Moving into a new build property is an exciting venture but for those who hold strong design ideas or who have lived in period properties they can seem a little bare. New builds are usually created in a single design with several personalisation options so that on any one housing estate there are multiple homes of the same overall layout. 

While there are no DIY disasters to have to undo with new builds and a great deal of advantages to working with an untouched blank canvas (energy efficiency, new fixtures and fittings, the ability to start from scratch), it can feel like a big job to move your shiny new magnolia walls to something more characteristic. So where to begin? Let us help guide you through your new build, step by step…

A couple sitting on the floor in their new property

Put Together A Plan

Planning ahead to decorate your new build so that it fits your life and tastes and circumstances is the best possible way to ensure you create a cohesive design scheme that flows from room to room. Creating a moodboard (online or off) can help provoke ideas for not just colour schemes but also textures, concepts and room layouts. Planning out which rooms you’d like to work on and when will also help you tackle your interior design and decoration bit by bit in manageable chunks without having to invest too much time, resource and money all at once.

Wait Until The Time Is Right

It can be tempting to decorate your new abode as soon as you move in but in reality, this isn’t always the best idea. It’s usually not ideal to start practically decorating until the plaster has settled into any walls – but also until you’ve settled in. Once you’ve lived somewhere for a while (normally between a few weeks and months) and understand how the light works and where the furniture sits best you can make practical decisions on what would look and work best. There’s no reason that you can’t create your moodboards well ahead of this point but in referring back to them later can make a considered decision on how to decorate.

Decorate The Walls

New build homes usually come with either white or magnolia neutral walls but these may not be to your taste long term. Painting walls is the easiest way to decorate and can be easily changed, and not every wall in a room needs to be painted; statement walls can also really change the aesthetic of a living space. Adhesive wall stickers to introduce patterns or designs onto walls are now fairly commonly (and cheaply) available, and the world of wallpaper has moved on greatly since the peeling florals you’ll remember from your grandparent’s homes! Consider decorating the ceiling, too; it’s now known in interior circles as the “fifth wall” and in a colour other than white can really shift the feel of room dimensions.

A completely blank canvass

Dress The Windows

No one likes the neighbours or passers-by peeking in as they settle down for an evening of telly and so popping blinds or curtains on your windows will be a priority fairly on! If you’re unsure of what to dress windows with long term (because you’ve not quite settled on a decoration scheme yet) then simple roller blinds or cheap curtains are usually the easiest fixture to put in right away for replacement later on.

Dress The Floors

New builds often come with your selection of neutral coloured carpet or hardwood floor. This makes for a great base for most interior design but may not be what you’re after long term. If you are sticking with your original floor choice, you can further dress it to fit your own colour or design scheme with rugs. Rugs of all shapes, sizes, types and colours are now available fairly cheaply and can help protect your light coloured carpets against marks and dirt as you make decisions on how you want everything to look.

Add In Character Items

Just because your house is new doesn’t mean that everything in it has to be. While not everything from your previous home may fit (size wise or in terms of look and feel), there are certainly items that are older or second-hand that may work in your new digs. Sourcing furniture, ornaments and fixtures and fittings from vintage stores, junkyards or second-hand retailers can save you money, boost your sustainability credentials (after all, you’re recycling or repurposing!) and bring some much needed character to the new property.

A white empty bathroom in a new build house

Light It Up

Most new build homes come either with down lighter bulbs or just loose hanging light bulbs from the ceiling – no doubt something you’ll wish to change as soon as possible. In the case of hanging light fittings, your biggest fitting should go in the most central pendant and any other complementary to it. Further lighting can be added in the form of table and/or floor lamps for times where you need either an extra boost to your light levels or just not a full room illumination. 

Go Green

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden in your new build, it is likely to be already trimmed and neat lawn-wise – and certainly doesn’t need to be your first priority if so. Gardens take years to mature but there are some jobs you can get on with early on; including painting fences, installing sheds (particularly ideal if you need more storage space), putting up garden furniture and popping some potted plants on any patio or decking areas. Wait until the right time to plant what you want, and don’t feel that you need to work on your garden right away or that it should look perfect immediately – just make it comfortable for you to sit outside and have the odd cup of tea in while you brainstorm your future interior design and exciting new home life. 

Get in touch!

For renovation or home improvement inspiration, get in touch today. Our renovation specialists are perfectly placed to help your new home vision become a reality. For a free no obligation chat, get in touch with our team to find out how our process can work for you.

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