By Patrick Hearn
Incorporating smart home technology into your existing decor can be tough, especially if you prefer a more rustic style to a modern look. Most smart home technology is designed with a sleek, high-tech feel, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose convenience over design. Here are a few ways you can have both.
Coordinate the Colors
Many smart home devices have multiple color options to choose from. Smart doorbells are a good example. While there may be no way to change the boxy shape of the device, you can choose a color that complements your door and matches the finish of your doorknob.
Inside your home, you can choose devices with color patterns that fit. A room with a red accent wall, for example, could be paired with an interchangeable colored base. White is a good option to blend in with white walls, while chrome finishes offer a contemporary touch.
Hide the Cords
There is one universal truth about home decor that never changes, regardless of your style of choice: Cords are unappealing. The best solution is to go wireless. Connect all of your smart home devices to a smart home hub wirelessly to reduce the number of cords. Choose wireless speakers and security cameras that are Wi-Fi enabled instead of their wired counterparts. Control it all through one handy and easy-to-use home automation mobile app, which your local internet service provider may offer.
You can also find creative ways to hide power cords, such as behind crown molding. Or, match the color of the cord to the baseboard and run it as close to the floor as possible. You can also purchase hollow baseboards that are built with cabling in mind.
A contractor can run your cables through the walls, but the right piece of furniture can hide them without construction. A television console can be just the piece to hide an unattractive mess of cables behind it—especially if you have multiple units hooked up.
Create an “Unplugged” Room
Not every room in your home has to be connected. Set aside one room for the sake of unplugging and escaping from technology. Small studies are good for this: A couple of comfortable chairs and a shelf full of books can bring a room together and give you (or your guests) a place to unwind without worrying about their phones, the television or the computer. You shouldn’t feel like smart home technology rules your whole life.
If You Can’t Hide It, Balance It
Someone with a country-chic design in their home will prefer leather over hard metal. But if you can’t hide a smart home device out of sight, balance the look and feel. A cold metal object placed on a warm, wooden bookcase strikes a balance between the two styles. Just don’t put too many devices on a single countertop, or it will begin to look more like a tech store than a seamless blend of old and new.
Decor that offsets the look of your home doesn’t detract from the overall style—it makes it stand out even more. Don’t be afraid to be a bit bold in your decor choices, as long as those choices don’t overpower the rest of the furniture or color theme in your home.
Choose Devices That Make a Statement
As smart home technology becomes more prevalent and new companies arise on the scene, the design of the devices will continue to change. Smart home devices can look great and still provide function. For example, a pop-out wall outlet makes it easy to plug in devices when needed, but it can be tucked away flush with the wall when not in use. Some options can be mounted to the wall or ceiling and use only a couple centimeters of space.
Making your home more convenient doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics. Incorporate a few of these tips to have both a smart home and smart style. After all, even if you love the old-style mercury thermometer hanging on your wall, wouldn’t you like to be able to ask your AI assistant what the highest temperature will be that day?
Patrick Hearn is an Atlanta-based tech writer for XFINITY Home. He enjoys writing about how smart home automation and security can be seamlessly integrated into our lives.