Most of us assume that renovating our kitchens will cost us the earth.

That doesn’t have to be true. It’s highly possible to give your kitchen a fresh new look on a smaller budget.

Hotondo Homes knows how

We were delighted recently to be asked to contribute to a blog post about ways to renovate your kitchen on a budget. The post, for a leading loan comparison site RateCity, asked some of Australia’s top builders and suppliers to offer advice on kitchen renovations without involving a hefty price tag. Check it out for more inspiration and great advice: ‘Save on Your Mortgage and Update Your Kitchen’.

The kitchen should be one of your first ports of call when it comes to home renovation. It is a highly visible area that receives a lot of traffic, and is a major selling point. Most builders will agree that this is one of the areas that will add the most value to your property. Here are some of our tips for achieving maximum effects with minimum spend.

The power of paint

Give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint! People often underestimate this, but it’s amazing how effective it can be in giving a room an updated feel. Light, contemporary colours are a good choice as they will add a feeling of space and give your kitchen a de-cluttered look. Colours that are too bold could turn potential buyers off when it comes to resale.

kitchen makeover

Give your cabinets some TLC

If your existing cabinetry is in good condition, see how much you can change the appearance of your kitchen by simply painting the doors and changing the handles. Alternatively, if you really want a more drastic change, that doesn’t mean you need to spend on completely new cabinets. Why not reface them instead? This means you keep the interior parts of your existing cabinets and have new doors and drawer fronts put on. It’s a much cheaper way of achieving a whole new look.

Spend on the essentials

Saving money elsewhere in your kitchen will enable you to devote most of your budget to the essentials when it comes to refurbishing. The most visible items in the kitchen are the benchtops and splashbacks. Here is where you have the most power to update the appearance of your room, so by focusing your budget you can achieve a kitchen makeover that looks luxurious and will last for many years to come.

For more information on a kitchen makeover for your home, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder today!

The living room is a part of the central hub of your home.

It is a space for people to relax and enjoy, entertain guests or spend time together as a family. Check out some of our favourite interiors for some living room inspiration!


Living room inspiration

THE BEACH LOOK: For a coastal feel, try light, bright colours like white, grey and teal. Finish it off with a beautiful rug and you will have the perfect space to sit and enjoy the views!


Living room inspiration

THE DARING STYLE: Be daring and stand out from the crowd with a bold colour like this yellow. Next to the dark blue of the couch, yellow really pops and creates a fun living space. Be careful not to go overboard though, it can become overbearing if not handled correctly.




Living room inspiration

A CLASSY TOUCH: For elegant appeal, try pastel colours on a neutral background. The chandelier and curtains add a touch of class, as does the abundance of cushions on the couches.


Living room inspiration

BEAUTIFULLY CONTEMPORARY: This living room offers modern appeal. The careful white borders of the photos, window and skirting all stand out against the feature wall, creating clean, neat lines. The lowset couch and matching cushions finish off the look.


Living room inspiration

THE UNDECIDED: A completely neutral pallet works well for the undecided. The white couch is a stunning addition that helps brighten the room, and the coffee table complements the kitchen island bench, tying the whole area together.


Living room inspiration

THE WILD APPEAL: Go bold with a distinctive pattern that continues through the living room. The lamp shade, cushions and light shade are enough to give this living room a great feel, without the pattern becoming overpowering.


For more living room inspiration, visit hotondo.com.au. You can also check out our Instagram page, or our Pinterest page!

Finally having the chance to decorate your own home is always an exciting experience.

As much as we try though, we can’t all be the next Martha Stewart. It is more than likely at one point or another we will fall victim to some common home decorating mistakes.

To help protect you and your home from the worst of it, we have listed the eight most common home decorating mistakes we can think of, and the best ways to avoid them. Read on to keep you, your home, and the world of interior design happy.


That zebra print pillow on your couch? Fine. That same zebra print on your pillows, on your couch, on the rug, the lampshades, the chairs… it may be a little too much.

Keep intense colours and patterns to a minimum so you don’t overpower the room. You are far better off having a single item that stands out rather than smothering the space in matching decor. The same goes for more neutral pieces. You will want to add something with a different texture or colour to help break things up, otherwise you will end up with a bland landscape.

Mixing things up a bit will help draw the eye and keep your room looking exciting.

home decorating mistakes



People will often choose a rug too small for their living room which is barely big enough for their coffee table. This can actually make the space look smaller and your furniture disproportionate. Instead, choose a rug that is large enough for all of your furniture to be touching it – even if it is just the front legs. This helps unify the space and creates a sense of balance


Possibly the most common home decorating mistake, pushing all your furniture up against the wall will NOT create more space. It actually creates distance between people in spaces which should be more intimate, and can make a room appear empty.

Give your furniture some breathing room, and keep them off the walls. In particular, your couches should be kept adjacent to one another to establish a feeling of inclusion.


Curtains, shutters, blinds… the possibilities are endless. Window coverings can help add character and personality to a room and really complete a look, so don’t neglect them, embrace them!

If you aren’t sure what you are after, try light, neutral coloured curtains. Shutters are also a very popular choice these days and can create a French provincial look or a more updated modern impression.

home decorating mistakes



We all know that a white couch can turn an average lounge into an incredible one. We also know the dangers of owning a spill-prone and dirt-attracting piece of furniture.

For a full rundown of the pros and cons of a white couch, read our blog post on ‘Should you buy a white couch?


At the end of the day, practicality in your home should win every time. If you cannot relax/sit/or even use the item, chances are you will end up hating it. So let go of the beauty, and find an item that you can love AND use.


Lighting is a key part of creating the ambience of your room. There should always be a mixture of lighting in every room to help provide light for every occasion.

Mix overhead lights with table or floor lamps to create pools of light that can create intimacy and increase the functionality of the room.

Our Jagera 250 utilises down lights, a lamp and fireplace for a cosy look.

home decorating mistakes



A cohesive flow from room to room is important in interior design, especially these days while open-plan living is popular. Bringing in too many different styles can appear confusing and cluttered.

Try choosing a fairly neutral palette, and changing a few small pieces from room to room for something a bit different.


What home decorating mistakes can you think of? Let us know in the comments!

Tips and tricks for creating a home office that works.

If your job allows you the flexibility to telecommute, or if you’re working as a freelancer from home, you may find yourself needing a home office.

When working from home there needs to be a fine balance where the space is professional enough for you to hold client meetings in, yet relaxed enough so you don’t feel drained and fatigued when entering the room.

Read our tips below to creating a home office that works for you.

Choosing the right colours: Colours can make or break a space. Whether your home office is simply a corner in your bedroom or a fully enclosed room, choosing the right colours is important. Avoid dark shades and instead opt for whites and creams to keep the space looking fresh and clean rather than dark and dingy. Your walls should be painted a positive, light conducting shade, and save the darker colours for your necessary items like a computer, desk or chair.



Let’s talk furniture: If you want to work hard, your furniture needs to have a professional air about it. If you plan to spend a significant amount of time stooped over a computer screen, you may want to look at adjustable chairs so that your neck and back remain in good shape. Invest in a quality desk with plenty of storage and make sure your computer is up-to-date.


Home design: Incorporating a study nook into a home is an increasingly popular trend in home design. If you don’t want to commit to a whole room, a study nook is a great compromise. Alternatively, loft designs offer a flexible space that can easily be converted into a private home office. The Highlander 329 is a loft design with plenty of space to create your own office or studio.


creating a home office


Let there be light: Ventilation is one of the prime considerations in a home office. Ensure that your working area gets plenty of sunlight, and whenever possible work using only natural light. You will feel better for it, plus you may notice a reduction in your electricity bill!


Use space wisely: Assuming that you’re going to have to contend with a small work space, use the space wisely. Avoid clunky furniture like a traditional work table and large work chair. Look at a wall mounted, foldout table and an ergonomic chair. Say no to cupboards and experiment with a basket system for your files and wall-mounted shelves with bookends for books, files and reading material storage. Any display can be wall mounted, instead of being ensconced in cabinets. Check out the Jagera 250, which cleverly converts a bedroom to a study and back again!

creating a home officecreating a home office


Creating a home office that works for you can take time, but hitting the right balance will help ensure productivity and efficiency.

What are some of your tips for creating a home office? Let us know in the comments!

This was a guest post by The Wadhwa Group.

Learn how to brighten dark interiors of your home with these simple tips.

Interior design featuring dark colours looks classy and elegant. Using a base colour like brown, black or grey will add an instant modern touch to your home and can help create a unique and contemporary space.

However, if this kind of colour scheme is not done correctly, it can make a room look small and dingy. The best and easiest way to avoid this is to increase the amount of light the room receives. There are a number of ways you can do this and we have listed some of the best. (more…)

Unfortunately it almost always happens – the baby blue or pale pink walls you painstakingly chose for your child will one day become their own personal nightmare. It does not matter how much care or thought you put into that jungle-themed nursery or brightly coloured kids room, it will inevitably become a source of embarrassment for your growing teenager.
Converting a children’s bedroom for a teenager may seem like a long process, but with a little bit of forward-thinking you can reuse, repaint and refurnish the entire room, saving you time and money in the long-run.


Painting the walls a beautiful white, creamy ivory, soft beige or light grey will suit both children and teenagers. If you can’t resist adding a bit of colour, consider a single feature wall which can be changed as the child grows. It is less expensive to repaint one wall, and allows for a little more creativity without costing you a fortune.walls


Hardwood floors are perfect for children and teenagers alike. It is easy and inexpensive to warm up the room with a lovely rug, which can be purchased in bright, bold colours for kids and then changed to a neutral colour for teenagers.


If you choose carefully, children’s furniture can be used or altered for a teenager. Look for furniture that is sturdy, durable and simple. Bedside tables only require a coat of paint or new handles for an instant update. A cosy mother’s chair will look fresh with new upholstery to create a new reading nook, and lampshades can be switched to more sophisticated colours or shapes.

Replacing the bed however is almost unavoidable. When the time comes, purchase a large, simple frame or even a box spring bed that will remain timeless and can be used by a teenager well into their adult years.


Linen has a shelf-life, so it is the perfect outlet to let your son or daughter have some input into their bedroom without the fear of it being permanent. Colourful bed-spreads and plenty of cushions add character to a room, as does the colour and texture of your curtains which can be picked up fairly cheaply.

Black and white framed photographs which can be changed as the children grow are another fantastic way to decorate the room for the long-term. Frames can also be replaced with posters or framed memorabilia without adding new holes to your wall.


For more information on building a home for a growing family, speak to your local Hotondo Homes builder here.