When we decided to buy our first home, a new build home wasn’t the first thing we considered. Like many people in the UK, we dreamed of a period property with character and charm. And that is still the dream one day, but when we factored in our budget and ideal location, a new build was the only option that enabled us to live where we wanted with the space we wanted.
So before we knew it, we had a blank canvas on our hands – that’s something many people think they want but the reality was actually really daunting. We’ve accumulated lots of items through the years such as colourful cushions, vases (2 that are 5ft tall – love them!) and framed prints so we had plenty of things to inject personality into our blank canvas. We also inherited some beautiful antique pieces of furniture (hush – not popular with everyone, we know) that we could at last get out of storage. We found a great storage deal through this brilliant price comparison table but just be careful not to overspend on storage.
So we had plenty of items for decorating inspirations but it took at least 18 months for the new apartment to really feel like home – it wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be so we thought we’d share our top tips. These are things we wished we’d known at the start of our home-owning journey
5 ways inject your personality into a new build home:
Add colour to your walls
Our new build apartment was painted all white – again that might sound appealing but the reality is cold and stark. Painting walls and ceilings is a cost-effective way to completely transform a space, so even if you opt for one statement wall, it will make a huge difference.
Mix-up your window treatments
One of the traps that’s easy to fall into when it comes to new builds is sticking with the modern feel of the property. Of course, if you like that look then don’t let us tell you otherwise, but we like period interiors so we wanted to bring that into the space too. That’s why we installed wooden shutters in our main living space.
We also see many homes opt for similar window treatments in all the rooms but it’s important to consider what the purpose of each room is and adapt accordingly. Quirky elements can be used in the less public spaces or for instance the guest bedroom.
Don’t worry about mixing up the window treatments for each room – it’s elements like these that inject your personality to your home.
Artwork is the easiest update you can make to a home and will completely transform any room.
In the living room, we updated the space with a gallery wall which not only adds impact and personality. In other rooms we’ve used the colours of artworks to build a theme. We’re not fans of buying artwork to match an already existing colour theme, but using the artwork as the starting point of the theme works for us.
And, best of all, art doesn’t have to be expensive.
Add some MDF panelling
Of course, this is a bit of a cheat but works really well on just one feature wall, especially in a bedroom. Panelling can completely transform a room, is cheap and easy to install – and you can buy ready made panels in various styles and sizes on eBay (yes really!). Use a deep jewel tone on a single panelled wall to add an intense element to your room.
Make your personality shine through
When it comes to a modern or new build home, we see the same interior colour schemes time and time again. Such as Farrow & Ball or Little Greene grey and off-white palettes. Not that we don’t like some of those lovely shades (Little Greene’s French Grey Mid and Slaked Lime are favs) but they won’t show off your personality unless you add texture, pattern and pops of colour. Plus personal items like artwork and our antiques. Having a place of your own to experiment can help your personal interiors style flourish in a way that is hard to do in a rental property.
Leave a comment below about your tips for adding personality to a new build – we’d love to hear them…