It’s undeniable that one of the most emotional parts of any home update is the big reveal. We all love a good before and after – and we often crave a dramatic change. But oftentimes the biggest shift is a slower burn. It’s the realization of how your new space just works in a way it didn’t before.

That’s why at Titus, our design philosophy is function, form, and feeling. To determine function and need first is critical before what a space looks like. 

There are a great number of home improvement projects that demonstrate this philosophy in action. If you’re considering a home update, consider these function-first improvements that still make a big aesthetic impact.

mudroom with storage

Adding a Mudroom

A mudroom is one of those small-scale, big-impact projects. It’s easy for shoes, coats, bags and other miscellaneous objects to pile up by the door, and for dirt to trail through the whole house. A mudroom is a flexible addition that can be squeezed into even small spaces, to strategically create more storage space.

sunroom with a hanging chair

4-Season Sunrooms

Sunrooms are an excellent addition to your home that not only expands your liveable space but also increases the resale value of your home. In cold Minnesota climates, a 4-season sunroom is a must to get the most out of this space.

Golf ball on tee at simulator

Golf Simulators

At-home golf simulators are quickly rising in popularity – and for a good reason! They let homeowners practice their swing, even in the coldest Minnesota months. This is a project where function is essential to establish before building, so you have enough room to actually use the simulator but not so much that it becomes ineffective.

Related Content: How High of a Ceiling Do You Need for an At-Home Golf Simulator?

kitchen with a view into a pantry

Coffee/Tea Bar in the Kitchen

Adding a dedicated coffee/tea bar in your kitchen is one of those upgrades that you’ll never know how you lived without once you have it. Popular add-ons include a sink with a reverse osmosis faucet and a dedicated refrigerator. Adding both to the space means you have everything you need to make drinks in one space.

Working Pantry

For those who love to host and entertain, a working pantry can make a huge quality of life improvement. A working pantry is more than just a space to store dry goods – it also includes surfaces for meal prep. Another common use we see is adding a desk space to the working pantry, which provides more privacy than sitting at the table but still lets the occupants keep an eye on what’s going on outside. If you go for a working pantry, opt for cabinetry rather than melamine shelves – these hold up longer over time and help create a cohesive look with the rest of the kitchen.

view from a kitchen into an open living room

Open Concept Kitchen and Living Room

Knocking down walls isn’t just cathartic – it’s a huge functional improvement in your home. You don’t have to go full open concept, but expanding the kitchen into the living room makes a huge impact on your liveable space. You’ll notice the change both when hosting events or just sitting down to a family dinner.

interior of a kitchen

Appliance Garage

We’ll move on from kitchens in a moment, but that’s one area of the house with so many functional yet beautiful improvements. An appliance garage is a dedicated space(s) tucked into cabinets or shelves that house a specific appliance. Both open and closed models are popular, but with a closed version it’s easier to keep your counters clutter-free. This is a great choice for those who want to keep appliances less accessible for kids or pets, and also for those who just don’t like the look of appliances out on the counter.

basement wet bar

Covered Front Entrance

A covered front entrance is another one of those small-change, big-impact projects. Not only does it improve the curb appeal of your home, but it’s also such an incredible little relief from the elements. You’ll really appreciate having some coverage when going in and out during winter flurries! 

view into a bedroomAdditional Bedroom

Tackling an addition is no small project, but it’s a massive benefit to your home. Not only does it increase your home’s value, but it serves an extremely practical purpose of adding more privacy. Depending on your home and needs, bedrooms can be added to existing levels or done as part of a second story addition.

Related Content: What to Know Before Adding a Second Story to Your Home (Free Guide)

basement wet bar

Wet Bar in Basement

Basement wet bars continue to be an extremely popular home remodeling choice, and it’s one that perfectly represents our philosophy of design as a mix of both form and function. Not having to walk upstairs constantly to grab refreshments and snacks while hanging out in the basement is a huge convenience. As well, a thoughtfully designed wet bar adds visual interest to the space and makes it feel inviting.

Related Content: 14 Basement Remodeling Ideas for 2024 You’ll Want to Steal

In the best home upgrades, the before and after isn’t the biggest impact. The bigger impact is the improved functionality that makes your house a home. Function-first design helps you achieve that perfect balance of function, form, and feeling.


a cover for the home remodeling guide from Titus ContractingFree Home Remodeling Guide:

Interior Designer, Architect, or Contractor: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

If you’re planning a home renovation, you’ll need a licensed contractor in your corner.

Someone to bring your plans to life, handle necessary permits, and ensure everything’s up to code.

But do you need an interior designer for a home remodel?

What types of building projects require an architect?

Learn more about the role of a general contractor and what you can expect.

Get the Guide

Titus Contracting is a full-service remodeling company offering commercial and residential construction. We have an office in Burnsville, Minnesota and work throughout the Twin Cities.