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The master bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. It’s a space to make totally your own and the chance to create a true sanctuary separate to the rest of your home. While it’s good to make the space a cohesive extension of your home’s interior style, you can also take the opportunity to include some bolder styling statements to really bring the room to life, and we’ve got some tips to help you get started!

Wall Colour

Bedroom
A master bedroom is the ideal place to use some colour on the walls with different paint shades to really inject your personality into the room. A soft, subtle pastel colour encourages a quiet, calm atmosphere and lets you coordinate with similarly lightly toned furniture pieces and décor, while a darker paint colour adds an element of chic sophistication when paired with muted neutrals throughout the room. If you’re reluctant to include colour on every wall, the master bedroom is perfect for a feature wall, usually behind your bedhead, and this is where you can get creative using wallpaper, wood panelling or other materials to create a beautiful focal point

Furniture


A master bedroom is usually bigger that the other bedrooms in the home, but that doesn’t mean you need to fill it to the brim with furniture! The bed is the centrepiece of the room, so choosing a beautifully upholstered headboard in a textured fabric or bedframe that coordinates with the wall colour will inform the rest of the room’s furniture style. Bedside tables are a must, as well as a dresser or set of drawers if you need the additional storage space. Alternatively, you might like to include an oversized ottoman that doubles as a storage item, a lovely plush chaise lounge, or an armchair in a beautiful fabric to add some more colour and style to the room. Ideally using no more than three or four pieces of furniture will make the room feel spacious no matter the size and give you enough space to move around in, particularly if you share the space with a partner.

Additional Décor

Bedroom
There are plenty of smaller items you can add to your master bedroom to tie the whole look together. Choosing some statement pendant lights or wall sconces to use in place of lamps on your bedside tables will make the room feel modern and lessen the clutter on each side of the bed, and chrome, brass or matte black finishes for your light fittings will add some on-trend style. The additional light fittings will allow you to create ambient mood lighting in the evenings to help relax before bed.

Bedroom
Your bed linen should have layered textures in coordinating colours, with some decorative pillows and cushions, and a beautiful throw blanket draped at the end to elevate your bed to hotel-level luxe status. Instead of using blinds on the windows, using curtains in an understated colour or pattern will add softness and have the added benefit of blocking out the light to encourage lazy weekend sleep-ins. If you prefer the look of blinds, layering them under some luxurious sheet curtains will soften the space around the windows and add an additional layer of privacy from the outside.

A master bedroom should be a place of quiet and calm, and a place you truly enjoy escaping to when you need some time to relax and reset. When you’re building your new home, taking the time to style the space in a way that reflects your personality means you’ll have a bedroom that you’ll love for years to come. For more home inspiration visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Are you building a new home and you’re curious about what the colour selections process entails and what role an interior design plays in the look and feel of your home? We spoke to Interior Designer and Colour Consultant Cory from Hotondo Homes Ocean Grove to gain a little insight into the whole process!

Tell us about your role?

Being the Interior Design/Colour Consultant for Hotondo Homes Ocean Grove, I liaise closely with clients and staff to complete the colour selection proportion of the build. My role requires me to aid clients with their selections, guiding them through and providing support and advice to create their dream home. My goal is to help clients visualise and consider their selections on a larger scale and as a complete house design, with the various elements all coming together.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Every day is different in my role! On days when I am conducting an appointment, it generally takes the entire day. We start off in the office and work our way through External and Internal selections, as well as the Electrical plan. The day also consists of viewing laminates/timber flooring and carpets, and visiting suppliers to complete the tile selection. Other days generally consist of paperwork, whether that is finalising an appointment or any amendments a client wishes to make afterwards. Part of my role also requires me to liaise with our product representatives on a regular basis to ensure we have all the up to date products on hand for clients to select from. As a business, we conduct checks on jobs prior to contract, so I liaise with staff members to ensure everything on the selections paperwork is correct.

Style

What are your clients asking for?

I’m currently seeing a lot of whites and neutrals requested by clients trying to capture the coastal theme to suit the area in which we build. The popular Hamptons look is also requested from time to time. I find that greys are still prevalent in modern homes, as it is a very versatile colour to work with and acts as a good foundation to build your internal styling from. Every year when The Block is on TV I have clients asking for something they’ve seen on the show! This always makes things a bit tricky as what you see on that show is often either an extremely high-end product or something that is currently “on trend”.

What trends have you seen change over time?

I’ve worked in the industry for a few years now and before it was mainly creams and browns which were very popular with clients. Then greys made more of an impact, maybe a bit of black or charcoal thrown in if they are going for more of a modern, contemporary style. There weren’t as many whites/neutral themes as I see now.

Because I don’t cover soft furnishings as part of the role, some clients like to experiment and introduce some colour into the build. This is usually through tile selection, feature entrance door or a glass splashback. I get very excited when clients start to feel confident in their selections and want to have a play with colour or pattern, however I always stress that it must be based on personal taste, not trying to meet the current trends. Any colours on trend should be introduced later on when decorating the home. Unless you absolutely love it there’s a good chance you will get sick of it very quickly!

Style

What do you think are must haves in modern day homes?

The main selling points of the home are the externals and the kitchen, so I always recommend clients to focus on those areas first as it is easy to build the rest of the house from here. Large island benches to the kitchen are always a worthwhile investment, being the heart of the home and a base for entertaining.

Always consider the lighting throughout the home – you don’t want to have to do it after the build! Remember you are always going to think of things you should’ve added after you’ve moved in, so spend the time early on perfecting the electrical plan. It’s a good idea to ask family and friends what they wish they had in their homes.
Style
Lastly, I’d say lots of storage space! This is one thing that is very difficult to add in afterwards. Consider the kitchen configuration; do you want cupboards or pot drawers? Also the size of the broom cupboard in the laundry – you don’t want to have to store items in the garage!

What’s the best part of your job?

Getting to know and working with different types of people, and knowing that I’ve helped them to create their dream home. At the colour selection appointment, we spend the whole day together and there is a lot of contact and conversation prior to and following the day, so it’s always nice when you can build a good rapport with them. It helps the process and ensures they have fun with it, rather than seeing it as a stressful experience.
Style

Any final advice for those building their new home?

Enjoy the experience! Apart from moving in and seeing the final product, the colour selection should be the fun part of the process. Make sure you research as much as you can before your appointment and prepare by bringing any visuals/inspiration along with you. Remember it is probably the most expensive outlay of your life so you ideally do not want to be making all the decisions on the day! As I mentioned earlier, don’t focus too much on trends, do what you like, it’s your home. And lastly, always consider re-sale; what aspects can you include to add the most value to the property, and what should you try to avoid. It might be time to re-consider that bright orange kitchen!

Thank you so much for chatting to us, Cory! For more home inspiration and interior décor ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website today!

Part of the selections process on your home building journey will be choosing the fixtures and finishes for your new home, and it’s often an exciting time for clients as they begin to envisage what their finished home’s exterior and interior style will look like. But there’s a lot to consider as you make these selections and we’ve got some helpful tips for you as you start the process.

What are Fixtures and Finishes?

fixtures
Not sure what fixtures and fittings include? Think lighting, heating and cooling, kitchen appliances, electrical outlets, and bathroom items like sinks, baths, tapware and toilets. They may seem like utilitarian items, but making a considered choice about how you want these items to look will help create a cohesive style throughout your home. Finishes add a personal touch to your home and help tie everything together. You’ll be selecting finishes for things like cabinetry, flooring, benchtops, and exterior render or cladding as well as the roof. Each item should be selected with an overall view to creating a home that’s beautifully coordinated.

Tips for Choosing Fixtures

fixtures
When you’re selecting the fixtures in your home you need to consider both their functionality and placement as well as their aesthetic appeal in the home. Placement of electrical outlets will be on walls where you expect to have electronic equipment like televisions, floor lamps, and other larger items. You also might like to place some sockets on the side of your kitchen island or add extra ones to your kitchen bench or inside the pantry to allow for additional appliances to be used in multiple locations or to have a family charging station in a communal area. Your builder can guide you on ideal tapware and shower head placement if you’re unsure about the most practical spots to install them

Appliances can be selected for their functionality as well as their visual appeal. You may opt for stainless steel fridges and dishwashers for that sleek, modern look, or white appliances may be preferable if you like a more traditional feel. Tapware is also available in a range of beautiful finishes now, with traditional chrome being just one of a range of styles you can choose. Matte black, brass or copper, and white tapware, shower heads and door frames are subtle selections you can use to elevate your home’s style. You can also consider the energy efficiency of these fixtures, and include items such as water saving taps and shower heads and appliances with a high energy rating without compromising on style.

Tips for Choosing Finishes

Finishes
This is where you have the chance to add some character to your home. Part of your selections process will be to choose cabinetry finishes, and with the kitchen being a high traffic area in the home, you’ll want to select something that’s durable, while also being a style that’s going to feel timeless. Neutral colours work well, with grey, white and ivory, and taupe or beige being popular choices for kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You’ll also have the opportunity to choose cabinetry that highlights a particular design style, like a high gloss minimalist style, or a matte finish Shaker style detail for a Hamptons feel.

Your benchtop selection should be something that coordinates with the cabinetry in a complementary colour, and your tiles and splashbacks can include a pop of colour or a statement pattern to add depth to the space. Paint colours and wall coverings will be informed by your cabinetry decisions, but in the bedrooms and separate living areas you can get a little creative with colour and patterns that will add personality to each space while still feeling like an extension of the overall style of the home.

When it comes to flooring you need to be mindful of choosing something that will last the test of time, and there are plenty of options to select something that will coordinate seamlessly with the finishes in your home while still being on-trend and adding an element of your personal style. From floorboards to vinyl planks to lush carpet, you’ll find a style and colour that works well with your other finishes to create a home that feels welcoming throughout.

Finishes
Exterior finishes should tie in with your home’s location and the interior style you’re hoping to achieve. Weatherboard cladding in light neutral tones and a chrome roof will suit a coastal home and emulate that beachy feel, whereas a suburban home near the city might be better suited to striking render colours and mixed material façade features with a dark roof colour.

Choosing the fixtures and finishes for your new home is an exciting part of the home building journey, but it can be overwhelming to select items for your entire home all at once. With the guidance of your builder or your colour selections specialist, you’ll be able to decide on finishes that embrace your personal style paired with fixtures that work well in each space while adding to the overall look and feel of your home. For more home inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

Spending more time at home means you might have become more acutely aware of the clutter and mess created from day-to-day living recently! Or maybe you’re really noticing the accumulation of belongings that comes with a growing family having lived in a dwelling for a number of years. This is the perfect time to take stock of your stuff and pass the time decluttering and tidying up your home from top to bottom, and we’ve got some helpful tips to get you started!

Emotionally Detach

Declutter
The first step is to prepare yourself to emotionally detach yourself from your belongings. While it’s important to keep some sentimental and nostalgic items, it’s hard to keep every single birthday card you’ve been given or all the beautiful artwork your children have created for you over the years! Keeping a few of these items from milestone events for sentimental sake is fine, and those special pieces of artwork can be stored in a folder, or scanned digitally and printed in a collage, Ideally you should be recycling things and clearing your desks and cupboards of too much paper to make way for household items to be properly stored. The same can be said of furniture and larger items you’ve inherited simply because no one wanted to donate them. Holding on to someone else’s memories adds to the emotional and physical clutter in your house. If a large item doesn’t have sentimental value to you, ask family members if they would like it and if no one does, donate it to someone who needs it more than you do to free up space in your home.

Be Methodical

Declutter
Instead of looking at your whole house as one huge project, start small and work your way up. Focus on smaller spaces like cabinets and cupboards in bathrooms and laundries, then move on to kitchen drawers and cupboards. Spending half an hour each day on smaller spaces will give you a sense of achievement that will motivate you to move on to bigger projects like studies, wardrobes, the pantry, and play rooms. It’s helpful to divide things into three piles: throw away/recycle, donate, or keep. Anything that hasn’t been used in at least two years can be discarded, since you’ll be safe in the knowledge that because you haven’t used it recently you won’t miss it when it’s gone! This is a particularly helpful strategy when you declutter your wardrobe – since many of us tend to hang on to clothes long after they’ve gone out of style, focusing on what you really don’t wear anymore will make it easier to donate it so that someone else can find value in it long after you’ve let it go.

Storage Solutions

Declutter
Once you’ve decluttered your home, you may find you’re in need of new ways to store things. Investing in a good storage solution for certain areas of your home will help keep things tidy and organized, preventing clutter from building up again. For example, using clear, air-tight containers in the pantry to visually keep track of your flours, grains, and pastas will ensure you don’t continue to repurchase grocery items until you’ve used what you already have. In your wardrobe organising shoes on shoe racks or in plastic shoeboxes will remind you of what you already have in your closet and encourage you to use all your shoes rather than a select few items. The bathroom vanity is a great place to implement a clear storage box or tray arrangement for make up and skincare neatly on the bench top. Again, this will keep your products on display and ensure you’re using things up before repurchasing and adding more clutter.

Whether your home needs a full declutter and clean out from top to bottom, or you just have a few problem areas you just can’t seem to streamline, starting small and focusing on dedicating a little bit of time each day means your home will be looking tidy in no time! For more home organisation inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today.

With many of us spending a lot more time at home with our families, it can be challenging to keep the kids entertained every day, particularly when they tire of the toys they already have. Here at Hotondo Homes we’ve done a bit of brainstorming and drawn on our own personal experiences to come up with a few foolproof and creative ways to keep the kids happy, and more importantly, busy and active within the home!

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Kids
If you love to bake and your kids are a little bit older, this is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen with them! You can bake a batch of cupcakes or simple sugar cookies the night before, and set up cupcake and cookie decorating stations for them to participate in. All you need are a few batches of icing with a few drops of food colouring to create different colours, some sprinkles, crushed up chocolate biscuit crumbs and chocolate bars, some lollies, and you’ll have a fun family-friendly activity to keep them busy, with the added bonus of having some delicious morning and afternoon tea treats to enjoy in the days to follow.

Indoor Inspiration

Kids
As the weather becomes a bit cooler in the mornings, or for those rainy days when everyone’s indoors, a little imagination is often needed. If you have any large carboard boxes ready to recycle, cut the sides and flatten them down, then grab a black marker and draw a series of roads all over the flat cardboard. Your kids can grab their toy cars and assorted small figurines to play on the tracks together in their bedrooms or in the living area as you get on with household chores. Alternatively, you can pop a plastic mat down on the floor and set it up as an art easel or canvas to get their creative juices flowing with some painting. If you have a small camp tent you might also like to set it up in the living area and set the kids up inside with some cosy blankets and pillows, a few books and toys, and some snacks so they can do a bit of indoor camping! No tent? No worries! Just grab your dining chairs, a few big blankets to drape over the top and you’ve got a perfect indoor fort for the kids to enjoy while they’re stuck inside.

Bath Time Fun

Kids
A big bottle of bubble bath does wonders to elevate normal bath time to something a lot more fun for kids, but to take things to the next level you might like to order some coloured bath foam and bath crayons so the kids can have some fun and get creative! There’s also the option of using washable paint diluted with a bit of water and some paintbrushes to really let their artistic flair shine through as they paint a few masterpieces for you to admire. With any of these bath products, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first to ensure it will wash off your bathtub and tiles properly once the activity is finished.

Backyard Fun

Kids
If your new home has some outdoor space, now is the perfect time to add a few items that the kids will be able to enjoy for years to come. Many retailers sell sand pit kits that just need some quick DIY assembly and a few bags of sand added to it. Grab the kids’ cars, beach buckets and spades, and they’ll be happy for hours digging in the sand. If you have a covered alfresco, and a baby who’s getting increasingly mobile, you might like to purchase a hanging swing that can be bolted from the beams so your baby can enjoy some fresh air and activity outside with their older siblings. If you have older kids, a larger swing set, while undoubtedly a splurge when it comes to cost, will no doubt be a huge hit and keep them happy for hours on end. For simpler things that toddlers and younger kids can participate in, investing in some bubble wands, sidewalk chalk and a water table will give you a stash of fun activities to encourage outdoor play at home.

Being at home doesn’t have to be a dull or stressful ordeal. By making a plan and having plenty of things on hand to keep the kids entertained, this can become a time that the entire family embraces and enjoys together as we all make the most of this extended time at home.

This week we have a special guest blog post from Breanna, who recently reflected on her experience as a wish recipient with Make-A-Wish Australia and the #WishForce.

Following a liver transplant, wish recipient Breanna had her wish to be an event manager granted in 2016. Together, with the tireless support of the #WishForce, Breanna hosted a magical fundraising ball raising money in support of other kids and teens fighting life-threatening illnesses. Hotondo Homes Ballarat were a part of this incredible wish, building and donating the wishing well for her event. Now in Year 10, Breanna came back to Make-A-Wish Australia for her work experience. As part of her experience, she reflected upon her wish and shared her expertise for planning a fundraising event.

How My Wish Came Together

Breanna's Wish
My wish was to style and manage my very own event to help raise funds to support Make-A-Wish Australia. Styling events was something that I loved to do in hospital as I always found myself on Pinterest looking at ideas for my future birthdays and wedding. The idea of being able to style something while also supporting Make-A-Wish and all of the other kids that wanted wishes as great as mine granted was just a dream come true.

Breanna's Wish
Make-A-Wish organised for me to work alongside The Style Co. who showed me how they run events and together we came up with the fairy tale theme. We then picked an element from different fairy tales to showcase at the event. For example, a red rose in a glass case as the table centrepiece inspired by Beauty and the Beast, a mini tree with red apples from Snow White, and there was even a Cinderella carriage photo booth!

Breanna's Dress
Seeing it all come together was amazing. I was so used to looking at the plans, but to see it come together in real life was better than I ever would have imagined, everyone did such an amazing job helping pull my wish together!

Breanna's Wish
I was so amazed by all the donations made by so many different companies! My dress was custom made, I had my makeup and hair professionally done, the foliage, balloons and lollies were donated and the wishing well was custom built and donated, thanks to Hotondo Homes Ballarat!

Breanna's Wish
The event raised an incredible $118,000 for Make-A-Wish Australia and was far more than I ever would have thought. This is all thanks to everybody that came to spend this special night with me. I would just love to say a massive thank you to the Wish Force for making my wish come true better than I ever could have imagined, it was one of the best nights that I have ever had.

Breanna's Wish

Breanna’s Top Five Tips for Planning an Event

1. Choose a theme: Begin by looking for ideas and themes that you would like for your event.
2. Get creative: Once you have finalised your theme start looking at different inspirational ideas that you could incorporate into your chosen theme.
3. The layout: Once you have your theme and inspiration, start to work out how the room or place is going to be orientated and where your decorations and anything else that you may need is going be situated.
4. Sourcing: Now you can start to create and bring all your ideas to life by outsourcing with event suppliers, or making them yourself.
5. Action! You can now decorate your space the way you’ve planned with all of your supplies and decorations.

Wish Effect

Wishes have an incredible and lasting effect on the lives of kids and teens fighting life-threatening illnesses, their families and wider communities. As you can see, the hope and joy of the wish lasts long after the moment itself!

If you’d like to know more about Hotondo Homes’ partnership with Make-A-Wish Australia, visit the Hotondo Homes website today. Alternatively, you can also donate to Make-A-Wish Australia via their website.

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.

One of the most common interior paint colours for new homes is white. It works in so many ways throughout the home, and complements every other colour in the spectrum, but finding the perfect shade can be tricky. With so many beautiful shades to choose from it’s easy to spend hours looking at sample colours and paint swatches on your walls to decide which white is the best. We’ve got some helpful tips to explain the difference in white tones and which one is right for your home!

Warm Whites

White
Not sure how white paint can seem warm? As you look at paint colours, you’ll soon see that some whites have brown, yellow, or even red undertones! These whites range from warm taupes, ivories, some shades of grey, and natural colours with a hint of yellow. Whites in this group will warm your home and create an inviting and soft atmosphere, particularly in rooms that don’t get a lot of sunlight, or rooms that are on the larger side. If you’d like to create a more traditional, country style feel inside your home, these whites will be perfect!

Cool Whites

White
Some whites have a definite cool feel to them because they have grey, blue or green undertones. These shades are better suited to rooms in your home that receive plenty of sunlight, particularly in the afternoon because the paint colour will feel like it’s counteracting the light to cool the space down. You might like to include these shades of white if your interior décor leans toward a modern feel with lots of accompanying monochrome shades of grey and black to create a truly contemporary colour palette.

White Whites

White
These are the truest shade of white and don’t have any undertones that change the whiteness of the colour. Pure whites can feel sterile or uninviting, so they are best used sparingly to avoid an atmosphere that feels cold and makes the home seem unliveable. These white whites are suited to smaller, utilitarian spaces like laundries, smaller bathrooms or powder rooms where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic or time spent in the space.

Pairing White with Colours

White
The best thing about using white as a feature of your colour palette is that it goes so well with almost every other colour! For a coastal feel you might like to use a cool white with touches of blue, sea green, or turquoise to mimic that calm, beachy feel. Or for a country style, warm whites with lots of natural wood textural elements mixed in will make your open-plan areas welcoming and homely. The possibilities are endless!

Once you’ve decided to go with warm whites or cool whites, the best way to choose the perfect shade of white is to choose three or four shades and paint some swatches on the wall. View the swatches at different times of the day so you can see how the light plays off the white paint to see if the colour changes dramatically. You should also see how your lighting system changes the tone of the whites, particularly at night when there’s no natural light coming in. Once you’ve found a white that looks great throughout the day and night without too much tonal change, get painting! You’ll have a beautiful space that you can complement with accompanying furniture and accessories to make a welcoming home interior your family will love.

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

With an emphasis on family and space in new homes being built, open-plan living has become a standard feature when it comes to designing a new home. While the term “open-plan” brings to mind large, cavernous spaces that need to be filled with furniture, for most homes this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, these spaces are designed to be functional and suit all aspects of family life, while still creating an atmosphere of comfort and style. It can feel daunting to have to decorate one large space that functions as three separate areas, but we have some tips to help you create the perfect open-plan space for your home.

Identify the Zones

Open-plan

Interior Styling

Open-plan

Indoor/Outdoor Living

Open-plan

By using these clever tips, your open-plan space will feel welcoming, warm, and spacious, and will suit you and your family’s lifestyle perfectly. For more open-plan living design inspiration, visit the Hotondo Homes website today and take a look at our large range of designs.

Last year, the National Bank of Australia revealed that first home buyers now account for almost 40% of buyers in new housing markets and approximately 33% in established markets. Foreign buyers are declining, so now is the perfect time for Australians to get their foot in the door of the property market.

Hotondo Homes is glad to see a rise in first home buyers over recent months after what has been one of the most challenging conditions to buy or build a new home.

“When you think of the Australian dream, you think of home ownership. We’ve seen it get tougher and tougher for people to make that dream come true,” Hotondo Homes Managing Director Michael Renwick says. “It’s great to see more and more first home buyers coming back into the market. Building your first home is such an exciting experience and we love being a part of that journey.”
First Home Buyer

The Hotondo Homes Forever Retreat Range has been designed specifically for first home buyers. The range features over eight architecturally-designed homes that suit a number of block sizes. These homes include everything a home buyer could want in their first home.

If you’re a first home buyer, we have some handy tips to make your first home buying journey a breeze!

House and Land Packages

There are a number of benefits in buying a house and land package, particularly for first home buyers, and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door of property market.

First Home Buyer

– Instead of having to organise purchasing land, coming up with a home design yourself, and then finding a builder you’re happy with, everything is taken care of for you. Your builder will be able to guide you towards the land sales agent, and once your land is purchased, your builder will have a number of home designs to choose from.
– Your builder can help point you in the direction for finance when you’re ready to purchase, saving you the trouble of finding a mortgage broker. One less thing to worry about!
– The price is set from the day your purchase, so there are no hidden surprises as the build progresses, unless you decide to upgrade items.
– You will work with a qualified builder and team who are committed to helping you every step of the way. If you haven’t considered building a home before, having this support network throughout the process is invaluable.
– If the home design in the package doesn’t quite suit you, the builder is always happy to tweak the design to suit you and your family’s needs. You’ll end up with a new home that suits your specific requirements exactly!
– Your builder will work with you to ensure the costs stay within your budget range from day one. Having someone to monitor finances throughout the process helps prevent budget blowouts and is one less thing for you to worry about.

Think About Your Choices

Once you’ve selected your home design, think about your colour selections and finishes. There are so many options, but a well thought out façade design and interiors will go the distance in your new home.
First Home Buyer
– Choose colour schemes that are subtle and timeless will ensure your home’s appearance won’t date in a few years’ time once trends change.
– Consider where to invest more of your budget – flooring, tiling, and benchtops are expensive to replace, so if your budget allows, invest more money in high-end finishes in these areas when you build. The quality will show and more importantly, they will last a long time.
– Selecting good quality appliances is also another area to consider allocating more of your budget to. Inexpensive appliances might not have a long lifespan, so having to reinvest hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace two or three big ticket items after only a few years will prove to be quite the financial headache. Particularly if this happens when you’re starting a family or have small children at home and only one income.

Whether you’re after a single storey home to get your foot in the door of the market, or a double storey home to accommodate your growing family, a split-level design, or an investment property, Hotondo Homes has the solution to suit your specific needs. Our Forever Retreat Range is perfect for first home buyers, with no compromise on quality, size or style.

If you’re a first home buyer take a look at our Forever Retreat Range for a home that perfectly suits your budget. and if you would like to learn more about our fantastic house and land packages available, we’ve got all the details right here.

When you’re building a new home, your focus is often on how you and your family will adjust to living in a new house, and a new location. It’s a big transition for everyone, and with months to prepare yourselves for the move you’ve probably driven past the house a few times as well as exploring the neighbourhood a little bit. No doubt you’ve also visited the house a few times in the lead-up to moving day. But have you given some thought to how your beloved fur baby will adjust to its new surroundings? It’s something that’s not at the forefront of everyone’s minds as preparations to move begin, but ensuring you’re making time to let your pet adjust to their new home will make their transition smoother and stress free as well!

Take a Tour of Your New Home

Introducing your pet
You’ve probably been to visit your new house a number of times with your family, and it’s well worth bringing your pet to visit the house as well. Letting them explore inside the house will reduce their stress at suddenly being in a new, unfamiliar place if they’ve visited a couple of times. You can check the perimeter fence for gaps and possible escape routes before you pet visits. Once you’ve done this, taking them outside to explore the front and back yards, and around the perimeters so they can become familiar with their new territory will make them feel a little more at home. This is also a good time for you to make your landscape gardener aware of your pets so they remember not to include any plants that are hazardous to your pet’s health.

Meals, Toys, and Beds

Introducing your pet
Leave your pet’s bed, blankets, food bowls, and toys unpacked until the last minute on moving day to keep them relaxed and happy while there’s a lot of activity in the house. Once you’re at your new home, ensure you’ve decided on a space inside or outside for your pet’s belongings and meal area and pop their things in those areas straight away. Ensuring they have a routine and their own defined space from day one will help them settle in and become familiar with their surroundings while still having their own comfort items close by.

Time for a Walk

Introducing your pet
If you have a dog, a great way to let them settle in and feel comfortable in their new surroundings is by taking them for lots of walks in the first few weeks. Letting them explore the neighbourhood smells by walking the blocks around your home is a great way to familiarise them with their new home. Finding local, fenced-in dog parks where they can stretch their legs and interact gently with other dogs is another good way to build their confidence and reduce their stress levels. It may be a good idea to keep them on their leash the first few visits until they feel more comfortable with their new friends. If your dog seems a little unsettled during the first few walks, just take short walks, allowing the dog lead the way. This lets them discover where other barking dogs and kids live and helps your dog get used to their location in the neighbourhood. Each time the dog confidently walks a slightly longer route, ensure you lavish them with praise to continue building their confidence. If your dog seems skittish and doesn’t want to continue a walk, return home and try again the next day.

Continue with Routine

Introducing your pet
Once you’ve moved into your new home, try to continue with your pet’s existing routine. Keeping meal time, exercise and play time, and bed time on the same schedule that occurred in your previous home means your pet will know what to expect each day and settle in a little faster. This will relieve their stress and anxiety around being in a new location and will make your days calmer as well.

You dog will pick up on your excitement at being in your new home, so it’s also great to involve them in that feeling of happiness with the family whenever possible, whether it’s with a celebratory pet-friendly treat, or some fun and games in the backyard. Moving with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. As long as you give your pet plenty of opportunities to become familiar with their new home and continue to keep things familiar and structured wherever possible, your pet will be settled in to their new home in no time!

For other great tips, tricks, and home ideas, visit the Hotondo Homes website.

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