Tech Integration Ideas for Dining Rooms

With the right technology, every mealtime can feel like a special event.

Dinner may be your time to sit down with the family, share stories about your day and reconnect over a glass of win and a forkful of pasta. That doesn’t mean a little integrated home technology can’t make it better.

Here we take a plain dining room and offer suggestions on what products or system solutions to add.

1. Meals with Music
Positioned above the table, flush-mounted speakers in the ceiling can deliver music to the dining area. Round ones resemble recessed light fixtures; square ones give off a contemporary vibe. With either style, you’ll need to add a whole-house music system that can feed songs and playlists from your stereo system or music server to the speakers. OR If you have some spare space on furniture, add a small Bluetooth or AirPlay speaker to stream tunes.

2. Mood Lighting
A dimmer switch can adjust the intensity of the lights to suit the occasion—bright for family dinners or soft for just you and the spouse. OR Take it to the next level by tying the dimmer (as well as the other dimmers in your house) to a lighting control system. This will allow you to engage specially programmed lighting scenes by pressing a button on your smartphone, tablet or local keypad.

To really impress your guests, ask your custom electronics (CE) pro to install a scene setting button underneath the table by your seat.

3. Enjoy the Scenery—or Not
If you find yourself battling the glare of the sun during meals, consider having motorized shades installed on the windows. These can be operated via the same smartphone or tablet that controls the lights and music. OR Have the shades raise and lower automatically based on the position on the sun, when programmed into a control system.

4. Dinner and a Movie
Depending on the layout of your eating area, an articulating wall mount for your flat-panel TV can be a wise addition. Once your TV is attached to it, the mount can be swiveled to face the table while you’re eating dinner, then toward the kitchen while you’re cleaning up. OR Hang a TV on the wall that can be covered with retractable artwork. A touch of a button reveals the TV. OR Your TV can pose as a mirror when it’s off, then shine clearly through the glass when it’s on.

Have you done anything special with your dining room? What’s most important to you, music or lighting? Video or views of the backyard?

More great ideas for your home:
Make Your Kitchen Appliances Disappear
Inside HGTV’s 2013 Smart Home
Make Your Kitchen the Center of Your Connected Home
Home Control Solutions Cater to Dining Rooms


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