Find all the tips, advice and new home inspiration with our Home Blog
We asked the question to nine of our builders from right across the country, and here are their responses!
Aaron Anstis – Ocean Grove, VIC
A must-have feature of a modern home is a well-considered kitchen and pantry. We spend so much time in and around our kitchens and to consider the locations of sinks, dishwashers, ovens, drawers is critically important. A well-considered kitchen means that you will be able to enjoy the space in an efficient manner, while still maintaining its cosmetic appeal.
Adam Sturt – Nowra, NSW
Large windows throughout the home and an open-plan layout – it is all about creating the illusion of more space! All bathrooms should have modern floor-to-ceiling tiles, of course!
Anthony Wolff – Mackay, QLD
A large alfresco area. It offers the perfect place to unwind every evening and it is a great place for entertaining on the weekends!
Lyndsey Clarke – Central Coast, NSW
Hidden storage. It’s simple, but so necessary. Linen closets are great, but an under stairs storage area or an extra storage room, even just extra cabinets in the pantry or laundry is a must-have in the modern home. To have a brand new home is one thing, but a brand new home with no clutter and where every item has a spot to live is perfect!
Caroline Allen – Inverloch, VIC
Living in the south of Victoria – a drying room! They are relatively easy to incorporate into a space either off the laundry or under a stairwell. During the winter months when you have your home heating on, you can utilise this space to dry your clothes as well!
Glenda Heath – Port Lincoln, SA
Separate toilet to the bathroom is something we need to bring back! I would also definitely say an alfresco area or balcony, depending on your views. Indoor/outdoor living is still very much alive!
Russell Pearse – Ararat, VIC
Double glazing to your windows and other energy efficiency measures can save you a tonne in utility bills. While it may cost more upfront, the long-run benefits are by far worth it.
Amira Willingham – Ballarat, VIC
The must-have feature in the modern home is by far a walk-in-pantry. This allows for a vast amount of storage for not just food, but rarely-used appliances that take up precious room in cupboards such as mixers, breadmakers slow cookers etc. It also allows you to hide the mess!
Gillian Coleman – Bathurst/Orange, NSW
Outdoor living is very important, as is plenty of storage like walk-in-pantries, large walk-in-robes and linen cupboards. You can never have too much storage space!
What is your must-have feature? Let us know in the comments!
The storage space needs to be one that is safe, secure, clean, free from damp, mould and pests, and be manned by a friendly, expert team. With peace of mind all your belongings are safe and sound, you can then focus on the job at hand – building your dream home.
However, it doesn’t matter how safe or secure your storage space is, if your belongings aren’t packed properly they could suffer damage. Not only do you need to know how to pack moving boxes, you also need to understand how to pack the storage space itself so that you can maximise your investment and protect all your household treasures.
Our simple checklist will help you get the most out of your storage space and ensure your goods are in tip top condition when it comes time to move into your brand new Hotondo Home.
Before you even think about storage, we suggest you undertake a thorough spring clean. After all, you pay for both storage and removal services based on the volume of your goods. There’s no point in paying to store items you don’t use or are unlikely to need in the future. Go through your belongings with a fine toothcomb and sort the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘can live withouts’.
Compile an Inventory
Once you’ve decided exactly which items you’re going to keep, make an inventory of everything that’s going into storage. It’s a good idea to have a few copies of this on-hand, including one to leave inside your storage unit once it’s all packed.
Source Storage Quotes
Armed with your inventory, you will be able to contact multiple storage providers to source quotes. Make sure you know exactly what is included in your quote so that you’re comparing apples with apples. Does the quote include pick-up and delivery costs? Does it include insurance? Are there extra charges when it comes to accessing your belongings?
Prepare Whitegoods Properly
All whitegoods (including fridges, freezers, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers) must be completely drained and then cleaned, disinfected and thoroughly dried before they are placed in storage. You should also leave all doors ajar to prevent odor build-up.
Damp or dirty whitegoods are a breeding ground for mould and mildew, so if you want to use your fridge again you really need to make sure know how to store a refrigerator.
Take Note of Items That Can’t Be Stored
There are certain things that just don’t belong in a storage space such as corrosive, poisonous and toxic substances. In addition, anything containing fuel or oil (like lawn mowers), and items like batteries, scuba tanks, aerosol cans, or any kind of pressurised vessels should never be placed in storage.
Pack Your Storage Boxes Like A Pro
Packing moving boxes for storage is an art form. To ensure your treasures survive, we suggest you keep a few essential packing tips in mind.
Check out Kent’s Storage Checklist & Tips for even more tips and tricks.
Take on a few of these quick makeover ideas to lift and improve your home in a matter of hours!
First impressions – an inviting entry
Stand out from the crowd with a beautiful new front door. If you are more daring, try painting it a bold colour for something unique. Don’t forget a welcome mat, or even a large potted plant for maximum impact!
The neglected entryway
Often forgotten in interior design is the entry to your home. A small-scale table and mirror is a great way to give it some character and it is the perfect place to set the tone for the rest of the home. If possible, add some storage for your shoes, keys and other items you generally leave by the door.
Up the ante with new tapware
One of the quickest ways to improve your home is to update your tapware. Matte black remains a popular choice, just be sure your new faucets match the configuration of your existing ones. Try updating your showerhead too. A luxurious waterfall showerhead will add instant class to any bathroom!
READ MORE: TAPWARE TO PERSONALISE YOUR BATHROOM SPACE
Replace your cabinet handles
Simple, cheap and easy to do, changing the handles of your kitchen cupboards can make an enormous difference to the overall feel of your kitchen. You can pick up cheap, beautiful pieces from your local hardware store, or for a more eclectic feel, try an op-shop!
Repaint or paper your wall
Nothing can improve your home quick like a fresh coat of paint. Whether you are merely updating your white walls or looking to create a bold feature wall, painting your wall will instantly transform the entire room. Alternatively, wallpaper is making a comeback!
Embrace the outdoors
Absolute minimal effort: Invest in some outdoor furniture. Summer is here, so make the most of the good weather and extend your living area to your backyard! Add a few new plants, an outdoor light and voila, you have new space to enjoy with family and friends!
Do you have any quick ways to improve your home in 2017? Let us know in the comments!
With so many different builders and floor plans out there, it is important to ask yourself a few simple questions before decision-time arrives. Below are tips from our design team which can help you work out the most important features you need to choose the perfect design.
Timeframe – it is important to consider how long you plan to live in the home. If your plan is short-term, you’ll learn very quickly what works well, what features you like, and what you want to change for your next home. If it is long-term, you will need to think about how your lifestyle may change over the coming years.
Single or double storey – if you already have land, you will need to consider what type of home is going to best suit it. With lot sizes generally decreasing, a double storey home is a great way to get extra space for your backyard, as well as in your home. However, single storey homes are more age-friendly and energy costs can be significantly cheaper. Think about what kind of home is going to best suit your current and future lifestyle.
Children – the age and number of children will determine many factors. In addition to the number of bedrooms, parents of young children might want a rumpus room for the kids to play in, while teenage children might require a quiet space away from living areas to study. A home that has zoned the kid’s area in a separate wing is a great way to close the doors, dull the noise and hide any mess.
Location of bedrooms – your bedroom is your sanctuary. You will need to consider whether you prefer it at the front of the home or the rear, and how close you want it located to the other bedrooms. You should always consider the proximity of bedrooms to the bathroom, laundry and living room noise as well.
Versatile design – a versatile home is one that will adapt as you need it to. A rumpus room can be turned into a study as kids get older. Second living spaces can be converted into bedrooms for elderly parents. Be mindful of how your chosen design can adapt with you.
Lifestyle – your lifestyle will influence what features you have in your home. If you are an avid movie fan, you might consider a home theatre. If you love entertaining, an alfresco or formal lounge could be ideal. If you run a business from home, a home office located near the entry would be perfect.
Kitchen – always consider the kitchen work triangle when looking at your design. The kitchen work triangle is made up of the distance between the most used items in the kitchen – your cooktop, sink and refrigerator. These three elements need to be close together for convenience, but not too close it becomes cramped. You will also need to decide where you will store everything. A good way to work out the best location for your pots, pans, plates and cutlery is to imagine serving dinner, unloading the dishwasher and baking a cake.
Block of land – your design must be suited to the block of land. If you have a narrow inner city allotment, your options are more restricted compared to a rural acreage block. In addition, if the land has a slope, you may need a split level design. Every land estate has different design requirements, so be sure to check your contract thoroughly.
Backyard – what you would like to achieve with a backyard will impact the size of the block of land you need and the size of the home. Keen gardeners, entertainers or people with pets may want a larger backyard than those who don’t spend much time outdoors.
Think about the furniture you currently own – many people like the look of a home, however when it comes to moving they realise there isn’t a place for their current furniture. Quite often new home buyers may find their couch that fit perfectly in their old home does not suit the configuration of their new one. If you have a piece of furniture you cannot let go of, make sure it fits!
Storage – builders and designers are very savvy when it comes to incorporating storage into your home. There is no wasted space with every nook and cranny being used wisely. If you need more space room though, consider extending the garage to allow extra room for storing bicycles or a boat. You also may want to add extra storage inside your home for toys, linen or coats.
Study/computer nook – if you don’t want a complete study but you still want somewhere to store your computer or charge your laptop, a study nook is a great compromise. It is an efficient use of space and provides the perfect place to store all of your electronic devices, without giving up an entire room.
Room usage – while a third living area or home theatre may look amazing on the plan, practical applications need to be considered. If you are not going to be using a particular room it is wasted space. Utilise it for some other means or omit it completely and extend other, more practical rooms.
Don’t lose sight of the goal – keep referring back to why you’re moving in the first place. If your reason for moving was to downsize, make sure you don’t get caught up in the design process and end up with a bigger home than you started with. Similarly, if it’s an investment, consider the versatility of the home to suit a wide audience.
For more on how to choose the perfect design, visit hotondo.com.au
A messy bathroom can put a damper on the entire feel of your home. From soapy scum to unfinished bottles of shampoo, a thorough clean out of the entire bathroom will leave you feeling great. Read our list of items to clean out now and create your very own bathroom sanctuary!
1. Remove expired makeup, medication and other bottles
The quickest way to remove clutter from your bathroom is to throw away all expired products. Old makeup, medications and toiletries will become less effective over time and become a waste of space. Be sure to follow the instructions on how to dispose of each product, in particular the medication. If you are unsure, take it to a pharmacy for advice.
2. Group like-products together
Group all your remaining products together according to how often you use them. Your daily makeup, cleansing and medication items should all be kept close at hand. Extra toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner bottles can be put away in cabinets. It is advised to try and keep your products off the bathroom benchtop to keep the space looking clean and neat, however, we know from experience this just isn’t always possible. Best practice is to keep your daily items stored nicely on the benchtop in a group, and hide the rest away.
3. Store items creatively
Use baskets, bins or pretty containers to store items in your cupboards. Cutlery trays are great for bathroom drawers as well! If items are placed in the same area, not only can they be hidden from plain sight, but they will also become much easier to find.
4. Remove rusty razors, threadbare towels and ratty bathmats
Razors that cut your skin or worse, do absolutely nothing are useless and can be binned. The same goes for old loofahs or washcloths, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. If your towels are well past their used by date, take the time to invest in new ones to help make your bathroom feel a million dollars!
5. Use the walls for storage
If you have minimal storage room in your bathroom, utilise the roof or walls instead! There are plenty of hanging baskets you can purchase that are perfect to store your towels or other bathroom supplies. Hang them from the ceiling or wall and voila – you have created the perfect, easy-access storage unit!
6. If you haven’t used it in a year…
Then consider it for the trash. This applies to hair products, cleansers and other toiletries, but also that curling wand or crimping iron you used once, never to be touched again.
7. Hotel amenities
It may just be us, but if your bathroom is filled with the tiny samples of shampoo, conditioner and soap that you had to take because you knew you would use them someday… it’s time to let them go. They create unnecessary clutter and let’s face it, they are unlikely to be used.
If you have an ABUNDANCE of these products, why not create a basket for your guests to use whenever they are over?! We think it’s a great compromise between the need to take free products from the hotel and the need to actually find use for them.
9. Check for items that don’t belong
If you find anything in your bathroom that you don’t use in your bathroom, consider moving them elsewhere. If you are anything like us, no matter how much storage you may have, you will find a way to fill it. Wasting space on objects that don’t belong is pointless, so do a thorough clean out.
Is there anything else you do to freshen up your bathroom? Let us know in the comments!
It is the place where you can entertain your guests. The place where you go to relax. The place where a family can spend time with one another, or enjoy a TV show or movie.
Our list of living room must-haves can help you create the perfect space for your family. Add your own touches to create a true sanctuary that reflects your personality!
Adding a touch of green to your home is one of the most important living room must-haves. Plants look clean and crisp, and most importantly add ‘life’ to your room. Most plants will suit any décor or style, just be wary to choose one that can thrive in an indoor environment.
A comfy rug
A soft, luxurious rug that feels good underfoot can add an instant warmth and comfort to your living room. If you have floorboards, it can soften the look and make your space appear less harsh. When it comes to choosing a colour, keep in mind the amount of traffic you expect it to handle.
Plenty of lighting
Many people do not appreciate the difference a well-lit room can make. Try adding some floor lamps, or invest in some side-tables and have lights next to your lounge suite. Growing in popularity are exposed bulbs, which can also provide more light for your room.
Something personal is another very important item for our living room must-haves. To make it feel homely and welcoming, you will need something uniquely you. Family photos are a great example, or even a piece of homemade art. Gather a bunch of your little knickknacks and put them on display all together – the possibilities are endless!
Plenty of storage
Do you have a lot of DVDs? How about consoles for your TV? Make sure you choose a piece of furniture that can hide away some of the mess, to keep your living room looking clean and neat.
A coffee table
Although a relatively minor piece, a coffee table can bring your entire room together. Its central location to the couches makes it a focal point, and it can be used for extra storage when chosen wisely.
Window coverings can help make your living room feel complete. With a wide range of choices, you can almost instantly change the entire look and feel of your room, with just a few curtains, shutters or blinds.
Comfy pillows and a throw
Nothing says comfort like a beautiful throw and big, plump cushions. Your family and guests will thank you for the cosy and luxurious space you have created for them, with just a couple of pillows and a blanket.
If the kitchen truly is the heart of the home, and it is filled to the brim with pots, pans and general mayhem, you can bet it will affect the rest of the house too.
Keeping a pantry neat and organised can be a never-ending battle between you and the family. These days, most new homes feature a walk-in option or even a butler’s pantry to help combat the inevitable mess. We have put together a list of our top tips to help create or maintain stylish pantries! (more…)
Designing your bathroom with lots of open space is important. A glass door for the shower and at least one window instantly increases the airy feeling of a bathroom and helps avoid mould. Having plenty of lighting and a large mirror will also contribute to the overall spacious feel.
Fixtures also play an important role in design. Having a “his” and “hers” vanities and large shower-heads will add a touch of luxury. If you want to indulge, a freestanding bath not only looks incredible, but the space around the edges tricks you into believing it takes up less of your bathroom space than an inbuilt unit does. The colour of your fixtures can also significantly alter the feel of the bathroom.
Tiles set the entire bathroom interior into motion. Darker tiles add a touch of elegance while lighter tiles will make the room shine. ‘Grainy’ tiles will hide the dust and dirt between cleans. Even the colour of the grout can make an enormous difference to the style you achieve, so think carefully before selecting your tiles.
De-cluttering your bathroom is one of the simplest ways to increase its appeal. Having plenty of cupboards to store all your bathroom items points the focus to the beautiful fixtures and colours of the room. Don’t have enough space to hide all the mess? Consider floating shelves.
While storing most of your bottles or make-up out of sight is ideal, practicality is also important when creating your dream bathroom. There are plenty of other creative ways to store some of the more common bathroom items in an attractive manner:
The traditional white bathroom is clean, neat and glamorous, but don’t be afraid to add some colour. A darker theme can give the room a modern-edge, or for a really dramatic look, have some of your fixtures in bright, bold colours. If you don’t want to go all out, coordinate your towels and décor in sunshine yellow or bright red, and when you get sick of the colours, change them to instantly update the look.
The perfect bathroom requires appropriate décor. Plants create an instant fresh look and add a bit of colour. Candles create a warm, relaxing ambience. Vases are an excellent way to add a bit of glamour, and don’t be afraid to hang some artwork if it works well with the design and colours of your bathroom. This is your chance to really make the bathroom your own, so try a few different ideas to see what works best for you!
For more information on designing the perfect bathroom, contact your local Hotondo Homes builder here.