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7 ways to add character to a new build home

New build properties are often described as ‘characterless’. With nothing but white walls, and empty spaces they can feel sterile and cold and they can all feel very similar to one another.

We know this doesn’t have to be the case. We love to create unique, inspiring spaces in a lot of new build properties, and with a little work, you can inject your personality and create a truly inviting and warm home. Our Senior Interior Designer, Gemma, shares her top tips on how to do this.

1. Texture & layering

A new build property can often feel flat so layering textures is key. For example; pairing a velvet sofa with a shaggy rug and woollen throw offers depth and the perfect tactile variety for your senses to focus on.

Similarly, textured wallpaper, colourful art, or even a shelf of books are also good ways of adding interest and individuality. Taking a simple shelving unit and looking at adding your favourite photos, ornaments, vases of flowers or plants, and books can make a world of difference – it’s key here to think about the spacing, shapes, and sizes and where you place them to make a lovely focal point.

Houseplants are also a great way to add shape, depth, and texture to a room and you can pick the right one for the space you have – large potted plants that sit on the floor are great for any awkward corners and smaller hanging plants are great for a blank wall.

2. Pattern

Whether it’s stripes, floral or geometric; patterns can be embraced anywhere in the home depending on your individual style. For a more maximalist look, you can embrace the bold through upholstery, wall coverings, and accessories.

For a more minimalist look, you may prefer a more neutral backdrop with your patterns and colour feeding through accessories such as scatter cushions and throws.

3. Create a focal point

In a new build, you often lose the features an older property boasts; such as fireplaces or decorative windows. You can, of course, add these features yourself at some point but another (cheaper and quicker) way to create focal points is through paintwork, styling, and accessories.

When it comes to paint and colour the options are limitless (you read more on our colour tips here and really depend on your unique style. We love to create a statement as INVESTA and so often play with colour through abstract shapes, painted ceilings, and much more. Check out our portfolio page for some inspiration or head to Instagram!

Gallery walls and oversized artwork are also great talking points, and this also brings us back to our point on simply styling shelves and units well with your favourite things.

4. Lighting

New builds often have bright spotlights or one central ceiling pendant. Adding different options lets you have the best light for different parts of the day. For example, floor or table lamps are perfect for creating soft lighting in the evenings and task lighting is great for desks and workspaces.

Additionally, if you’re unable to add too much in the way of colour to walls due to a rental property there is a great range of statement lighting which can add colour, shape, and warmth to any room.

5. Greenery

Whether you choose to use real or faux, greenery is a great way of bringing the outside in and breaks up space well. It also adds texture and colour to a bland room. Try a fig tree in a woven basket or a vase of dried grasses or foliage.

6. Mix and match

Using different pieces of furniture helps prevent your home from looking like it’s straight out of a catalogue. If you have vintage pieces of furniture or family heirlooms, embrace their imperfections and mix old and new to provide a stylish and lived-in look. Alternatively head to a flea market, second-hand furniture shop, or an online marketplace to pick up more unique pieces.

7. Add your personal stamp

And finally, your new home should tell a story about you and reflect your tastes. Avoid being too trend-led and make sure you display treasured souvenirs from your travels or favourite moments, hang your favourite movie posters, or display your record and/or book collections. There’s no better personality to add than your own!

We hope these tips are useful while you settle into your new home. For interior inspo and ideas make sure you follow us on Instagram (@investalondon and @vestainteriordesign).

Image sources:

Textures and Layering

Shelves: Pure Wow / West Elm

Cushions: Katrina Lee Chambers


Blue sideboard and artwork: Lightology

Striped headboard: Living Etc / Hotel Les Deux Gares


Floor lamp: Amazon

Ceiling lights:


Shelf: Wayfair

Mix and Match

Dining table and chairs: Couch Style

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