Magazine article Sunset

Get Smart: For Sunset's Latest Project, We Designed a Connected Home for the Future-A Place Where Brains Meet Beauty

Magazine article Sunset

Get Smart: For Sunset's Latest Project, We Designed a Connected Home for the Future-A Place Where Brains Meet Beauty

Article excerpt

It's a tradition at Sunset's annual Celebration Weekend for our editors to show off the latest in design. But this year, we decided to up the ante and transform a 1900s cottage on our Cornerstone Sonoma campus into a high-style, high-tech space. We tapped a roster of talents to make it happen: Designers Jessica McCarthy and Emily Gaydon from Decorist, a virtual decorating service, oversaw the interior, sourcing pieces from online home-goods company The Mine. Thumbtack, a site that connects users with local home-improvement pros, helped us with projects ranging from painting to remodeling the kitchen. And when the paint was dry, in came Mosaic, a San Francisco start-up that showed us how to get all our smart home gadgets to talk to one another for a seamless experience. The result is a place that says "welcome home" in 21st-century style.


To make the narrow living room feel as expansive as possible, McCarthy went with a neutral palette and chose small-scale furnishings. Because strong patterns would be overwhelming, the designer instead created visual interest through a mix of textures, including grasscloth wallpaper, a leather chair, linen curtains, and throw pillows in a variety of fabrics. A custom built-in cabinet (page 48) maximizes storage and display space on a tricky side of the room while drawing its navy hue from the kitchen.


* Look, no keys! The August Smart Lock ($229; lets you unlock your door and generate entry codes for guests via a smartphone.

* The Harmony Hub ($100; syncs various devices so they work together.

* Paired with the Harmony Hub, the Amazon Echo Dot ($50; amazon. com) allows you to voice-control other smart tech in your home.

* App-controlled Sonos speakers (Sonos Play:1 speaker, $ 199; sonos. com) soup up existing entertainment systems.

* The TCL 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV (from $330; amazon. com) brings together streaming services, cable, and gaming.


McCarthy opened up the kitchen by swapping out the upper cabinets for white shelves against counter-to-ceiling subway tile. She brought warmth to the space through butcher-block countertops; a rust-colored rug; and wood, brass, cork, and copper accessories. The porcelain farmhouse sink and blue cabinets reference traditional country style.


* The Samsung Family Hub Fridge (from $4,599 for 4-Door Flex; has a built-in screen to show shopping lists and family members' schedules, along with playing music.

* You can preheat the oven from your smartphone with the Samsung Slide-In Gas Flex Duo Range ($3,299;; a Wall Mount Hood ($1,199; syncs with the burners.

* The June Oven ($1,495; juneoven. com) can identify what's cooking and adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.

* With just a tap, on goes the Delta Faucet Trinsic with [Touch.sub.2]O Technology ($602; delta


With a floral cream-and-gold wallpaper as their starting point, the designers created a sleeping space with a decidedly feminine bent. The pale tones throughout the room, as well as touches of rattan, play off the pattern on the walls. Minimal planter-style side tables and wall-mounted brass sconces free up floor space in the tiny room, while a shapely, clear glass pendant adds a little drama without adding visual clutter. …

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