Happy Friday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful week. We’re still in bathroom renovation mode over here with our basement bathroom AND the powder bath refresh. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw we had a small marble catastrophe and accidentally broke a marble ledge for the bathroom this week. No worries though… we got a new one, and Emmett thinks he can turn the broken piece into something cool for our house. Phew! I can’t wait to show you the finished spaces soon. Today I wanted to tackle a question I get allllll the time- how to incorporate technology and smart home products into your house in a stylish way. Click through for my tips on how to be connected, but also maintain a sense of style in your home!
Technology is such an incredible tool to keep us connected, entertained, and generally makes our lives easier. I’m constantly asking Alexa to pull up the daily news, tell me where my packages are, or give me the weekly weather report. It’s an interesting idea to think about hiding something we all use on a daily basis (like my post about form vs function in the bathroom), and how that integrates into a design plan. Think about it… we never see styled images on IG of a kitchen with tech on the countertop. A pretty vase filled with greenery? All the time! Along with cutting boards, beautiful stoneware, floating shelves, and even coffee makers… but we never really see tech. Not all technology is created with design in mind, but I think we can make the most of it!
Think About Your Space
I think the biggest thing to remember when incorporating technology into your home, is that every space is different! You should do what works for your home and your lifestyle. In our current home, we wanted to have a dedicated media room rather than having multiple TVs in our home. So, when I was thinking through the formal living room design, a television was never apart of the plan- BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate a TV in multiple places in your home, if that’s what works best for you… remember my post about TVs over the fireplace? Do what works for your space! Given we have a larger home now, this is just what functioned best for us, given we have some square footage to play with. My point being, everyone owns a TV- it’s probably the most popular piece of technology, by far… we might as well embrace it.
Look for Tech that Matches your Aesthetic & Functions for Your Family
While not all technology is necessarily pretty (ahem, surround sound systems that Emmett just HAS TO HAVE), it has really come a long way! It’s really more about finding tech that can blend with your aesthetic, function well for your family (I’ll about syncing things to my phone for convenience), and can easily be styled around.
We absolutely love our Molekule air purifier because it helps my severe allergies and asthma, but also because it’s actually nice looking. It has sleek, clean lines, and a leather handle that I don’t mind keeping out. We still use it in our master bedroom and enjoy having this handy device that makes breathing easier. Do you see it tucked to the side of our sofa in the image below? That was in our previous living room, but I had to include this photo because PUPPY CROSBY is as sweet as it gets.
The same goes for home fragrance devices or diffusers like my Aera. We’re still using and loving this- it makes everything smell great. You know what I really appreciate? Walking into a well-designed boutique hotel during our travels. The first thing I notice (even above design) is the scent. Did you know that most high-end hotels have their own fragrance? It’s pretty cool! Anyway, having the Aera makes me feel like our home has its own scent (which guests usually comment on). All of this to say, I try to source tech that is sleek and minimal, so it’s easier to blend into our aesthetic. Can you spot it on my nightstand below?
Not everything can be hidden in order to function properly, like a speaker for example. So, if you can’t hide it- just embrace it. Look for products that fit your color scheme or match your space. Most products are available in a variety of colors and even fabrics to achieve a more seamless look. We currently use the Amazon Echo Show that permanently lives on our kitchen countertop. I opted for black so it would blend easily with our soapstone countertops. We like using this handy little thing so much, we got one for my mom for Christmas. It’s especially nice to have when you live far away from your family. My mom is constantly video chatting us with her Echo Show. Hers lives on the kitchen counter too. I can cook a meal and hangout with her- almost like she’s visiting. I also enjoy catching up on my favorite TV while meal prepping.
I always gravitate toward clean lines and neutrals- it’s the best way to let tech fade into the background!
Another great example is one of my favorites: the Samsung Frame TV. It was a dream purchase for us because it functions as both a television and a piece of art when it isn’t being used. I can’t think of a better way to embrace tech than letting it also serve as artwork or disguising itself as something it’s not. What a time to be alive! The “art” below is actually a TV in our master bedroom. That was a big Christmas gift that we have really been enjoying.
Tech can enhance our lives making things easier and more efficient, thus saving us time or providing entertainment, that in turn- makes us happy. A surround sound speaker will never look as amazing as a marble bookend, but in today’s day and age- tech is ubiquitous and is totally normal to see in a home. We might as well embrace it. My theory? Use the surround sound speaker AND the marble bookend to give your home functionality and style.
Think Creatively: Concealing and Camouflaging
If you really feel passionately about hiding your tech, there are plenty of ways to hide devices completely, if that’s your style. When we renovated our kitchen, I was impressed by all of the storage options available in cabinetry. This is a great item to think through when you are creating your design plan or renovating a space. I added in-cabinet outlets to charge and store devices like my electric wine opener (priorities, ha).
If you can’t hide a device or would rather leave it out, get creative with ways to style it into your decor and camouflage it with other accessories. By grouping tech with similar objects or styling it into a vignette, it will seem more intentional and will be less noticeable. For example, in the below cabinet, hides a giant ugly subwoofer for our surround sound. The big black box is hidden inside the cabinet, while the smaller surround sound speakers are left out in plain sight. I styled bowls, objects, books, and art onto the shelves surrounding them, so your eye has plenty of things to explore, rather than going straight to the speakers.
Here’s my quick list of what we hide and what we keep out:
- Cords (here’s how to easily hide them, if they’re not hardwired… or use conduit to cover your cords!)
- Larger Surround Sound Items (like the big amp or subwoofer)
- Wifi Router
- My Laptop (tucks into a drawer in my office desk)
- Tech That Isn’t Being Used (like my laptop, iPad, chargers, etc)
- Amazon Echo Show (or any other smart speaker or device, like Google Home)
- Sonos / Speakers
- Air purifier (because allergies)
- Fragrance Diffuser
- TV (I’ve already professed my love for The Frame)
- Remotes (toss them into a bowl on the coffee table to corral them and make them feel more organized)
- My Desktop Computer / iMac (obviously, everyone knows that’s functional in a home office)
What do you think? Do you hide some tech while leaving other devices out? Do you try to style around it? Do you enjoy having smart home products? I hope you have a wonderful weekend… we’ll be working on the bathroom(s)! I’m linking the tech we currently use below (plus a few things that are on our list to buy this year). Have a good one, friends!