Vintage inspired front room. Pale blue walls with white door frames, paneling and skirting boards. Solid wood flooring in herringbone pattern.

How to give your new build home a soul

Although a new build may lack architectural details and charming quirks, it is still possible to transform it into a cosy and inviting space.

9 min read
"Adding fireplaces, architectural mouldings, and antique glass sourced from reclamation yards or auction houses can instantly add character and history to a new build."

Although a new build may lack architectural details and charming quirks, it is still possible to transform it into a cosy and inviting space with some thoughtful planning. You don't have to settle for a characterless environment.

Add something Vintage

A home should reflect the unique story and personalities of its owners. Don't make the mistake of assuming that everything in a new house needs to be brand new. If you furnish your home exclusively with new items, it may end up feeling sterile and uninviting. Instead, let your cherished possessions inspire your design choices, as they provide a glimpse into your personal history and imbue your new space with character.

Section of a vintage inspired living room. Walls are tightly populated with old picture frames on a dark grey wall.
Photographed by Hallie Burton

Make a statement with lighting

While lighting in a new build may sometimes lack depth and personality, there are various ways to incorporate fixtures like lamps and pendants to infuse your home with character and appeal. Consider using low-level lighting, such as wall lights, table lamps, and floor lamps, to create a warm and inviting ambience. You can also make a statement by adding a large pendant light over your coffee or dining table.

Close up of 2 green glass vintage table lamps on a dark wood sideboard
Photograph source: Pinterest
Try to find vintage or antique light fixtures to infuse your space with unique charm and quirkiness.

Floor to Ceiling

Although period homes often exude character, you can easily replicate this ambience in a new build. For example, installing a stone or wood floor can significantly contribute to a lived-in atmosphere. Similarly, incorporating panelling, coving and lovely wallpaper can also help to infuse your new home with charm and personality.

Vintage inspired bedroom with dark grey walls and paneling. Solid oak flooring
Photograph source: Pinterest

Soft Furnishings

By incorporating soft furnishings, you can add texture and pattern to your new build. Layering with items such as throws, cushions, and rugs can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere. Consider giving antique or vintage pieces a new look by reupholstering them with beautiful fabrics. Upholstery presents a fantastic opportunity to introduce colours and patterns that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your home.

Vintage inspired bookcase in dark green with dark blue velvet sofa under the bookcase
Photograph source: Pinterest

Add custom-built in Furniture

Integrating bespoke built-in furniture is an efficient method for lending depth and character to a new build. In many older homes, built-in furniture is a key component of their charm and personality. By incorporating custom joinery, you can replicate this aesthetic and infuse your new home with a sense of history and character.

Installing a wall of bookshelves is a simple and effective means of adding interest and personality to a new build. Even if you don't have an extensive book collection, you can utilise the shelves to display cherished photographs or other meaningful objects. This approach can infuse your new home with a personal touch and create a sense of warmth and familiarity.

dark grey bookcase that is inset into a wall
Photograph source: Pinterest

Create a vintage vibe with shelves

New builds often feature bland and unremarkable walls that may be adorned with only a few pictures or pieces of artwork. However, the upside of owning a new build is the opportunity it presents for creating a spectacular focal point. With the vast range of shelving and lighting options available today, achieving impressive results on a budget is easier than ever.

3 solid oak shelves with lots of plants and ornaments on. Wall is dark green with white metro tiles under the shelves.

One effective method for adding interest to a new build is through the use of shelves. Over the past two decades, shelving has evolved from a primarily functional feature to a decorative one. A set of shelves can tell a story, evoke seasonal moods, or simply serve as a place to display cherished items.

I hope this post has inspired you to explore different ways of infusing character and personality into your new build home.

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