10 Ways to add character to your new build home
Adding character and period features to a new build property could be the best of both worlds. You’ll benefit from the efficiency of a modern property whilst potentially increasing the value and definitely adding style by incorporating decorative interior and exterior mouldings.
Take the opportunity to transform blank walls with either subtle detailing or bold wall panelling and everything in between. Here are ten examples of how to add interest to your beautiful new build....
1. Panelling & Wallscaping
If you’re met with seemingly unending blank, white walls and you’re not sure how to break them up and add interest, consider wall panelling. We sell a range of panelling to suit every property, whether you’re feeling brave enough to go for floor to ceiling panelling along a long run of hallway, or whether you’d prefer some classic tongue and groove wainscoting below a dado rail. You could even add panelling in a bathroom (ours is water-resistant), up the stairs or create a panelled headboard. (more on this below!)
Traditionally wall panelling was used to protect the wall, cover uneven surfaces and add warmth to old, badly insulated properties. In the case of your new build, panelling is purely aesthetic, but will still add texture and depth to an otherwise characterless room. We suggest opting for our best-selling classic Shaker style range; No. 120 with accompanying panel No. 121. They can be installed together in a number of variations and we are here to help you measure and design your space with our CAD Design Service.
In short, these panels are lightweight, hard wearing, primed and ready to paint and best of all, are a fraction of the price of traditional wooden panelling. Topped with a moulding that is designed to hide LED lighting (No. 324 Autoire cornice moulding) you can bring in atmospheric mood lighting to enhance your scheme even further. The effect is seriously classy.
Feeling brave? Go for a feature wall using our textured 3D wall panels which can be painted in a bright or contrasting colour. Choose from a whole range of designs from pleasing, geometric ‘Bars’ and ‘Valleys’ to more curved and feminine ‘Ridges’. These are very unique designs, new to the interiors market, so be original in your panelling choices! I
No. 120 Shaker style wall panelling (above)
Ridges 3D wall panelling (above)
2. Layering the lighting
Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting your room correctly. This particularly applies to new builds that are usually designed with lots (and lots) of bright downlights. Layering the lighting so that there are dimmable and softer options will make a huge difference to the atmosphere of your home.
Explore different types of lighting such as picture lights, floor lamps, table lights and you could also include uplighting and downlighting. Our LED Cornice lighting collection offers a range of decorative mouldings that are specifically designed to hide ugly led caballing and create a lovely soft glow from a cornice or dado rail.
For a truly original take on contemporary lighting, combine our 3D Textured wall panelling with hidden LED lighting options to create something unique.
3. Adding picture rails & coving
Rest assured, even the most modern of houses can benefit from decorative interior mouldings. Don’t think they are strictly reserved for period homes. In fact, we have a range of super sleek mouldings designed specifically for contemporary homes. We also offer a free Product Pairing Service to help you select complimentary products that work together to create the perfect finished effect.
You will be amazed at the difference some carefully considered cornicing makes – it’s the detail that really elevates an interior. Even if you fancy the idea of period style coving, it’s entirely possible to fuse the two genres together. We suggest deep skirting boards, door mouldings, elegant cornicing and simple ceiling roses in the best rooms in your home from the drawing room, dining room and master bedroom. Depending on the rooms usage, you can use accompanying products to maintain a consistent look thoughout.
4. Statement headboards
If you’re looking to make a bold style choice in your bedroom, go for a statement headboard. Channel luxury boutique hotel style and opt for an oversized, patterned or detailed design that will bring you joy every single day!
Whether you covet a scalloped, square or upholstered headboard, you should also consider framing it with some decorative wall panelling or moulding. Take inspiration from the images below which illustrate how powerful geometric panelling can look in a bedroom. The beauty of it is that you can design something entirely bespoke which will sit beautifully around your headboard and is a luxury in itself.
You can fill the rectangular ‘windows’ with artwork and create your own gallery wall complete with wall lights, reading lights or picture lights for maximum ambience.
5. Dressing the windows
One of the most challenging things about purchasing a new build is the big decision of how to dress your windows – it can be overwhelming. Curtains and shutters are a big investment and should be carefully considered as they’re unlikely to be updated any time soon. Always go for the highest quality fabric and lining you can afford and go for a timeless design.
Simplicity offers real style longevity and we would suggest using our pelmet coving which has been specially designed to hide ugly curtain rails or tracks. It’s the perfect way to neatly join the top of your window treatment and the gap between the ceiling. This was, of course, the original purpose of cornicing as described in our blog.
The image above left shows the Regency cornice range No. 308 large used as both cornice and curtain pelmet following the ceiling around the room. The image above shows the home of Frances Astbury who used Plain Cornice range No. 991 to create a really simple and chic curtain pelmet.
6. Ceiling Rose
Originally intended to protect the ceiling from the heat and soot marks of chandelier candles and gas lighting, these days ceiling roses are mostly decorative, but also hide unsightly wiring. But they can make all the difference to the feel of a room, even a highly contemporary one.
Coupled with complimentary decorative mouldings the overall effect is pleasing to the eye and well balanced. Unless of course you want your ceiling rose to be a feature in its own right, in which case, go for something highly decorative which leads the eye to the centre of the room immediately.
Aim to install your ceiling rose in the centre of your room and at the appropriate size for both the space and also the light which will hang below it! If you need advice on the appropriate size or design of ceiling rose, please get in touch.
7. Bespoke Cabinetry + Library Ladders
In the past few year bespoke cabinetry has seen a massive increase in popularity as we all stayed and home and made the most of our surroundings. It makes total sense to build into quirky corners, along corridors or create shelving for our home offices.
Bespoke cabinetry is space saving, practical and can be very stylish, especially when paired with a library ladder! We sell both standard height and bespoke library ladders in a hook over, full rolling and corner rolling style. They are more popular than ever, bursting back into the interiors consciousness about four years ago, becoming an instant hit.
Homeowners are realising their value in almost every room in the house from libraries, offices, dressing rooms, sitting rooms, larders, kitchens, playrooms and so on. What better way to add an extra dimension to your new build, create some extra storage with floor to ceiling fitted cupboards, shelving units, bookshelves and even wine racks.
Best of all, all our library ladders are made to the highest quality, quietly glide along the rail and can be stowed away vertically when not in use. The rolling wheels at the bottom of the ladder have all got an in-built brake that automatically applies when you mount the ladder.
8. Mezzanine Area + Mezzanine Ladder
New builds offer a blank canvas on which to add your individual stamp. There may be room to add a mezzanine level for a home office, extra bedroom, storage area or library – in which case you can add a great deal of value to your property by creating another space.
2022 sees the launch of our new range of mezzanine ladders, designed specifically for accessing mezzanine areas. These ladders are made-to-measure to fit your exact height requirements and specification. They do not roll and are in a fixed position for maximum safety, with the option of stowing it away vertically when not in use. Use our online ladder builder tool which will guide you through each step to design and deliver your ideal ladder.
9. Zoning for multi-purpose homes
With the open plan living aspect of new-build homes comes the challenge of creating living and working zones in order for the whole family to function. Our Sliding Barn Doors provide the perfect solution and are just perfect for modern interiors with their simple and functional design. Their unfussy, easy rolling mechanism means that they can be discreetly pulled open by day and closed by night for privacy.
Swap your boring old doors for bi-folding or sliding barn doors adding character and create new rooms you never knew you needed such as a ‘cloffice’, utility room, playroom, larder....the list goes on. In rooms where there is minimal space, these come into their own – think shower rooms, bootrooms and downstairs cloakrooms. Sliding doors as room dividers are a no-brainer. Cost effective, easy to install, space saving and stylish, you’ll have your children’s rugby boots organised in no time.
10. Exterior House Mouldings
If you’re having fun adding character to your home internally, don’t forget about the impact that you could make on your exterior....and we have just the thing! Alongside landscaping, planting, and painting window frames you could explore our Exterior Mouldings range. Whether you want to sympathetically recreate a period style or if you just want to make your mark, this is a fantastic option.
Our new range includes exterior dentil mouldings, gallows brackets for a porch, corner pieces, rafters and an external cornice. In the same way that these finishing touches lift your interior, they will add style and personality to your exterior.
All our exterior mouldings are water resistant, durable, have sharp detailing and a smooth finish and come with a ten year warranty. They are supplied in a pre-finished white but are available in other colours (subject to minimum order quantities.)
When you need some extra help
We are here to advise and offer personalised quotes so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
All products are available to order online at www.llcompany.co.uk