3 Tips for Adding Character to Your New Build

New build properties are often painted with the same imaginary brush, one that suggests they are blank boxes that lack personality. Over the years working as an interior designer, I've seen so much proof to say a new build doesn't mean you live in a space void of aesthetic charm that perhaps a period property might. 

The form of a new build never matters as much as what goes inside the house.  Those are the people and special things that transform any space into a home. We all decorate our homes in vastly different ways. For some, it can be a simple space that allows for a young family to grow and or for others it can be a quirky mix of special items collected over the years. 

But no matter what shape or style your new house takes, there are a number of design ideas that seem to pop up in homes time and time again. The ones that intrigue me the most are the elements that make homes feel welcoming and lived-in. These are the elements I will chat about here today. With a few simple additions, you can create a gorgeous space filled with character.

Read on to discover my top 3 easy ways to inject personality into your new build. 

Adding Character to New Build Interior Design Yorkshire 


My first top tip for making a house feel like a home is to do with functionality. Many base their design ideas and decisions around aesthetics, but you need to deal with the basic necessity of storage and how you will use your space. 

The simple step of giving everything a place of its own goes a long way in creating a room that feels beautiful.

Whether you have small children or you’re an avid book reader, there's nothing more satisfying than the beauty of a well organised bookshelf to keep clutter and collections. And let's face it, the less focus on cleaning and more on displaying things that you use, love and have meaning will help you enjoy your space so much more.

Storage has an aesthetic and meaningful side too, it can be simple shelves with neat rows of items but it can also be a showcase of handmade baskets, storage containers or items that connect you to a holiday or moment in your life that is a beautiful memory.

Many new builds I have worked with have lacked bedroom storage. If this is the case with your space, invest in built-in wardrobes that are designed to your exact dimensions and requirements with the right combination of shelves and rails for you. Not only does this add charm to your space, but it also helps you use your space effectively. 

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Time and time again I see artwork being written off as expensive and frivolous. But people have used all sorts of things over the years that mean something to them, it really doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.  From photographs and decorative clocks to sculptures and paintings, wall art can be anything and everything you want it to be. It adds an element to your home that makes it feel unique to you and what you find beautiful. It's quick too: in just half an hour you can to add heaps of character to your space.

An idea would be to make a short list of all the things that you love and want to see every day to help bring your rooms to life. Give these items a special spot in your home to show them off to you daily. Both the space and the pieces will take on a new meaning for you and your guests.

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Once your home has dried out its time to liven things ups with a lick of paint. With this, you'll want to keep in mind the key principles of colour to design a space that is an extension of you and you're personality. Bear in mind darker colours are great for creating a warm and cosy space, but they absorb light rather than reflect it. They can make a room look smaller – so if your home is on the small side, pick paler colours in key rooms. On the other side, if your home is more spacious and you want to bring the warmth of the space in, a dark colour may just be for you.

You don’t have to stick to one colour either! It's a time to really have fun with your creativity. You could choose one feature wall and paint this in a contrasting darker colour to open up the room or use fun wallpapers to add real character to a room.

If you’re unsure on colours and schemes throughout your home, a hallway or cloakroom is a good place to start experimenting to help you gain the confidence to try out in bigger rooms around your new build. Rich hues in a hallway will also make the room often appear bigger and brighter. It's the first place your visitors will see so this is a space which you can really have fun with.

If your new build has low ceilings, you can elongate them by using the same colour on the walls woodwork and cornices or coving and adding a complimentary white on the ceiling.

In my custom interior design services with Vicki Kress Interiors, a big focus is always the use of colour. We work to use it to our advantage, to create your desired feel or to elevate or drawn attention away from certain aspects of your house. A few cans of paint can really work wonders! 

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Some of our favourite interior design projects in and around Pocklington are new builds. It's such a joy to work together to inject character and personality onto your blank canvas. If you're interested in transforming your space together, discover my interior design services here.

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