We sit down with Lindy Kulpa from Melbourne-based interior design practice, Hero Creative, to find out how smart home technology impacts upon her work.
Hero Creative began life over 30 years ago. I first teamed up with my husband, a builder, on a renovation for our own house in Melbourne. From there, we began working on homes together for friends and, as word spread, my business with private clients grew and grew. I specialise in luxury home interiors, although on occasion that extends into hospitality with projects, such as the Bucci Restaurant & Bar in Fortitude Valley, near Melbourne.
Technology in luxury homes is a given these days. Whether that’s automated blinds, controlled lighting, audio-visual, security, data networks, or heating and cooling. The questions are “how much do clients have, how good does it look, and how easy is it to control?”
I view smart home technology as a total nuisance. And, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that!
Its impact on our designs can be really painful.
However, we need to think about the technology early, so that we can take these effects into account and deal with them. For example, if a TV is recessed into a wall above a Jetmaster fireplace that can change the flue position. It’s also important to think about the aesthetic of the technology, its elegance within your design and not just the function. That’s easier to address at an early stage on a project.
Working with trusted smart home contractors who understand what you and the client are looking for, and who can recognise how what they deliver fits with the project’s budget, is really important.
One of the other challenges we face is the pace of change in technology. We and our clients want to be sure that what gets put into the house won’t be out of date in five or even ten years’ time. Contractors who get that and can work with designers to deliver that for their clients will be in a great place.
There are definitely more opportunities for designers and smart home contractors to work more closely together in luxury homes and in areas like assisted living. Talking to each other and understanding each other will certainly help get over that – that’s the kind of partnership I believe in, and so, I’m sure, do the vast majority of other architects and designers.