The kitchen is the heart of every home, particularly in newly built houses where open-plan living areas shine as the star of the home’s design. The whole family spends time in the kitchen every day, so when it comes to the design of your kitchen it’s important to make this high traffic area functional, well organised, and stylish no matter the size. Take a look at these great kitchen ideas full of great features and clever designs!

Island Living

In open-plan kitchens, the island is the statement piece. It’s a gathering place for meals, entertaining, and general day-to-day activities, so why not make it stand out? This contrasting white and charcoal island provides space for seating and is complete with an under-bench shelf for additional storage. It’s a brilliant way to store cookbooks, wine, and style with decorative items to give your kitchen a unique feel.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is becoming increasingly popular in new home designs as people embrace the opportunity to show off unique kitchen pieces and personal items. If you have statement crockery and serving ware, cookbooks with beautiful graphics on them, or just want a place to put a vase of fresh flowers, including a section of open shelving in your kitchen is the perfect way to do it. It also allows for the changing of items each season to add character and warmth to the space.

Pendant Lights

In open-plan spaces, the kitchen is often only separated from the rest of the room by an island bench. Another way to create the illusion of the kitchen being its own space is to incorporate pendant lighting over the island. Installing two or three pendant lights will create another visual cue that draws the eye up and separates the kitchen is separate from the dining and living areas. They also serve as statement pieces, with more and more pendant lights designed to look like intricate pieces of art.

Design Themes

If your home has an overall design theme, using the kitchen to continue that theme will pull the open-plan space together by creating a cohesive style. For example, a coastal home’s interior style could include an island that is partially timber to echo the natural elements of the home’s environment.

Let There Be Light

Considering the placement of windows in a kitchen area is also important, particularly if the open-plan area is in the centre of the home or doesn’t catch the afternoon sun. Including skylights over the space will create a well-lit area throughout the day and if you opt for vaulted ceilings they add a unique design feature to the space.

Having a well-designed kitchen with distinct features and a functional layout will give the heart of your home a welcoming feel and create a space that’s perfect for entertaining and everyday family living. For more great kitchen inspiration ideas, head to the Hotondo Homes website to find your favourite style!

Choosing the right kitchen can be a daunting process.

Not only do you need to consider the size and functionality of the kitchen, but you also need to think about what fixtures, finishes and appliances will best suit.

As they say, the kitchen really is the heart of the home. It’s often a place where the family comes together to eat, entertain and catch-up.

A well designed and presented kitchen can add immense value to your home and make your time cooking more efficient and more enjoyable.





First and foremost, get the design right. If you’re a passionate cook be sure that your kitchen design has ample bench space. Some of this space will most likely be lost due to appliances like your toaster, coffee machine and food processor. However, try to allow for extra space for things like food preparation, entertaining friends and family and the addition of any decorative elements you might like to show off, like flowers.

The distance between the sink, stove and refrigerator is often referred to as the kitchen triangle. It’s important that this space works cohesively. For example, inconvenient swinging doors, narrow aisles or cut-off access can result in a space that is unsystematic.


Designing a kitchen that has sufficient storage is vital. Therefore, ensure your kitchen has a lot of overhead cupboard space. This makes things easy to locate and retrieve.

Open shelving is a big trend at the moment. This option can significantly decrease the amount of storage however.




Appliances are the workhorses of your kitchen. Choosing the right ones for your kitchen can be confusing due to the vast array of products on the market. Consider investing in products that have a high energy rating. These products will be better for the environment and are likely to save you money when it comes to your household bills.

Also think about the positioning of your appliances when you’re designing your new kitchen. For example, placing your refrigerator next to a warm appliance will result in the refrigerator drawing more power in order to keep cool.

When choosing your appliances also think about your cooking habits. For example, if you’re a keen baker you might require a built in double wall oven that will give you more space. If you eat out most nights you might only require a small fridge.

Having a gas or electric stove is purely down to personal preference. Traditionally, gas has been the most popular choice but the introduction of induction technology is quickly changing this mindset.





When choosing your finishes be sure to keep to the style of home you have in mind, thus flowing this through the entire home.

Choose a benchtop that’s durable and easy to clean. Granite, reconstituted stone and marble are great options, however they can be quite costly.  For a cheaper option consider a quality laminate with various edge finishes. This can give the effect of stone. Aim for light neutral colours that are soft on the eye.

When choosing kitchen cabinetry choose something that won’t date quickly. Look for light coloured cabinetry to keep the space open and light, using other things like wall hangings, flowers and lighting to create texture and decorative accents.



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