Homes that were ahead of their time - a look at innovative living spacesIt’s easy to forget that many of the things we take for granted were at one point the cutting edge of home technology; affordable to only a few. We take a look at some homes that represented the pinnacle of innovation at the time they were built, or whose development represented a change in the way we think about our living spaces.
Cragside HouseLord and Lady Armstrong built Cragside with a love of science and the arts, resulting in a stunning house and grounds that were technologically advanced for their time. Lord Armstrong had such a strong interest in electricity that he built his own ‘electricity room’ for experimenting. And he didn’t stop there; Cragside was the first house in the world to be powered by hydroelectricity, making use of the energy to power laundry machines, lifts and more.
Eltham PalaceExpanding on the remains of a large medieval banquet hall, Eltham Palace was revived by the Courthauld’s in the 1930s. They restored the original hall with attention and care and built a newer home on the site with a luxurious Art Deco interior. Besides choosing a contemporary design, the couple also championed the use of the latest technology, installing electric heaters, a centralised vacuum cleaner in the basement of the house and a speaker system that allowed them to broadcast music across rooms.
Barbican FlatsLike many estates built during the 70s, the Barbican draws both love and hate for its brutalist style. Whether you’re for or against the look, it’s easy to appreciate the vision of the Barbican’s architects. Planning for the estate started in the 50s and the main idea was to bring together both practicality and pleasure for its residents. The flats themselves were designed to make the most of the space available, with the bedrooms and living areas taking up the most room, while utility areas were pared-back and functional.
Whether you prefer a more traditional style or favour the minimalist look, why not bring some technological wonder into your life and make your home smarter? Take a look at the range of smart-home technology available today.