Designing a Sunrise Ridge Cottage- with resident Suetta Harrison

One of the most exciting parts of moving to a retirement community is the chance to redesign your living space. For Suetta Harrison, moving to a two bedroom in the newly opened Sunrise Ridge cottages was a great opportunity to indulge her passion for interior design and home décor.

“We were the first ones to move in on Sunrise Ridge,” she says. “And, oh my goodness, I can’t begin to tell you. My favorite way to describe is that it far exceeds our greatest expectations.”

Downsizing Wasn’t Too Daunting

Suetta and her husband Bob moved to Kendal at Lexington from their home in Crozet, Virginia. While their new cottage is considerably smaller than their former home, she says they didn’t find the process of downsizing to be too difficult thanks to their four children — who were more than happy to take furniture off their hands.

“What we couldn’t use, and no one wanted, which was very little, we ended up taking to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity,” Suetta says. “I think we made 11 trips in the process, but it was pretty easy for us. We don’t like clutter and we don’t like extra things.”

What they were left with — and what they decided to buy — makes up a style that Suetta describes as “cozy traditional” and combines some antiques with some new items. “I wouldn’t quite call it eclectic, because it’s not too severe, but everything blends pretty well together. It’s just made it very comfortable for us,” she says.

Customizing Their Cottage Was Fun

One of the benefits to being the first to move into Sunrise Ridge was the ability to customize their cottage during the construction process. In addition to building out the walk-in closets, customizing the kitchen backsplash and cabinets, and opening up a wall into the sunroom, the Harrisons made several design decisions to increase the natural light.

“I am a light lover,” Suetta says. “I want lots of sunshine in the house. We added two solar tubes in the kitchen and one in each of the bathrooms. Then we added an extra set of double windows in the dining room.”

Visitors to the Harrisons’ cottage will first notice the stunning antique chandelier — a new purchase when they moved in — as the centerpiece in the living area. “It’s visually pretty open, so it doesn’t’ feel heavy, but it’s the centerpiece of the room and we like that,” Suetta says. “Our cottage doesn’t have a super formal style; it’s just relaxing and comfortable.”

Design Inspiration- “It’s Just A Feeling”

While Suetta has no formal training in interior design, she does consider it a passion and a hobby. “I just really enjoy it,” she says. “I watch the Home and Garden tv channel and I just enjoy browsing and getting ideas.”

She also loves browsing through magazines and walking through furniture stores — like Dayton Interiors in Harrisonburg, where they bought most of the new furniture they added when they moved. However, as much as she draws inspiration from various sources, often it just comes down to a feeling. “Mostly, it’s just my gut feeling and what works for me,” she says.

Of course, that’s the great thing about the Sunrise Ridge cottages: residents can really make them their own.

View a 3D “virtual” tour of Suetta’s cottage by clicking here.


To learn more about living options at Kendal at Lexington, please call 800-976-8303.