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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 November 5, 2020

                                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. A rut can manifest as a productivity vacuum and 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. Is it possible to learn how to get out of a rut?

                                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, or a student, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                1. Work on Small Tasks

                                When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks that 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 positive momentum, which I bring forward to my work.

                                If you have a large long-term goal you can’t wait to get started on, break it down into smaller objectives first. This will help each piece feel manageable and help you feel like you’re moving closer to your goal.

                                You can learn more about goals vs objectives here.

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                                2. Take a Break From Your Work Desk

                                When you want to learn how to get out of a rut, get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the bathroom, walk around the office, or go out and get a snack. According to research, your productivity is best when you work for 50 minutes to an hour and then take a 15-20 minute break[1].

                                Your mind may be too bogged down and will need some airing. By walking away from your computer, you may create extra space for new ideas that were hiding behind high stress levels.

                                3. Upgrade Yourself

                                Take the down time to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Go to a seminar, read up on a subject of interest, or start learning 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[2]. How’s that for inspiration?

                                4. Talk to a Friend

                                Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while. Relying on a support system is a great way to work on self-care when you’re learning how to get out of a rut.

                                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. Perfectionism can lead you to fear failure, which can ultimate hinder you even more if you’re trying to find motivation to work on something new.

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                                If you allow your perfectionism to fade, 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.

                                Learn more about How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up.

                                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 ultimate goal or vision you have for your life?

                                Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action. You can use the power of visualization or even create a vision board if you like to have something to physically remind you of your goals.

                                7. Read a Book (or Blog)

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

                                Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. You can also stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs and follow writers who inspire and motivate you. Find something that interests you and start reading.

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                                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[3].

                                Try a nap if you want to get out of a rut

                                  One Harvard study found that “whether they took long naps or short naps, participants showed significant improvement on three of the four tests in the study’s cognitive-assessment battery”[4].

                                  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 your inspiration, and perhaps even journal about it to make it feel more tangible.

                                  10. Find Some Competition

                                  When we are learning how to get out of a rut, there’s 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, and networking conventions can all inspire you to get a move on. However, don’t let this throw you back into your perfectionist tendencies or low self-esteem.

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                                  11. Go Exercise

                                  Since you are not making headway at work, you might as well spend the time getting into shape and increasing dopamine levels. Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, or whatever type of exercise helps you start to feel better.

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

                                  If you need ideas for a quick workout, check out the video below:

                                  12. Take a Few Vacation Days

                                  If you are stuck in a rut, it’s usually a sign that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange one or two days to take off from work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax, do your favorite activities, and spend time with family members. 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.

                                  More Tips to Help You Get out of a Rut

                                  Featured photo credit: Ashkan Forouzani via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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