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Homes are getting more and more high-tech as new things come onto the market. From smart speakers to connected thermostats, there are so many high-tech items you can add to your home. Some are for convenience and others for entertainment, but they can all bring something different to your home. One of the issues that some people have with technology is that it doesn’t always work well for a design-led home. If you want your home to look beautiful, even the most modern technology can look out of place. There are some designer options, which can be good choices to help your tech blend in, but sometimes hiding things away is the better choice.
Hide Away or Blend In?
If you’re thinking about how to integrate some new technology into your home, you need to consider whether it’s better to hide things away or try to make them blend in. You might want to try a combination of the two, depending on what sort of technology you’re thinking about for your home. A lot of people like the idea of showing off their tech. If you’ve spent a lot of money on the latest TV or speakers, you want people to see them. However, from the perspective of an interior designer, hiding things away is often the better option. Making a TV the focus of a room can be a bit strange, especially if you’re trying to keep things sophisticated.
Hide Your Cables
If there’s one thing that you should definitely think about hiding away, it’s cables and wires. It’s pretty tough to make them look good unless you want to make a feature of some colorful cables. Fortunately, it’s easy to hide them away or just keep them tidy if you don’t want them to be too noticeable. One way to hide cables it to put them inside the walls, which can be particularly useful for a wall-mounted TV. Another, simpler thing you can do is hide cables behind furniture. You can lift them off the floor with simple solutions like zip ties and wall-mounting accessories.
Home sound systems are excellent for listening to music, as well as watching TV and movies, and listening to other things like the radio or podcasts. Some are small and powerful while others are larger, consist of multiple speakers and are even more powerful. Whether you have a single Bluetooth speaker or a surround-sound system, you might not want to have them on display in your home. Some speakers have attractive designs, particularly if you’re willing to pay more for them. Bang & Olufsen speakers can look fantastic, and plenty of people are willing to display them proudly. However, for some, any speakers just take up space and look like clutter.
If you want to hide speakers away in your living room, cinema room or anywhere else in your home, there are a few different ways to do it. One possibility is building speakers into the walls, ceiling or perhaps furniture. You can make them look discrete and still ensure you get good sound quality. In a home theater or similar room, you can put your speakers behind acoustic fabric or panelling. However, if that sounds too expensive and time-consuming, you have other options. You can easily hide speakers in cabinets or on bookshelves, with sliding doors or covers that you can move when you want to listen to something.
Almost everyone watches TV. Those that don’t usually enjoy movies or like to watch a documentary now and then. Some might argue that there’s not much point in hiding a television. In the modern age, a living room or lounge that doesn’t have one can look a little strange. But if you’re trying to put together sleek and sophisticated interiors, a TV can throw everything off. It’s particularly hard to fit one into your design if you don’t want everything to look too modern. When it comes to televisions, you could hide them away or choose designs that disguise them.
If you want to hide away a TV, you can try cupboards or cabinets, or you can think about using artwork. Hide your TV set behind a frame painting or perhaps a photograph. Another option is to get a TV that turns itself into artwork when you’re not using it. Samsung’s The Frame TV is designed to do just that. When you’re not watching TV, it displays colorful artwork. You can choose from hundreds of pieces, from landscapes to digital art and photographs of impressive architecture.
One of the issues with TV is that it’s not just the television itself that you need to find a space for. When you have a package from somewhere like Optimum.com, you’ll also have a handy cable box. You might have a DVD or BluRay player, extra speakers and perhaps even a computer hooked up to your TV. Hiding all of this can be tough, but one of the easiest options is to have a cabinet or media center with space for everything. You can use shelves and hide some things behind cabinet doors. Items like cable boxes aren’t usually designed with sophisticated interiors in mind, so it’s good to have somewhere to put them.
An alternative to a TV, or maybe an addition to having one, is to have a projector setup. This is a great choice for home theaters or media rooms where you might want to make the most of the dedicated space. With a projector, you can project images straight onto a white wall, or you can use a screen, which you might be able to hide away when you’re not using it. The projector itself can be hidden away too, or at least made to appear more discreet.
If you’re thinking of ways to hide a projector, you could build a box around it to give it a bit more style. By making it match any wood in the rest of the room, you can make the projector blend in a bit better. However, it’s important to make sure that there’s enough ventilation to keep your projector cool. If you have a closet or another space behind your room, you could stow your projector in there, with only the lens made visible. For a more expensive but also more high-tech solution, you can store the projector in the ceiling and have it come down on a lift system. Another idea is to think about the kind of projector you want to buy. You can find rear-projection systems that project from behind a screen instead of in-front so that you can hide the projector there.
As for the screen, using a plain wall as your projection surface is one simple solution. There’s no screen to hide away, although you need to make sure the wall can still give you a good picture. Many projector screens will roll up into a holder at the top. You could hide one of these inside a custom-built box for even more discretion. It could perhaps also go in or on a bookcase or something similar.
Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling elements are essential parts of your home, but they’re not usually particularly attractive. If you don’t want them ruining your interiors, you might think about how to hide them away or make them look better. Heating is often much easier if you’re looking for discreet or attractive options. Underfloor heating, wood burners and fireplaces can all over stylish options. However, air conditioning units or combined heat and air units can be a little tougher to manage. Building a frame or box around a unit can be a good choice, although you might need to leave appropriate ventilation. A screen can give you another option, or you could even recycle something like an old cabinet or some shutters.
In smart, connected homes, central control panels can make things a lot easier. You don’t have to carry your phone or tablet around with you if each room has a control panel. If you have a central panel for the whole home, you can mount it somewhere, and you’ll always know where it is. These touchscreen devices are often fairly discreet, and you might just choose to use an iPad or another tablet. You can hide them away in a cabinet or behind a panel, but the best thing to do is often to pick a style that you like.
Your home appliances tend to take up a lot of space, especially in places like your kitchen or laundry room. When you’re not using them, you might not want them to be on full display. One way to hide them is by having a cabinet door covering them. This can be a great way to hide anything from a fridge to a washing machine. For more of a French country style, you can use curtains or fabric as coverings instead.
If you love technology, but you don’t like the style of most high-tech items, you can have the best of both worlds. Look for the right solutions and get your home just right.