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5 Easy Ways to Add Character to a New Home

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Create Your Own Character Home
At one point every home was a new build. Architecture isn’t the only way to an inviting home. You can decorate your new home to be warm & inviting too.

New builds are notorious for lacking character, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can add character to a new home with styling. While we often recommend adding architecture details to liven up a new build, a huge impact can be made through decorating alone! A new house often lends the perfect neutral backdrop to let your own personal style shine. Think of it less as an empty white box and more of it as a blank canvas. There’s a lot of beauty and opportunity in a new build. For one, you don’t have to undo any decorating disasters or live with dated wallpaper and garish carpet until you have the time or money to fix them. After all, that’s not the type of “character” we’re after. You can create an inviting home that reflects your own personal taste right now!

Easier said than done though, right? Maybe you just bought a new house and it’s filled with builder’s grade colors and finishes and it feels like it’s lacking personality. You’re not the DIY type, but you know you need a change. Or maybe you just moved into an apartment and you can’t change anything but the furnishings. No matter what the situation, you’re probably staring at your cold, empty space or halfway furnished room with hand-me-down furniture from years past thinking “Where do I even start?”

The good news is it’s not as hard as you think to add character a new home. We broke down how to decorate a new build into 5 easy to follow tips. Your rooms will be so inviting the hard part will be wanting to ever leave your home. Learn our secrets to creating a space everyone wants to spend time in below.

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How to Add Character to New Home - AfterHow to Add Character to New Home - Before
The only difference between these two photos is styling.
The paint. flooring, bookcases and even the sofas are exactly the same. We used the five tips below to create a living room that we love spending time in.
1

Use classic art.

Balance the modern look of your new build with vintage inspired art. In this case, the art is actually the TV. The Samsung Frame TV, looks like art when it's off and is a 4K viewing experience when it's on. We ditched the black hole, and displayed an old-world oil painting as the focal point instead with beautiful result.

Stoffer Home

Stoffer Home

Best Buy

Walmart

Best Buy

Amber Lewis for Anthropologie

Emily Jeffords

Target

McGee & Co

Target

The Fox Shop

McGee & Co

The Atelier Collection
2

Bring in texture and color with a rug.

While beautiful on it's own, the original rug blended into an already neutral space. To bring warmth and character to a room without having to adjust the architecture or paint, start by embracing color in the rug. We like using vintage or traditional style rugs to decorate just built spaces.

Pretty Domesticated

Pretty Domesticated

Pretty Domesticated

Serena & Lily

Pretty Domesticated
3

Use furniture made out of organic materials.

Mother Nature knows her stuff. Organic finishes give us the feeling of nature inside our home. For thousands of years, humans have sought elements of our surroundings to bring into our homes because it makes us feel calm and welcomed. Organic finishes aren't limited to wood either. We mixed in marble and rattan here too.

Pretty Domesticated

Stephanie Cohen Home

World Market

McGee & Co

Pretty Domesticated

Pretty Domesticated

Serena & Lily
4

Pick accessories that feel collected.

It's tempting to buy everything in one place, but it's bound to look more like a sterile showroom and less like a warm character home. Choose accessories that make the most of your room's color palette. Neutrals are always a safe bet. For bookcases, group like items together to create continuity—by color, theme or both. Then add wow factor by mixing in a striking piece of art. Designer tip: Group odd numbers of objects at varying heights for greater visual impact.

McGee & Co

McGee & Co

Pretty Domesticated

Etsy

Ones Kings Lane

Pretty Domesticated

Target

Pretty Domesticated

Pretty Domesticated
5

Add luxury with decorative pillows and textiles.

Pillows and throws are a great way to soften a space. We invest in high quality textiles to elevate the look of a room. When mixing and matching pillows, start with a color palette that complements and contrasts. We like to use dusty colors, especially when selecting textiles for a new build. For a gray sofa, like seen here, use lighter colored pillows toward the back to avoid your arrangement getting lost. Then layer in deeper hued and patterned pillows to the front.

McGee & Co

Susan Connor NY

Pretty Domesticated

McGee & Co

McGee & Co

McGee & Co

McGee & Co

McGee & Co
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