5 Tips for a Technology Friendly Home Decor

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When designing your living room, you may spend hours picking out gorgeous curtains, beautiful hardwood flooring, and stylish furnishings to create just the right look for your family room or living room. But this stylish ambiance can quickly get ugly with bulky electronics and a collection of hazardous cables.

Today, we’ll give you 5 tips to plan for and create a stylish, yet technology friendly home decor:

Tip #1 – Plan Ahead

The first step to any great project is planning ahead. Even though electronic equipment is one of the last items on your shopping list, you can discuss your needs with your architect and builder.  You can determine where your electronic equipment will go by putting together a space plan from your blueprints.   Then share these ideas with your architect and/or builder so they can plan for or modify the construction process.

In this living room by Domain Design, the client opted to hide cables and wires, but this could only be accomplished by planning early on in the design process. During the construction process the cable and electrical cords were run behind the drywall so they were out of site, and easily accessible once the television was put in place.

Tip #2 – Naturally Integrate the TV

The TV can be difficult to integrate into your living room, especially if you don't want it to be the focal point. Not only do you need to choose the right size but you also have to worry about cords, speakers and other accessories. Consider these factors before buying and setting up your TV:

Don't get a screen that's too large for the room. If you have a screen that's too large, it can be difficult to place it far enough away, and then you will have to crane your neck to see it. Samsung offers a handy formula for deciding the right size TV for your room: take the viewing distance and divide it by three.

Also, don't mount the screen too high. Ideally, the center of the screen should be just below eye level because when we relax, we tend to let our heads drop a little.

Using fixed shelves or an entertainment center will provide a fixed place for the TV. It also allows you to use shelves and drawers to store extra cords, DVD players and DVDs and gaming consoles and video games. Just make sure that you find one that suits your decor. Try rustic wood for a country feel or sleek chrome for something more modern.

If you like changing your layout frequently, consider purchasing an entertainment center with wheels. This will give you the freedom to change it's location without too much effort.

Wall units provide endless customization options. You can arrange the space with a combination of shelves, cabinets and artwork. This also is a great option if you don't want the TV to be the focal point of the room because you can surround it by other decorations.

If you want the TV to be the focal point only when it's in use, look for a cabinet or media console that can hide the TV. Or you can incorporate the TV into a wall, or fireplace and build a cabinet style covering to hide the TV, when not in use.

Sometimes you can even incorporate your TV into the room as an architectural element. Notice how the large, flat screen TV is incorporated into a wall partition between the living room and dining room, in what would otherwise be a large open concept area.

Tip #3 – Think about Secondary Technology

Aside from your television, cable box and preferred movie player (DVD, BlueRay, etc) what other devices might you desire in your new space? Most cable or satellite subscriptions come with hundreds of radio stations, so the traditional stereo isn’t all but obsolete. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want surround sound speakers.

Luckily, brands like Bose make it possible to get great sound without a lot of cables, and in a compact device.  Also consider your smart phone, ipads, tablets and laptops. Will you use these devices in the living room or want to plug them in, or charge them? The most likely answer to that question is “yes” so plan ahead to make sure you incorporate enough outlets.

To maintain a clean design, and minimize clutter, arrange your seating so people can access the outlets without having to drag cords across the floor. And you may find it helpful to keep small storage bins close at hand, to store cords when not in use.

Tip #4 – Hide the Cables

Now that you love your new home theater system, you don't know what to do with the nest of wires threatening to poke out from behind your entertainment center. A few options include running the wires along the perimeter of your room, or organize the wires behind your TV stand with ties. You'll want to find sturdy ties or clamps that are made specifically for cable management because flimsier ties won't be up for the job. It's best to start bundling your cables at one end, and then add a tie every three to four feet. Just be sure to not do anything that will pinch or stretch the cable because it can negatively impact the device's performance.

Cable raceways are another option for wall-mounted TVs because they attach to your wall and can even be printed to match your decor. Just make sure that the option you buy is large enough to accommodate all of the cables.

If you get to the point where you are ready to plan for your electronics and didn’t plan ahead to hide wires and cords behind the walls, you still have options. You can create floating shelves, like you see here, in this bedroom from Santalla Design. It conceals the wires and still connects the devices.

Tip #5 – Embrace the Internet

Today’s technology era brings with it an abundance of live streaming movies/television shows.  But have you ever considered how this new technology can also help you create a clean, technology saavy interior design too!.

Incorporating this service into your home cuts down on the numbers of cords and wires to help minimize clutter.  And if that isn't enough, today's newer TV models, and cable/satellite service providers offer smart phone apps to turn your phone into a TV remote – and we could all use a few less remotes in our living room. 


What role does technology play in your home and how did you incorporate it into your design?


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