At one point, all of us have that one important question to answer – how do we improve the quality of our life? One of the best approaches is to work on your living space and make it more efficient and more affordable. Furthermore, it should be a place that is comfortable and relaxing. As technology progresses, it is no wonder that more and more homes are now becoming smart homes. Turning a regular home into a smart home might put people off because it seems like a costly investment. However, there are affordable smart home upgrades that are also design-friendly. With that in mind, let’s look into what options you have!

Installing USB outlets

Whether you are preparing your home for a sale or simply making it a better place for you, installing USB outlets is a must! Depending on the brand and the country of production, the price may vary from $1-$10 apiece to the more expensive ones that cost $15-$20.

The benefits of USB outlets are huge:

  • You may use one outlet to charge multiple smart devices, without having to actually use the slot. That leaves it empty for equipment that actually requires plugging in.
  • Your use of electric energy will lessen this way, since charging via USB is not the same as charging via an outlet.

Solar energy in your home

While we are on the subject of reducing electric energy consumption, we want to discuss a couple of smart home upgrades that are also design-friendly, that will help you reach that goal.

Solar panels are a fantastic option for any home. The best approach is to hire a structural inspector that will help you calculate the quantity of solar power you need. They will also provide engineered design plans for solar panels.


Solar panels on a house roof

Solar systems are beneficial both for our lifestyle and our planet.

Finally, not only will you save money with solar panels, but they are also design-friendly. They can fit any type of roof, and the overall look of your place will be upgraded.

Smart lighting

You cannot make a mistake with smart lighting. It is another design-friendly smart home upgrade that counts as a point toward reducing energy consumption. With smart lighting, you will never again have to think about turning off the lights when leaving the house.

Furthermore, it becomes possible to automate the process and set the desired lighting for each part of the day. Also, installing these yourself is not a difficult task, so you don’t have to worry about other people coming to your home during the pandemic. You can have your rooms and balcony transformed while you are at home in no time!

Invisible audio and video equipment

Now here is a design-friendly smart home upgrade for your place you should definitely consider. Showing off your TV and audio setup was considered a sign of wealth and good taste. However, with the development of technology, this belongs to the past.

A minimalistic home with a pool.

Minimalistic home design is more valued today, so improve your home with that in mind.

Alt: A minimalistic home with a pool.

Now homes look more visually appealing if you don’t have cables and giant pieces of equipment everywhere around you. The minimalistic approach is the goal when remodeling your place.

With that in mind, built-in speakers and the TV that pops up when needed is a really handy design that will make your place look simple, yet luxurious.

Also, this is the way to go if you wish to add a smart home security system.

Security systems for smart homes

If you are seriously considering a change in the quality of your life, protecting your loved ones is a priority. There is an array of hidden security cameras you can implement, that are both smart home upgrades that are also design-friendly, and a way to protect your home from unwanted visitors.

An illustration of a smart home with icons representing various smart home features, and a mobile phone connected to the house with internet.

With the use of smart home technology, you can control your entire place from a smartphone

To give you an example, you can easily install a doorbell camera. It is minimalistic in design and almost not visible. Best of all, you can control it from your smartphone. That way, you will always know who is knocking at your door, without ever having to leave the room.

A voice-controlled home automation system

Who doesn’t want to speak to their house and get things done without having to lift a finger?

If this is your dream as well, a voice-controlled home automation system is the way to go. The best of all, you can choose to purchase it, which will cost you around $50, or, if you are more tech-savvy, you can do a fun project and build it yourself!

If you are interested in the latter option, look into components for Arduino, as it is one of the most used processors for automation.

With the help of a voice-controlled home automation system, you can automate all processes in your home, from regulating temperature to turning any piece of equipment on and off.

I don’t want to install smart home upgrades now because I am moving to a new place next year

We hear you, why install smart home upgrades if you are going to change your home soon? Well, that does not have to be an issue. With the right help, it is fairly easy to take care of the transportation of items to your new home. You can transport any smart home devices you purchased to a new place without any issues.


Investing in your home in the long term is a smart decision. By making smart home upgrades that are also design-friendly, you are not only making it a more efficient and affordable place for living, but also raising your home’s market value. If at any point you decide to sell the home, you might get a lot more in return than you originally spent to purchase it. However, have in mind that once you get used to living in a smart home, you will never want to switch back!

James Twine is a freelance writer with extensive prior experience in home upgrades, renovations and design. He loves a DIY project and spending active time outdoors.