Until recently, the interior design world didn’t have a good definition of a “high tech” interior. Collectively, we sort of knew what somebody meant when they said that an interior had a “techno vibe.” But it wasn’t its own style like, say, zen, art deco or country.
Now, though, that’s all changing. High-tech is going mainstream in the way many science fiction writers believed it would. And it is becoming a recognisable style in its own right.
High-tech is a little different from ultra-modern. Both emerge from a philosophy that says the world is something that we can master through science. But high-tech takes a more flamboyant approach, making more liberal use of colour than its rival.
Interestingly, though, high tech interiors aren’t necessarily anti-cosy. While they do use geometric shapes, they also employ wavy lines more liberally. Sofas, coffee tables and ottomans often have deliberately flowy contours.
Modern And Innovative
For an interior to qualify as genuinely “high-tech” it has to go beyond the modern. Modernism was all about breaking down interiors into their essential functional forms and building them up from scratch. And while it was a refreshing approach to decor in the mid-twentieth century, it was decidedly minimalist. Homeowners choosing the style would often paint their interiors all-white and shirk anything with spirit.
High-tech, however, prioritises innovation. It’s not afraid to experiment with new designs and ideas, even if they serve no direct functional purpose. So, as a design school, it’s much more content with the addition of superfluous motifs if they create a futuristic feel.
That’s not to say that functionality takes a back seat – far from it. Appliances from brands like Electric Radiators Direct, for instance, are allowing homeowners to experiment with new tech-enabled form factors.
The same goes for technological devices. High-tech interiors attempt to “bake in” technology into everyday items, adding functionality, but without any of the usual ugliness associated with it. Voice assistants and designer Bluetooth speakers are good examples of this in practice.
High-tech interiors are also extremely keen on the concept of pods or “rooms within rooms.”
Medieval nobles already invented this concept with the four-poster bed. But high-tech interiors rediscover it and are putting their unique spin on it.
For instance, we’re seeing people buy pod-like adjustable beds with in-build TV screens and skylights. Setups like this are particularly popular in studio apartments that blend all living areas into a single room.
Soft, Multi-Tone Lighting
When Philips introduced its Hue range of LED lights, it was clear that home lighting was going to change. Soon it would be possible to control the colour, brightness and mood of your interiors from your handheld device.
High-tech interiors make heavy use of this kind of approach to lighting. They’re not afraid to use non-white shades. And they are also highly experimental with where they place light sources.
Traditionally, it went on the ceiling, but thanks to robust LED strips, it can now go virtually anywhere, even the floor. Popular colour choices include green, red, turquoise, amber and purple. Specialist lighting works particularly well when combined with sheets of tempered glass.