New addition reveals 67-year-old rambler’s hidden potentials

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Source: Fairfax County Times Homes Friday – Sunday, December 15 – 17, 2017

Master designer/ remodeler Sonny Nazemian’s unique skill sets convert overlooked houses into dream homes


What’s to be done with 67-year-old house on a quarter acre lot in one of Northern Virginia’s more desirable close-in suburbs? Investment adviser Carol May had purchased a circa-1950s brick rambler back in 1994. As the years rolled by, she periodically considered enlarging the home’s main block, upgrading the kitchen, maybe even converting a small room into a den for TV-viewing.

Like many post-War homes, the kitchen was small. At just 40 square feet (and equipped mostly with Truman-era appliances), staging a multi-course a meal required a lot of juggling.

“There was never enough counter space to start one dish cooling, while other ingredients are peeled and sliced, and a third is marinating,” she recalls. “Ironically, I really love cooking, but to explore complex recipes I was going to need a different kitchen.”

Not to be undone, May was quietly contemplating several kitchen enlargement scenarios when fate played a hand. “We had so much rainfall one spring that our backyard flooded,” she says. “The water ruined our enclosed sun porch and the entire basement. Parts of the house started showing signs of rot. I knew I had to take action.” Soon the homeowner began making sketches of dream home improvements, and soliciting feedback from local remodelers. “Analyzing the capabilities of competing remodelers is essential to finding the right fit for your house,” she says. “I knew I wanted an addition extending off the back of the house, but I also knew that this would entail removing a bearing wall.” < Read More >