Love It Or List It Australia

How to add character to a new build

We can’t all afford to buy a character-filled terrace built in the mid-19th century and full of period features, so project homes are a great option for those of us looking for a practical and affordable alternative. To counteract their tendency to look a little ‘identikit’, Neale Whitaker has these tips to add your own personality.

It’s never been easier to add your personality to a home – all you need is the right accessories to give you the cosy, lived-in, personal feel that's unique to you.

I have been living in an incredibly contemporary apartment, which was really just a concrete box, and our challenge was to make this feel like home.

Wall art

Art can inject personality into any space and the more things you put on the walls, and the more jumble and profusion of the art the better, because it tells a story.

It can stand alone, it doesn’t need to match your rug or paint colour. The current trend towards the gallery style of art in homes – a mix of drawings, paintings, photos – instantly gives homes a very personal touch.

Lamps

Likewise, lamps are a great way of creating ambiance, which people rarely understand. It’s so easy to change the mood of a room through two or three well-positioned lamps.

When deciding where to put your lamps, look at the natural light as well as the furniture placement in the room. Identify your darkest spots or where you want to create mood lighting and start experimenting.

Rugs

What you put on the floor has an enormous impact on the mood of a room, because one of the first things you notice when you enter a room is what’s on the floor. 

Mirrors

Big mirrors can be bought relatively cheaply and leaned strategically against walls to reflect a view and bring light into the home. Never underestimate the power of mirrors!

Styles like art-deco type mirrors or those with bevelled edges can bring character to a home.

Superb spaces

If you have low ceilings, you can trick the eye with vertical stripes or anything that takes the eye upwards. Surprisingly, a darker ceiling can also make a room feel taller.

Floor to ceiling curtains can also extend a room. I’ve used big sheets of mirrored tiles where one wall in the house was mirrored and it was fantastic because it looked twice the size and made the house feel really big.

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