Regal Remodel

Anne and Doug Duell could feel the five-year moving itch creeping under their skin. It seemed around every five years the Newburgh, Indiana, couple suddenly felt the sensation to plant new roots, and it happened again in 2010.

The Duells had built their 5,600-square-foot home on Willow Bend Road in Newburgh in December 2003, and they questioned their plans to leave or stay.

“About every five years, we consider moving and when the five years came up, we looked at each other and asked, ‘Do you want to move or stay?’” says Anne of the three bedroom, 3.5 bath home. “We weren’t intent on building again. We imagined ourselves building the same house if we were to rebuild. We asked ourselves what is it that we don’t like and what can we do about it?”

The Duells, owners of Evansville Kia Mazda Volvo and Evansville Hyundai, evaluated what they wanted to improve about the home and hired a subcontractor to renovate it.

It took two years to update and was completed in 2012, which involved “totally redoing” the whole main floor and adding an in-ground pool.

“We started with the floor and because we have two large dogs, we didn’t want anything that they could tear up,” says Anne. “I have a friend who put in hickory and there is not a scratch. It is the hardest hardwood.”

The home was previously carpeted, but with owning two large Airedale Terriers, Jax and Sophie, the decision to switch to hickory hardwood was easy, says Doug. “The floor is extremely durable,” he says. Their love for the easily identifiable black and tan dogs is seen throughout the home, most noticeably in the living room shelves, where collections of Airedale Terrier figures coexist with books, décor, and knickknacks.

The Duells, who have been married for 27 years, wanted large, open rooms to entertain guests and a more simple and contemporary design. Previously, the walls and carpets were all cream with overstuffed furniture.

In the living room, a red leather couch contrasts with the dark hickory floor and wood furniture pieces. The tan tile fireplace and stone wall on the outside wall add natural elements. Red accent pieces of ceramic and glass art are sprinkled throughout the room. Anne, who is an Evansville native, loves handmade ceramic pieces and hand-blown glass and finds different unique pieces through her travels.

“We wanted a nice, big space with the dark colors to pull you through,” says Anne, who has worked in marketing and advertising for 30 years, and now serves as a consultant in the same field.

Natural light pours through the doorway bordered by arching windows and through the doorway to the screened-in porch that overlooks the in-ground pool the Duells added in 2010. The screened-in porch can be used for three seasons and is furnished with several sitting areas. Doug, who is originally from Ohio, says, “We spend all of our time out here.”

Sitting off the living room is the completely redesigned kitchen, which Anne notes was previously bland with everything masked in cream colors. The couple kept the kitchen cabinets, but added in stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. The granite was the result of a stroke of luck. As Anne struggled to decide what she wanted, she saw two slabs of the design that a previous customer had special-ordered and later didn’t want at a local stone countertop store. The company was planning to send it back, until Anne saw it. Finders, keepers, she jokes.

Adjacent to the kitchen is the formal dining room, which the Duells say they wanted to have a relaxed feel and be a place to hang out with friends. The dining room table expands to seat more people when family came over to visit.

On the other side of the entryway off the living room is the office that both Anne and Doug share. French doors open to reveal its blue walls and light, old reclaimed wood furnishings with an industrial feel. The Duells made a conscious decision to go against the traditional, formal desk look. Natural light spills onto the wooden desk and worn dark leather chair allowing a front yard view.

Doug’s realm awaits downstairs in the basement in what he calls the “man cave” or “play room.” Leather chairs sit on cream carpet facing a large TV with the backdrop of a small bar setting, perfect for fixing a quick drink during halftime of a Cleveland Browns game — Doug’s team of choice. A hockey game table and a pool table, which was Doug’s father’s and custom-made, also occupy the basement. Evidence of Doug’s 20-year drag racing career is seen in a trophy case and hanging on the walls. Doug’s collection of model cars and drag race vehicles from the 1960s complements the trophies and photos in the display cases. In the next phase of their remodel, the Duells want to tackle the man cave and move away from the carpet and cream colors.

“You really have to think outside of the box when you’re making the decision to stay or move,” says Anne.

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