How to Make Your Smart Home Pretty & Functional

By Uma Campbell

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace as modern technology looks to make our home lives easier. Designing a home around smart technology and modern advancements require more planning than one might expect. While the Internet of Things (IoT) devices can generally be used in a plug-and-play fashion, homeowners will yield better results if interior design is matched with smart technology to create an optimally efficient setup. A home should be a sanctuary for the homeowner, which means the interior design of a space is of the utmost importance. By bringing interior design, smart technology, and sustainable energy together anyone can create a beautiful and technologically advanced home while being kind to the environment.

Smart Technology Planning

Smart technology or Internet of Things devices can be incredibly exciting and can make life easier for homeowners, but it takes time to plan how these devices will work before you drop them in your home. Just like any electronic, smart home technologies require electricity with some requiring a persistent energy supply, and that energy must come from somewhere. Instead of connecting new devices to a grid-based energy source, consider adding an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source. 

Solar energy, for example, can utilize solar panels to generate energy that your new smart devices can use. Roof-mounted or ground-mounted solar panels can generate a portion or all of a household’s electricity. Without a renewable or sustainable energy source, your energy bill will increase as you introduce new devices. Counterbalance the addition of new devices with the addition of new energy sources to keep your bills low and the planet healthy.  

Determine Unchanging Limitations

For most homeowners, there are features or elements of their house that will never change. Of course, you can completely remodel or rebuild your house, but those projects are expensive, time-consuming, and therefore rather uncommon. When looking to revamp your interior design, it is important to determine elements that are not going to change so your design can work with those limitations instead of clashing with them. 

Does a room have windows you need to consider when redesigning the space? Do those windows let enough natural light into the room, or will you need to place additional light sources? Are you planning to paint the walls a new color or are you leaving the wall color as an unchanged element? Does a room have enough electrical outlets for your new IoT devices? Carefully consider what you are not going to change about a room to ensure your new design complements the existing and unchanging aesthetic. 

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Designing With Technology in Mind

Technology can bring wondrous advancements to a home, but new devices are not always the most sightly. No one wants to see a rat’s nest of cables poking out from behind their perfectly crafted entertainment center. Cables can be a major eyesore, but by taking a little extra time, you can tuck those cables away without losing functionality. Many furniture makers are adding small holes or cut-outs specifically for technological cables to thread through, but you needn’t buy new furniture to hide your cables. With some simple DIY, you can cut cable guides into your furniture while maintaining functionality and visual appeal. 

Now that your device’s cables are hidden, what about the device itself? Many device makers are cognizant that their devices will be displayed on countertops, bookshelves, entertainment systems, and dressers, so they design devices to be visually interesting. However, not all IoT devices are pretty and you may want to hide them away. Try incorporating devices with your decorations as books, plants, and other tchotchkes can help obscure an ugly box without interrupting the device’s functionality. Most IoT devices also come in multiple color options so there is likely a version to suit your interior design needs

Advancements in technology have brought homeowners new IoT devices that can take tasks off a homeowner’s plate. For example, a single-sentence command can instruct a device to order a product and ship it to your house. Before you add new IoT devices to your home, take the time to plan for their arrival. Adding devices will increase your energy usage, so consider adding a renewable energy source to counteract the new electrical consumption. Alter your furniture to hide device cables, and use decorations to mask an ugly box to keep your home as beautiful as you designed it to be.  

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