SMART TECHNOLOGY IN THE HOME: Explore the possibilities . . .

Technology is changing fast, both outside and inside the home. With a plethora of possibilities, it can feel a bit overwhelming.

Plus if you’ve lived in your home for a while, you’re likely used to how things work. You may not be ready to adopt all of this technology (and you don’t have to). But a change in your home — whether it’s a new home or a revamp — will inevitably make you consider:

Should I include smart technology in my home? What can smart technology do to make my life easier and more convenient?

Well today, we’re going to explore the possibilities . . .

At Karen Lee Johnson Interiors, we don’t want smart technology to scare you off; we love helping clients navigate the world of home technology with clarity and confidence. In fact, during our design projects, we guide you through your decisions — so you don’t have to experience even a moment of overwhelm!

One of the goals of our design services is to help clients select and integrate smart technology that could give their lives more convenience, and make them more enjoyable. So, breathe easy; let’s dive into some possibilities in different areas of your home…

Kitchen Appliances

From water-saving dishwashers and refrigerators that can manage food inventory and even prevent spoilage, to ranges that have built-in cooking settings and safety measures, kitchen appliances are doing a lot to support sustainability and make lives easier.

Designer Refrigerator Drawers from Sub Zero come WI-FI Enabled for optimum temperature control along with the flexibility in location for refrigeration; photo courtesy of SUBZERO

Bathrooms & Plumbing fixtures

From hands-free, self-cleaning toilets, and hands-free faucets (which stay cleaner), to built-in aromatherapy and one-touch shower temperature controls, you can truly turn your bathroom into a spa that you get to visit everyday.

The Neorest 750H™ dual flush toilet does everything but bring you the paper; self-cleaning, heated seat and cleansing sprays and dryer, deodorizer, automatic open & close; photo courtesy of TOTO

Set your personalized showering experience with the Anthem™ digital control that allows up to six shower outlets in an easy-to-read touch screen; ;photo courtesy of KOHLER

Laundry Appliances

Laundry appliances are doing just about everything except folding the laundry for you. (But who knows what tomorrow will bring!) And to add flexibility to where it can go, many of today’s dryers don’t need to be ducted anywhere because they use a heat pump.

The Miele WXR860 WCS washer offers automatic detergent dispensing and a Softsteam™ cycle making ironing simple.

The Miele TXR860WP Eco & Steam T1 dryer features energy saving heat-pump technology and Steamfinish™ Both models are WIFI-enabled MIELE@home™ for convenient laundry scheduling; photos courtesy of Miele

Window Treatments

If you’re used to opening and closing blinds — and dusting them — you’ll be delighted to discover that now window treatments can open, close and adjust based on your preferences through a home automation remote or an app on your mobile phone.. Not only that — many also repel dust. Want window treatments that are open halfway in the morning, close while you’re out during the day to preserve your furnishings, and then open with a solar shade in the evening? It’s all possible, just set it and forget it! – one less hassle in your life.

Window shades are set to a schedule for operation through home automation systems such as the PowerView™ Automation system by Hunter Douglas. Photo courtesy of HUNTER DOUGLAS.


Sure, a simple chair does the job — but what else does it do? Furnishings throughout your home can have more than one purpose, aiding convenience, minimizing wires, and creating a more sleek aesthetic. From custom-temperature, custom-firm mattresses, to tables that contain speakers, to couches that contain USB chargers, home furnishings aren’t what they used to be.


Have you noticed how much lighting can affect the mood in a room? Smart lighting is here to maximize life’s special moments. You can have lighting that creates the perfect ambience and light temperature based on the time of day — and never have to touch a thing. Or you can set a scene in your home, and all the lights adjust accordingly. This certainly makes the standard on/off switch look a bit basic.

To add a little more techiness to your tech, most all of these smart technologies can also be controlled by your phone.

At KLJI, we can help you determine which smart technology is a smart idea for your home.

Technology is supposed to make your life easier, yes. 

However, we find this is only true when the technology is user-friendly, high-quality, hassle-free, and suited to your actual lifestyle and needs.

During our uniquely-personalized design process, we first talk about your life, your needs and your wants — and then we can talk about what products may be beneficial to you. Our recommendations are all about who you are, how you live, and how you envision your future!

Want to explore what makes your life easier and more enjoyable? With KLJI, there’s no need to be intimidated! We understand your why, and then we envision the possibilities — ensuring that the smart technology in your home supports your life, and brings you joy and ease.

Karen Lee Johnson, interior designer in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Hi, I’m Karen!

I’m the Founder/Creative Director of Karen Lee Johnson Interiors, a residential design firm working with clients seeking a professional, innovative and collaborative approach to design. We partner with you to creatively and meticulously translate your dreams and visions into reality. Learn more about our services or book a call to tell us about your project!

How to Work Successfully with your Spouse/Partner on a Building or Remodeling Project Free Guide

Discover how to work successfully with your spouse/ partner on planning a building or remodeling project with our FREE guide!

Interested in talking to us about interior design for your residential project?