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With children tending to live at home with their parents for longer as well as an increasingly ageing population, and family units with unique circumstances many people are turning to multi-generational homes as a solution to comfortably housing large family groups for a longer period of time. If you’re curious about what these new home solutions may look like, we’ve got a quick summary for you!

Why Build a Multigenerational Home?

Home
You may have ageing family members who require a little more care, your adult children aren’t able to purchase their own home yet, or perhaps you have parents who want to help out with the grandkids on a regular basis. A multigenerational home is the perfect solution; each family member has their own separate space, but you’ll still be living in together so the opportunity to check in daily and help out will be a beneficial convenience for all parties.

Things to Consider

When you’re thinking about what your multigenerational home might look like there are some important things to consider. Would you prefer separate homes on the same block or would you like one larger home with separate living quarters? Is open-plan living the best option, or would you like more defined, separate living areas so everyone can have their own private space to relax in? Would you like separate entries to the home or perhaps you’d like a home with multiple ensuites to allow for more separation between family groups. Whatever your requirements, there are a range of suitable solutions that will work for you and your family.

Building a Duplex

Home
If you have family members who need a higher level of attention but aren’t quite ready for assisted living facilities a duplex is the perfect alternative, such as our Elwood and Aon designs. Each family will have their own separate living space and independence, but you’ll be neighbours so you can visit them daily while still maintaining a level of privacy and separation. When help is needed, you’re right there to assist, and for young families living next door to grandparents who are still able to lend a hand with childcare, the burden is eased on working parents. You may like to build a duplex with your older children, easing the financial burden as the building cost is shared between two parties, which gives you the chance to downsize and provides your kids with the opportunity to own their first home sooner.

Split Level Homes

Home
A split level home takes full advantage of all the space available on your land and is a cost-effective way to build a multigenerational home while still enjoying the benefits of a backyard and a spacious home design. Split level homes are a great option for families who still want to live under one roof while still enjoying their own space on different floors within the home. For example, the open-plan kitchen, living and dining areas often serve as a common area for the household, with bedrooms located on different levels, multiple bathrooms and ensuites as seen in our Hillgrove, Kalara and Killalea home designs, and an additional living area located near the bedrooms to allow for another separate zone for family members to enjoy.

Acreage Homes

Home
Acreage homes are perfect for larger blocks of land often found in regional areas. They also have the added benefit of being a single storey home, removing the need for stairs, which can prove to be a challenge for older family members, or those with mobility issues. Acreage designs often have wider hallways, big open spaces and even separate family wings, allowing family members to feel a little more separate from each other without being too far away. Home designs like our Alden, Lansdowne, Stockton and Yering are all designed to suit wide blocks and feature spacious bedrooms, multiple living spaces, and plenty of space in common areas to allow for larger family groups to use them comfortably at the same time.

Multigenerational living can be a wonderful solution for families with unique needs and different lifestyles. With a range of options available, you’re sure to find a home design that will suit your family’s needs, so head over to the Hotondo Homes website to look at possible solutions today.

When your family begins to grow and you have a new baby on the way, one of the most exciting parts of the process is decorating a nursery as you wait for the baby to arrive. It’s so tempting to create a space that focuses on the newborn, baby and toddler years with soft pastel colours, whimsical wall murals or even a delightful childlike theme that’s present throughout the entire room, from the curtains to the wall art, to the rug. However if you plan on the nursery being your child’s room right through to their teenage years, you might like to reconsider how you decorate it before the baby arrives to ensure you have a space that grows gently with your child.

Wall Colour

child
There’s nothing sweeter than pastel pink or baby blue walls to build your room around, but in recent years trends have moved towards using neutral paint colours in nurseries. Cool grey with white trim, warm white and ivory, and muted beige tones will provide you with an understated palette you can build on with coordinating furniture to create a chic space. You can add removable wall decals for a splash of gentle colour and hang framed prints to emphasise the newborn and baby atmosphere, but keeping the base colour palette simple and neutral means the space won’t need to be repainted once your child begins to express their own colour preferences, saving you money and time in the long run.

Flooring

child
As with the walls, the floor of your nursery should be a neutral colour. Thinking about the baby and toddler years, carpet is the perfect choice to create a warm, soft place for your baby to lie, roll, sit up, and play safely and comfortably on, and has the added benefit of keeping the room warm during the colder months. You can still lay a rug over the top with a bit of colour to energise the space, and which is easy to replace over the years as your child grows. Hardwood and vinyl laminate flooring is still a great choice, as it’s long wearing and will hold up to the everyday traffic and wear and tear that comes with family life, particularly when the kids are little. Adding a larger floor rug on top will help protect it during those rough and tumble younger years, and give kids a soft place to play.

Furniture

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Newborns obviously require specific furniture in the early years up until they reach toddler status, and you’ll easily find bassinettes, cots, and change tables in white, blonde or darker wood tones to coordinate with your wall and floor colours. As your child grows and you need to think about purchases like beds, desks and different storage solutions, it’s wise to continue to stick to an understated colour palette. As tempting as it is to by that race car or princess bed for your little one, those furniture items have a limited shelf life as you child grows, both in size and appeal. There are plenty of beds that appeal to both kids and tweens and can last for years while still suiting their emerging tastes. A little boho style with a cane headboard or ethereal accessories on a four poster bed will give your child’s room that unique touch, and with wrought iron beds now available in a range of colours you’re sure to find something that suits your little one’s tastes. Investing in a king single or a double bed once you have a toddler means you won’t be replacing furniture once they start growing as they approach their teenage years.

Accessories

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The easiest and most affordable parts of the room to change are the accessories. Bed linen has come a long way over the last decade and there are a range of colours and styles that your child will love. Adding in a few cute cushions that can be passed down to younger siblings or donated once your child wants to change up the style is simple and affordable. Little touches around the room like floating shelving that holds cute knick knacks, colourful bag hooks and novelty lights are all easy ways to add character to your baby’s room that can be kept for years or replaced as they get older. You can then change these details every so often as they grow, giving the room individuality and show off their adorable personalities.

Nurseries are designed to be calm, welcoming places for parents to spend time in with their new additions in those early years, but taking the time to think ahead past the baby stage means you’ll be able to create a space that has a colour palette that will allow you to let the room change as your child grows with minimal time and expense. Once your child begins to express their taste a room that has an on-trend, neutral base can be easily reworked to suit whatever stage of life your child is in. For more kids’ room décor inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

With many of us having transitioned from office life to working from home in recent weeks, it can be challenging to feel as though you’re able to focus and work successfully when you’re in a different environment to your normal workplace. We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you make the most of your work from home set up and get a solid day’s work done with ease!

Attitude is Everything!

Working
Getting into the right mindset as soon as you wake up is key to having a productive day. It’s still a normal workday, so waking at your normal time and getting ready as you usually do will help set the tone of the day from the get go. While it’s tempting to stay in pjs all day, you should shower, get dressed and eat breakfast as you normally would before starting the short commute to your work area. This will help wake you up properly and get your brain into gear and feel ready to start work. Throughout the day, take breaks as you normally would, particularly your lunch break. Having a half hour break to eat, step away from your laptop and take a short walk will help energise you to get through the second half of the day.

Your Workspace

Working
While the couch looks like an inviting place to spend the workday, it can actually be quite unproductive for some people. You might like to consider setting up a semi-permanent workstation at your dining table, or if your home has a study nook or private study, try to emulate your office desk there so it feels more professional, permanent and familiar. An office chair will also help you stay comfortable and adhere to any OH& S recommendations on seated posture in the home. Working somewhere with natural light and even a window that can be opened to let the fresh air in will keep your mood levels high and help you feel productive throughout the day. Keep your desk tidy and organised wherever possible to assist you with feeling on top of things, particularly when you sign off at the end of the day – a chaotic work area will induce stress every time you look at it when you’re not working.

Staying Focused

Working
While more families are at home together, it can be challenging to stay focused throughout the work day, particularly if you’re working in a communal family area. If you’re set up at the dining table with family members around you, a pair of good noise cancelling headphones will block out noise and allow you to focus on your work, regardless of whether you use them to play music or not! Having a work station in a study nook or private study will allow for a more focused work day, simply by being slightly removed from the rest of the house. Soft, ambient music will help keep the household sounds out of your space, and keep your brain feeling awake and productive. It’s a good idea to keep your online and social media browsing limited to break times as you would at the office to continue working at the same pace you normally do to avoid distraction.

While working from home can take some getting used to initially, if you stick to your regular work day schedule and best practices at home, you’ll benefit from having a productive day. By implementing a few or all of these tips, you’re sure to feel accomplished at the end of each day, making spending time with you family in the evenings that much more rewarding! For more tips and tricks, including how to design the perfect study, head over to the Hotondo Homes website today.

First impressions matter, so choosing the perfect façade for your new home is important. An appealing façade sets the tone for the entire feel of the home while also blending in to the surrounding landscape and the streetscape itself. If you need some help selecting a façade we’ve got some great tips to help you choose something you’ll love for years to come!

Things to Consider

Facade
Once you start looking at façade options for your new home, there are a few things to consider before you settle on a style. Location is a big influence – if your home is in a suburban part of a large city, a modern design might be best suited as it will most likely blend in with the other homes in the neighbourhood. Conversely, if you’re building a home in a regional or coastal area, selecting a façade that complements the natural environment and doesn’t clash with the landscape is ideal. You might also want to consider the maintenance involved with different types of facades. Some will require more frequent maintenance than others, so think about how often you want to spend time and money ensuring your façade looks as good as new over the life of the home. It’s also a good idea to think about the interior style of your home. A coastal interior won’t necessarily feel consistent with a sharp, modern exterior and vice versa, so think about adding similar tones, textures and features that you’re planning to have inside your home as well.

Modern and Stylish

Facade
A façade that’s truly modern in look and feel features sharp lines and corners, lots of square and rectangular shape to it, and smooth render with accents such as dark wood or cladding panels and brick or stonework in a different shade to the render to soften the sharp edges. The colour palette on modern facades often features cool neutrals like grey, charcoal, and white with accents of warm browns and beige tones to add depth and dimension.

Hamptons Style

Facade
One of the most popular façade designs, Hamptons style homes look relaxed and welcoming while still evoking a feel of timeless elegance. With key elements such as weatherboard cladding, large windows, and gentle roof lines that feature gables to add dimension, your home’s location will determine which Hamptons style you opt for. A beachside home will benefit from a façade that has light neutrals such as light grey and white to blend seamlessly with the coastal environment as well as the home’s interior. A suburban home can be a little bolder with its colour scheme – think dark charcoal as the main colour with white trim, or a true white with dark grey or black trim to make a statement.

Traditional Façades

Facade
If you want to opt for a traditional façade for your home, you don’t need to worry about it looking boring or dated! A traditional façade still features basic elements such as exposed brickwork, but modern updates such as a partially or fully rendered exterior, wooden screen panelling around rooflines and over the front door, plus the addition of exposed stone can quickly and easily lift a traditional façade from drab to fab! The key is to keep it simple with some subtle accents to bring a traditional façade into the twenty-first century with style.

Coastal Style

Facade
A façade that’s relaxed and oozes a laid-back feel is essential for coastal homes and texture is key. Coastal home facades need careful consideration so that they not only blend in well with the beach environment, but also have the longevity to last when braced against the elements. You can opt for a colour palette of soft whites, taupes and beige with accents of natural wood and neutral coloured texture, or feature darker wood and other deep natural tones to create a façade that truly echoes the look and feel of the landscape.

The façade of your home is the first thing your family and your guests see, so taking care to select a façade style that suits your home’s interior while still feeling unique and modern is an important part of the home building journey. You can find lots of façade and home inspiration when you visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Autumn is officially here and if you’re getting ready to choose the colour selections in your new home, or you just want to refresh things around the house, now is a great time to think about changing your interiors up to create a cosy, inviting atmosphere as the warm weather subsides and the crisp mornings and cool evenings take over. We’ve got some great tips on how to evoke a delightfully homey feel by fully embracing the change of season!

Glorious Green

Autumn
The easiest way to invite the feeling of nature into the home is by including shades of green. Whether it’s a subtle sage green on the walls, a deep green velvet couch, or soft furnishings and rugs in green hues, the callback to your home’s surroundings will feel stronger than ever when you use green as a feature or accent colour. Injecting a soft infusion of green will also give your rooms depth, as it breaks up otherwise neutral colour palettes and lifts the atmosphere of the room.

Beautiful Blue

Autumn
A colour that goes well with neutrals, blue always brings with it a feeling of calm no matter what shade you use. Soft pastels can be paired with white, grey and beige to create a gentle colour palette that encourages quite time indoors as autumn approaches, while brighter shades of cobalt, turquoise and peacock blue brighten up common areas by mimicking brilliant blue autumn skies to make spaces feel happy. Brighter tones also translate well across both the warmer and cooler months because they can be paired with sunny yellows in spring and crisp white in summer, echoing a chic minimalist Mediterranean vibe.

Elegant Grey

Autumn
Perhaps the most on-trend neutral of the past few years, grey is a timeless classic that allows for coordinating with both colours and other neutral tones. In autumn you can take a bolder step and paint a room a deep, rich grey that verges on being charcoal while still retaining its lightness to create a moodier, elegant space for entertaining. Coupled with chic black furniture, white and off-white furniture and accessories, you’ll have a space that oozes grown up charm and effortless sophistication.

Rich Neutrals

Autumn
Neutral tones can have so many different hues, and autumn is the perfect time to create a neutral colour palette with layers to add dimension and depth to your space. Cream, beige and taupe serve as base layers to build on by adding in richer tones of terracotta, natural tan and brown, and accents of wood to anchor the palette and cohesively pull it all together. These spaces will give your home a naturally cosy and welcoming feel in autumn, especially in living areas where a fireplace serves as the focal point, or in master suites where calm and relaxation is key.

The autumn months are often a welcome respite from the heat of summer, and bringing some rich colours into your home to create a warm, welcoming environment indoors for the whole family! For more interior décor ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

With the new decade starting this year, interior style is at an exciting turning point. While there are many styles from the past ten years that will remain timeless classics, 2020 is ushering in a variety of bold and exciting new trends in the home, and we’ve got all the details for you here!

Modern Mediterranean

Interior Design
If you love including a bit of bright colour in your home, 2020 is the year to do it! Modern Mediterranean is an aesthetic that allows you to keep your underlying style neutral and consistent throughout the home, but encourages the addition of vibrant bursts of colour. Think neutral walls and floors, with armchairs and couches in primary colours, statement artwork that’s made up of kaleidoscope hues, and decorative elements like sculptures and floor lamps with a distinctly modern European feel.

Wall Panelling

Interior Design
If you want to include a focal point in a particular space in your home, but don’t want to use a bright paint colour or busy wallpaper, wall panelling is the perfect solution. It’s an affordable design option and can be almost any colour you like. Our favourite ways to include it in the home are along the entry way passage, behind the bedhead in the master suite, or around the fireplace in the lounge room. You’ll love the subdued elegance wall panelling will add to your home, and your guests will be sure to notice this stylish feature.

Natural Materials

Interior Design
Including elements in your home that echo the feel of nature continues to be a huge trend in 2020. The use of floorboards, stonework inside and outside the home, and cabinetry that has an organic timber look and warm feel will help blend your indoor spaces with the outdoors seamlessly. This trend is easy to carry through your whole home, with consistent kitchen, bathroom and ensuite cabinetry, Scandi style barstools with a rustic emphasis, and large furniture items such as buffets, dressers and TV units that have a raw, wooden look and feel to them.

Pastel Tiles

Interior Design
While we’ve had an ongoing love affair with clean, crisp white subway tiles over the past few years, 2020’s trend is moving towards tiles with a pastel hue. Creating an area in your home where there’s a small, subtle injection of colour will add warmth and personality to spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms, and allows you to keep the rest of the space neutral and understated for a perfect tonal balance. Pastel blue, pale pink, and a light sage green are colours that are increasing in popularity as people move away from all white spaces.

Eclectic Style

Interior Design
Hamptons style has dominated in homes over the last couple of years, but this year industry experts are predicting a move towards a more eclectic interior style for homes. Perhaps one of the most personal styles, creating an eclectic look in your home means you’ll be able to include as much or as little of your personality as you want. Bright colours, lush textures, and bold furniture choices will give your home a truly unique look and feel, and will be a place you relish coming home to each day. Think brightly patterned rugs and cushions, velvet dining chairs and couches, an upholstered bedhead in a bright colour – the possibilities are endless!

Whether your style preference leans towards earthy colours and textures, or you opt for a bright, colourful feel, choosing an interior style that suits your home and works for you and your family on a day to day basis will create spaces that truly reflect your personal style and make for a warm and inviting home. For more home design and interior inspiration ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Are you ready to host Christmas Day in your beautiful new Hotondo Home? We’ve got some great quick and easy recipes to help you out so you can impress your family and friends with your cooking as well as wowing them as they gather in your stunning new kitchen with some tried and true Hotondo Homes Christmas favourites!

Lamb Pilaf

Christmas
This is the perfect slow cooker recipe you can make ahead of time for Christmas Day, leaving you free to get your other dishes prepped and into the oven before your guests arrive. You’ll just need to heat it up and plate it right before everyone takes a seat at the dining table. This pilaf is also perfect for warm weather because it’s not too heavy, but still rich in flavour thanks to the lamb!.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm pieces OR 1kg of lamb shanks
1 large brown onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons chilli powder (I omitted the chilli powder for fussy, small child reasons)
3 cups chicken stock
1 bunch silverbeet, trimmed and chopped
400 grams canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
100 grams raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander

Method
Heat half the oil in a saucepan on medium heat and cook the lamb in batches until it is browned all over. Transfer to the slow cooker when done.
Heat remaining oil in saucepan and cook the garlic and onions, stirring occasionally for five minutes or until fragrant.
Add the ground spices and cook for another minute.
Stir in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil.
Transfer to the slow cooker and cook on low for seven hours.
Stir in rice and chickpeas, and place the silverbeet on top at hour seven and cook on high for a further fifty minutes until the rice is soft.
Use a fork to stir the silverbeet through the pilaf.
Serve topped with pine nuts raisins and fresh coriander.
Serves 6

Rumballs

Christmas
A firm family favourite, these delicious treats are kid-friendly and can be made a few days before Christmas so that all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge on Christmas Day to serve as an after dinner treat! These are also perfect to make each year with the kids, and a lovely holiday tradition to start with your little ones as they help you make a batch to give out in treat bags to family and friends during the festive season!

Ingredients
1 packet of milk arrowroot biscuits
1 x 395 gram tin of sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa, sifted
Two cups of desiccated coconut, set aside
1 teaspoon of rum (optional)

Method
Crush the milk arrowroot biscuits in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.
Sift in the cocoa and mix.
Pour in the condensed milk and mix until all the dry ingredients are combined.
(add the optional teaspoon of rum now for a more grown up flavour!)
Pour the desiccated coconut into a container. Roll teaspoons of the biscuit mix into balls and roll in the coconut, then place them in a container.
Continue until all the biscuit mix has been rolled into balls, then place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Makes about 20.

The rumballs will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Watermelon Christmas Trees and Kiwi Fruit Stars

Christmas
This is perhaps the easiest post-lunch refreshing treat you’ll ever make! Perfect for hot summer days, and always a winner with kids, watermelon Christmas trees and kiwi fruit stars will take you no more than fifteen minutes to cut, plate and serve!

Ingredients & Materials
One large watermelon wedge
2 or 3 kiwi fruit
1 medium Christmas tree cookie cutter
1 small star cookie cutter
Additional fruit to decorate (cherries, berries, honeydew melon)

Method
Slice watermelon in triangular slices that are larger than the cookie cutter.
Place the cookie cutter over the watermelon slice with the rind base lined up with the cookie cutter base.
Press down to cut the Christmas tree shape and place on a platter with the tree top ends meeting in the centre.
Peel kiwi fruit and slice in 1 cm thick slices.
Press star cookie cutter down and cut out star shapes.
Place on platter around the watermelon.
Add additional fruit to decorate – any red or green fruit will tie in nicely with the Christmas theme.

Cut ahead of time and keep in the fridge until needed.

Cannoli with Cinnamon Ricotta Filling

Christmas
This dessert is perfect as a light alternative to heavier Christmas cakes and puddings, and very easy to prepare in the morning on Christmas Day. The soft ricotta mixed with the sweetness of sugar, lemon or orange zest and a hint of cinnamon will leave your guests indulging in more than one of these irresistible sweet treats!

Ingredients & Materials
12 x Premade cannoli shells (available from European delicatessens)
750 grams of ricotta cheese
40 grams of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon or orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Additional icing sugar
Piping bag

Method
Combine the ricotta, icing sugar, cinnamon and zest in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Fill the piping bag with the cream mixture, snip the end off and gently pipe the cannoli shells full of the ricotta filling, ensuring the piping is spread from one end of the shell to the other.
Once you’ve piped filling into all the shells, arrange them on a plate and sprinkle icing sugar over the tops right before serving.

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 that are better than you ever imagined. 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.

Photographer: Annette O’Brien, Stylist: Ruth Welsby

With the year coming to a close, we’ve started looking ahead at trend forecasts for 2020, and we spoke to our friends at Haymes about which colour palettes are gaining popularity and giving homes a contemporary, yet effortlessly timeless look. Their new Calibrate Colour Library explores and embraces change in a positive way by helping to inform design approaches to enable us to create thoughtful spaces that emotionally connect us within the home.

Equilibrium

Photographer: Annette O’Brien, Stylist: Ruth Welsby

This collection explores our powerful connection to nature, bringing it to the forefront of interior spaces by referencing colours of nature. Green is a colour that bridges and connects us to our surroundings, helping us find balance during our daily lives. With earthy tones of green that echo back to the ocean, vegetation, as well as fresh mint tones, and complementary pinks, neutral brown and taupe shades, Equilibrium places the different accents together in a way that feels calm, refreshing and effortless, showing how different colours can live together seamlessly.

Positive Light

Photographer: Annette O’Brien, Stylist: Ruth Welsby, Artist credits: Josh Fartch, Laura White, Miss Moresby, Eleanor Millard

Inspired by the ocean, exploring its grand beauty and depth, the Positive Light collection explores the idea of the power found in the force of nature, represented by vibrant and deep blue tones, as well as its fragility in lighter shades. Blue is a timeless classic in the home, with darker hues becoming increasingly popular as a feature colour inside the home in recent years. This collection highlights the calming effect blue has in the home with an emphasis on subtle vibrancy of bolder shades as a feature colour.

Home Grown

Photographer: Annette O’Brien, Stylist: Ruth Welsby

This collection offers a style that allows you to embrace comfort. Neutrals offer a shift to a beautiful soft range of browns with red undertones. These soothing colours provide an embracing comfort and harmony within the home. Including these soft, understated colours encourages us to look inwards and towards our homes as a place of sanctuary and refuge. Incorporating the ideas of the adage ‘the home is where the heart is,’ the Home Grown collection has an earthy feel that exudes warmth. Perfect for shared spaces, these neutrals will project a relaxed style and inspire a seamless flow between spaces.

Haymes’ Calibrate collection encourages us to stop and smell the roses, while also offering practical solutions in design that will revitalize our desire to incorporate design decisions that look and feel good for homeowners, while still connecting us to nature. Visit the Haymes website to view the range of beautiful featured colours in the Calibrate Colour Library. For more home interior design ideas and inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

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.

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