9 Cool Feature Ideas for Your New Home or Renovation

If you’re looking for inspiration to personalize your design plans, keep reading. We’ve outlined our top nine picks for unique custom home features.

You spend a lot of time in your home and you’ve spent hours daydreaming of ways it could be better—if not the most unique on the block! When you build a new, custom house or renovate your existing one, you can include all of the fun ideas on your wishlist. 

If you’re looking for inspiration to personalize your design plans, keep reading. We’ve outlined our top nine picks for unique custom home features.


1. Taste Wine from Every Region in Your Cellar

To achieve ultimate class, build yourself a wine cellar. Make it a themed room to use for tasting and entertaining or a feature wall from floor to 12-foot-ceiling in your main living area. 

  • If you want to see your collection daily, choose a clean, contemporary glass aesthetic. You can locate it nearly anywhere in your home with specialized glass that provides insulation and protects against UV rays.
  • If you want to feel like you should light a cigar and pour yourself some cognac, opt for a traditional whole-room cellar with classic hardwood and stone accents.


2. Make Every Inch Count with Smart Storage 

When you build a custom home, you’re in a unique place to consider every nook and cranny—and to use them wisely. 

  • Tuck items away under the stairs where you can hide slide-out bookcases, toy storage and seasonal clothing such as boots, jackets and rainwear. 
  • Conceal outlets in the kitchen or office drawers to keep electronics off the counter.
  • Hide a litter box in the storage room and provide easy, doorless access for your cat with a cutout in the wall. 


3. Have Christmas in the Courtyard

Since Alberta winters can last for the better part of 8 months, give yourself the gift of greenery year-round by planting a coniferous tree in your courtyard. 

  • While you can plant whatever your heart desires, a fir, spruce or pine gives you a built-in, living Christmas tree that you can decorate around the holidays.
  • For the rest of the year, enjoy tranquil mornings and nightly stargazing by adding a breakfast bistro set or gas fire pit to this partially enclosed area. 


4. Indulge in Imaginative Accent Walls

These wallcoverings are more than funky wallpaper, writable chalkboard paint or vibrant murals. When you work with a custom home builder, you can customize everything—including the walls themselves.

  • Opt for a distressed brick wall for a chic inner-city abandoned factory look.
  • Add a reclaimed wood wall for homey, rustic-looking natural elements.
  • Tie in a tiled feature wall for a stylish underground subway feel (no bathroom required).
  • Include a living biophilic plant wall to bring the rainforest and its health benefits inside.


5. Bring the Aquarium Home

While we’re on the topic of bringing natural, outdoor elements inside, add some fresh or saltwater aquatic life to your living spaces. The bright, vivacious colours of the fish and the sound of trickling water can add an ambiance you never knew you needed. 

  • Adjoin the kitchen and living room with a partition wall that houses a built-in fish tank. 
  • Go for something a little more distinctive and have your home builder include an interior fish pond in your entryway that either stands alone or is enclosed under a bridge or walkway.


6. Add Mystery with Moveable Bookcases

Feeling like royalty doesn’t mean you have to move to England. While you’re in the planning phase of your new home, make way for some moving bookshelves.

  • Use hinged bookshelf doors to lead to a secret room or passageway.
  • Give yourself storage for your impressive book collection by creating shelves that slide in front of each other. It’s the next best thing to a dedicated library room. 


7. Go Stealth with Secret Rooms

This one is so cool, we can’t help but talk about it twice. Make a hiding spot for your kids, store confidential items or map a way to move around your home undetected—whichever you choose, just make sure there’s a password to enter. 

  • Add a Harry Potter-style hideaway under your stairs.
  • Conceal security features, safes or storage.
  • Make a hidden games/gaming room.
  • Keep your kitchen pantry discreet with doors that blend with your cabinetry.


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8. Say “Ahhh” in Your At-Home Spa

Making your home yours is all about making it feel like a retreat, and there’s no greater escape than your very own bathroom spa. 

  • Sink into a stand-alone, statement tub that’s placed beside a crackling fireplace. 
  • Make your towels hug-worthy by pre-heating them on a warming rack and indulge your toes with toasty, heated floors.  
  • Relax with the ultimate at-home spa experience by combining a steam room, shower and sauna in one.


9. Take in 360° Details

As you pick your unique features, don’t forget to look up. Your ceiling is the perfect way to add a little extra flair to your home’s kitchen, living room, entryway or ensuite. 

  • Commission a fresco-worthy painted ceiling mural. 
  • Have your builder leave wood beams exposed or cover the vaulted drywall with wood planks.
  • Play with the shape itself and choose flat, angled, vaulted or arched.
  • Go above the standard 8-foot ceiling and have it raised to a custom height.
  • Add texture with metallic foil, wallpaper or recessed panels.
  • Include decorative lighting like a ceiling rose and chandelier, a series of small LEDs to create a starry sky feel or a skylight to see the real stars above.
  • Include a tray ceiling with hidden lighting to illuminate the ceiling and create depth and height in your space.

Start daydreaming about these ideas and once you’re ready to make your space truly unique, talk to our team. We’ll help you bring these ideas (and more!) to life in your new, custom dream home.