Can You Decorate Your New Build Home Straight Away?


Many new build homebuyers that have recently purchased ask this common question “now I’ve bought my new home can I redecorate?” The answer is “yes, you can decorate your new home!” A new house is highly desired because they offer the owner(s) a blank canvas and with no previous occupant’s sense of interior design in place, you can get on with the business of decorating from scratch without needing to make costly alterations.

How to Decorate a new home

For a new build home, it is important to focus on the most important jobs first which – in principle –means decorating each room in the right order. If you try to tackle the whole house as a single project, then the result will be a seemingly never-ending project which leaves nowhere fully completed. Prioritise the most important rooms to you and work on these first. Although this will differ from individual to individual, the most common way of doing things is to work on the functional rooms first, that is, the kitchen and the bathroom. Only after this should you progress to your living quarters and then the bedrooms. Once completed, other areas, like your corridors, hallways and box rooms should be decorated.


Each house or flat should have the basics in place for you to start working in the kitchen. This means running water and electrics will already be installed in your new build home. However, your chosen design for the kitchen may need some of the key elements – the cooker point, the sink and the work surfaces – to be rearranged for your design to work. If so, you will want to do this messy work before anything else is decorated in the house. It will normally mean tradespeople coming in and out so it is worth doing before laying down carpets or another flooring type.

When the layout is sorted, you should install your cabinets and work surfaces before dealing with wall treatments. The priority here is to focus on the splashbacks especially any tiling that will be completed. Finally, work on the remaining walls, either wallpapering or painting over the freshly skimmed walls. New build homes may have a little cracking that occurs as walls settle, but you can easily paper over this or fill them in once they have settled down. The last job in a newly built kitchen is the flooring which should be easy to wipe down.


Once your kitchen is decorated, the next most important room to work on is the bathroom. Housing developers will install a three piece suite for you, in most cases, but if you are changing any of them – for example, by installing a Jacuzzi – then carry out these structural works first. Like a kitchen, making the room ready for use means by tiling the walls and floor. Tiling is by far the most common way of decorating bathrooms in the UK with many decorative touches being available. For any walls that are not going to be tiled, such as those which are not next to the bath of shower enclosure, use a water-resistant paint which will help to keep your bathroom looking good and mould-free for years to come.

Many new homeowners will use the suite their home comes with, but you can add a personal touch by selecting your own fittings. Taps and shower controls make a big difference to the feel of a bathroom, so choose matching sets that fit in with the rest of the décor, for example, modern chrome, or brass Victorian. Vinyl floor coverings are extremely practical in bathrooms, but tiled floors offer a more classic look much favoured in modern times.

Living Quarters

With the functional rooms completed, move on to your lounge which will be the heart of the home. Wall window treatments are the key to getting your lounge looking right. Whether you opt for wallpaper or painted walls, go for a light tone which will make your lounge airy. Paint the skirting boards and architrave before moving on to the walls themselves. Add photos, pictures or house plants to add definition to this blank canvas. Window treatments, such as a pair of simple curtains can be in a complementary, but deeper, tone that should also reflect your choice of upholstery for the soft furnishings. After that, lay your carpet and the room will come together once you have arranged your furniture in the best layout.


These are the last rooms to decorate. Bedroom designs work best if the use of lighting is manipulated well. Install recessed lighting, if possible, or fit a dimmer switch if you are using a main pendant fitting. This will allow you to control the feel of the room. Paint before you lay the carpet so that the floor covering does not get damaged or stained when you are working on the ceiling or walls. Bedroom designs should be calming and help you to get to sleep so avoid overly busy decorative elements, unless this is a specific feature, such as when used for a single wall treatment.

If you’re looking for more advice, visit the specialist new houses website WhatHouse? – Hosts of the largest UK housebuilder awards.