These smart devices will feel at home in your minimalist living space

Thanks to the events of the past two or three years, people have become more conscious of how their homes can be expressions of their personalities as well as a way to set certain moods. Homeowners have started to pay closer attention to the designs of their homes, especially living rooms that act as a hub for families and visitors. Although there are countless design trends and styles, minimalism continues to be the most popular, especially because of how clean it looks by default. Appearances can sometimes be deceiving, though, and it might ironically be more difficult to pull off because of the choices you have to make to get that effect. A minimalist room doesn’t have to be barren, though, and it definitely doesn’t mean it has to be low-tech. To help get you started in upgrading your living room, here are a few gadgets and devices that will deliver a hi-tech lifestyle without clashing with your space’s minimalist aesthetics.

IKEA Dirigera Smart Home Hub

As the number of smart devices at home grows, the need to have them communicate well with each other also becomes more important. Smart home hubs are on their way to becoming essential pieces of any setup, and they will soon have to also be more conscious of how they look against their surroundings. The IKEA Dirigera not only communicates with almost all smart home devices and platforms in the market, but it also communicates well with the rest of your living room decor with its more refined and less conspicuous design.

Designer: IKEA

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

As the king of minimalist furniture and decor, you can never really go wrong with an IKEA. Compared to its predecessor, the IKEA Dirigera comes in a shorter form, almost resembling a low bowl. It still has the same white and gray dual-tone color scheme, but its stature makes it more discreet and more space efficient. Whether you prefer to place it inconspicuously on a shelf or put it near your Hi-Fi entertainment system, this central gateway to your smart home quietly stands as part of your minimalist decorations.

Google Pixel Tablet

Although it has confirmed that it will be launching its own tablet next year, Google is bucking the trend and giving the Pixel Tablet a different focus. Designed mostly to be a homebody, the tablet will behave as a smart home hub and video calling device when docked or a more portable entertainment slate that you can carry around inside the house. Sure, you can use it as a regular tablet as well for work or even games, but its mission is to keep you company at home and be the nexus of your Google-centric life.

Designer: Google

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

The Pixel Tablet is a good example of how minimalism can have different flavors as well. It might be less visually interesting compared to an iPad Pro, but its plain design is meant to make it blend better with your home decor. It is unassuming and almost nondescript so that your eyes are immediately drawn to its screen instead. That said, Google is pouring resources into special materials that will make the tablet’s body feel good in your hands, while the Charging Speaker Dock has the typical fabric wrapping common among smart speakers. As something that should be easily visible and accessible, the Pixel Tablet won’t make you feel ashamed about having a piece of tech become the virtual and perhaps literal center of your house.

Small Transparent Speaker

Next to smart bulbs, the smart speaker market is easy to get into because of their ubiquity and a wide variety of designs to choose from. Thanks to the Amazon Echo, most wireless speakers take on a cylindrical design or something close to it. Not all of these are a good fit for minimalist styles, though, especially those that look like miniature tanks or rubber capsules. Fortunately, there is also a good selection of fine-looking audio equipment, and the Small Transparent Speaker that we reviewed earlier this year is one of the bolder designs our eyes have feasted on.

Designer: Transparent

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Nothing is probably more minimal than naked speakers enclosed in a metal frame. A glass enclosure not only protects the delicate electronics inside but adds both visual appeal and class to a barebones piece of audio equipment. The Transparent Speaker’s unique charm is its simplicity and honesty, hiding no tricks up its sleeves to stand in between you and your listening experience. While some speakers stand in corners or hide below TVs, this is one that you’ll want to prominently and proudly put on display, even when you’re not using it.

IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame Speaker

If two heads are better than one, then furniture or devices that perform two or more functions will definitely be more desirable. Of course, those multiple functions need not be directly related, only that they can co-exist in the same body in a harmonious fashion. Using the principle of hiding in plain sight, the IKEA Symfonisk collaboration with Sonos offers a speaker that looks good by default because it is a speaker hiding in an art piece you will really want to hang on your wall.

Designer: IKEA

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Less of a picture frame and more like framed art, the IKEA Symfonisk challenges the preconceived notions of how speakers should look like. Blending technology and art in a simple yet ingenious way, the smart speaker brings your living room to life by letting sound emanate from locations you least expect. Although you can’t exactly change the art, the geometric patterns on contrasting black or white canvases are typical of minimalist decor, especially those that distill the colors of the world down to black and white.

LG Objet Collection Easel TV

Television sets have traditionally served the purpose of being an entertainment hub where families and friends would gather around and bond over shared interests. While they still function similarly, today’s TVs have started to change shape in order to avoid wasting space when not in use. Even the thinnest panel, however, will leave a black box in the middle of your wall, so some manufacturers have gotten a bit more creative in solving that problem. As part of its Object Collection, the LG Easel TV becomes an attractive art canvas that adds a little to any wall it leans on.

Designer: LG

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Unlike colorful artwork that could become a source of visual distraction, this TV, as its name implies, brings a more subdued space that uses pastel hues to blend or pop out from its backdrop when the TV is not in use. Even when the canvas is rolled up, a small part of the screen remains visible to show not only some information like the time but also to complement the room’s motif with your own choice of appropriate artwork. And since it’s not mounted to your wall, you can even change the LG Easel TV’s location to better match your ever-changing design tastes.

Samsung The Frame TV

While some modern TVs try to masquerade as artwork, Samsung The Frame TV becomes the artwork itself. Who says an unused TV has to be turned off (maybe your electricity bill does), especially when you can use it for other things? Whether you’re showing off family photos or boasting your familiarity with the masters, the Frame TV will always give your family and visitors something to talk about aside from the latest TV shows or news.

Designer: Samsung

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Rather than spending money on art or wall decorations that might change later on along with your interests and preferences, why not turn the TV into a dynamic and customizable digital canvas instead. With custom bezels that truly make it look like frame art, The Frame TV lets you pick and choose the art that matches your style, which may change depending on the day or mood. Or why settle for just one when you can go through different photos, bringing a pinch of anticipation and excitement to your living room.

NOMVDIC X300 Portable Project Speaker

Although some TVs have started to become more sophisticated in their appearance, some people have decided to just do away with them altogether. Choosing wall space and flexibility, these people have espoused projectors of all kinds to deliver their movie-watching fix when and where they want to. A lot of these home projectors come in large, bulky boxes, but the NOMVDIC X300 project and speaker sets itself apart not only with its dual functions but also with its rather distinctive appearance.

Designer: Leo of NOMVDIC

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

The old never really gets old and sometimes becomes new again. With the rise in interest in retro designs, the NOMVDIC X300’s vintage looks will charm its way into many people’s hearts. Looking like a transistor radio of old, the portable projector that carries its own speaker isn’t just a great fit for the home but also an attention-grabbing companion outdoors. It doesn’t hurt that the audio experience is tuned by Harman Kardon, so you won’t have to worry about that aspect of the 2-in-1 device.

LG Aero Air Purifier Side Table

Multi-functional furniture is becoming quite the fad these days, but there’s another way to go about upgrading your home life. Furniture that merges with electronics is starting to rise, even if it’s simply embedding a wireless charging coil on a part of its surface. Conversely, some consumer electronics are also trying to masquerade as works of art or pieces of furniture, like LG’s new air purifier that adds a tabletop so that it can be used in more ways than one. And yes, it can charge your phone, too.

Designer: LG

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Not all will be fans of LG’s color choices, but the idea of turning an air purifier into a piece of furniture is admittedly interesting. Since the air purifier has to stand in some part of the room anyway, why not give it another task it can easily accomplish as well. Whether it’s holding a book or a mug or charging your phone, the LG PuriCare Aero Furniture won’t be wasting space, especially when that space is at a premium.

Bissell air320 Max Smart Air Purifier

Air Purifiers have become hot items in the past two years or so, in no small thanks to a certain deadly virus that almost made the world grind to a halt. The large majority of these devices come in the form of large boxes or cans, which are admittedly the easiest to produce and probably the most efficient way to suck up air from all directions and blow it out again. Most of these look like your typical home appliance, but fortunately, some manufacturers have started getting better design sense, like Bissell’s air320 Max that looks stylish in any part of the room or with any kind of decor.

Designer: Bissell

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

The size and shape of a small suitcase, the air320 Max’s compact and flat body makes it easier to place it in the edges of the room where it won’t get in the way of foot traffic. Its white frame blends nicely with any kind of background or wall color, while the gray filter in front is made of fabric that goes in line with the design conventions of many smart home devices today, particularly smart speakers. In fact, this air purifier can easily be mistaken for a large speaker. The stubby wooden legs add a little charm to it, making it look more like a part of your furniture rather than some appliance.

Fiture Fitness Mirror

Personal health and fitness have become another widespread obsession lately, and people have started scrambling for ways to stay in shape, even at home. One can always just use whatever furniture and tools are available at hand, but a new breed of hi-tech devices and programs was born from this need to get guided training even without an instructor dropping by. Of all the new equipment that popped up recently, fitness mirrors like Fiture are perhaps the most novel and have the most potential to become part of your room’s decor.

Designer: Fiture

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

Having a sleek and stylish mirror always adds a special flavor to any room. One that functions as an advanced piece of technology definitely deserves mad props. You definitely wouldn’t have guessed that this tall apparatus was actually a display intended for exercise, especially since it doesn’t look like any piece of fitness equipment or device. It might be a bit pricey for now, especially with a subscription fee, but this could very well be the future of home fitness lessons.

LAYER Home Harmony Collection

Admittedly, this one might remain on the level of “concept,” but Layer Design’s collaboration with Deutsche Telekom gives us a preview of what is possible in the very near future. A roster of devices you might already be familiar with is given a facelift, transforming them into products that not only hide their technological underpinnings but also offer a calming atmosphere you wouldn’t associate with these kinds of devices.

Designer: Benjamin Hubert (LAYER Design)

Maximum Minimalist Appeal

It’s not hard to see how these designs will easily find their way into homes if they ever become available. A router that functions both as a table mirror and a minimalist display will definitely be a sight for sore eyes on desks or even shelves. A Wi-Fi mesh repeater in the form of a decorative wooden bowl can easily be placed inconspicuously anywhere, even on walls. It’s a delightful twist on the devices that have become part and parcel of every modern home, and hopefully, someone will take these designs or something similar to upgrade the aesthetics of these common smart devices.