In episode 5 of Genius Home, our hosts Ariana Escalante and Caleb Denison take us on a tour of a hillside hangout in the heart of Los Angeles’ Silver Lake area — and this one’s a bit different from the previous homes we’ve explored in this series. Rather than showcasing its smarts with an array of automations, this home’s genius lies in its smart design features and subtle technological touches that purposefully don’t take center stage.
The best example of this is arguably the kitchen. You won’t find any newfangled automated appliances here that invite you to control them with smartphone applications. Instead, it’s merely equipped with top-of-the-line Miele appliances that focus on what’s important: Cooking food. To that end, the stove features both induction and gas cooktops, which affords the inhabitants a high degree of versatility in how they prepare food. This is clearly a kitchen designed by someone who cooks a lot.
Venture out beyond the dining room and you’ll find even more subtle technological touches. Take the home theater room for example. Much like other theaters we’ve seen, this one uses a projector to beam a huge, high-definition image onto the wall — but it also takes things a step further. Instead of beaming light onto the usual white backdrop, this theater projects images onto a wall coated with a special type of gray material that helps boost contrast and provide better image quality.
For another great example of unobtrusive tech, head out to the pool room. To create a swimming area that could be used year-round, the home’s designers built the pool inside an all-glass enclosure. This gives the residents the ability to control the climate no matter what the weather is like outside, but without losing the feeling of being outdoors.
Perhaps our favorite feature, though, is the abundance of greenery found throughout the home. No matter where you go, you’re only a few steps away from a lush, leafy plant. Most of these are equipped with automatic irrigation systems so that the owners don’t have to worry about watering them.
It almost makes you wonder — do our houses really need all these connected appliances, automatic lights, and sensors on every window and door? It seems that the smartest technologies of all are the ones that blend so seamlessly into the background that we don’t even notice they’re there.