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Adding Comfort to Outdoor Spaces with Motorized Shades

Adding Comfort to Outdoor Spaces with Motorized Shades

Motorized outdoor shades have several convenient options, such as different levels of opaqueness for controlling how much light you want to come through, or a centralized control panel for home automation integration. They can be controlled via a remote or direct wall control, and you can even set a schedule for them to automatically transition at different times of day. Some motorized wall shades are Bluetooth-enabled and can be controlled from your smartphone or another device.

As well as the obvious shade in your outdoor environment, many people enjoy the extra layer of privacy that a shade affords — especially if neighbors or other people are visible from your yard or patio. Some motorized shades feature automatic sensors that can detect harsh weather conditions such as wind and rain and adjust their position accordingly. They can also keep out insects and other pests.

In addition to these practical benefits, motorized shades are visually pleasing. There are no hanging chains or cords in the way, and there are options to style them to match your home’s aesthetic.

There are two (2) main options for motorized outdoor shades:

  1. Battery-powered: These are simple and affordable as they don’t require extra wiring. They’re also the least disruptive to existing home infrastructure and are great for areas that may not be close to an outlet. Battery-powered shades are reliable and can last up to three years before needing a battery replacement.
  2. Hard-wired: These require a bit more effort to install depending on whether the shade location has been prewired for power. If not, a wire needs to be run to your home’s electrical supply. Once connected, you’ve eliminated the need to ever change batteries.

You can also install motorized outdoor shades on the exterior of your home to prevent the sun from entering your house through the windows, which helps to keep your house cool. It’s nice to have the convenience of a motorized shade you can operate from indoors, and that doesn’t take up any interior space.

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How to Integrate Technology with Interior Design

How to Integrate Technology with Interior Design


Have you ever noticed how many TVs get installed over fireplaces? It’s not because people necessarily wanted to put the TV there. It’s because the fireplace is typically designed as the focal point of the room and it just ends up making sense to put the TV right above it. Many are fine with that, but some others think that having a big black rectangle at the room’s primary focal point is not the most desirable aesthetic choice!

Fortunately, the industry has come up with several ways to dress up or hide the TV completely:

  • Digital Art ‒ Some TVs have a “digital art” mode that can make your TV look like a painting, family portrait or whatever image you want to show off. Some even come with a light sensor to make the art respond to your room’s lighting in a way that makes the art look more natural.

  • Mechanized Lifts ‒ There are dozens of options that make clever use of automated lift mechanisms that can hide your TV in a myriad of ways. An Art Lift allows you to hide the TV behind a real piece of art that can slide up or sideways to reveal the TV when you turn it on. Other motorized lift mechanisms can raise your TV up out of a cabinet or have it descended from a hiding place in the ceiling. You can even have the TV pivot left or right towards the viewer.

  • Recessed TV ‒ You may not really care about completely hiding the TV, but you would like the installation to be a little sleeker. In that case, you can have your builder frame out the wall so that there is a pocket for the TV to be installed into. This creates a clean and flush appearance from the front and side.


Having the ability to play music anywhere in the house or yard is one of the most requested features we get. While a set of floor standing speakers might make sense in a home theater or media room, other rooms can have great sound too without the speakers being a prominent visual feature.

  • Architectural Speakers ‒ Most people are familiar with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. What you may not know is that you can get them in a smaller form factor that closely matches the size and shape of your recessed lighting. This makes the speakers really blend in. There are even in-wall and in-ceiling subwoofers that can provide some added bass without the big black box on the floor.

  • Invisible Speakers ‒ If you really don’t want to see the speakers at all, invisible speakers can be installed during the construction phase that perfectly blend into the wall. They are mudded and painted over, just like the drywall, so even the sharpest eye can’t see them.

  • Custom Soundbars ‒ Adding a soundbar to enhance TV audio is extremely popular these days. But a lot of soundbars look like an afterthought rather than part of an integrated system. But they don’t have to. Many manufacturers provide soundbars in custom lengths that perfectly match the width of your TV for a clean, purposeful look.

Lighting Control

A smart lighting system isn’t just for convenience. It can enhance the look of your home as well. Lighting control systems can be programmed to remember lighting “scenes” that recall specific lighting levels for a room or the whole house. You can have all your lights set to just the perfect level for whatever mood or activity you want and recall it with a simple button press.

“Centralized” lighting control systems take things even farther by reducing your banks of light switches (sometimes four, five or more in a row) and consolidating them into a single, elegant keypad. Often these lighting keypads are available in a variety of designer colors and textures to perfectly complement your décor.

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How to Blend Smart Technology with Home Design

How to Blend Smart Technology with Home Design

Coordination — Color Coordination

The good news is that most smart devices have ample color, size, shape, and design choices, so you can find one that matches your home's design. For instance, if you have a smart doorbell, you can color match it with the color of your door or just the knob.

And for in-ceiling speakers, you can match the trim to the color of your ceilings and make it seem like they aren't there at all!

Wires? What Wires?

A home full of technological wonders that make your home life easier means wires — and lots of them. Almost everything requires a power source, but there's no denying how all those wires clutter up your design scheme. But with a few tricks, you can make those wires disappear like a techno-savvy magician!

  • Go Wireless: Do away with wires all together with wireless security cameras, speakers, etc., and control your system with a wireless hub. You can even control most connected devices with just your voice!
  • Undercover: Try hiding your wires behind your crown molding so they don't ruin your aesthetic. You can even get hollow baseboards that manufacturers design with cabling in mind.
  • Camouflage: Hide your wires in plain sight by matching the color of your cords to the color of your baseboard!
  • Out of Sight: Make your setup a permanent solution and hide the wires in the drywall (we can help with that). 

Everything is Better Custom

Customizing your smart technology lets you put your home design entirely in your hands. With a bespoke design, you can eliminate the need to place every speaker or display on a shelf. Instead, you can install them in the walls or ceilings. And if you keep color coordination in mind, you can hide every piece of tech in plain sight!

The other benefit of a custom fit is that you can drill down on the minutia of your home design. Like if you have a traditional-looking door, you can customize your smart lock to look like a traditional deadbolt.

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5 Ways To Hide Your Home Tech {+1 Bonus}

5 Ways To Hide Your Home Tech {+1 Bonus}

In Plain Sight

The perfect hiding spot for your smaller devices is sometimes in plain sight. Places like baskets, shelves, or even plants can hide small devices like voice-activated assistants or speakers. Keep your gadget in a stylish woven basket, and place a small plant next to it to conceal the device further. You can also hide them behind pictures or items on shelves, same with other small equipment. You could even disguise wires behind a curtain. Get crafty! You may already know of a great spot!

Opt for an Entertainment Center

Television cables are one of the most noticeable places that could do with a clever cover-up. They tend to sit in the center of the living room and become a point of focus to you and potential guests. Luckily, you can hide television cables easily with an entertainment center. These tend to have many more storage options and configurations than a TV stand or media console, making them a great spot to store your speakers, projector, gaming system, or other media equipment. They can also add a decorative touch to your design style and be a nice spot to showcase your décor items.

Build It In

There are a lot of home tech items that can be built into the design of your home and make it easier to blend them into your design. Invisible speakers can be installed in the walls or ceilings and then plastered over—no one will ever suspect that an amazing sound system hides behind your wall!

If you prefer a projector over a tv, disguise it behind the back wall of your living room or construct a discreet lift that allows the projector to disappear into the ceiling when not in use.

Match Your Gadgets to Your Space

If you have prior experience furnishing a room, you know working with a limited color palette can help make a space appear more spacious. While overly colored interiors can tend to feel cluttered.

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