Advice • Tips • Inspiration


The kitchen is the heart of every home, particularly in newly built houses where open-plan living areas shine as the star of the home’s design. The whole family spends time in the kitchen every day, so when it comes to the design of your kitchen it’s important to make this high traffic area functional, well organised, and stylish no matter the size. Take a look at these great kitchen ideas full of great features and clever designs!

Island Living

In open-plan kitchens, the island is the statement piece. It’s a gathering place for meals, entertaining, and general day-to-day activities, so why not make it stand out? This contrasting white and charcoal island provides space for seating and is complete with an under-bench shelf for additional storage. It’s a brilliant way to store cookbooks, wine, and style with decorative items to give your kitchen a unique feel.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is becoming increasingly popular in new home designs as people embrace the opportunity to show off unique kitchen pieces and personal items. If you have statement crockery and serving ware, cookbooks with beautiful graphics on them, or just want a place to put a vase of fresh flowers, including a section of open shelving in your kitchen is the perfect way to do it. It also allows for the changing of items each season to add character and warmth to the space.

Pendant Lights

In open-plan spaces, the kitchen is often only separated from the rest of the room by an island bench. Another way to create the illusion of the kitchen being its own space is to incorporate pendant lighting over the island. Installing two or three pendant lights will create another visual cue that draws the eye up and separates the kitchen is separate from the dining and living areas. They also serve as statement pieces, with more and more pendant lights designed to look like intricate pieces of art.

Design Themes

If your home has an overall design theme, using the kitchen to continue that theme will pull the open-plan space together by creating a cohesive style. For example, a coastal home’s interior style could include an island that is partially timber to echo the natural elements of the home’s environment.

Let There Be Light

Considering the placement of windows in a kitchen area is also important, particularly if the open-plan area is in the centre of the home or doesn’t catch the afternoon sun. Including skylights over the space will create a well-lit area throughout the day and if you opt for vaulted ceilings they add a unique design feature to the space.

Having a well-designed kitchen with distinct features and a functional layout will give the heart of your home a welcoming feel and create a space that’s perfect for entertaining and everyday family living. For more great kitchen inspiration ideas, head to the Hotondo Homes website to find your favourite style!

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