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When I was in my early teens, maybe younger, I had a vision of myself as an adult. I can remember it so clearly, even now. It was just a few seconds, a snapshot of what I imagined my life would be like.
The vision involved me arriving home from work on a Friday evening and opening the door to my swanky looking flat, where I lived alone. I can picture the key, turning in the lock. I never knew what job I was arriving home from, I never even got as far as going inside, but I do know that I was wearing a pencil skirt and a silk blouse and high heeled shoes. Clearly in my mind that’s what being a grown up woman was all about.
As things turned out the reality of my life is pretty far from the vision – I’ve never lived alone, I work from home, and I particularly dislike silk. (I don’t know what it is, I’m just not keen on the feel of it.)
What has always struck me most about that vision is the symbolism of the transition between work and home. I never really knew where I’d been, or what happened when I opened the door, but there was something about that moment, the emotional switch from work to home.
Spending more time at home over the last few months has been tough at times, and I’ve definitely felt the lack of that transition and that I’ve not been striking the right work/life balance at times. It’s hard when you’re in the house so much isn’t it, to get that clear definition between work and fun?
What if that moment where you turn a key and open the front door could actually create a physical change as well as an emotional one?
To help restore some harmony to my home life I’ve teamed up with Hive, to show you how a few strategically placed smart home devices can go a long way to creating a more relaxed atmosphere at home.
Servicing 1.7 million homes across the country, Hive is one of the nation’s favourite connected home providers. Hive’s family of smart products include the award-winning Hive Active Heating and a range of plugs, sensors, light bulbs, indoor and outdoor cameras and thermostatic radiator valves and services that offer customers the ability to control their homes, save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Sounds good right?
First up I needed a trigger – something to let my Hive devices know that the WEEKEND IS ABOUT TO START. For this I used a Hive window and door sensor which I attached to the front door. I then came up with a cunning plan to recreate that ‘key in the lock’ moment – I decided that when I finished work for the day or for the weekend, I would leave the house by the back door, take a walk around the block to clear my head of work, and then return via the front door.
Hive’s door and window sensors can be used for all sorts of things. They can be used as a simple security measure for instance, to let you know if someone opens a particular door or window, or they can be linked to other actions. Maybe you’re sick of getting up in the night and stumbling about trying to find the toilet? Hive’s smart sensors could help by automatically switching on a low light on the landing when your bedroom door opens.
I imagine that alternate reality pencil skirt me would have had some discrete mood lighting come on in her minimalist living room when she opened that front door after her day at ‘the office’.
To create a relaxed evening vibe when I ‘got home’ from work I linked my Hive sensor to a couple of different things – Hive smart lighting in the form of colour changing light bulbs and a Hive active plug.
I actually already have some of the colour changing light bulbs and I really love them. They’re brilliant for creating different moods in different parts of the house, or for simple things like dimming when you want to read in bed.
They look like an ordinary bulb…
…but don’t be fooled! When they are plugged in and linked up they become something magical.
I set my Hive colour changing bulbs to change to a warm, cosy orange colour when the door sensor was triggered – something that would immediately make my shoulders unwind and bring my brain down a notch or two.
Then I set up the Hive active plug with a fun lamp, so it would switch on when I opened the front door and create some extra atmosphere in the living room, ready for a relaxed evening, maybe a spot of dinner and a good film. Just plug the Hive active plug into a regular socket and then plug your lamp in on top and that’s it.
You could get creative with your plug, switch on some fairy lights, maybe have it turn on some music, or even put the kettle on for you.
All of the Hive smart home devices can be easily set up and controlled on your phone through the Hive app and hub. You can spot the hub in the photo above – it’s very sleek and not intrusive in any way and is available in black too. Set up is so easy, with the Hive products pretty much doing everything themselves. Adjusting the settings and linking things up is dead simple too.
All that’s left then is to ease yourself into your favourite armchair and relax in the atmospheric lighting. Grab a magazine, a cup of tea, the remote control or your favourite book – whatever it is that helps you switch off from work and properly relax.
Definitely an evening to enjoy in a silk blouse.
Check out the full range of Hive smart products.