High-Tech and Eco-Friendly Upgrades for a “Smart” Home

A house is more than four walls and roof. From the electricity to the plumbing to all the creature comforts—a home is a complex piece of machinery worthy of some intelligent design. So forget the smart phone (okay, at least just put it down for a second) and start thinking about a smart home! Here are some of our favorite upgrades and gadgets for a home that works smarter, not harder. 


No-Fuss “Wallpaper” 

Patterned paint rollers provide the rich look of wallpaper, without the fuss. This ingenious decorating gadget is more of a low-fi solution, but it’s also low-cost, low-risk and guaranteed to produce high-end results! $37, NotWallpaper


Durable Quartz 

Cambria’s Torquay Quartz combines old-world charm with modern durability for a quartz surface that looks like marble, but wears like iron—and what could be smarter than that? Pricing varies, Cambria


App-Controlled Window Treatments 

The future is looking bright with automated window treatments controlled by the Platinum App. Open and close your shades with a swipe of your mobile device, or set them to raise and lower automatically when the clock strikes midnight (or anytime you choose). Prices vary by product and specifications, Hunter Douglas 



Hands-Free Faucet 

It’s 2015—at the very least, your home should have the same modern conveniences as a public restroom. A touchless kitchen faucet keeps your chicken fingers from germinating salmonella and makes cleaning up a snap. $689, Kohler 


Water-Conserving Shower Head 

The Evolve Water Lily showerhead takes low-flow a step further with a two-pronged approach to conserving water, and a three-pronged approach to luxuriating in it. Three spray patterns, including a rain setting, and a mechanism that inhibits spray until the water reaches a comfortable temperature, mean you and your conscience can stay squeaky clean. $70, Evolve Showerheads



Automated Lighting

No need to clap on and off—GE’s Link bulbs let you light up your home in peace. The bulbs work in tandem with the Wink app, allowing for custom settings, remote commands and automated illumination. Link bulbs, $15-25 each, Home Depot; Wink Hub, $50, Home Depot



Remote Temperature Control 

The Nest Thermostat is part stalker (all the best appliances are), part gracious hostess. It learns your routine, and then programs itself according to your temperature preferences; you can also control it remotely with your phone—so your home is always where the heat is. $250, Nest



Humidity Monitor 

Give your home x-ray vision with Wally. The system uses special sensors hidden throughout your house to monitor humidity and temperature levels, and immediately alerts you to any leaks or mold issues. $300, Wally



Self-Adjusting Sprinklers 

A sprinkler system with a mind of its own means never having to say you’re soggy (couldn’t resist). The Skydrop sprinkler controller is like a brain for your existing sprinkler system. It keeps tabs on the weather and automatically adjusts the watering schedule accordingly. $300, Skydrop 



Bluetooth Locking System 

No more jangling like a janitor! Now you can unlock your door with the touch of a finger, like a magician. Kevo is a Bluetooth locking system that allows you to control your deadbolt with an encrypted ekey that lives on your phone or key fob. $220, Lowes


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