By: Mary Rink

Ever-evolving technology has streamlined the interior design industry with significant advancements to make home life easier, more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

The TV no longer has to sit on a stand, becoming an unsightly focal point. Instead, there are mirrors that, when turned on, allow you to see TV images on a screen integrated into the mirror. Flat screens can look like a painting when not in use, and Tvs are tucked into unused spaces on large, drop-down, ceiling-mounted screens.

Digital Home Technology Integration (DHTI) is the concept of integrating computer systems into the modern home or office. DHTI links all of your home’s electrical, security and utility systems, and delivers Internet and audio/visual data to the network.

“Smart toilets” with LED screens warm your feet and adjust seat height.

Custom cabinetry in kitchens conceal the refrigerator, dishwasher, warming oven, trash drawer and spice racks, making for functional, beautiful spaces.

Touch-activated faucets, cabinetry and lighting are now available. Some faucets even have LED lights that change color with the temperature. Red for hot. Green for warm. Blue for cold. The red flashes if the water is too hot, which is perfect for the little ones in the house, says Kelli Hudson at Ferguson Enterprises in McKinney.

While computer design systems like AutoCAD are used by professionals for drafting, modeling and architectural drawings, there are countless software apps for the DIY decorator to choose from.

Home projects are easier when they can be viewed in advance on a computer, preventing countless costly, time-consuming mistakes. Computerized solutions include:

  • Paint-buying guides that allow you to virtually see paint colors in your home (sherwin-williams.com/vizualizer); software from Behr, Benjamin Moore, etc.
  • Inspiration guides and room layout guides to assist in arranging your furniture (Ferguson.com, LuxeYard.com, floorplanner.com, smartdraw.com, hgtvsoftware.com)

As technology continues to modernize our way of living, it can also be overwhelming. Work with a design professional whose knowledge and expertise will save you time and money, while affording you the latest and greatest in technological advances.

 To read the full story with accompanying images, click here to visit the June 2012 issue of McKinney Magazine.

About the author: Mary Rink is owner of The Decorating Rink, which offers interior redesign and home staging services in McKinney.