Paul and Beth Daffin made quick use of time when they began their search for a lake community. Hoping to find the perfect house on the water to enjoy right away and retire to later, the couple rented a house on Lake Martin in May 2018, so they could get out on the water and explore. They made their decision to buy a house on the lake that weekend, came back for Memorial Day weekend, made an offer before their stay had ended and closed in June.
“When we found the right house, we knew it. We loved the big water view and that it would be close to friends we had on the Dadeville side of the lake and family in Columbus, Auburn and Opelika. The house had everything we needed with six bedrooms and a large covered porch. And since COVID-19, we are so glad we had our home at the lake. We are here almost fulltime,” Beth Daffin said.
The Mitch Ginn design was built by Chad Sterns for H2O Development and features a spectacular view of the lake through a wall of glass across the back of the house. Upstairs, shiplap walls are white, and the ceilings are stained. The upstairs floors are oak with a custom stain of 75 percent Classic Gray and 25 percent Jacobean. Exterior paint is Benjamin Moore’s Urbane Bronze, matched to the gray stone apron and columns. With its location on a point lot, the house appears to sit directly at the water’s edge and offers a view of the lake from every bedroom.
Just off the foyer, Paul enjoys dedicated office space when he is at the lake. Barn doors with cobalt blue panels at the top conceal the space and offer privacy when needed.
Just past the foyer, one large room is divided into living, dining and kitchen areas. A vaulted ceiling with beams and a stone fireplace add architectural detail to the space. The couple found the comfortable, extra-large sofa and chairs at Johnson Furniture in Eclectic.
The Daffins have beautifully incorporated two antique Morris chairs handed down as family heirlooms from Paul’s mother – one in the office, built by his great-grandfather, and another in the living area that was his grandfather’s favorite reading chair.
A reclaimed wine barrel coffee table came from Wine Enthusiast, and lamps and a large chest-of-drawers are from Hinson Galleries in Columbus. Other accent pieces in the home were purchased from McGhee Furniture in Alexander City and Lake Martin Mini-Mall in Eclectic.
“I am from Columbus, and my husband grew up in Montgomery, but we both went to Georgia Tech and raised our children north of Atlanta in Cumming. Both children went to Auburn, so it’s great to have a house close enough for them to be here for game weekends. And we keep having friends visit who end up buying lots,” she said.
Daffin credits her mother with decorative touches that have helped make the house a home. In fact, her mother has been known to slip in and add a painting or a table or lamps in the perfect spot.
“My son calls my mom a reverse burglar. She brings things in instead of taking them out. She knows my taste, and when the house was still barely furnished, while we were waiting on items to arrive, she brought things from Hinson’s to surprise me. I love everything she has done,” she said.
The dining table and bench were custom made by Junc2Funkt Furniture Company in Milton, Georgia, and Daffin found gray chairs to match at Johnson Furniture. The quartz island has three sides of reclaimed wood, and it seats four on barstools, also from Johnson. The quartz countertops are accented with a backsplash of rectangular light blue and gray glass tiles.
A subzero refrigerator and Wolf range are centerpiece appliances, and a walk-in 7-foot by 7-foot pantry is fitted with electrical outlets, so appliances – such as the coffee pot or a crock pot – could be used behind closed doors. The cabinets were custom built by Varner Woodworks in Montgomery and painted Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore.
A back hallway provides a mudroom area with a laundry room and a powder room. A console table with stacked stone lamps is decorated with a driftwood fish and a wooden clock, perfect to welcome friends and family through the back door.
The master suite on the opposite end of the house has a king-sized bed, also custom made by Junc2Funkt. Windows are treated with woven Roman shades. Two over-sized club chairs with ottomans provide a perfect sitting area in the bay window. Neutral creams and grays complement each other in the fabric on the chairs and the linens on the bed. The large closet was not something Daffin believed they would need, but as they are spending more and more time at the lake, they are glad to have it.
A two-car garage, plus a carport, allows plenty of covered parking alongside the concrete pad in front of the home. Above the garage, a private suite with bedroom and bath provides a completely private area for guests and family. Sloped ceilings at different angles add unique detail. The suite has its own air conditioning and heating unit, which guests enjoy, she said. Subtle prints of dogs accent the room in the artwork and on two ottomans under the windows.
A wide L-shaped stairway in the foyer provides access to the large downstairs living area with four bedrooms and three baths just off the main room. All of the rooms are appointed with queen-sized beds and dressers. One room has two queen-sized beds for extra space. Linens are easy, natural colors in creams, tans and blues.
Comfortable leather chairs and a sofa face the television, perfect for watching movies and football games in the downstairs central room. The light blue coffee table came from McGhee’s Furniture, as well as the corner high-top bar. Purchased from Etsy, shelves over another bar area display items and store wine glasses. Storage in the house is maximized under the stairway and in a sizable back closet, which also serves as a shelter in the event of severe weather.
Outside, the Daffins enjoy a 16-foot by 24-foot covered porch upstairs, the same sized patio below and a fire pit with Adirondack chairs positioned to look over the water.
“The fire pit is our favorite place. We could sit there every night, even in the summer. The sun sets behind us, and we always have a cool breeze. A glass of wine at the fire pit is a perfect way to end the day,” Daffin said.
Tommy Bahama furniture on the porch, a sofa, two large club chairs and two large swivel rockers, provide comfortable seating for sports events on the large-screened television or simply a relaxed evening of conversation. A picnic table is the perfect addition for casual dining on the porch. Cushioned wrought iron sofas and chairs, as well as round tables with chairs, are perfect for anyone who wishes to be near the water but in the shade.
The Daffins enjoy exploring the lake and finding new places to have fun. Their grown children and guests love Peanut Point – the peanuts, the T-shirts, the koozies. Over Labor Day weekend, they took their boat filled with guests above the River Bridge for a day of swimming in the rapids and eating lunch on the water.
“We never thought we would be here fulltime, but now we are living in reverse. Instead of a lake house we travel to only on weekends, we live here and travel to a townhouse in Atlanta only when we need to. We have fallen in love with Lake Martin,” Daffin said.