You spent more than $400,000 on your beautiful home. You don’t want to ruin the carefully crafted aesthetic over a $400 TV. Outside of Apple, companies that develop consumer technology have traditionally ignored considerations like style and visual appeal. When they do consider design, it is usually geared toward the neck-beard and blue shirt crowd: in other words, basement-dwelling, male geeks.
What these mavens of tech do not realize is that there is more to tech than pure utilitarianism. It has to both enhance your life, and fit comfortably within your lifestyle. It can be difficult to find the right balance. You don’t want to be left out of the tech revolution. But you also don’t want to abandon your design flair. Here are a few tech ideas that help you remain in both the world of technology and the world of design:
To Mount or Hide
For the most part, TVs are ugly. They are rectangular, black, plastic boxes that attract dust and sprout wires from the side and rear. The bigger the set, the harder it is to hide the hideousness of the modern television. The worst part of it has to be the cables that connect all of the set-top boxes. Then, there is the receiver and speaker system to consider. It is easy to see why so many people opt not to include a TV as a part of the living room.
Hiding all the wires can be an expensive bit of home improvement. You can reduce the number of boxes you have to wire by upgrading your DIRECTV package to something that includes all the movie channels. This means you don’t have to pick up a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Google TV just to get the movies and shows you want to watch at a time you want to watch them. These advanced set-top boxes even offer casual gaming. One box, one set of cables.
The other way to deal with it is to get a nice entertainment cabinet that holds a decent sized TV, your favorite set-top box, and perhaps a game console or two. All of the wires can be hidden inside the cabinet. Moreover, when the cabinet is closed, it adds to the style of the room rather than working against it. You can cram as much tech as you like into it, knowing that your tastes and sensibilities will be respected.
Speakers That Don’t Say, “Look at Me”
When it comes to piping sound throughout your home, you want speakers that are heard, but not seen. Mounting speakers on the wall or ceiling is problematic because you still have to do something with all the wiring necessary for multichannel sound.
Thankfully, there is a new wireless standard that seems to be the real deal in terms of signal reliability and audio fidelity. A good wireless system allows you to place speakers wherever you like. You can place rear channels on bookshelves and hide front channels behind plants. If you want to go multi-room, just remember that the best multi-room sound system for you may be based on your smartphone ecosystem of choice.
Lighting the Way
In a turn no one predicted, the lightbulb is becoming one of the best places to hide technology. We have to remember that the lightbulb is technology. It is just that we have long accepted it as a part of the decor. But light bulbs can do more than illuminate a room.
LED light kits like Hue, can provide traditional room light, or mimic the red/green landscape of your favorite fictional planet via your smartphone and voice command. Other light bulbs contain speakers, which are great for recessed light sockets. Still other lightbulbs are Wi-Fi hubs. You can even get lightbulbs with built-in security cameras.
Technology is usually ugly and clashes with interior design sensibilities, but you can limit the adverse effects by hiding it away in designer cabinets, going wireless, and hiding it in light fixtures.