sarah mayohas ai petals on screen

Must Have Interior Tech Gadgets?

Technology has changed the way we live and work, so it’s no surprise that it’s becoming an ever-present feature in our homes! Tech gadgets can transform a space both in terms of form and function, but what are the latest innovations, and do you really need them? For the lowdown on the most exciting releases and emerging interior design technology, take a look at our round-up of must-have interior tech gadgets…

Tokenframe 21.5″ NFT Display

sarah mayohas ai petals on screen
Credit: Sarah Mayohas

Whether you were an early adopter of non-fungible tokens or you’re new to the world of NFTs, the Tokenframe NFT Display is the perfect way to integrate your collection into your environment. Simply cast the NFT from a compatible digital gallery directly to Tokenframe and your art is showcased to perfection. With easy to use in-app or web controls, you can customise slideshows, adjust backgrounds, rotate the display 90°, set energy saving schedules and much more.

Bespoke wooden frames, available in Birch, Black, Mahogany and White, along with crisp, white matte borders complement contemporary design while evoking a timeless style. Whether you want to enjoy your NFT collection at home or in the office, the Tokenframe 21.5” NFT Display is an essential addition to modern interiors.

Elvy Radiation-blocking Phone Charger

If you regularly sleep with your phone by your bed (and most of us do!), the Elvy Radiation-blocking Phone Charger will give you peace of mind, keep you fully powered and even improve your sleep quality. By blocking EMF and EMR radiation and ‘blue light’, the Elvy charger ensures that electromagnetic rays don’t disrupt the Alpha waves your brain produces throughout the night. The result? Fewer distractions, a better night’s sleep and a sleek, stylish accessory to add to your bedside table, dresser or drawers!

Moen Smart Tap

If you’re designing a smart home and you’re a fan of voice control, you’ll love what the Moen Smart Tap can do. As well as voice control, you can control the tap via hand motion or the Moen Smart Water App, which adds another layer of high-end tech to your smart kitchen. Simply tell the smart tap how much water you need, how long to run the tap for and what temperature you’d like and voilà!

While the Moen Tap is undoubtedly Smart, it’s also a stylish addition to any kitchen. With a finish to suit everyone’s taste, you can opt for linear, curved or classic designs in colours including matte black, chrome, stainless steel, brushed gold and black stainless steel to complement your kitchen interior.

Eve Coulisse Smart MotionBlinds

Automated blinds may seem like an early form of interior design technology but the latest collaboration between smart home specialists Eve Systems and Coulisse takes things to a whole new level. The only motors to support Thread and be Matter-ready, MotionBlinds work seamlessly with Apple HomeKit tech without the need for additional support and offer great functionality with other smart assistants, like Alexa and Google Home, too.

What’s more – you can transform roller blinds, venetian blinds, vertical blinds, pleated blinds, honeycomb blinds, roman blinds and even curtains into a smart home feature when you retrofit MotionBlinds technology to existing fixtures. Cable-free and invisible to the eye, they’re a must-have feature for every window!

Herman Miller Sayl Ergonomic Office Chair

As the world of work continues to evolve, being professional no longer means being at the office. Instead, increasing numbers are combining work and home life with flexible arrangements and remote working contracts. While working from home can deliver a whole host of benefits, a lifetime of back pain from hunching over a laptop perched on a coffee table isn’t one of them!

Carving out a work from home workspace is essential and the Herman Miller Sayl Ergonomic Office Chair is the ultimate accessory. Its 3D Intelligent Back and PostureFit sacral support ensure complete comfort, but if that’s not enough to tempt you, its exquisite design will be.

Sayl’s Y-Tower Support and unframed support delivers a ‘striking and visual aesthetic’, while an optional stretch-knit cover or fully upholstered version is ideal when you want to create a warmer, softer feel. Available in a variety of colour combinations, you can add a pop of colour to your office space or opt for a classic feel in a black and grey palette. Whatever style you choose, Say’s smart engineering will make working from home easier than ever.

LG PuriCare AeroTower

The ultimate home air care solution, LG’s PuriCare AeroTower is a must-have accessory for every home. Combining a true HEPA filter and UVnano LED technology, the PuriCare AeroTower removes fine dust, kills bacteria and provides cleaner, purified air wherever its needed.

While you’ll certainly notice the health and well-being benefits that the LG PuriCare AeroTower can offer, you’ll also appreciate its careful design and stylish finish. Its tapered cylindrical shape and soft white colour ensures it fits seamlessly into contemporary interiors. In fact, it’s so well designed that it’s worth having for its appearance alone!

Touch Screen Smart Mirror

Mirrors are a decorative accessory in their own right and are a fantastic way to increase the amount of natural light that illuminates a room. With the Touch Screen Smart Mirror from Capstone Connected, however, you can enhance the functionality of your décor with next-gen technology.

Two settings give you the option to use the Smart Mirror as a tablet or to share your smartphone screen via Thin Cast technology. Access your favourite apps, features, websites and email with hassle-free voice control. Sleek and stylish with minimal framing, the Touch Screen Smart Mirror is available in two sizes: standard and full length. Perfect for hallways, bedrooms, offices and living spaces, this innovative solution is an ideal accent feature and an indispensable addition to your smart home.

AirSoap Air Purifier

A filterless air purifier, AirSoap features washable and reusable collection plates to capture even the tiniest particles of airborne viruses. Combining earth-friendly technology, whisper-quiet functionality and a wide selection of models and styles, AirSoap’s Air Purifier is a great option to enhance the health and well-being of your home and workspace. At just 21 x 10.6 x 10.25 inches, the unit is a subtle yet essential component of modern living and, with white casing, black trims and a discreet AirSoap logo, it’s easy to incorporate this critical piece of kit into any room.

Ultraloq UL300 Multi-Point Smart Door Lock

The latest technology doesn’t just make your home or office more functional and more aesthetically attractive; it can improve security and enhance your safety too. Ultraloq’s Multi-Point Smart Door Lock highlights just how important it is to use the latest advancements to secure, as well as style, your property.

A 6-in-1 keyless entry system allows you to use biometric fingerprint identification, contactless key fob, code, smartphone app, mechanical key or ‘Magic Shake’ to unlock, while an optional Bridge upgrade gives you access to temporary eKeys and codes as well.

While its features and functionality are enough to sell the Ultraloq UL300, its simplicity and style are important factors too. With rounded corners, narrow door mount OLED display and black finish, it adds a contemporary finish to both interior and exterior doors.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8

If your home is filled with devices and you long for more simplicity, the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 is exactly what you’re looking for. Functioning as a Smart TV with SlimFit camera, IoT hub for smart home control and Workspace with in-built productivity apps and remote connectivity to other devices, the M8 Monitor provides all the tech you need in one, slimline design.

Available in Warm White, Sunset Pink, Spring Green and Daylight Blue, you can rely on the M8 to complement your colour palette and elevate your interior design too. The only drawback? You’ll want one for every room!

M-Pwr Smart Door

When you’re planning a redesign or renovation, it’s tempting to focus solely on the interior yet there are exterior elements of any property that have a huge impact on its look and feel. The entryway, front door and/or porch is the first part of your home that guests will notice, for example, and it’s a space that you will pass through multiple times a day, so it’s worth turning it into something special!

With the M-Pwr Smart Door, you can access all the high-tech features you need to maximise security and simplify your routine, but you can choose from a variety of styles, colours and finishes too. Whatever type of property you have, M-Pwr has a door design to match.

Combining a smart lock, video doorbell, emergency battery back-up and motion-sensing LED welcome lights, the M-Pwr Smart Door is a simple and smart way to create a welcoming visual while optimising home security.

Designing a Smart Home

Integrating the latest tech gadgets into your design is a great way to create intuitive interiors that blend form and function for everyday living. By embedding new tech into the design of a space, it becomes an intrinsic part of environment, rather than an afterthought or an ‘add-on’. As a result, you’ll find that the latest interior tech gadgets serve to uplift the design, rather than detract from it, and provide you with a whole lot of creative inspiration.


hallway

Wabi Sabi Design Principle

Often defined as a philosophy, concept or simply a way of life, Wabi Sabi is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and can routinely be seen in the country’s art and design. While Wabi Sabi is about much more than simply a beautiful aesthetic, it can be channelled and represented via the surroundings and decor we choose.

By embracing the Wabi Sabi design principle, you can bring elements of this ancient philosophy into your home, workspace and life. In doing so, you’ll find that the natural and ephemeral beauty that surrounds you provides an uplifting, meditative and inspiring backdrop to your day-to-day activities.

What Does Wabi Sabi Mean?

The concept of Wabi Sabi dates back centuries but it can be simply defined as an appreciation of the ‘imperfect, incomplete and transient’. Taking inspiration from Buddhist teachings on the three marks of existence – emptiness, suffering and impermanence – Wabi Sabi encourages us to recognise the beauty in simplicity, authenticity and imperfection.

Taken separately, the terms have distinct meanings. ‘Wabi’ refers to appreciating beauty in simplicity and eschewing materialism in favour of more spiritual rewards, while ‘Sabi’ is concerned with the transient nature of life and the beauty of impermanence.

When taken in conjunction, Wabi Sabi is a powerful and revered concept that can underpin design, aesthetics and, indeed, life. As we integrate the principles of Wabi Sabi into our often fast-paced, stressful lives, we can begin to appreciate the beauty that lies in the imperfect, aged or incomplete.

Wabi Sabi in Design

The concept of Wabi Sabi can be seen throughout Japanese artwork, design and aesthetics and bringing its philosophical elements into your own interior design can help to create an environment that is both visually stimulating and life-enhancing. To learn how to integrate Wabi Sabi design principles into interiors, discover our top tips now:

1.     Authentic Colours

glass sliding doors to bedroom

Selecting a colour palette is a key element of interior design, regardless of what type of space you’re renovating or improving. To channel Wabi Sabi in your home or workspace, choose a colour palette that is authentic and earth oriented. Muted, natural tones, such as brown, green, grey, beige and terracotta, can work well when you want to bring Wabi Sabi design principles into your interior as they reflect the inimitable beauty of the natural world, despite its ever-changing and impermanent nature.

2. Asymmetry and Imbalance

stairs

Western interior design principles are often concerned with creating balance via symmetry, but this is not something to replicate when you’re designing a Wabi Sabi inspired space. In contrast, the ancient philosophy celebrates the asymmetrical and the imbalanced, appreciating it for its own unique beauty.

However, Wabi Sabi design is not chaotic or haphazard. While artificial symmetry is not a part of the Wabi Sabi concept, asymmetrical design and styling can deliver its own blend of harmony and tranquillity.

3. Natural Materials

round glass dining room table and chairs

Wabi Sabi philosophy is closely linked to the natural world and can be seen in every element of life. No two trees are the same or match our perceived sense of ‘perfection’, for example, yet this doesn’t diminish their splendour. When you’re developing an interior using Wabi Sabi design principles, be sure to incorporate natural materials in a variety of ways as it’s here that you’ll find pieces that embody Wabi Sabi.

For example, the varying grains in authentic hardwood floors, the knots in a bench made from reclaimed timber or the slight tonal variations in undyed linen cushion covers are the authentic ‘imperfections’ that are central to Wabi Sabi.

In addition to this, integrating natural materials into interior design is known to enhance well-being, which can further the positive impact that a Wabi Sabi inspired space can have. From plants and greenery to jute, stone, bamboo, cork, linen, cotton or clay, there are a variety of natural materials that can help to create a relaxing and grounding space that exemplifies the principles of Wabi Sabi.

4. Organic Shapes

When you’re incorporating Wabi Sabi into interior design, a focus on organic, authentic shapes is beneficial. The artificial shapes and constructs we often see in furniture and decorative accessories represent synthetic perfection that is at odds with the inherent beauty that’s found in nature.

If you’re selecting lighting fixtures, for example, steer clear of styles with rigid lines and clean finishes. Instead, opt for fixtures that are amorphous and distinct. As well as achieving an asymmetrical aesthetic that’s closely linked to the Wabi Sabi philosophy, the space will benefit from pieces that are visually appealing and attention-grabbing.

5. Handmade Furniture and Accessories

Custom, handcrafted furniture and decorative accessories are an excellent choice for a Wabi Sabi inspired interior design. The very nature of handmade pieces ensures they are unique, and their individuality represents so much of what is at the heart of Wabi Sabi. As no two pieces of handcrafted art are exactly the same, you can embrace the differences, asymmetry and ‘imperfections’ and recognise them for the beauty they hold.

6. Reclaimed, Repaired and Recycled Décor

As mentioned above, the principles of Wabi Sabi extend to impermanence and many people believe this to refer to the passage of time. All too often we overlook the intrinsic and external value that time adds to people, places and things in favour of ‘newness’ yet Wabi Sabi reminds us to appreciate the charm and elegance that the passage of time adds to people and objects.

The Japanese art of Kintsugi – ‘golden joinery’ – exemplifies this perfectly, with broken pieces of pottery being put back together with gold lacquer. Rather than attempting to hide the ‘scars’, they are enhanced and showcased to create art that is even more beautiful than in its original form.

By incorporating reclaimed, repaired and recycled furniture, art and decorative accessories into interiors, we can reflect this important element of the philosophy and create a space that reflects Wabi Sabi design principles.

Using Wabi Sabi as Interior Design Inspiration

Although it’s impossible to fully imitate this important and historical part of Japanese culture, we can certainly embrace elements of Wabi Sabi in our design, environment and lifestyles. In doing so, we have the opportunity to learn more about the philosophy, appreciate its value and experience the positive impact it can have on our surroundings, outlook and well-being.


gilston road chelsea design swimming pool

The Current and Future of Wellness in Interior Design

gilston road chelsea design swimming pool

Our surroundings have a huge impact on our mood and behaviour, so it should come as no surprise that they affect our health and well-being. It’s easy to assume that interior design is wholly about aesthetics, but this is far from the truth. In actual fact, good interior design should enable people to elevate their lifestyle, and this includes enhancing wellness.

Whether you’re designing the interior of a workspace or a residential home, incorporating wellness into your design choices improves both the visual appeal and the functionality and feel of the space. To achieve this, take a look at how current and future wellness trends can be integrated into your interior design:

1. Improved Air Quality

Poor air quality can have devastating health consequences, including an increase in respiratory illnesses, strokes and heart disease. While people often associate pollution with outdoor environments, such as busy city streets, indoor air quality should be a top priority too.

When you’re designing a space, consider how the air quality can be optimised. In a full renovation, this may involve integrating more windows or bi-folding doors to provide increased ventilation, for example. Alternatively, you may choose to incorporate next-gen technology in the form of air purifiers to create a healthier environment that promotes wellness.

Of course, you’ll want to avoid polluting the interior as best you can too, which is why low-VOC paint can be a great option. With fewer volatile organic compounds, these paints are less likely to trigger conditions such as asthma and allergies and will pose less of a health risk in the long-term.

2. Designated Workspaces

Today, many people use their homes as a workspace as well as a living environment. While this does have its benefits, it sometimes means that there is little distinction between work, rest and play. As a result, you may notice you feel under increased pressure or show extra signs of stress if you work from home on a regular basis.

To combat this, ensure your interior design integrates designated workspaces if working from home will be a long-term priority. Ideally, you’ll have sufficient space to create a dedicated home office, equipped with all of the essentials you need to navigate your professional life.

Alternatively, consider how a shared space or open plan living area can be artistically segmented to create distinct yet cohesive spaces for work and home life. With more differentiation between these two spheres, inhabitants can relax more easily, reduce stress levels and, as a result, enhance their well-being.

3. Low CO2

living room living wall

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, can be extremely dangerous in large amounts but even relatively small amounts can have negative health implications. While good ventilation can help to prevent CO2 building up, there are additional ways to keep CO2 levels low within the home or office.

Made from a lime base, CO2 absorbing paints are an emerging option for homeowners, building proprietors and designers who want to make wellness a top priority. As the paint dries, it absorbs CO2 in the atmosphere and continues to improve the surrounding air quality, thus leading to a healthier environment.

Similarly, embracing biophilic interior design styles and featuring lots of greenery in your designs can be an effective way to reduce carbon dioxide levels and promote wellness. Being surrounded by nature has been shown to improve mood, relieve anxiety and reduce blood pressure but plants also absorb CO2 and help to enhance air quality. From single houseplants and miniature trees to interior living walls, there are a variety of ways to ensure nature plays an important role in your interior design.

4. Sound Insulation

Loud noises can damage your hearing, particularly when they occur over a long period of time, but even low-level noise can cause your stress levels to rise. If you’re trying to work or relax, for example, unwanted noise can cause unnecessary disruptions, lower your productivity and increase anxiety.

Fortunately, sound insulation is an easy way to remedy this. With sound-reducing services, such as insulated underlay, you can prevent excessive noise from having a negative impact on well-being. What’s more – the right type of sound insulation can make a design statement in itself! Acoustic wall coatings are available in a variety of colours and their unique shape and consistency ensures they add visual interest and texture to your interiors.

5. Smart Interior Design

sarah mayohas ai petals nft display

Credit: Sarah Mayohas

As technology has evolved, we’ve incorporated gizmos and gadgets into almost every part of our lives. In many ways, however, technology can be used to enhance well-being and smart homes exemplify just how effective this can be. From streamlining and simplifying routines with time-saving tech to promoting relaxation, wellness and healthy activities, smart homes can help people to embrace a healthier lifestyle and mindset.

If you’re planning to redecorate, or you are undertaking a full-scale renovation, incorporate smart technology from the outset and integrate it into your design. This allows devices to be situated in appropriate locations and ensures unwanted fixtures can be hidden but it also ensures that the end-to-end integration and full compatibility can be achieved for optimal performance and maximum wellness benefits.

6. Therapeutic Lighting

Our bodies rely on light to determine their circadian rhythm, which is why short days and dark nights can leave us feeling low. Unsurprisingly, artificial light can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm and therefore negatively impact well-being. When you begin designing a space, use the opportunity to consider the lighting from the outside and determine which forms of therapeutic lighting can best serve the environment and its inhabitants.

Increasing the availability of natural light is always a top priority when designing for wellness but next-gen solutions are an option too. Combining colour therapy with lighting can be a great way to create a calming and restorative space, for example, and many fixtures, fittings and accessories now feature in-built lighting to achieve this.

Designing for Wellness

Successful interior design should serve the space, its purpose and inhabitants and designing for wellness is a sure-fire way to achieve this. By using existing and future design trends to promote well-being, you can create interiors that inspire, fulfil and invigorate people as they embark on their own wellness journey.