With the influx of devices that we all seem to be accumulating, our homes have started to be overrun with wires, cords, chargers and the like. Not a good problem to have when you’ve got kids running around.
As such, design guru to all of us, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, founder of the site we love to love, Apartment Therapy, and author of Big Book of Small Cool Spaces, has developed the art of “techorating”–the ability to reflect the ways in which we can maximize and re-configure our living spaces to co-exist peacefully with our gadgets.
Does that sound up our alley, or what?
I had the opportunity to chat with Maxwell, who’s teaming up with Duracell to offer some insider tips and product suggestions we can all take advantage of to increase our techorating savvy and wirelessly incorporate technology into our homes.
How did the idea of “techorating” come about?
While we (Apartment Therapy) did not come up with the term techorating, it refers to the idea that you can incorporate technology into your living space without compromising its aesthetics. I believe that a calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world. And, while technology plays an important part in our lives, it seems that every gadget and piece of electronic comes with an annoying cord that creates more clutter in our lives.
How can we enhance our homes and use all these new technological devices to our advantage when considering our decorating sense?
Despite all of the clutter that they can create, technology can easily be integrated into our décor and enhance our homes. Just think about your typical home with two to three cell phones and possibly a PDA or two. Instead of a tangled mess hanging from your outlets, you can eliminate all the clutter by using the Duracell myGrid. (Ed note: We’ve tried the myGrid. It’s awesome.)
With it you can easily charge up to four devices at the same time. Just attach a power sleeve or power clip to each device and drop it on the pad to charge–it’s that easy to have all your mobile devices organized in one place.
We all have computers in the home, but rarely do we really take into consideration the overall look of our computer peripherals and how they integrate into the space. If your speakers date back to your first computer then you should start thinking about upgrading to a portable solution. The Jawbone Jambox designed by Yves Béhar operates as a Bluetooth wireless speaker. It can connect to your music via your phone, computer or tablet from anywhere around the house.
Not only does it look sharp but it also sounds great. These days, kids have cell phones, iPods, laptops, most of the same equipment that we have.
What are the main things that parents should be mindful of when techorating their kids’ rooms?
Like any other space in the home, a kids’ room shouldn’t be a place where good design is abandoned, it just takes a little more effort to help keep these rooms organized.
One area of the kids’ room that can be particularly susceptible to cable clutter is their desk; the spot where they need to be most focused. To alleviate this issue, I recommend checking out BlueLounge’s newest item, CableDrops,
an affordable and effective solution to keep cables from going willy-nilly anywhere you have wires. They also come in a variety of colors to easily blend into the room.
What decorating tips would you recommend for family’s living room that consists of multiple gaming systems, a Blu-ray player, set-top box, flat screen TV, surround speakers, and more?
There are a few simple ways to hide some of your less than sleek audio and video equipment but nothing better than simply hiding them all. If you create a hidden cutout in your wall and mask it as a built-in wall speaker you can get access to all your equipment but keep the look simple and uncluttered. Also, there’s a really easy way to cut the cords from your flat panel and go wireless.
Wireless HDMI connections allow you to set up your flat panel TV without the need for cords. It all works wirelessly even from another room.
In addition to techorating, you also are a master of making the most of small spaces. What are some key things for parents to keep in mind when they bring a new baby home to their tiny apartment?
New parents are always challenged to find creative ways of making good use of the space that, in many cases, was barely adequate in the first place. Fortunately, children don’t need much aside from quality time with their parents, and they thrive when they’re not surrounded by too much stuff. Simplicity is the key here.
What can really help parents is inspiration and seeing how other families do it. To help with this, our children’s site and my new book, Big Book of Small Cool Spaces, share some amazing kids’ rooms as well as long lists of great sources for what you see in them. I recommend it as an inspiring kick-start to
any plans you have for children’s home designs.
And remember, as with children, nothing you do for your home is ever wasted!
You can reap the benefits of Maxwell’s good taste on the collection of Apartment Therapy sites including Ohdeedoh for kids, and Unplggd focusing on technology and workspaces. Big Book of Small Cool Spaces, is available from our affiliate, Amazon.