Mission Control | A Simple DIY Smart Home


If you’re tuning in cold turkey and have no idea what the title of this post is referring to or assume that it is referencing some 80s sci-fi thriller, you may want to venture over to this little (long-winded) introduction to our DIY smart home series.

By the time I decided to kickstart our smart home journey, I had already done quite a bit of research. I knew that in order for us to coherently control our gadgets we would need some sort of central controller aka Mission Control. This device would keep everything in sync and organized. But what device could we find that was affordable, modular, updatable, and would work well with our iPhones?

Ah yes, our iPad which had been sitting in storage – aka the basket underneath the coffee table – for about 6 months. Don’t get me wrong, we love the iPad, we just didn’t have a use for it in our everyday lives.

It was a great start. But placing it on the kitchen counter just didn’t seem appropriate. I wanted it to have a permanent home. A place that begged us to play with it. A place that was central. A place that we passed every day without fail. – The fridge.

Yup. Remember that french door refrigerator I had drooled over in 8th grade? Well, it just so happened the previous owners took their white side-by-side with them. Meaning it was open season for this guy. K will talk more about it in a separate post but let’s just say I snagged my dream fridge for a steal of a deal.

So how does one mount a 1.5 pound object to the front of a stainless platinum fridge? – The Fridgepad.

Sure, there’s a handful of other brands to choose from but Woodford Design was both in our price range and the best looking. It uses a strong magnet and looks gorgeous mounted on our fridge.

There she is. Mission control.

Our Cost:

  • iPad (owned already – retail $499)
  • Fridgepad – $52

7 Comments on “Mission Control | A Simple DIY Smart Home

  1. What about keeping the iPad charged? Seems like it’d be a pain to have to take it off and recharge every couple weeks.

    • Great question Michael! I probably should have addressed that in the post.

      The iPad is rated at 30 days of standby and 10 hours of general use. Since we tend to only use it as a central controller (and not to watch movies or anything like that) we find that it lasts really well. We find that charging it once a month works great for us – which isn’t really a hassle at all.

      We just plug it in before bed and pop it back in the mount in the morning. – Easy Peasy!


  2. That’s such a great idea! I have been researching home automation for a little while now, and luckily I found your posts. Do have any issues with the fridge mount moving around with everyday use of the refrigerator door?

    • Thanks Ron! We’re glad you found us too! This is a great question. I actually worried about the same thing before making my purchase. I can honestly say that the FridgePad is one of the best solutions on the market. The large surface magnet on the back holds it in place like freaking concrete. We use our refrigerator daily, like any other normal person, and it has never budged.

      This video produced by the creators of the fridgepad shows the “slam test” in action. It doesn’t even budge.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!


    • Yep! Actually, that’s exactly what we have there in the picture.

      Just specify at checkout on their site and they’ll send you the correct clips for your ipad. The best part? All clips are interchangeable so if you ever upgrade to a newer ipad, you can just order new clips! 🙂

      We love it. And it beats the socks off of sitting unused in a desk somewhere.


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