October 17, 2017
Smart living is not about having the newest gizmos and gadgets to keep up with latest trends; it’s about incorporating lifestyle-enhancing technology that encourages healthy habits and helps your family achieve the quality of life you envision.
The best Smart Home technology can help your family to stay connected with each other on the go, lessen the environmental impact of your daily life, save you money by decreasing waste due to food gone bad or temperature control when there is no one home to cool, and keep your life seamlessly connected and convenient.
The options to consider when planning out your Smart Home are near limitless. To help you simplify the choices and create a game plan that includes the most essential and effective solutions, we have examined the top options, and created brief descriptions of the features and benefits that make these our favorite choices.
These are the top seven lifestyle-enhancers we recommend considering for your new kitchen design, to achieve your household goals.
The Amazon Echo provides much more than just music. In fact, Alexa – the Echo’s “nickname” wake word – is a perfect kitchen companion. Beyond playing your favorite music streaming service, such as Pandora, Spotify, or Amazon Prime Music, Alexa can maintain your grocery list, set timers, convert measurements, give nutrition information, and even read recipes aloud to you. The features Alexa is capable of offering are near endless; you’ll be able to find just the right set of Echo “skills” to complement your kitchen needs. You can also move beyond the apps offered within the device and begin connecting your kitchen technologies, by incorporating Amazon’s Smart Switch with smaller electronics, such as coffee makers and slow-cookers, to control these appliances via your voice or even the Amazon Echo app, when you’re not in the room.
A few of the leading kitchen appliance brands, including LG and GE, have even begun incorporating Alexa’s capabilities or the program technology itself into their latest advances. This leads to our next suggestion.
LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator
In 2017, LG launched its revolutionary Smart InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator. The refrigerator features a large 29” touchscreen on the upper right door, which can turn translucent with a double tap, allowing you to peak into your fridge without letting out any cold air. This InstaView screen offers full Alexa integration, so you can use the voice controls and technology exactly as you can with the Amazon Echo device. This refrigerator is offered in Side-by-Side, French 3-Door and 4-Door models, which include a Door-in-Door feature, allowing you to open a layer of the door giving access to more frequent choices, such as beverages, while keeping the bulk of the cold air sealed in, behind an additional door. Not only will this keep your food fresh longer, but it will also save you money on your energy bills. From technology to innovation, the LG Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator provides all the features needed to bring convenience and ease to your kitchen.
This small device attaches to any garbage can, so that as you toss that empty bottle of all-purpose cleaner or those orange peels, you can add the item to your shopping list, in one easy step. GeniCan works by scanning the barcode of your discarded item. For items with no barcode, hold your hand in front of the scanner briefly, then answer the prompt by saying aloud what item to add to your shopping list. Your list will be visible from any device, so you and anyone else who shops for the household can view the list anytime, anyplace. For even greater convenience, connect individual items with Amazon Dash Replenishment, to automatically reorder depleted stocks.
The Hydropoint 360 monitors your home’s plumbing system, via a device attached to the cold water line, under the kitchen sink. This system is able to read the water usage of each fixture or appliance, and then apply machine learning algorithms to the information, resulting in invaluable information regarding your water system, such as areas of waste, leaky pipes, potential clogs, and more. While this device may seem less glamorous than other Smart Home innovations, the impact is significant, as Hydropoint 360’s ongoing report can make your water usage more efficient, saving you money and improving your household’s environmental impact.
3rd Gen Nest Learning Thermostat
The newest version of the Nest thermometer includes additional ring appearance options (white, black, and copper now join the original stainless steel ring), a larger and sharper display that is motion-activated and visible from across the room, and even greater energy saving capabilities. Nest is the first thermostat to receive Energy Star certification, saving owners an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills. This amazing thermostat automatically adapts to your lifestyle after the first week of use, learning when you like it cooler and warmer and when you are away from the house.
Moen MotionSense Faucet
MotionSense faucets offer hands-free faucet convenience, so water is there when you need it, even if your hands are full or dirty. Touch free technology is a life-saver when you have a handful of berries you’re trying to rinse without dropping, or when you just sliced up a chicken breast and that bacteria is ready to jump from your hands onto any surface you touch. Moen has also made advancements in other faucet features, including “More force. Less splash.” This enhancement brings improved pressure and force, so your dishes are easier to clean, without soaking you in the process. Moen’s new Spot Resist™ finish is a brilliant faucet finish that offers a pleasing sheen, but does not hold onto fingerprints. Lastly, the new Microban technology helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria on your faucet, and is available in a number of finishes.
When it comes to kitchen design, the countertops are the style-setter for the whole space. For the homeowner looking for industry-leading Smart Home convenience and innovation, Neolith Sintered Compact Surface is the countertop we recommend. Neolith surfaces are the result of years of research and innovation by parent company, TheSize. The Sintering Technology developed by TheSize subjects 100% natural materials to very high pressures and temperatures, creating unprecedented physical and mechanical features. The result is a natural surface that is stronger than nearly any other option on the market today.
Neolith surfaces are scratch-resistant, temperature-resistant, and UV-resistant, so they can stand up to sharp objects, acids, heat, freezing cold, and direct sunlight without damage or discoloration. They are also completely nonporous, so any spills won’t be absorbed into the surface to cause cracks, swelling, or staining. Clearly, this is a countertop surface ready for anything.
One of the amazing features of Neolith surfaces is the beautiful and varied design options. These designs have won multiple awards for their combination of beauty and durability. Neolith’s Classtone and Timber Collections offer designs inspired by some of the most sought-after materials, such as white marble and natural wood, which couldn’t otherwise be used for certain applications, due to the softness of the stone or the porosity of the wood.
The light and slim nature of the Neolith surface opens it to a variety of applications, from countertops to backsplashes to floors and shelving and more. In fact, since this countertop is nonporous and extraordinarily durable, there’s no need for cutting boards or trivets to clutter up your space – scratch marks and bacteria absorption will be a thing of the past. Simply wipe the surface with an antibacterial cleanser to get rid of any germs, or use your preferred cleanser, since Neolith can stand up to the harshest chemicals as well.
Another benefit of Neolith is the option of using the material for a variety of applications. For instance, instead of searching far and wide for the right sink to complement your kitchen, consider talking to your fabricator about building a custom sink out of the same sintered compact surface, for a cohesive and unexpected design that exudes luxury. The compact nature of Neolith surfaces enables you to make the most of your space. Rather than requiring a thick slab of stone for your countertops, Neolith’s 12mm sheets can be eased and honed for a thin, minimalistic profile that opens more space in the kitchen. For vertical applications such as backsplashes, the 3mm sheets are even less intrusive onto your counter space.
Neolith is also an environmentally friendly choice, for a more sustainable lifestyle. The surfaces are 100% natural and resin-free as well as 100% recyclable. In fact, up to 52% of any Neolith board is comprised of recycled raw materials. They don’t release any harmful substances into the air and they can be cleaned with natural cleansers, such as vinegar, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals in the kitchen. And from a transportation perspective, the thinness and lighter weight of Neolith requires fewer resources to ship and move.
The goal of a Smart Home is to foster a fluid, sustainable, and simplified lifestyle for your family. From your own personal assistant equivalent to touch-free faucets, to extraordinarily durable and maintenance-free countertops, we hope our suggestions for top-priority enhancements to consider when you remodel your kitchen help you make great decisions as you design your Smart Home.
View our full inventory of Residential Designs for Neolith Sintered Compact Surfaces. Call your local MARVA Showroom to get in touch with your local MARVA representative, if you have any questions.
Other Sources for Inspiration
- Check out our Pinterest for style ideas.
- Follow us on Facebook to keep up with everything MARVA has to offer.
- Find design inspiration in our Houzz Ideabooks.
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