New Build Decor Tips: 6 Ways to Give a New Build House Personality

Moving into a new home is a big step. It’s exciting to think about all the ways you’ll decorate the home. But it can also be a challenge, especially if it’s a new build home.

With a new build property, the challenge is it’s generally made to appeal to a wide range of tastes so it can feel a little cookie-cutter, or even bland. On the flip side, there’s no better blank canvas for decorating than a new construction home that already has modern amenities built-in.

For many people, the first instinct is often not to add or change too many things that don’t feel in line with their new home, in case it “messes things up.” But adding furniture and decor that shows off your personality and changing things up to suit your lifestyle and taste is exactly what you want to do to make the space your own.

For inspiration and a little guidance, we’ve rounded up some tips for adding personality and character when decorating a new build home. Scroll for our new build house decor tips and how to work them into your space.

Just moved and need help finding the right furniture? Check out our new home furniture buying guide or connect with us and get help from our Modsy designers through online interior design.

Dining room with antique dining table

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1. Decorate With Antiques

The most common challenge with any new build home is they often feel glossy and almost too perfectly polished. If you like the modern and contemporary look, play it up and go for decor in those styles, but if it’s not your aesthetic, don’t feel boxed in by the home’s style.

Just because your home is new doesn’t mean your furnishings have to be. The best way to inject your own personality into the space is by contrasting all the ‘newness’ with furniture and decor in different design styles.

Try decorating a new build home with antiques and various vintage-style pieces that give your space a lived-in, collected feel. You can go big with a vintage sofa and a large antique chandelier, or if you want elements of the vintage look you can keep to smaller accents, such as weathered-wood side tables, a collection of flea-market objects, or a vintage painting or print.

Living room with fireplace and casual seating area

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2. Avoid Matchy-Matchy

Buying a boxed set of furniture is an easy way to outfit a space, but it can sometimes leave your home feeling even more cookie-cutter. So as a rule of thumb, we like to skip the matching furniture sets and instead buy individual pieces when decorating a new build home.

It’s all about mixing without matching. Think the marble-and-brass side table with the slipcovered sofa, the sheepskin on top of a vintage rug, or the black leather armchair alongside the classical painting. The result will be spaces that have more character and a collected look. If matching furniture is your thing, try sticking to like pieces, such as matching nightstands or end tables, then juxtaposing them with an unexpected sofa, armchair or table for a similar effect.

For easy ways to master a stylish furniture mix, check out our tips on how to decorate a room.

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3. Work in Lots of Texture

Another way to balance out the new look and feel of a home is to play up pops of texture—whether it’s accents in natural materials or wood with aged finishes.

Organic textures add instant character, personality, and charm to any new construction home. Furniture made with natural materials, which can be a rattan armchair or a woven light pendant, always warms up a modern or contemporary room. Mix it with other textures, such as leather, embroidered fabrics, rough-hewn woods, stone, and even smooth ceramics.

The best part is that you can’t go wrong with too much or too little texture. You can play it up as much as you need to for the look you want, whether it’s going for tons of texture for a rustic and boho look or keeping it a little more casual for a coastal look.

Also check out our tips for Decorating With Leather and Mixing Wood Tones.

Eat-in kitchen with breakfast nook

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4. Switch Up Light Fixtures

Lighting is also a key consideration for a new build property. Swapping out the existing fixtures in a new home is a great way to bring in a touch of character. It will also change up the vibe in your space dramatically. This could mean replacing a modern bathroom sconce with a design that’s more in your style or hanging up a more vintage-style pendant light in a dining space.

Some new build homes come without fixtures, which means you’ll have to add your own lighting. That might sound daunting at first, but don’t be. It’s a great opportunity to set the mood with lighting that fits the home you want to live in and let your personality and style shine.

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5. Add Layers of Lighting

Most new builds feature a lot of downlighting, aka. ambient lighting, which can make the home appear stark and dark.

One of the key factors to any happy home is good lighting, and that means having a range of different lights. Lean into a mix of lighting at every level, from sconces to floor lamps to accent lighting on tables. This will allow you to control the ambiance and mood in your home while also adding function throughout.

Try bright task lighting for a desk or workspace, a cozy table lamp next to a reading chair, and install dimmers for sconces to create low-lit mood lighting for evenings. The type of lighting you choose will depend on your lifestyle and needs, but it’s also a chance to add character to blank white walls that are common across new build homes.

For more tips on choosing the right fixtures, check out our Lighting Guide.

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6. Make Some Cosmetic Changes

Finally, more than just furniture and decor, you can also make changes to existing physical features in a new build property, like the walls or socket covers. (Note: Some new build home communities restrict the changes you can make to your space, so just be sure you’re in the clear before making any major changes!)

The easiest cosmetic update you can make to your new build home is painting the walls. It’s a bold way to bring your personality into the space, be it a whole painted room or an accent wall in a bright color. Other ways to change up your space could be adding wood paneling or DIY wainscotting if that’s your style, installing a ceiling medallion to give your hanging light fixtures a stylish edge, or swapping out light switch covers with vintage or brass ones that provide a chic metallic touch.

Get more Interior design ideas for new homes!

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My Modsy Story: How Rachael Created a Polished, Cohesive Design for her Open-Concept Home

Rachael was excited to be living in a new house she loved. But needed help finding a design that was as beautiful as her new space. See how Modsy helped her bring house and home together with a winning design.

Homeowner: Rachael M + Sales & Marketing Manager

Location: Apex, NC

Rooms: Open Living Room & Dining Room

Her Style: Modern Rustic

The Backstory

I recently purchased a newly constructed house with an open floor-plan. Because the living-dining area layout was so open I wanted to make sure the design for the spaces would work together. In the past, I’ve worked with designers which inspired me to want a more polished look in my own home!

Rachael’s new home before

The Design Dilemma

I was excited about moving into my brand new space and really investing in a beautiful, polished design. I knew the overall look I was going for and that I wanted to incorporate unique pieces from different sources into the final look. I’d used blue and grey as the color scheme in my old house, and I knew I wanted this one to have a more neutral palette that complimented the space.

But when it came to actually designing the space, it felt like a huge job and I was just too busy with work. I had no time to shop for furniture, let alone figure out how to pull all the pieces together into a cohesive whole.

new home design modsyThe Modsy Moment

I was actually going to hire an interior designer at first but then I came across Modsy by way of a Google search. The investment to try it was pretty low and I thought why not give it a shot first? From the ads I read, it seemed like I could get the same results with less time and money so I was excited to try it out. Plus, I like being involved in the work but really wanted a designer’s guidance so it seemed like the perfect solution.

new home designHow Modsy’s Designs Helped Rachael

When my first Modsy designs came back I loved them immediately. The design experience was so easy and really fun! Everyone that I interacted with was super helpful and my designer, Francesca, is really talented. She excels at this process and is so personable. She added furniture and room accessories in a way that filled the space nicely. It looks fantastic and it never would have occurred to me to use the space the way she did.

Also, there were certain items I needed help with, like a cabinet that I wasn’t sure how to incorporate into the room. Francesca knew exactly how to manage it! I feel very lucky I got to work with a designer who was such an excellent fit, and who was able to nail my tastes from the start.

Modsy also made the shopping process super easy with one-click ordering from tons of vendors. The follow-up and assistance they provided were awesome! They even price-matched a chair for me and helped me when one of my chairs was damaged in shipping. I am super happy with their customer service!

The Real Results

The Modsy design I went with captured exactly what I was looking for. It was like my designer saw inside my brain on the first try, I couldn’t believe it! I purchased almost all of the items from my design and Francesca helped me design around two pieces that I already owned.

Overall, my living room and dining room are better than I could have imagined. There is no way I could have done it all on my own, but it still feels essentially like me. Thanks, Modsy!

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