Mindy Mitchell – Walking the Walk
If you’ve ever met her, what most likely stands out to you is her infectious laughter. We talk about it often at Sun Design, as we frequently hear it tumbling down the hallway of the office; “Mindy’s here!”
When Mindy came to Sun Design in 2005, she came as an organizer hired to enhance our clients’ closet spaces. With her animated laughter and personality, she was quickly tossed into other areas of consulting and has since been a key person on Sun Design’s Sales team.
In 2009 Mindy expanded her mastery by becoming a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), and began speaking more deeply about how homeowners could enhance their living spaces, accommodating as many different types of people as possible. It has been this work over the past six years, which has greatly contributed to a difficult decision she recently decided to commit to: moving back home.
“I’ve been on the east coast for about thirty years, and my parents are in their ninety’s.” Mindy shares. Having her brother living close to them took some of the pressure off of emergency case scenarios, but as one of five children – and the only girl – they requested their daughter to be closer for their final decision making days. “I just feel like it’s time to go home.”
Mindy also shared one of her personal beliefs, “there are no coincidences.”
Relating to several of her clients, she is leaning into the opportunity to care for and be of service to her family during their time of need. “We teach what we learn. I’ve been teaching this for so many years… helping people create better spaces that will serve them. It’s interesting to be doing this for myself.”
Future planning, as Mindy likes to call it, involves more than designing a beautiful open space. It takes into consideration everyone who will be living or visiting the home, and future generations to come.
Think of converting a room into an Au Pair suite, which later may transition into a guest suite than a caregiver’s suite. This is one of many examples of how one space can be adapted for many uses. Future planning can be as grand as a whole house remodel, or as specific as the type of doorknobs and light switches you chose.
Aging in place is defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Along with Mindy, Sun Design’s Craig Durosko and John Benedetto are CAPS certified and dedicated to this vision.
The average life expectancy in Fairfax County is 83.1 years according to a recent study by SmartAssets. A likely contributor to this longevity is that nearly 63% of the population in the County exercises regularly compared to the US average of 54%. The great reality of this is that people in our area are living healthier, longer lives in their home.
“Around 90% of people want to age in their homes,” says Mindy. Our job is to help those people create a holistic living space which will support them through this transition and augment their health along the way.
“Sun design has fulfilled my desire for a fun, creative, energetic and charitable work environment. I have loved creating relationships with our clients and helping them realize their vision. It’s been very very fun.”
From all of us at Sun Design – we will miss you dearly Mindy!
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”We have found all of the people who we have worked with from Sun Design--from the co-owner, to the designer, to the sales manager and the construction team--to be of the absolute highest quality and character. The experience has far exceeded our expectations. Sun Design.”Kieran and Kathleen