This post is in conjunction with Hive, but all thoughts are my own
During the lockdown, our living room has become the central hub for absolutely everything. We have spent a LOT of time in that one room – I’m sure you can relate. One minute, it’s a playroom – the sofa being used as a mini-soft play centre and floor barely visible from all the toys, puzzle pieces and blocks. The next the toys are cleared away and it’s our adult space to chill and unwind for the day, Netflix on with a glass of wine in hand. Plus, I am also self-employed, so now that the girls are off to nursery it’s also my workspace. I do 99% of my work on my laptop from the sofa. Maybe I should get a desk, but I secretly enjoy the luxury of working from the sofa with Loose Women chattering away in the background. That is my office space and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As staying in is now the new going out we have had to find ways to change the entire feel and atmosphere in the room throughout the day to suit what is going on at the time – taking it from a bright, light office space to a chilled relaxation space within seconds using our smart devices by Hive. Our smart tech also helps with our family routines and security around the house too, meaning it’s one less thing to think about.
Our Hive Smart Home
I’ve always loved smart tech so I was so excited to get started with our new set-up! Firstly, I set up our Hive Hub 360, which is the central point all of our smart home products. It’s a chic white with gold band around the middle so fits into our living room perfectly. The Hive Hub allows me to control the other smart devices around my house using the Hive app – even when I’m not at home! It also detects important sounds around the home like your smoke detector, a window-smashing or a dog barking.
Our lamp is fitted with smart lighting – this means I can control when the lamp is on or off using my phone app or by connecting it to our smart speaker. I’m able to change the brightness, tone and colour of the light which really helps to set the mood within the room.
I have also fitted smart plugs to our hot tub, meaning it can be turned on whilst I’m out of the house meaning the hot tub will be lovely and warm by the time I’m home! I’ve also got a smart plug I use with my hair straighteners, I always worry that one day I’ll leave them on but with the smart plug I’m reassured as I can see on my phone the plug is off or I would be able to turn it off remotely if needed.
The last part of my Hive smart home was smart sensors on our doors and windows – this means when we are out of the house I have some extra reassurance our house is secure.
Setting everything up was super easy – with the Hive app, it guides you through the set-up process and allows you to control your devices at any time, from any place on your phone.
Adding fun, creativity and calm to our home
Being stuck indoors so much can feel so frustrating, especially for little ones. It’s also been hard for me working from home as I’ve not had any time away from the children to get my work done, plus my workspace can feel so cluttered and chaotic around the children’s toys. During lockdown there just hasn’t been any separation between work, play and rest which is a real challenge – but I’ve found being able to transform our rooms has been a bit of a game-changer. We’ve had so much fun creating different environments using our smart tech.
In our living room, our smart lights have made such a huge difference! I love a bright light for working and photography, so I use our smart light at its full brightness on a white, cool light. Of course, the girls LOVE the multicoloured feature so we’ve had pretend birthday parties where we’ve turned the lights green, red, purple or blue and had a little dance party with balloons included too! For our cosy evenings in, low lighting in a warm, yellow or purple setting is just perfect and the ultimate for rest and relaxation.
Syncing our devices with our smart speaker makes commands even easier, I can change the lighting without even moving from the sofa!
Fitting in with our routine
With two toddlers, a dog, my own business and a house to run – I really don’t need anything else to think about, so I’ve set our smart home devices to run automatically alongside our family’s routine. On the Hive app, it’s so easy to set a schedule which turns our smart lights on and off automatically. I’ve set ours to turn on early in the morning with a soft, low light – this is perfect for the early rising toddlers so they can sit and enjoy a movie whilst I enjoy my first coffee of the day. It’s nice to come into the living room with the light already on, it feels like the day has already begun and helps us all to wake up a little.
The lamp then turns off for the rest of the day to allow the natural sunlight to take over. As the evening draws in, our light is scheduled back on again at 19:00, but this time set to a much more relaxing tone – I really love setting it to purple, it gives the room a whole new vibe and makes our evening chill out seem more relaxing in a whole new environment.
Adjusting to our new normal has been a challenge, but creating transforming our room from workspace to a zen relaxation zone has really got us through.
What has helped you through lockdown?