Colour blocking and clever upcycles have added personality to this four bedroom new build

Having a blank canvas has allowed the owners of this four bedroom home to skip the stress of a renovation and jump straight into the fun of decorating
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  • When the owners moved into this four-bedroom detached new-build in Leicestershire it was a blank canvas with a neutral kitchen and bathroom chosen by the developers.

    Now it’s been decorated in a boho industrial style, with upcycled furniture and new flooring. Plenty of colour, botanical art prints and hanging plants have been added in most corners.

    The exterior

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    When the couple bought the property, the cap for the Government’s Help to Buy scheme was higher. This meant they only needed a first-time buyers mortgage for 75% of the value. An interest-free loan covered the rest.

    What’s more, homes over a certain square footage received upgrades as standard, including quartz kitchen worktops, a rainforest shower and better taps in the bathrooms.

    ‘Going from a two-bedroom to a four-bedroom house was a great opportunity to buy new furniture and replace things we weren’t keen on, like our old bed,’ explained the owners. ‘Most of our previous living room furniture is in the snug now, as we wanted to buy new sofas and furniture for the main living room at the rear.’

    The living room

    White living room with navy sofa, wood flooring, wood shelf, round nesting coffee tables, tassel cushions and throws, copper table lamp, rattan mirror

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    Pink and green are the threads that run through the house, except in the living room. Here, Cornforth White – a deeper, warmer grey by Farrow & Ball – adds to the cosiness and allows the new navy sofas from Next to pop. Although it faces north, it’s still super bright because of the French doors.

    To add to the boho rustic look, scaffold boards from B&Q stained in Ronseal Dark Oak make the perfect living room shelving idea. The mango wood cabinet was only £150 from Homesense. It makes a great drinks cabinet.

    The kitchen

    Cream shaker kitchen with chrome handles, pink pots, ceramic sink, chrome tap, herbs

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The white kitchen idea was the exception to the magnolia used in the rest of the house. The owners waited a few months before painting a green feature wall by the dining area to break things up. They then added pops of pink through accessories like the kettle and toaster.

    ‘We were happy with the cabinets the developers chose, but we might add an island or breakfast bar in the future,’ the owners told us.

    The dining area

    Green and white kitchen diner with cream kitchen cabinets, industrial dining table and bench, chrome tap, grey curtains, throw

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The industrial-style dining table and benches from Made are a great space saver, as they can be pulled out when people come round. The wall is painted in Valspar’s Secret Retreat.

    The utility room

    Green utility room with reclaimed wood shelf, sink, chrome tap, wooden sign

    The owners painted two walls with leftover paint from the bedroom as a budget utility room idea, and added shelves and hooks.

    The hallway

    White hallway entrance with green front door, industrial shelving unit, table lamp, round vase, rug runner, white painted staircase

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The shelving unit was originally in the office but it worked better as a hallway storage idea. The lamp is on a timer, so it gives a nice cosy ambience in the evenings.

    The landing

    White landing and staircase, gallery wall, white door

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    I’ve tried to go down the botanicals route with prints from Desenio in greens and warm oranges, but have used different frames so it looks less uniform,’ explains the owner.

    The home office

    White home office with orange colour blocking, industrial desk and black chair, rattan pendant light, orange rug

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The office at the front is south facing, so the owners wanted there to be a warm and inviting feel in there. They picked Tortoiseshell Specs by Valspar for the window wall, even though the rest of the house is mostly pink, green and grey.

    As we both work from home a few days a week, it’s nice to have a separate office space. You can just shut the door and work is a distant memory,’ says the owner.

    The master bedroom

    Green bedroom with copper bed frame, wood bedside table, grey table lamp, macrame plant hanger, rattan mirror, white bedding, pink throw

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The main bedroom at the rear is north facing and has an en suite shower room.

    The owners gleefully replaced their old black leather bed with this burnt copper frame from Made. The feature wall in Farrow & Ball’s Duck Green makes the room feel super cosy. 

    The guest bedroom

    Green bedroom with grey day bed, white shelf, pink throw, framed art prints

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    We didn’t do anything with this room for a while but then I painted a three-quarter wall and bought a sofa bed,’ says the owner. ‘In the future it might be a nursery, so we’ve kept it quite neutral.’

    Green painted arch behind wood console table, round mirror, hanging planter

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The painted arch behind the console in Wise Old Sage by Frenchic adds interest. Colour blocks and wall arches are a really easy way to add colour and interest without painting the whole room,’ advises the owner.

    The dressing room

    White dressing room, pink desk and velvet chair, vinyl wall stickers, pampas grass, mirror

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    A good tip is to use self-adhesive vinyl stickers, which just peel off and won’t damage the wall if you fancy a change. The owner used them to create a spotty feature wall in her dressing room, which only cost around £12.50 in total.

    The dressing table is a desk painted in Dusky Blush by Frenchic. ‘It’s the best of all the furniture paints I’ve tried,’ says the owner.

    Gallery wall on white background with wooden bench, cushions and rubber plant

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    The gallery wall features pale pastels with wooden frames and includes a few pieces with memories like a Galentine’s Day card from a friend. The macrame hanging shelf and plant add texture.

    For a gallery wall, I usually have a statement piece in the middle, then random pieces dotted around it so you can expand it as you go. The jumbled look works for me!’

    The bathroom

    White bathroom with pink colour blocking, pink vanity unit, white suite, macrame plant hanger

    Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee

    Adding hanging plants and accessories, like the bathmat from Pineapple Elephant, has made a standard new-build bathroom look miles better. The strip of Dusky Blush by Frenchic on the wall has made a huge difference.

    ‘Looking back, I wish I’d gone for a warmer tone on the flooring,’ reflects the owner. ‘For big decisions like that, it’s probably best to wait till you’ve painted walls and bought furniture first. I’d also recommend not rushing important buys like sofas. With a new build, you should wait till you can measure up properly and don’t go off the plans.’   

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