Smart home technology is so invisible that most devices could be mistaken for high-end furniture.
We’ve rounded up some of the most stylish – and most advanced – smart home devices around. Kit out your house with this lot, and it won’t look out of place in the pages of an interiors magazine.
Make your stereo invisible: Natuzzi Surround
This looks just like a standard – though admittedly very plush – corner sofa. But hidden in its corner section is an integrated surround sound audio system. The only clue? The smartphone dock. And even that's purely cosmetic if you choose to connect your music device wirelessly from your phone using Bluetooth.
Not only do you get a lovely big comfy sofa, you also don’t have to crowd out your lounge with huge, bulky speakers.
Change your interior design as often as your bed sheets: LIFX Tile
The problem with home decor is it’s permanent. Once you’ve put something on a wall, it’s staying there, unless you want to go through the lengthy and expensive process of replacing it.
But not with the LIFX Tile. Each pack of five can be personalised using the smartphone app, so you can have different colours and patterns as your mood changes. They can also alert you to text messages, emails and the like by flashing a certain way. They’re simple to install, too, thanks to the reusable 3M Command Hooks on the back. Now you can change your home decor as often as you change your trousers.
Set the mood: Philips Hue Signe
Philips makes some of the best colour-changing light bulbs around, and now its range is expanding. The Hue Signe is a series of floor-standing and table lamps designed to sit in the lounge.
They project light onto the wall, creating a cool ambiance that lets you change the room’s mood in seconds. Using the Hue Sync app, they can sync to your favourite content – say, mimicking what’s on the TV screen – and they have 16 million colours to choose from. Add in a smart speaker like Google Home or Amazon Echo, and you can control them just by speaking, too.
Add a touch of class to your lounge: Samsung Frame TV
When is a TV not a TV? When it’s a work of art. That’s the idea behind this Samsung set. Its border looks like a picture frame, and when you’re not watching your favourite shows, it can display works of art.
The latest version comes with Samsung’s voice-activated personal assistant Bixby built in, so you can control other smart home gear just by speaking. It also packs HDR technology, which improves the picture quality of compatible content.
Mix premium looks with premium sound: Naim Mu-so
Naim’s Mu-so is one of the fanciest connected speakers around. Not only does it boast killer audio thanks to six 75W amplifiers, it’s also fully connected, able to stream high-quality tunes from the likes of Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.
The rotary control dial is a joy to use, too, with that satisfying feel you only get from a quality piece of kit. It now comes in a limited edition champagne finish (pictured here), which is exclusive to John Lewis. Sure, there are cheaper speakers around. But once you’ve tried it, you won’t think twice.