There are options galore when it comes to outfitting a new home with technology. There’s the basic plan that involves the addition of a few key components, the room-to-grow approach that starts small but gradually expands, then there’s the all-out, no-holds-barred method. The owners of this custom home chose the latter.
“Above all, they wanted high-performance from the systems on their newly built dream home,” says Scott Newnam, CEO of Audio Advice, the integration firm hired to take technology to the next level in this custom 14,000-square-foot residence.
“They had experienced home electronics in their previous homes at moderate levels, and now they wanted something better, something that afforded even greater ease of use and exceeded their expectations on every level.”
Audio Advice integrated a wide variety of technologies into the residence and tied them all to an advanced control processor from Control4. Able to manage, monitor and automate every light, thermostat, AV component, security camera and more, Control4 delivers everything the owners requested, complete with a clean, modern aesthetic.
In a home as large as this, it would be challenging to operate one system, let alone several, without the help of a professionally commissioned control platform.
What may be a simple task of turning off the lights and closing the window shades in a modest-size home becomes an overwhelming chore in a large estate property.
The owners recognised this and welcomed the addition of a Control4 system to not only manage a combination of high-performance DMF and LED linear lights and Lutron motorised shades, but also a wide assortment of AV equipment, thermostats and a high-end security system along with numerous surveillance cameras.
“Most of the subsystems managed by the Control4 system are part of the Snap One family so they work seamlessly together,” says Scott. “This helped streamline the installation and with the addition of an Araknis Wi-Fi network, assures the family the utmost reliability and performance of their home-tech investment.”
To further simplify control, Audio Advice provided the family a Control4 smartphone app, handheld remotes and wireless keypads from which a single command instructs multiple devices.
When the family arms the security system and exits the home, anything that’s been left on turns off and the lights intelligently switch on and off to make the empty house look occupied. Systems also adjust according to the time of day and other prescribed conditions.
The owners don’t need to be home to manage the household – the addition of an OvrC remote monitoring system makes sure of that. It integrates seamlessly with the home’s Control4 system, enabling the same level of control the owners enjoy while at home from anywhere in the world.
Single commands control the music by the swimming pool, films in the master bedroom, and every area was kitted out with in-ceiling speakers, while Samsung TVs accompany the audio in many of the rooms.
The dedicated home theatre, home gym and golf simulator are also woven into the Control4 platform. “We designed these areas to rival the best in the world,” Scott says.
Measuring 21-by-19 feet and accommodating three rows of seating, the home cinema features a 165-inch Stewart Filmscreen screen paired with a 10,000 lumen Sony projector and JBL Synthesis sound system and Anthem processors – synchronised to activate on command from a Control4 remote or touch panel.
The lights get in on the action, too, dimming to the ideal intensity levels based on whether the family is watching a movie, sporting event or gaming.
Adjacent to the home theatre is a Full Swing golf simulator matched with another high lumen projector and a commercial-grade home gym featuring an 85-inch Samsung TV mounted flush with the mirrored walls and in-ceiling Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
Like the rest of the house, the Control4 system provides easy operation of all the technology.
“The home was designed during the COVID pandemic which inspired the family to include amenities that would make staying at home as comfortable and enjoyable as possible,” Scott says. “We succeeded on every level with this amazing entertainment mecca.”
Despite the abundant technology, much of it goes undetected. Speakers disappear into the walls and ceilings, the master bedroom TV descends from the ceiling, and although visible, the Control4 wall keypads underscore the home’s minimalist design.
“When one keypad can do the job of several individual light switches, it drastically reduces wall clutter,” Scott explains. “It turns what could have been a visual distraction into a beautiful process.”
The sleek, custom-engraved keypads contribute to the overall aesthetic, but Scott acknowledges the master bedroom as the epitome of form and function coming together to create a one-of-a-kind smart home experience.
Floor-to-ceiling windows across an entire wall meant the windows would require a significant amount of shading to darken the room for bedtime and movie watching. The owners have a choice of sheers and blackout shades, each motorised to roll down individually from a hiding spot in the windows on command from a Control4 touch panel or keypad.
The sheers let the owners enjoy the outdoor scenery while maintaining their privacy; the blackout shades completely block out the sunlight and automatically descend when the owners activate the 65-inch Samsung TV. Like the motorised cassettes that house the shades and the Bowers & Wilkins speakers, it too is tucked in the ceiling.
“The large expanse of glass limited the wall space available to mount a TV, so we worked with the architect to create a cavity above the ceiling to place the TV there on a motorised lift that lowers it into the room,” Scott concludes.