I love having stylish smart home technology in my home but the problem is it’s not always easy to find tech that is, well, stylish! My heartmate loves anything and everything tech, and had been encouraging us to add additional smart devices to our homes, especially out at the beach house. I get it, it makes sense for us to increase security (especially at the beach house, because as we aren’t always there), but also to streamline our lives and make life out at the beach house run smoother. By adding additional pieces of stylish smart home technology, I knew we would be able to control things both remotely and with ease when staying at the house, too. Everything from playing music to controlling our lights to planning beach days by asking for the weather to setting up schedules and reminders for when I’m back in the city, could all be done without lifting a finger or having to get up from the sofa!
However, I remained concerned that we’d struggle to find stylish smart home technology that I’d feel comfortable bringing into our home from an aesthetic perspective. I enjoy creating a home for us that feels like a happy and serene place to relax, which is why in the past I was nervous to risk that by cluttering it with technology, wires and cameras at every turn. After all, it’s a home, not a prison, right? So, when Walmart asked me to partner with them to style up their stylish smart home technology, I was intrigued. Naturally, my heartmate was excited about the technology, meanwhile, I was keen to see how I could work the tech into our beach house in a stylish way.I wanted to test just how stylish the smart home technology could be, so I attempted to ‘hide’ the tech in plain sight. Smart, right? I couldn’t help myself, sorry! OK, so I figured the best way to do this was to style the smart home devices on the bookcase in our master bedroom at the beach house. My challenge was set and I was going to style with the two smart home devices: the Google Home Mini and the Merkury Innovations Smart WiFi 720P Camera.
I created the stopmotion above to show how I seamlessly styled the stylish smart home technology onto our bookcase. Here are my top three tips for bringing smart home technology into your rooms in a stylish way:
1. Color palette matters | The easiest way to make smart home technology look stylish and not garish is by considering your color palette when you are purchasing. For example, as you can see the bookcase in our beach house bedroom has a modern and minimal vibe with plenty of negative space to make the room feel light and airy. I wanted to encourage a relaxing vibe in the bedroom so that it would feel like a place to get away from the stresses and noise of the city. Therefore, I chose to style with the slimline Google Home Mini in charcoal grey because I liked its low profile. The soft, stylish gray fabric helped it blend into the space and not become an ugly eyesore! The dark grey tones perfectly with the aesthetic of the black steel bookcase, don’t you think? There was also a lighter grey chalk design but for me this would have stood out too much on the shelves. However, if you had a lighter metal shelf or perhaps wooden or painted bookcase, then this lighter chalk option would work really well. Finally, if you have a bright and bold shelf, perhaps in your home office where you are looking to create a room full of energy and contrast, then you should check out the coral version. I think the coral version would fit well in a family or kids room, where it would be handy to have around to answer questions, help with homework queries or even to play games with.
2. Blend your tech | Once you’ve decided on your color choices for your stylish smart home technology, the next step is to think about grouping. No matter how hard you try, and no matter how stylish the smart home camera, if you place said camera on a shelf alone, well, it’s just going to look like a camera on a shelf. Funny that! The solution? Blend your tech by styling it with surrounding items in the same color palette, pattern and/or shape. For example, on our bookcase I styled the Merkury Innovations Smart WiFi 720P Camera alongside two large white and sculptural vases. When I grouped the camera with the two vases, it created an odd number of items – this is a good rule to keep in mind when grouping items together as it looks more natural compared to even groupings. The grouping also allowed the camera to blend into the larger vases, which in effect, caused it to disappear in the overall bookcase.
3. Think big | By this I don’t mean the tech itself but rather think big about what the tech you invite into your home can actually do beyond looking great. For example, I decided to style the charcoal Google Home Mini onto a concrete tray upon the bookcase because I knew how powerful it was despite it’s size. Sure, it might be petite but don’t let that fool you because it’s super smart! That little pebble affords my heartmate and I the ability to ask Google to complete a whole host of tasks for us, including turning our lights on or off. We can even ask Google to dim the Merkury Innovations Dimmable White Smart A19 Light Bulb if we’re looking to create a more relaxing and intimate environment. I love that we can control the lighting whether we are home or not, too.
All in all, I love how seamlessly I was able to style the stylish smart home technology we found at Walmart into our beach house. Now we have a stylish and a smart home. Hurrah!// Styling & photography by Will Taylor