Using Technology to Simplify Your Home
As published in the House & Home Magazine August/September 2018 edition
By Randall Kipp
Photography By Maxwell MacKenzie and Ashley Peterson
Our modern world revolves around convenience and ease. Technology has allowed us to keep our contacts and calendar safely in one device that just so happens to be a telephone. We can easily monitor our home’s security cameras from around the world, rely on a robot to vacuum our floors, and even gather information like the weather and daily to-dos from the bathroom “smart” mirror. (Yes, it does exist.)
In the world of interior home design, modern technology and gadgets provide us with countless opportunities to help us achieve a more convenient and simplified lifestyle.
When we design kitchen spaces, we like to use retractable outlets and charging stations in kitchen countertops and drawers to keep them hidden when they’re not in use. Weaving this smart gadget into the design allows us to have ample outlets without blemishing walls and beautiful backsplash tiles.
Another clever and sophisticated go-to for Team Kipp is hidden lighting. You can never have too much lighting but you can have too many fixtures that clutter your space. Installing small lights under kitchen counters or integrated into your staircase, as seen in the photo, provides extra lighting for navigating in the evenings without compromising the sleek design of the room. We’ve installed hidden lighting in baseboards to offer a helpful midnight glow, and inside cabinets and under shelves to make lighting available only when you need it.
Perhaps the most convenient gadget of all (and our personal favorite) is the iPad. As we all know, tablets and smartphones have incredible capabilities, many of which may be used in the home. We use iPads to control lighting, heating, security, shades, music, TV, and other home systems. Not only does this allow homeowners to check on and control their home remotely, but it reduces the need for multiple separate controls and devices by consolidating it to just one.
Many of these systems have become so customizable that they offer the ability to create personalized “scenes”. For example, you could create a goodnight scene to deactivate the lights throughout your home at bedtime, while leaving a few specific lights on for security and late-night navigation. Or, create a good morning scene that is triggered each day at your desired wakeup time. When activated, your smart lights, shades, and HVAC will work together to achieve your ideal environment. From programmable timers to solar sensors, the technology is here and it’s advancing every day.
It’s comforting (and unbelievable!) to know that whether you’re at the office or across the world, you can monitor and control your home with just a few screen taps.
If you’re building or remodeling, we encourage you to research and consider some of the helpful technology available. Get creative with necessities such as electrical outlets, lighting, and system controls. Consider syncing your systems (lighting, HVAC, etc.) to a program compatible with smart devices. Think about what other gadgets could provide extra benefit to you based on your personal routine. How can you save time, space, and energy with the help of these systems and devices? The sky's the limit!