As new products come out far faster than we can purchase them, it may be tough to keep your home up to date if you're looking to equip your space with the latest gizmos and gadgets. But, there are so many products to sift through—and updates don’t always come cheap, either.
We spoke with designers to gather their advice on the best tech and lifestyle-related trends of today that will serve you well for years to come.
“This smart home system can bring your home into the future with lots of different options to customize your home. There are options for home security, intercom, home theater, sound systems, lights, and more to fit it to exactly what you need. This is great if you are looking to streamline multiple ‘smart’ systems in your home into one easy hub.” —Tracy Morris, founder of Tracy Morris Design
“If you want to add a bit of tech into your home, Lutron smart light switches are a great place to start. They have advanced control options on the switches themselves but can also be controlled from your phone. You can schedule them to go on and off at specific times and even turn them off remotely from your phone if you forget to turn something off before leaving the house.” —Tracy Morris, founder of Tracy Morris Design
“We work almost exclusively on older historical homes, and when we are renovating these spaces, we often suggest swapping those clunky older trims on recessed ceiling lights to smaller gimbal LED lights. This creates a beautiful gallery feel throughout the home, highlighting details in a softer way. These trims allow you to move the light like an eye to have a specific focal point. There is nothing better than clean, crisp light.” —Molly Machmer-Wessels, co-founder of Woodland Design Company
“Decide if you want Alexa or Siri to assist and start giving her access: shades, lights, thermostat, music, grocery order, coffee make. Ask nicely, precisely and, voilà.” —Drew McGukin, lead designer at Drew McGukin Interiors
Wireless Phone Chargers
“I hate visible wires any time, anywhere, so creating little hubs with sleek chargers that you can just place your phone on with no loose cords makes for a much simpler look. Along those same lines, in order to hide large cable boxes and other TV gear, I always recommend to my clients to install a receiver behind the TV and remove all the clutter." —Teri Clar, owner and interior designer, NAFASI Interiors
Samsung Frame TV
“This low profile TV allows you to choose artwork from thousands of artists; everyone from Van Gogh to artists featured by Saatchi Art. It’s super fun to have an element in a room that you can personalize based on the season or how you feel. The fact that it's also a TV is just icing on the cake.” —Molly Machmer-Wessels, co-founder of Woodland Design Company
"Because I can hear my next-door neighbor’s entire choir practice through my apartment wall, I am confident in predicting a critical resurgence of designing for sound within our homes. As many of us work from home, I have found that I am now working with my clients to address their acoustic needs as well. It has been fun discovering products and brands which are designed with acoustics in mind like LightArt’s acoustic shade fixture or acoustic wall panels. As I help my clients, I am excited to incorporate principles of acoustic design and look forward to the many innovations in the future." —Habiba Koroma, principal, Biba K Design
Bifold Doors and Windows
“The outdoors should be an extension of one’s home, and therefore, extending your living spaces to the outside is more popular than ever. There is always new technology becoming available for door and window systems, and we find ourselves constantly incorporating bifold doors and windows into our designs. What was once traditionally a wall of windows now has the capability to fully open which creates the possibility for indoor/outdoor living that so many are striving for. In addition, the innovation of new, low-energy heating units make it possible to use your outdoor spaces year-round.” —Jennifer Wundrow, founder of Jennifer Wundrow Interior Design
“You need a place for devices to charge and remain out of sight. We are all so tuned in to our phones, iPads, and computers, and finding a way to disconnect is imperative for our well-being. By putting the charge cords inside a drawer, we are giving ourselves freedom from our devices by hiding them away.” —Jennifer Wundrow, founder of Jennifer Wundrow Interior Design
“While a toilet might not seem like the most glamorous thing to upgrade in your home, but it is the ultimate luxe addition to a bathroom. It features an auto open/close lid, a night light, a heated seat, a bidet, along with a number of other features. If you are looking to transform your bathroom into a spa-like retreat, a Toto Washlet is definitely the way to go." —Tracy Morris, founder of Tracy Morris Design
“The future of homes will have a huge focus on being inclusive and preparing for climate change issues. These considerations can be answered with design modifications and technological advancements. I think one of the first important innovations is in air purifiers. Companies like Molekule have beautiful and strong filters that remove particles and viruses. Clean air is huge to comfort. One feature I always ask my clients to consider is a robust water filtration system at their kitchen sink to remove lead and particles and purify.” —Jennifer Morris, founder of JMorris Design LLC
Designated Work Areas
“These are an incredibly important part of one’s home. We find ourselves searching for that perfect spot in our home where we can host a Zoom meeting, be creative, and be productive.” —Jennifer Wundrow, founder of Jennifer Wundrow Interior Design
Touch-Free Trash Receptacles
"These are also on the rise. There have also been some great innovations in anti-microbial surfaces. Using finishes that won’t sustain viruses is going to be huge in the near future.” —Jennifer Morris, founder of JMorris Design LLC
Molekule. “Molekule | Air Mini & Air Mini+ – Air Purifier for Small Rooms.” Accessed August 25, 2021. https://molekule.com/fda-cleared-mini.
“Choosing Home Water Filters & Other Water Treatment Systems | Drinking Water | Healthy Water | CDC,” January 27, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/water-filters/step3.html.