I’m going to start off this post with one of the most-used questions on Love Island this year. What’s your type? Nope, not when it comes to potential love interests, but when it comes to houses.

If you look at my past history, my type has been old, characterful houses. My first home after Uni was a Victorian semi in arty and boho Moseley village near Birmingham. It had been thoughtfully refurbished so was the best of both worlds: original floors and fireplaces, with trendy additions such as exposed brick walls, a roll top bath and even a diddy spiral staircase.

We then lived in a granny flat at the bottom of a STUNNING behemoth Victorian property on prestigious Gardyne Street in Bronte, Sydney. It had high vaulted ceilings and huge windows. (Ok so the granny flat didn’t – in fact at times it was the opposite of desirable – but I daydreamt daily that we lived in the property above).

Then, back home to Brum, and into a 1930s semi. It wasn’t glam but it did have some quirky little details such as stained glass windows by the front door, picture rails, and alcoves either side of the fireplace.

Along came our little girl Lyra and we decided to move again. This time, my head ruled my heart and we moved in to a oh-so practical but oh-so characterless new build. It’s taking me YONKS to add character but here are a few ideas I’ve applied, and also some that I’m hoping to do.

Admittedly a lot of the homes featured below are gorgeous period properties, but they’re a brill place to take inspiration from.

How to Add Character {Have a ‘Hero’ item of furniture}

I went to a friend’s new (new build) house the other day and she had THE most amazing midnight blue velvet sofa. When you’ve got plain walls a quirky item of furniture can work wonders at adding interest and character. I’m still lusting over Nat’s Cox and Cox rattan chair, and wondering if I can squeeze an alphabet chest of drawers into one of the kids’ rooms.

How to Add Character {Paint the Walls a Bold Dark Hue}

Dark walls work SO well in small spaces and rooms that lack character. They hide a multitude of sins: inky fingerprints, begone! And you can go to town on the accessories, thus adding loads more pizazz: metallic nick nacks look even more fancy when set against a dark hue, and I love the appearance of rainbow book spines against an inky wall.

How to Add Character {Add in Wall Panelling}

In my spare room I have propped free-standing decorative panels behind the bed (idea totes stolen from Charlotte’s old master bedroom). It makes the relatively low ceiling seem so much higher. And in their Cheltenham house, Adam and Lizzie went the whole hog by incorporating built in wardrobes and a wall-panelled dressing table area along one of the walls in their master bedroom.

How to Add Character {Wallpaper Those Walls}

Love it or loathe it, wallpaper has saved my house from being a collection of white boring boxy rooms. I still love the palm print wallpaper in our bedroom and the animal portraits that adorn Jenson’s nursery wall.

How to Add Character {Texture, Texture, Texture}

It’s all about texture. In our open-plan kitchen/lounge I was conscious that I needed to use a range of textures to stop the bright-white space from feeling clinical. A matt black lamp, snuggly blankets, jute rug and herringbone lampshade added warmth and interest. Charlene applied the same approach in her dining room. (That rug! Those bricks! LOVE.)

How to Add Character {Use Mirrors}

Recently-built abodes can be poky and dark. Maximise the light by adding in a collection of mirrors in different shapes and sizes to bounce the light around the room, a la rvk_loves and her blinkin’ beautiful kitchen.

How to Add Character {Create a Gallery Wall}

Gallery walls are a super-easy and affordable way to add oodles of charm. My new fave feature in our home is a gallery wall behind the TV in our bedroom. I’ve incorporated a Rifle Paper card, one of Lyra’s school photos, a stylish map and a couple of prints. It has brought the wall to life and camouflages the TV. If you are round my house any time soon I will probably drag you upstairs to show it off.

Did you move into a characterless space and if so, how have you managed to add character?

What’s been your history when it comes to homes? What’s your type? (Say in Dani Dyer cockney lilt).