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Hey Google, what’s a smart home? Design duo Drew and Jonathan Scott offer smart tech tips to modernize your place



Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is brought to you by renovation experts Drew and Jonathan Scott, the dynamic team behind HGTV’s Property Brothers. Through their popular TV shows, Drew and Jonathan help families buy, sell and renovate homes. 

Summer is prime time to tackle those home renovations that you’ve been putting off all year. We speak from experience when we say undertaking a reno can be a daunting task -- but it doesn’t have to be! Thanks to innovative advancements in smart home technology, it’s become easier -- and more cost-effective -- to modernize your home and ultimately add value to your property without the hassle of a construction crew.

Here are five ways to turn your home into a tech-savvy space with the help of Google Home Mini (available on the Google Store and at Best Buy Canada for $79):

Control the temperature of your home

Stay cool this summer and save money at the same time by installing a smart thermostat that learns your behaviours and programs itself to save energy.

We love the Nest Wi-Fi Smart Learning Thermostat because it combines a sleek design with a bright LCD interface that provides useful data and tools that help you save money. And, it works with smart home hubs, such as Google Home Mini, so you can access data and adjust settings by simply saying “Hey Google, adjust the temperature to 21 degrees.”

The best part? It can be installed in less than 30 minutes, so you can spend more time enjoying your home.

Create the right ambiance in your favourite rooms to unwind

One of the most common design questions we get asked from renters or new homeowners is about how add personal DIY touches to their space. Well, one of the quickest and easiest ways is to adjust the lighting.

You can add ambience to any room in your home with the Philips Hue Smart Personal Wireless Light Bulb Starter Kit. Create the feel of a sunset in the living room or set the perfect shade of light and brightness for reading a book in bed.

What’s more is that Philips Hue works with the Google Assistant, providing you with a hands-free lighting experience. With commands like “Hey Google, dim the lights in the bedroom” or “Ok Google, turn on tropical twilight in the living room” you can have a fully customized experience that’s as easy as screwing in a light bulb.

Connect your appliances

Together with Google Home Mini, WeMo offers hands-free control of your smart home. Whether you’re brewing your morning coffee or cooling down under a fan, the Google Assistant allows you to control your small appliances with the sound of your voice and a simple command.

This can be especially useful for morning routines. Beat the morning rush by saying “Ok Google, turn the coffee pot on.” As a bonus, your Google Assistant can also give you valuable information about your day, such as your schedule, weather and traffic conditions. So go ahead and hit that “snooze” button for an extra 5-minutes.

Upgrade your entertainment system
Easily create an immersive entertainment system that you can control with the sound of your voice. Whether you’re playing the latest hits on Spotify for a summer soiree or having a cozy night in streaming Netflix with your Chromecast, your Google Assistant and suite of Google Home products will allow for hands-free entertainment.

And if you’re feeling a bit competitive (not that we’d know what that’s like..), you can play interactive trivia games with your Google Home.

Make safety a priority at your house
With Nest Hello you'll always know who's at your front door, even if you're not at home. This video doorbell provides a live view of your front door and sends you a mobile alert when someone approaches, rings the doorbell, or leaves a package. And when you are at home, your Google Assistant can announce when someone's at your door. Gone are the days of having to greet unexpected guests!

In Toronto? Join us at the downtown Google shop (Best Buy Canada, Yonge and Dundas) on Saturday, June 2. We’ll share how easy it is to update your home with Google Home Mini and other cool smart gadgets. Space is extremely limited for the workshop so make sure to RSVP here: https://goo.gl/rG7sTf 

Posted by Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of HGTV’s Property Brothers