Jeff and Jenny the renderings were a must for envisioning their options for their new home. With a timing focus, getting the details down quickly was essential to moving the project along. They were delighted with the design options and really appreciated the critical detailing and budget-friendly selections chosen with their modern style in mind.







Kitchen and Living Area Rendering

A huge benefit to having a design-build company is the creative process of coming up with often two to three different design plans and options. It really helps homeowners think outside of the box and see the potential for areas of their home they didn’t originally envision by themselves. In the case of Jeff and Jenny this was their living room fireplace wall.

The wall all along the fireplace mimicked the fireplace wall directly below it in the basement, with historical brick running fully up the two-stories to the ceiling.  They didn’t know there were cost-effective ways to remove a brick wall and modernize the space.  The designer showed them how they could update the living area, and still maintain the history of the space by accentuating it in their basement.

With a limited amount of space, budget, and time, the design process effectively gave the project an advantageous start, moving it into production on time.

Finished Living Area

Our Work

Whole House Remodeling

Home Additions


Master Suites



Outdoor Spaces

Interior Living Spaces

Home Exteriors




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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