Creating bespoke custom homes.

Category: Design

THE AVORA 34 is the Master Builders NSW Display Home of The Year & now a National Finalist!

The Master Builders Association has named The Avora 34 the NSW Display Home of The Year ($600k-$800k), which is the second year in a row we have taken out this award, and is now a finalist in the National awards. No builder sets out to build a home purely to win an award, but the recognition of the hardwork from every member of our team is very rewarding.

The Avora 34 is a special project for our team as it is also the first Net Zero Display Home in NSW and as a result was also a finalist in the HIA National Greensmart Awards. 

The Avora 34 has set the benchmark for sophisticated and sustainable design on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the exterior exudes contemporary style whilst maintaining the coastal feel that Warriewood is renowned for. It is the epitome of indoor/outdoor living, with a cutting edge entertainers kitchen and preparation area flowing onto a generous alfresco featuring a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. We are proud to present coastal living at its very best with this home – come and take a look for yourself!

Find us at 204 Garden St, Warriewood, and stay tuned for the National results on Saturday 28th of November!

Need some colour inspiration?

Don’t get us wrong – we love white as much as the next person, but are you looking for some colour inspiration for your new home?

Our friends at Taubmans (Did you know that the Taubmans 3 coat paint system is standard in our inclusions?) have selected their favourite and colourful homes – and they are stunning! You can see more of these beautiful homes here.


Feeling inspired by any of these colour choices? Simply screenshot the image and upload it to the Taubmans Coloursmith website or app (free on Apple App Store and Google Play). Coloursmith will show you how the colour looks in-situ in some virtual spaces – and you can even order a sample pot to test in your own home.

Unleash your inner Coloursmith!

Brightening Up Your Life

“We need natural daylight to function – just as we need darkness to go to sleep.”

– George Ezra
Natural Light Flooding the Kitchen in the recently completed project
Natural light flooding the kitchen in this recently completed project in Beecroft.

When it comes to designing your new home, one of the most important features that often gets overlooked is the lighting. Not only does it improve the look and feel of you home, studies have shown that lighting is a big factor in affecting your mood and health. With the best source of light being natural sunlight, it is essential that you understand the positioning of your house and know where the light will be hitting during each part of the day. By carefully choosing where to place your rooms and windows it will create the perfect atmosphere within your house all year round.

For tips on how to create light within in your home click here

The 6 Bathroom Trends for 2020 from our friends at Reece

The Avora 34 Main Bathroom
The Avora 34 Main Bathroom

Quality and getting expert advice is so important when building your dream home. That is why we work with Reece on all of our bathroom & kitchen fittings – they are the experts! They have recently shared their thoughts on The 6 Bathroom Trends for 2020, take a look at it here.

Stop by our new Design STUDIO at 311 Willoughby Rd, Naremburn to start designing your new home and see the gorgeous Reece products in person.

To build or to renovate… THAT is the question!

We are often told by clients they are trying to decide whether to KDR or renovate, and would you believe when we tell them to ‘KDR no question’, they don’t always believe us?!

One of our current clients has done both and we asked her to share her insight. Follow her build journey @the.mama.daze


And it’s a big one indeed… Having done both a major renovation and now a complete knockdown rebuild, we have genuinely experienced and I’m often asked to share our learnings. 

When we bought our first house, it was with the vision to one day ‘renovate and extend’ (complete with a white picket fence!). I think we grew up assuming that to build would be ‘too expensive’ and that the best way to get ahead was to renovate including DIY where you can, and real estate always emphasises the ‘potential’ to renovate. We went both out (ground floor extension) AND up (first floor addition) so it was pretty extensive! 

The issue though is that you have to work with the original footprint and this means either limitations or significant cost to modify and use what you have.  THEN there are the things that end up costing way more than expected… like when our ‘simple bathroom renovation’ uncovered rotted wall frames that didn’t even connect with the floor… or asbestos!

So while we did end up with a lovely home, it still lacked certain features and missed more than we could achieve with a renovation… so within months of it being finished… we sold!

The concept of knockdown rebuild appealed to us as we could work essentially from a blank sheet of paper and apply all of our learnings from renovating. From living through renovations and with a growing family, we built a good understanding of what worked for OUR family. How we use a space and how we like to live as well as how to avoid wasted floor space and dysfunctional areas.

Having met with builders ranging from project homes to custom builders and architects, we found the perfect mix in Icon Homes. We’re now building our complete dream home – including everything we loved from our previous renovation and everything we still didn’t have! – for LESS per square metre. We’ll have a higher quality finish and it’ll all be done before we move in.

We chose Icon Homes for a number of reasons including their flexibility to create custom designs at no extra cost to suit your lifestyle needs and block of land (but that’s a separate blog topic in itself!).

But people always love to share horror stories though don’t they (it’s a bit like childbirth!)… and we were told that we needed to budget a HUGE amount for hidden upgrade costs and for when things go wrong. THIS was one of things that resonated with us most with Icon Homes: ‘our standard is their upgrade’. They know what their clients want with key features like 40mm Caesarstone benches, extended height ceilings, ducted air conditioning & quality finishes, so it’s all there in the Onyx package. There’s no lure of a base price which is lightyears away from the stunning display home you’ve just walked through, to leave you feeling naive and overwhelmed.

This meant that our initial site estimate quote was almost identical to our full Tender (the formal building quote for your contract) even with engineering requirements and our changes that we asked for upfront (it is a custom build, after all!). As a fixed price build, we also avoided all of the risk of the unknown with renovations and things that you can’t see behind walls or underneath floors (or walls that don’t join with the floor!).

But beyond the glossy pictures and over-flowing #inspo collections (we’ve all got them!), it’s also about our investment.  And in return, we’ll have an entirely brand new house: rather than only new finishes within old walls and on old foundations and plumbing. A house is about more than just a home, it still needs to be an asset and a financial investment for your family.


So follow our build journey and ask me your questions, are you team #renovate or team #build?




Can you pick the top Bathroom Trends for 2020?

The Avora 34 Bathroom
Pick a statement piece and let it shine – this bath does just that!

They say it is important to wake up positive in order to start your day off right. With the bathroom being on of the first rooms you go to in the morning, it only makes sense that it should be designed beautifully.

Bathrooms are no longer just a place for showering and brushing your teeth. Each year we are seeing them become bigger and more of a calming living space within your home. Take a look at some of our past work here for some inspiration. 

Take a look here to see what the experts have picked as the 2020 bathroom trends.



The Avora 34 shows design and energy efficiency needn’t be mutually exclusive.

‘The Avora 34 display home and Bristile solar roofing solution prove that sophisticated design and energy efficiency needn’t be mutually exclusive’

We are proud of The Avora 34 for many reasons, the fact that it is the first net zero display home in NSW is a big one but that we have been able to deliver an energy efficient home that is as beautiful as this, well that’s the real winner.
Working on this project with the team at Bristile has been a very exciting one – the technology and their solar roofing solution are second to none. Bristile’s solar roofing solution is a key feature of the sleek new Avora 34 and the home has been constructed with a flat roof, allowing for the discreet installation of the solar panels so they are invisible from the street.
“The beautiful interiors are a testament to Icon Homes’ knowledge of current design trends,” says Taylor. “Their passion for detail and craftsmanship is evident in the use of beautiful stone on the façade, the floating timber staircase, the use of vertical cladding as a feature throughout the home and the stunning timber ceiling in the upstairs living room.”All this has been achieved without jeopardising Avora 34’s net zero rating. Taylor adds: “Icon Homes should be very proud of this home. It has really set the benchmark for display homes across Sydney.”

Your dream home needs to be future proofed and sustainability is key!

The homes we built decades ago are not the same as the homes we want to live in the decades ahead – your dream home needs to be future proofed, and sustainability is much more than just a buzz word. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has a vision for healthier, resilient, and positive places for people to live. The GBCA are currently developing a Standard for future homes that defines the performance and features of quality new homes in Australia, and at Icon Homes we are ahead of the game on this one with NSW first Net Zero Display Home located in Warriewood on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.






Their vision for Future Homes is-

  1. Cost effective: A well designed and constructed home can reduce power bills, water bills, and maintenance costs. Energy efficient homes with solar panels can save households $900 per year.
  2. Healthy: Australians spend 90% of their time indoors! Fresh air, comfortable temperatures, low-toxic materials and abundant daylight are all factors proven to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
  3. Future Ready The homes we build today will be part of our cities and communities for at least the next fifty years. We need to build homes to accommodate our changing needs, and adapt to our changing climate. By 5050 there will be double the number of older people and 44% more children!
  4. Connected: Access to nature, community services, transport and digital infrastructure are essential to our health and productivity. According to research, access to a park can reduce stress, increase physical activity and even extend people’s life spans.
  5. Verified: Homebuyers will want sustainability information on the home they are buying. On-site verification such as physical inspections, air-pressure testing or thermal imaging are the most reliable way to check the quality and performance of a future home. This trend demonstrated by a 10% price premium recorded in the ACT for 7* NaTHERS rated homes 2018.

Find out more about NSW’s first Net Zero Display Home,  The Avora 34 at Warriewood. Currently open for private inspection by appointment.

Choosing your colours can seem like an overwhelming task

When building a new house, choosing colours and materials can be a big and daunting task. Not only do you have to decide on the full internal colour scheme, but you must also think about what your house will look like on the outside. Everyone wants their house to be the best looking one in the street, but you don’t want it to stand out for all the wrong reasons. With most people only seeing the exterior of your new home it is important to put just as much effort in choosing the colours for your bricks as you do your bedroom.

Here are 5 tips that will make your decision easier


We have some very exciting news to announce on this very topic soon – stay tuned!!! Picking all your choices for your new Icon Home is about to get a lot easier.

Making the most of a small block of land.

Sometimes size does matter, especially when it comes to building your dream home! With the growing population, available blocks of land are becoming increasingly smaller, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on space.

By using some of these simple design techniques, you can have enough space for the whole family without blowing out your budget or settling for somewhere second best.

The HIA’s top tips are:

  • Opt for Open Plan
  • Get Creative with Storage
  • Utilise Outdoors
  • Build Up
  • Create the Feeling of Spaciousness

You can read more about these here.

Want to know what can fit on your block? Get in touch with our team today, for a limited time only they will provide a siting of one of our designs on your block for free.

Pantone’s Colour of the Year announced!

COVID-19 has changed a lot of things, but our friends at Pantone have still released their Colour of the year. For the past 20 years colour experts Pantone, have selected a single colour to represent the year ahead. This year they have chosen ‘Classic Blue’ to influence the design industry all over the world from fashion to graphic design, product packaging and interior design.

Pantone have described Classic Blue as:

“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

With all the uncertainty that has already come in 2020, Classic Blue may be what we all need to help keep some balance in our lives.

Read more about it here.