When The New Meets The Old: Modern Technology In Vintage Environments

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A recent survey concluded that around 57% of American consumers are interested in vintage furniture and decor elements, a fact that is supported by just about every episode of every TV show that airs on HGTV. The style — perceived as elegant, romantic, and offering an air of antiquity that is reminiscent of a classier era — has become increasingly popular as the younger generations have turned to flea markets and thrift shops to find their furniture.

However, not all vintage items are created equal: you definitely wouldn’t introduce, say, a wood-paneled air conditioning unit into your home. Generally, the vintage style includes trends from between the last 20 to 100 years, so the horrors of the ’70s do technically count. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you wouldn’t want to bring in a hulking piece of high quality, 2018-designed-and-manufactured technological marvel that cools your home but destroys its aesthetic.

The tech of the 21st Century has come a long way in functionality and design, but if you’re looking to combine two somewhat opposing ideals, you have to think outside the box. Or maybe, perhaps more accurately, deep, deep, inside the box.

That’s right, modern day appliances can be hidden from sight through the use of clever design tactics. From dishwasher and refrigerator doors designed to look like cabinetry to large cabinets (to hold bigger appliances like blenders or toaster ovens) designed to look like pull drawers, interior decorators are working harder than ever to play “hide the tech”. This allows them to incorporate “smart” technology while keeping the aesthetic seamless.

When it comes to the most important piece of technology of all (at least, if you live somewhere where the heat becomes utterly unbearable in the summertime), there are ways to disguise that clunky air conditioning unit. Wood provides an excellent and beautiful distraction if you have an outdoor unit; from latticework to solid boards, the stains and patterns are truly endless — you can even save some money and do the work yourself! Just remember to keep the machine accessible so professionals can perform maintenance on it (around 42% of homeowners have this done routinely). The last thing you want is a home with no A/C in the middle of a sweltering heatwave.

An authentic, vintage home is yours for the taking if you’re committed to keeping your technological creature comforts tucked safely away in a dark cabinet or underneath some elegantly stained woodwork.

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