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Smart Home

How to customize the appearance of Google Home

If you think the Google Home speaker looks a bit drab, spice it up with these customizations.

Taylor Martin/CNET

If you want to bring Google Assistant into your home, you have several different speaker options. There's the original Google Home ($129 at Walmart), the Home Mini and Home Max.

While the Google Home Mini ($49 at Google Store) comes in three color options (chalk, charcoal and coral) and Max in two (chalk and charcoal), you can only buy the original in one configuration -- a chalky white top with a gray fabric base.

Like the Amazon Echo, those colors might not fit in with your decor. If white and gray aren't your choice in colors, here are a few ways you can customize the appearance of your Google Home speaker.

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Buy a new base

While you can't configure the colors of the Google Home at the time of purchase, Google did make the fabric base that comes with the speaker removable.

Originally offered in six colors and two different materials, Google now only offers the Base for Google Home in three different styles: coral in fabric, and carbon and copper in metal. The coral base is $20 (£18, AU$29) while metal configurations will set you back $40 (£36, AU$59) each.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

To install an aftermarket base, first unplug the power adapter from the speaker. Grab the base and pull downward. Giving it a gentle twist will help the magnets release easier. Install the aftermarket base by lining up the hole for the power adapter with the back of the speaker. The magnets should pull it into position.

While Google may have pared down the options for official Google Home bases, a few third-party manufacturers have stepped in to fill the void. There are a few leather base options on Amazon, for example. And if you want to take your Google Home with you, Ninety7 has created a battery base that comes in white, copper or black.

Cases and covers

If it's the stark white top you take issue with, you can also try a case that covers the top of the speaker. Murray Designs makes a case that slides down over the top and comes in an array of colors or themes. You can make the top of your Google Home speaker look like it's marble or wood. Others will give your Google Home a tuxedo or Santa Claus suit.

For the Google Home Mini, there are a couple case or cover options on Etsy that will disguise the speaker as the sorting hat from Harry Potter, a Death Star or R2-D2 (sort of).

Install a skin

If changing the color of the base isn't quite enough or cases aren't your first choice, there is another option. You can purchase a third-party skin to give the white top of the speaker a little more pizzazz.

In addition to basic colors, popular smartphone skin producer Slickwraps offers vinyl skins for Google Home in various color selections with carbon, metal, wood, leather, glitz, stone and hemp patterns.

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Taylor Martin/CNET

If none of these suits your style, there are plenty of other options online, which will run you anywhere from $10 to $30. Some even come with skins for the power adapter, which is a cool touch if it can't be hidden behind furniture.

Another option is to cover your Google Home with actual wood. Toast makes real wood skins for the Google Home in ash, bamboo and walnut.

Instructions for applying skins on the Google Home will vary, but take your time and make sure to properly align the wrap before pressing it firmly into place.

Mix and match

A skin will give you the opportunity to truly make your Google Home speaker yours, and match it to your style. Some white from the original color will ultimately show, however. To take it one step further, try mixing a skin and a different color base. The walnut skin and the carbon metal base look really great together.

Now that you have your Google Home customized, take it to the next level with these 8 Google Home tips.

And if you haven't gone all-in on a smart home yet, here are four things to consider before making your home smart.

Originally published Jan. 10, 2017.
Updated Aug. 13, 2018: Added more customization options.