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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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              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 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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