We were delighted to work with Equippd on a recent project in Belgravia and were so inspired by how they combined the two spheres of design and technology to create stylish and intelligent homes for truly modern lives we wanted to share their story here. Charlie kindly agreed to do a Q&A with us which might be useful if you’re working on an upcoming project.
Back in 2013, brothers and founders Charlie and Matthew saw how technology was continually viewed as complicated, messy, unattractive and unattainable. Through extensive research and testing, and establishing key partnerships with some of the very best in residential design, Equippd began weaving technology into the fabric of people’s lives.
Today, Equippd helps homeowners, architects and designers bring technology into their projects with a design-led approach that puts exceptional experience first. Its talented team of designers, engineers and programmers work across the UK, taking projects from inception to completion and beyond.
1. Can you give a brief overview of the services Equippd offer?
At Equippd we offer beautiful technology for the high-end residential market. Including lighting, shading and climate control, entertainment, wellness and security systems, home automation, and user control platforms. In other words, we install beautiful technology that makes your lives easier.
2. What advantages does an automated home have?
Home automation isn’t just about turning your lights on and off from an app on your phone. One of the main benefits of an automated home is improving the efficiency of the property through clever programming, allowing different systems to communicate and automatically optimise themselves to reduce consumption, examples being blinds shutting at key times of the day to reduce heat loss in the winter months or allowing unoccupied rooms (detected via a discreet sensor) to go into a hyper-low energy mode, but ready to spring to life when needed.
Another benefit people don’t often think about is security. If you go on holiday or the home is empty for an extended period of time, your home’s lights can turn on (in a low-energy mode) and blinds open and close to mimic your usual routine, making it look like someone’s home.
3. At what stage of the build programme should a client bring in a technology consultant/specialist?
Ideally, we like to be involved as early on in a project as possible. Whether you are going wireless or wired, it’s important to consider the technology at the very beginning of your project. We look at the designs and host a ‘Technology Workshop’ with the client to fully understand what’s important to them, their budget, and the ways in which they want to interact with their home. We use that information to not only suggest the technology to put in but also what not to include. We don’t just come in and put screens on every wall and TV’s in every room, but believe technology should enhance a space and make your life easier – we truly believe that when tech is concerned, less is more.
4. Is there anything in particular a client should think about with regard to technology?
I think it’s important for any client to consider how much or how little they want to interact with their home. There’s a wide range of on-wall controls available, from iPad-sized screens to beautifully designed smart switches, all fully customisable to match your aesthetic. These can give you control over your essential services like lighting and heating/cooling, or a full home automation system. Or, hide all the controls away in a cupboard and just have a beautiful on-wall light switch!
If you want the home to do all the ‘thinking’ for you then there are more discreet options like sensors, that gather information to automatically adjust the different systems to their optimal levels.
Another thing to consider is what tech they want from day one and what they might want to be a future addition. Planning the infrastructure to support future technologies means that if and when the client wants to upgrade or make additions to the tech in the home, it can be easily added. Rather than having to rip out walls and floors to re-wire or add things in.
5. Are there any common mistakes you see with technology in the home?
One of the most common mistakes people make is not including technology. Now you may think ‘oh of course they’ll say that!’ but an automated home is the future of how we will all live in our homes. So considering technology and building it into the core of your home is essential for future-proofing your home.
Another common mistake clients make is, not finding out what technology options are available before the first fix. Once work has begun, it can become too difficult or expensive to make tech inclusions or changes. So it’s always important to do your research on tech as early on as possible. That’s why we recommend booking a Technology Workshop with our team so they can talk you through all the options available to you. It’s best to know your options, even if you eventually decide not to include it in your home.
6. Can you share your top 3 inside tips?
• Smart doesn’t mean ‘contemporary/techy’: You can have all the clever logic of a smart home system within any style home. By combing smart with traditional decors, like traditional switches, or socket faceplates, making it suitable for any style interior.
• Design in an ‘eco-mode’: Technology can be perceived as power-hungry, but we can create an eco/holiday mode that activates whilst the house is unoccupied for a length of time, keeping essential security and energy systems running but turning non-essential equipment off.
• Simplify and focus on quality: Overly-engineered systems can be unreliable, frustrating, and inefficient. We believe in keeping it simple. Matching the correct level of technology to the client and their lifestyle and ensuring that we always pair robust products with a simplistic user interface.