We recently asked Trading Spaces designer and HGTV's Design Star judge, Vern Yip, for 5 of his personal tips for styling a room with the specific goal of integrating technology without ruining the decor. Sometimes easier said than done, but as a Facebook(he's currently judging a Windows Tech Makeover Contest) and Flipcam user who operates his digital life from a Sony VAIO Laptop + Windows 7 mobile workstation, Vern professes he's all about merging technology all throughout his life, but never at the cost of a beautiful place to call home. Check out his 5 Tech Design Style Tips from this celeb design star below…
An example of one of Vern's home office makeovers for his show, Deserving Design.
Vern's Style Tips for Tech
- Integrating Cost Efficient Home Offices
- De-clutter and Edit
- Invest in One or Two Statement Pieces
- Accent with Color
- Re-Evaluate and Move Around Artwork
- De-clutter and Edit
Integrating Cost Efficient Home Offices: The home office is no longer an optional room in most people's homes. More and more people are telecommuting, running primary or secondary businesses in their homes, or heavily utilizing technology to correspond with family, friends, schools, and neighborhoods.
For those who don't have the space, or don't want to dedicate the space for a home office, consider updated technology that will visually integrate into almost any room of your home. The Samsung Notebook 9, for example, is ultra-thin without giving up cutting edge technology. It's made of Duralumin, which is actually aircraft material, and is sleek enough to rest on any coffee table, dining table, or desk. Using an entirely different approach, the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is an ultra-light and powerful laptop sporting a leather-bound look that fits right in with warmer environments. It can sit on a nightstand in the bedroom or end table in a family room, blending right in with the other books stacked beside it. With the right technology, you can have a home office in virtually any room in your home and reduce the need for a big and bulky desk and copious amounts of filing cabinets.
De-clutter and Edit: Make it a goal this summer to freshen up your rooms by de-cluttering them. We often accrue so many things over the course of a year or several years that we begin to intrude on our visual space. Having the ability to have some visual space around you is a real luxury and editing is completely free! Instead of having three or four smaller decorative items on an end table or console, invest in one larger, singular accent piece that makes a statement! De-cluttering is a powerful tool for areas like the kitchen where the goal is often freeing up space and keeping surfaces clean and manageable.
The role of technology should not be overlooked here. Computers like the HP TouchSmart 600 showcase visually sleek technology with powerful graphics with added features integrated like Blu-Ray (eliminating one less device for movie viewing). The mega-tilt screen even makes it easy to fold down for following or creating recipes…making it easier to organize paperwork and allowing you to stop purchasing space hogging cookbooks. Also consider investing in technology that does more than one function such as a fax/printer/scanner/copier, to save space and save on wires creating visual clutter.
Invest in One or Two Statement Pieces: For those who like to change up their rooms a bit, having one large accent to rotate in and out with the seasons is a lot easier to manage then changing out a bunch of smaller items and it really can be less expensive to buy one larger accent or art piece that makes a huge impact than to purchase many smaller ones that really don't say a lot.
Accent with Color: Color is one of your most powerful tools to express your personality and it can be utilized in some surprisingly inexpensive ways for dramatic transformations. Everyone knows that painting a room gives you that instant bang for your buck impact and not being afraid of tapping into your inner DIY is a great way to get any room ready for the summer season - or any season! Stripes are a big design trend this year so you can even try your hand at painting horizontal or vertical stripes in a room. Horizontal is best for narrow rooms that would like to seem wider and vertical is better for ceiling-challenged rooms that want to seem taller. If painting a room just seems too daunting, approach tackling color through accents by changing up throw pillows, throws, bedding, and even lamp shades. Lamp shades are one of the easiest and best ways to visually bring together a disparate group of lamps and freshen up the look of a room. Linen shades in natural tones add casual summertime flair while silk shades can add a real air of formality and polish.
Re-Evaluate and Move Around Artwork: To reinvigorate rooms, moving artwork from one room to the next or even within one room can be an easy and inexpensive way to regain appreciation for what hangs on our walls. If there is a little extra money in the budget, consider re-framing, this can reinvigorate and refresh the art that you already own.
Think of the printer as your personal art studio. The printer is a fantastic way to create style elements in your home. You can frame designs and photos you have printed to create a personal art wall. Use a photo editing tool like Windows Live Photo Gallery (a totally free photo app included with Windows 7) to edit your images and manipulate the colors and size of your photos. Turn a colorful family portrait into a piece of black and white art. Turn up the color on an image to have it really pop and then put it in a colorful frame! Take multiple photos from a family vacation and put them into frames of various sizes to create a family gallery. Change these photos out often to keep things fresh.