How to decorate a new build

How to decorate a new build

There are lots of reasons why buying a new build home can be a great move. One of the most important is that you’re getting to start off with a completely blank canvas. Buying a period property that someone else has lived in often also means needing to address some period DIY and décor decisions.

Whether it’s the carpet in the hallway that makes you feel a bit queasy or the tiling in the bathroom that hasn’t been in fashion within your lifetime, you’ve either got to live with them or knuckle down and start ripping everything out as a priority.

In a new house, there are none of these problems, so you can make it feel like your own home simply and at your own pace. To help you settle in and style up your new home, we’ve picked out our top tips for decorating a new build property:

1. Don’t rush into it without a plan

Having a perfect blank canvas to work with means that you’re not dealing with anyone else’s décor disasters, but if you grab a paintbrush before you’ve even finished unpacking, you’re risking making your own mistakes that will need work to fix later on.

Another advantage of buying a new build home is that you know before you move in exactly what you’re going to be working with and there are no nasty surprises hidden behind wallpaper in the spare bedroom. This gives you the chance to plan exactly what you want to do before you even get the keys.

It’s an exciting opportunity to decide on how you want your new home to look while you eagerly anticipate moving into it and will save you painting the hallway one colour and then deciding it clashes with your plans for the open-plan kitchen.

Contemporary, rustic room decor

2. Make the most of upgrades and option

As well as planning your new home before you move in, if you buy off-plan from us you may also have the chance to make some decisions to personalise and customise it before we even hand it over to you.

Options and upgrades are two different ways that you can personalise your new home. Options are the choices of wall tiles, kitchen colours and worktops that are available as part of our Signature Collection.

Upgrades, meanwhile, are the choices available to increase the specification and add personal touches. They include different styles of kitchens, worktops, wall tiles, flooring and fitted wardrobes within our Inspired and Platinum Collections.

Find out more about options and upgrades here


Pink, blacks and blue's in the living room


3. Create a mood board

Having a mood board for the whole house is a great way to start this planning to make sure you’re coming up with a look and a feel for the home as a whole that is exactly what you’re looking for in terms of colours, textures and concepts.

Yes, it’s time to hit Pinterest and Instagram looking for inspirational photos as well as visiting DIY stores to get samples of paint colours, carpets, soft furnishings, etc. Have fun with this and embrace your creative side.

When you’ve created your overall mood board, you can use it to come up with more specific ideas on a room-by-room basis, while having that basis to work from. Or ignore it completely, it’s your home after all!

4. Get used to your new home

This planning will help you a great deal when it comes to decorating your new home, but even with a plan you might want to give your home – and yourselves – time to settle. Before you move in, you’ll have gained a good idea of what it’s like from your visits, but that’s no substitute for actually living there.

You’ll get to see your home in a whole new context and light, literally when it comes to how rooms look and feel at various times in the day. This might cause you to tweak your plans about colours or you might change your mind about how you’re going to use a certain room.

It’s also recommended that you don’t paint the walls in a new build home for around 12 months to give the house time to dry out completely from the building process. By this point, you should know exactly what you want to do with your home.

Characterful dining room layout

5. Start adding character

Dress your windows

An early priority for new build homes is getting the window dressings right. This is crucial for privacy of course but when it comes to setting the mood for a room, what you have on your windows is also key, which is why having a plan before buying your curtains or blinds is so important. Windows are more than just a way to look out at the world, they also control how light comes into your home, so you need to think carefully about as making the wrong choice here can impact everything else you intend to do with a particular room.

Layer the lighting

Light is what makes a home feel like a home, particularly in the autumn and winter months when it gets darker earlier. Layering your lighting means having softer options to use in the evening to create a cosy atmosphere in rooms like your lounge. These can be table lamps, floor lamps, wall scones or pendant lights and careful placement of these around a room can be as crucial for creating the right atmosphere. They’re also important for how rooms are used, like a kitchen (bright areas for preparing food) or a home office (enough light on the desk without a glare or lights that turn you into a silhouette on a video call).

Use rugs to bring character to a room

Getting a blank canvas inevitably means that you’ll want to add some character to it and rugs are a great way of achieving this. Neutral flooring can be transformed by a well-placed and well-chosen rug, which can add colour, warmth, texture, personality and pattern. Different rugs work well in different rooms, depending on size and style and your personal taste.

6. Personalise your home

As the very first owners of your new build home, you’re lucky enough to be able to make it your own. More than your choice of colours or wallpapers or curtains, you can do this by really bringing yourself into it with family photographs, favourite artwork, shelves of books, a feature wall, or whatever most says who you are.

It’s important to be strategic about where and how you display these items though as you don’t want to turn your blank canvas into a cluttered one. Think about what could make a statement and what might look better as part of a cluster. Do you want symmetrical displays or random ones?

Wardrobes and storage

7. Don’t forget about storage

There are lots of exciting and creative aspects to working out how to decorate your new build home but it’s important not to forget the more functional parts. All of our homes are designed to have plenty of storage space but while decorating you need to be sure not to make decisions that impact how much room you have to store your possessions.

This is important because not giving enough consideration to storage while planning your rooms will almost certainly result in those rooms becoming cluttered with items that don’t have anywhere else to go but the floor. So, while storage might not be as fun, not having enough of it impacts on everything else.

8. Co-ordinate your accessories

Remember that mood board you created back at the start of this process? It’s time to consult it again because when it comes to buying new accessories for your new build home. You might not have painted your kitchen that funky colour you’ve got in mind for it yet, but you need a new kettle and toaster, so why not make sure they will go well with that colour?

The same goes in the bathroom, where matching patterns and colours can also work really well to tie the room together. A new build gives you the ability to start from the ground up when it comes to accessorising because you’re not working with existing colours and styles but can get it right first time with the right purchases.

Bathroom decor

9. Layer in some plants

House plants are an excellent way to bring colour and life into any room and you don’t even need to be green-fingered to make the most of them because fake house plants can work just as well. They certainly look better than real plants that you’ve forgotten to water recently.

If you are going for real plants, you need to consider the location to make sure they get the right amount of light to keep them in good condition. Fresh flowers are also a great way to add vibrancy to your home.



The blank canvas that you get with a new build gives you a whole new world of opportunities to create your dream home with all of the colours and styles you’ve always wanted and none of the DIY disasters of previous owners to deal with.

So why not start planning your ideal home décor today with the help of our tips, no matter where you are at in your home buying journey. If you need any more tips for buying a new build have a look at our ultimate guide for some more inspiration.

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