As you know, we recently moved into a house that was just built – a BIG change for this girl who has only ever lived in 50-150-year-old rentals with vintage charm, lots of spiders, creaky floors (and walls?) – and they all required a lot of work. This place… doesn’t need any work! That’s not to say we don’t have a few projects – all of which are very different than anything I’ve ever done before… most of which have to do with making the home a safer place for our family. I was so glad to partner with Lowe’s on a few Smart Home updates that have been amazing and I highly recommend.
Our Home To Do List (not decorating related):
– add security system
– add outdoor cameras
– add window treatments (looking to get built-in indoor shutters)
– temperature control (I explain more below)
– add dimmers to all overhead lighting (a must for me who hates overhead lighting)
– add baby gates to stairs (he’ll be crawling soon – asap! Can’t wait to show you what we’re doing.)
– baby-proof in general
– add stair runner to main staircase (the dogs have both slipped down them 🙁 – safer/softer in general)
– change out lighting (we did this before we moved in)
Which brings me to the few Smart Home items we’ve installed!
As is the case with all two-story homes that don’t have dual heating/cooling, our bedrooms upstairs get super warm while our first floor stays cold. Then once you close the doors, the bedrooms can get even warmer – obviously concerning since Henry’s nursery is upstairs and babies can’t regulate their body temperature. So, Dan and I decided to look into a Nest smart thermostat, which is great on its own because it’s a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts the heating and cooling settings for optimal performance, controllable right from an app on our phones. BUT this particular Nest E product bundle, which is exclusive to Lowe’s, comes with a temperature sensor that we can place in Henry’s room – it allows us to monitor the exact temperature in the nursery, so I no longer worry if he is too hot or too cold while he’s sleeping. Plus, at less than $200, the thermostat pays for itself in energy savings in less than two years*. Definitely worth the upfront investment in my opinion!
*Independent studies showed that Nest saved people an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling.
Based on typical energy costs, we’ve estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year. Individual savings are not guaranteed.
Lutron Caseta Smart Kit (i.e. dimmers):
If you know me, you know that I loathe overhead lighting. Loooooathe. I don’t want to feel like I’m in an office or hospital with all those bright lights. But in many cases, it’s necessary – notably our kitchen and dining rooms. So when you need ceiling lights, I always suggest adding light dimmers, as they completely change the mood of any room. I literally never used the beautiful lantern pendants over our kitchen island until we added dimmers because they hit at eye level and full wattage is just way too bright it’s almost jarring.
So we knew we wanted to add dimmers to our main living spaces to start, and after looking through a variety of options at Lowe’s, we ended up going with the Lutron Caseta Smart Kit, which easily connects all the lights in any room! We can now control the lights with our smartphones or with the remote control. So far we have them in the kitchen and dining rooms but plan on adding it to all the rooms eventually.
A huge bonus is the additional security measure: this light kit comes with a ‘smart away’ feature, which randomly turns the lights on and off, giving the appearance that our family is home when we are actually off visiting our family for the holidays. Safety first, ladies and gentlemen!
This is the best.
As I said, when Dan and I were discussing what our new place needed to really feel finished (window treatments, stair runner, baby gates, etc.), security was among the top priorities on our list. We installed a camera doorbell at our last place, and fortunately, this house already had that out front.
But there is a back door here where we wanted to ensure security, and thankfully Lowe’s carries a wide range of smart home security products, so we were able find a Nest outdoor security camera that that fit our exact needs and provided added convenience with smart home connected features!
It plugs right into a power outlet (we drilled so it’s plugged in INSIDE the house) so you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying and comes equipped with live video surveillance 24/7, which was critical to us as a new family of three. It sends alerts right to our phones if any activity is detected, so we’ll know the moment someone is on our back staircase and who is coming and going at all times. This camera also comes equipped with night vision, so we can rest easy through the day and into the night that our home is being monitored.
We actually have loved the camera and app so much that we picked up an indoor camera that we’ll be using in Henry’s nursery moving forward. Plus, we love that the cameras and our thermostat will all operate and be controlled on this one Nest app.
Do you hvae any Smart Home devices in your home? It’s really incredible all that’s available!
This post was in partnership with Lowe’s but all of the opinions are my own.