There when you want it, gone when you don’t. Some people want as much technology as can fit in their homes, yet see it as a black mark on interior design. While we would argue some technology is meant to be shown off, fortunately in 2016 you can have your tech and hide it too. Here are our favorite ways to do so:
TVs & Projectors
You have the perfect location for your flatscreen, but that doesn’t mean you have to dedicate it full-time. One option is to cover it. Media Decor designs silent motors that house a mirror or original art, lifting or sliding it to reveal the TV behind. Seura specializes in mirror TVs but forgoes the movement altogether. Instead they place a mirror in front of the TV that can switch between reflective and opaque. For the information-addicted they can embed a screen behind part of your bathroom mirror. A few years ago this approach left you with either a dim TV or a barely-reflective mirror, but I saw Seura at a trade show recently, and their latest line is truly impressive.
Lifts are an incredibly versatile option that can hide your TV in a piece of furniture or even under your bed. A ceiling drop is an underutilized solution as well. We like Future Automation for this arena, as they specialize in silent. They also figured out in-ceiling housing for projectors, dropping it into sight only when you’re using it. If that’s still too visible you can house your projector in a frame that only tilts down enough for a mirror to open and reflect the projector beam.
The term “invisible speakers” used to be used quite liberally, but now you can actually sink speakers into the wall, cover them with centimeter-thin plaster and paint, and marvel at how muddy it should sound but doesn’t. While almost invisible speakers go unnoticed enough in most applications, it can get hairy when items on or behind the wall prevent symmetrical speaker placement. Sonance solves this problem, along with the problem of ceiling clutter. Peppering big round ceiling speakers among small square recessed lighting is not a good look. Sonance tackles this aesthetic by sinking their speakers into the ceiling and only exposing an area identical in size with your recessed lighting.
The smarter your home gets, the more carefully you have to protect against wall acne. All those outlets, switches, panels, touch screens and thermostats add up. To get rid of thermostats, Savant offers a solution that can control 8 zones on 8 different HVAC systems via tiny little temperature and humidity sensors hidden throughout the home. For all those other bumps on the wall, Trufig offers the most elegant camouflage around. They can copy the material and pattern of the surrounding area and paste it onto a flush-mounted housing for your outlet, touch panel, or in-wall iPad controller.
All of the those controllers, amplifiers and processing units need a place to live, and rack-mounted in a closet is the best never-in-sight-but-always-accessible solution. It makes tracing cables and the occasional reboot unobtrusive, and keeps your living room media center as minimalist as possible.