How This Edmonton Couple Turned Their First House into a Home

By Kellie Davenport

It may have been love at first sight for AMA members Hilary Darrah and Geoff Rempel, but the same can’t be said for their first house.

“After we closed on the place,” Hilary says, “I sat on an area rug in this big empty house and I started crying, thinking we’d made a huge mistake!” Thankfully, that moment of buyer’s remorse passed quickly. Five years on, Hilary’s property pride shines bright: “Now I absolutely love my home; it’s truly my sanctuary.”

Shortly after their 2015 wedding, the couple purchased the 1,800-square-foot house, nestled on a leafy cul-de-sac in Edmonton’s Duggan neighbourhood. Though they originally sought a mid-century bungalow, their wish list shifted after eight months of house hunting. Geoff, a digital analyst, embraced the four-bed, three-bath ’80s-era split-level. But it took a little longer for digital communications professional Hilary to come around. “I’d say it was like at first sight,” she says. “I knew it had huge potential.”

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After settling in, the newlyweds set to work updating the house to suit their style, which Hilary describes as warm Scandinavian with a hint of mid-century appeal. First up for the food-loving twosome: the kitchen. By knocking down a wall, they crafted a chef-worthy open kitchen, dining and living space. “Food is definitely our love language,” Hilary muses, “So now our home really fits us.”

Along with their senior cats Joey and Andy, AMA members Hilary Darrah and Geoff Rempel look forward to many more years in their Edmonton dream home.

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