One of my biggest passions is new builds, and their lack of charm and personality. Don’t be mistaken, I LOVE new builds; they are fresh and clean and have the potential to be a complete blank canvas for their new owner to splash and hammer their own personality all over them without having to take on any heavy renovation work.
…that’s just it, new build owners hardly ever do.
Again, don’t get me wrong this is not the fault of the owner, but I believe it’s down to the commercial builders who shoehorn their buyers into the ‘new build state of mind’. Often they only offer a choice of 5 door handles, make you believe it’s normal to pay over the odds for light fittings (that are often bog standard) and ‘extras’ that you naively thought should actually come as ‘standard’.
I genuinely don’t believe that all new build buyers want their homes to be ‘samey’ and looking exactly as their neighbours, but this control the sellers have makes them fall straight into the ‘samey’ trap and before they know it they have white walls, shiny chrome door handles and evenly placed spot lights that they were made to believe were their only option.
The trick – stay strong, say no and stick to your true personal style. Challenge possibilities and don’t settle for what they tell you are the ‘only options’. It also helps to work with a company that are open to new ideas and designs. Find suppliers that embrace your creativity and hunger for something a little different.
I have to say I never used to be one for fitted furniture, but we recently had double wardrobes built in our home and I’m most definitely converted – I’ve realised the potential they bring for creating a canvas to allow your cool stuff to pop right out (not just that but they are amazing for hiding away all of your rubbish!)
Homes with integrity and meaning are quite often the most interesting and comforting – the more you style your space based around the things YOU love, the more you will love your space. This is key to injecting personality into your new build home. Choose fitted options that don’t dominate your space but instead act as a silent back drop that smugly show off all of your best bits – think of your fitted furniture as a foundation, rather than a feature. Then dressing them up with layers of interest will make sure you don’t fall into that ‘samey’ trap, and will ensure your space doesn’t end up looking like a fitted robe showroom. Add in shelves for displays, books, vignettes and room for greenery, and opt for intriguing finishes to bring texture; all of which culminate to make your space fascinating.
The biggest mistake to be made when working with fitted furniture is forgetting to ‘pepper in’ similar colour tones and textures throughout the rest of the space. If you opt for furniture in a different colour to your walls, add in accessories, lamps and soft furnishings to the rest of the space to give subtle nods back to the fitted elements, this way it won’t look so stand-alone and it will really tie the space together.
When opting for the ease of fitted furniture, it’s so easy to lose your sense of style. Remember to stay true to yourself and don’t let anybody tell you something can’t be done just because they haven’t ever done it.
Guest blog and images kindly provided by Christina Easton, lifestyle blogger selling artisan interior goods from her LilianDaph Store at Saltburn by the Sea on the North Yorks coast.