Bettering the Home: Joe Whitaker On Top “Techorating” Trends for 2019

By Danielle Karr | Posted January 3, 2019

A Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) board member and an active member in the smart tech community, Joe Whitaker is a well-known innovator in the home technology business. He is also known for his insight into upcoming trends in home design, and he shared with us that the big trend in 2019 is all about having more than a stunning home. It’s about having a home that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So we sat down with Joe to find out more about his vision for the 2019 connected home and what are now the must-haves for home technology.

What are some home interior design trends you believe will be popular in 2019?
A big trend I see coming is with tuned lighting. Lighting is no longer being seen as a utility in the home; rather it is being seen as an accent enhancement. Whether it be for mood, setting, or visual prioritization, lighting can make all the difference for how someone feels in the space. I particularly see this happening in bathrooms—light tuning is critical to creating a space that the homeowner looks and feels good in. Lighting properly adjusted to things like skin tone, natural lighting in the bathroom, and colors in the space can enhance the mood of the homeowner and the improve the overall experience. You can achieve the look by selecting a lighting brand that offers this feature. Technology is now allowing us to look at lighting as more than a utility, and I’ve been seeing more and more homeowners and designers interested in color and temperature options for lighting design in addition to placement.

Motorized window treatments have also been picking up in popularity. Motorized double-roller draperies are becoming more popular, where one is more of an accent and the other is more light control, and I see the trend reaching new-time popularity next year in living rooms and bedrooms because of the convenience and design options they now offer. Designers can pick a few different fabrics and look into the way they bring color and diffuse light in the room without worrying about accessibility issues and how a homeowner will need to adjust them.

Are there any trends you see happening in smart home technology?
A general smart home technology trend I see getting more popular in 2019 is the step away from single-use technology experiences in the home. Homeowners more and more are wanting to save time, and while they purchased single-use smart home devices in the past, people are getting tired of the repetitive string of tasks that comes with them. Now, whole-home technology is allowing homeowners to press a single button or give a simple voice command that triggers a series of automation actions. A big place I’ve been seeing this is in the kitchen: homeowners are now setting “Cooking” or “Entertaining” control options that automate everything from lighting to music to security to temperature all at once, saving people time and effort while giving them the lifestyle experiences they want from technology. Single smart home devices are no longer impressive; we are now all about maximizing the utilization of our space through orchestrated home technology.

Who can best help homeowners with any new home design trends?
Interior designers are the first people I’d point to. If you don’t know a good one, reach out to an interior design association for a referral in your area or find a home technology professional you want to work with in your area and ask them. Likely, your home technology professional will know a great interior designer they can recommend. It is crucial to find a designer who understands how technology and design affect the overall flow of the home. While an interior designer will bring in a home technology professional, plumber, appliance expert, etc. when creating a space, they also need to understand the bigger orchestration of all these pieces and how to create a complete experience.