Extensions

by Hannah Fenton

October 20, 2017

On-screen inspired London terrace basement extension

Film executive Niels Swinkels and his wife Erica took inspiration from on-screen interiors to turn their London terrace into a bright, open home. When film…

Invest in new technology to create a connected property that is comfortable and secure.

Smart technology at home4

Image: (01379 658 300; glazingvision.co.uk)

 

Smart technology has been around for decades, but installing electronic solutions at home is now far more affordable and accessible. Whether you’re building or renovating, a range of products and devices are available to suit you and your property. Integrate lighting that sets the scene for the perfect dining experience at your command, or choose a bath that fills up at the right time and temperature. The latest technology will help you live in greater comfort than ever.

Smart technology at home4

Image: (01347 812 300; control4.com)

 

Lighting

An automated system can be a simple or an extravagant choice, but the ideal combination can completely transform the look and feel of a home. ‘Automating lighting should be considered at the start of a project when the space is being planned out,’ says Sanjit Bahra, lighting specialist at Design Plus Light (020 8762 9585; designpluslight.com). ‘As a rule of thumb, we recommend you start thinking about it at the same time as you look at plumbing.’

Smart technology at home4

Image: (020 7371 9000; johncullenlighting.com)

 

Before you work out the set-up, however, consider the lighting needs for each area of the home. A hallway, for example, may benefit from a simple sensor that provides illumination when it detects motion. Or you can adjust the intensity in various zones, perhaps so that lighting is softer if used in the middle of the night. ‘Different settings are important in the bathroom. You may want it to be especially bright in the morning to wake you up,’ says Bahra. ‘And a dimmer night setting creates a haven away from the world.’

‘Budgeting from around £10,000 for an average home is normal, as you could be looking at around £150 per circuit, alongside a processor, keypads and the programming to set up a system,’ says Sian Parsons, senior designer at John Cullen Lighting (020 7371 9000; johncullenlighting.com). ‘Lutron offers a simple one-room system called the Grafik Eye QS, which can also link to control your blinds. Rako (01634 226 666; rakocontrols.com) has a wireless option, which is fantastic if you aren’t fully refurbishing, own a listed or protected property, or want the flexibility to add more circuits at a later date.’

Smart technology at home4

Image: F Deluxe Spa shower (0871 200 3414; grohe.co.uk)

 

Heating

Whether you choose to install smart thermostatic radiator valves that can be managed wirelessly or a hi-tech thermostat like Nest Learning (0808 169 2307; nest.com/uk), you will benefit from lower heating bills. And by turning your thermostat down by just one degree, you’ll save as much as £90 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The intelligent and potentially cost-saving aspect of apps, smart valves and thermostats is that you can combine them to zone your heating.

 

Security & audio-visual

Clever integration between different manufacturers is key to ensure smooth, everyday use. For instance, you can pair the Fibaro system (0845 154 2852; baro.co.uk) with an existing security or smoke-detector arrangement. ‘The best products on the market are those that link well with your other house controls,’ says Parsons.

You can also throw away the keys and opt for a smart door lock, which can be operated using a code, fingerprints or a card. These intelligent solutions can be programmed to work alongside your existing security. If you’re on holiday you can time music to be played and lights to be turned on, which should help deter any potential intruders.

Your entertainment system can be brought into the mix, too, so you can hear your favourite songs when you walk through the door or when you wake up. Movie nights with the family can become an even more enjoyable experience with a set-up that dims the lights, closes the curtains and starts the film, all at the tap of a touchscreen.

Smart technology at home4

Image: Worcester Wave smart thermostat (plumbnation.co.uk)

 

Words: Ifeoluwa Adedeji

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
how-our-homes-give-us-the-chance-to-reflect-and-have-new-experiences
put-warmth-at-the-heart-of-your-home-with-an-arada-stove
Home Improvements

Put warmth at the heart of your home with an Arada stove

Nestled in the Devon countryside, Arada have more than forty years’ experience in manufacturing the ultimate British heating product with a passion for style, state...
beautiful-steel-frames
Home Improvements

Beautiful Steel Frames

Discover how bespoke windows and doors from Fabco Sanctuary could help transform your home.
transform-your-indoor-and-outdoor-spaces-with-porcelain-tiles
Home Improvements

Transform Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces with Porcelain Tiles

Using continuous materials inside and out will enhance the flow from inside your home to your patio or terrace.
george-clarke-on-converting-a-loft
Home Improvements

George Clarke on converting a loft

The architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man shares his latest tips and ideas.
create-cutting-edge-space-with-the-latest-on-trend-kitchen-designs
Home Improvements

Create cutting-edge space with the latest on-trend kitchen designs

We all want our homes to be anything but standard, and nowhere is this illustrated better than the kitchen.