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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.

When you’re ready to build your new home, choosing a home design that will suit your family throughout many stages of life is the most important choice you’ll make. One of the decisions you’ll need to make is whether you opt for a single or double storey home. Both designs have a number of pros and cons, from lifestyle to budget there are a number of aspects that need to be taken into account. It can be a difficult decision to make, so we’ve got a quick summary of the advantages and disadvantages of single and double storey homes designs.

Construction and Living Costs

Double Storey
It’s no secret that double storey homes have a higher construction cost than single storey homes, purely because of the additional storey being built. However, one of the benefits to building a double storey home is that they can often be situated on smaller blocks of land than single storey homes, so while construction costs can be higher, the cost of the land you’re purchasing may actually be less than that of land required for a single storey home.

The cost of heating a cooling will vary between single and double storey homes and is something to consider when choosing a home design. Single storey homes are easier to heat and cool at the same time because each room is on the same level. Double storey homes will have a more varied temperature between floors, meaning you may need to install separate heating and cooling systems on each level, which is an added cost you will need to factor in to your budget at the time of building, and something to consider for your yearly utilities budget.

Use of Space

Double Storey
While single storey homes are obviously smaller than double storey designs, the use of space can be much more efficient. With a family-friendly layout all on one level, you’ll find that every corner of the home is utilised to its full potential with clever study nooks and conveniently placed storage filling the home to ensure no space is left unused. There’s also the benefit of not having a staircase, which means that floorspace isn’t being taken up and rendered an unliveable space, so you can include an additional living room, media room, or extra bedroom. However, because single storey homes often take up more land you may have to compromise on the size of your backyard to allow for a spacious home.

Double storey home designs are often bigger and can offer your family a lot more space not only inside the home, but on your land. These floor plans allow for a clearer separation of living space and bedrooms, often providing a much more generous allowance of space. This means that open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas can be more spacious when the entry level of the home is dedicated to everyday living, and bedrooms can be located upstairs, making them larger because of the additional storey. You might also find your double storey home design allows for additional rooms, such as a private study, or media room, as well as an extra rumpus room upstairs for the kids, giving the entire family enough room to spend time together and comfortably apart when needed.

Family Suitability

Lansdowne
Single storey homes are a perfect choice for young families, with home designs that situate everything on one level. Having your kitchen and common family areas located close to the bedrooms you’ll find it much easier to keep an eye on small children in a single storey home. You’ll also find that often the bedrooms are located close to one another, making night time feeds and cuddles a lot easier to manage because there’s less floor to travel to get there. The lack of stairs also removes a safety hazard for little children, giving you peace of mind during the baby and toddler years in your home.

However, if you have children who are heading into their teenage years, you might decide a double storey home is the perfect design for you. As kids get older and want a little more space and privacy, double storey floor plans offer more separation between living spaces and bedrooms. The master suite is often located on the ground floor creating a sanctuary for parents, while the kids’ rooms are upstairs nestled around a rumpus room they can enjoy with their friends. These home designs are often the perfect solution for families looking for additional space for their older children while still maintaining an open-plan living layout downstairs so your family can still spend time together on a daily basis.

While there are many good things about both single and double storey home designs, it’s a decision that needs to be made based on the suitability for your family, your overall lifestyle now and in the future, and your budget. To view our range of flexible single and double storey floor plans, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

When you’re building your new home, one of the most important features to think about is how you’re going to use lighting in each room that’s functional, while also creating the perfect atmosphere to suit each space. Lighting can be an afterthought, but it’s an important factor to consider for a number of reasons, so take a look at our tips and tricks to getting the lighting right in each area of your home.

Open-Plan Lighting

Lighting
In many new homes, open-plan areas that include the kitchen, dining, and living areas often already feature a lot of natural light thanks to large windows, which means you can be more strategic about how much lighting you use. It’s a great idea to include a statement piece of lighting over the kitchen island, such as pendant lights to create a visual divide between the kitchen and the rest of the space, and to add an element of style to a utilitarian area. If the kitchen isn’t receiving enough natural light, you might also like to include under-cabinet lighting to create an additional light source. A variety of light sources in the dining and lounge areas will create a softer feel to spaces that encourage more relaxation and family time. The dining area will benefit from soft overhead lights such as downlights to ensure the space is well-lit without being too bright, and you may even like to include a large pendant light or chandelier over your dining table to add an element of style. The lounge area can include much softer accent lighting such as floor and table lamps paired with minimal adjustable overhead lighting to create a quieter atmosphere.

Bedroom Lighting

Lighting
No matter the age of the bedroom occupant, each room’s lighting should encourage feelings of calm, quiet, and restfulness. In children’s’ and teenagers’ rooms, soft overhead lighting that can be brightened or dimmed as needed will help promote different energies throughout the day. Brighter daytime overhead lights are perfect for playtime or homework duties, while softer hues will help kids wind down naturally as bedtime approaches. Strategically placed bedside table lamps or corner floor lamps with dim bulbs are helpful at encouraging quiet moods that suit story time for little ones, or a moment of chill out time for older kids. Master suites will also benefit from mood lighting in the form of adjustable lighting, which encourages adults to unwind peacefully before bed. The addition of wall-mounted sconces on either side of the bed, or on-trend pendant lights in place of bedside table lamps add a luxurious feel to the room while softly lighting the space as night approaches.

Bathroom Lighting

Lighting
It’s important to have a decent natural light source in you bathroom as the space is often small, but when you’re designing the space you’ll also need to carefully consider how to light it when the outside light isn’t as bright. It’s best not to rely completely on overhead light as this can cast shadows on your face in the mirror. You can avoid this by installing lighting on either side of your mirror to help soften shadows and create a more muted feel, while still having sufficient light as you get ready in the morning or complete your evening routine. You might also like to include strip lighting under a floating vanity in the family bathroom to leave on as a visual guide for younger kids who need to get up in the night.

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting
Getting the outdoor lighting right in your new home is important for two reasons: you’ll need to provide a light source for night time arrivals that safely guide your family and friends to the front door, and to promote a welcoming atmosphere that doesn’t create too much glare at the front and rear of your home. At the front of your home, subtle garden lights that illuminate paths up to the front door will help visitors and family members arrive safely at the front door. The front door itself should have one or two soft lights to gently brighten the entry to your home, and wall-mounted sconces on either side of the door are perfect for this. At the rear of your home, covered alfresco and outdoor dining areas will benefit from soft overhead downlights that are bright enough for meals and entertaining. If your outdoor entertaining area isn’t covered, strategically placed wall-mounted lighting that is directed slightly away from the wall paired with garden lighting will do wonders at creating a muted outdoor lighting setup perfect for night time, while also providing enough light for people to safely see where paving and decking ends and the garden begins.

Home lighting is an important part of the design phase of your new home, and ensuring you’re putting a careful amount of consideration into how you light each space within your home will create the right atmosphere in each room, no matter the time of day or night. For more home ideas and tips and tricks, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Now that your new home is built and you’re all settled with your family, it’s the perfect time to focus on the landscape design! With the warmer weather fast approaching, spending time ensuring your home’s garden is beautifully styled for use by the whole family is something you’ll reap the benefits of all year round. Not sure where to start? We’ve got some helpful tips to get you going.

Garden Beds and Plants


Map out and prepare any areas you’d like to use as garden beds, then mark them off with string. You might even like to install raised garden beds with additional soil or wooden tressels to create planter boxes. Garden beds add depth and dimension to your outdoor areas, and provide an opportunity for the addition of colour and shade using different plants and trees. When you’re deciding which plants to use, research what’s suitable for your climate. Drier locations will rely more heavily on drought-resistant plants, while areas with more varied seasonal weather can include different deciduous plants. You might like to include plants that provide fruit or veggies you can use such as citrus trees or smaller vines, or just stick to plants that will add greenery and splashes of colour depending on the time of year.

Special Features


While many families are happy to enjoy gardens with relatively low maintenance designs, think about adding in special features. If you enjoy entertaining or have teenage children, including a paved area with a fire pit or barbecue will be something that can be used most months of the year. If your home design doesn’t include an alfresco, now is the best time to create a beautiful outdoor area with some shade and seating that adjoins directly to your home so you can spend lots of time outside with family and friends relaxing and enjoying meals together as the kids play nearby. You might also like to include a feature wall in your back garden to create a personal touch. A concrete rendered wall, or a bamboo slat wall will make a statement and can be used as the feature area for your entertaining space. Including a large feature plant in the front yard to accent the entryway or the garden will create a more styled look and make your home stand out,

Seeding Grass or Laying Turf?


Spring is the best time of year to seed your front and backyards to grow grass because of the mild temperatures, lack of frost, and spring rain. Laying seed is the less expensive option, but slower to establish because the grass obviously needs time to grow. You’ll need to properly prepare your soil before using a seed spreader to evenly distribute the grass seeds and then gently water it with enough water to get well below the surface. You’ll also have to ensure kids and pets stay off it for a while to allow it to grow. Don’t have time to prep soil and seed your garden? Hiring someone to lay instant turf is the ideal solution. While it’s more costly, the result is immediate and aesthetically pleasing. This option still involves a lot of soil prep, and there also needs to be enough soil laid to allow the turf to take. One of the added benefits of instant turf is that kids and pets can run around on the turf within a few weeks of laying it, meaning it can be enjoyed fairly soon after being laid. Whatever option you choose, regular watering in the morning and evening for at least six weeks is imperative to allow the grass to properly take to the soil.

Fencing

Installing a fence will really complete the look of your home, and has a number of benefits. A fence will add an element of security and privacy to your home, particularly if you choose to build a higher fence, and will keep pets and small children safely away from passing traffic. A fence will also enhance your home’s street appeal with so many styles to choose from. With options such as timber slat fencing, rendered brick fencing, modern vertical timber fencing and horizontal aluminium fencing you’re spoiled for choice and are sure to find something that complements your home and garden. Remember that some local councils require permits for fence installation, so ensure you check with them before installing your fence.

Creating outdoor spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also suitable for everyday family life will elevate the exterior appearance of your home and provide you with areas that can be enjoyed by family and friends for years to come! For more home design ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Springtime is always enthusiastically welcomed after months of cold weather, and the mild weather and bright sunshine make it the perfect time to inject some warmth and light into your home to create an atmosphere that’s uplifting and welcoming. We’ve got some great tips to get you started!

Entryway Style

Spring
Dress up your entryway to welcome spring with some rustic blossom tree branches or an indoor potted plant, as well as some coloured glass vases or accent bowls. Upon arriving home or inviting guests inside the feel of spring will be alive and well as soon as people set foot inside your home, and soften a space that can otherwise feel minimalist and lacking in personality.

Floral Décor

Spring
As nature blooms with vivacious colour outside during spring, take inspiration from your garden and surrounding environment to bring some floral features inside your home. Fresh vases of flowers scattered throughout will add bursts of colour to each space, and for a more budget-friendly option you can use artificial flowers that will last the duration of spring. Add in some floral décor in the form of cushions, blankets, and artwork featuring flowers and you’ll lift the mood of each room when you introduce some lovely, subtle colours.

Wall Colour

Spring
Feel like giving your walls a fresh coat of paint? Spring is the perfect time to get rid of the darker, moodier tones that suit winter and include light, bright colours that usher in a joyful vibe. To keep things neutral, opt for soft greys in either warm or cool tones that will serve as the perfect base colour to decorate your room around. The natural light will enhance the colour tones and make the space feel bigger. If you’d like to add more colour, choosing a beautiful pastel for your walls such as minty greens, fresh lemon, duck egg blue, or even a flash of coral or pink will liven up the space.

A Touch of Greenery

Spring
Adding a some indoor plants to your interior décor is one of the easiest ways to add life to a room and bring the lushness of outdoors into your home. In larger rooms, a tall plant in a beautiful pot that blends in with your colour aesthetic will make an instant statement. If you want to add greenery to compact spaces, consider hanging pots or installing wall-mounted planter pots that don’t take up floor space, and also draw the eye upwards. These types of planters allow for flowing style that creates a freeform cascade, mimicking nature’s boundless greenery indoors.

There are so many ways to refresh your home for the change of season to welcome spring by taking inspiration from nature and injecting some bright, cheerful hues to each room. For more interior décor and decorating ideas, head to 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.

When you’re building a new home, so much careful consideration is given to the high traffic areas of the home. Kitchens, living and dining areas, and bedrooms feature heavily as part of every family’s daily routine. But what about the bathroom and ensuite? These rooms were traditionally seen as utilitarian spaces with simple décor that were functional and bland. These days people are putting more thought into how they can design and style their bathrooms to emulate that luxury hotel feel at home. We’ve got some great tips on how you can design a bathroom that oozes style while still being functional for every family member!

Layout

Bathroom
An efficient layout is key to any bathroom. Consider how many people will use the main bathroom when you’re building your home, both now and in the future, particularly if you’re thinking about having kids. A family bathroom will need space for people to move around in, whether it’s adults bathing babies and toddlers to tweens and teens fighting over sink and bench space in ten year’s time. Work with your builder to ensure there is enough space to comfortably fit a toilet, bathtub and shower and still have room to move in between each fitting to make it easier for multiple people to use the room simultaneously.

Fixtures and Fittings

Bathroom
Not sure if you should have a bath and a shower? A family bathroom should include a bathtub if possible. This will help parents of young kids bathe them without having to hop in the shower themselves, and allow for numerous kids to be scrubbed clean at once! A bathtub is also beneficial should you decide to sell your home in the future as it’s appealing to prospective buyers to have at least one bathtub in the home. If space is an issue, a shower over a bath will save on floor space while still giving you the option to use both. If your toilet is in the bathroom, installing a wall hung toilet without a visible cistern is helpful because it won’t protrude out into the room as much as a traditional toilet. Frameless shower screens also give the illusion of more space, since the lack of visible framing keeps the line of sight unobstructed, and slimline wall-hung vanities also don’t impose on the floor space, making the room feel bigger.

Ensuites

Bathroom
Most new homes include an ensuite in the master bedroom, giving parents a little more privacy and allowing kids their own space in the family bathroom. Ensuites usually comprise of a toilet, sinks, and a shower, however some are also big enough to allow for a bathtub as well. Including a double vanity in the ensuite means adults can get ready concurrently without feeling too cramped. A generous shower with an inbuilt niche shelf will neatly house any bath and body accessories needed, and the inclusion of a freestanding bathtub will elevate the space and add a spa-like retreat feel for some peace and quiet.

Décor

Bathroom
Because bathrooms are wet areas, floor and wall tiles are a must-have in the space. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be bland and boring! With so many tile options available, you have the ability to create a statement with colour and patterns to really make the space pop. Choosing metallic or matte black tapware and sleek basins will add a contemporary feel, and a vanity in a soft neutral colour or natural finish will tie the whole look together. Touches of greenery in the corners will add life to the room, and adding some large windows will invite natural light in to add depth and space to an otherwise compact room.

Bathrooms are one of the most-used rooms in the house, so putting a lot of thought into the design, layout and décor will create a space that will suit your family through many stages of life. With so many beautiful design options available, you’ll be able to work with your builder to create a bathroom and ensuite that’s unique, functional and stylish to elevate a serviceable room into a luxurious five star space! For more building and design ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Are you ready to start choosing the colours for your new home? With so many colour combinations and palettes to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the range of colours and tones you can include in your home’s overall interior look! We chatted to our friends at Haymes about current colour trends to help you design a colour palette that will wow friends and family, and create a home that reflects your unique style.

Earthy Tones

Colour

                     Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

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.

Deep and Intense Tones

Colour

     Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

Encouraging calm and a slowing of the senses, these darker, intense tones and complex colour combinations absorb the light for a quieter feel, whilst injecting warmth and softness into interior spaces. Deep teal greens and lighter powdered greens mixed with nude tones and deeper reds give the sense of night-time mystery; as well as adding the perfect introduction of romance and luxe.

Green and Grey

Colour

     Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

This finely crafted approach blends together a soft minimalism with simple pairings 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 outside, where there is no need for divides but an overall aesthetic that unifies spaces and creates both harmony and positivity within interiors and exteriors.

Breezy Pastels

Colour

     Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

The ultimate palette for creating an easy breezy space, where people can come together, communicate and spend time free from technology and the chaos of everyday living. The colours are light, airy and breezy in peach and pink skin tones, with a real focus of pastels being a starting point for introducing more colour into the home using minty greens, fresh lemon and duck egg blue.

Dark, Meditative Tones

Colour

                  Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

An undefinable palette that challenges the senses and plays on the idea of finding dark spaces more relaxing, meditative and exploratory. 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.

Natural Look

Colour

                     Haymes Paint, Photographer – Martina Gemmola, Stylist – Ruth Welsby.

This palette offers creative ideas around using colour, texture and mixed materials in a way that not only looks great but also showcases how beautiful, smart design can incorporate a more sustainable and responsible contribution to the environment around us. The colours are monochromatic: the introduction of wood tones and dark greys, deep browns and mid-tone neutrals build the perfect backdrop for kitchens and living areas.

When you’re completing your colour selections for your new Hotondo home, your colour consultant will be ready to help you make carefully considered choices based on the range of beautiful paint colours available from Haymes to create a cohesive and thoughtful interior colour palette. Whether you choose tones with an earthy feel, intense colours for a calming atmosphere, bright pastels, or a minimalist look of whites, greys and a subtle infusion of colour, whatever you select will be a true reflection of your family’s style. For more interior colour ideas, visit the Haymes and Hotondo Homes websites today.

When winter arrives, the change from mild temperatures to crisp cold air can be jarring, both outside and inside the home. There are lots of clever ways you can make sure your new home stays cosy and warm during the colder months, and we’ve some great tips to help you stay toasty and warm throughout winter!

Double Glazing

Winter
When you’re chatting to your builder about the features in your new home, make sure to include double glazed windows for additional protection against sound and weather. Double glazed glass is an insulated glass that combines multiple glass panes into a single window system. This type of glass is becoming a common feature in new homes as energy costs increase for homeowners. Double glazing will reduce the need to use your heating system as frequently, keeping your home warm and reducing your gas or power costs, and contributing to the overall energy efficiency of your home.

Curtains vs. Blinds

Winter
While sleek, minimalist blinds on your windows look effortlessly chic and unfussy, opting for traditional curtains will keep more warmth in your home. Because curtains are hung on top of the window frame and end below it, as well as starting outside the frame on either side, there’s less chance of heat escaping, particularly when they’re closed at night. You can also select curtains with a thermal weave, which keeps rooms dark as well as protecting your space from the cold winter air. With drapery fabrics ranging in a variety of patterns and colours, it’s never been easier to choose curtains that are modern and coordinate with your overall colour palette, while still helping keep the heat inside your home.

Fireplaces and Gas Log Heaters

Winter
Make sure your new home design includes a fireplace or gas log heater in the open-plan living area and in the sitting room as a focal point and to add some instant winter style that’s guaranteed to keep your whole family toasty and warm. You’ll be able to heat up the entire space solely from this one source, reducing the need to heat the whole house, and it provides a beautiful setting for entertaining guests. One added bonus of a fireplace or gas log heater is that it encourages the family to spend time together in one space, making for memorable, cosy evenings and weekends spent relaxing together. Depending on your new home’s floorplan, you may be able to install a double-sided fireplace so that you can heat two living areas simultaneously, which is perfect for entertaining bigger groups of family and friends, as well as serving as a unique design feature.

Accessorise for Warmth

Winter
When the cold months approach, add lots of plush, thick throw rugs and blankets around the house. Casually placing them at the end of beds and couches ensures your family will always have a cosy wrap to envelope themselves in during winter. Pair the blankets with some velvet textured pillows in rich colours and you’ll have a luxe look in every room that doubles as a sumptuously snug place to stay warm. In the bedrooms add faux fur rugs for that extra layer of warmth, which is particularly helpful if you have little ones who frequently play on the floor during the day. Scatter some candles, real or battery operated, to create a beautiful warm glow on different surfaces in communal living areas and your home will exude warmth.

With so much time spent indoors during winter, it’s the perfect time to switch up your existing décor to create an atmosphere of comfort and warmth. If you’ve just chosen a home design to build, sit down with your builder to ensure your new home will incorporate energy efficient sources of heating, as well as features that will prevent the cold from coming in and you’ll love wintery days spent inside with your family for years to come. For more building tips and interior design advice, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

When you have kids, decorating their bedrooms is often one of the most exciting parts of moving into your newly built home. It’s important to ensure your kids have bedrooms that reflect their personalities while also creating spaces they won’t outgrow as they go from little to tween and then to teen. We’ve got some great tips to help you create the perfect kid’s room that will grow with them over the years!

Colour Palette

Kid's
While it’s tempting to paint the walls a vibrant colour like bright pink, purple or blue, instead choose a soft neutral colour. Beautiful greys, crisp whites, and soft beige tones will never go out of style and will serve as the perfect base to build the theme of your child’s room around. Rather than choosing colours that all match, select items that will coordinate with the neutral walls and keep the tones soft and muted to create a warm, inviting space. Pastel coloured bedframes and bookshelves paired with white or grey wooden dressers and toyboxes will add depth to the room without being too jarring.

Feature Walls

Kid's
Instead of painting the walls the same colour, select one wall to use as a feature. A wallpaper with a subtle abstract pattern or graphic in neutral or pastel tones will suit your child’s room from their younger years right through to their teenage years and beyond. Avoid graphics that are too youthful and garish – instead find unique artwork that reflects their interests while still complementing the aesthetic you’ve chosen.

Storage

Kid's
One of the most important aspects of children’s bedrooms is having sufficient storage. Built-in-robes are great for kids and provide more than enough room for their clothing and toys, and will hide much of their mess. However, open shelving can also be a nice way to include storage in the room itself and give smaller children easy access to their favourite toys and books. Styled beautifully, these smaller sections of shelving add a carefully curated look that still allows the room to look and feel lived in by a child.

Accessories

Kid's
A great way to add additional layers of colour and personality to a kid’s room is with accessories. Floor rugs in soft colours and patterns will brighten up an otherwise neutral space, provide a soft space for kids to sprawl out on as they play, and protect the carpet underneath from any spills. They can be changed as your child grows, and are an easy way to mix up the colour scheme quickly. Select bedding that has a slight pattern or texture to it and add a few fun cushions in coordinating colours and materials. Kids love tactile fabrics, so using things with tassels, soft faux fur, and velvet will elevate the space and give your child something to snuggle up to when they’re relaxing in their room. Adding a hammock chair or tent in the corner of the room will create an element of fun as well as functionality to the room, allowing them their own space for a little downtime after school and on weekends.

Decorating a child’s room is a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy, particularly if your child is old enough to give their input into how they want their space to look and feel. By taking their wants and needs into account, and choosing colours, furniture and accessories that coordinate in a subtle, inviting way, your child will have a space that’s truly theirs to enjoy over the years. For more design inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Once you’ve received the keys to your brand new home, walking in for the first time and seeing the home as a blank canvas ready for you to style is an exciting moment! For many people, keeping their new home looking sleek and uncluttered is a natural segue into choosing a minimalist interior design theme, and we’ve got some tips and tricks on how you can achieve this look in your home!

Colour Palette

Minimalist
Keeping a neutral colour palette is key for a minimalist look in your home. The overall benefit is neutral tones will always be in style because they’re unobtrusive and subtle, meaning they coordinate gently with a number of different looks. Within a neutral colour palette, there are a number of different shades you can choose from. Black and white will create a stark, striking feel, while grey and white is more subdued and cool, while beige, creams, and whites tie in nicely with each other to create a minimalist feel with warmer hues.

Clean Lines

Minimalist
Minimalist style embraces clean lines and sparsely decorated areas, however this doesn’t mean your rooms need to look sterile. Think about the furniture you’re choosing for your new home and how to place it in each room to achieve an uncluttered space that still feels comfortable. Large, modular couches, simple angular armchairs, and statement lamps or pendant lights will give the room depth without appearing to overwhelm it. Add character to a space by including a buffet or coffee table with a softer vintage feel in the living areas, or some bar stools with an industrial appearance in the kitchen. In the bedrooms, including a headboard upholstered in leather or fabric will make a striking contrast to the monochrome colours, whilst keeping with the theme of clean lines. Bathrooms with frameless showers and freestanding bathtubs create an elegantly minimalist feel, and when paired with a monochrome tile create a bathroom with five star appeal.

Accessorise Perfectly

Minimalist
While you don’t want to crowd your rooms with accessories to make up for the seemingly barren spaces around the furniture, there are lots of pieces you can include to tie in to your minimalist decor without making the rooms seem too busy. A strategically placed indoor plant in the corner will add a splash of green to an otherwise neutral room. Choosing a few pieces of large artwork to hang in prominent positions in the entrance and living areas that feature black, grey and white tones will seamlessly blend in to the space while creating a focal point of interest. You can also include wall sconces in the bedrooms to create a feeling of ambience, and add hanging pendant lights in a black or metallic material on either side of the bed in the master suite to visually break up the space over the bed.

Adding Texture

Minimalist
The key to softening a space with a minimalist style is to add small amounts of texture. In the bedrooms and living areas, casually drape a rug or blanket made from a rich material – mohair wool, and faux fur instantly add depth to the furniture, and an animal skin rug on the floor creates a soft feel underfoot. A piece of furniture covered in velvet invites the eye into a sitting area, and contrasts with the other neutral furniture it’s next to. Window dressings should still look sleek and unobtrusive, and blinds are the perfect choice for this décor style. If you prefer curtains, keep them airy and select a colour that leans towards the lighter side of the neutral colour palette to ensure the room feels bigger and brighter. You might even like to include a feature wall made from wood or sleek stone to add some texture to a common area, as well as breaking up the neutral paint colour of the walls.

Minimalist interior style doesn’t mean your home has to feel cold and uninviting. Through the use of carefully chosen furniture that embraces clean lines, adding subtle texture in each room, and tying everything together with a coordinating colour palette of neutral tones, you can create a look and feel that is inviting and comfortable throughout your new home. For more interior style and design ideas head to the Hotondo Homes website today.

With the warm weather slowly subsiding and cooler nights creeping in, it’s the perfect time to update your home’s interior décor for autumn! The change of season brings with it beautiful changing colours in nature, crisper weather, and a little more time spent indoors, and we’ve got some great ideas on incorporating a bit of autumn décor into your home’s interior style!

Furnishings and Furniture Update

Autumn
If you just want subtle touches of autumn in your home, one of the quickest ways to add them is through your soft furnishings and furniture. Start with a couch or some armchairs in creamy neutrals or warm brown tones, then layer soft furnishings in coordinating colours. Blankets and cushions in warm tones, and subtle bursts of autumn colours will not only soften the space, but also be perfect to snuggle up with as the nights get cooler. In common areas, include a dining table that’s made from rich dark timber, with chairs to match, and add side tables that coordinate in different timber tones to tie the open-plan interior theme together.

Get Back to Nature

Autumn
Adding autumn tones inside your home is the perfect way to link your interior styling to the change of season outdoors. Using fresh flowers and foliage in beautiful dusty oranges, reds, and yellows with touches of greenery such as Eucalyptus are a quick and easy way to mark the start of autumn in each room. To give these arrangements character, use old bottles and jars for a little vintage touch. Adding an arrangement that’s long lasting to your entryway on a side table will create a welcoming autumn feel for visitors as soon as they step through the front door!

Earthy Tones

Autumn
If you want to create a strong autumn aesthetic, consider painting a feature wall in an earthy tone like orange or deep green, evoking a feeling of being one with nature and create a warm atmosphere. This can be especially effective in living spaces and bedrooms, where cosiness is key in the cooler months! Another way to link the interior of your home to the environment around it is to use building materials as a feature – exposed brickwork in your living room, or the use of timber as a feature in your home is a subtle call back to nature while adding character to your home.

Get Cosy

Autumn
Nothing says cold weather like a roaring fire! When designing your new home, including a fireplace in your open-plan zone, or in your formal living room will warm up the space and have the added bonus of bringing the family together to get cosy in the evenings. Adding a little autumn décor to the mantle, such as foliage or some perfectly placed candles will enhance the intimate feel of the space. You could even incorporate an outdoor gas fireplace to your alfresco. If it’s well shielded from the weather, an outdoor fireplace makes your alfresco useable year-round for entertaining or just relaxing outside on cooler evenings.

While it’s easy to lament the end of summer, the coming months of cool mornings and crisp weather during autumn can be a welcome respite from the heat. Bringing the colours from nature into your home will create a warm, welcoming environment indoors as the weather cools down outside, creating the perfect cosy atmosphere for the whole family! For more interior décor ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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!

Functionality

Study
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.

Study
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.

Style

Study
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.

Study
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.

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