- Posted on 04th July 2011 by Nicola Holden
Last week was the Home Technology Event at London Excel, and the Tuesday afternoon provided some insightful talks on incorporating home technology into your interior design scheme.
In days gone by, interior decor used to be the undertaking of the woman of the house, whilst home technology was a man thing, with status deemed to be proportional to the size of one’s speakers! And so a home, having been made beautiful, suddenly became overtaken by piles of black boxes.
Today, it is part of the interior design process to balance the aesthetic ideas for a space whilst incorporating the latest technology. Home technology includes not only audio-visual requirements, but also lighting control systems, home security, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
Which brings me nicely to the next challenge – how to avoid what we term ‘wall acne’ – dozens of mis-matched switches and control panels intruding on your wall space. This is achieved using a home automation control system which allows you the client to adjust almost anything at the touch of a button, with no clutter, no wires and no mess! Today’s technology even allows remote control, enabling you to set the lighting and start the bath running whilst you’re on your way home.
So, let’s take a slightly more detailed look of what can be achieved in the home.
Audio and video
More than just having a home cinema, with this technology, multiple audio or video sources can be selected and distributed to one or more rooms. TVs can be recessed into walls, and then hidden from view behind a picture when not in use. Amina speakers can be installed into walls and ceilings, and then rendered invisible by a skim of plaster. Sub-woofers can be incorporated into the design of pieces of furniture.
Using home automation, electric lighting can be controlled, turning lights on and off, setting lighting levels to pre-set ‘moods’, and controlling natural lighting by opening and closing curtains, blinds and awnings.
This allows clients to control security cameras, even allowing them to select and watch their home security cameras live from an Internet source. Security systems can also include motion sensors that will detect any kind of unauthorized movement and notify the user through the security system or via mobile phone.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
HVAC solutions include temperature and humidity control, allowing the homeowner to both save money and help the environment.
Using specialist hardware, almost any household appliance can be monitored and controlled automatically or remotely, including:
- Kitchen appliances
- Garage door
- Pet feeding and watering
- Plant watering
- Swimming pool, hot tub and spa
There are endless exciting possibilities with home technology and automation, but as with all things interior design, the system specified should always meet your needs.
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Lt. Col. Carlos A. Keasler, “Lest We Forget”