Wanted: A home renovation show that gets the smart home right

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Wanted: Smarter home shows

Here in the UK, we're getting a new home makeover show, Renovate Don't Relocate, in 2019, with familiar presenting face Sarah Beeny. And the big thing with this show is that they're using tech.

Alexa and Apple HomeKit, you might ask? No, no it turns out the focus is actually on using technology to maximise space in the home, using "smart cameras" and "full-scale floorplans" to track rooms and reconfigure living spaces.

Read this: The craziest and wackiest smart home ideas

Now, Renovate Don't Relocate could turn up next year with lots of awesome ideas on smart home tech – and we hope it does. Or it could continue the trend of TV shows ignoring or minimising technology in the home, in favour of aesthetics, in the same way major interiors magazines relegate tech to specific gadget pages while running lush, full-bleed photos of houses with nary a retro radio on display.

Wanted: A home renovation show that gets the smart home right

Sure, some featured projects on long-running series like Grand Designs have a heavy tech element, and attempts have been made, such as 2017's Samsung-sponsored, short-lived Alex Brooker's Home Tech Over. But there's nothing that commits to the idea of helping people to build a smart and stylish home week after week, while a lot of people still get inspiration and lifestyle cues from these types of shows.

We're all for luxe and aspiration, but there comes a point where we're asking – where's the TV?

It's similar to how fashion shows and TV series have treated wearable tech for the past five years, which hasn't really had any negative consequences, but in the case of the smart home, devices like Alexa-powered speakers (and all the connected kit people buy to work with them) are now selling so well, it seems downright odd to ignore them.

Wanted: A home renovation show that gets the smart home right

As Paul showed in his Smart home diary series, to make the most out of building a smart home that isn't an eyesore, you really need to think about technology and connections in the planning, building or renovating stages.

Streaming services would be a good home for this, particularly Amazon Prime Video for obvious reasons. Netflix's first original home renovation show, though, is Amazing On The Inside, focusing on homes that look regular/boring from the outside but have cool or interesting interiors.

Its existing Netflix sibling, Brojects, does have way more of a focus on DIY projects but that's all about wacky ideas like waterski chairs, infinity showers and bowling alley docks. What we're thinking of is a regular format home renovation show that talks about style and space – but adds smart home tech to the mix in either all or most episodes. Like The Ambient, but on TV. Wait a minute…



Do you watch home renovation shows that treat smart home tech seriously? Let us know your recs in the comments.

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