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If you’re located in Victoria, or you’re thinking about moving down south, we have a number of franchisees based all across the state ready to make your dream home into a reality. This week we’re putting the spotlight on a few of our builders throughout Victoria so you can get to know some of the franchisees in our Hotondo Homes family!

Hotondo Homes Ballarat

Hotondo
With over twenty-five years of experience, Adrian Willingham and Brenton Simpson are local builders you can trust. Awarded the Hotondo Homes Builder of the Year in 2018, the pair have established themselves as the builders of choice in Ballarat and the surrounding areas. The Ballarat team use local tradesmen, have a range of flexible floorplans available to help you find your dream home, and offer professional and personalised services with great attention to detail to make sure you get the home you’ve always wanted! Amira Willingham is the resident colour guru, and will work with you selecting all the items to make your house a home, and Lisa Simpson is the Finance Manager who works to ensure building permits are in order for you. Both your local builders at Ballarat are active members of the community, and as a family-owned business they remain committed to a number of groups and activities in the local and surrounding areas. Visit their modern Marcoola 269 display home in Lucas and see their superb work in person!

Hotondo Homes Warragul

Hotondo
Jeff and Fiona Kittelty are your local builders in the wider Warragul area, who love creating homes that are tailored to suit your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Jeff has been part of the building industry as a qualified builder for over thirty years and works with his clients to ensure every part of the build process is as smooth and stress-free as possible, from the first appointment, right through to the handover of a new home! Jeff’s wife, Fiona, is the finance manager and Colour Consultant, and is always up to date with interior trends and styles. She will work with you during your colour selection appointment and help you put together your final palette, fixtures, and fittings, ensuring your new home has an interior and exterior aesthetic that is cohesive and stylish. Acreage homes and difficult sites are no problem for the team at Warragul, who have experience with narrow lots, sloping land, and unusually shaped blocks. Jeff and Fiona, and their entire team pride themselves on their professional service, and their stunning Lansdowne 257 display home is currently open for you to visit to see the quality craftmanship you’ll get when you build with Hotondo Homes Warragul.

Hotondo Homes in Ocean Grove

Hotondo
Aaron Anstis, Nick Barker and their team know how to create your dream home. Whether you’re looking for a sea change or you’re a first home buyer, they can tailor any Hotondo Homes design to suit your budget and lifestyle! Nick and Aaron specialise in coastal and split level home designs so that you get the most out of your local environment. With personalised customer service and attention to detail on both the complexities of the build and the aesthetics of your home’s design, you’ll receive a quality home build when you work with local builders who can give you peace of mind throughout the entire build journey. Visit their new Tarkine 238 display home in Ocean Grove, or their Erskine 240 display in Mount Duneed today!

Hotondo Homes has a number of builders located throughout Victoria to help you with your vision. With flexible designs for all types of land, and plenty of house and land packages available to suit your budget and lifestyle, you’re sure to find a local builder in your area to create a beautifully constructed home for you and your family! Visit the Hotondo Homes website and find a builder local to you today.

When you’re building a new home, your focus is often on how you and your family will adjust to living in a new house, and a new location. It’s a big transition for everyone, and with months to prepare yourselves for the move you’ve probably driven past the house a few times as well as exploring the neighbourhood a little bit. No doubt you’ve also visited the house a few times in the lead-up to moving day. But have you given some thought to how your beloved fur baby will adjust to its new surroundings? It’s something that’s not at the forefront of everyone’s minds as preparations to move begin, but ensuring you’re making time to let your pet adjust to their new home will make their transition smoother and stress free as well!

Take a Tour of Your New Home

Introducing your pet
You’ve probably been to visit your new house a number of times with your family, and it’s well worth bringing your pet to visit the house as well. Letting them explore inside the house will reduce their stress at suddenly being in a new, unfamiliar place if they’ve visited a couple of times. You can check the perimeter fence for gaps and possible escape routes before you pet visits. Once you’ve done this, taking them outside to explore the front and back yards, and around the perimeters so they can become familiar with their new territory will make them feel a little more at home. This is also a good time for you to make your landscape gardener aware of your pets so they remember not to include any plants that are hazardous to your pet’s health.

Meals, Toys, and Beds

Introducing your pet
Leave your pet’s bed, blankets, food bowls, and toys unpacked until the last minute on moving day to keep them relaxed and happy while there’s a lot of activity in the house. Once you’re at your new home, ensure you’ve decided on a space inside or outside for your pet’s belongings and meal area and pop their things in those areas straight away. Ensuring they have a routine and their own defined space from day one will help them settle in and become familiar with their surroundings while still having their own comfort items close by.

Time for a Walk

Introducing your pet
If you have a dog, a great way to let them settle in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings is by taking them for lots of walks in the first few weeks. Letting them explore the neighbourhood smells by walking the blocks around your home is a great way to familiarise them with their new home. Finding local, fenced-in dog parks where they can stretch their legs and interact gently with other dogs is another good way to build their confidence and reduce their stress levels. It may be a good idea to keep them on their leash the first few visits until they feel more comfortable with their new friends. If your dog seems a little unsettled during the first few walks, just take short walks, allowing the dog lead the way. This lets them discover where other barking dogs and kids live and helps your dog get used to their location in the neighbourhood. Each time the dog confidently walks a slightly longer route, ensure you lavish them with praise to continue building their confidence. If your dog seems skittish and doesn’t want to continue a walk, return home and try again the next day.

Continue with Routine

Introducing your pet
Once you’ve moved into your new home, try to continue with your pet’s existing routine. Keeping meal time, exercise and play time, and bed time on the same schedule that occurred in your previous home means your pet will know what to expect each day and settle in a little faster. This will relieve their stress and anxiety around being in a new location and will make your days calmer as well.

You dog will pick up on your excitement at being in your new home, so it’s also great to involve them in that feeling of happiness with the family whenever possible, whether it’s with a celebratory pet-friendly treat, or some fun and games in the backyard. Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. As long as you give your pet plenty of opportunities to become familiar with their new home and continue to keep things familiar and structured wherever possible, your pet will be settled in to their new home in no time!

For other great tips, tricks, and home ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website.

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.

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!

 

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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!

 

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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.

What are the biggest mistakes home buyers make?

Take heed, new home buyers! We asked the tough question to nine of our builders right across the country, and here are their responses.

Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW

Not including items they wanted in their home during the design stage. In our colours and selections process we encourage clients to reach for the stars and discuss every feature they could possibly want. I’ve met many who have built in the past but regret not having included certain features.

mistakes

Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC

I think some of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is to buy land without understanding the implications of the quality of the soil and any additional site costs that need to be considered and could affect the total budget.
Then, when it comes to the home, many people think bigger is better. This is not necessarily the case. You should be more concerned about the function of the room, so if there is additional space it can be added to areas where it is better utilised. If you like outdoor living, incorporate more space in your alfresco, but if it is cooking you love a plentiful and well-considered kitchen might be the place.

Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln SA

Some may not fairly compare the quality, value or fixed price of one home to another. Quite often you will find you are not comparing apples with apples in the building industry, which is why it is so important to carefully read the contract and inclusions of every home, as well as ask questions!

mistakes

Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC

Working with their budgets. We all like the finer things in life and its absolutely fine to upgrade from the standard inclusions here and there. What I don’t think people take into account is that, on their own, each item is not overly expensive but then when it’s all costed together they can suddenly fall into trouble. At the end of the day, the functionality is the same (for a sink mixer as an example), but the cost can vary widely without it even being a statement piece.

Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW

Many home buyers rush through their colour selections or choose a floor plan far too quickly. Take the time to figure out what really works for you, and how you intend on using the space before making these very big decisions.

mistakes

Amira Willingham– Ballarat, VIC

It would have to be not investing enough time in their electrical plan. When building a home, you should put a large amount of thought into where you need extra power points. Do you require more lighting? Would you like downlights? Have you thought of USB points? These are all extremely important but are often overlooked or not given importance.

Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange NSW

The biggest mistake home buyers make is not consulting or taking advice from a builder before purchasing land suitable for their preferred design. Home buyers are often seduced by a cheap block of land which is then really expensive to build on.

mistakes

Russell Pearse- Ararat, VIC

Building the biggest house they think they can afford, instead of concentrating on what would be best value long-term. They may still be in that home in 20 years’ time when the children have all left home – although this may be more likely in regional areas than metro.

Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD

Not building with Hotondo Homes Mackay.

hotondo.com.au

As we move into the autumn months, our colour palette becomes inspired by earthy browns, multi-coloured leaves and beautiful oranges and pinks.

Volume 8 of Haymes Colour Library, ‘The Colour Forecast’ highlights these autumn colours, and can help guide us towards creating the ultimate autumn-inspired look for our homes.

The Colour Forecast is broken into three themes:


STARK BEAUTY

A finely crafted approach to interiors that blends together a soft minimalism with an almost Japanese aesthetic and sensibility. The colours are simple parings of subtle whites and bold leafy greens providing a palette that is both fresh and balanced. This palette encourages spaces that blur the lines between both inside and out, where there is no need for divides but an overall aesthetic that unifies spaces and creates both harmony and positivity within interiors and exteriors. It’s an ethos of sophisticated design that brings only the essentials into the home, cultivating spaces that are easy to live in.

autumn coloursautumn coloursautumn colours autumn colours

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STRATA

A rich and earthy palette that mimics the colours found in the layers of the earth. The diversity of the colours is reminiscent of those variations found in the environment we live in. It features gorgeous tans and browns, paired with lush deep greens found in fauna and plant life, reflects the deep blue of the sea and is complemented by neutral base colours. The introduction to interiors of such a raw natural aesthetic adds a quality of “true grit” and a sense of realness and humbleness to the palette, in turn encouraging us to create interiors that feel both natural and secure. This palette can be used in various combinations to really bring the colours of the landscape to life.

autumn coloursautumn coloursautumn colours

 

PITCH DARK

An undefinable palette that challenges the senses and plays on the idea of finding dark spaces more relaxing, meditative and exploratory which in the past has been associated with light colours. It’s a new way forward for interiors and the use of strong colours like blacks and dark charcoals, combined with rich reds, moody nudes and deep blue is a palette that is coming into its own. As we start to learn that we can use the power we gain by unlocking the unknown, we start to understand that to explore and discover the new, is both liberating and empowering.

autumn coloursautumn coloursautumn coloursautumn colours

 

For more autumn colours and other colour inspiration, visit haymespaint.com.au

 

hotondo.com.au

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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?!

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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!

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

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