Check out these gadgets for the home, all designed to save precious minutes and improve our busy lives.
Sonos smart speaker system
You know that moment at 2am when you have to have Dancing Queen pumping out in every room, from basement to bathroom? Sonos’s wireless speakers allow you to do this or play different music in different rooms, turning the entire house into a party space. Sonos supports multiple music services, such as Spotify, Amazon Prime Audio, TuneIn Radio or Apple Music. Speakers from £169.
This internet-connected high-definition security camera enables you to see your home away from home. Set it up to your wifi in moments and receive alerts if any motion or sound is detected. It can also double up as a baby monitor. Nest offers a cloud security service, giving unlimited storage and the ability to review footage anywhere. £159.
KitchenAid Cook Processor
A brilliant new machine that boils, fries, stews, steams and purees without a sound. “It’s not just a prep tool,” stresses Rita Dewan, Brand Director at stockist Lords at Home: “It can make jam, bread dough, soup, risotto, sauces or cookies. If you love good food but have no time, this is the gadget for you.” 4.5L capacity, £869 in four colours.
Lutron blackout blinds
Lutron’s special blackout fabric eliminates all daylight to provide the perfect sleeping environment for children. Smartphone connectivity enables the homeowner to adjust blind height or automate opening/ closing so kids can wake up to the morning sun. From £2,500.
Westins Stratus 360 ceiling extractor
This new product does not require a ventilation route to the ceiling extractor unit itself, making extraction more flexible within the kitchen. The air is recirculated and purified in the extractor’s system – perhaps they hould consider doing one for teenage boys’ rooms?
Philips Hue personal wireless lighting
This is a DIY smart lighting system that connects to the internet and your smartphone through a hub. It can wake you up, link to an iPhone app and create mood lighting which you can control from anywhere, including outside the home. The fun bit is syncing lights with music, TV or games. Kits start from £150.
Yale Digital Door Viewer
Check out who’s calling before you open the door with live images on an LCD screen. Sam Thatcher at stockist SDS says, “People prefer this design as it’s more streamlined and less bulky than other models.” Fitting is simple and the device can be positioned at a lower level for little ones. Framed in satin chrome. £66.23.
Quooker boiling-water tap
Perfect for blanching vegetables, boiling eggs and making cups of tea, this boilingwater tap renders the kettle redundant and “keeps work surfaces clear and tidy”, says Grace Stonehouse at Roundhouse. “The Quooker tap is the best on the market – it’s the only one that gives you 100°C water and its Fusion model gives you hot, cold and boiling water all in one unit,” enthuses Jolanta Harradine at Eclectic Interiors.
Large, brushedsteel, grubby-handproof bins that close in slow motion and accommodate a large family’s rubbish. The 50L version is the gold standard in bins at £130. A 44L version, £125, is part bin and part recycling. “If you want top quality, these are both best sellers,” says Rita at Lords.
This movie server collects every film you own into a single place. The player can play and store all your DVDs and Blu-ray discs while its online movie store offers films in HD quality to purchase. A special remote recognises when the system is being used by a child and removes all films above U or PG rating. From £3,000.
Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor
A keychain-sized occupancy sensor for the entire family. Connected to a SmartThings smart home hub, the sensor gets detected by the hub when the holder walks into the house. It can notify parents when children come back from the school and can even be programmed to turn on lights. £199.