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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 March 13, 2019

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                1. Work on the small tasks.

                                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                3. Upgrade yourself

                                Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                4. Talk to a friend.

                                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                7. Read a book (or blog).

                                The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                8. Have a quick nap.

                                If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                10. Find some competition.

                                Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                11. Go exercise.

                                Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                12. Take a good break.

                                Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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