Waking up tired in the morning can really be discouraging when you feel like you’ve done all you can do to feel rested. But what many people don’t realize is that many of the sleep challenges we face can be addressed and overcome with just a few changes to your routine and bedroom design. So take a few moments and look through these tips. Perhaps you’ll find the solution to turn your restless nights to restful mornings.
Great sleep starts by thinking ahead. What so many people don’t realize is that our daily habits are sometimes the greatest source of sabotage for our nightly rest. So let’s start with what you can do to prepare.
Set healthy work boundaries. We tend to have dinner and then manage to find more time to dive into work, emails and the screens around us. But the more DOING we do before bed, the less we are able to settle our minds before sleep - and as a result - we aren’t able to the level of rest that we need. So determine a time that you say no to your work and put it away. Then do something relaxing for your mind and body, like reading a fiction or taking a hot bath.
Drink less caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine or having it too late in the day can cause your mind to be too alert, or on, too late in the day. Consider making noon the cut off marker and stick with water or herbal teas from that point after.
Preparing the bedroom. The place you sleep needs to feel like it’s inviting you into rest; not inviting you to think and do. Rooms that are too bright or don't have enough airflow can really mess with the ability to sleep deeply. Our suggestion is to ask a contractor to install a couple extra windows. This way the air flow can stream through the room, keeping the air from getting stagnant which can lead to congestion and fatigue in the sinuses. Remember that windows bring more light, so be sure to also install blackout window shades or shutters. This allows you to keep it dark while enjoying airflow and the option to open up the room to more light in the morning.
Colors of rest. Your room should be painted to invite relaxation. Picture your room. Does it feel like a place you’d like to create or think in, or does it remind you of a spa where you go to unwind? Color and decorate according to relaxation and you’ll find yourself drifting off into sleep more quickly and more easily.
Be not disturbed. The glow of red lights and the activity of phones and computers can really rob you of your restful sleep *and* waking. Look around your room. Is it restful? Do you feel warm and energized when you wake? If not, take inventory of what's stifling you and get some change happening.
Whether it's in need of moving cyberspace to another room, painting with uplifting colors or even a total remodel, you'll know best what needs to happen for you to get the rest you need and then get planning. After all, proper peace and rest is vital to good health and prosperity. Please talk to us at Unique Home and see how we can make a difference in your home!
Monday, July 31, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
It’s the middle of summer and we’re talking about mood lifting. Not really the time, right? On the contrary. This is the perfect time and here’s why: You are in the high season of sun and fun. You’re sleeping better, feeling better and generally in high spirits. It feels good. Now think back to last January when the grey clouds were the norm and you could hardly wait for summer. You felt tired, low, slower and more emotional than usual.
There’s a reason for that that I want to share with you today - and at the end, I’ll let you know why I’m sharing this “untimely information” in mid summer.
Darkness and depression. The darker the season, the more light our organism needs. When there is not enough light, the production of the hormone serotonin decreases and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin in the brain increases. In other words, on dark winter days our bodies feel as if we are on our way to bed.
We need daylight, for example to regulate our biological clock, which needs light to makes us feel fresh and well-rested in the morning and tired at night. But also during the day, daylight affects our well-being and our mood. Daylight affects human performance too. Swedish research has shown that students in windowless classrooms have much more trouble concentrating and cooperating than students in classrooms with good daylight.
Sunlight is light radiated directly from the sun that shines in through the windows. It gives the room character with strong light and shadow effects while reaching further into the home especially in spring and autumn when the sun is low in the sky.
You can see now, why darkness makes us sad and light brings out the best in us, right? And why bring it up now? Because now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to soak in all the good light and not forget the feeling. Now is when we use our awareness of how good light is for us, to plan ahead for the darker months ahead.
It’s time to put a plan in place now, to make sure you’ve got a lifted mood this winter.
What can you do?
Add a skylight to your home. They allow the daylight in and softly scatter it throughout the home no matter how dark it might be outside. They also give rooms a soft and uniform light, but decreases with the distance to the window. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the sky from the areas in the room where you need plenty of daylight.
Using skylights not only ease symptoms of depression but also enhance the beauty and design of the house. Natural light is allowed to enter into a room from above, giving modern look to the room.
All in all, adding skylights to the home is a wonderful way to increase the mood and better your overall health. Of course it's important to nurture the other parts of your life, but this is a great first step and way to feel good in the process. At Unique Home Building, we are happy to help you determine exactly what's best for you and your home. Contact us today!
Monday, July 17, 2017
We love when our kids have room to play and be themselves but it can be really overwhelming when their space seems to overflow and take over the rest of the house. So what can you do that your children have the freedom to have their things and play freely, without you feeling like you’ve got to move out to make it happen? Well that’s something we at Unique Home Building happen to be experts at. We know exactly how to make the most of a small space, make a small space bigger and simply make your home exactly the place you want to be.
So when reorganizing your kid space, it’s important to remember that they need to have a space of their own where creativity and imagination can thrive and certain conditions make it even easier for that to happen.
For starters, make sure that organization is simple, predictable and something they’re able to understand. Use boxes to organize certain categories of toys and learning so that they can become good at keeping their space clean along the way.
As you plan the layout for your playroom, pay attention to the space involved. Is the room large? Will it be shared by multiple children? Or perhaps the “playroom” is a section of the child’s bedroom, making compact living a must. If space is no issue, consider placing storage and seating pieces along the wall and leaving the center of the room free for creative endeavors.
For smaller children, make sure to include plenty of table and create space, as children use tabletop surfaces for activities ranging from arts and crafts to small block building, as well as sensory activities such as play dough.
If your home doesn’t support having a separate play room, and you’re not ready to add on and build a playroom, you’ll likely be adding the play area to the child’s room. With this option, you need to take into consideration that the bed may take up a good portion of the wall space, and there may not be room for tables along the edge of the room. With this situation, a table in the center of the floor is a wonderful alternative as is the idea of a raised bed with a table or desk underneath.
These ideas are just to get you started, and hope they’ve gotten your wheels turning! If there’s any other way we can help you plan the changes you’re ready for, give us at Unique Home Building a call today and let us know how we can help!
Saturday, July 8, 2017
When you’re little ones make their way into the home it’s fun to plan their rooms, pick out paint and decor and giggle and snuggle your way through the years. And then they grow up. What do you do when they grow out of the beautiful and fun room you made for them? Do you start all over? Can you make small changes?
The truth is, it’s all doable and depends on your preferences, budget and child’s personality. So let’s look at the options you’ve got to consider and see from there what are the most important things to change and the best way to change them for you and your child!
Big kid furniture. As you child gets older, his bed and other furniture should have a more mature look and feel to it. You could invest in an armoire to organize and hide clothes, a television and a gaming system or a nice organizing unit for books, music and hobbies. Installing built ins can also hold your child's growing clothing collection, or serve as a space to display favorite toys.
Fun floors. Your baby probably loved crawling around in the comfort of thick flooring, but as your child has gotten old, it's probably time for some hardwood floors and and area rug for both a more mature look but also for easier cleaning or even a great space to play with dolls, legos, cards or games.
Window reading. As your child begins wanting to spend more time in his room, a window seat can add instant seating and comfort to his space. If you don't already have a bay window to convert into seating, have our contractors build a long bench-style seat along the wall near the window. You can also double the space as a storage for toys, blankets and off-season clothing.
Fresh new colors. Sure, they’ll always be your baby, but they don't have to live with powder blue or pastel yellow walls forever. Choose calming yet vibrant earth tones that can follow them into their teen years as well. Also, you may want to try using blackboard paint to create a drawing wall, or adding borders to add a splash of color to neutral tan or cream-colored walls.
Light and Bright: Lights set the mood for everything with kids from fun to sleep. If your child has trouble sleeping, it may be wise to change the lighting in the room. Have an electrician place the room light on a dimmer to leave a dull golden glow on in the evening. Or, choose a fun outlet-mounted nightlight to give the child a sense of security at night. A bedside lamp can also make your little one feel more comfortable in his room by himself.
Living and learning: Create an interactive learning area in the child's bedroom either as a space in the room or simply at a desk. Stock the area with fun and educational activities and tools such as blocks, adding tools, paper, art supplies, puzzles and multi-sensory fun.
Store smart. They’re growing, they’re getting more things and you don’t necessarily want to get rid of things quite yet. So expand your storage space by using the ceiling. Hang netting above the bed to store soft toys or mount flower-hanging hooks to the ceiling to hang vertical, soft-sides storage units. These modern storage devices are perfect for clothes and lightweight toys.
In the end, it’s about being creative and knowing your child. Talk to them and see what they want to have in the room and then go from there. Whatever the age and stage, the contractors at Unique Home Building are here to support your family in it's growth and development. Let us know how we can help in your next project!
Sunday, July 2, 2017
We all want to have a home that feels welcoming and full of life, but where do you start? You don’t always have the time to start everything over again, but you do want that fresh feeling and bold flare. At Unique Home Building, we know the process of making the perfect home from the building to design. So we thought you’d enjoy these special tips that you can put to use right away to make your home feel light, bright and welcoming to all who enter.
Simple plants. Not everyone has a green thumb but most people want their home to have plant life everywhere. The problem with this is that if you don’t have a green thumb, your plants will end up dead and dry instead of lush and green. The solution to this is to go with succulents and air plants, as they always look fresh, they have a variety of colors and don’t require a lot of care. You can easily head to the nearest nursery and add five to ten plants to your space for a beautiful addition of life and color.
More white. Dark colors make spaces feel closed in and smaller, while lighter colors and white especially make spaces feel bigger, more open and fresh. So look around and see where you can add more white. Curtains, furniture pieces and wood trims are a great place to start.
Color pops. Add some splashes of vibrant natural colors to the white you just included in the decor. Colors like bold olive, or palm leaf green, aqua marine or turquoise or even gold and mustard are great fresh options that bring out the cheer in any room.
Fresh sense. One of the first things that captures a person’s attention as they walk through the door is the smell that hits their nose. Our favorite ways to do this are the following:
- Candles. Everyone loves candles and they add a warm and inviting glow to any room they grace.
- Essential oils. Not just a health fad, essential oils are great for filling the room with mood lifting fragrances that are not only pleasant but kill germs in the air as well. Grab a diffuser, add oils and oila!
- Reed diffusers. A brilliant addition to any home, reed diffusers are beautiful to look at and are an elegant way to add luxurious and fresh smells to your home.
It’s not hard to add vibrance and life to your home decor; it just takes a few changes. So go ahead and put these ideas to use and see how fast the transformation goes. And if you’re ready to take it further and dive into a bigger change, contact the contractors at Unique Home Building for a consultation and a plan that’s right for you.