Electronics haven’t always been known for their great looks—anyone remember the fallout from the horrendous Nintendo Virtual Boy? But the latest developers have their aesthetic ducks in a row, meaning your home decor and devices are no longer at odds with each other. In fact, with cool tech coming out like programmable lights and digital wall projectors, the newest smart tech can add a whole lot of to your home improvement projects. Here are the best ways to incorporate automation features while bringing some futuristic flavor to your decor.

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Programmable Lighting

Very few homeowners realize how much lighting informs your overall impression of a space. Well-placed lights do a lot more than prevent eye-strain. Strip lights and other smart lighting fixtures convert your kitchen into a virtual holodeck!

Backlighting the more attractive pieces in your home—like below the bed, around a kitchen island or along the edge of showy new windows—gives a glowy, unique effect to even the most ordinary features. Using smart LED strip lights, you can tool around with different colors and intensities, too. Maybe you’re feeling chartreuse today, and the next day, it’s time to give neon orange a whirl. Backlighting like this also makes a pretty interesting addition to a wall-mounted TV—there’s even responsive lighting that changes depending on what’s on the screen. Now that’s high-tech!


The Hippest Kitchen Accessories

The hipsters have discovered smart devices, and that means a slew of fussy kitchen products that look as sleek as they operate. While many of these fall into the realm of unnecessary gadgetry (automated Roti maker, anyone?), they nonetheless bring an air of sophistication to your kitchen counters.

Among the best of these offerings are WiFi-connected precision cookers and smart espresso makers. Precision cooking—otherwise known as sous vide—has been a hipster staple in Michelin-rated kitchens for years now, but recently, it’s been having a newly-minted breakthrough moment with the tech-obsessed as well. There are several options out there, but the top contenders are the ChefSteps Joule and the Anova Precision Cooker. Smart sous vide devices like these allow for even more accurate cooking than unconnected systems. They feature a proprietary app that gives you extensive coverage of the whole process—without needing to hover over the counter all night. They also feature a sleek body that you position above your existing pots and pans—which pairs perfectly with high-end stainless steel cookery.

Next on the list are the coffee makers. Nothing says sophistication quite like fancy coffee, and when that concept is combined with a well-designed high-tech device, the end result is a kitchen backdrop perfect for your Instagram-ready latte art posts. In step with other kitchen appliances, many smart espresso makers favor a somewhat retro look. Here, you’re a lot more likely to see the molded chrome look and vintage diner colors trending in today’s kitchens. But the technology is 100 percent modern—precise measurements give you exactly the grind, temperature, and the right amount of foam. After all, what wouldn’t you do for the perfect cup of joe?


Digital Decor for Your Bedroom

Thanks to trends like the hygge movement and Arianna Huffington’s “sleep revolution,” getting a good night’s rest is not just healthy—it’s fashionable, too. To get in on the craze, home tech manufacturers have devised all kinds of sleep trackers, from straight-forward wearables to more advanced offerings. The impressive Withings Aura is a sensor that sits underneath your mattress. And the futuristic Sleep Number c2 mattress not only tracks and analyzes your sleep quality, but also lets you adjust the firmness of your bedding to your exact preferences.

Wall coverings are also getting a digital makeover, too. The Sony 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector, for instance, allows you to turn any blank surface of your home into customized electronic art. If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, a digital wall covering printing service will create a personal wallscape from high-quality photos, patterns, or even text or logos. It’s kind of like getting a tattoo for your walls!

These devices are as flashy as they are functional! Beauty and brains—yes please!


About ​Erin Vaughan
Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.