Take a look around this sparkling new-build

If you're looking to transform a new-build house with paints and soft furnishings, you'll love this

Relocating from Manchester to the south of the country was an exciting yet apprehensive time for the owners. They had to move for work, but having resided in the north all their lives, they had no knowledge of Hertfordshire. Also, with a three-year-old daughter, a fresh start in a strange town was going to be a challenge.

Fortunately, making friends came easily, as children's chat tends to break the ice. It was after one such conversation with a local mum that the owners discovered their family's future home. 'We'd been renting for a few months before deciding to buy a place, but we had no idea where to settle,' they say. 'So when we heard a mum singing the praises of this area, we focused our search around here. We soon stumbled upon this amazing new-build property and bought it straight away.'

Freshly built, the house was pristine and smart. However, the rooms lacked colour and character, so the couple's first job was to replace the bland corn-yellow walls with a more chic and inviting shade. Armed with interior magazines and design blogs for inspiration, the owners tackled one room at a time to make the project manageable.

'Apart from sourcing window treatments, no jobs were urgent because the house was perfectly liveable,' say the owners. 'This meant we could take our time choosing fabrics and paint.' With just a blank canvas to work with, they admit they found it hard at first to visualise the rooms, but once they'd decided on a palette of modern greys, they were able to start enhancing the spaces.

Now that their interiors work is complete, the owners, who now have three children, are delighted with their new-build, which perfectly combines chic and stylish with homely and welcoming.

1/12 Exterior

red brick house

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

Now that their interiors work is complete, the owners, who now have three children, are delighted with their new-build, which perfectly combines chic and stylish with homely and welcoming.

2/12 Entrance hall

room with wooden door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

There's nothing prosaic about this entrance hall. The comfortably wide proportions lend it an airy feel, while the tall windows on either side of the door let light pour in. The space looks neutral, but it certainly doesn't lack interest with the textured wallpaper on one wall, bold mirror and stylish dark-wood furniture. Floor tiles are also a practical option, as footprints can be easily washed away.

Laura Ashley

3/12 Living room

living room with purple sofa set and fireplace

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

Initially, the owners had decorated the living room in a bright red, cream and black. 'We chose all the wrong colours, ones that didn't tie in with the rest of the house,' they say. 'It was a decorating disaster.' Uncertain how to improve it, they sought the help of an interior designer, whose vision transformed the space into a design triumph, with sumptuous fabrics and beautiful textures.

Sofa fabric
Villa Nova

4/12 Living room from other side

room with sofa set with cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

The huge ottoman is multifunctional: it's great for putting your feet up, but also acts as a table surface when a tray or wood block is used to steady your objects (vital if you want to ensure the beautiful fabric isn't damaged by coffee or tea spillages). Plush and eye-catching, the ottoman's secret is its colour - the paler lilac manages to simultaneously contrast with and complement the deeper purple of the sofa, thereby brightening the room.

Wall paint

5/12 Kitchen

kitchen with cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

In the kitchen, the owners chose a timeless neutral colour scheme to complement the existing handleless units, adding a sofa and rug by the bifold doors to create a relaxed feel. A variety of storage, including base units, wall cupboards and a capacious island, keep surfaces free of clutter, which means there's plenty of room to get on with playing chef.

Wine cooler and bar chairs
John Lewis

6/12 Dining area

dining area with white wall and white dining set

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

The furniture in the kitchen-diner has been chosen to work with the pale grey and white colour scheme so that it doesn't jar or cause a distraction. It's a sleek style that works equally well for grown-ups as youngsters - it looks pleasingly smart, but the tiled flooring makes it easy to clean when muddy-footed children wander in from the garden.

Dining chairs
John Lewis
Racing car

Cult Furniture

7/12 Children’s seating area

room with white window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

A children's eating area has been created in one corner of the large, open-plan kitchen-diner, which means the owners' children can enjoy their own sophisticated spot overlooking the garden (before running directly outside to play). Folding shutters provide a streamlined approach to window dressing that's unburdened by pattern or detailing.

Kid's chairs
Vita Interiors

8/12 Master bedroom

bedroom with printed wall and bed and bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

Everyone wants their bedroom to be a calm haven and this scheme achieves exactly that brief. The tree wallpaper adds a magical feel to the space, creating the ideal backdrop for the piles of cushions, soft bedding and pretty throw. It's worth noting that this wallpaper is the kind of print to choose if you're craving a feature wall, but are put off by an overly dominant design.

Wallpaper, bed and side table
Laura Ashley

9/12 Dressing room

changing room with chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

Having a separate space to store clothes away from your bedroom really helps to keep things tidy. In an ideal world, a bedroom should be largely uncluttered to make it as tranquil as possible for a good night's rest. Here, mirrored cupboard doors help to give the illusion of a wider floor area, while the chair provides a handy spot to fling outfits as you try them on.

Similar chair

10/12 Nursery

nursery area with soft toys

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

This space was formerly a guest bedroom, but when the owners' third child came along, it was turned into a nursery. As a result, it has retained its super-versatile pale-grey walls, but been given an update with pretty floral pink and stripey cushions, plus a blue and white striped rug. Redecorating a room in this way means it will be easy to repurpose the space again in future, if need be.

Storage unit
Kid's rocking chair
Vita interiors

11/12 Girl’s bedroom

kids bedroom with pink wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

When planning a child's bedroom, it's a good idea to choose a scheme that will work as they get older without the need for constant alterations. This classic pink room is a good example and will be suitable for many years to come. The furniture, in particular, has a fairly grown-up feel and is a neutral colour that will look good even if the wall paint is changed in future.

Wall paint

12/12 Bathroom

bathroom with bathtub and washbasin

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jonathan Gooch)

The bathroom was like this when the owners moved in, so they were lucky that they didn't have anything more to do than add some pretty accessories and smart toiletries. It's an unusually shaped space, which the bath takes advantage of to provide plenty of room for a luxuriant soak. Centrally placed taps are an added bonus, as it means there are no uncomfortable edges to lay your head or feet.

Similar tiles
Tile Giant

What a gorgeous family home!

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.