It’s now been just over eight weeks sine we moved into what we are affectionately calling ‘our forever home’. Now of course you can’t say anything is forever, but unless something dramatic happens our new home is going to be the place that we live until our children have long flown the nest. If you have read my previous blog posts about it you will know that it is very much a project- we bought it as a renovation project and by the time we have finished (no doubt in many years!) it is going to look absolutely nothing like it’s current state.
It’s such a content feeling knowing that we are in a home that our is going to grow, change and adapt with our family. While we loved our last house, we completely did that up too, it never felt truly like a family home. I can’t put my finger on why, but the space just wasn’t ideally set up for our family. This house, although currently not particularly looking the way we want it to, already feels very much like a family home. I’m currently obsessed with anything interior or hours wise, and I am always looking for ways to make our living situation even nicer.
I had heard of Hive before, funnily enough when we moved in the previous owners had already got some of the basic elements of Hive installed, like the heating etc. But when they got in touch with me a while ago to see if I wanted to work with them on their current #letsgetliving campaign, I took a little look at the website. As soon as I saw the kind of things they offered, I jumped at the chance to work with them. Quite simply Hive is all about making time for life’s best moments. They want to help you make time for the best moments in life. The moments that put a smile on your face. The stuff that brings you joy. How do they do this? By helping you spend more time enjoying and less time planning.
They have created a family of smart products and services that connect your home and make daily living easier. It sounds a great idea written down, but when it came down to it would it actually work?
The week after we moved in a lovely Hive installation man came to make our home smart ready. He installed our Hive hub which is essentially the heart of your connected home. It connects your Hive products so you can control them remotely with the Hive app from wherever you are. How it works is you sign up for a monthly plan It was really quick and easy, he wasn’t with us long at all, and then he showed us where to download the Hive app to our phones and we were ready to go. We had already ordered some products to be here for his arrival and he did ask us whether we wanted help installing these, but to be honest they seemed quite straightforward. The products are a big part of the Hive family and there are all sorts of different ones you can try depending on what helps make life more easier for you. I wanted to talk a bit about the ones that we chose, but there are others too. For example you can get the brand new camera which helps you keep an eye from your home when you are away from it, or also use it as a baby monitor. Or the Hive Active Plugs which mean that as an example you could stay in bed nice and warm while the kettle turns on, or you could turn your tv on so it looks like someone was in at home when you are away.
Heating & Hot Water
For example a big one for us was the heating. That was our limited knowledge of Hive before hand, that it could help control your heating. In our old house we had a bit of a dodgy thermostat and if we were going away on holiday we could never quite figure out how to set the timer. It basically meant we would come home to a freezing cold house with no hot water. Gone are those days. Now we can quite simply control the heating from our phones wherever we are. We were coming back from Edinburgh the other day and it was really cold even though it was summer. Jon turned the heating on for a bit (you can set schedules too of course) from his phone so we could have the house a little warmer and cosier on our return.
With the hot water you can give it a boost in case you want to make sure that the water is warm for your bath or shower, especially if you might be having one outside of your regular hours you might usually have one. The Hive app is really simple to use, you simply find the action or room you want to use and it’s just a few clicks of a button.
In our new house we have a really great little summer house in the garden (which also needs a lot of work!) that we are using as our office as both Jon and I work from home. Of course as a result we have some electronic equipment that is expensive in there. Hive Home also do door sensors which will let you know when a door has been opened as an alert will flash up on your phone. This gives us peace of mind that our possessions are looked after even though they are outside.
I must admit my personal favourite part of the Hive products are the lights and they are the ones that we are using the most at the moment (although I am sure that will change when it gets to winter and we use the heating more). The lights are very similar to the heating in that you can set schedules. So for example if you are away you can get them to come on in the evening to make it look like you are home which is such a great idea, or another thing we do is let the girls read for 20 minutes in the evening and then we set a schedule for the lights to turn on automatically to signal it is time to go to sleep. We have a mixture of the warm to cool lightbulbs and the colour changing ones and I must admit the colour changing ones are my favourite. They can change to up to 66 million different colour combinations and the girls (and I!) think they are very cool- it means we can make subtle mood lighting or have disco parties! While they are perhaps a tiny bit gimmicky they are also good fun and we use them all the time, it just makes our family home that little bit more fun. You can also do things like get the lights to turn off automatically when you leave the room by using one of the motion sensors.
I thought I would take a few photos of how Hive has helped enhance our family life. Overall we absolutely love it, it’s one of those things that you don’t ‘really’ need but as soon as you have it you will wonder why you ever lived without it. I love that our house has been transformed into a smart home, and it’s the little things that really help make life with three children that bit easier.
NB: We are working with Hive on their #letsgetliving campaign but all words and opinions are entirely my own.5