Our homes are where we spend much of our down-time, and increasingly our work time, so we should make sure our surroundings reflect and enrich us as much as possible. In this age of fast-paced technological advancement, we have many options at our fingertips to make our lives easier, and to integrate our work and hobbies into our homes.
As technology has evolved so quickly, we often find ourselves surrounded by a growing mass of wires and speakers. So before you scrabble about for a new set of batteries for one of your umpteen remote controls, Susan Robertson has asked some local experts how technology and design can work hand in hand to create the best tech experience and environment in our homes.
Allan Boyd, Managing Director of Loud and Clear said, ‘Music and movies are a big part of many of our lives, but the technology we use regularly, is often an afterthought in our design processes. We firmly believe that the better the technology looks and sounds in the comfort of our home – the more you can enjoy it. With advances in technology this no longer requires a great big pile of black boxes in the corner and some grand monolithic speakers. Equipment can be hidden away and controlled seamlessly with an easy-to-use app. Speakers can be hidden in walls or in ceilings or can become statement interior pieces in custom fabrics or exotic wood finishes. Music and movies can be streamed online from services like Spotify and Netflix so there’s no more need for teetering piles of CDs cluttering up our space.’
So, perhaps it’s time to clear out the old DVDs, CDs, wires and aerials and have a fresh look at how we can make our homes, lives and technology work more effectively together.
Allan explained. ‘Many of our clients don’t fully appreciate what is possible from their film and music collection and that we really can create “the band playing in the room” experience without comprising their living space. Within the Finnieston showrooms there are three music/cinema rooms laid out and furnished as a domestic living room. In this relaxed environment we can let clients experience systems until they find their optimum level.’
Allan and his team also offer a range of complimentary interior design services including smart wiring, lighting design and control, acoustic room treatment and heating control. So you can really create a bespoke smart home that is tailored precisely to your individual needs and the design of your home. He has recently collaborated with interior designer, Lisa Trainer of Red Door Interiors.
Lisa said, ‘The development of technology in a digital world has surged its way in to how we live our lives in every way. Evolving, adapting and being informed of these changes is crucial to architects and interior designers in the whole process of a design from initial concepts to planning and specifying lighting, heating, air conditioning, blinds and curtains, audio visual, TV, computers and security all combine to present high performance multi-room use and design possibilities.
Both Allan and Lisa stress that involving the experts as soon as possible in any new project is key to its success.
Lisa feels ‘The onus is on the designer to be creative and visual from the start and to replace standard functional items like light switches, radiators and sockets with an invisible “behind the scenes” network of power and programming. This must all be considered at the very start of a project with the specialists involved in coordinating and engineering the electrics and other controls.’
She continued, ‘Planning connected multi-use spaces that can accommodate working, socialising and relaxing are all factors in the architectural and design process and should be a collaboration of specialists working together to create spaces for the future, that still feel like home.’
So, as the options presented by technology advancements become greater and more accessible, there is some more thought required to make the best use of what’s available to us, and to integrate it seamlessly into a clever design to create a functional and beautiful environment.
As Lisa explains, ‘Increasing environmental considerations as well as the ever-changing advancements in this technology-led way of life have only added to the need for designers to be more creative and holistic in their approach to design. I believe this can be achieved by careful consideration of a living space, its uses, functions, flexibility and lifestyle of the client. The combination and integration of custom-made luxury textiles, wallpapers, craft made furniture and other lifestyle products in contrast to the functionality of the tech is the perfect harmony for me as a designer in achieving a well-balanced space.’
We may often overlook the technology aspect in any upgrade or redesign of our homes, but it’s a great opportunity to revisit our needs and wants for how our homes can function best for our needs, as well as looking and feeling the way that we want. We’re fortunate to have exceptional expertise on our doorsteps to walk us through the process.
Loud + Clear | 520 St Vincent Street
0141 221 0221 | loud-clear.co.uk
Red Door Interiors | 100 Beith Street
07803 138 557 | reddoorinteriors.co.uk