A smart home can still be stylish

Home technology is advancing at an ever-faster pace. It’s great if you love automation and want to return home to find the lights on, the curtains closed and the oven heating up, before settling down to watch your favourite boxset on a 70 inch TV screen. However, from an interior design perspective, the increasing dominance of tech can be alarming.

Smart Home

With screens, wires and other electronic gadgetry all around us, is it still possible to create a living room environment that has style and sophistication? Of course, it is, if you keep the following pointers in mind.

Choose stylish pieces

We might have more tech today than we did 30 years ago, but it is typically far less bulky. Look at speakers, for example, there are no longer huge boxy things that have to stand in each corner of the room. Modern speakers come in different sizes and colours, meaning they can effortlessly be blended into your overall décor.

Rethink TV cabinets

In the early days of television, householders grappled with exactly this problem of not wanting to make the tube the focal point of the room – at least, not unless it was being watched. You might think back on the TV cabinet your grandparents had all those years ago as something from a bygone age. Think again, though, the concept is being reinvented for the flat screen age. Today, it is more common to mount the TV on the wall, but mirrors or artwork can be used on a simple sliding system to put it out of sight, just like your Granny and Grandad used to.

One screen to rule them

The last thing you want or need in the living room is screens all over the place. If you adopt the above idea to make one wall mounted screen unobtrusively, then it can be used for showing whatever you want to watch. Streaming services such as Netflix are becoming more popular than traditional TV, while gaming websites as you can see here, for example, are overtaking music as the most popular way to spend a night in. The point is, one big screen in the living room is more than enough for these purposes and many others.

And a central command centre

If the coffee table, with its carefully positioned accessories and magazines, gets rapidly covered in a dozen remotes for TV, satellite, temperature control and so on, it can be frustrating. When you add to that the sensors and controls on the walls, it can start to feel like you are on the Starship Enterprise. Here’s a tip you won’t regret: Get rid of them all and instead download the appropriate apps onto your mobile phone, so you have your very own little command centre.  

Hide the clutter

Getting the TV onto the wall is a great way to optimise your space. But it presents a problem if you have other boxes that need to connect to it. Wires trailing down the wall to an old-fashioned cabinet? There must be an easier way. Thankfully there is, with clever wall mounts that hide all the gadgetry behind the TV itself.

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