There are so many ways tech can improve your life around your house, but sometimes you don’t want the look of a device to distract from the aesthetic of your home. We’re here to help you compromise: As tech evolves, so do options for technology to keep your home magazine-worthy. You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to create a home that’s cozy and reflects your style but is also up to date with the latest and greatest technology.
Whether you’re looking to add function with a smart speaker, display photos in a new and creative way or keep your office looking sleek, we’ve rounded up our picks for tech that will double as decor throughout your home.
Having a high-quality sound system throughout your home is the best way to experience music. Beyond that, smart speakers can offer loads of bonus features. They can be used to set timers, play music, control connected smart home devices and even work as intercoms throughout your home. They’re designed to look nice and blend in while adding function and accessibility. We’ve chosen some of our top picks for best speakers of 2021 that we think are not only impressive with their sound but will also look stunning around your home.
Nest Audio ($79.99, originally $99.99; bhphotovideo.com)
PHOTO: B&H Photo Video
The newest smart speaker from Google, the Nest Audio, provides high-quality sound and Google Assistant in a device that will truly sit pretty in your home. It’s available in five colorways: Sky, Sage, Sand, Chalk and Charcoal. We’re big fans of the color options to blend into your room’s color scheme, and the speaker itself packs a punch with clear and balanced audio.
Apple HomePod Mini ($99; bhphotovideo.com)
PHOTO: B&H Photo Video
Apple HomePod Mini
The HomePod Mini is one of Apple’s most affordable products, and we love the Mini for its size, sound quality and functionality within the home. The small orblike speaker won’t take up much space on a counter or nightstand, so it’s a great option if you’re working with limited space. You’ll have full access to Siri and her smarts, and in our testing we found Siri to be faster than ever. It’s a high-quality speaker at a super-affordable price.
4th-Gen Amazon Echo ($79.99, originally $99.99; amazon.com)
4th-Gen Amazon Echo
Amazon’s Echo has been around for a while now, but the 4th-generation Echo takes design to the forefront. The spherical speaker is available in Charcoal, Glacier White, Product Red and Twilight Blue. We’re stoked to see a few color options, as it lets you blend your Echo into your home atmosphere. Our testing discovered that the Echo provides a robust sound experience, plus all of the benefits of having Alexa at your beck and call.
4th-Gen Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition ($59.99; amazon.com)
4th-Gen Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition
If you want your child’s room to stay whimsical and fun but also want the functionality of a smart speaker, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is a great choice. The softball-sized speaker features a cute tiger design and smiley face. We tested it back in November and were big fans of the new AmazonKids+, which provides features specifically for kids (think podcasts, music and games) as well as parental controls through Amazon’s parent dashboard.
Showing your photos around your home is a decor choice that’s personal and classic. Opt for one of these digital photo frames and you’ll get the best of both worlds. Not only will you be able to show off multiple photos with just one frame, but the frames will also work in any room of your home. The Echo Show options double as Alexa devices, so you’re also getting the convenience of a digital frame and a smart speaker.
Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame ($329.99; amazon.com)
Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame
This silver frame can sit on nearly any surface or be mounted to your wall for an easy display. The smart frame can be controlled with an included remote, has motion sensor settings and is compatible with Alexa voice control when paired with an Alexa device. The high-quality screen displays your images beautifully, and you can even have friends and family send photos directly to the frame to keep new memories popping up. The modern silver finish looks great with any decor style as well.
Echo Show 8 ($79.99, originally $99.99; amazon.com)
Echo Show 8
The Echo Show 8 works as much more than just a digital photo frame; you’ll have the power of Alexa, access to video streaming and calling, and a solid speaker. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the high-quality screen can be used to show the photos you’ve loaded into Amazon Photos. The 8-inch screen sits nicely on your surfaces, doesn’t take up too much space and will blend seamlessly into your rooms.
Echo Show 5 ($89.99; amazon.com)
Echo Show 5
An even smaller smart frame option, the Echo Show 5 takes up little space on your countertops and is a great smart frame (and beyond) for small spaces. It offers a 5.5-inch HD screen and, like the Echo Show 8, can display your Amazon Photos on-screen with a simple “Alexa, show my photos.” In our testing, we were impressed with the speaker as well, so you’re getting double function with this smart frame choice at a relatively low price.
Pix-Star 10-Inch Wi-Fi Digital Frame ($144.83, originally $154.99; amazon.com)
Pix-Star 10-Inch Wi-Fi Digital Frame
This frame offers 8GB of internal storage so you can download and save photos directly to the frame. You can share and add photos using the Pix-Star app, a USB thumb drive or an SD card. Pix-Star also connects to services like Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, OneDrive and Photobucket. The black frame is simple and sleek and would work well in living rooms, offices and bedrooms.
Especially now that many of us are working from home, utilizing unique tech in your office is a great way to keep the space neat and stylish while still keeping the space functional. Whether you’re using a laptop or desktop computer, there are storage and stand options that provide both a pristine design and ultimate function.
Twelve South BookBook V2 for MacBook ($89.99; amazon.com)
Twelve South BookBook V2 for MacBook
Storing your MacBook at the end of the day has never looked better. This laptop sleeve looks just like a book. It will blend in on bookshelves and look nice on your desk or dresser, all the while keeping your laptop protected from spills and scratches. You can also take it on the go if you’re working outside of your home.
Well Weng Bamboo Monitor Riser ($39.99; amazon.com)
Well Weng Bamboo Monitor Riser
This bamboo stand for your computer monitor looks sleek but also provides a lot of utility and storage to your desk. It will lift your monitor to an ergonomic level, and it offers four side storage pockets, two adjustable side compartments and two-tier shelves. The light-toned bamboo wood offers a homey aesthetic to keep your space light and clean.
Classic Monitor Stand ($24.99; satechi.net)
Classic Monitor Stand
The Classic Monitor Stand from Satechi offers a very clean and simple look. It’s a single piece that lifts your monitor off your desk in a black one-piece design. Lifting your monitor off your desk can help keep your space organized and aesthetically pleasing by providing you more desk surface to work with and allowing you to hide your external mouse and keyboard underneath, keeping your space free for other work.
Twelve South HiRise Pro for iMac ($169.95; amazon.com)
Twelve South HiRise Pro for iMac
The HiRise Pro lifts up your iMac to an ergonomic level while providing storage for your external devices, creating an easy way to organize your cables while looking nice on your desk to keep your office space looking sophisticated. The internal shelf can be adjusted to fit your height needs. The inside of the stand can also house accessories like external hard drives, headphones, hubs and more. The front of the stand is actually reversible, so you can opt for a walnut or aluminum finish, depending on your office vibe.