Current interior design trends are all about keeping things minimal. Less is more. Unfortunately, tech gadgets can destroy your perfectly crafted plans. All those wires, aerials, and plugs will lay waste to your home’s Feng Shui.
Of course, you don’t have to follow the trend. What matters most are your personal preferences. You need to feel comfortable in your environment.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your gadgets appear chic. Here are seven tips for making your home automation look stylish.
1. Buy Wisely
Invest in gadgets that already look stylish. It’ll save you a lot of heartache further down the line.
In the market for a new smart router? Compare Google’s sleek and stylish OnHub router (left) with the monstrosity from Asus (right). Which would you prefer on your shelf? Unless you’re going for a spaceship theme, there’s only one winner.
At least you can hide routers in a cupboard (though your signal may suffer). What about something that needs to be out on display, like a speaker?
If you’re a design enthusiast, color, size, and shape might be more important to you than features. Have a clear image of how you want your room to look before you hit the shops.
The beautiful Sonos speakers (left) come in either black or white with a silver accent. Even the larger Play:5 looks stunning. The Bose SoundTouch range (right) is arguably just as pretty, but it gives off a different feel.
Don’t buy lots of different systems to perform lots of different functions.
The smart home market is full of companies professing to make your life easier. You can buy smart home security systems, garage door sensors, water leak sensors, entry systems, lighting rigs, temperature managers… the list goes on.
They’ve all got their merits, but they’re a nightmare for a Feng Shui fanatic. Each of them needs its own hub and will have differently-designed sensors. From a design standpoint, it’s better to have consistency.
Get a system that can do everything. Notion is a relative newcomer: it can monitor interior doors and exterior doors, change the temperature, sense motion, and alert you to water leaks and fires. The sensors and the hub are unobtrusive and won’t look out of place in any room.
3. Hide Your Consoles
Home electronics come in a variety of shapes and sizes and include things like cable boxes, modems, DVD players, games consoles, streaming devices. If you’re serious about tech, there’s no way to avoid it: you’re going to have a lot of other equipment around your television. The colors and designs are inconsistent and often ugly.
You could put them in a cupboard, but they’d be awkward to access and play havoc with your IR remotes. And what if you’ve got a wall-mounted TV with no storage space nearby?
Thanks to HIDEit Mounts, there is a better way. The company makes custom-made casings that let you hide all your boxes behind the television itself. It’s got ready-to-go boxes for all the leading games consoles, satellite receivers, and media devices, and offers adjustable ones for anything else.
4. Get Creative With Your Wires
The wireless age is coming, but it’s not here yet. There’s nothing better at destroying a room’s vibes than a visible pile of tangled cables.
There are lots of creative solutions for hiding your wires, some of which don’t cost more than a few dollars:
- Buy a wicker basket to hide all the cables around your TV.
- Use cable ties to hold cords neatly together on shelves.
- Braid yarn around your cables, turning them into a design feature.
- Buy hollow molds to attach wires to the top of your room’s coving.
- Use binder clips to attach them to the back of a desk.
5. Make Statements
You don’t want all your tech to be out on display. It’s much more impressive when you have complete control of your smart home thanks to hidden gadgets and seamless integration.
But there’s nothing wrong with using some tech pieces to make a statement, especially products that are designed to be seen.
The Echo is one example. Amazon has designed it to be the center of your home both technologically and visually. It’s clearly taken its inspiration from vases and other table-top adornments. We live in the 21st Century, is there anything wrong with using beautiful tech as a coffee table centerpiece, especially when it looks that good?
And if the black case is putting you off, don’t worry. You can find hundreds of decals online, covering everything from dark rosewood to white marble.
6. Smart Meets Dumb
The smart home revolution isn’t going to slow down. You’ll soon be living in a home that knows all your habits and movements, ready to make every aspect of your life easier. But you’re unlikely to be living in a home with no inanimate objects, at least not in the next few decades.
You need to make your tech look great alongside your existing dumb décor. You can apply the same principles as regular home design:
- Add mirrors — They’ll accentuate brushed steel in gadgets like the Nest thermostat.
- Use the space available — Don’t cram all your tech into a tiny corner of a room.
- Create focal points — The Amazon Echo is great, a sleek TV also works well.
- Apply color — Use tech to add a dash of color to a room. Maybe you could buy some large bright speakers if you’re an audiophile?
All Feng Shui specialists know lighting adds the finishing touches to a room. Get it wrong and your room will look bleak, even if the rest of the design is perfect.
Lighting is an area when smart home technology is particularly strong. The Philips Hue system comes in all shapes and sizes, but if you really want to finish with a flourish, consider purchasing some of the flexible lightstrips.
Each strip is three feet long. They can be connected to create a continuous strip of up to 33 feet or cut into small strips at predefined points.
Put them on top of your kitchen cabinets, under your furniture, and in your window recesses to create a mesmerizing layered effect.
How Do You Make Automation Stylish?
If you follow these seven tips, you’ll be well on your way to being the envy of your neighborhood. Just remember, keep things simple and your home will look instantly better. Unnecessary clutter is the worst enemy of an interior designer.
I’d love to know you’ve made your smart home look stylish. What gadgets have you used? Where do you find your inspiration? What tricks can you pass on?
You can leave your tips and ideas in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Creativa Images via Shutterstock.com