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Houses will always reflect our personal taste first, but there’s no denying current design trends influence the choices we make when designing and decorating the space we call home, whether we realise it or not. While it’s easy to embrace a trend wholeheartedly, it’s always good to remember to choose styles that will remain somewhat timeless so your home doesn’t feel dated in a few short years once trends change. With that in mind, 2018 ushers in a number of new and exciting design trends for the home, in both building design and interior styling.

Metallics

Design trends Dorf
Over the last few years, copper has been king. However, industry experts are indicating that brass is quickly becoming a firm favourite, classic silver is returning, and black metal is increasingly being chosen as an eye-catching feature. If you’re building or renovating, consider your bathroom and kitchen fittings – silver will add a touch of metallic without being too showy, whereas brass is a bolder choice. Or make a spectacular statement with black metal – this Dorf bathroom ticks all the boxes with statement black metal taps and shower head, brass accessories, and a touch of greenery to soften the aesthetic.

Organic Materials

Organic materials Design Trends
Sustainability is always at the forefront of home design these days, and that’s now flowing through into interior spaces as well. Trends are showing a return to organic, rustic materials such as exposed brick, stone, and concrete, as well as natural timbers. Incorporating these into your home helps reconnect the space back to the environment and lends itself to a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Try taking inspiration from environmental spaces like the outback or the bush by using earthy greens, burnt orange, or dusty blue to imitate the great outdoor.

 

Marble bench design trends

Marble bench design trends
Additionally, terrazzo marble is earmarked for a big comeback this year, replacing the popular geometric tiles and bone tile inlays from the last few years, adding to the throwback to nature in homes. Using marble in your kitchen or bathroom creates an effortlessly chic look that needs no embellishment – the style speaks for itself and will hold up under the everyday use of high traffic areas. The Laminex Glamour range offers a beautiful selection of marble options that are understated and elegant, allowing you to add statement accessories that will pull the style together seamlessly.

Back to Black

Black kitchen design trends
White kitchens will always be appealing to the eye, but they’re being sidelined for the complete opposite. Black kitchens are a trend on the up and up this year, as people choose dark charcoal or true black to create a memorable and chic kitchen area. Cabinets and breakfast bars can be black to create a bold effect, with contrasting benchtops in neutral tones to offset the colour. Add in brightly coloured toasters, vases, and other benchtop items to make the space really pop!

Monochrome Spaces

Neutral lounge design trends
Tone on tone continues to be a popular design trend when it comes to interior styling. It’s not only timeless, it also creates a very serene, relaxed atmosphere that won’t date. Consider neutral paint colours and accessories to give your home an energy that flows gently and calmly from room to room, and add a little bit of colour with a statement couch or armchairs in the lounge room, or bright bed linen to break up the spaces and create areas that subtly draw the eye in.

When incorporating design trends into your home, the most important thing to remember is to use what works for you and your family, with a focus on trends that will remain timeless. While it’s tempting to inject new life into every corner of your home, focus on smaller areas and accent pieces that can be updated with a minimum of expense, rather than redecorating entire rooms from scratch.

For more inspiration and design trends, have a look at our wide range of stylish display homes in each state via our website.

Spring is known as the season to start fresh, bring out the colours and say goodbye to the cold weather. As we head into the warmer months of the year, Spring provides the best time to clean and refresh your home. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of cleaning tips to help you get your home in tip-top shape for the new season…

As the kitchen is one of the main areas of the home, think about:

Oven

As one of your most used appliances, the oven will always be something that needs a good cleaning. But giving your oven a super scrub between seasons is a great way to keep it in top condition and even extend its life!

Cupboards

The cupboard can often be forgotten when cleaning the kitchen. It’s not until you start digging deep that you find the outdated canned food, packets or open boxes that have been living on your shelves. There couldn’t be anything worse than having a snack and ending up sick because the due date was 2015! So, be sure to clean your cupboards every six months to check the dates, that way you can utilise the food before it’s outdated.

A busy traffic area, the living rooms are another space that will need a bit of attention. Areas to think about include…

Furniture

Dust, food and small objects can get lost between the cushions or under the couch. Take this opportunity to get into those difficult little spots. Give your home a fung shui and clean under and in-between everything. You’d be amazed at some of the things you could find so grab the vacuum and start cleaning – just be sure you’re not vacuuming anything valuable.

Your bedroom tends to be one of the less messy areas of the home – unless you’re a teenager or a child! But it also provides the biggest opportunity to clean.

spring

Wardrobe

With warmer weather comes cooler clothing. It’s time to pull out all your clothes and reorganise based on the season. With winter behind us, pack away those heavy jackets or pants and pull out your shorts and dresses. But remember, like any season there are colder days so keep some key essentials like your favourite jeans and jumpers available.

 The hallway and general living spaces have spots that are often overlooked. Think about…

Skirting boards & walls

Skirting boards and walls don’t take very long to become dusty or dirty. Even though you may vacuum once a week and do regular cleaning, these small areas are often forgotten. Pull out the duster, a cloth or even the vacuum and give these areas a clean every six months – you’ll notice a difference.

Steam the floors

Floors get dirty, it’s a simple fact, especially during winter when it’s muddy or raining outside. Even if you take your shoes off outside or at the front door, dirt can still get into the house. Vacuuming the home can help clean this, but getting a steam clean once or twice a year can really make your carpet look brand new!

Don’t forget, just as your interior needs cleaning, so does your exterior. Think about…

spring

Power Wash

Grab the hose and get washing! Due to the weather and outdoor environment, walls and windows of your home get quite dirty throughout the year. Spend some of your day with the hose outside and a bucket and give everything a wash. Weather can stain bricks and make them look completely different to when you first moved in, by giving them a power wash it will get rid of the grime – leaving them looking nice and clean!

Alfresco furniture

If you’re going to truly take advantage of the warmer season, there’s no doubt that you’ll be using your alfresco area. Pull out all your furniture and clean them down, they will most likely be covered in webs or dirt from the outdoor environment. Cleaning your furniture will make guests feel more comfortable seating outside – without the worry of critters biting!

It might even be worth adding a fresh coat of varnish to make the deck look new!

 

Have your own spring cleaning secrets? Let us know in the comments!

For more advice and tips, see our other blogs here: www.hotondo.com.au/blog

Deciding on the best lighting for your home is important in creating the right ambiance for each room. Whether its creating a warm-toned vibe within the lounge room, or having plenty of down-lights in the kitchen whilst you’re cooking for the family, lighting is integral to setting the tone. To give you some ideas we’ve compiled a number of tips for you when deciding on the best lighting…

best lighting

Entry to the Home

This is the first area you walk into after a long day’s work, so it sets the tone for the other rooms of the home. A great idea for this area is to have warm-toned lighting including pendant lights or down-lights. Down-lights are great if you have a tiled entrance and create a luxurious style to the entry, they’re also very energy efficient. On the other hand, if you like to accentuate painting or photos on the walls of your opening area accent lighting would suit best. This draws the eyes to the area that is lit. In order for this type of lighting to work best, its recommended that the accent lighting is three times as bright as the general lighting in the room.

lounge_hume263

Living Area

The living area lighting can depend on what the home owners spend their time doing most in the area. Perhaps you are a movie buff and use the living area for relaxing after a long day. Therefore, in this room you might have a drop-down light as the lighting isn’t too important when doing simple tasks like changing the channel!

 

kitchen_arlie242

Kitchen

The kitchen however is different to the living spaces in that it’s a central area of the home where people gather. That means it’s important to have decent task lighting in here while you cook. Down-lights or under-cabinet lights are a great option here. Another thing to consider is whether you have children that might spend time studying at the breakfast bar, meaning that it would be a great idea to have lighting over that area so that these tasks can be performed. Incorporating pendant lights help to create an aesthetic appeal to this kitchen when placed over island benches.

 

best lighting

Bedrooms

What do you spend your time doing most in the bedroom? Sleeping, so heaps of lighting may not be important. You might simply read a book or look over documents on your tech devices while in your bedroom, therefore, the best lighting in the room would be lamps.

best lighting

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are a place where you go get glammed up for work, or have a relaxing bubble bath after putting the kids to bed. Accent lighting would be perfect in this space over the mirrors as it creates a great amount of lighting for getting ready especially when applying makeup. Other than accent lighting, ambient lighting is great to create enough brightness while doing simple tasks and would also be great for the laundry.

In the end the lighting depends on your personal preference. However, you don’t want your house looking like a Christmas tree from the outside from bright lighting in every room! Whatever your choice it should be suited to the needs of your family and what you do in each room. This way you will create the best lighting. Just remember, you can always add more lighting to a room through standing lamps or table lamps, but it’s harder to lower the lighting. Unless you have light dimmers… then there’s no need to worry!

Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!

For more information on the display home images used head to our website below to find out more:
hotondo.com.au

What is the best home design trend at the moment?

Are you after a new home, but not sure what to look for in a floor plan? Never fear, we asked nine of our builders right across the country what their best design trend is in a home, and here are their responses.


Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

A butler’s pantry is still one of the most highly requested items, and now they are becoming really functional rooms fitted out with full sinks, a dishwasher, fridge and other facilities such as an additional oven or coffee machines. The traditional kitchen space then takes on a minimalist feel that is clear and uncluttered, where family and friends gather around.

design trend

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

The most popular trend we are seeing at the moment is the open-plan living with higher ceilings. This design is great for families who want to spend time together but not necessarily crammed next to each other.

Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

This depends on the clientele, but a walk-in-pantry is often the most popular item in the home. A large alfresco that has outdoor kitchen is also rising in popularity – people love indoor/outdoor living!

design trend

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW

Our customers are looking for luxury in their bathrooms with floor to ceiling tiles, feature niches and walk-in showers.

design trend

Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

Open-plan living definitely, but it is important to have other flexible spaces to suit changing family conditions. Having a versatile home is a smart move, you often don’t know what the future holds.

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

Open-plan living, nearly every plan these days has open-plan living and most individuals looking to build want the large open spaces with higher ceilings. It creates the illusion of space, even if the home is on the smaller side.

design trend

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

Block widths that allow a wider garage. Whether it is adding 500mm for some shelving or making a three-car garage for storage of a boat, it seems to be something that lots of people try to make work in their budgets.

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW 

Open plan living for sure. Many of our clients love a home where the bedrooms are separate and private, but the kitchen and living – linking to the alfresco – can become an entertainer’s dream!

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

The most popular trend we are seeing at the moment is a walk-in-pantry or butler’s pantry. The kitchen is the heart of the home and clients want to add a touch of luxury to it wherever possible!

hotondo.com.au

Hotondo Homes latest display home encompasses everything a lover of a coastal region could ask for.

From the stunning polished concrete floors to the beautiful blue, white and wooden accents, it’s the perfect beach home that is truly reminiscent of the sea.

Starting in the kitchen, the beautiful lightwood benchtop teamed with white cabinetry instantly promotes an airiness, while still retaining a cosy charm. With plenty of bench space and a walk-in-pantry, the kitchen would be a hit for any budding master chef.

coastalcoastal coastal

 

The living space incorporates the wooden look loved by all beach homes on another level. The stunning coffee table acts as a centrepiece, and the patterned armchairs add layer and depth to the space. Topped off with some greenery and ocean-inspired artwork, you’ll feel like you are right on the shoreline of the beach!

 

coastal

 

Nothing screams coastal more than light blue tiles! Following the style of the kitchen, the ensuite utilises more white and wooden textures. The stand-out feature is the double waterfall shower for a touch of luxury!

 

coastalcoastalcoastal

 

To do a coastal home right, you need to include an incredible alfresco to complete the indoor/outdoor experience. With large stacker doors, you’ll feel as though you are inside and outside simultaneously. Nautical stripes and a plunge pool complete the feel.

 

coastalcoastal

 

We couldn’t choose a favourite bedroom, so we included them all! Each one encapsulates the beachy-style we love, and utilises the best colours and styles for the look. The master bedroom opens directly to the backyard, another example of a beautiful combination of indoor and outdoor living.

 

coastal coastal coastal coastal

 

The Hume 244 coastal home is on display in Port Macquarie, New South Wales. You can view more information on it here, or check the home our using our 3D Explore tool.

To view Hotondo Homes full range of designs, visit our website at hotondo.com.au

Hotondo Homes’ three unique Forever Ranges offer something for everyone. Whether you’re building your very first home, creating your ultimate dream home, downsizing from your current home or even expanding your property portfolio with an investment, the Forever Ranges will have something to suit.

The Forever Ranges have been created to help you find your dream design with ease! Check out our favourite homes from each range below and click on the floor plans for more information.

Forever Retreat

The Forever Retreat Range is the perfect choice for those taking the first steps in their building journey. These designs feature everything you could want in your new home.

Gone are the days when first home buyers were forced to sacrifice luxury and style for the sake of economy. The Forever Retreat Range is filled with quality homes previously thought out of reach.

These architecturally-designed homes were crafted to create the ideal first home so you can make memories that last a lifetime. Suitable for a range of blocks, these homes have made now the right time to build the first home you’ve only ever dreamed of. Our favourite designs include the Emerge 217 and the Primo 175:

forever

Primo 175

forever

Emerge 217

 

Forever Sanctuary

Forever Sanctuary homes have been cleverly designed to suit your family’s requirements. Aptly named, they are homes that will build family memories and create a true family sanctuary.

As Hotondo Homes’ largest range, it offers countless single and double storey home designs in a variety of sizes. Whether you’re after a coastal, metro or regional design you will find something you love in the Forever Sanctuary Range.

This range focuses on three key areas of the home; the kitchen, alfresco and master bedroom. These rooms are imperative to the growing family and our designers have created homes to ensure these rooms are practical, spacious and inviting. The spacious Erskine 240 and the incredible Willowgrove 332 are our top picks from Forever Sanctuary!

forever

Erskine 240

forever

Willowgrove 332

Forever Oasis

The Forever Oasis Range is the epitome of luxury and style with all the features you could want in your home. Created with elegance and class in mind, the opulent designs offer generous living areas perfect for every member of the family.

The Oasis homes encompass luxurious bedrooms and additional living areas providing the warmth of a home with the amenities of a five-star hotel.

With high ceilings, quality upgrades and top of the line inclusions, these homes are the best of the best. If you’re ready to build a home that will become your own personal oasis, this range is the perfect choice for you. Both the Amora 384 and Como 449 offer ensuite and WIR options for every bedroom!

forever

Amora 384

 

forever

Como 449

 

Which is your favourite range? You can also view Hotondo Homes full range of designs here.

When it comes to storage it is all about functionality.

The easiest way to include additional storage in your home without taking up space is to purchase items that double up as a functional item and as a storage unit.
Below we have listed ways to add additional storage to every room of your home and make the most of the space you have!

 

storage

Bedroom

The space under your bed: The most obvious solution to add more storage in your bedroom is to utilise the space underneath the bed. While a bed with built-in storage is a great idea, you can also hack your way to a little extra space by using drawers with wheels on them for easy access! Check out this neat tutorial!

The space over your bed: The space above your bed is probably the second most wasted area in the entire bedroom. Look at installing sleek wall units here to keep it from looking too ‘clunky’, and you’ll have more space to store books, clothing or to hide away your mess!

 

storage

Living room

The functional coffee table: Invest in a coffee table that doubles as a storage unit. Alternatively, decorative baskets or cubes can be placed underneath the table to fill the space, and they have the exact same effect.

 

Hallway

Create your own mudroom: If you don’t have space for an entire mudroom, why not create your own simplified version? A ‘mudroom bench’ can store your raincoats, shoes, jackets and other outdoor equipment easily and in a convenient location right by the door. Opt for a bench with a high backboard with hooks for your clothing, and a flip-top bench for extra, hidden storage.

Or alternatively… a simple clothes hooks can do the trick if a whole bench is not a realistic option!

 

Backyard

A garden bench with hidden storage: Like we said, the best kind of additional storage is those pieces with a dual purpose! A garden bench offers a place for people to relax and enjoy a beautiful summer’s day, and can also be used to hide messy hoses, gardening equipment or shoes.

 

Laundry

Wall-mounted clothesline: If you use a clothes horse during winter, you’ll know just how much valuable space is given up for this little beauty. A retractable, indoor clothes line is a great alternative that can easily be folded away when not in use.

 

storage

Kitchen

Think back: The back of your pantry door is a great space to utilise. You can use pegs to hang baskets or bins from it to store a whole range of items, just be careful of the weight!

Think wall: Got a spare bit of wall available? Why not use it as a place to hang your pots and pans! Install pegs, or try something a little more creative like this.

 

Bathroom

Wall-mounted shelves

Need extra room for your makeup, moisturisers, soaps and other miscellaneous items you have stocked up on over the years? Invest in some easy-to-install mounted shelves which could be used over your towel rack, in the corners or your room or even over the mirror! Another alternative is to install hanging baskets from the ceilings, for a slightly more eccentric look!

 

Do you have any other ways to add storage to you home? Let us know in the comments!

hotondo.com.au

Trends come and go in the housing industry, but there are always a few unnecessary design features that like to hang around.

We have listed the top 8 features you may want to reconsider for your home. While these items are great for those with a little extra cash, those working towards a budget (especially first home buyers) can consider excluding these design features to help save on space, money and perhaps even avoid buyer’s remorse!

design features

A full study

Unless you require a work office, dedicating an entire room to a study often becomes wasted space. With the clever introduction of a study nook, you can still have a dedicated area for your desktop computer or laptop without sacrificing an entire room. If your floor plan already features a full study, you will also have the added bonus of being able to turn it into another bedroom or living space instead!

 design features

Walk-in-robes

Although considered a bit of a luxury, you may find your expansive walk-in-robe is not as expansive as you think! Often walk-in-robes require more floor space in your bedroom without actually offering any more storage. Potentially, a full wall of storage units may be a better option that will serve the same purpose, and you will have more space to utilise elsewhere in your home -you may have to sacrifice your inner-Carrie Bradshaw though!

 

An island bench (with sink)

Island benches in your kitchen look great and remain a popular design feature for the modern home, but can also become another of our unnecessary design features. Not only is there the potential to increase the amount of bench space you have by making it an ‘L’ or ‘U’ shape as opposed to an island, but the sink in the middle can further restrict the amount of cooking and dining space available! Consider the size of your kitchen before committing to an island.

 design features

Wall niches

If you are going to include a niche in your home, it needs to serve a functional purpose. Cutting into your walls to accommodate a piece of art can be restrictive when you want to change it in the future, and filling the niche perfectly will be difficult. Niches in your shower for shampoo and conditioner and other such practical applications are the exception!

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design features

The double vanity

This is a contentious one, but installing a double vanity can be one of the big unnecessary design features. While they look fantastic, do you and your partner get ready at the exact same time every day? Is it an absolute MUST that you have separate sinks and mirrors? Consider your answer carefully before investing!

 

A grand staircase

Grand staircases are a showstopper, but the amount of wasted space is substantial. You may also miss out on the added benefit of the storage room you normally get underneath.

 

A lack of backyard

With lot sizes becoming smaller and smaller, sometimes there is no choice but to give up precious backyard space to accommodate your home. This can be sad as having a decent backyard is something we are seeing less and less of. If possible, try and choose a home design that is going to maximise the amount of space you have in your yard. Ensuring the alfresco is at the back of the home can help give the illusion of more space, or eliminating it completely leaves you with more room and thus more options to create something spectacular!

 design features

Too many living spaces

A home with three living spaces sounds luxurious – but is it practical? If you don’t need that third TV room, consider utilising that space for another means or restructuring the home to reallocate the extra space elsewhere!

Do you think these are all unnecessary design features? Let us know in the comments!

hotondo.com.au

If you are looking to invest in property, you will have come across the term ‘positive and negative gearing’.

Before building or selecting a property to invest in, it is important to determine what your investment ‘gearing’ strategy is. This is where an understanding of whether your home is positively geared (a cash-flow property strategy) or negatively geared (a capital growth property strategy) becomes significant.

For a better understanding of what these terms actually mean, we have compared the two strategies and outlined the benefits and drawbacks of each. Consider both carefully before purchasing your investment property!

Positive Gearing (a cash-flow property)

gearing

Generally considered the safer, more conservative method, positive gearing occurs when the rental income on your investment property exceeds the cost of maintaining it, including loan repayments, interest, rates and maintenance fees. Positive gearing allows for short-term profit, as the extra cashflow works as an additional income stream. Positive gearing works in areas where rental demand is high (so investors can charge higher rent) and when interest rates are low.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Negative Gearing (a capital growth property)

gearing

Negative gearing occurs when the property runs at a loss – that is, the rental income is less than the costs of maintaining the home. Investors will need to use their own funds to make up the shortfall. Ideally, a negatively geared investment will grow in value over time, and the increased profit from selling it is expected to outweigh the initial financial losses. Negatively geared homes are often located near capital cities, which generally perform better and increase in value over a longer period.

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

Hotondo Homes have over 90 home designs, perfect for investors. Find out more at hotondo.com.au

*Hotondo Homes is not an authorised financial adviser so please seek professional advice for your investing enquiries

What is your favourite Hotondo Homes design and why?

We asked the question the big design question to nine of our builders from right across the country, and here are their responses!


Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

I am a big fan of the Esplanade 281. The design centres around the kitchen, family and dining areas, and, if you are lucky enough to have views, this design allows you to capture and frame them beautifully. It is a great home for a growing family, with separate living for the kids downstairs, but communal in its design upstairs.

design


Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange NSW

We love the new Willowgrove 332! It features the master bedroom at the rear, has loads of storage with walk-in-robes to three bedrooms, a walk-in-pantry which can be converted to a butler’s pantry, storage in the laundry, a large alfresco PLUS four living areas and a study! It’s the perfect design.

design


Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

I love homes where you are excited to find out ‘what’s around the corner’. Clever study nooks, tucked up retreats, private spaces to read or watch a movie are all clever uses of space, so I love the new Willowgrove 332! The Kirkby 246 floor plan (below) also deserves an honorary mention. These plans are great because they provide a point of difference to the traditional open-plan style homes of today.

design


Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

The Kirkby 267!  It’s a very suitable plan for indoor/outdoor living which is a must-have feature for many homebuyers, and it remains popular in North Queensland!

design


Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

The Marcoola 209 – there is plenty of space for an entire family to enjoy. It’s an open-plan ‘modern’ design that encapsulates everything you need in a home.

design


Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

I have always been a fan on the Stockton 380. It is such a beautiful home that meets the needs of a family with large spacious areas. The mud room is a fantastic area but my favourite is the enormous ensuite, walk-in-robe and retreat areas in the master room.

design


Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

The Lansdowne 248 is a practical rural design. The bedrooms are spacious and the large alfresco out the back is perfect for the countryside!

design


Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

The Hume 263 offers multiple living areas, large bedrooms, practical ensuite configuration, mud room from garage, alfresco which can be expanded, powder room, separate toilet to bathroom, open kitchen/dining/family room, large pantry, decent sized porch and study nook, which is great for parents wanting to monitor children. What more do you need?!

design


Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

My favourite design is the Tarkine 238. It is a large home conveniently shaped to fit on most blocks on the Central Coast due to it’s width. It has a great, practical flow and just seems to make sense. Having the hidden laundry through the pantry is perfect for me. With such a busy lifestyle, to be able to be cooking dinner and throwing a load of washing on at the same time is all too convenient!

design

Visit hotondo.com.au to view our full range of designs!

When your building journey begins, avoid overlooking these nine items for a more rewarding and fulfilling build!

YOUR LOAN

Know what you want or need in a loan and shop around. Fixed rates, variable rates, redraw capabilities and the length of the loan are all important factors. Make sure the structure of your loan is right for you straight off the mark – this is a long-term commitment.

COMPARING BUILDER QUOTES FAIRLY

Builder quotes can vary by thousands of dollars, so while it may be tempting to go with the cheapest option presented to you, it is important to realise that comparing quotes based purely on monetary value may in fact cost you more in the long run. This is because you are not always comparing apples with apples. Some builders may not provide you with all the expenses upfront, and there are many items that may be inclusive with one builder and non-inclusive with another. It is important to recognise what sort of variations may be affecting your quote including things like labour rates and the quality of the materials. Take the time to understand why your quotes may vary so you know what you are paying for.

BUDGETING ACCURATELY

Take the time to work out what you can really afford. Many people are excited to buy their first home, but forget the extra fees or underestimate the cost of actually owning one. Find out what kind of fees may be applicable to you including home insurance, stamp duty, moving costs, council rates and transfer fees. Also, be prepared for maintenance costs which will now fall back onto you.

FLOOR PLAN ERRORS

Review your floor plan thoroughly. Work out where your power points and light switches are best positioned, consider the location of your bedrooms to noisy areas like the laundry or living room and always ensure you have plenty of storage.

 

READ MORE: AVOID COMMON FLOOR PLAN ISSUES

 

CEILING HEIGHT

Increasing the standard ceiling height to just 2700mm can instantly offer a more spacious feeling in your home! Highly recommended by almost every builder, it is worth the initial extra cost.

overlooking

ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN

Building a new home offers the opportunity to make massive savings by increasing your energy efficiency. This can be as simple as orientating your home correctly, installing eaves and double-glazed windows and ensuring your insulation is adequate, or you can look at more complex solutions such as solar power or energy-saving appliances. New homes offer new home technologies, so now is your chance to cut down on your energy bills and decrease your carbon footprint!

 

READ MORE: A PASSIVE HOME DESIGN FOR AMAZING ENERGY SAVINGS

 

EXTRA STORAGE SPACE

You can never have too much storage in your home! A clever builder should be able to help you find extra nooks and crannies where you can include additional storage space for your belongings. Finding room for extra storage is highly recommended and your builder will have some great tips on ways to avoid a cluttered home.

overlooking

THE FUTURE

It can be very difficult to predict where the future will take you, however it doesn’t hurt to consider possibilities like future pets, children or family. Make sure the home you choose accommodates for future plans too, to get as much out of the home as possible.

THE RESELL FACTOR

Having finally built or found the perfect home, the last thing you want to think about is selling it. However, your home is an investment, and it is important to think about a time where you need to sell it. When searching for your home, consider what other typical home buyers may want and accommodate for this if possible. The location is also extremely important, and while your preferences should be paramount, thinking ahead is important too.

Are we overlooking something? Let us know in the comments below!

hotondo.com.au

Small rooms can be cosy and inviting.

They can be spacious too – if you know how to make the most of what you have!

Just because you have less space to work with does not mean your small room cannot look as amazing as a larger counterpart. Many small room ideas involve tricking the eye into making the room appear light, airy and spacious, and work to ideas around scale and perception.

 

small rooms

KEEP IT LIGHT AND BRIGHT

It’s an oldie, but a goldie – use light colours for your walls, furniture and décor to open up the room, and avoid dark colours that tend to make a space cosier. White surfaces reflect light, as do mirrors, so utilise this wherever you can. Large windows will also help enlarge the room because your eye will be drawn out and beyond the home to the great outdoors.

 

small rooms

AVOID CONFUSION WITH TOO MANY PATTERNS

Keep things simple in a small room and let texture and colour guide your choices, rather than pattern. Too many conflicting patterns can create confusion and clutter, which will instantly shrink the perceived size of the room. Stick to bold, full-coloured items, and only use pattern on a small-scale.

 

small rooms

KEEP IT TO SCALE

A common misconception is small rooms should feature small furniture – this is not the case. Several small pieces can actually make a room appear cluttered and even smaller than what it is! You are far better off selecting one or two larger pieces and filling up the space this way – it will appear grander. Choose sleek pieces without skirted bottoms that allow you to see through to the other side. Be sure to keep furniture such as couches and coffee tables ‘floating’ as well. This means keeping them away from the walls and ensuring a person can comfortably walk past each piece, creating the illusion of more space.

 

small rooms

MULTI-PURPOSING IS YOUR FRIEND

Beds, couches, nooks and crannies are all wasted space in a home. Make the most out of it and repurpose these spaces! Beds with in-built storage underneath are perfect for hiding away mess. Coffee tables and couches are the same. If you don’t have room for your computer, a simple nook with a desk and chair is the perfect alternative! Don’t have a nook? A foldaway desk on a hallway wall is another great option! Finally, built-in shelving can create storage and display areas that won’t intrude into your space. You can also try shallow shelves above doorways and windows.

 

small rooms

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LAUNDRY

Small rooms like your laundry offer a world of space, you just don’t know it! Start by stacking your washer and dryer, and invest in new wall cabinetry to claim thi
s newly-found space instead.

How do you save space in your small rooms? Let us know in the comments below!

Visit hotondo.com.au for more

 

What is your must-have feature for a modern home?

We asked the question to nine of our builders from right across the country, and here are their responses!

must-have feature

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

A must-have feature of a modern home is a well-considered kitchen and pantry. We spend so much time in and around our kitchens and to consider the locations of sinks, dishwashers, ovens, drawers is critically important. A well-considered kitchen means that you will be able to enjoy the space in an efficient manner, while still maintaining its cosmetic appeal.

must-have feature

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Large windows throughout the home and an open-plan layout – it is all about creating the illusion of more space! All bathrooms should have modern floor-to-ceiling tiles, of course!

must-have feature

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

A large alfresco area. It offers the perfect place to unwind every evening and it is a great place for entertaining on the weekends!

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Hidden storage. It’s simple, but so necessary. Linen closets are great, but an under stairs storage area or an extra storage room, even just extra cabinets in the pantry or laundry is a must-have in the modern home. To have a brand new home is one thing, but a brand new home with no clutter and where every item has a spot to live is perfect!

Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Living in the south of Victoria – a drying room! They are relatively easy to incorporate into a space either off the laundry or under a stairwell. During the winter months when you have your home heating on, you can utilise this space to dry your clothes as well!

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA

Separate toilet to the bathroom is something we need to bring back! I would also definitely say an alfresco area or balcony, depending on your views. Indoor/outdoor living is still very much alive!

must-have feature

Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC

Double glazing to your windows and other energy efficiency measures can save you a tonne in utility bills. While it may cost more upfront, the long-run benefits are by far worth it.

must-have feature
Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC

The must-have feature in the modern home is by far a walk-in-pantry. This allows for a vast amount of storage for not just food, but rarely-used appliances that take up precious room in cupboards such as mixers, breadmakers slow cookers etc. It also allows you to hide the mess!

must-have feature

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW

Outdoor living is very important, as is plenty of storage like walk-in-pantries, large walk-in-robes and linen cupboards. You can never have too much storage space!

What is your must-have feature? Let us know in the comments!

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