Living room of Royal Park View showhome

Buying a new house is a very exciting time, with specifications to be chosen and decisions to be made about each room’s future roles. Making the right choices can also improve your new property’s long-term appeal, ensuring fixtures and fittings don’t date too quickly or become unfit for purpose.

It’s invigorating to be free to style and use your new house in any way you wish, however, these are a few of our own tips for creating a home that will last the test of time…


Our first recommendation is to avoid anything described as ‘on-trend’. Fashions fade quickly, so stay away from 2018’s Pantone Colour of the Year – a vivid shade of ultraviolet. If you want to be fashionable beyond this season, grey has maintained its appeal for a while. Wall-mounted photo-frame collages have been popular for years, and wipe-clean wall paints are ideal for young families.

Choose soft pastel tones that won’t clash with other furnishings and accessories, like sofas or rugs. Bold wall colours restrict the choice of compatible furnishings, and even elements like picture frames can jar against a vivid feature wall. On the subject of walls, new homes need roughly a year for their fresh plasterwork to dry out. When weather permits, leave window vents open and avoid wall-mounting heavy items during your first months of occupancy. Don’t wallpaper straight away either; when you do, choose subtler patterns over bold stripes.


Flooring needs to be durable, and engineered laminates are commonly found in living rooms and home offices. Their toughened surfaces shrug off pets and playtime, while allergy triggers like dust have nowhere to hide. Solid wooden floors are a luxurious alternative and can be painted or stained for decorative effect, but they scratch and dent surprisingly easily. Floor tiles in kitchens and bathrooms should be textured to prevent slips and falls, though wall tiles can be smooth. Bold tile colours work well against white sanitary ware.

Carpet is a default option in bedrooms, but the importance of specifying premium underlay is often overlooked. A high-quality underlay will provide years of cushioned softness beneath any carpet, which shouldn’t be too pale if you have children or pets. Avoid patterned fabrics that’ll immediately look old-fashioned, and order five-metre rolls in larger rooms to avoid visible joins which could fray over time.


Unlike flooring, furniture can easily be replaced. However, don’t assume existing furnishings will work in your new property. Certain spaces require items with fairly specific dimensions or designs, such as full-height shelving units for airing cupboards. You’re free to fit red splash backs and copper ceiling lights in your new kitchen, but these options may date faster than more conventional choices. At least cupboard and drawer handles can be replaced.

Think about practicality when buying furniture. Solid wood is durable but heavy, whereas lightweight self-assembly units are only as good as the person who assembles them. Glass is difficult to keep clean, and open-fronted units leave every cable on display. Sideboards and drawer units are ideal for hiding clutter, helping to maintain a show home ambience long after you’ve settled into your new Cruden home…

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