Melbourne, Australia

5 Budget-Friendly Ideas to Add Character To A New Home

How To Build A House On A Budget?

My boyfriend and I built our first home in 2020. I spent hours researching how to build within a budget. We had to learn where we could afford to splurge, and when it was time to cut back.

Building a home can be expensive. There are six factors that can help you stay within your budget: know your finances, prioritize your spending, sign a contract at a fixed cost, choose the right builder, and do thorough research.

There are many benefits to building a brand-new home. You can choose your finishes, appliances, and floor plan. But there is no doubt that new homes don’t have a certain appeal. At least the ones that are within my budget! I’m sure that if you had the money and access to a professional custom home builder, your new home would have a lot of character. For the rest of you, I will show you a few ways that are budget-friendly to add some character to your home.

This article will discuss my favorite methods to add character and charm without feeling out of place or breaking the budget. We all know that a home build can take up to two years.

Let’s get started, shall we?

How to add character to a new construction house

1. Corbels & Carvings

Detailed Shot of Corbels & Carvings, Add Character to a New Build Home
Detailed Shot of Corbels & Carvings, Add Character to a New Build Home 

Corbels and carvings are a great way to give your kitchen or fireplace a more lived-in feel. They’re also incredibly affordable. These can be painted in any style to match your interior and are available in many different sizes, shapes, and styles.

Corbels are also useful for incorporating in your home. They can be used under floating shelves, at the corners of doors and openings, or beneath your benchtop. If you like, they can be used to integrate your furniture with your architecture.

2. Wainscoting

Wainscoting, Add Character to a New Build Home
Wainscoting, Add Character to a New Build Home

Wainscoting is a great way to add mouldings later if, like me, you regret not upgrading your cornices or skirting boards. Wainscoting, also known as beadboard (Australia), is a decorative moulding that’s used in coastal and heritage homes. It’s not functional, but it does look great.

Here are some examples of wainscoting that can be used in your newly built home. It’s not easy to install it yourself! It’s best to enlist the help of friends or family for the installation and measurement.

3. Select the right soft furnishings

Soft furnishings are anything that is made of a “soft” fabric, like linen, cotton, or cloth. Cushions, rugs, and throws are all included in this category. It’s important that you have a theme in mind when choosing these items for your home. Bright, cheerful colours can liven up an area but also make it seem juvenile. We want to avoid this in newly constructed homes.

Stick to jewel tones such as emerald and navy if you want to give your room more depth. Darker colors will bring intrigue into your space while lighter shades have the opposite effect.

Check and floral patterns are very popular right now and can add character to any home. Even though they may not be the perfect architectural solution, any little bit counts!

4. Paint

Hold your judgment for a minute! Although we all paid thousands to paint our new homes from top to bottom, I’m sure not everyone had the foresight or courage to request feature walls.

It has always been easy and quick to bring interest to a room by painting the walls or adding wallpaper. It should be the same in your new home! Spend a weekend painting your walls with a splash of color!

You can use a warmer white or cream instead of a white with a cool tone if you don’t like colour. Warmer colors tend to make your home look more lived in.

Popular paint companies like Dulux or British Paints release predictions for “color of the year”. These guides have always been helpful to me, at least for a start!

5. Lighting & Light Fixtures

Lighting & Light Fixtures, Add Character to a New Build Home
Lighting & Light Fixtures, Add Character to a New Build Home

A light fixture is another great way to bring a unique touch to your newly constructed home. Pendants are a great alternative to downlights.

It’s important to consider the shape and size of the room when choosing feature lighting for your new house. A giant chandelier will look out of place in a small, narrow house like mine. Some statement pendants above the benchtop can tie everything together.

The color of the lighting you use can make a HUGE difference in the way your room feels. White lighting can make a space feel cold and industrial. Consider changing your globes to yellow/white if you do not have the budget for new light fittings.

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