Is there fear of the Smart Home?

Is there fear of the Smart Home?

What is a Smart Home? By definition it is a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer. At the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS), Kitchen and bath appliances for the home were featured showing connectivity to communication centers like Home Connect and Alexa. Designers like myself were very excited about these new steps in technology for the home and see the potential of not only making our clients lives easier but also saving time so family and friends can be the priority.

For example, Thermador’s Connected Experience is your gateway to “exceptional culinary experiences.” With the Home Connect app you can control your dishwasher, refrigerator, wine refrigerator or coffee machine, and access a world of culinary inspiration with recipes and product tutorials.  At the show, I asked Alexa to make me a cappuccino. Can you imagine doing that at home? This also would be great for aging hands. Samsung’s family hub incorporates cameras inside your refrigerator to capture images and transmit the images to your smartphone. You then know what to order if you are at the store. Or order directly from your refrigerator panel.  This saves you a trip to the market since your food will be shipped right to your home….Talk about saving time and helping people who are not feeling well. Signature Kitchen Suites True Sommelier App makes wine recommendations, including food and wine pairings based on the wines stored in your collections. Become a real wine expert!

Unlimited personalization possibilities heighten entertaining and cooking at home. But will our clients embrace this technology? There are always budget concerns since these appliances are more expensive than your typical appliances. However, I think budget concerns may be a cloaking devise for a true technology fear.  These systems rely on the Internet connection, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Questions have come up like, “what if something will happen with the Internet or if your Bluetooth isn’t working?  What if the system fails in the middle of a dishwashing cycle? What if my grocery information gets lost in the hub? These are true fears that our clients, especially the baby boomers are thinking about and maybe they may feel more secure with the typical home versus the smart home.  

Unless there are clear answers to these fears, what is supposed to amplify our lives for the better may turn into a headache that needs constant user attention. We live in a connected world and I think each company should calm the nerves of homeowners with product assistance. I know Thermador offers remote diagnostics within their app when product assistance is needed. However, knowing that there will be a human being on the other end to help may calm the nerves of folks who are on the fence about buying smart home technology. As a designer who believes in innovation, I will not only be speaking to the kitchen and bath brands about human assistance but also educating my clients the benefits of technology in the home outweigh the fears.

DESIGNHOUNDSKBIS 2019 DESIGN TRENDS

DESIGNHOUNDSKBIS 2019 DESIGN TRENDS

I recently went to the KBIS  (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) as an invited MODENUS #DesignhoundsKBIS Influencer. KBIS has gotten bigger and bigger each year….it featured 600 vendors at the Las Vegas Convention Center this past February.  KBIS is THE kitchen and Bath show in partnership with the NKBA  (National Kitchen and Bath Association). This year proved that kitchen and baths are ever evolving….. 

As a Design Influencer on the KBIS floor, I was in a pack of #Designhounds scouting out the latest cool finds, design trends and inspiration for my own design projects. I really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about our generous sponsors and happily endorse and share some of my fave finds/design trends from KBIS, Caesarstone, LampsPlus, Mr. Steam, Thermador, Thompson Traders, Wellborn Cabinet and more….

And the drumroll for the Design Trends of 2019:

SMART HOME

Smart home technology is entering more and more areas of the home with an ease of integration. This ease is being seen in our appliances. Our fridges, ovens, coffee machines, wine columns are starting to connect to Alexa and to our tablets or phones. Ultimately making our busy lives easier and a great way for the aging boomer market to live better.

Thermador’s Home Connect is your gateway to “exceptional culinary experiences.” With the Home Connect app you can control your home appliances when you are out and about or from your own bed. Wouldn’t a cappuccino all ready for you in the morning sound appealing?

The Qanto lift from Wellborn Cabinets proved that smart technology for interior kitchen cabinetry is now here. The lift solves storage solutions for the modern home. The Qanto can store anything like appliances so they can be hidden when you are not using them and provides more space for cooking on your countertops.

Samsungs refrigerator Family hub is the new way to manage your groceries, entertain your family and connect like never before. Send notes to your kids, write notes on your calendar, post images from facebook all on the face of your refrigerator door!

INTEGRATED LIGHTING:

Lighting is now more than ever being integrated into  fixtures, appliances, mirrors and steam showers all thru LED lighting technology.

Lamps Plus, a leader in the lighting industry showcased a variety of light and mirror  styles from traditional to contemporary but mainly highlighted their LED lighting for indoor and outdoor.

Experience Mr. Steams ChromaTherapy systems…it allows you to transform your steam shower environment with different colored lights.  Different colors like blue, red, green can affect your mood in different ways. Color can be healing and Mr. Steam has paved the way for the bathroom shower experience.

Thermador’s Star sapphire offers real dish care solutions with cool vibes of light for entertaining guests in your home!

HIDDEN APPLIANCES

Appliances are starting to be hidden and not be visible in our kitchens. Kitchen cabinetry is acting more like furniture. See how Thermador customizes their panels and the refrigerator is hidden behind.

Pelick refrigeration hides their refrigeration drawer in a makeup table and cloning their cabinetry in veneer leather.

MIXING METALS

From door hardware to lighting, the combination of black with chrome, nickel or brass was HOT.

Schuab INC  were showing  combo black and brass door hardware:

Thompson Traders showcased this stunning copper hood in their new matte black finish with brass accents.

LIVING WELL

Over the years, I have learned a lot about Steam and its benefits for our bodies and mind.  It helps with respiratory health, skin care, holistic health,  physical wellness and so much more. Believing in the power of steam, I have incorporated one of Mr. Steam showers in one of my own bathroom design projects.

 

Did you know that copper is self healing and has healing powers for the skin…. Copper plays a key role in the synthesis and stabilization of skin proteins. So how about taking a soak in Thompson Traders copper tub? Or wash you face in their new black matte copper sink, beautiful!

IS IT REAL?

Is it concrete? Is it real stone? Is it real leather? Today’s technology has transformed the ability for natural materials to have look a-likes in more durable and maintenance free ways…ultimately to make our lives easier.

Caesar stone showed their new Metropolitan line which encapsulates the look and feel of fine concrete with the durability and ease of maintenance that Caesarstone quartz surfaces is known for. Composed of 93% of quartz, the counter looks like concrete and stone without the worries of real concrete and stone.

 

Formica was showing sustainable recycled leather veneer and Compact surfaces too has the look of stone but is laminate. I was amazed at the corners and how the technology of color core has removed the ugly laminate seams from countertop edges.

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All in all….Fun was had!

 #designhounds #designhoundsKBIS #KBIS2019