Great Falls kitchen renovation emphasizes family interaction

By John Byrd/Special to the Fairfax County Times

A recently renovated Great Falls home demonstrates how “open” floor plans are being effectively introduced into homes that previously employed a more traditional room configuration. To accommodate the needs of Joseph and Allison Lopez and their two young boys, Sun Design Remodeling enlarged the kitchen by relocating the formal dining room and creating a stronger visual linkage to a backyard filled with old stand trees.

As remodeler Craig Durosko sees it, “There’s a design revolution now underway in northern Virginia.”

Plainly, it embraces an emergent “transitional-style” school of interior design, and is dependent on more broadly accepted building practices such as finding innovative ways to eliminate ceiling-flush bulkhead in already cramped kitchens. But the driving societal impetus is “the willingness of homeowners to make the property their own,” Durosko says.

“Not long ago, people bought a house that roughly suited their agenda and adapted to it,” Durosko explains. “Today, homeowners want solutions suitable to their lifestyle requirements, and are willing to change even the basic template of the existing house to achieve a higher level of personal satisfaction.”

In a changing world, this may mean modifications that incorporate retired parents, or strategies that downsize the home satisfy new “empty nester” priorities.

It may also mean changes focused on creating a more family-friendly environment for a household bustling with active children.

Case in point: the comprehensive first floor makeover to the circa-1970’s Colonial-style home of Joseph and Alison Lopez.

Viewed as an adaption, the Lopez renovation highlights the kind of breakthrough interior design modalities now being applied to traditional floorplans in older homes.

The original 2,700 sq ft house (which the family purchased ten years ago) was built around a standard center hall template with a front-facing foyer and living room that segued to a rear dining room, kitchen, and family room configuration. To gain more living space, Lopez had converted a 280 sq ft screen porch into a sun room three years ago–but the changes didn’t resolve other inherent problems with the plan itself.

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