By Nicole L. Warren
Looking to liven up a room in your home? Or maybe you’re not ready to commit to the responsibly of a furry pet. Whatever the reason, keeping an aquarium can be an unforgettable experience that literally adds life to your home decor.
A wide range of tank sizes and styles can easily complement or enhance your furnishings. If you have children, set-up and care of your aquarium can be a family affair. After it’s installed, it will bring the kids hours of entertainment, but they’re not the only ones who’ll have all the fun. You can be soothed after a long day at work, use it to take a mental break in your home office, or to wow your guests.
Aquatics professionals, like Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (stars of the Animal Planet show "Tanked"), specialize in uber-creative custom aquariums, which can range in cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars. But you don’t need to spend big bucks to bring fish tanks into your home. Here are five clever places you can liven up spaces with aquariums.
1. Room Dividers
If you live in a home with an open floor plan, spaces can be separated with a strategically placed aquarium. Custom-built tanks can be made perfectly sized for your room dimensions. Free-standing units can be installed with a hood and stand that match the finish of your furniture.
For a more permanent option, a partial wall can be constructed to house the tank. Aquarium room dividers offer just enough privacy, without completely closing the spaces off from each other. And people on either side can admire the fish.
2. Children’s Rooms
Your children will thank you for putting a tank in their room. They’ll enjoy selecting the fish and the aquarium decor that coordinates with their room. While they’re learning about caring for marine life, they’ll also find fascination and relaxation from watching the fish. Your teen can probably manage the maintenance of a small aquarium, but a fish bowl would be a better choice for young children.
You read it right, aquariums can double as usable furniture. Specially constructed to securely hold water, and withstand its weight, these conversation pieces are safe to use just like any other furniture.
- Headboards - You’ll actually be sleeping with the fishes when your headboard is a 500-gallon aquarium. More basic styles can be installed in a wall or shelving unit behind the bed. More elaborate styles can form an arch across the top of the bed, giving you a complete 180-degree view of an aquatic wonderland, while you’re lying down.
- Tables - Your living room or den will never be the same when you add a coffee table or end table filled with fish. The removable glass or acrylic table tops allow you to easily set up and maintain your aquarium. A variety of shapes and styles can be found in clear acrylic or wood/acrylic combinations, for both elegant and casual options.
- Home Furnishings - Items from your kitchen, den, or office that no longer serve their original purpose can be upcycled into fish tanks. An old television set becomes a 10-gallon aquarium, with space to display knickknacks on top and storage underneath. Similar creations are made from microwave ovens, desktop computer monitors, coffee pots, and pianos.
- Sink - You might be lured into spending extra time brushing your teeth if you install an aquarium sink in your bathroom. The fish won’t be disturbed as you stand over them completing your morning routine. The top lifts for easy setup and maintenance, and a there's a special hole for feeding.
A large built-in aquarium can revive a boring wall. Have one incorporated into the design of a custom-built wall unit, or knock out an existing wall to construct an aquarium frame. Consult with a professional before determining which of your walls might be suitable for the weight of housing a tank.
At your next party, decorate the table with an unexpected centerpiece. Fish can be displayed in a glass container with decorative rocks, or in vases adorned with ribbons or flowers. This is a beautiful but temporary option. It is not recommended to keep fish in this living arrangement for an extended period of time. After your event, they should be transferred to a more livable environment.
Some brave and talented DIYers have figured out ways to create many of these aquariums on their own. But if you’re not up for the challenge, leave it to the professionals. Tanks, especially those housing saltwater fish (think Dory and Nemo), are a gorgeous addition, but they can be expensive and tricky to maintain. Consider if your budget allows for the expertise of a professional aquarium service to clean and maintain your aquarium. They can also offer consultation services to help you through the process of selecting and setting up your aquarium.
For other design possibilities, visit House Tipster's 3D Virtual Rooms - the easy and fun way to plan your home's decor.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com