For Interior Designer, Tech is Becoming a Huge Part of the Job

Smart home devices are now the norm as the industry continues to evolve.

When Nadia Elgrably began her interior design career, home technology was not a part of the process. But over the last several years, it has become a big part of her business.

“Technology in all aspects, from running a whole-house system, to some people who are just retrofitting in security systems or everything from window shades and things that you can access on your iPad [is becoming important],” Elgrably says. 

Elgrably, who owns Nadia Designs in Manhattan Beach, CA, is an award-winning designer with 20 years of experience in the industry. She says tech has just become the latest piece of the interior designing puzzle.

“Great interior design is a symphony of elements, each carefully crafted and orchestrated” Elgrably says. “Harmony is achieved with the balance and combination of those elements.”

Taking it Personally

For Elgrably, interior design is about more than just making a space look nice. It’s a personal effort to create a home in which the owner can be happy and comfortable.

Elgrably says tech can help make a house more comfortable for the homeowner.
Elgrably says tech can help make a house more comfortable for the homeowner.

“I want to make sure it’s their house,” Elgrably says. “When I leave, I want it to feel like their house. Maybe a new and improved version of their house, but still their house.”

For some projects, technology helps make this goal more possible.

In one home, the client was paralyzed, and Elgrably wanted to install a track system to allow him to move about the house to give him more power, as well as the ability to do things such as see who is at the door from other parts of the house.

After a significant amount of research, she found a company in Germany that could provide the track she needed, and she incorporated it into the home and through his iPad along with other devices in the house.

“It’s not just a job,” she says. “Listening to what a client wants and needs, and then translating that into how they can live is more dramatic certainly with that story, but it’s really the same with everybody. I listen to what my clients want and need.”

Technological Improvements 

Elgrably says she sees plenty of other benefits from the use of technology. She has completed many projects featuring products from companies like Lutron, Crestron and Savant, but she also looks to include other devices her clients want.

“I see a clear need for the solutions that technology can bring, for the comfort it can bring to the homeowner, the family, the security systems, the phone systems, the integration,” Elgrably says. “I think it’s the wave of where we’re going.”

She notes the usefulness of devices like those that track a homeowner’s energy usage and pet monitors for those who want the ability to watch their animals while away.

And, because she says companies are doing a better job in the physical design of their products, they are becoming easier to integrate into her work.

“Technology, I think, is a big part of design. It’s only going to get larger,” Elgrably says. “So, I like technology. I never thought I would.