Our everyday gadgets keep getting smarter – and not just the ones we keep in our pockets.
Innovative home tech is also making our homes smarter, more efficient and more adaptable to suit our increasingly fast-paced lives.
But while smart-home gadgets haven’t always been the most design-friendly pieces to have out on display, many of the latest hi-tech accessories from sound bars and speakers to lighting and phone chargers are being given a style-conscious overhaul.
So how do you match up your tech needs with your interior style?
The first thing to think about when choosing a smart home gadget to compliment your interior design is to “decide whether you want it to be discreet and functional or stand out as a focal point in the home”, says Iain Murphy of tech-accessory brand Proporta.
The next thing to consider is colour schemes to ensure your smart gadget blends seamlessly into your home. “Try matching them to other accessories, such as photo frames, lamps – even pen pots. This will tie your overall scheme together and ensure your chosen gadget is an integral part of your home’s design, rather than simply an add on,” says Murphy.
And finally, make sure your choice fits with the overall style of your home. “If you favour an uber-modern style, it is essential to mirror this with futuristic-looking tech, whereas a more traditional, country-inspired home is better suited to subtler technology,” he adds.
Here are the gadgets you’ll will want to show off rather than hide away in your home (see the full list of 10 in our gallery above).
1. Bose Home Speaker 500
Speakers keep getting more capabilities added to them, and this one is worth splashing out. Not only does it connect via bluetooth or wi-fi, it can also be controlled with your voice, through an app, or old-fashioned touch, and it even has Amazon’s Alexa built into it. And if that wasn’t enough, this smart accessory really delivers on quality, giving wall-to-wall stereo from its humble casing, which can be subtly added to any room.
Priced: £399.95 Buy it here
2. Ted Baker wireless phone charger
This is a phone charger you’ll certainly want to have out on the table – Ted Baker’s Jamilo wireless desk charger is made from premium taupe leather clad in a fashionable rose gold aluminium casing, and provides fast charging for Qi enabled devices. It will charge phones through most cases up to 3mm thick, or you can grab the matching Ted Baker case for a more seamless aesthetic.
Priced: £60 Buy it here
3. Philips Hue ambience starter kit
This product from Philips will let you transform the overall mood of your home through its lightbulbs – and your phone. The starter kit gives you three E27 colour smart lamps, the Hue Bridge, which connects the bulbs to the app, and a dimmer switch. You can change the light in your room from a warm white to any colour with a simple tap on your phone, and find the right atmosphere for any occasion.
Priced: £169.99 Buy it here
4. Bose Soundbar 500
This small-but-mighty soundbar speaker is perfect for slotting underneath your television, providing a surprisingly powerful sound. At only 5cm-high it’ll complement your interiors without compromising any space or style. You can easily add additional speakers to boost the surround sound for watching epic films, or add more bass if you want to use it to watch that new music documentary. It also boasts Alexa capabilities, voice control action and is also compatible with Apple Airplay.
Priced from £499.95 Buy it here
5. Casper Glow Light
Here is a light designed to help you sleep that you’ll be happy to have on your bedside table. The Glow Light is a smart and stylish light that gradually dims from a warm light down to darkness to help you naturally drift off to sleep, and wakes you up with a rising light just as gently. The added bonus of this lamp is being able to jiggle it into a low-light position so that if you do wake up and need to go for a wander you won’t be blinded by needing to turn on the bathroom or kitchen light.
Price starting at £89 Buy it here
6. Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300
This a Class 2 medical device that hides in plain sight. A smart lamp that can easily blend into your home décor with its textured base, it’s also recommended for Seasonal Affective Disorder and winter blues sufferers to help regulate their sleep and wake cycles. It uses realistic sunset light fades through pink, orange and red to help you drop off, and wakes you up with gradual light which can help boost mood and energy levels. It can be used with as many as 14 in built sleep and wake up sounds – and with a simple alarm.
Priced: £129 Buy it here