I’m not sure If I’ve ever mentioned any details on Rock My Style before, but my husband became a shareholder in a start up property development company a couple of years ago.

It has been such a success they are now in the process of securing additional investment funding to create, design and build their own range of new homes. It’s very exciting, and quite daunting – how do you as a house building company put your stamp on your homes and your brand?

I’ve told James that I would obviously ask our very stylish and helpful community for their advice and thoughts – new builds are a topic we’ve covered on numerous occasions and I know many of you will be able to let me know what it is that could be incorporated into a new build property, from floorplan to fixtures and fittings, that would significantly increase desirability.

For info: the average home will be in the region of 400/500K and 1500 square ft. This would be for a 4 bed/2 bath property on the M40/M5 corridor.

Rooms Created For The Way We Actually Live

On our very long and laborious journey towards purchasing our country cottage in Warwickshire (We completed on Monday! more coming soon!) meant we considered an array of potential abodes, from Grade II listed to builds so new they didn’t even have a roof on them, and everything in-between.

My main issue with the new builds was the inclusion of a sizeable formal dining room, whilst seemingly scrimping on space in the kitchen/diner area. Would you rather a larger kitchen/diner and a second reception room that was perhaps pitched as a study or playroom if you could?

I’m also a huge advocate of the separate utility room. And I don’t mean what is essentially a broom cupboard that happens to have a washing machine in it. I mean a space where you can actually hang clothes to dry and scrub the mud off your wellington boots.

If you are strapped for space in your utility this Laundry Ladder by Julu which I discovered at The Grand Designs Show Live is amazing by the way.

Fixtures And Fittings

On the subject of The Grand Designs show, I was very taken with the automatic boiling water tap by Zip. They are not new new and are almost prohibitively expensive, but they now also offer chilled and sparking options. They are considerably more cost effective in the long term than boiling a kettle and buying endless bottles of evian apparently. And the fact the water is so well filtered, means no more limescale EVER AGAIN.

I am completely sold. And have told James they would be an excellent addition to any new build kitchen.

An uber powerful shower and column radiators are also on the inclusion list. What else in terms of what some may perceive as luxurious rather than “necessity”, would you be impressed by with regards to “standard” fixtures and fittings?

I’ve also told James all of their kitchens should have a “pantry” cupboard – it would certainly be an addition that I would appreciate. Maybe that’s going way overboard. Or perhaps it would be a key selling tool?

I haven’t even began to consider flooring. SO much choice.

The Right Lighting

I don’t even know where to start with this in terms of styling. But clever (and concealed where possible) plug sockets for lamps and sufficient lighting is so important.

What would you be looking for in a brand new kitchen? multiple hanging pendants? spotlights? Most new builds we viewed had a ceiling fixture in the middle of each room and not a lot else. I’m not a fan.

The Show Home Decor

Is it me or do the vast majority of show homes seem to incorporate a vast array of outlandish wallpapers, very plastic looking florals, peculiar cut outs of couples from adverts in magazines placed in frames and generally just too much “stuff”?

Is it important that perhaps each room should have a slightly different style so that more potential buyers can be inspired? Minimal masculinity in the bedroom and an opulent living room with all sorts of luxe textures and a velvet chaise lounge for example. (Ahem, I am currently coveting the latter).

This feature could become super long, so I’ll finish here and tell you how much I would appreciate your wisdom in the comments box below. My brain is completely fried what with considering how to sympathetically decorate and renovate our recent Victorian purchase and this very different project of James’s.

Thanks in advance lovely people!

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