How to Make a New Build Feel Lived In: Part 2

In the second section of our 3 part series on turning your bland new build into a comfortable home, we look at altering the walls and ceilings to create a sense of history.

Create features where there are none

If the room is lacking in any sort of detailing, add some. Skirting boards and coving always make a room look finished. If it’s a small room, don’t go for anything too large or bulky, it will look disproportionate. Don’t go for anything too ornate if your property is very modern. Art deco styling usually works, because of it’s crisps, angular lines. Ceiling roses around lights in the centre of bedrooms or the living room also subtly introduce more detailing. 

If you’re feeling fancy why not try frame mounts as panelling on your walls? It always looks luxurious but costs as little as £3 per meter. Simple cut to size, glue on and then paint. It’s a very effective way of detailing to rooms you’d like to paint entirely white.

Frame moulding. Image from Pinterest

Frame moulding. Image from Pinterest

Looking for bargains online can be a great source of feature finding. This fireplace cost £150 on eBay, including the slate plinth and delivery. It cost another £200 to scrub up and install. Even though it’s in an Edwardian style and the property is 1950s, it fits the room, creates a lovely focal point and adds value to the flat.

Kia design feature fireplace

Fireplace before and after

If you’d rather not include anything vaguely permanent, or really don’t have the cash, you can create features simply by painting them in. We’re don’t mean trompe l’oeil marble pillars into being (NEVER do that!). But consider a painted strip in leu of a dado rail. Or painting your window frames in a bright colour to make them pop and give them some depth. You can make it as striking as you like and it is easily changed, either if you decide you don’t like it, or you want to sell and make the area more neutral.

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