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With many new home designs including an alfresco area that’s perfect for family meals and entertaining, there’s often space to bring elements of your kitchen outside. Designing an outdoor kitchen will allow you to make the most of the warmer weather and encourage your family and friends to spend more time together outside. We’ve got some great tips to help you design an outdoor kitchen that’s the ideal communal space!

Outdoor Cooking

Outdoor kitchen
One of the key elements to an outdoor kitchen is a barbecue so you can cook the majority of your meal outside. When designing your space, ensure you’ve positioned the barbecue away from the doors to the house to avoid smoke and food smells from permeating your adjacent indoor areas, but not so far away that it’s separated from the outdoor dining space. If possible, ensure the barbecue is built in to a bench with storage space underneath or next to it so that you can store all your cooking utensils and cleaning equipment within reach of the cooking area.

Bench Space and Storage

If you have room, installing a bench around your barbecue or next to it will allow you to also do most of your food preparation outside as well. This will allow you to cook with ease, since all the food will be within reach to quickly pop on the barbecue, lessening the need to go back and forth to your kitchen inside to retrieve the food. Having storage underneath means you can have a durable set of outdoor crockery, cutlery, glassware, serving dishes and condiment storage readily accessible to use once the food is ready to be served, cutting down on the amount of things that need to be stored inside your main kitchen.

Comfortable Seating Areas

Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen needs to be accompanied by comfortable outdoor seating, so it’s worth considering whether you’d like to keep it casual with couches, or a more formal table and chair arrangement. Since you’ll be eating meals and enjoying a few beverages outside, it’s often more comfortable for guests to sit at a table with their food, so including a table and chairs or bench seating with a table for meals is often the best option. If space allows, having a small couch for more casual entertaining in a different area of the alfresco means you can enjoy drinks and canapés then move to the table for the main meal.

Additional Luxuries

Outdoor Kitchen
The inclusion of a sink in your outdoor kitchen may not seem like the most obvious luxury, but it’s a convenience that many don’t consider when designing their space. Having an outdoor sink with hot and cold taps will help with the cleaning of dishes as well as barbecue clean up, and perfect for quickly cleaning up any food or drink spillages without having to venture inside for cleaning supplies or access to water. You might also like to include a small bar fridge to store drinks, or a small wine fridge that’s perfect for keeping beverages cool prior to a function without taking up room in your main fridge inside. There’s also the added benefit of having cold drinks readily available if guests drop in unexpectedly.

When it comes to indoor/outdoor living, including a well appointed outdoor kitchen in your new home’s alfresco area is a must-have for entertaining. With a carefully considered layout and some convenient inclusions, you’ll have a space that encourages more family meal time outside during the warmer months as well as the perfect space to entertain friends at a moment’s notice. To see more home design ideas, head to the Hotondo Homes website today.

One of the most common interior paint colours for new homes is white. It works in so many ways throughout the home, and complements every other colour in the spectrum, but finding the perfect shade can be tricky. With so many beautiful shades to choose from it’s easy to spend hours looking at sample colours and paint swatches on your walls to decide which white is the best. We’ve got some helpful tips to explain the difference in white tones and which one is right for your home!

Warm Whites

White
Not sure how white paint can seem warm? As you look at paint colours, you’ll soon see that some whites have brown, yellow, or even red undertones! These whites range from warm taupes, ivories, some shades of grey, and natural colours with a hint of yellow. Whites in this group will warm your home and create an inviting and soft atmosphere, particularly in rooms that don’t get a lot of sunlight, or rooms that are on the larger side. If you’d like to create a more traditional, country style feel inside your home, these whites will be perfect!

Cool Whites

White
Some whites have a definite cool feel to them because they have grey, blue or green undertones. These shades are better suited to rooms in your home that receive plenty of sunlight, particularly in the afternoon because the paint colour will feel like it’s counteracting the light to cool the space down. You might like to include these shades of white if your interior décor leans toward a modern feel with lots of accompanying monochrome shades of grey and black to create a truly contemporary colour palette.

White Whites

White
These are the truest shade of white and don’t have any undertones that change the whiteness of the colour. Pure whites can feel sterile or uninviting, so they are best used sparingly to avoid an atmosphere that feels cold and makes the home seem unliveable. These white whites are suited to smaller, utilitarian spaces like laundries, smaller bathrooms or powder rooms where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic or time spent in the space.

Pairing White with Colours

White
The best thing about using white as a feature of your colour palette is that it goes so well with almost every other colour! For a coastal feel you might like to use a cool white with touches of blue, sea green, or turquoise to mimic that calm, beachy feel. Or for a country style, warm whites with lots of natural wood textural elements mixed in will make your open-plan areas welcoming and homely. The possibilities are endless!

Once you’ve decided to go with warm whites or cool whites, the best way to choose the perfect shade of white is to choose three or four shades and paint some swatches on the wall. View the swatches at different times of the day so you can see how the light plays off the white paint to see if the colour changes dramatically. You should also see how your lighting system changes the tone of the whites, particularly at night when there’s no natural light coming in. Once you’ve found a white that looks great throughout the day and night without too much tonal change, get painting! You’ll have a beautiful space that you can complement with accompanying furniture and accessories to make a welcoming home interior your family will love.

For more home design and interior décor ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

As your family grows and kids get older, sometimes space inside the home can feel like it’s full to overflowing, especially when friends come over and add to the number of people inside. One way to add additional liveable space to your home without undertaking a costly extension is to convert your garage! It’s a great way to provide more room to your home design, while still offering independent space without changing the structure and existing floor plan. We’ve got a range of tips and ideas to help you create a living space to suit your family’s lifestyle!

Building Structure

Garage
The first thing you’ll need to add will be proper insulation, plastering to walls and ceiling, flooring, overhead lighting, and waterproofing, the latter being particularly important if you’re adding a sink or small ensuite. These things may seem costly, but will go the distance in ensuring the space is liveable and able to be utilised for years to come as a comfortable, weather-proof space. You may also need to install additional power outlets to allow for media devices, soft lighting and small appliances like fridges and heating or cooling. These things will all transform the space from an oil-stained, grimy garage to an inviting room.

Bedroom Conversion

Garage
Converting a garage to a bedroom is one of the most popular uses of the space. As children age into their late teen years, and continue to live at home with their parents into adulthood, being able to have a space to call their own is invaluable. Laying plush carpet to keep the space warm in winter, painting the walls a light neutral colour to make the room feel bigger, and adding window dressings will elevate the space to a cosy, welcoming bedroom. If you have space to install some simple shelving or a compact wardrobe system the room will be truly functional as a bedroom. Once your offspring leave the family home, the space can be used for an older family member who’s not quite ready to give up their independence. Another option would be to use it as a room for rent, creating a stream of income while still allowing both the tenant and the home owner privacy.

Office Conversion

Garage
While many new home designs offer a study nook or semi-private study zone inside, as children get older and need more room, desk space is at a premium! If one or both parents run their own business or work from home a majority of the time, you may find there’s just not enough room for everyone to work comfortably, so additional study or office space is required. Converting your garage to an office will ease the load inside, and create a place of quiet solitude for study or work. Add built-in shelving and cabinetry, a desk that spans the length of one wall to create enough space for people to work simultaneously, and even a small couch and coffee table for client meetings. You’ll have an office space that looks professional and encourages a quiet, studious atmosphere for a variety of members of the family.

Media Room Conversion

Garage
If your home design is a compact one and you only have one living space, converting your garage to a media room will give your family the chance to relax without feeling crowded. Your older teens may benefit from having a separate space where they can chill out with friends, play music in, or hold a movie night without disturbing parents or younger siblings. You may like to include sound proofing in the early stages of the conversion to ensure neighbours aren’t bothered by music or TV noise, and add thick carpeting and heavy curtains to further muffle sound. Installing a large TV, a modular couch, and a coffee table, as well as a small cupboard for snacks, a bar fridge and even a small sink area will make this the ideal set up for relaxing with friends!

Whenever you’re adding additional rooms to your home or undertaking a renovation of an existing space remember to contact your local council to check if you need to gain permits or approval before going ahead with any changes. If done correctly, a garage conversion can be a fantastic benefit to your home and family’s lifestyle! For more home design ideas and inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Over the past few years, interior design trends have encouraged the use of colour in the home, ranging from bold jewel tones to a touch of pastel here and there. There’s no question that a neutral colour palette will ever go out of style, but if you want to embrace colour and include it on your walls, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you choose the perfect paint colours throughout your home!

Jewel Tones

paint
Fancy an emerald green or a rich navy blue on your walls? These jewel tones will make a room feel cosy and warm and add an element of luxury to the space. Remember to contrast the rich colour with lighter tones for your furniture and flooring as this will lift the energy of the space. You’ll have a beautifully styled room that lends itself to more formal entertaining or a kid-free relaxation zone.

Earthy Tones

paint
A big trend for 2018/2019 has been the inclusion of earthy tones in the home. Designers are forecasting a continued focus on the connection between the home and the surrounding environment, which means the inclusion of mossy greens, earthy reds and oranges, and rustic natural wood finishes. Choosing a mossy green for your walls and adding furniture and accessories that are in neutral shades will create a seamless blend between indoor and outdoor.

Pastel Shades

paint
Pastel colours aren’t limited to children’s rooms anymore. Many interior design trends include a splash of pale colours on the walls, which are then offset by sharp metallic golds or bronze soft furnishings to enhance the feeling of warmth and luxury. Bedrooms and living areas can be great places to subtly include pastel colours on the walls to create more depth, and pairing these pastel tones with furniture in similar softly coloured shades can create a space that’s delicately decorated and endlessly calming.

Neutrals and Greys

Paint
A wall colour palette that focuses on neutral shades is a timeless interior décor choice, but it definitely doesn’t have to be bland! When you choose neutral shades of white, beige, taupe, and grey for your walls, you have the ability to create a room that feels both cool and warm at the same time. A cool grey wall colour, for example, can be offset by warm beige furniture and drapes or blinds to make the space feel cosy and welcoming.

While it’s tempting to embrace colours that are trendy for a year or two, the key is to pick colours that make a statement while also creating a timeless feel in your home. Some colours never go out of style, and even though millennial pink is definitely having a moment, it’s best to focus on paint colours that will stand the test of time in your home as your family grows and your tastes mature.

For more home design and interior décor ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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