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5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

5 Easy Home Improvement Ideas Approved by an Expert Home Renovator

The process of making a home your own doesn’t end when you sign the deed. In fact, that’s when the process really starts.

A house becomes your home once you customize it to your individual, distinctive taste and lifestyle. Home improvement projects can bring satisfaction to homeowners at all stages of the game: whether they just bought the house, have lived there for quite some time, want to increase its resale value, winter is coming, or they just want to be creative.

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Whatever the reason for the upgrade, one of the most important first steps is to take a good look at your bank account.

It’s important to resist the impulse to dive into a long list of home improvement projects. I spoke with a design-build contractor, Aquarian Renovations, a company that specializes in custom homes, to create a list of aesthetic fixes and budget-friendly overhauls for your home.

Here are the best home makeover tips plus clever hacks and ideas from this expert home renovator and increase the functionality, value, and happiness quotient of your home.

1. Start with your Door

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    Because first impressions matter, invest in enhancing the look of your entrance. Your door can make or break the look of your house. If you really want to convey a welcoming vibe to your guests, remake the exterior of your house to keep your visitors intrigued of what else the inside has to offer.

    • Consider purchasing a new front door with a vivid color and contemporary fittings or locks.
    • On the other hand, a solid door in good condition only needs little DIY fixes like a new paint color or switching out a new handle or knob.
    • For a more inviting look, spruce up the porch with potted plants, a welcome mat, stylish new house numbers, and outdoor lighting to highlight the beauty of your walkway.

     2. Brighten up with Lighting

      A simple tip from our expert is to use lighting to make any room look bigger and warmer.

      • To create a brighter and happier space, ditch your old lighting fixtures for new, modern lamps and energy-efficient bulbs.
      • A fresh light fixture over your dining table is a surefire way to brighten up mealtimes. As a safety precaution, turn off the power from the breaker box before connecting any electrical wires.
      • Update your existing fixtures to match your decor. You can spray paint your old chandelier or the blades of a ceiling fan to breathe new life to them.
      • To achieve the feel of a designer home, you can install a dimmer switch or cord to add more accent and versatility to your rooms without having to buy more light bulbs. You can use incandescent bulbs or fluorescent light with dimmable bulbs. By adjusting the slide switch, you can get the perfect warm ambient lighting you want every time.

       3. Power up with Paint

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        There is more to painting your walls than just covering them with thick layers of colors. Whether you go for paint or paper, changing the color of your room can also change its appearance.

        • No matter how small a space is, when you focus your home improvement plans on the walls, you can create an illusion of a wider and bigger room.
        • No room is old nor drab when you choose a paint color that adds a burst of brilliant depth to it. If you opt to go for a bold tint, use it to paint just one wall in a room. Aside from the fact that it’s less costly, it’s also a quick fix compared to painting the entire room.
        • If you go for a faux finish or a decorative wallpaper, a small room is a good place to experiment with fun patterns and designs. Self-adhesive wallpapers work like an easy-to-apply sticker, where you can peel the paper off its back and stick directly to the wall.

         4. Make a Statement with the Flooring

          Give your eyes a reason not only to focus on what’s up on the walls, but also to look down underfoot. Quality flooring drastically changes the overall look of a room – much like your walls.

          • Those hardwood floors hidden under the carpet are nothing but beauty concealed in a dark cave. Let them shine to bring out their natural appeal.
          • Meanwhile, hardwood floors that are not in good condition require refinishing. If you have the money, it wouldn’t hurt to invest on good sanding or refinishing.
          • For more eco-friendly and affordable options, choose bamboo or cork. But if you’re on a tight budget, you can easily update the floor space using the ever-dependable home makeover partner – paint.
          • If it’s time that’s keeping you from updating your flooring, start with an easy, fast fix that’s also decorative, like sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles. These will also make your space look better and can hold up to heavy use.
          • One nice-to-know tip if you’re annoyed with the squeaking sound from floors of old homes is to sprinkle on talcum powder and sweep it into the cracks to stop those creaking floors.

          5. Spice up your Window Treatments

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            Although you might not want to cover up the natural light coming in through your windows, windows are worth your attention when it comes to home improvement. Windows can make your home more energy efficient which, in return, can help save you dollars off your electric bills.

            • If you’re planning to build a new house, consider placing a window that does not face the winter winds.
            • If you don’t want to use blinds or curtains, you can just install shades in the form of window films. These act like room sunglasses and are an inexpensive way to make your home energy-efficient. At the same time, it gives you more privacy and stylish opacities and patterns.

            Featured photo credit: Yellow door, Turned on black torchiere lamp, Black paint roller, Person in black shoes on deck, Caribbean architecture door via Pexels

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            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

            When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

            So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

            1. Exercise

            It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

            2. Drink in Moderation

            I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

            3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

            Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

            4. Watch Less Television

            A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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            Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

            5. Eat Less Red Meat

            Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

            If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

            6. Don’t Smoke

            This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

            7. Socialize

            Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

            8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

            Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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            9. Be Optimistic

            Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

            10. Own a Pet

            Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

            11. Drink Coffee

            Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

            12. Eat Less

            Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

            13. Meditate

            Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

            Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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            How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

            14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

            Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

            15. Laugh Often

            Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

            16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

            Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

            17. Cook Your Own Food

            When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

            Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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            18. Eat Mushrooms

            Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

            19. Floss

            Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

            20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

            Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

            Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

            21. Have Sex

            Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

            More Health Tips

            Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

            Reference

            [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
            [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
            [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
            [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
            [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
            [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
            [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
            [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
            [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
            [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
            [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
            [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
            [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
            [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
            [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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