Integrating technology into the aesthetic of your home is becoming more of an issue for design fiends. No-one who has pride in their decor wants cables, boxes, switches, and glowing lights ruining their interior design.
There is no doubt that we live in a technological world. We see it on the walls of our homes with the TVs and consoles, the glowing lights of digital clocks in the kitchen, and the low-noise hum of the dishwasher or washing machine. Technology is creeping into our homes at every turn, solving problems we didn’t even realise that we had before automation came along.
If you are passionate about home design and decor, all of this technology can be problematic as you try to incorporate it into your style. Which begs the question – can technology ever add to your style, rather than subtract from it?
It can, but you have to be clever about it – and some of that means knowing what not to show. The best way of integrating technology is by hiding its existence, which is possible – providing you know how.
Integrating technology begins with installation. If you make decor changes – such as redecorating an entire room – then you have the opportunity to include and position the features and technology you want. From adding a few outlets to a full-blown home automation installation, you can choose the locations to be as unobtrusive as possible. Of course, many options for integrating technology are wireless and are connected to a home hub or even your smartphone. However, this all starts with planning.
Of course, many options for integrating technology are wireless and are connected to a home hub or even your smartphone. If you have a large home you may require multiple wireless access points located in different rooms to ensure you have the most reliable, and fastest, connection. However, this all starts with planning. Research the options that suit your budget and lifestyle before integrating technology. Getting this fundamental right will make everything else that much easier.
Ah, cables – they’ll ruin an aesthetic faster than a leopard chasing prey. They trail, they form cable monsters that threaten to take over the whole room. They’re a problem.
If you can’t go wireless, hiding cables is an essential. It might be possible to see the smooth glass of your TV as an aesthetic bonus, even as a mirror when it’s not being used for its intended purpose, but the cables that go with it? No one is ever going to call them beautiful.
Wherever you can, buy TV units that allow you to feed cables through the back so they can be hidden out of sight. The cables can then be grouped together with cable ties (or ribbon, if you want to go the extra mile). Slide cables inside a plastic tube, to keep everything together, or be decor-minded and buy an attractive bamboo docking station.
For complex or multiple room renovations, you may need a cabling infrastructure plan to deal with the delivery of internet services and automation. Integrating technology may include simply your internet services and Netflix, but it can also include control of your lighting and heating, CCTV networks, and even automated drape closures. Seeking specialist advice in the planning stages will save you time, money, and unnecessary angst.
What happens if you want to put the TV in one area, but the sockets required are metres away from where you need them to be? If you can switch them, it’s worth doing so, but that’s not always feasible.
The best option may be to take up your flooring and run the cables beneath it; you will need an electrician for this process, of course. You can also hide cabling inside skirting boards or purpose-made trunking, which you can then paint to co-ordinate with your existing wall colour.
However, a new wireless system may also be the best solution for your personal lifestyle and the renovations you wish to undertake.
Finally, a note on how to make gadgets – particularly in the kitchen – look better on countertops. Most appliances nowadays have a stainless steel or chrome finish, which can be a nightmare to keep clean and free of fingerprints. Wherever you can, opt for a brushed finish over a shiny one or even appliances with nano technology, whereby they clean themselves. They’re easier to maintain, while still preserving the modern metallic look of your appliances.
One of the best decluttering trends for kitchens is by having a Butler’s pantry. This is not always possible so consider a roll-top cupboard purpose-built for your kitchen countertop. Your most popular appliances can be stored in there and easily accessed. A roll-top will take up less space than doors. And ensure you have some power sockets installed so you can just plug-in appliances and keep them in the cupboard.
David Holcombe is the most successful kitchen gadget inventor in the WORLD. You’ll probably have at least one, if not more, of his gadgets in your kitchen. In this amusing podcast, David explains how he became an inventor, what inspires him, and why we love cool gadgets.
If you’re wondering whether you have enough for renovations or major projects, then listen Joe Tirimacco discuss how to leverage your wealth and equity in your home.
For more redecorating inspiration and interior design advice visit our sister site, Don’t Call Me Penny, Styling Your Home… your way.