Cumming foreclosure transformed with farmhouse flair

Jeff and Wendy Durnwald cared for a half-built house for nearly three years before they bought the property near Lake Lanier.

They originally viewed the home with the builder, but then the company went out of business.

“So we would come up at least a couple times a month and clean the dead birds out of the house and eat lunch on the porch and talk about what we would do to the house if our house sold and we could buy it,” Wendy said.

The Durnwalds contacted the bank over and over to ask about the vacant, unfinished house with dark ceilings, cabinets and floors. In 2010, the house finally became available for them to buy as a foreclosure around the same time they received a contract on their previous home.

“Over the past six years, we’ve just been transforming it into something light and airy,” Wendy said.

>> Click here to view their house <<

Snapshot

Residents: Jeff and Wendy Durnwald, who have five children — Christian, Nathan, Luke, Mary Grace and Daniel — and three dogs, Andy, Ellie and Chloe. Mary Grace and Daniel live with them. Jeff is a software architect and Wendy blogs at lifeontheshadygrove.com

Location: Cumming

Size: About 5,000 square feet, five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths

Year built/bought: 2008/2010

Architectural style: Farmhouse cottage

Favorite architectural elements: Open floor plan with shiplap walls, beadboard ceilings, 10-foot ceilings

Renovations: They removed walls in between the kitchen and dining room, and in between the kitchen and family room. They added beadboard to vaulted ceilings and shiplap to walls. In the kitchen, they replaced some cabinets with an oversized custom hutch, painted the remaining cabinets and installed quartz countertops from Premier Surfaces. They installed a sliding barn door to the laundry room. They refinished the floors and painted the interior. They finished their basement, creating a mother-in-law suite. They painted the exterior and removed shutters.

Contractor: Mike Brehl with HID Construction

Interior design style: Sophisticated cottage farmhouse

Favorite interior design elements: Using antiques in unexpected ways, such as white shutters above the fireplace and a wrought iron child’s bed in the keeping room.

Resources: Furniture from RH, Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors, Scott Antique Market, Lakewood 400 Antiques Market, HomeGoods, Outrageous Interiors and Ashley Furniture. Lighting from Lighting.com and Progressive Lighting Outlet. Curtains from Fabric.com. Slipcovered furniture by Long’s Upholstery.

Decor tip: Keep big items (floors, walls, cabinets, countertops, sofas) light and neutral, then add color with smaller items that can be changed out with the seasons, Wendy said.

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