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Add Character to Your Space: Home Upgrade Ideas You Never Thought Of

With the year coming to an end and a fresh start in sight, you may be thinking about adding some character to your home in the new year. Painting your walls a new color, finishing your basement space, or knocking down a wall to create an open layout- the options are endless. But have you ever thought about investing in a chandelier? Maybe even installing an aquarium in your home?

To help you find the perfect way to add character to your home, we’ve asked the experts all the way from Toronto, CA to San Antonio, TX for their best home upgrade ideas. Find out what they had to say so you can plan ahead for the year to come!

Think through your design before starting construction

Think about what you want to “emphasize” and what you want to “hide.” With regards to exterior remodeling, you can have two primary colors throughout the home and add a third accent color where you want the eyes to go, for example, a front porch. But if you really want to take your home to the next level, then you can’t go wrong with adding stone veneer. We make our own stone veneer house and it is a nice touch that no one else in our area offers.- HX Home Solutions & North Star Stone

Find ways to work with the space you have

One of our most creative recent projects was reworking the space of two small closets with a lot of dead space behind them into a large, walk-in pantry, and enclosed laundry room. Finding ways to work with the space you already have, rather than adding on, can save you both time and money on your remodeling project. – Keith Sheets, Founder of Remodeling Pros.

Consider a butcher block countertop for your kitchen upgrade

One trend for 2021 has us falling in love over in-home butcher blocks made out of a variety of woods and incredible designs. Although it has been functionally relevant for years, it’s just now carving itself a place in the interior design niche as a stylistic kitchen symbol. Butcher block countertops are extremely pragmatic and versatile as well as visually stunning. Choosing the right wood for your butcher block includes ideas of color, strength, durability, and toxicity levels. There is a vast array of lumber options that can also be honored with a badge of eco-friendliness as it can be assembled or constructed from left-over wood. – Greenport Construction, Inc.

Create space with a hidden door

Hoping to maximize the space within this home office, we came up with the idea of installing a built-in bookcase that doubles as a hidden door leading into a closet. The beautiful blending of form and function. – Jared Lewis Owner, Lewis Design – Build – Remodel

Tap into your wildest imagination

We encourage you to just get started and let your imagination swim wild. Scientific studies have shown that aquariums reduce stress, contribute to improved mental health, overall well-being, sleep, and more for individuals of all ages. Creativity is limitless in the aquarium world and adding an interactive natural display that contributes to both your health and home has never been easier. – Glass Aqua

Incorporate living art

An aquarium is unsurpassed as an astounding display of living art. It literally is always the focal point in the most elaborate and bespoke of design spaces. But a word of caution is warranted. The desired result will only occur if the installation and upkeep are executed correctly. Either the owner needs to have the knowledge and skill himself or he will need to hire a professional aquarium company. In the latter case, make sure you have a complete feeling of trust in the aquarium company you hire. Your decision will determine the short- and long-term outcome of the project. – Sol Bick, owner of Aqua Creations, an aquarium design, installation, and maintenance company

Think of contrast when aquascaping your tank

For example, the color contrast between the brown aquarium driftwood and green aquatic plants will be attention-grabbing. Add live aquatic plants to your aquarium. This will bring the beauty of nature into your home while improving your tank’s water quality and preventing algae growth. – BucePlant

Make a statement

Setting up an aquarium allows you to bring a portion of nature right into your home. The bright greenery of the plants and the constant movement of the fish form a lively and dynamic statement piece for any room. Children are sure to delight in the interactivity of the aquarium at feeding time, while you and your guests enjoy the shimmer, sounds, and calming atmosphere of the flowing water. – API Fish Care

Bring nature into your home

Aquascaping is a great way to integrate what Mother Nature has given us into our living space ambiance. When it comes to aquascaping, too many people overlook the aspect of hardscape design. One needs to spend extra time and attention as the initial hardscape design and placement is the precedence as the long-term aesthetics of the aquascape’s will set forth the growth and appearance of the tank’s plants once it balances out down the line, giving an everlasting impression. – Hakkai & Pet Zone Tropical Fish

Make sure you have enough space

Find a space in your home that is easily accessible and allows you to have the largest aquarium you can. The more water volume in the system the easier it will be to keep the ecosystem in balance. A lot of beginners think that the bigger the aquarium is the harder it will be to maintain but in reality, it is the opposite. – Christopher Cruze, C&M Aquatics

Utilize your space underneath the stairs

One of the most creative ways of installing an aquarium in your dream home is by building it under the staircase. There is nothing better than utilizing empty space that would have otherwise been wasted to create a spectacular aquarium. Each day when you arrive back home, you are presented with the stunning view of the natural underwater world right beneath your staircase. – Adrian Aquarzon, Aquarzon

Select a type of aquarium to compliment your interior décor

For example, a simplistic fancy goldfish tank might add subtle feng shui to a minimalistic scheme, whereas a lushly planted tank might brighten up a comfy rustic scheme, whereas a reef tank might impart a touch of exotic class to a modern chic scheme. – AlgaeBarn

The right lighting can instantly upgrade your space

Don’t play it safe

Too often we are overly conservative when it comes to choosing light fixtures, going with neutral, inoffensive fixtures which won’t compete for attention with other elements of the room. Resist this urge. Good light fixtures are the jewelry of your home. Our brains are hardwired to notice lighting before anything else, so let your lighting be a true expression of your tastes. Likewise, our brains evolved to look for sparkle, as it often indicated flowing, potable water on the horizon. So consider a little bling. – Michael McHale Designs

Let your space shine

Looking to brighten up a dark room? Consider a crystal chandelier. The facets of the crystal will reflect other light sources throughout the space. You can also brighten up a room by utilizing light fixtures such as torchiere floor lamps or wall sconces to direct additional lighting at the walls or ceiling. – Chandelier Central

Make an investment in your space

When choosing a chandelier that is a centerpiece do not get caught up by the latest trend or fad. Invest in something timeless that will always be inspirational and beautiful that you will always love and appreciate. – Adam Hoets | Owner & Designer | willowlamp

Layer your lighting

Use overhead lighting as a primary source, add sconces or a pendant for task lighting, and follow with the jewels of the room–accent lighting. Create a cohesive ambiance and balanced effect by combining different light sources throughout your space. – Modern Planet

Lighting brings life to any space or object

To best light a space, we recommend layers of light that fit your style and vision. Consider adding wall sconces for a cozy feel or shelf lighting for a dramatic effect in addition to your center fixtures. – WT Lighting

Take the time to finish spaces in your home

Adding an accent wall goes a long way

One of the easiest ways to add some character to interior space is to add an accent wall to any room. Just by adding a bit of contrast in paint, some shiplap, or the right type of molding to create an array of geometric shapes, it can add a custom artistic element that can be appreciated by all. The limitations of your accent wall are only what you and your contractor can dream up. Here at Box Construction, we materialize your vision to reality so you can start creating tomorrow’s memories, today. – Box Construction

Consider these tips when finishing a basement

There are a few important designs and structural issues that must be addressed correctly in order to meet today’s building codes – whether your house was built in the mid-century or relatively new construction. Firstly, the entrance and stairway leading to your basement must meet the proper headroom (minimum of 6′ 8″) and stair riser height (must not exceed 8 1/4″). No one wants to squeeze into a stairway and duck their head to get down to the lower level, while steep stairs and low headroom make you feel like you are going to a dungeon.

Try to make the entrance to the lower level inviting and an extension of the rest of the home. Open stairs allow the lower level to feel just like another level. If you do have a door at the top of the stairs, consider using a French door to allow light and flow from one level to the next – Sheryl Kolby, Kolby Construction

Choose waterproof flooring when finishing your basement

Whether your basement is on or below grade, 100% waterproof SPC Vinyl Plank flooring is your best option. The temperature and humidity extremes common in basements will have no adverse effects. Plus the flooring clicks together for easy DIY installation with no glue. – OnFlooring, Inc.

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