Tips to keep your tech-smart home looking stylish

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    Home technologies are advancing at lightning speeds and while some are designed to look good in your home, big TV screens and tangles of cords aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing pieces of decor.

    Here’s how to manage the visual impact of technology, so you can have a smart home without sacrificing style:

    TELEVISIONS:

    Interior designer Sandra Aiken of D for Design in Wellington says TVs are a reality in most homes and are getting bigger all the time.

    Luckily, the development of flat screen means your TV is no longer a bulky box and can be easily hidden behind artwork, or concealed in thin cabinets. Ideally, Aiken says, the TV shouldn’t dominate the space but instead be incorporated into the design of the living room.

    If you’re particularly tech savvy, a remote controlled screen to hide the TV works wonders. However, for a cheaper option, place it an armoire or a recessed shelf with decorative doors to cover it.

    In fact, you could go one step further and get rid of the TV altogether. Projectors have now become smaller and more stream lined, and when placed up on the ceiling they are out of the way.

    SPEAKERS:

    Get rid of bulky speakers and unwanted wires by installing built-in ceiling speakers that operate via bluetooth.

    Built-in speakers are smartly hidden in a recessed alcove and covered with wooden paneling.

    JANE USSHER

    Built-in speakers are smartly hidden in a recessed alcove and covered with wooden paneling.

    Too expensive? Most hand- held wireless speakers have enough power to broadcast music throughout a room and if you have more than one, they will usually connect with each other for surround sound. On top of that, they’re stylish and small enough to be tucked away on a shelf.

    TOO MANY CORDS:

    Most products still need a power cord to be plugged in somewhere. The most efficient way of re-claiming decor and design in a home is to eliminate excess amounts of tangled cords.

    The easiest solution is to place all cords and components into a basket or box under a desk or TV console, bunch all the cords together with a velcro tie and string them through a hole at the back of the box or basket. Similarly, if you have a console with feet that exposes a power board with four power cables plugged into it on the floor, simply tape the power board and cords onto the back of the console so they are off the floor and hidden from sight.

    If there is no means of hiding your cords, transform them into part of the decor. Kate Pruitt from Design Sponge suggests choosing your favourite colour of thick yarn and wrapping it around the exposed cord until it is completely covered. If you have two spare lengths of rope, wrap them in thread too and then plait together with the wrapped power cord to create a sculptural braided element for your floor.

    In one of her DIY posts, Kate Pruitt of Design Sponge wraps cords with wool and braids them together to make a design ...

    DESIGN SPONGE

    In one of her DIY posts, Kate Pruitt of Design Sponge wraps cords with wool and braids them together to make a design feature.

    CHARGERS:

    To eliminate clutter and hide unsightly cords, dedicate one drawer in a kitchen or office for charging devices by installing a power socket in the drawer itself. All your chargers will be in the one place within easy reach and cords will be out of sight.

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