Home » Add Character To A New Build Home: 8 Easy and Affordable Ways

Add Character To A New Build Home: 8 Easy and Affordable Ways

Looking for ways to add character to a new build – or any home for that matter? Well, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Below are some easy and affordable ways to instantly add character to any home this year.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen people say new builds don’t have any character. Yes, a brand spanking new home doesn’t compare to a 1960s Victorian, however, who’s to say you can’t add some of your own features?

Add character to your new build home. Green sofa and panelled wall.


Using colour on the walls is one of the quickest and easiest ways to add a bit of personality to a home. It’s also super affordable!

We’re not just talking about walls here, either. You can use paint to transform almost any surface in your home! There’s paint for tiles, cabinets, flooring, patios, furniture and even your taps! A bit of DIY will add your own personality to your home and changes the look and feel of a room.

If you’re after a rustic look, you can even distress a newer piece of furniture to give it an aged effect.

Add character to a new build home - pink upcycle dressing table
Pink dressing table upcycle using paint! | Source: @grizzle_abode

Open Shelving

Open shelving is a great way to show a bit of personality! And it’s not just for the kitchen, either.

Do you have any blank walls that would benefit from a bit of styling? This could be anywhere in the home. We have shelves in bedrooms, bathrooms, hallway, living room and the kitchen!

There are so many different styles of shelving you can go for depending on your style, too. In our guest bedroom, we have a white picture shelf to keep with the scandi theme. Whereas our living room has a bit more of a rustic feel, so we went for reclaimed wood shelves with industrial brackets.

You can use absolutely anything to style a shelf – from pictures and family photos, to candles, plants, books and more! The opportunities are endless. You could even try your local timber yard and create your own shelving if you’re up for some D.I.Y.

I highly recommend checking out my post on styling shelves here: The Best Shelf Styling Tips

Add character to a new build home - wooden rustic open shelving.
Open shelf styling. Source: Magnolia.com

Tiles and Flooring

Changing a floor can be an expensive job. Even if you hate it, finding the funds for the job can take a while. So, why not try a more purse-friendly option?

So many places now offer vinyl flooring and stick-on tiles for your bathroom or kitchen. What’s great is this is perfect whether you own your home or rent! You can simply peel back the tiles when needed or if you just change your mind!

Woodwork and Doors

Sticking to white skirting boards is definitely the safer option that most of us rarely stray from. However, a lick of paint on your skirting can make the world of difference in taking your home from tired to modern.

For a small room, painting the woodwork the same colour as the walls will make the room look and feel much bigger. Or you could go for a statement paint on your doors to make a low-cost impact!

This is a super cost-effective way to add character to your new build. Plus, it’s a great rainy day activity if you’re looking for something to do.

Add character to a new build home - dark woodwork and light walls
The dark woodwork against the neutral walls provides a fresh, modern feel!


I’m just going to put this out there – I hate stainless steel. It literally gives me shivers – I can’t stand the stuff!

So of course, nearly everything in our kitchen was stainless steel, including the cupboard handles! The kitchen sink and splashback are on our list of things to update in the next few months, but they’re on the pricier side. So, until we had the cash spare, we made changes where we could!

I’d seen a few people switch out their kitchen cupboard handles and couldn’t believe the difference it made. I spent some time researching which styles I liked, then headed on to eBay to find them! We swapped out our dated, stainless steel handles for matt black T-bar ones and I love them!

It feels like we have a new kitchen for such a small and inexpensive change. I think in total it cost around £30 – which is a total bargain for the difference it made.


Light fixtures are usually one of the last things I end up choosing for a room. I think they’re so tricky to get right, but they really are the final puzzle piece!

Besides providing a bit of a focal point for a space, they can also be a fun way to add your style to a room. There’s so many different aesthetics a change in lighting can provide. For example, a bamboo light shade will provide a calming, boho style, whereas a chandelier will provide a much more glamorous, modern feel.


If you have followed me on Instagram for a while, you’ll already know how much I adore panelling! It’s such an easy way to add some real character to your home. But, be sure you love it as it can be a nightmare to get rid of if you change your mind!

From tongue and groove to geometric, square-style and dado, there will be something to suit every style! For a modern feel, geometric or square would be my go-to, or for a more rustic feel try tongue and groove. You can see our living room makeover with this here.

Click here to see how we used panelling to transform our living room! This really is one of my favourite ways to add character to a new build.

grey panelled bedroom wall


I absolutely LOVE wallpaper. Like everything on this list, there’s something to suit every style and budget!

If you’re up for a bit of D.I.Y you can save money by doing it yourself, too. We’ve used wallpaper as a feature wall in our kitchen, but it looks equally as great in a half-height or full room. If you’re struggling, think about the boldness of the pattern. If it’s super busy, you might want to limit it to a smaller area. Whereas if it’s fairly light and simple, you could easily get away with having it throughout a room!

Bathrooms are a great one to use wallpaper as it’s somewhere you don’t spend a lot of time, so you don’t necessarily need it to feel bright or bigger.

So there we have it! Some of my favourite ways to add character to a new build home. If you try any of these do let me know by tagging me on Instagram or leaving me a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Tasmine x

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