Incorporating Tech Into Interior Design Can Present Challenges

Designers may have to overcome obstacles when adding tech devices to older home remodels. 

Technology is designed to make things easier for homeowners. However, sometimes the process of getting to that point can be difficult.

Interior designer Tonie Pimienta founded Tonie Design in 2001. Increasingly, she has been incorporating tech into her designs to the point where it has now become standard in most of her projects. And, the aesthetic development of tech devices has made it easier to incorporate them into her work.

“Probably at the beginning when the systems were bigger it would [be more difficult], but now that everything is smaller and the designs are so clean, it’s actually not a difficult thing to integrate,” Pimienta says.

“it’s just more a thing you need to think from the beginning what’s going to be in each of the rooms. I think it’s become easier with certain things.”

While it has become easier in many aspects, there are still times installing tech can be a challenge.

Redefining Remodels 

Adding tech to interior design projects in older homes can prove difficult.
Adding tech to interior design projects in older homes can prove difficult.

Because of the growth of home technology, devices are being included in many projects now. While that isn’t a problem for new builds, it can present some difficulties in remodels, particularly within older homes.

When owners of such houses are trying to update their interiors with tech, Pimienta is often faced with the added task of determining how to achieve her clients’ wishes when their home’s current infrastructure may not support them.

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One of her recent projects was in a Beverly Hills home built in the 1930s that exemplifies a common problem in the Los Angeles area.

“There were really no cables on the walls. There were not even recessed lights on the ceiling,” Pimienta says. “So, we had to open walls, we had to create spaces where there were not. Those sorts of things are the hardest when we are trying to remodel homes that are old in order to get them up to present standards.”

Pimienta adds that Internet access can also be problematic. Many homes aren’t wired for that kind of connectivity, either. So, some of the home’s devices, like sound systems, require extra work to get them linked.

Developing Solutions

Pimienta says she makes it a point to stay current on the latest developments in home tech, but that she feels there is always more to learn. While she is confident about working through the challenges remodels can present, she also likes bringing in a tech expert who can offer more guidance as needed.

“Usually I like to bring a third party to kind of give us some kind of advice of what would be the best way to bring a better connection and how we can make the project feasible,” Pimienta says.

She finds this approach especially helpful when working within a budget and finding the most cost-effective solutions.