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How interior designers add character to new buildings

Discover how interior designers add character to new buildings. From unique architectural features to statement lighting, transform a blank canvas into a space with personality.

Photography by Ducksnest
How interior designers add character to new buildings
Clara Carlino de Paz
January 10, 2024

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As the world becomes more modernised and populations grow, new buildings are being constructed at an unprecedented rate. While this is great for the economy and provides much-needed housing and office space, it can also lead to a homogenised and sterile environment. 

This is where interior designers come in. With a couple of tricks and plenty of ingenuity, four grey walls can become a luxurious, earthy space. And they’re not gatekeeping their secrets any longer. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the ways professional interior designers add history, charm and fun to new builds. If you like interior design content tailored to your professional needs, you’ll find plenty more in our weekly newsletter.

01. Use unique materials

One way interior designers add character to new buildings is by using unique materials. Rather than relying on the same old materials, like new wood or polished metal, they may incorporate materials like concrete, zellij tiles, glass, or even reclaimed wood. These materials not only add visual interest but can also help tie the building to its environment and history. For example, using reclaimed wood from an old barn to build some beams can give a new building a rustic and charming feel.

Yellow en suite bathroom and bedroom with reclaimed wood flooring by Retrouvius

02. Go heavy on the art, textiles and frames

Another way interior designers add character to new buildings is by incorporating art, trinkets and sculptures. This can be anything from a bold piece of artwork to a vintage rug or unique lighting fixture. By adding these personal touches, spaces become less sterile and more inviting. These pieces can also act as conversation starters and can help create a sense of community within the building.

Wall design by Jeffrey Dungan, photography by Emily Followill

03. Invest in artisanship

Any interior designer will tell you that investing in artisanship is key for a unique, homely space. Handmade furniture, light fixtures, and textiles add character and originality. Combined with smart design, they create a harmonious and inviting atmosphere that makes a space feel like a home. Also, buying from local suppliers also supports small businesses and artisans, contributing to the local economy while enhancing the beauty of the space.

Max Rollitt showroom in Avington, Hampshire via Jenna Burlingham Gallery

04. Embrace greenery

A classic and well-reported way interior designers can add character to new buildings is by incorporating greenery. Whether it's a living wall, potted plants, or a small herb garden, adding greenery can help soften the space and make it feel more welcoming. Plants also have the added benefit of improving air quality and reducing stress levels. In addition, they can help connect the building to the natural environment outside, which can be especially important in urban areas.

Washroom nterior design by Max Rollit

05. Let lighting make a statement

Statement lighting is a powerful tool that can transform a space and elevate its design. The chandelier, pendant or sconce can add drama, depth, and texture to any room. It can also create a sense of ambiance and mood that complements the overall design of the space. If the new build allows, statement lighting can be used to highlight architectural features, such as a high ceiling or a unique wall texture. 

Floral table lamp by COX London

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