Kelly Hoppen explains what NOT to do when decorating a new-build home

It's all too easy to fall into these common decorating traps
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  • Aah, moving into a new-build home can be so satisfying. Everything is brand new and clean. The walls are freshly plastered and painted. Everything works as it should and it’s a perfect blank canvas for you to put your stamp on.

    That said, decorating a new build also throws up challenges. For example, a lack of traditional features, such as a fireplace or ornate plasterwork. Or a challenging open-plan layout where it’s hard to know what goes where.

    Fortunately for all of us, Queen of Decorating Kelly Hoppen was on our screens on Thursday, with lots of tips on how to decorate a new build.

    More top tips: 10 easy ideas to redecorate homes – without spending a penny!

    Talking to This Morning’s Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, she was full advice for three homeowners in need…

    Kelly Hoppen on how to decorate a new build

    1. Don’t put all your furniture up against the walls

    Kelly-Hoppen-explains-what-NOT-to-do-when-decorating-a-new-build-walls

    Image credit: Joanna Henderson Styling: Gemma Gear

    Kelly’s first caller is Anna, who doesn’t know what to do with her new-build in Lincolnshire ‘The walls are white, and we’ve not really done much in the lounge,’ Anna explains.

    ‘All your furniture is placed very close to the walls, like you’re almost a bit scared to bring it out,’ says Kelly. ‘To make the room feel much cosier, what you need to do is move your longer sofa away from the wall, and put a console or a shelf behind it and bring the sofa in.’

    ‘Bring your other sofa in as well, so you are creating seating area.’ Kelly also suggests putting art above the new console table.

    2. Don’t put your coffee table too close to the TV

    Kelly spots that two of her callers have their coffee tables closer to their TVs than their sofas. Of course, it’s much more helpful to have the table close to your sofa, so you can rest drinks, magazines, books and your remotes on the top.

    3. Add a feature wall behind the TV

    Kelly-Hoppen-explains-what-NOT-to-do-when-decorating-a-new-build-TV

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    It can be tempting to stick with your perfectly painted white walls, which will make your room feel fresh and bright. But Kelly believes that’s playing it too safe.

    ‘Paint the wall behind where the television is, or put some wallpaper up,’ she advises both Kelly and her next caller, Martin.

    We can see her logic – so many of us have rather TVs these days, and a dramatic feature wall is going to lessen the impact of the screen on your decor. Like this example made of wood pallets, above.

    Related: Feature wall ideas – make a serious style statement with wallpaper, paint and more

    ‘Do something quite dramatic – there are so many amazing wallpapers that you can get, or just paint it a really nice anthracite grey, even,’ Kelly goes on. The latter is a great option if you’re not really into bold colour statements, like Martin.

    ‘We’re not big fans of colour,’ he replies. ‘I’m a man after your own heart Kelly – I know you like monochrome and so do I.’

    If you are creating a feature wall, Kelly also advises keeping it clear of shelves or pictures, for a smarter finish.

    4. Use mirrors strategically

    New builds often get a bad reputation for having rooms that are smaller than older properties. So Kelly is an advocate of using large mirrors to make a room look bigger. In Anna’s home, she suggests placing the mirror on the wall opposite the French doors that lead onto the garden.

    This reflects the garden – and more light – into the space.

    5. Keep the curtains simple

    Kelly-Hoppen-explains-what-NOT-to-do-when-decorating-a-new-build

    image credit: Simon Whitmore

    This tip could to apply to any home, new-build or otherwise. Kelly recommends ‘removing any tie-backs from curtains and just having them straight. This is a more modern look,’ she explains.

    Related: Thinking of buying a new build? These 12 mistakes could cost you £5,000

    Other top tips Kelly imparts during the short segment are to make sure you have enough storage to keep clutter levels down, and to paint the interior side of your front door. This can be especially effective where your door opens straight into a living room, offering a stylish and fun pop of colour.

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