As soon as there’s a hint of Summer in the air, it’s hard not to start dreaming about long, lazy nights outside, relaxing with a drink and enjoying a meal with family and friends as you watch the kids play in the backyard. Modern home designs often include a covered, beautifully designed alfresco as an extension of the living space for true indoor/outdoor living. Whether you’re building your home now and need a little alfresco style inspiration, or you just want to spruce up your existing outdoor space for the warmer months, we’ve got you covered with a round up of alfresco styles and design tips to help you get your outdoor space sorted just in time for summer!

Décor and Seating

There are a wealth of décor options outdoor spaces, enabling home owners to style their alfresco in keeping with the overall interior decor of their home. Pavers, polished concrete and timber flooring are all durable and on-trend options that will complement the style of your home, creating a seamless décor theme inside and out. Choosing seating that’s comfortable, weather-resistant and doesn’t crowd the space is vital, as well as selecting outdoor rugs, lighting and accent furniture to complete the look and feel.

Indoor/Outdoor Living

Creating an alfresco that’s ultimately another room in your home is key, and ensuring your floor plan includes the alfresco as a space directly off the open-plan living area will give your home that seamless indoor/outdoor living feel. Incorporating large sliding or stacker doors that span the length of the alfresco will give the space a wide-open feel, and adding furniture that’s in keeping with the style of your indoor living spaces will enhance the feel of an outdoor room.

Heating and Cooling

Modern alfresco spaces can now be used most of the year, with options for installing both heating and cooling when you build your new home. Talk to your builder when you design this space and think about including a gas fireplace for the cooler months. If the alfresco is well shielded from the weather, a fireplace will give the space a cosy feel in autumn and winter meaning you can use it year-round. Installing ceiling fans for summer will make the area comfortable even on the hottest days, allowing you to maximise your usage of the space.

Outdoor Dining

The main benefit to a beautiful alfresco is being able to enjoy meals outside with family and friends. If the space allows it, install benches with a sink, a small bar fridge and cupboard space to store outdoor servingware, and incorporate a barbecue or pizza oven so you can make the space perfect for food prep and cooking while you entertain!

The days of having a simple, timber deck as your outdoor space are no more. There are so many ways to create a beautiful alfresco that creates a seamless flow of space from indoors to outdoors in your new home, creating a space that’s functional as well as being a comfortable and stylish place to spend time throughout the year. For more home design ideas and inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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!


Home design has come a long way over the past few years, with many modern design elements now incorporated into floor plans.

Across Hotondo Homes’ range of designs there are some consistent elements that many of our clients request when building their new home.

We have rounded up the most popular modern design elements for you to consider when searching through our range of homes.


modern design

A butler’s pantry to conceal the mess

Unlike walk-in-pantries, butler’s pantries are large enough to contain your refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and other such appliances. A butler’s pantry can also contain another kitchen sink, the idea of which is to hide dirty dishes away from plain sight while entertaining. With plenty of preparation space for a keen chef, a butler’s pantry is perfect for those who hate having mess out on display.

Check out the Erskine 202 or the Como 412.


modern design

Indoor/outdoor living for a balanced home

Nothing says modern design quite like a beautiful alfresco. Let the lines blur between indoor and outdoor with stacker doors, which allow you to extend your living area to the great outdoors. Having direct access to the alfresco from the kitchen is perfect for entertaining. Finish it off with an outdoor dining setting or relaxing lounge suite.

Try the Eureka 263 ALT or the Kirkby 246.


modern design

Walk-in-robe and ensuite to master bedroom

Almost a standard these days is a walk-in-robe and ensuite for the master bedroom to create the ultimate parent’s retreat. A double vanity and waterfall showerhead completes the sanctuary.

For even more luxury, the Amora 384 offers a walk-in-robe and ensuite in every bedroom.


modern design

Study nook to conserve space

Many home buyers find a full study to be a waste of space and convert the room into something more practical. The problem that then arises is where do you put your computer or laptop? A study nook is the perfect compromise – you don’t have to give up an entire room, but there is still a dedicated space to work or study.

The Hume 263 offers a study nook in the kitchen, while the Marcoola 269’s is a bit more secluded.


modern design

A multi-purpose room

A room that can change and grow as your family does is an important modern design element. Whether you are after a second living area, rumpus, theatre room or additional bedroom, a multi-purpose room is great to have, especially for growing families.

The McRae 250 and Tarkine 238 offer multi-purpose rooms that can be closed off.


Check out Hotondo Homes full range of homes here.