HGTV Smart Home
Mar 9

Minimizing Technology for a Relaxing Home

HGTV Smart Home

As our always-connected lives get more and more chaotic, many of us look to home to provide a getaway from all the noise. And with screens stealing the attention of our family and friends, we’re trying to set up our homes as a place where we can put our devices down and have distraction-free time with our family.

That said, I’m not suggesting that technology should be banished from the home. Far from it! HGTV Smart Home 2016 is teeming with tech that makes life more convenient, safer, and a lot more fun. I’m merely suggesting that, in little ways, we can style our homes to put tech in the background, creating an environment that is more Zen and less zany. Here are some ways you can minimize the technology in your home, without sacrificing fabulous modern amenities.

Browse 9 Tips to Minimize Your Home Tech >>>

Posted at 8:00 am

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  177. Thanks for posting such a helpful article… but I really think the Smart Remote that Sevenhugs (French start-up company) just came out with is the best option for controlling multiple units, since having a Smart Home can get WAY too complicated with all of those separate apps and such a wide variety of tech units, plus since it's just one remote, instead of dozens of different spare bits and pieces laying around, it can make it look far more zen/minimalist.

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  182. I do love this home. It is very tastefully done. I am so thankful that they are putting in tank-less hot water. From the pictures posted so far it's looking as though it will be another beautiful home. I love that they are putting in a gym again in this home. I really appreciated that in the Nashville home.

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  183. My daughter read up on the NFC tags and didn't realize she could create her own control for a smarter home that works for her and her roommates' needs. I'm interested in placing tags(keys) behind canvas filled artwork/photographs….Family and friends would understand why a phone or tablet might touch the corner of the art. She realized she could do this for herself…art and keys.
    Her former roommate created a security system. Quite often, the public accepts it as the only option. She discovered other options that were more convenient. It would be wonderful if some of these Secured parts of the home, was left to the final owner. Just thinking aloud….Carley, what an awesome to have more than one sponsor showcased, and leaving the final choice on a FEW options with the future owner..

    Trish_ on March 25, 2016 at 8:06 pm
  184. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I've never asked for much in my life and never really felt the need. I grew up poor I can remember a time when I was young my family lived in a single wide trailer with on power or running water. After mock around from place to place but atlest we called it are own.As a kid I never knew the difference between classes. I never know what first, middle and poor class was. I did know we never really had much,but as a kid it never occurs to you that there's better way of doing things and that there's better lives to be had.That was until I was 15 and i got my first job in a tire shop making 40 dollars a week and that was when I know that if I did work hard I was never going to get anywhere. Then I got in to high school,and I was never the best at that.So I still had the the thoughts if I work harder than anyone else I would still make a good living,and if I had kids I
    would do so much better for them.Unfortunately I dropped out of school tryed to go back but I always let work take over.Now I'm married to a loving mother with two beautiful wonderful boys .One has just turned 3 the other will be 5 in May.But we are no better off then when I was a child.when i had gotten with my wife we had are on place and car but it got harder and harder to find a job and barely scraping by has become all we know . We had to move in with her father and mother And to be quite frankly it's just good enough to say we barely have a roof over are heads.Holes and torn up walls and floors duct tape over windows faulty wiring leaking roofs everytime it rains it pours in the house.See they own the land and my wife is promise her on peace of it to put or build a house not bad but the driveway an old logging road. None of our friends will come down it.Now that I'm 30 I'm am in fear that I want be able to make a better life for my family . You would likely be amazed on wat we try to live on just last year we made well below poverty level.But I had and still have a dream for are family and please with your help and support my family would not have to live like I or my wife has. We so desperately are trying to make something for are boys and they can be proud of and not have to struggle every moment of everyday wondering when the next meal is going to come over where we going to live I don't want my kids to have to worry about that we would just love to have a home to call are own and not have to worry about what we had worried about as kids. I thank you for your time

    Marcus D Brittain on March 22, 2016 at 1:01 am
  185. This is a great article! No family wants to be in a home where technology "dominates" conversation and togetherness. Of course in today's day and age, it's impossible to eliminate it, but we can definitely make it secondary or tertiary!

    In Stock Kitchens on March 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm
  186. I have a question. All the homes you do are beautiful and the décor goes above and beyond but, I met Marilyn, who said she was a minimalist and she thinks there is to much stuff in the homes and then we wondered if you had ever done a minimalistic décor for any of your homes? Thank you, Ruth

    Ruth on March 18, 2016 at 5:38 pm
  187. I really could use a tech detox. I am thinking of a camping vacation on a primitive site with just a guitar to relax this spring :)

    Mike on March 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm
  188. Thought we would share the meaning of HOME for so many precious people. Today on our way home on Access our driver said we had a stop to make at the local Community Center. Knowing I can't hear well, he held up his fingers to read 4 before I take you home. When boarding the bus they all knew each other and started talking about their Homes. Each one shared their stories about their beautiful Homes. Thanks HGTV.

    alicesoneysmom on March 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm
    • Thanks DeerSpring just absolutely beautiful. The deep blue Iris was my Mom's favorite flower and they are still in our garden. Even the dandelion can be beautiful. Thanks again DeerSpring! You bring to the blogs so many fun topics. Thought you might like this when you were talking about entry tools.

      alicesoneysmom on March 16, 2016 at 11:03 pm
  189. OK….love skeleton keys! One friend had his displayed in a box and ive never forgotten how cool it was! But I've found the NFC Chips?keys quite interesting. I haven't dabbled in setting it up just yet. We have some…I'm most interested in getting one set up for friends who want access to our wifi password. It would make things easier to just scan the wooden art design and give it to them. Then, as they leave, it swipes the code out. One thing I've considered… When technology does go down, backup is great to have. We have neighbor's wonder what we're doing while they're in the dark with nothing…even some of our security is set up with a backup feature…..electricity goes down, it's nice to have this. And…we paid for it once….not monthly. It's not a solar energy thing…even though I have some thoughts on this, too. I love how some of my ideas have been stretched to other concepts. Sharing our thoughts aloud get some engineers busy.

    Trish_ on March 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm
    • That’s why I like Carley Knobloch’s blogs. You think about how high tech fits in your life.

      DeerSpring on March 16, 2016 at 6:14 am
  190. I love that this smart home is so large. I would definitely need at least 3,000 sq feet for my family. Sometimes, the homes are beautiful but just too small. I am wondering however, why most new homes have such small great rooms? Our family spends most of our time by the kitchen and that is where everyone gathers. Having a downstairs family room doesn't always work, especially if a family has an older member or someone who is disabled I would love to see HGTV make a truly open home with curbless showers, wider doors and big open rooms. I don't think you need a lot of different rooms just big ones. A main floor exercise room is always handy for everyone! This home is truly beautiful and I can't wait to see the tour!

    Ladny on March 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm
  191. Another nod to Springtime, this time at the colorful and serene WRAL Gardens in Raleigh.

    Speaking of Springtime and color, is it time for more light, bright and in-living-color looks at HGTV's Smart Home 2016? We've waited so patiently. ^_^

    DBCoop on March 14, 2016 at 11:54 am
    • Thanks for the garden video. You're right, now it's time for a good look at the Smart Home.

      DesignABCs on March 15, 2016 at 10:17 am
      • Hope you enjoyed the video, DesignABCs. And I couldn't agree more about more! — Smart Home, that is. ^_^

        DBCoop on March 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm
  192. When are the announcing the 2016 dream house?!!! I'm waiting for my prize patiently!

    Miriam on March 14, 2016 at 8:45 am
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    Vikas on March 14, 2016 at 1:25 am
    • I'm keeping an eye on Tesla's more compact battery source. It won't be the huge closet in the garagea or side yard. And, I believe items will become more attainable for many than few. My daughter said the following: we the "just getting started", are watching those with $$$$, and learning from them what works and what doesn't, while watching prices drop. There's a lot of wisdom behind that comment. I recall wanting a new smart item, had convinced my hub it was the thing to purchase. I'm thankful we waited. The idea of being watched by the device had me rethink the need of privacy vs the extra convenience. Other companies are bringing technology to their item without the lack of privacy.

      Trish_ on March 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm
  194. Followed by a beautiful late afternoon photo taken from Smart Home 2016…

    DBCoop on March 12, 2016 at 6:36 pm
  195. Interior designer Tiffany Brooks at the HGTV Smart Home 2016… sitting down on the job!

    DBCoop on March 12, 2016 at 6:21 pm
    • :)

      DesignABCs on March 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm
      • Yep, Tiffany's sitting down on the job, but still getting some good design work done! That's what counts.

        Now for more Smart Home reveals, please, HGTV.

        DBCoop on March 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  196. As lovely as this tech might be
    Its the Dream Home I want to see
    Call me today, my friends from Scripp
    I am waiting to take a dip
    Tech always gets the hack
    But swimming, Ah, Its good for the back
    You have had enough time since Mar. 1rst
    Time for you to quench my thirst
    That marvelous prize
    Has not left my eyes
    So, Today I will wait on your call
    so we can announce my good fortune to all!!

    COOLSMILEY on March 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm
    • Move over on the lanai bench, everyone is keeping an eye on this one!

      Trish_ on March 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm
    • I think we might hear more about the Smart Home before we know more about the Dream Home but we're all wondering who is going to get the lucky call to pick up their prize, that's for sure.

      DesignABCs on March 15, 2016 at 10:21 am
      • :}

        COOLSMILEY on March 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm
  197. Nope..

    COOLSMILEY on March 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm
  198. Carley..Many of us do not SEE this picture??

    COOLSMILEY on March 11, 2016 at 12:28 pm
    • The photo is a woman on a couch with her phone on a floor lamp that has a round table attached (like in the 60's). Close up of the table shows a wireless charger for compatible phones. Furniture looks a lot like what's at ikea. Hope this helps with the curiosity even if you can't see the image.

      Ut4evr on March 11, 2016 at 8:09 pm
      • Hi, Ut4evr, This morning the picture has magically appeared. Thanks for the description.

        Eugenia27 on March 12, 2016 at 3:47 pm
        • Magically Delicious…

          COOLSMILEY on March 15, 2016 at 12:05 pm
      • yes thanks ut4eva :)

        COOLSMILEY on March 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm
  199. I like the idea of a centralized space for charging phones etc…when my kids come visiting they have chargers plugged in all over the house!

    Daffie on March 11, 2016 at 7:53 am
    • Do your's leave theirs behind after visits?

      Trish_ on March 15, 2016 at 12:21 pm
      • Either that or mine come up missing Trish! Iguess it's a small price to pay for the time spent with them!

        Daffie on March 15, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  200. Just a reminder 2:00 a.m. Sunday

    alicesoneysmom on March 10, 2016 at 11:29 pm
    • LOVED the video. Thanks Alice. I'm not a fan of Daylight Savings Time, your video helped.

      Eugenia27 on March 11, 2016 at 6:12 pm
  201. Carley, you know what precocious two year olds are like. Is there anyway to have a techy individual create a special lock feature on the steering wheel for parents to make sure the car seat buckles do not come unlocked while enroute? I've shared this idea with young parents who said they'd want it for their car. Keeping our little darlings safe, yes indeed!

    Trish_ on March 10, 2016 at 9:26 am
    • That's a great idea.

      Rakia on March 11, 2016 at 3:50 pm
    • I've shared this with strangers who have kids and there hasn't been one who hasn't liked this idea. In fact, I shared it with a car rental place and was told that would make a company a success with families.

      Trish_ on March 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm
  202. BTW….is there something techy to help with fall leaves? Love the trees….but leaves….something to consider. I'm sure the 1st engineer who creates this, other than the rake, will be up there with Einstein.

    Trish_ on March 10, 2016 at 9:17 am
  203. Yes, I'm saying this….."Back in the day"….when guests came to visit, the only other person to know where you might be was the babysitter. Now, people bring their world into your home when their cellphones are on. Manners have gone to the wayside. I discovered a way to keep this from happening using a techy feature…. But, I was also informed if our home sets it up, don't expect them as guests. Medical facilities are posting the notices and a few other establishments. I believe technology has created some "non-communication" in our society", unless it's over a smartphone. Even movies are including this social delimma…the characters collect the phones so I'm not the only person thinking this way. I've had one guest actually text someone to ask them to call so they could make an exit. There's no backbone when this happens…just games. BTW…. There are some awesome techy games that can be enjoyed on the tv as a group. Families still enjoy Dominoes, Yahtzee, Jenga, 5000 , etc. For a good dose of laughter.

    Trish_ on March 10, 2016 at 9:13 am
    • Back in the day made stronger family units.

      Eugenia27 on March 10, 2016 at 4:11 pm
      • agree to both of you

        COOLSMILEY on March 11, 2016 at 12:31 pm
    • Yeah, I like to play "Family Game Night" on the _Play station Gaming Console sometimes. My favorite is, " The Game of Life". I have noticed, however, that every since Smart Phones have become popular, no one really likes to part from their phone voluntarily. :-) _

      Rakia on March 11, 2016 at 3:46 pm
  204. Ut OH , my pic is empty!!

    COOLSMILEY on March 10, 2016 at 8:16 am
    • Mine is missing too!

      Daffie on March 11, 2016 at 7:56 am
      • still?

        COOLSMILEY on March 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm
  205. Thanks Carley we agree with you! Thought we would share. On our way home tonight on Access our favorite driver had the music turned up so we could hear it. It was this song.

    And while we looked up that song we found this.

    Technology is great but stop and listen to music and stop and smell the flowers and give your family lots of hugs. Thanks Carley

    alicesoneysmom on March 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm
    • Thanks for the Barbara & Jason video. That was touching almost to tears.

      Actually both were great.

      Eugenia27 on March 10, 2016 at 4:08 pm
  206. Don't laugh…I believe there are many features in our homes that we don't take advantage of because we do not understand how they work. Our oven has features I'm just learning to appreciate. We purchased a washing machine that can be connected to a smartphone/ tablet. I've suggested lessons should be offered on these NEW features.There must be a way to bring homemakers forward in using technology to achieve some extra time for themselves…. We need to learn what is available and using it well before adding so much our heads spin.
    Maybe….one or two of the Smart home owners would be willing to share how the technology works for them in a variety of HGTV specials, or online videos. Promotion is one way to encourage consumers interest in this area. Remember when two homes were improved and the neighbors came in to evaluate the creativity. This may be a show that could be done for technology advancements. ??? The only flies in this idea….there will be people who complain of the cost factor, but this happens all the time. I wonder if adding a tiny home into the works would reduce the negativity if the public could be encouraged of the financial gain made.
    There are so many choices, too. I saw a Pbs show that demonstrated three various techy door locks.
    My husband wants simplified, and he knows I'm looking ahead to advances. He was pleased when he saw my ability to order movie tickets online and knew where our seats were in the theater. Lol. BTW…we just ordered movies online for the first time and viewed them on the tablet and then TV. He said…knowing this info could be dangerous because we may(will) order more.
    It's like the children's book…If you give a mouse a cookie…..

    Trish_ on March 9, 2016 at 1:08 pm
    • Remember when ATM's were the new thing? It took awhile to get used to them too.

      DesignABCs on March 15, 2016 at 10:14 am
    • We recently were in a restaurant, phones started going off at once. I'm sure that people thought it odd I was unsure about the alarm system. One young woman began explaining the Amber Alert to me. My husband asked why my phone didn't go off. I didn't have my phone on….we were on a date! No interruptions.

      Trish_ on March 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm
    • Believe me you all will get used to everything from top to bottom. Your post is funny though as your hubby . Many that don't like changes I found in my business after all the changes love the work of art as for this Class A Home. Gotta Love It ! Lol

      Timothy Heffernan on May 25, 2016 at 3:11 am
  207. Not sure that I am a fan of the "funk" decor.

    southernlady on March 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm
    • No problem, after you win you can have a yard sale. Great way to meet your new neighbors while you get rid of the stuff you don't want.

      Eugenia27 on March 9, 2016 at 3:04 pm
    • Oh why not ? This is the now look of modern times. The Funk Doctor is the truly amazing fast moving pictures views of the greatness of this unique home for some lucky family. As God said let there be light and they got it perfect. So beautiful as my customers love the colors and design.

      Timothy Heffernan on May 25, 2016 at 2:58 am
      • The "Funk Doctors"as I call them all now after your post happen to be the best in the biz. I Wouldn't Change A Thing
        My buddy Patrick Flynn I can call him so. I'm a huge fan of his marvelous work and design. As for so many others that took the time to impact this wonderful home. Hats off to all.

        Timothy Heffernan on May 25, 2016 at 3:05 am
  208. Nice…..want the tours now:):) we can see all the techs in each video…… come on smart home:):).

    gbfla on March 9, 2016 at 12:21 pm
  209. Tiffany's "mustache" accessory looks very familiar now that I've looked through the Smart Home's black and white photos!

    DBCoop on March 9, 2016 at 11:41 am
    • Those will make my extended family feel right at home. My sister-in-law's family have an annual mustache and beard contest. (apparently Montana winters demand facial hair)

      Eugenia27 on March 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm
  210. IT's HERE… kind of! A sneak peek tour of Smart Home 2016 — in black and white photos. Soooo cool. Color me jazzed.

    DBCoop on March 9, 2016 at 11:34 am
    • Thanks. I noticed the dumb bells look a little heaver than what I use. I guess if I win the SH I'll have to up my game.

      Eugenia27 on March 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm
      • Your comment about dumbbells made me wonder how the use of the word originated, Eugenia, especially since it can be used to denote two different things — one being an item used at the gym and the other a not very polite comment about someone's mental capacities.

        Well, according to one brainy online source, the weighty explanation goes like this: Why is a dumbbell called a dumbbell? Actually, it all has to do with church bells.

        You can imagine that it took a fair amount of strength to ring a heavy church bell properly, so novice ringers first developed their arm strength with a rope connected to a metal weight. Swinging the weighted rope against an imaginary bell produced no sound, thus it was silent or dumb. Eventually, the apparatus came to be known as a dumbbell.

        By the 16th century, it was fashionable for gentlemen to do “bell” work to develop an impressive physique. In the 1800’s, the short bar replaced the rope and rounded weights were attached at both ends. In the 1920’s, “dumbbell” joined the vocabulary as a slang word for, well, more brawn than brains.

        The alternative explanation for the origin of the word “dumbbell” also has to do with church bells. Some fitness history buffs believe that “silent” church bells without clappers were used as weights at both ends of a bar.

        Either way, I'd say that entering to win HGTV's Raleigh Smart Home would be a smart thing to do whether you plan to workout or not! ^_^

        DBCoop on March 10, 2016 at 11:12 am
        • Lexical origin: dumb as in without sound, bell as in bell shaped. They didn't reference that there are two, though, do they.

          Ut4evr on March 10, 2016 at 6:12 pm
      • How can you tell? It is all a mater of perspective. They could be itty-bitty "miniatures" for decorative purposes! The pictures are beautiful but give so little true information.

        TrippinMomma55 on March 10, 2016 at 11:23 am
        • LOL, now that would be just plain mean. Seeing how this smart home has a gym, I must assume they are real dumb bells. (I hope)

          Eugenia27 on March 10, 2016 at 4:02 pm
    • Thanks for the link. Tomas Espinoza of Flynnsideout Prod. does a good job and his photos are very intriguing. But I miss Eric Perry's unique work. He had such talent. Wish him well.

      Ut4evr on March 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm
  211. Technology in the background, more Zen — and Smart Home — in the foreground. Sounds ideal! That said, I don't mind the occasional distraction, like, let's say, the Smart Home 2016 virtual tour?! ^_^

    DBCoop on March 9, 2016 at 10:02 am
    • This complete project is so unique. Patrick Flynn is the best also so many others that impacted such a marvelous home as the kitchen design as well as the well planned master bedroom. Every room is different with the great colors and fixtures. I've been a painter for many years and noticed every color through out the home. This gave me so many great ideas for the consumers. When we showed them the videos and the pictures their eyes lit up. So at home feeling as well as the smart features are amazing. Absolutely the best of the best. Many Thanks to everyone involved. My wife is so jealous of the way we painted the many homes. The lighting to the yard is truly well planned. Keep up the great work. We will be watching for certain.

      Timothy Heffernan on May 25, 2016 at 2:52 am

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