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I've found since sharing images of our home on Instagram and the blog that people are often surprised to find out that we live in a new build home. I thought I'd give you a bit of the back story as to why we chose our home as I feel new builds can get a lot of bad rep. They're often lumbered in the characterless home category, which can be true of some new builds but not all. I also think it's about what you put into your home that in fact brings the character. So to rewind back four years...

When Michael and I where originally looking for a family home to buy we were on completely different pages. Me, I wanted old, a project, something we could do up from scratch and call our own.
Michael wanted a shiny new build. 

Now you could say Michael won that battle, as of course in November this marks three years in our new build. Side question, when does a new build stop being called a new build btw?? I feel like we could live here 50 years and I'll still be referring to it as a new build. Anyway, I digress, back to Michael winning the new build battle.

What really happened was that the more we looked for the right property in Edinburgh the less attractive my old house dream became. We never found THAT property, you know, the one that gets you excited about renovating, that would justify months if not years of living in upheaval and general hell. Also, the Edinburgh market meant buying the house alone would max out our budget leaving very little to renovate with. Was it really going to be worth it?

So one afternoon I gave in and we took a drive out to North Berwick to see a new build home that was scheduled to be built in Edinburgh. Upon walking through the door I fell in love. I knew I really loved the property as the d├ęcor, although very lovely, was absolutely not to my taste. I could trust it wasn't the fancy furniture that was selling this home to me, it was the space, the light, how fluid the home felt. I could see us there. I could see the boys growing up in a home like that.

Now granted no one likes to admit when they're wrong but on this occasion I had to agree with Michael. It felt right. This new build was going to be our home. A renovation project had always been my dream and not Michael's. I think if you're going to undertake something so big you need to both be passionate about it.

So we signed on the dotted line, we then both freaked out, and became one step closer to owning a detached (hello, no more apartment living with neighbours living above, below and to the sides of us!) house with a garden for our boys, which I know was something we had BOTH dreamt about, new build/old build aside.

With no big renovation project on my hands I was now being handed the keys to a completely white washed blank canvas, which was daunting in a different way. Yes, the property was light and airy, but how on earth would I bring character to this new build? All the aspects that drew me to older properties never felt more missed in that one moment.

Firstly, I didn't rush. This property was bigger than our last home, and we had decluttered a lot during our move, so we didn't have a whole lot of stuff to fill our new home with. A blank canvas can be all too tempting to rush out and simply buy things to fill it, I knew I absolutely didn't want to do that. I wanted the home to grow with us over time, and slowly fill it with things we love.


It's now the most lovely feeling when people compliment our home, especially those who are pleasantly surprised with what you can do with a new build. I take that as a huge compliment, because I wanted a home with character and I never felt sure if I would actually be able to achieve that with a newer property at the time. I get asked a lot how we went about decorating our new build so I thought I'd share a few tips here, although I feel these tips apply for any home you're wanting to put your own stamp on.



LIVE IN THE PROPERTY.  I know its all very exciting planning a move and decorating your new home, and it can be tempting to start ordering furniture before you even have the keys in your hand, but I think waiting is key (get it? Sorry! ;). Even if that means sleeping on a mattress on your bedroom floor, and using deck chairs for the first few weeks or months, by waiting you get a proper feel for the property and where you'd like furniture to go. Then you can take measurements to find the perfect pieces. You'll also know what rooms you tend to spend more time in, which for me really dictates the furniture and the spend.

BRING YOU INTO YOUR HOME. Unless you have endless amounts of cash and can afford that 3 grand light fixture you keep dreaming about, it's safe to say we're all shopping in the same shops which means we're all buying the same or similar interior items. I'm all for finding affordable interior buys and taking inspiration from others, but it's how you put your own spin on it that will make it yours and not just another Ikea purchase. Mix high street items, with one off finds. For me those finds come from my own family and upbringing, the fact I live away from my home town of Liverpool has definitely inspired some of the pieces I have in my home. Also buy local, see what makers and sellers are doing in your city, and don't forget sourcing your local selling pages too. It's astounding what you can find.

TEXTURE. I'm love having different textures in our home as I feel it really adds character. Wicker, wool, linen, wood, metal, cotton, give me it all. There's so many beautiful rugs, throws and cushions out there that can really bring a lovely lush and warm feel to your home. Throw in wicker baskets, planters, wall hangings, macrame and I just feel it adds lots of character to a otherwise bland space.



COLOUR. There's nothing like walking into a fully white washed home that will scare you off adding colour. We lived with the white walls for nearly two years before I plucked up the courage to paint. I'm so glad we did though as it's been the best thing we've done. Colour can bring a cosiness to the starkness of a new build, and if you go for rich and opulent colours, it's like character in a tin of paint.



PLANTS. Okay for anyone who hates plants you can skip this one, but for those that kill plants but want plants in their home, stick with me. I was a plant killer, I thought the green finger has skipped a generation in my family, but it hasn't. It turns out starving a plant of water and then thinking, oh crap, and then drowning it in water isn't the way to go. Plants don't need to be high maintenance, it's just more about buying the right ones for your home and feeding regularly, rather than the all or nothing approach that I was once accustomed too. The benefits of plants in your home? For me you just can't beat that pop of green and the beauty of having something grow in your home. As they grow they change and in turn add more and more character to your home. My friend, Sally, bought me the most beautiful book for my birthday, Leaf Supply. It's all about house plants and I highly recommend if you're a novice, not to mention it makes a cracking looking coffee table book too.

LOVE YOUR HOME. For the majority of us our homes are never going to feel perfect or finished, but nor should they be. Instead of picking out the negatives of your home, work on the positives. Whether you're renting or maybe you're not living in what feels like your forever home, don't let that hold you back from having a home you love. You don't need to spend a fortune to have a home you adore, little touches go a long way.


Are you moving? You can read all my tips on packing HERE.

Want to declutter your home? You can read more about how we achieved that HERE and HERE.

Having trouble making interior choices? Sometimes it just takes one piece you love that can inspire a whole room. Read HERE which piece inspired a lot of the interior choices I made in our home.

2 comments

  1. I totally adore your house! We bought a fixer upper and 2 years down the line its still not finished as we've run out of money! have you got any plants you recommend for a bathroom?

    xx

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  2. Ahhh I loved reading this! We’re lookng at new builds at the moment as it’s the only affordable option for us in our area, I’ve always wanted an old project full of character... husband not so much ;) - I always think of your gorgeous house and it makes me think of how gorgeous it can actually be!!

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