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10 Tips: Incorporating Holistic Design to Your Remodel

Posted on: April 25, 2019

For years people have bought a house based on a number of bedrooms, school district, commute to work, or a price point.  All logical reasons to include when purchasing a house.  Perhaps put a coat of paint on the walls and, the next thing you know, the moving truck arrives.  I had a client say they bought their house, brand new, in the 70’s and they were not allowed to see the house until the builder selected and finished the house (without consulting the buyer on the finish options).  Many new considerations have evolved for creating your dream home.

Evolution in Home Design

Once acceptable that new home finishes would be selected by the builder, most clients are expecting to be much more involved in the design, and now there are more inputs than ever.  The evolving family; children changing the use of the home, the empty nesters, or maybe an adult child or parent moving back in with you. Then there is how the space makes you feel.  How it looks.  Or maybe even as Marie Kondo says, “does it bring you joy?”.

I remember growing up in a ranch home in Virginia built in 1963 on a 1/2-acre wooded lot.  I don’t ever remember actually eating in the dining room or sitting in the living room although they had the best views of the lot, they were the formal areas of the house.  How could you re-design the house to incorporate the best views or connect with the outdoors?

Tips for Holistic Design

How does this relate to holistic design?  Don’t stop at the logical questions you started with; number of bedrooms, distance from work, location, schools, etc.  Now that you have found the house or even after all these years are thinking of downsizing, re-imagine how your perfect home would look, feel, and function!  Here are some ideas to start re-imagining your current space, where you have built your community in, by asking more questions.

  1. What do I like about the house?  What are the challenges of the design of the house? What are some of the constraints of the home?  Prioritize a list.
  2. How does your house connect you and your family to the outside?  Do you have a nice wooded lot?  Do you have an expansive kitchen window that opens it up?  Is the home easy to access and or see friends/family inside and outside when you entertain?
  3. How do you enter the house?  Sometimes a house may have a beautiful entry foyer, yet family and friends use the side door.  Let’s re-imagine how the side entry may be improved. Side entry foyer, mud room, lockers, message center, charging station for all your portable electronics, etc.
  4. Is the kitchen the most used room of the house?  How is working?  Do you like how your kitchen looks? How it works?  Do you have ample counter space? Are the appliances user friendly?  How does the kitchen connect you to your friends and family in adjacent rooms or outside?  Would you like to interact with guests while cooking or keep the kitchen more private?  Are there other connections you wish to make from the hub of your home?  
  5. Prioritize. What are nonnegotiable requirements to keep you in the house and what would be “nice to have’s”?
  6. Ask yourself; how would I feel about my decisions in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years to look at a bigger picture and ensure the best results?
  7. How does the area we are thinking about remodeling impact our current family, good or bad, and in what ways?
  8. How could the space affect our family in the future?  Kids coming home, parents moving in, accessibility and adaptability.
  9. How could the space affect visibility?  Do we have aging parents that would like to visit for a day, for a week, for 3 months? How should we look at the space differently?
  10. If money wasn’t influencing my decision, what would I do differently? Dream a little, sometimes you can incorporate a few nice little details by dreaming big and then prioritizing what is important to you.

In summary, ask more questions of your requirements such as, how you use the space, and how you would like to use the space.  Pull out the blank sheet of paper and start imagining.  

For over 30 years Sun Design Remodeling has been transforming homes in the Washington Metropolitan Area, building great relationships along the way.  Visit the Events page of our website to see the next time you can take a Remodeled Home Tour of a clients’ home we have transformed to get a better understanding of what modifications your neighbors are making to their homes or join us for Remodeling + Design Seminars in our office to share what designers are seeing as trends. You can also plan for your holistic design remodel with a free personalized consultation.


About the Author:

Craig Durosko founded Sun Design Remodeling in 1988 with one simple philosophy- helping people with their homes. He has been instrumental in growing a one person sunroom repair and deck building shop into a successful architectural design-build firm with more than 50 employees.

Over the years, Craig has worn almost every hat in the organization. His true passion has always been the role of building and maintaining Sun Design’s culture that is based on providing a great experience for clients as well as employees, vendors and trades people.

“After 30 years I still look forward to going into work each day. I enjoy the culture we have built here at Sun Design and the people I work with. I enjoy our clients and love to see them light up when their vision comes to life. They can see how our work has improved the way their homes function for their families. I enjoy seeing the awards our designers get for their creativity and the awards our entire staff gets for growing a successful business based on serving our clients,” says Craig.

Craig’s certifications include: CR, Certified Remodeler, and CAPS, Certified Aging in Place Specialist, from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI); and CGP, Certified Green Professional from the National Association of Home Builders. He has been on the NARI’s Metro DC chapter board and has served as its education chairperson for a number of years. Craig has received two Image Awards and the President’s Award from NARI.

Craig enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, keeping a healthy mind and body, and mountain biking.


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