House Update: All things Interior

The Interior Design Update

Okay, I know it’s been way too long since I’ve posted an update about the house, so it’s finally here! If you’ve been following my Instagram stories (@caraodonnell_) you’d know that theres finally been a substantial amount of progress on the house over the past week. But holy did it ever take a long time to get there. A lot of stress, arguments, tears, meetings, show home visits, and Pinterest-ing. If you didn’t know I was building a house, start here. And if you missed the exterior update, check it out here.

*This post may contain affiliate links, if purchased through my link, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only ever promote products I’ve tested or brands I trust.

Being new to the home building game, I had no idea that you had to choose your interior finishes before the excavation started. And I had no idea how much we actually had to pick, right down to the grout colour.

It all sounded really fun, except for one huge downfall. Rob & I have completely different design styles. And I mean COMPLETELY. I like whites, greys and blacks; he likes beiges, browns and reds. And myself, being the high-maintenance person I am when it comes to colour and design, could barely compromise.

I know I know, I sound like a brat. But seriously, I could not bring myself to have a mix of grey and beige walls in my house. Partially because I don’t like brown tones at ALL unless there is a substantial amount of grey in them. Colour is a HUGE deal to me, and it emotionally effects me (I feel way happier in a grey room than in a beige room, don’t ask me why because I don’t know). I also really excel when there is a lot of natural light, and I feel like beige absorbs light, and a light grey reflects it. There’s my defense.

I will save you all the back and forth of what we were debating between because it was a lot. We only had 3 hours to pick out everything, and I was stressing out. Looking back on how that meeting went, I may have over-reacted a tad. But, with some of the things we were head butting on, I just couldn’t back down on.

I believe we compromised on the design style, Rob however believes we didn’t at all. But from the show homes we had gone through and what he had said he did and didn’t like, I think we will both be extremely happy with the final result. I have no problem visualizing things, where as he needs to see it all in front of him. So I think that’s where a lot of head butting came from.

So without further ado, let me take you through some of our choices for my favourite rooms.

The Kitchen

I will admit, I got my way on this one. I do all of the cooking and meal prepping, so I really pushed for my idea of a dream kitchen. We went back and forth over everything in the kitchen, and we finally decided on…drumroll please…an all white kitchen! White cabinets, white counter tops, and a matte white subway tile backsplash with a marbled hexagon tile feature behind the range hood. I can’t wait! Some people have said that it’s going to be too white, but I am confident it will look great. Our island and vanity cabinet colour is a dark grey, almost black finish. So the island, our onyx Franke Kindred Granite Kitchen Sink, and our spot-resistant stainless steel faucet (which has a tint of a brushed nickel colour), and our stainless steel appliances will break up the all white. Plus, I can’t wait to accessorize this space with flowers, cutting boards, my mason jars, and some industrial pieces! I am confident it will come together beautifully.

I bought these beautiful Trent Austin Design barstools off of Wayfair.ca a few months back because I knew they would go perfectly with the kitchen and our massive island! The assembly was quite easy (though, I could’ve really used a glass of wine as I can with any furniture assembly). Wayfair is a life saver, as they’ve got great quality products, and free shipping over $75! Uh, yes please!

Okay, let’s move on to the choices for the next rooms.

The Great Room

Alright so as I mentioned, natural light is my thaaaang. I love having the blinds open and letting in as much light as I can. So the fact that we stumbled upon a show home that had THIS much natural light is as if it was all meant to be. Our house is going to be mostly open concept, with the exception of the front entry which is a little more secluded due to the main floor bathroom and office. But, the great room is for sure the focal point of the house.

This room is open to above, which means this room has a 19+ ft ceiling…WHAT! Like hello, yes please. This was one of the biggest selling points of the house. And with the 19 ft ceiling, came the massive wall of windows. And being the natural light snob that I am, I actually got them to make the windows two feet taller all together, for a more open feel.

And as if that wasn’t enough natural light, our “nook” area, which is on the same wall but on the kitchen side, came with a single door to the backyard, with a big window beside. Well, we got a little crazy and actually changed that wall to a four-pane sliding glass door that opens in the middle.

So why the changes to the windows? Well, the lot we purchased actually faces the morning light, so we will have direct sunlight coming into these rooms from sunrise to about 1 – 4 pm depending on the season. We really hit the natural light jackpot on this one.

The second focal point of the great room is our fireplace. The show home doesn’t have this feature, but we’ve included stone work all the way to the top, with an added bulkhead and pot lights. I’m extremely excited for this feature as there is nothing I love more in the winter than cozying up to a fireplace with a book, a big blanket and a cup of hot chocolate.

Now this is something I compromised on. I really wanted a light stone for the fireplace, but Rob wanted dark. With having the all white kitchen I couldn’t argue him on this one so we picked out a really nice dark stone (pictured below) that I think will look great!

Our banisters are the same colour as our island (with slate coloured railings), and the great room is right beside the staircase so this fireplace will not only stand out but also compliment the other darker elements in this space.

As for paint colour – this one was actually the quickest decision we made. Much to my surprise, we both agreed on the same light grey.

The Bathrooms

Okay so for the bathrooms, we didn’t do anything too crazy. We chose a hardwood looking plank tile (we didn’t like the square tiles and to upgrade to anything else was going to cost us our souls). I was and still am a little unsure of it all, but I think it was the right move for our dark vanities. The master bathroom has a window in it, so we chose a dark slate tile for the shower. The other two bathrooms don’t have windows and are obviously much smaller so we went with a nice white tile for the showers, which I think will really brighten up the space. There’s nothing I hate more than a dark bathroom!!

I’m super excited to see how the bathrooms turn out, the tiles we chose were all new so we couldn’t Google search any examples of them, and anything we did find was completely different from one picture to the next, so fingers crossed!


The Update:

So, where are we now? Well within the past week, our lot has been excavated, the cribbers came and went, we’ve got foundation, weeping tile and the electrical panel is getting ready to be installed! This is a huge step for us because it’s finally getting started! Before we know it, we’re going to have walls and a roof!

I walked around our neighbourhood today and looking at all the fall colours got me so incredibly excited for the seasons we’ll be experiencing in our new home. And the fact that this view of the Edmonton River Valley is less than a 10 minute walk from where we’ll be still feels like a dream.


This whole experience is making me feel loads of gratitude for everyone and everything. I feel so incredibly lucky to be going down this road and life just feels so good. And I’m so thankful I get to share my experiences here with you!

If you’re struggling to bring gratitude into your life, check out my 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge below!

If you have any questions, design suggestions or know of where I can get some awesome décor for the house, please leave a comment below!

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned! Because as I buy new items, I will be posting them on my blog to share with you!

Related: The Big Reveal, Update on our House Journey 

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I'm Cara O'Donnell, and utilizing my personalized Journey Home Method, I help growing families in Edmonton effortlessly transition from their first to forever home. I'm a mom, real estate investor, and licensed REALTOR® with eXp Realty. I can't wait to help you on your journey home! 



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