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How to add character to your New Build home with Interior Design

Newly built red brick house with gable end, central front door and path leading up to it
New Build home

Newly constructed homes offer many advantages, such as pristine walls, modern plumbing and electrics, and efficient systems and windows.

However, they often lack the charm and character found in older properties due to the lack of traditional features like coving, ornate fireplaces, and archways. While not all new homes suffer from this, many mass-produced developer homes tend to prioritize simplicity over distinctive features.

watercolour sketch drawing of a Living Room with a mirror over the mantel, fireplace, armchair and internal french doors
Watercolour sketch render of a Living room

Having lived in a new build for nearly a decade, I understand the challenges of adding personal touches to such spaces. Take, for example, the main living room – a rectangular box with minimal features beyond doors, windows, and skirting boards. This room, serving as a thoroughfare from the hallway to the kitchen, presented an Interior design puzzle.

To infuse character into newly built homes or those stripped of their original features, careful planning is essential. Considerations should include the desired room's function and layout. Often, homes have undergone renovations like merging two reception rooms into one larger living space, which can affect consistency in architectural details.

When contemplating additions, such as coving, it's crucial to strike a balance between preserving original charm and adapting to modern aesthetics. While ornate cornices may not suit new builds, elements like a faux chimney breast can serve as a focal point, creating visual interest and providing a cosy ambience with the addition of an electric fire.

render of a Living room design with bespoke joinery with open shelves, Wall mounted TV and central rectangular electric fireplace
Render of a Living Room with bespoke joinery providing storage

For those with space, incorporating a false wall can offer a bespoke solution for integrating features like shelves, built-in fireplaces, or storage units while concealing unsightly cables. Adding strategically placed lights and electrical points can enhance the room's functionality and elevate its overall appearance.

Architectural illusions, such as increasing the height of door architraves or installing deeper skirting boards, can create a sense of grandeur in rooms. Similarly, restoring period elements like ceiling roses can pay homage to the home's history while adding character to high ceilings.

Creating an inviting hallway can really elevate your home and give visitors an indication of the house beyond. My post about creating a dramatic entryway will help you transform your hallway using Interior Design.

Even mundane objects like radiators can be transformed into interior design features. Consider replacing standard radiators with period-style reproductions or modern alternatives that complement the room's aesthetic. Alternatively, concealment with a radiator cover can provide additional shelf space while maintaining visual harmony.

Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the mood and delineating different areas within a room. Incorporating recessed downlighters and lamps can create distinct zones for various activities, from workspaces to cosy reading nooks.

Experimenting with paint colours and patterns offers a cost-effective way to inject personality into newly built homes. Bold colour choices and creative applications can define different areas within a room and add vibrancy to the space.

To soften the starkness of new build interiors, consider layering textures and patterns through curtains, upholstery, rugs, and cushions. These tactile elements not only add visual interest but also create a warm and inviting elevated atmosphere.

Finally, incorporating greenery into the home can breathe life into sterile environments, softening hard edges and infusing spaces with a sense of tranquillity and vitality.

In conclusion, adding character to newly built homes requires creativity, thoughtful planning, and a willingness to blend modern convenience with timeless charm. By carefully considering architectural details, lighting, colour, texture, and greenery, homeowners can transform their spaces into personalised sanctuaries that reflect their unique style and personality.

Check out my design services, there may be a package which suits your needs. Together we can create a cherished home from your new build house.


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