Building Our New Home, Part 3

By in Buyers with 2 Comments

Here is where the story really takes off (is that a line from a movie or a TV show?  Seems like we’ve said that in our family for years, and I don’t remember why we started saying it in the first place)…

My husband, Matt, and I are building our new home.  This is the third in a series of who-knows-how-many.  I’m writing from the perspective of a buyer, and an agent, since I am both in this case.  To get caught up to speed, please take a look at parts 1, and 2.

So, Matt and I went to Color Tile in Kennewick to pick out our cabinetry, counter tops, back splashes, tile flooring, carpeting, interior paints, and exterior paints.  Phew!  It took us about three hours.  Matt and I generally agree on things, too.  I can’t imagine if we were constantly at odds when it comes to decor. It would have taken ages to decide, probably.  We are somewhat handicapped because we grew up on opposite coasts of the U.S., so Matt brings some East Coast perspectives, and I bring some West Coast sensibilities, and sometimes, they just don’t mesh.  Fortunately, that day they often did, except for in the master bath.  However, after I tossed and turned all weekend, we changed the master bath floor tile the following Monday and now all is well.

The cabinetry is maple, with a stain called “Sedona”, which of course tells you nothing, really.  It is sort of a deep cherry color.  Now seems a good time to tell you that there will be extensive joking in the course of this blog series about the names of things – paints and stains, etc.  I know they can’t just say “red” or “blue”, but does “Heartthrob” or “Respite” really help your mind’s eye obtain an accurate picture of the color?  I’m going to say no.

All the floors will be tile except for the library area (which is what the area is called in the floor plan, but we won’t be using it as such), the great room and the bedrooms.  The tile is a travertine called Noce, which is actually really common.  You can even go into a non-Color Tile store, and I’m fairly confident you can still fine the Noce travertine tile.

The main bath that the kids and guests will use is that same travertine tile, and smaller tiles will make up the counter top.

Our master bath floor, shower and counter tops are Sable tile.  Sable sounds like it’s really dark, but it’s not.  It’s about the same tone as the Noce, actually.

The carpet is Lodge (you can TOTALLY see that color, can’t you?), and we upgraded the pad.  I have heard time and time again, your carpet quality can be middling, but you really need to not spare expense on your pad.  It makes a much larger difference than you would think, and provides a great deal of value in relation to the money you spend.

In the kitchen, we upgraded to a granite slab on top of our island, and along the other kitchen counter tops.  It’s called Santa Cecilia, and I LOVE it!  Matt really wanted a darker granite, but the cabinetry is already dark, and if everyone said it once, they said it a hundred times, don’t get a dark counter top!  It shows all your spills and every streak.  I think Matt was tapping in to his man-cave aesthetic, looking for dark, dramatic spaces to hang out in.  However, he eventually agreed with my preference.  Then we needed to choose the glass inset for the back splash.  The main tile on the back splash is the same as the floor (smaller, 7×7 tiles, but still the Noce), but there is a glass tile inset for contrast – Lido by Newport.  We spent a huge amount of time debating over that choice!  We took the cabinet sample outside, the floor tile, and the glass tile finalists out in natural light, so we could make the best choice.  Fluorescent lights are not always the friendliest lights for decision making.

At this point I want to give a shout out and a HUGE thank you to Stephen Taylor and Vickie Kangas.  Stephen works at CarpetsPlus/Color Tile and he was unfailingly patient and cheerful while we made our choices.  Vickie is the design consultant with Oasis and she was fantastic.  She supported our choices, but subtly, tactfully, suggested other options when our first ideas were going awry, or if Matt and I were at an impasse.

All the paints, inside and out, are Sherwin Williams.  Our walls are Kilim Beige (appeals to the violent streak in all of us!), and we have some accent walls which are Dignity Blue.  Outside is Summit Grey and Green Black.  The trim color is called Big Chill.

This concludes the sneak peek at the decor of the future McGee compound.  We honestly had a great experience at Color Tile.  We’re so excited to see everything all together, in our new home!  March feels very far away at this point.

Up next – the Pre-Construction meeting…

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!


  1. Matt McGee says:

    About the granite slab in the kitchen … I wouldn’t say I “eventually agreed with your preference.” I think the correct thing to say is that I eventually gave up. There was no agreement. 🙂

    The granite slab is the one thing in the new house that I’m not looking forward to.

  2. Cari McGee says:

    Not really! I think you’ll be happy when you see it. And if not, we’ll get a different slab someday. 🙂

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