Whether you are a tech addict or think that it has no place in the living room, home automation is going to revolutionise the way you think about design.
Smart homes are for everyone. Earlier this month I was lucky enough to attend Decorex, an expo showcasing the best in British luxury design. Though we were one of only a small handful of smart home providers there, we made a lasting impression on everyone who saw the exhibition. Designers, homeowners, tech enthusiasts – all of them can see something that they like about home automation.
We’ve come a long way since the chunky televisions and sprawling wires of the late nineties and early noughties. We no longer have to choose between owning the latest technology and having a home that looks good – now great technology complements excellent design. Smart devices are now both functional and fashionable, as illustrated by companies like Apple who recently got their highly anticipated watch onto the front cover of Vogue China. Cutting edge interior designers are starting to answer the question: How can we use smart tech to improve on design in residential spaces?
Light is, undoubtedly, the single most important aspect of design. It’s easy to overlook because we are immersed in it all the time, but take it away for just a few seconds and you’ll know what I mean. Light creates space, enhances furniture and decoration and even has an effect on emotion and mood. Home automation takes lighting to a whole new level. Walking into a room and having the lighting system not only sense your presence but also adopt a different brightness according to the time of day fundamentally changes the way you experience your home.
Remember the days of huge hi-fi systems? Not only were they an interior design nightmare and incredibly difficult to cover up, but they used a lot of valuable room space! Thankfully audio systems and speakers can be seamlessly integrated into the home by embedding them in the walls or ceiling. Incredible acoustics and immersive surround sound work hand in hand with minimalistic design.
With the right technology, you can use that sound system to create an even greater effect. Bill Gates famously had a multi-room speaker system rigged to have music follow guests as they walked around his home, enhancing the residential space and his guests’ mood. Fortunately, home automation means that we don’t have to be billionaires to experience that kind of luxury.
Those who care deeply about design will appreciate the importance of integrated technology. Having our sound system mounted on the wall or ceiling is more than just a convenience, it is a space creator. Hiding messy wires and removing the need for tables and counters gives an interior designer more freedom to work without constraints. Not only that, but a speaker integrated into your ceiling delivers excellent acoustics – making it a must for music aficionados.
Tech that works beautifully, and looks beautiful
In an age where we probably look at our smart phones more often than we look in the mirror, we love for our tech to look good. The same holds true for the objects in our home. They are part of your daily surroundings, so they need to look and feel good.
Take the Withings Home HD camera with environmental sensors. It is one of many smart cameras that you can use to keep an eye on your home whilst you are away, but where it really stands out is in its elegance and aesthetics. Perhaps the first security camera that you want to look at just as much as it looks at you!
The revolution will be automated
As smart home technology continues to improve, it’s influence on interior design will continue to grow. With ambitious ideas like this room from Samsung that can redesign itself on occasion, home automation has the potential to be truly revolutionary. Fashion, tech and design are going to live together under one smart roof.