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Fun, Functional and Efficient Ideas for Your New Home Construction

Fun, Functional and Efficient Ideas for Your New Home Construction

Maybe you’ve lived in your house for years and it’s finally time for an upgrade. Or you’re building a new house from scratch and want to create something amazing.

Whatever the reason, you’re looking for ideas to make your space fun, functional, efficient, and green. But where do you go for these ideas for interior design for new homes? You could start stalking professional home builders and interior designers in the hopes of becoming their friend and picking their brain…or you could just read on.

Hopefully you’ll choose the latter, because below you’ll find 15 fantastic ideas on what you should add to your home to build the perfect space for you.

    1. USB wall charger

    Many newly built homes come with wall outlets that have USB slots these days, but even if you aren’t building from scratch, they’re an incredibly useful addition that is fairly easy to add for someone with a bit of electrical experience.

      2. Hidden parking spot (and garage)

      Hideaway parking isn’t something for beginners (or those without lots of money), but if you have the means, being able to raise a secret entrance and pull into your underground garage is too 007 to pass up.

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      Mount-Pleasant-Custom-Builder-Sea-Island-Builders

        3. Steam shower

        These showers not only have health benefits like helping you to relax, installing one will likely raise the value of your home. Oh, and it’s incredibly green. While typical showers use seven gallons of water per minute, steam showers use only one.

        Impact-Rated-Windows-Sea-Island-Builders

          4. Impact-rated windows

          If you live in a coastal area where hurricanes are common, windows like these are required by law, but even for those living in other areas there are many benefits to installing impact rated windows, such as improved security, reduced noise, and better energy efficiency, that make them a wise investment.

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            5. Outdoor theater

            This one is great because it can be done in a very low-end, DIY way (using a projector and simple outdoor seating), or you can go all out and create a true theatre experience with a space designed for projection and built-in seating.

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            Unique-Hidden-Door-Bookcase-With-The-Unsymetris-Design

              6. Secret room(s)

              Like your privacy? Instead of doors, have some bookshelves built that open to allow you to go from room to room.

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                7. Window seat(s)

                What’s better than having a window seat where you can curl up with a good book and spend the day reading? A window seat is a useful addition to any new home or remodel project and can also help hide storage.

                  8. Floor drains

                  Adding drains to the floors of your bathrooms and laundry room may not be the most aesthetically pleasing addition, but since they can keep a plumbing problem from flooding your house, they seem well worth it.

                    9. Stair shelves

                    Want a great way to make use of your space while adding a fun and funky design aesthetic to your home? These shelves are a great addition.

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                      10. Door levers

                      Houses in senior communities have used levers instead of knobs to open doors for a while now, but they don’t need to be relegated to something solely for the elderly. Quite simply, levers make opening doors easier. If you have a senior who lives with you, or visits frequently, consider these upgrades as well.

                        11. Cast iron sewer stack pipes

                        These are the pipes that handle the load, so to speak, when you flush your toilets. So why do you want to go with cast iron? Because otherwise everyone in the house will know when you go to the bathroom.

                          12. Multi-zone HVAC

                          Is there one room in the house that’s always too hot? Or too cold? You can solve that problem by getting a multi-zone HVAC with thermostats in each room that allow you to adjust temperatures on a room-to-room basis.

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                            13. Fresh air ventilator

                            Build one of these into your house and you won’t have to worry as much about the quality of your air, whether that means giving nasty chemicals a way out or getting rid of unwanted smells.

                              14. In-wall pest control

                              Did you know that you can have a wire placed so that pest control companies can inject chemicals right into your walls to get rid of critters you don’t want?

                                15. Indoor gardens

                                In other countries around the world, it’s common to include little gardens throughout houses to make rooms feel bigger and improve air quality and ventilation, so bring a little international flavor to your home.

                                What are some functional or creative ideas that you have for new construction?

                                Featured photo credit: Coastal-Home-with-Impact-Rated-Windows/Sea Island Builders via seaislandbuilders.com

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                                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                Boundaries are limits

                                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                • When do you feel disrespected?
                                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                • When do you want to be alone?
                                • How much space do you need?

                                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                Sample language:

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                                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                Final Thoughts

                                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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