How to make a new home feel like it's always been yours

Meadowside show home

There’s something quite other-worldly about opening the door to a brand-new home and walking in for the first time. Every surface is clean and smooth, the woodwork is freshly glossed, and appliances have a sheen that even the best cleaners can’t recapture. Yet as you stand in the living room holding unfamiliar housekeys, your brand-new home could also feel slightly alien. There are no signs of life along its blank walls, and no belongings on those empty worktops and windowsills.

Making a home feel like yours is an organic process that generally takes time, but there are a few shortcuts that’ll quickly stamp your personality onto it…


Neutral décor is standard in any new house, but you can inject personality almost overnight. Skimmed plasterboard walls may need time to dry out before bolting a heavy TV to them, but pictures can be suspended from a nail straight away. Equally, buyers are often advised not to wallpaper within a year of moving in, to allow natural settlement to occur, though there’s nothing to stop you painting a feature wall before the removal van arrives. This is a key advantage of overlapping possession of existing and new homes; other benefits include less frenetic furniture removal, and the chance to thoroughly clean your old place.

Window coverings

Bare windows feel slightly unsettling, especially at night. Putting up curtain rails should be a high priority after moving in, though temporary blinds don’t require any drilling to fit and may be a good short-term option. Other types of blinds generally require specialist installation, so ask if you can get the windows measured prior to taking ownership, and schedule fitting for the first week. Perfect Fit blinds blend into French doors, while vertical blinds with no bottom chain are great for houses with children or pets. Bottom-up blinds work well on taller windows and roller blinds add style to utilities and WCs, since they come in vibrant colours and patterns.


New floors can seem a touch impersonal when they’re first fitted. Give carpets an extensive vacuum to pull out as many loose fibres as possible, and thoroughly mop laminate flooring and vinyl, as a fine layer of dust tends to settle after the fitters have loaded their hammers into the van. Break up expanses of bare flooring with rugs, bathmats and doormats; the latter are vital for either side of your front door. Consider floor-standing ornaments like vases or coat racks, while a small hallway console table with pull-out baskets can store everything from hats and shoes to keys and post.


It’s possible to inject personality into a bare room within minutes through simple additions like ceiling lampshades, over-door coat hooks and ornaments. These can be purchased in advance, ready for unboxing after you move in. Deploy ready-made tricks in outdoor spaces as well, where a couple of pre-filled planters will instantly add colour and character to a turfed lawn. Invest in a house number plaque, which is useful if your street and postcode aren’t universally recognised by delivery drivers and sat-nav systems. Having a ready-made set of directions on hand also helps to establish a sense of permanence in a new estate.

And remember, in amongst everything that needs done, try to take some time out to enjoy your new home!

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