Many new homes being built now are cleverly designed to include either a study nook or a separate study, which is a helpful addition to any home. Having a separate area to manage household bills and administration, or an area where the kids can complete their homework is an invaluable use of space. If your job allows for working from home, it also means you have a dedicated space away from the main living zones to focus on work as well as keeping all your paperwork and tech equipment out of sight. We’ve rounded up a few tip and tricks to help you design the perfect study space in your new home!


Having a study space that is functional first and foremost is key. Designing a space that will allow you to keep everything organised will enable you to keep the room tidy and in turn, escape distractions and focus on the work that needs to be done. The first thing to focus on is the furniture required, which will depend on the type of work you do. Generally most people will need a desk, shelving, and a bookcase, but you may also like to consider whether you should include pieces such as under desk filing cabinets, larger flat work surfaces, or desks that can comfortably house multiple computer screens, printers, or scanners. Once you’ve determined which essential items you’ll need, choose furniture that’s sleek, understated and calming. Study furniture should adhere to the idea of functionality first, style second to keep your attention focused on the tasks at hand while you’re in there.

While a study nook has a limited amount of space to work with, you can still create a space that’s organised and free from distraction for your family to use. Including a built-in desk running the span of the wall will create more space, allowing multiple family members to work there simultaneously, and installing overhead, floating cabinetry adds another functional storage space without taking up valuable floorspace.


Having functional furniture doesn’t mean the room has to be bland and uninviting! You can still create a space that reflects your personality and complements the overall style of your home. If you have a study nook, keeping the paint colour of the wall the same as the space it sits in, or a complementary colour will help it blend seamlessly in with the rest of the area. Including furniture in the study nook that leans toward a neutral colour palette such as white, grey, or beige will add to the subtle feel of the space, and a few perfectly placed accessories and artwork can personalise the space so that it doesn’t feel too office-like, particularly if kids will be using the area.

A separate office allows for much more of a style statement. If you want to create a bright, happy space that will suit the whole family, have your builder include large windows to let in a lot of natural light. Include white furniture with touches of colourful artwork and desk accessories, and choose a brightly coloured floor rug to create a vibrant atmosphere. If your work involves clients visiting your home office, you may choose to style it in a more chic, timeless way. Keep the walls neutral and choose furniture that’s classic. Lots of dark wood and cabinetry, accent lamps, and bookshelves with carefully selected pieces will set a more formal tone, perfect for welcoming visitors. If your space allows for larger pieces of furniture, you may like to incorporate a leather couch or armchairs so there’s an informal area to hold meetings.

Studies and study nooks are an invaluable space in new homes, providing a space for work, household administration, allowing you to keep your work space and your everyday living spaces separate. Designing a study that’s functional with touches of personal style create a space that you relish working in, while still keeping your attention focused. For more home ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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

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

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

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.

Celebrate the new year with your very own new home! At Hotondo Homes, we want to help you get into your own beautiful new home to start creating memories that are better than you ever imagined with your choice of no-cost bonus packages worth over $10,000! Our versatile home designs suit a range of families and lifestyles, so now is the perfect time to build your own dream home and choose your Summer direction. We’ve got a quick summary of each no-cost package to help you choose your Summer direction below!

Summer Solar Package

Solar power is a great way to ensure your home is environmentally sustainable, as well as being a fantastic cost-saving measure. With our Summer Solar Package, you’ll get a 3kW Solar Power System and an Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water in all states except Victoria. If you’re planning to build your dream home in Victoria, you’ll get a 4kW Solar Power System and an Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water for your new home. Choosing this Summer Direction for your new home will help reduce its footprint, and save you money in the long run!

Kitchen Summer Package

The kitchen is the heart of every home, and here at Hotondo Homes we want to give you the best! When you choose our Kitchen Summer Package, your new home will have beautiful Blanco appliances. This package includes a Blanco 460 litre fridge/freezer in an elegant dark stainless finish in keeping with 2019 trends, Blanco granite undermount sink and tap, Blanco fully integrated dishwasher to keep things clean, and a Blanco 9kg front load washing machine, plus a Blanco 7kg heat pump dryer. If you’re building one of our luxurious Oasis homes, you’ll also benefit from a Blanco freestanding wine cooler, perfect to use when entertaining family and friends! When you choose our Kitchen Summer Package for your new Retreat or Sanctuary designs, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning Essastone by Laminex stone benchtops, truly creating a cohesive colour palette for your space.

Home Automation Summer Package

In 2019, make your home fully automated when you choose our Home Automation Summer Package! With a lighting and voice control system, controlling the sound and light in each space has never been easier. You’ll also have voice assistant speakers including an Amazon Alexa Echo, smart voice licence Voice Cloud, and premium unlimited phone and cloud support for twelve months. Your new living or media room will also include a Sonos Playbar and Sub as part of the audio system so you can fully immerse yourself in your favourite movies and music!

Flooring Summer Package

You’ll get up to $10,000 towards your flooring from Choices Flooring when you choose a flooring Summer Direction! Their wide range of flooring available will create spaces that complement your family’s lifestyle. Whether it’s smooth, durable vinyl plank flooring in the open-plan zones or lovely, plush carpet for the bedrooms, you’re sure to find a style that completes your home’s overall aesthetic.

If you’ve decided to take the leap in 2019 and build your own new home, choosing a Summer Direction will ensure your beautiful new home will be better than you ever imagined with one of our no-cost bonus packages worth over $10,000. Head over to the Hotondo Homes website to find out more about this offer today. But hurry, our Summer Directions offer ends March 23, 2019.

Terms and Conditions apply.

If you’ve been waiting all year to host Christmas in your beautiful new Hotondo home and show off that stunning new kitchen, elegant dining area, and enjoy relaxing in your living space with family and friends, we’re here to help. We’ve got some tried and true dessert recipes from some of our very own Hotondo team members that you can make ahead of time to help with your celebrations for Christmas Day!

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Shortbread


Who doesn’t love shortbread? It’s perfect to enjoy with a cuppa as you put your feet up and relax after a long day of celebrating. Best of all, it’s quick and easy to make a couple of days in advance! This recipe serves ten people approximately.

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cup rice flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Icing sugar mixture, to dust (optional)


Chocolate Ripple Cake Wreath


A twist on an old favourite, this is another dessert you can make the day before you need to serve it, and just save the decorating for the day of your celebration! This yummy dessert serves approximately twelve people.

2 x packets of chocolate ripple biscuits
500g thickened cream for whipping
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Chocolate cream biscuits
Peppermint balls
Mint leaf lollies


Clootie Dumpling (Cloth Dumpling)

This is a Scottish recipe that takes a little TLC to create, so allow some time a few days before you want to serve it to create this delicious pudding! Serves approximately twenty people.

500g self raising flour – for mixture
1 cup suet
1 cup sugar
500g mix of currants and sultanas (any ratio of your choosing)
25g mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Treacle for taste (however no more than ½ cup)
Milk (up to 1 cup if needed)
Preferred alcohol of choice (that goes well with fruit – sherry, whisky, Drambuie, etc)
Some extra flour
Boiling water (from the kettle)

Calico sheet – you’ll need approximately 50cm2
2 large mixing bowls
1 large stock pot
Strong rubber band
Mixing spoon


Tobler-Tastic Cheesecake

Cheesecake is always a winning dessert especially on a hot Christmas day, and this one combines some amazing flavours. It serves approximately ten people and best of all, it’s no-bake!

1 ½ cups chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed to crumbs
100g melted butter
500g cream cheese, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water
200g milk chocolate Toblerone, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup thickened cream, softly whipped
1 punnet raspberries pureed and sieved into 2 tablepsoons, combined with 2 tablespoons icing sugar
Toblerone shavings, for decoration
Extra raspberries for decoration


Note that you can substitute strawberries and it still tastes delicious!

Ausukes (Little Ears)

Best eaten when made or day of making

Ingredients and equipment
500g plain flour
2 sachets dried yeast
2 eggs
125g butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup luke warm water
½ cup milk (if necessary)
Canola oil for frying

1 large baking bowl (china or ceramic)
1 large frying pan
Paper towel
Serving plate or bowl
Rolling pin

Note: in order for the mixture to rise, please keep ingredients warm.
This reciple makes about 48.

We hope these delicious dessert recipes help with your meal prep in the lead up to Christmas Day, and that the celebrations in your new Hotondo home are beautiful memories you and your family will treasure for years to come. From everyone at Hotondo Homes, we wish you a very merry Christmas, and a happy and safe new year!

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

In the last six months, we added to our selection of display homes open to the public with four new ones! These homes showcase the versatility of Hotondo Homes designs as well as focusing on the quality of workmanship in each home. These displays are also another great example of Hotondo Homes’ attention to detail when building a home to suit a range of families and lifestyles.

Esplanade 260 – Torquay

Want to take advantage of the beautiful views where you live? The Esplanade 260 is a stunning example of reverse living at its finest. Local Hotondo Homes builder Peter chose this design for his display because ‘the Esplanade 260 is light, bright and airy. The open-plan upstairs living room is sunny and spacious, and offers generous rooms and family lifestyle flexibility – yet it can still fit on relatively small blocks. The courtyard decks offer alternate semi-sheltered outdoor spaces to choose from on sunny and windy days. The kitchen will satisfy anyone who likes to cook and entertain. Even storage areas are generous!’ A three bedroom home, the beauty of this design rests in the reverse layout. With the open-plan kitchen, living and dining zones upstairs, including a butler’s pantry, and a master suite complete with a spacious walk-in-robe and ensuite located at the rear of the main living zones, your family will be able to fully enjoy the views around your home.

Hume 244 – Mackay

Spacious family living and modern design blend together in the Hume 244, giving your family everything it needs to comfortably reside in this beautiful home for years to come. With three bedrooms at the front and the master suite at the rear of the property creating a secluded parents’ retreat, plus a separate living room for more formal entertaining, this is the perfect home for growing families. There’s also a generously sized open-plan kitchen and living space that connects to the alfresco perfectly blending indoor/outdoor living, making everyday living and entertaining a dream.

Jagera 250 – Batemans Bay

A family home with all the bells and whistles, the Jagera 250 has loads of living space with a formal lounge room at the front of the home in addition to the spacious open-plan kitchen/living/dining area strategically located on the right side of the home. With a separate study that’s perfect as a home office or a study zone for the kids, this home is designed with versatility for families in mind. Local Hotondo Homes builder Darren says the Jagera 250 ‘has a great feel to the layout. We have built it previously for clients and they have loved it. It’s part of a family of sizes so clients have options depending on their block size. Plus, who doesn’t want a walk-in pantry!’

Vida 238 ALT – Jimboomba

The Vida 238 ALT is perfectly designed to suit large families. An open-plan living space in the centre of the home that’s surrounded by three bedrooms and an additional living room makes family life the main focus of this design. The luxurious master suite is cleverly placed at the front of the house, creating the ultimate parents’ retreat. There’s also an alfresco that connects seamlessly to the dining area so your family can enjoy true indoor/outdoor living. With so much space and so many wonderful features, this beautiful home is perfect for a range of families and lifestyles.

If you’re looking for the perfect home design, take a look at our display homes that are open to the public! There are a range of designs and floor plans available for you to walk through so you can get a feel for the Hotondo Homes style and craftsmanship. No display home near you? No worries! You can use our 3D Explore tool to take a virtual walk through our displays at the click of a button. For more floor plans and home design inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Calling all first home buyers! If you’re ready to make your very first real estate purchase, there are first home owner grants you may be eligible for to help you get into your dream home. We’ve done a little research and rounded up a quick summary for you of how each state’s First Home Owner Grants stack up as they vary in amount and property value. Take a look at your state’s grant eligibility requirements and what you could receive when you decide to purchase your first home!

First Home Owner


You’re eligible to receive up to $20,000 in First Home Owner Grants in Victoria depending on where you’re purchasing and the value of the home. If the home is in regional Victoria, you’ll receive $20,000 in FHOG – it’s the perfect excuse to make that move to the country! If the home you’re buying is not in regional Victoria, then you’ll receive $10,000 in grants. These grants are based on the purchaser buying or building a home up to the value of $750,000. There are also additional exemptions and concessions available to first home buyers such as off-the-plan and pensioner concessions, so make sure you do your homework and find out which grants are applicable to your purchase.

New South Wales

The First Home Owner Grant (New Home) assists eligible first home owners who are buying or building a home up to the value of $600,000, entitling them to a $10,000 grant. The NSW Government also has the First Home Buyers Assistance scheme, which provides exemptions or concessions on transfer duty for new and existing homes valued up to $650,000, and concessions on duty for new and existing homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.

Australian Capital Territory

For first home purchasers in the ACT, a FHOG of $7,000 is available for transactions entered into before June 30, 2019 for properties whose total value (including land) is up to $750,000. Any transactions entered into after this date will not be eligible to receive the grant.

First Home Owner


First home owners are eligible to either $15,000 or $20,000 towards buying or building a new home, and this grant covers houses, units and townhouses up to the value of $750,000. It also covers purchasers who are buying off the plan, meaning you can find a home design that’s already attached to titled land and ready to build to save yourself some time! If your contract of sale is dated between October, 2012 and June 30, 2016 OR from July 1, 2018 or later, you’ll receive $15,000. If your contract of sale is dated from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 you’re eligible to receive $20,000.

South Australia

In SA, the FHOG amount varies depending on a range of factors. Previously there were a range of grants available to first home buyers, however currently only first home purchasers of off-the-plan apartments are eligible to receive up $21,330 in grants where a transaction was entered into between May 31, 2012 to June 30, 2018. Unfortunately, established homes where a transaction was entered into from July 1, 2014 onwards are not eligible for any FHOGs.

First Home Owner


The Tasmanian Government announced in the 2018/19 State Budget that the First Home Owner Grant would be extended for one additional year. First home owners will be eligible to receive $20,000 for transactions up to and including June 30, 2019. The extension of the FHOG ends on June 30, 2019, so there’s still a bit of time for you to find that dream home! Eligible transactions include a comprehensive home building contract for a new home, the building of a new home by an owner builder, and the contract for the purchase of a new home such as a spec. or off-the-plan purchase.

Northern Territory

First home owners purchasing a new home in the NT are eligible for a FHOG of $26,000. The home must be a dwelling that has never previously been sold or occupied as a place of residence. There is also a $2,000 household goods grant available for eligible applicants who entered into a contract to build or purchase a new home on or after September 1, 2016. Alternatively, first home owners who are purchasing an established home may be eligible for a stamp duty discount of up to $23,928, as well as a home renovation grant of up to $10,000, which means it’s the perfect time to buy that fixer-upper you’ve been looking at!

Western Australia

This one-off payment of $5,000 is available to first home buyers who have entered into a contract to purchase or construct a new home between January 1 and June 30, 2017. This also covers owner builders who commenced laying foundations of their home between these dates. This grant has geographically determined caps on the total value of the home up to either $750,000 or $1,000,000 depending on the location.

No matter which state you’re purchasing or building your first home in, there are First Home Owner Grants to help you get your foot in the door of the property market. Doing a little research will benefit you and your bank account in the long run, as most states offer some kind of assistance to first home buyers, depending on the transaction date and the home’s value. The Hotondo Homes website also features a Borrowing Power Calculator to help you determine how much you can afford to spend on your dream home.

Hotondo Homes is not a registered financial advisory and therefore we recommend you speak to your financial advisor or mortgage broker to receive expert advice before you enter into a real estate contract of sale.

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.

With over 90 flexible floor plans, Hotondo Homes has a wealth of home designs to choose from. Each home is designed with careful consideration to suit a range of family sizes and lifestyles, so whether you’re a first home buyer looking for a modestly sized home, or a growing family that wants lots of space to spread out, you’re sure to find something that suits you and your family perfectly! We recently spoke to some of our builders to find out which home design is their current favourite and why, and we loved hearing what they had to say!

Allegra 187 – Steve Allan, Hotondo Homes Toowoomba

Steve says his pick has to be the Allegra 187. “Fitting 4 bedrooms plus a separate living room as well as a full-size laundry and an alfresco space into 187m2 is a design challenge which has been met and exceeded with this efficient floor plan. Having the living area completely separate at the front of the home complete with a large entry area is an added bonus.”

Erskine 240 – Adam Sturt, Hotondo Southcoast

“I love the open space at the back, the walk-in-robe and the flexibility of the design of the Erskine 240 façade! It’s a design that’s perfect for all – new buyers, families, and investors.” Featuring everything you could want in a family home, including a separate living room, and a generous butler’s pantry, it’s not hard to see why Adam and his team love the Erskine 240!

Vida 238/Vida 238 ALT – Craig Bunning, Hotondo Homes Jimboomba

“We have received a lot of positive feedback from clients about the Vida 238 ALT’s open plan space,” says Craig. “There’s also a second living area located away from the main living zone, as well as access to the kitchen/living/dining space from both sides and ends of the hallway – the kitchen is the central hub of the home, and the master suite has a large ensuite creating a true parents’ retreat.”

Stockton 322 and 380 – Paul Ellem, Hotondo Homes Junee

“I love the Stockton range of home designs – they’re perfect for acreages and wider blocks,” Paul tells us. Available in two sizes, the Stockton is a four bedroom home with an abundance of space. Large open-plan living with a spacious alfresco to complement the generously sized design means this home offers comfort and style for the whole family.

Hume 263 – Jim Carroll, Hotondo Homes Albury-Wodonga

Jim says “We love the luxurious master bedroom located at the rear of the Hume 263, providing ultimate privacy for parents. The open-plan kitchen and living area flows seamlessly to the alfresco, making it brilliant for entertaining with family and friends. This home is perfect for taking in scenic views as well!”

Marcoola Range – Aaron Anstis and Nick Barker, Hotondo Homes Ocean Grove

Available in three sizes, Aaron says “The Marcoola has a good range of sizes to suit many families, and it also suits various block orientations. It’s a versatile home that can cater for a growing family and many different lifestyles.” This range truly offers flexibility, and the clever design makes it the perfect family home.

If you’re wanting to build your dream home, make sure you visit the Hotondo Homes website today to have a look at the wide range of home designs available. With something to suit everyone, you’re sure to find the perfect home for your family!

Love where you live but feel like your home is less than perfect, and you don’t really want to renovate? It might be time to start thinking about knocking down your home and rebuilding it! Whether you’ve just bought an older home and want to rebuild it before you move in, or your family has outgrown their existing home and you need to completely redesign it to suit your needs, a knockdown rebuild will give you the opportunity to have your dream home in the location you already know and love.

Location, Location, Location

Knockdown Rebuild
If you love your neighbourhood and you really don’t love the idea of moving house, knocking down your home and rebuilding in the exact same location means you’ll be able to enjoy your location for many years. For families with kids, there’s no need to change schools and make new friends, and adults won’t need to reconsider work commute times and distances from all their favourite local haunts – you’ll all get to continue to enjoy the familiarity of your existing suburb.

Renovate Versus Rebuild

Knockdown Rebuild
Knocking down your home is a daunting thought, and many people often wonder if a simple renovation will give them the house they want. However, renovating has its drawbacks and can be a expensive project to undertake. When renovating, having to work around existing structures and spaces can be costly and difficult, and often renovations can uncover underlying problems in other areas of the home, leading to more repairs that were not previously included in the initial renovation budget. The cost of the renovation can quickly escalate, leaving you with a sizeable dent in your finances as a result.

Completely New Floor Plan

Knockdown Rebuild
When rebuilding your home, you have the luxury of being able to choose a home design that suits every aspect of your family life. Instead of partially renovating an existing home and still not having a layout you entirely love, your builder will have numerous home designs to suit your block of land, so you can find a floor plan that truly works for you. These plans can also be modified so that they’re even more compatible with your family’s lifestyle, and you’ll end up with a home that doesn’t compromise on comfort, space, and layout.

A Newer, More Efficient Home

Knockdown Rebuild
Rebuilding your home means you’ll also be able to incorporate many new modern conveniences and energy efficient appliances into an otherwise dated home. Selecting appliances that have a high energy efficiency rating will help reduce your environmental footprint. Your new home will also most likely include a water tank to help reduce household water wastage, and you can opt to include solar panels as part of the new build, meaning your power usage and bills will be reduced over time, which is a huge plus for both your family finances and the environment.

While it can be incredibly daunting to think about completely knocking down your home, the long-term benefits can far outweigh any apprehension you may have. Being able to choose or modify an existing design to suit your family’s precise needs means you’ll be able to enjoy your newly rebuilt home for many years to come. To view our variety of home designs, or to find a builder local to you, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Reverse living is a way of designing a home with the kitchen, living, and dining areas upstairs, and the bedrooms downstairs. Essentially, the ground floor of a traditional home design is swapped with the upstairs so the layout is reversed. This trend originated in Scandinavia, but more Australians are embracing the trend as it’s perfectly suited to many aspects of Aussie family lifestyles and environments.

Environment and Surrounds

Reverse Living
The biggest benefit of reverse living is having a home that takes full advantage of the surrounding views and environment. Suited to many different locations, such as coastal living, open country spaces, and even bushland, having your main living space upstairs means your family gets beautiful views throughout the day, seeing the landscape from the best possible vantage point.

Natural Light and Sustainability

Reverse Living
Reverse living allows for your kitchen, living, and dining spaces to be bathed in as much natural light as possible. With unobstructed first floor windows, your home will be filled with natural light during the daytime when your family is most likely to be in these spaces for longer amounts of time, reducing the need for lights and reducing electricity consumption. You can also incorporate floor to ceiling slider doors and larger windows that let the breeze in when they’re open. This will provide welcome respite in the warmer months, and reduce the need for air conditioners to be used all day long.

Kids’ Retreat

Reverse Living
Many reverse living designs position children’s bedrooms downstairs with a main bathroom, while the master suite is upstairs off the living area. For families with older children this will provide a bit of a buffer between noisy teens and their parents, giving each person a little more space to relax in! Locating the bedrooms downstairs will also keep them shaded and cooler in the Summer months, again reducing the need to air condition each space all day long. Many people also opt to include an additional rumpus room or media room downstairs so the kids have another area to chill out in, particularly as they get older.

Holiday Home Solution

Reverse Living
Reverse living is a great solution for families wanting to build their own holiday home. Coastal or county getaways are perfect for a reverse living home as they maximise the panoramic views and serenity of quieter locations, creating the perfect escape. You may also want to include a small kitchenette downstairs near the bedrooms to make your guests feel right at home and create an additional level of privacy by giving them their own space to retreat to.

If you’re looking for a home design solution that helps you take advantage of a beautiful location, incorporates sustainability into its design, and provides a family home to suit a range of lifestyles, reverse living is well worth considering. Head over to the Hotondo Homes website to see a range of design options, like our stunning Catalina 282 which is perfect reverse living inspiration!

The idea of a big, sprawling family home is something a lot of people dream of, but often location or land size only allows for a modest sized home, which can present its own challenges. However, with a variety of smaller home designs available, and a number of clever interior design tricks, smaller homes can feel roomy and spacious!


Small home
It’s tempting to create large, open spaces in smaller homes to create a seamless flow of space, but there’s nothing wrong with still wanting some separation between the zones of your home. Creating a kitchen and dining space that’s open-plan is great for these common areas, but designing a living area that’s slightly sectioned off from those high traffic zones will make your home feel a little roomier and add the luxury of a separate space for the family to relax in. If you’re building a townhouse with a second storey, having the majority of the bedrooms upstairs means your ground floor can include things like a dedicated study, a more generous master suite with an ensuite and walk-in robe, or even an additional fourth bedroom.

Interior Design

Small home
Many people subscribe to the idea that modest homes should be all white inside, but this definitely isn’t the case anymore. Smaller homes are more frequently being painted with rich, colourful tones to create the feeling of cosy, warm spaces in bedrooms and lounge rooms, with neutral furniture used to contrast these colours. Feature walls with wallpaper can also be used to give a small room focus and colour, and statement furniture pieces like armchairs, ottomans, and area rugs in coloured tones will give your rooms character.


Small home
In a small home, it’s tempting to fill it with lots of smaller pieces of furniture that fit the space, which can lead to a home that’s crowded with too many items in every room. Instead, focus on purchasing a few larger, key pieces of furniture for each space. For example, buying a bed with storage under the mattress will eliminate the need for a dresser in the bedroom, and in the lounge area one larger modular couch will suit the space better than multiple smaller couches and armchairs. The larger pieces will create an atmosphere of space, and prevent the rooms from feeling cluttered.

Smart Use of Space

Small home
Smaller homes often don’t allow for the luxury of separate studies, guest rooms and extra storage space. The key to including little luxuries that larger homes have is to be smart about utilising the of space you have. If you’re building a double storey townhouse, under the stair case is a perfect spot to create a concealed storage space for sports equipment, seasonal clothing that needs to be stored away, or even a cheeky wine cellar! Designing a study nook against a small section of wall creates an efficient and confined workspace in a common area that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the space. In kid’s rooms, purchasing bunk beds or beds with trundles under them allows for sleepovers and room sharing between siblings without the need for two single beds side by side taking up most of the floor space.

Having a smaller home doesn’t mean you and your family need to feel like you’re all living on top of each other! By designing a home that maximises space and includes a clever use of design features with warm interior themes, you can build a home that’s big on space inside and still fits a modest block of land. For more home design ideas for smaller blocks, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

With so much emphasis placed on open-plan living, and indoor/outdoor space in new homes, it’s easy to forget to focus on another room you spend a lot of time in: the master bedroom! It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing the master bedroom purely as a functional space to sleep in each night, but more and more people are designing master suites that even the most extravagant hotels would envy, and we’ve got some tips to help you create a master bedroom that evokes the feeling of a luxurious sanctuary.

Statement Pieces

Master Suite
The most important piece of furniture in the master suite is the bed. Comfort is a must, but choosing a design that works with the room is just as important. Selecting a style with an eye-catching bedhead in an upholstered fabric or leather, or even a four poster style means the bed will be a statement on its own. Placing it against a coloured wall or wallpaper creates a feature wall that immediately elevates the feel of the room from functional to fabulous. Gone are the days of purchasing a matching four-piece set of furniture. More and more people are opting for a mix and match style of bedside tables, drawers, and beds to put their own unique style stamp on the space.

Design and Layout

Master Suite
Including a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom is common in new homes, as well as an ensuite bathroom with his ‘n’ hers sinks. You can discreetly place a sizeable walk-in wardrobe behind the bed, hidden by a feature wall, and the ensuite is best positioned off to the side of the room, or inside the entry to the master suite, keeping it separate from the main space but still close by. The size of the room will determine the size of the furniture that will complement it. A smaller master suite can still feel spacious – you just to need to ensure you choose a bed and accompanying furniture that’s slimline and modern, while larger rooms will allow you to select furniture that’s grander and fills the room.

Lighting, Flooring, and Window Treatments

Master Suite
A bedroom should feel calm as soon as you enter it. Having a variety of lighting to create a soft, serene atmosphere will create this feeling of quietude, particularly at night when lighting can be dimmed. Statement pendant lights over each bedside table draw the eye towards the top of the bed, and continue the softly lit atmosphere. A soft, thick carpet underfoot will evoke a feeling of luxury, or if you have floorboards, a large area rug positioned halfway under the bottom part of the bed will give your feet something soft to land on when you get up in the morning. If you have large windows, curtains may suit the space and create a feeling of opulence, whereas smaller windows may call for sleek blinds or shutters to create a feeling of space and openness while still allowing lots of natural light in during the day.

Soft Furnishings and Finishing Touches

Master Suite
One of the best ways to create a master suite that feels elegant and chic is to include beautiful soft furnishings. Bedding that’s layered with different textures and includes a number of different pillows, cushions, and blankets will create a feeling of richness and comfort. If your room allows it, a plush armchair in a patterned fabric or rich colour will add a little element of style to any corner. Placing decorative items like candles on the top of your dresser, or touches of greenery with small plants on a few surfaces, including in the ensuite, will add a little life to the spaces as well.

Having a master suite that creates the feeling of a luxury space to escape to and relax in is one of the most important things when building your new home, and it’s something you’ll appreciate for years to come. For more tips and inspiration for your dream home, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Building a new home is a process that many people can find daunting – there are so many choices to make, from selecting land to build on, a home design that’s perfect for your family, and the colour selections, fixtures and fittings you want in your home. Having someone to guide you through the process is invaluable, and if you’re considering building a new home for the first time, we’ve put together a short summary of each stage of the home building journey to help explain the process and what’s involved every step of the way.

Contract Signing

Once you’ve decided to build a home, your builder will arrange the necessary documentation such as soil report, levels, plans, specifications, engineer’s drawings, and energy rating information so that a contract can be signed. Once that is complete, they will submit all the documentation for building approval. The builder will also order a site set out survey and arrange to commence work on the site once the building permit has been issued.


If you haven’t purchased land yet, your builder will be able to show you a number of house and land options so you can purchase something with a home design already allocated to that plot of land. Your builder can also put you in touch with their network of land agents and land developers to help you find that perfect piece of land in your desired location.

Home Design Selection

The home design is selected early on in the process. Often clients will already have a floor plan in mind, but for those who don’t, your builder can suggest designs that will suit your block of land, needs, and your budget. Your builder will also be able to help suggest designs with a high energy efficiency, as well as designs that will take advantage of the surrounding environment and views.

Colour Selections

Once a home design is selected, it’s time to make your colour selections. This is often one of the most exciting stages for clients! Choosing your home’s exterior appearance and interior colour scheme can be difficult as you’re spoiled for choice with all the possibilities! A qualified colour consultant will sit down with you for an in-depth appointment that can often take a whole day. The consultant will guide you through the inclusions for each part of the home design and help you make choices based on the latest trends and styles. Your builder may ask you to do you colour selections prior to your contact signing to minimise the possibility of any changes later on.

Inspecting Your Home’s Progress

Your builder will invite you to come and inspect your home’s progress at many stages during the build, often each time a progress payment has been made. At each stage of works completed, clients have the opportunity to do a walk through and work with the builder and electrician to confirm the placement of things like powerpoints and lights, and the location of shower and bath mixers and shower niches. It also helps the client visualise the space and where their furniture will be placed once the home is complete. You are always welcome to arrange an inspection of your home at any time, your builder understands that this is an exciting time for you and that you’ll love seeing the progress!


Once the build is complete, clients are invited to do a final walkthrough with their builder to ensure everything has been built to specification and is correct. Your builder will show you where all the important things are, such as the switchboard, water pumps, and mains, and show you how to use the appliances. The client then signs off on the build, and the builder hands over the keys to their new home! The builder will also book in a maintenance appointment to ensure the new home is perfect.

The builder will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure you are truly having your dream home built. The builder and their team will offer additional assistance and reassurance as needed during your home building journey, and will ensure you are satisfied with your customer experience and your beautiful new home! To view Hotondo Homes designs and house and land packages, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.