I work from home full time and am my own boss. In my previous life (before children) I worked for the National Autistic Society, an unbelievably rewarding career and one which did tend to take up a fair amount of my focus, whether I was in work, on call or not. It was a fabulous position, offering so much variety and a real opportunity to make a difference. I worked in adult services and dealt with anything from hands on support to recruiting staff, training, rotas, pre-appraisals and more. It felt like more of a vocation than a job.
I fully intended to go back to work after Kieran was born and even got as far as my back to work interview. I sat and listened to how my role would be changing, my hours would be different, about key changes within the service and the organisation and all I could think of was how I couldn’t come back, that I didn’t want to come back.
In the short time since I’d been on maternity leave my focus had shifted monumentally. I was a mother now and had different priorities. I stood up, thanked the person I was speaking to and told her I wouldn’t be coming back. I’m not sure who was more surprised to be honest, her or myself.
I went to see Roy at his workplace afterwards to drop my bombshell and was amazed at how thrilled he was. He knew how much I loved my work however also knew that inside I was struggling with the idea of going back into my extremely hour-intensive position. He’d wanted me to make the decision to make changes without him influencing me, something I love him for, and so my first steps into self-employment began.
The road was anything but smooth in the early days as a cut in income like that overnight has a hell of an impact however neither of us regrets the decision for a minute. I’ve been my own boss for eight and a half years now and have absolutely no intention of rejoining the world of work as an employee again.
When I’m working at 4am to meet a ridicuously tight deadline or those times when I’ve had to get heavy with someone who thinks paying an invoice is optional I’ve for a fleeting second thought “Wouldn’t it be easier to go to work, come home and have a fixed income?”. Then I laugh at myself. I absolutely love my life, I love my work and most of all I love the flexibility it allows me so that I may be on hand whenever my family needs me.
Taylor woke up this morning and he was decidedly “off” for want of a better description; parents just know when a little one is not at their best. After breakfast he actually took himself off to bed again so I got in touch with his (fab) childminder and told her Taylor was staying at home today. Work has been shelved (to be continued after tea tonight and very early tomorrow morning) but today was for Taylor. True to form by 9.30am he was absolutely fine, if not a little tired so we’ve enjoyed a wonderfully chilled out day together. We watched tv under a pbanket, coloured in, toasted teacakes and just spent a day enjoying each other’s company.
I didn’t need to ring in sick, apologise for taking time off, use holidays to cover the day off, the same way I don’t for sports day, Christmas carol services, half terms and other special events.
And THIS is why I work from home and for myself.
Right now the ultimate technological advance to reach our bedroom is the promise of a wall-mounted flat screen TV so that we can watch Netflix etc in bed. For us this feels quite savvy in techie terms for a bedroom and even quite swish.
Betta Living are rather more advanced than us two in that they have teamed up with a top tech company to produce a bedroom of the future.
Move over adjustable beds and wall mounted tv units, this latest bedroom design features an innovative merging of the chic design Betta Living are known for and top technological advances which few people have heard of.
When it comes to fitted bedrooms Betta Living are obviously the company in the know, and with this Bedroom of the Future campaign we are being shown that we don’t need a time machine to enjoy a futuristic bedroom with all the mod-cons you didn’t know you needed (but now want)!
There is a wealth of information direct from Betta Living at the bottom of this post which all of you techies, fashionistas and interior fans are bound to find interesting.
Before you scroll down however, how would you like your own futuristic bedroom bundle?
Betta Living are currently hosting a fabulous Bedroom Gadget Giveaway on Facebook so you may win a prize valued at over £1500 and which includes:
- iRobot vacuum,
- Tivoli radio alarm clock,
- iMakr 3D mini-you model,
- Gym in a box,
- SAD Light,
- Lightwave RF productsBasically everything you need to kit out a top tech room which works for you!Visit the Facebook page to enter HERE
Before I sign off to moon some more over the gadgetry on offer I wanted to ask you…. if you could have ONE tech-savvy piece of equipment in your bedroom what would it be? If it hasn’t been invented yet that doesn’t matter, I want to know!
Want to Know More About the Bedroom of the Future?
Betta Living have released the following, packed with info on the gadgets and features the bedroom of the future is likely to look like:
Betta Living’s virtual bedroom gives an insight into what the nation’s bedrooms will look like in just a few years’ time, as technology, household furniture, gadgets and accessories evolve.
Virtual Mirror (including Personal Stylist Functionality)
Mirrored glass on wardrobe doors will be superseded by a virtual mirror, something digital agency Code Computerlove has already developed for retailers and that Betta Living believes will become commonplace in UK bedrooms within just a few years.
The intelligent interactive surface will not only display the contents of our wardrobe (that we can browse and virtually try on using gestural technology) but will cleverly act as our own personal style adviser – helping us to decide what to wear depending on our diary, the weather and what we’ve worn previously.
By micro tagging clothes we won’t even have to open the wardrobe door to decide what to wear – they will be displayed on the virtual mirror. Using gestural technology we can swipe through wardrobe items and try outfits on using images of our clothes superimposed on a life-size video of our bodies.
Select a skirt or pair of jeans and the virtual mirror will then suggest shoes, tops and accessories from your wardrobe that will not only look fabulous with it, but will also be suitable for that day’s weather and what you’re doing that day – if you have a lunch meeting or an evening out after work it will use this intelligence and advise accordingly.
And of course, if we don’t have that vital pair of shoes to match an outfit the intelligent virtual mirror will take you to an online shop where you can buy an item with just one click.
When it’s time to take physical garments out of the wardrobe, advances in storage systems will mean clothes will be easy to access – almost handed to you on a plate, like Betta Living’s soon to be launched infrared motion sensor rail.
Clear glass windowpanes and window dressings will become a thing of the past. The window in this futuristic bedroom is a transparent ‘smart window’, automated to the time of day and season or personal preferences. While the screen can be translucent (for those lucky enough to have a view), it can blackout, work as a virtual window blind, display a scene of your choice – think gorgeous snow scene or a beach shot from your holidays to enjoy year round – or be used as an interactive screen to watch TV, check the weather and even browse and update social media accounts.
Samsung’s Transparent Smart Window gives a sneaky peak into how this could work http://bit.ly/1BG23em and may not even be that far away in the making.
Then take the bed itself
Foldaway beds are not only practical but allow for free-floating sleeping, and this next generation Betta Living bed could even use a clever cantilever mechanism to store the bed in the ceiling rather than a wall. At the touch of a button, the bed could elevate up into a spot lit surround, and then it’s gone.
Bedding will be hi-tech too and better for our health. The Fine Bedding Company hints at the fact that it will be taking its Smartfil temperature control synthetic duvets and pillows to the next level with built in technology. Duvets of the future will be connected to body monitoring systems, telling them to heat up if the body is getting too cold and thanks to an in-built cooling system it will cool the body down to prevent night sweats.
Pillows could incorporate the same light technology used in lamps to combat the symptoms of SAD. Pillows will light up gradually as you wake and include health-enhancing lighting.
Similarly, SleepNumber’s iLE mattress has temperature balancing technology and even offers personalised mattress contouring too – where you can adjust each side to your ideal firmness, comfort and support.
On top of these innovations, self-iron fabrics will mean the end of the onus task ironing duvet covers.
By the side of the bed, techies are currently working on the ultimate green smart beaker, an insulating and refrigerating mug that absorbs heat from the boiling hot beverage inside and saves this energy to be used later to keep the drink at the perfect drinking temperature. A thermometer shows the energy stored and what temperature the drink is at.
Wearables In The Bedroom
For bedtime reading, watching TV, playing games or video-chat with friends, wearable technology like the new Oculas Rift will not only eliminate the need for a screen but users can step into whatever world they want. Similarly Google Glass, the Apple Watch and the Blocks modular watch could well all feature on our bedside tables sometime soon.
In the multi-functioning bedroom of the future, everything will be connected to our phones/watches and app driven like Tivoli’s app Audio Albergo+ that couples as a Bluetooth speaker system, alarm and radio.
The nation’s future bedrooms will be kitted out with home automation systems linked to health monitoring gadgets to optimise our wellbeing and create an environment (heat and light) suited to our exacting personal needs – even down body temperature.
While this trend has already begun, with products such as LightwaveRF that controls everything from power sockets and light dimmers from smartphones, and Beddit’s ultra thin film sensor, which connects wirelessly to your smartphone giving sleep analysis, such as sleep cycles, respiration, heart rate etc., Jawbone’s collaboration with Nest is another example of this trend. Jawbone’s UP24 wearable device detects and carefully monitors whether a person is asleep or awake, so once the band enters Sleep Mode, the thermostat will kick down to the owner’s ideal temperature and adjust to a warmer temperature when they wake – creating the optimum sleeping environment and ideal conditions for getting up.
If you can’t wait for the future – Honeywell’s evohome enables you to schedule, zone and personalise your warmth and hot water wirelessly with its touch screen controller or by using its Total Comfort Connect app.
Advances in lighting will also deliver more health benefits and mood enhancing options than today, not stopping at a lightbox (10) but offering anti Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) benefits throughout the room.
Energy-bills will be substantially less too, as lighting becomes more energy-efficient, like with MegamanUK’s LED.
Fitness In A Box
The futuristic bedroom is all about being ‘transformative’, where even the smallest of spaces will not restrict activities. When homeowners want space to work out, they can elevate the bed and bring out a home gym like Domyos Training Box. It contains a weight lifting bar and selection of weights, a weight bench/cardio step and mat all in this tiny box.
Futuristic Furniture and accessories
Tailor made is something already associated with fitted bedrooms, but 3D printing takes this further. Forget framed family portraits hanging on the wall, highly realistic 3D mini-me figurines of loved ones, like ones that can be created by imaker.com and Asda, will adorn bedroom shelves instead of 2D prints. But because anything can be scanned and designed, the bedroom of the future will be adorned with ornaments and accessories design by the homeowner – from stags heads and magical horses to homespun vases, whatever the trend 3D models can be created in just hours.
Flooring will also be interchangeable at the flick of a switch. Forget having a single carpet or floor tile design, floors in the future will display graphics of choice – anything from images of textured fabrics through to disco-esque effects on the floor. Or why not put an image of a lovely lawn or under the sea scene to really bring the outdoors in?
And finally, no bedroom of the future would be complete without a robot! The iRobot Roomba 880 can be pre-set to vacuum whenever you want, while you sit back and let it do the work! It even recharges itself between cleaning and is super effective at its job.
Barry Rourke said:
“Our bedroom of the future is all about multi-functionality to make the most of space, fabulous design and making home comforts even more sophisticated.
“As people flock to popular urban areas, domestic spaces are shrinking but in our transformative bedroom, even the smallest of spaces will not restrict the homeowners in the future.
“Windows will adapt to whatever we want our view to be and interactive living surfaces will mean we have access to our lives and wardrobe in one clever screen.
“Even the traditional bed will become tech driven and be linked to everything else in the room by clever sensors and smartphones. There are so many exciting things being developed our problem designing the bedroom of the future was what to leave out.”
Betta Living’s Bedroom of the Future was created with the help of leading blogger http://gadgetynews.com/
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