If you've just moved in to a new property and don't know where to start, then you've come to the right place. Whether it's a new build with blank walls that you need to fill with character, or a period property that requires a little TLC, then we have plenty ideas to help you design your home from scratch.
Work out your colour palette
It can be daunting to design the whole house in one go, so break it down by room. I would work out a core colour palette for the whole house for cohesion, and then tackle one room at a time. It could be as simple as choosing one colour in several tones, or a few colours in the same tone. We love Farrow & Ball’s ‘Timeless Neutrals’ palette.
Perhaps you're drawn to green tones. Try varying this shade throughout the home to reflect the different rooms. A soft, calming green will work well in the bedroom, while a deeper, rich green could work for the hallway and so on. Don't forget the light. Getting the colour right thoroughly depends on which aspect your room is facing. Paint reacts differently to light, and can vary wildly depending on whether it's a north facing or south facing room.
North and south facing rooms
As a rule, north facing rooms lack natural light for most of the day. As such, northern light tends to bring out the cooler tones in a colour. If you're using a light shade it's best to avoid anything with a grey or green base as it could end up feeling cold and dull. Yellow based colours or anything with warmth in it is best for north facing rooms. Alternatively, north facing rooms adapt well to darker colours that embrace the lack of light, giving the room a cocooning feel.
South facing rooms are the easiest to work with, as their southern light fills the room for most of the day. Using soft, pale tones is a great way to maximise the feeling of light and space. Pretty much anything goes in a south facing room.
From left to right: Farrow & Ball's Kittiwake, Farrow & Ball's Peignor on the walls and Railings on the kitchen units
East and west facing rooms
When decorating a west facing room, it's best to remember that the light will change throughout the day. Light in a west facing room is cooler in the morning, and brighter in the afternoon. Therefore a colour like Farrow & Ball's Light Blue will shift from blue to silver as the light changes throughout the day.
East facing rooms enjoy light in the morning, and a cooler more muted light in the evening. Consider what you will be using the room for and work from there. For example, if your kitchen is east facing then lively shades, like Breakfast Room Green will make the most of the morning sun.
Explore our range of Farrow & Ball paint colours here.
Add some character
New builds tend to lack character, as such I recommend introducing more woodwork. Panelling is a great way to liven up a plain wall and give it some depth. Decorative ceiling coving, deep architraves and skirting will all add another dimension to a space, providing character and a sense of cohesion when used throughout the home. If you're moving into an older property, then all that is needed is to add your own personality and design style. If you're unsure on what your design style is then take a look at our blog post to help you determine what that is. Art work, furniture, decorative objects and soft furnishings are the finishing touches that will represent your style.
Start with the rooms you use the most
When you design your home from scratch, it's best to start with the rooms you will be using the most. This might be the main sitting room and the principal bedroom. You will be thankful to have a cosy bedroom to retreat to after a long day's renovating. Invest well in the key pieces of your room, such as the bed and the sofa, as these are your main places of comfort and relaxation. It's worthwhile spending as much as you can afford on these, as they will hold their value and you won't have to replace them in a couple of year's time. If you're limited by budget, work out what pieces are a key priority to you. Don't forget we offer a 0% finance option to help you spread the cost.
Hire in a professional
It can be so much fun to design your home from scratch, but it can also be a daunting task too. If you find yourself mixed up over colours or stuck on choosing furniture, then you might like the help of an interior design professional. Hiring in expertise can save you time and money to get things right first time round. We have an experienced in-house design team who specialise in creating beautiful schemes for properties and rooms across the UK. From Cotswold homes to high-end London apartments and townhouses, our interior designers use their luxury design expertise to bring your interior desires to life. Sourcing furniture and accessories from a variety of designer brands can help take the headache away from sourcing it all yourself. Get in touch with our friendly team, if you think this is something you would like to explore.
Build it up over time
Once you've got the core design choices made, you can start to layer the decoration over time. The more time you spend in your new home, the more you'll get to know it. Once you've become used to how the light affects each room and how you use one room to the next will become more clear as time goes on. Then you can then start to add in your personality and function through the following elements:
- Window treatments
- Soft furnishings
- Storage solutions
- Wall art
- Accent furniture
- Splashes of colour
The main thing to remember is to have fun when you start to design your home from scratch. Create a design moodboard, go with you gut and seek help if you feel that you need it.