Written by: Karl Kennedy
Adding smart features to your home can do more than increase its salability. When you install the right ones for your family, you can dramatically improve the comfort, ease, and enjoyment you get from your home. In fact, once you’ve added them, you’ll probably kick yourself for not doing so earlier!
Creating a high-tech home isn’t just about adding voice control and programmable features. While smart lights, thermostats, and outlets are a great place to start, there are plenty of unique touches you can add that you may never have considered before. Here are some ideas to get you started.
#1: Install a pop-up hood vent in the kitchen.
Are you the type of chef who’s always setting off your smoke alarm? Hood vents are traditionally the way home cooks get rid of smoke and cooking smells from the stove, but they’re hard to clean, and even the best high-end models can be an eyesore in an open-concept kitchen.
A pop-up hood vent gives you the best of both worlds. When you’re not using it, it sinks out of sight into your counter or kitchen island. Press a button and it rises into action, sucking up whatever fumes you generate while cooking. You’ll never have to worry about lingering smells in the kitchen again.
#2: Upgrade your bathroom.
We’ve all heard about the talking toilets in Japan. You don’t have to travel halfway around the world to experience one, though—and these bathroom marvels do a lot more than speak. An automatic toilet comes with handy features like a bidet, a seat warmer, hands-free flushing, and automatic lid control.
You can add a similar level of intelligence to your shower. Moen and Kohler are just two major brands innovating new shower technology that integrates helpful smart features. This lets you pick a specific temperature for your water, rather than playing the guessing game with the hot and cold knobs. Most models also let you create individual profiles for each member of your household, and will pre-warm the water before you step in. If you’re eco-conscious, a model with water consumption tracking is something you’ll want to look into.
If you want to bring everything together, you can turn your bathroom mirror into a hidden screen where you can control the lights and appliances from one convenient interface. A screen in the bathroom can also be a big timesaver when you’re getting ready in the morning. It can show you the weather outside, bring up your daily calendar, or read you the day’s news headlines while you’re shaving. With all these high-tech upgrades, your bathroom may just become your favorite room in the house.
#3: Build an in-home golf simulator.
If you’re an avid golfer, you know the frustration of having a game postponed by a turn in the weather. Adding a golf simulator to your home lets you play anytime, day or night. As an added bonus, most of these programs will give you valuable feedback on your swing, and come loaded with emulations of famous courses you might never get the chance to play on in real life.
The main thing you’ll need to put in a golf simulator is space. To take your full swing indoors, you’ll want a room that has at least 10-foot ceilings, and ideally is at least 15X15 feet in its dimensions. Once you have the right space, setting up a golf simulator is very easy. Most golf simulator packages come with the tee, screen, net, and software, and you can find high-end options that also include the projector and a dedicated system to run the program through.
Another cool thing about a golf simulator is that it gives you an excuse to buy a projector. Any projector for a golf simulator will also function beautifully for watching movies or playing other video games, so you can make it a multi-purpose media room for the home family when you’re not playing. Just something that might warm your spouse up to the idea if they’re not as into the game as you are! You can find a useful buyer’s guide here.
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